Frank de Boer was asked about his difficult spells with Internazionale, Crystal Palace and Atlanta United during his unveiling as the new Netherlands head coach.

De Boer won four Eredivisie titles in six years at Ajax, but then had short and torrid spells in charge of Inter Milan, Crystal Palace and Atlanta United.

Asked at his Netherlands press conference what he had learned from his failures abroad, De Boer responded, “I was in a familiar nest for six years and then I went abroad, where you had many different lines. That was completely new to me. That was Inter, but later also at Crystal Palace. You suddenly become more of a manager than a trainer and that took some getting used to. I started to learn that manager role more, but you can of course always keep improving yourself. You keep learning.”

De Boer believes he is still the same coach from his days with Ajax, “In general, yes, but I have changed in that managerial role. You now know how to deal with a certain situation. Whether you need to intervene immediately or not. The communication has gotten better. Explaining why you make a choice has come off quite easily in my eyes. You should keep difficult conversations as short as possible, otherwise you will only repeat yourself. I have never really had a problem with that. I have always had good relationships with my players. If it had to be fast, it had to be fast, but I had no problems with that. Ultimately, I have to make choices in the interest of the result and the group process.”

The 50-year-old thinks he can be a success with Oranje, “At the highest level, it is all about very small details. I think I have the experience, I played five final tournaments. I can bring those small details and they can be decisive. Everyone who is with Oranje can play fantastic football, but it is also about the chemistry in the team.”

Asked if he had learned anything from Netherlands defeat to Italy earlier this month, De Boer said, “I think everyone saw that the Netherlands was struggling against Italy, we didn’t get into duels. In my view, you have to make sure that you have a Plan B at that time. That the players know for themselves: the original plan does not work, we will now approach it like this. We must try to achieve that as a staff and a group of players. That you don’t have to wait for the break.”

De Boer will take charge of the national team for the first time on the 7th of October against Mexico.




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