Dutch legend Frank De Boer out of another job

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 21: Georginio Wijnaldum of Holland celebrates 0-2 with Memphis Depay of Holland during the EURO match between North Macedonia v Holland at the Johan Cruijff Arena on June 21, 2021 in Amsterdam Netherlands (Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 21: Georginio Wijnaldum of Holland celebrates 0-2 with Memphis Depay of Holland during the EURO match between North Macedonia v Holland at the Johan Cruijff Arena on June 21, 2021 in Amsterdam Netherlands (Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Holland coach Frank de Boer, during the EURO match against the Czech Republic (Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Holland coach Frank de Boer, during the EURO match against the Czech Republic (Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Netherlands legend Frank De Boer has stepped down from his role as the national team manager following the Dutch’s surprise exit from Euro 2020.

Only a couple of days after the Netherlands fell 2-0 in the round of 16 to the Czech Republic, the third most capped player in their national team history was out as manager.

It’s always a joy to see national team legends take over and manage their country in major tournaments like Andriy Shevchenko is doing for Ukraine. But it also is disheartening when that once great player doesn’t quite live up to the same billing as a manager. De Boer is probably the best example of that.

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Since retiring from professional football in 2006, De Boer has made his rounds as a manager. He has set up camp at Ajax, Inter Milan, Crystal Palace, Atlanta United and most recently for the Dutch national team.

Unfortunately for De Boer, most of these managerial stops have been relatively unsuccessful.

His reign at Ajax was his managerial highlight, winning four straight Eredivisie titles. His next stop in Milan was quite short as he only lasted 85 days.

From there he moved into the Premier League with Crystal Palace and that went about as badly as a managerial job can go. He was dubbed “the worst manager in the history of the Premier League” by Jose Mourinho as he only managed to make it through four league games before getting sacked.

His move to MLS and Atlanta United was an interesting one as he became the club’s second-ever manager and was tasked with replacing Gerardo “Tata” Martino and the glory Tata brought the new club and supporters. Despite the lack of support from the fanbase, he left Atlanta with two trophies and took the club to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Months after his stint in Atlanta, he took over as manager for his home nation. De Boer and the Dutch federation had agreed on a contract running through the 2022 World Cup but there was a clause in the contract stating his position would be reconsidered if his Dutch team failed to reach the quarterfinals of Euro 2020.

Enter the Czech Republic.

Although the 2-0 defeat in the round of 16 looks to be what ultimately led to De Boer stepping down — his performances leading up to the Euros were far from desired. He became the first Netherlands manager to fail to win any of his first four matches.

The football from the Dutch under De Boer wasn’t the most fluid and they played very few matches where they were in complete control. Even in their Euro run, where they won all three group stage matches, there were noticeable problems with his side’s setup. The attacking play was quality but they were disjointed in transition and defending.

De Boer came into this summer’s competition with a new system of 3-5-2. Like I said it led to some creative and exciting attacking football, especially with the wingbacks Denzel Dumfries and Patrick van Aanholt flying up and down the wings, but the Dutch couldn’t seem to figure out the defensive responsibilities of this new formation.

Despite sweeping their group; Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia were all able to create plenty of chances.

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De Boer and his new tactics ultimately ran their course against the Czech Republic. Matthijs de Ligt picked up a red card due to some very poor individual defending and the Dutch went on to be outshot 13 to 7. This would turn out to be De Boer’s final game at the helm; an up and down game very much symbolic of his time as Netherlands manager.