Ibrahim Ayyub gives his assessment on Netherlands Euro campaign and wants a change in approach heading into the future.

imageFor the second time this century, the Oranje will miss out on an international tournament. Holland had qualified for every tournament after failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup until yesterday’s defeat which meant they will miss out on Euro 2016. Now is not the time to play the blame game, but the time to seek change; philosophical change.

The story of how the German FA changed philosophies after Euro 2000 is well known and now is the time for Holland to also change their philosophy. There has to be a long term vision in place and not rely on a quick fix. For quite some time now, it seemed that the KNVB was interested in winning the big prize over tradition. Purists, including myself, were criticized when we complained about how Holland had played during the last two World Cups. Sure, there were some great wins in the World Cup but overall, the days of watching the beautiful style of Oranje football was replaced for a pragmatic result driven approach that ultimately resulted in zero success.

The approach towards a pragmatic system ultimately cost in the long run. Euro 2012 disaster should have been a warning but it was ignored after World Cup 2014 and now Holland are paying the price for it by missing out on a spot in Euro 2016. World Cup 2014 saw them reach the semi-finals while not exactly impressing. Instead of using Euro 2016 to usher in a new generation of players and prepare for World Cup 2018, we are now stuck with a team that seems dazed and confused. In hindsight, perhaps the “total voetbal” approach should not have been abandoned but the past cannot be undone.

However, is “total voetbal” still possible? Is Holland producing the type of players who fit into that system? If not, then the Oranje are in trouble. This recent qualifying stage showed Holland does not have quality defenders to help them in their defensive approach. However, if they do not have the right talent to play “total voetbal” either, then what?

It’s time for the KNVB to do more than search for the next candidate to coach this team, since Danny Blind is not the best man for the job. The KNVB needs to examine what went wrong on and try to lay a proper foundation for the future. Germany were able to change their philosophy and it’s time for the KNVB to take a hard look at themselves and implement a long term solution. The days of looking for a quick fix are over.




Ibrahim Ayyub (21 Posts)