Only nine months ago Holland were on top of the world as the team stormed to number one in the FIFA ranking on the back of 40 games with only one defeat. Six defeats in nine later, its reputation is in tatters and ‘the best national coach of any Dutch team’ is gone. The Dutch FA is nervously looking for a new leader. Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, Co Adriaanse and Frank de Boer are off the list already, while Dick Advocaat and Gert-Jan Verbeek were not interested. The remaining top candidates :
Louis van Gaal
Hiddink had a succesful spell, culminating in the semi-final of WC 98, but currently works at FC Anzhy for quite a lot of money. Having him released of his contract may cost the FA an arm and a leg. Then they have to comply to the coach’s demands and he is known not to come cheap. Ronald Koeman is very interested in the job, but had extended his contract for another season. Feyenoord have dismissed the possibility of his departure early on. Koeman and Feyenoord is a love story that only bags of money can break up.
That leaves us Louis van Gaal. Loved as much as he is hated. His first tenure as national coach was a disaster, when he asked too much of the squad. Van Gaal may have mellowed but he still divides the nation, and the press. There will be outright supporters and critics from his first day in charge. His perk: he is available right away.
As the Dutch team plays its next friendly on August 15 against Belgium in Brussels, the Dutch FA have to move fast.