The Context Of: The Netherlands total obsession with the past
I am a big fan of the legend Johan Cruyff the old school football you know maybe these days that's what Netherlands need I mean, a reminder of what they used to be
I still stand behind what I said that the Bosman and three-plus-two rulings and revenues were the main reason behind the Netherlands' fall from grace. However, this is a point worth addressing that added to the Netherlands' decline.
Cruyff was wrong
Read this through, please. Cruyff was successful in almost every job he took and I would credit him more success in his behind-the-scenes in Ajax and Barcelona than I would credit him as a manager actually. That's how good he was.
So, where was he wrong? Cruyff saw that everyone in charge of a club should have a football background, namely ex-players. After all, he was living proof of that. Again, forget him as a player or manager. Cruyff set up one of the best academy systems at Barcelona and Ajax.
In Ajax, he started what was known as the Velvet revolution in Ajax upon watching Ajax lose to Mourinho's Real Madrid in what was described as men against boys. Cruyff's velvet revolution, a subject that would require its own post. But, you should know that the changes he made in the youth system gave us the young Ajax names that actually eliminated Real Madrid from the UCL in 2019. It's a beautiful story on its own.
Where Cruyff was wrong is that he simply worked with the assumption that all dutch players were like him. They're not. However, his view matched or maybe influenced the Netherlands' view that ex-players should be in charge.
Besides maybe for Van Gaal, none of the ex-players had any qualifications to do any of the managing jobs they received. They didn't work the rank and gained the experience.
A quick rundown
Ruud Gullit, Ronald Koeman, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, Danny Blind, Frank de Boer, and many more ex-players magically get a job at Ajax, Netherlands' main supply of players, or at the international team itself. The number of ex-players who became managers or sporting directors is astounding.
If you take a look at the managers in the Dutch national team, you'd find all of them. Main players from the squad that won the Euro in 1988, or Ajax side that won the UCL in 1995 or made it to the final in 1996. You would also find their career around their periods at Ajax or the Netherlands national team laughable.
Most of those names, and many more either isn't coaching anymore because they weren't offered or now they manage somewhere in the Middle East like the UAE in the case of Bert van Marwijk. Dick Advocaat was sacked as Iraq's manager just last year after 6 winless games. That's the quality we're speaking about here.
While the Netherlands was dealing with all issues I mentioned in the last post, they also were suffering from a flood of ex-players corrupting their ranks. And I mean absolutely corrupting it. Ruud Gullit posted a video of his players celebrating a win over Bulgaria online during the World Cup qualifications. The same qualifications where they got smacked 4-0 by France. The manager at the time was Dick Advocaat by the way.
When Danny Blind was the manager Marco van Basten was an assistant. Danny Blind's entire career was going up and down between being a manager at Ajax or the Netherlands and being an assistant there. He is currently assisting Van Gaal.
That's the cherry on top
I will never make a claim that the Netherlands would have qualified in the 2016 Euro or the 2018 world cup if they had a good manager who got the job due to experience as a manager rather than being an ex-player. Nor would I even claim they'd have been much better off without them. That's the reason I didn't add this to my reasons in the previous post.
But, I would say that the Netherlands' obsession with the past stood in the way and was the rotten cherry on top of a salted cake.
These people aren't Johan Cruyff, Johan Cruyff didn't even need to write things down and had an answer to everything. Not saying he was right 100% of the time, but he actually knew what he was talking about. There's a reason why Johan Cruyff won 14 titles in 11 years as a manager while Patrick Kluivert last managing job is an interim manager for the Curaçao national football team, a job he got because of Guus Hiddink recommended him.