Netherlands Team Guide for the Euro 2021 tournament | The Oranje are back in the Euros for the first time since 2012
It sounds like science fiction but the Netherlands have failed to qualify for a major international tournament since the 2014 World Cup. Considering that they finished runners-up in the 2010 World Cup and third in the 2014 edition, it is an even bigger surprise that they have been absent in the last instances of both the World Cup and the Euros. The Netherlands have not done very well in the latest editions of the Euros, the last time they won the competition was in 1988.
- Under Ronald Koeman, the Netherlands were in the midst of a renaissance with his young hungry team qualifying for the Euro 2020 tournament with ease. They finished in second place, only two points behind Germany.
- Unfortunately, Ronald Koeman resigned from the national team after the Euro 2020 competition was postponed. He is now the head coach of Barcelona.
- Frank de Boer took up the head coach position after Koeman left, but has failed to get the best out of the team so far. de Boer was the first Netherlands head coach to not win any of his first four games in charge.
Netherlands Team Guide: Tactics
Koeman liked to play 4-2-3-1 or a 3-1-4-2 formation depending on the players at his disposal and on the opposition. de Boer seems to prefer a 3-4-2 or a 4-3-3 allowing Mephis Depay a free role at the attacking end while Frenkie de Jong’s versatility means he can take up positions wherever he is needed on the pitch. However, up to now de Boer has not been as tactically astute as Koeman was.
When people talk about the Netherlands they usually focus on the defence consisting of Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt, or about the wonderful versatility of Frenkie de Jong, or the chaotic genius of Memphis Depay. But Gini Wijnaldum plays an important role by keeping the team together on the pitch. Wijnaldum scored eight goals in the Euro qualifying matches, finishing as the Netherlands top scorer.
Frank de Boer
Before becoming head coach for the Netherlands de Boer was not having the best of times as a manager. He lost his job at Inter Milan after 4 successive defeats. Jose Mourinho called him ‘the worst manager in the history of the Premier League’ after he managed Crystal Palace for just 5 games and only won once. He had limited success in the United States with Atlanta United. His reign as the Netherlands head coach has not started off very well but the true test will come in the next few days when they play their first set of World Cup qualifying matches.
Netherlands Team Guide: Player Profile
Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk is an essential part of the Netherlands team just as he is an essential part of the Liverpool team. His absence shows as both Liverpool and the Netherlands perform worse when he is not available. We are sure that de Boer’s greatest wish at the moment is that van Dijk makes a full recovery in time for the competition.
In his defensive pairing with Matthijs de Ligt, the Netherlands have one of the strongest defensive lines in the world. In addition to his great defensive ability, van Dijk is a dominating presence and can use that to intimidate the opponents and score goals at the other end. It will be interesting to see how far the Netherlands would get in the competition without van Dijk in the side. Let’s hope that does not happen.
Netherlands Team Guide: Netherlands Euro 2021 Odds to win
The Netherlands have enough quality that they are in the top 6 favourites to win the tournament. Unless something goes terribly wrong they should qualify out of the group. A selection of odds is below.
All odds were correct at time of publication on 26/04/21. Odds are subject to change.