Ronald Koeman guided the Netherlands to a win against Germany, their first in the last 16 years.
Ronald Koeman replaced Dick Advocaat, earlier this year, as the manager of Netherlands National team after the latter failed to guide the team to the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Koeman’s real challenge came up when the Oranje landed in a tough group alongside Germany and World Cup winners France in the UEFA Nations League.
Little was expected from the Dutchmen as they lost their first tie 2-1 against France. However, to everyone’s surprise, the team bounced back stronger as they swept past a sluggish German side 3-0 in the following fixture. Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring for the Dutchmen followed by Memphis Depay’s wonderful goal and a late goal by Georginio Wijnaldum which handed over a fantastic win and the three points for them.
This was the Netherlands’ first win against the Germans in 16 years, as they now stand 2nd in the Nations League table with three points, below France.
Despite the fabulous victory, Koeman has decided to keep his feet on the ground and concentrate on the next round of fixtures. “Well I’m not going to glide across the dance floor but of course I’m proud. This is a great result,” he said.
Albeit the win, Netherlands have been a shadow of their past successes as they have shuffled four managers in the last four years and also lost a place in the 2018 World Cup that took place in Russia. In fact, the win against Die Mannschaft is just their 3rd in as many as 7 games under Koeman.
The Dutch coach, however, has remarkably provided opportunities for many talented youngsters such as Denzel Dumfries, Arnaut Groeneveld and Nathan Ake who played a significant part against Germany. The win provided some sort of relief for the distraught Dutch fans who now have a ray of hope for their country.
Nonetheless, Koeman looked quite positive and confident too. “I’m proud because we finally got the result we needed and we can say ‘yes, there is development in the team.’ That’s what we needed. You could also feel that in the stadium, in the atmosphere. But if I tell the players that everything was great, then that’s not good. We need to grow with each other.”
“We were waiting a long time for this, but I’m not the guy who pretends that we’ve become world champions,” he added, “ I’m so happy for the guys, they’ve worked so hard for it.”
On the other hand, pressure keeps mounting on Joachim Loew as the past few months haven’t been going great for Germany, especially after the former World Champions failed to make it past the group stages in the World Cup. The World Cup Champions’ curse continues as the Germans were it’s the latest prey.