Louis van Gaal linked with Netherlands return

by Jack Kitson / 27 March 2017, 10:26

Netherlands hit a nadir over the weekend after falling to a woeful 2-0 defeat in Bulgaria which resulted in head coach Danny Blind losing his job after 18 games at the helm.

During a 20-month spell in charge Blind, who replaced Guus Hiddink, could only win eight games, losing seven, and he now leaves the struggling KNVB way off the pace in 2018 World Cup qualification Group A (4th), and in real danger of failing to progress through to consecutive major tournaments (they missed out on Euro 2016).

The suitably named Netherlands U21 boss, Fred Grim, has been placed in caretaker charge of the senior team for their clash with Italy on Tuesday, but speculation over the return of Louis van Gaal (LVG) is gathering steam.

LVG, who has been out-of-work since leaving Man Utd in May, has previously managed Holland on two occasions: 2000-2002 and most recently in 2012-2014.

The Dutchman memorably led Oranje through to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup, losing on penalties to Argentina, before beating hosts Brazil 3-0 in the third pace play-off.

LVG, 65, has inevitably been linked a return to the national team dugout, yet he’s more likely to come in as a technical director.

LVG’s rival, Ronald Koeman, has also been linked with the job, although he is obviously under contract with Everton, but then again he was under contract with Southampton.

Who ever replaces Blind undoubtedly has a huge job on their hands, with Netherlands currently six points adrift of table topping France in Group A, and three points behind Sweden who are currently sitting in the play-off spot (at the half-way stage).

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