After another disappointing performance by Netherlands against Turkey, the KNVB’s decision to give Guus Hiddink the coaching job is proving to be a big mistake.

  • By Michael Bell
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When the KNVB appointed Guus Hiddink as Louis van Gaal’s successor last March it was seen as a safe option, compared to giving the job to Ronald Koeman who was doing an admirable job at Feyenoord. Hiddink was a tactical genius and a motivator, who would no doubt steer Netherlands effortlessly to Euro 2016, before bestowing his wisdom upon Danny Blind who would take over after the tournament in France.

A year to the day of the Hiddink announcement, Netherlands needed a 92nd minute strike from Klaas jan Huntelaar to avoid their fifth defeat in seven games under the 68-year-old. The 1-1 draw with Turkey was another shocking performance by the Oranje side who finished third at the World Cup, and participation at Euro 2016 is under threat. The KNVB’s plan is lying in tatters, and fingers need to be firmly pointed in Hiddink’s direction.

The usually tactical astute Hiddink has made countless errors with his team selections and formations since his appointment, and the football played against Turkey was a far cry from the total football craved by the Dutch faithful. Incredibly slow short passing and a lack of spark in midfield caused by the inclusion of Nigel de Jong was changed to a kick and rush 4-4-2 in the second half, with Daley Blind and Gregory van der Wiel sending aimless long balls towards Bas Dost and Klaas jan Huntelaar. Only a lucky deflection off Huntelaar from a Wesley Sneijder’s strike rescued a point, and probably kept Hiddink his job.

After the draw Hiddink admitted his struggles and baffled by saying he was happy with a draw, “Of course I can get this team back to its best, but at this moment I don’t know how yet. It wasn’t a good game from us, but I’m satisfied with the result. In the end, this can be a very important draw.”

Hiddink then went on to state that Netherlands should no longer be described as one of Europe’s top sides, “We shouldn’t talk too big about ourselves, because we are not one of the top teams in Europe. The third place at the World Cup in Brazil was fantastic, but you have to look through that result. Look at the reality.”

These weren’t the words frustrated Netherlands fans wan’t to hear and many are starting to feel Hiddink should be shown the door before he can do any more damage. A lack of potential replacements will probably see the KNVB stick with Hiddink, but another defeat in the remaining five qualifying games is unthinkable.

Luckily for Hiddink, Robin van Persie, Ron Vlaar and most importantly Arjen Robben should be back by the time Netherlands face Latvia in June, and with the coach lacking ideas, it may be up to the trio to drag Netherlands to Euro 2016.

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