Dutch lose Blind faith as they crash again in Russian Federation 2018 qualifying

Ross Houston
March 29, 2017

Blind was retained for the current campaign but a home defeat to France and the weekend's loss to Bulgaria have left the team languishing three points behind second-placed Sweden. When a country like the Netherlands in not present at a European Championship (Euro 2016) and is running the risk of not going to the World Cup in Russian Federation 2018 then there is something not right.

Holland have suffered a desperate time of things of late, failing to qualify for Euro 2016 and changing managers four times in as many years.

The former Netherlands defender in a statement following his dismissal said: "We were on the right track but the Bulgaria loss was a setback. The first half was shocking".

Netherlands captain Arjen Robben stuck by his coach after the match, saying the players were also responsible.

Blind admitted his decision to select 17-year-old Ajax prospect Matthijs de Ligt for what turned out to be a nightmare debut in defence was an error and afterwards stated he would consider his future.

"I have to reflect on whether I am capable of getting us out of this jam", he said.

And De Ligt was culpable for Bulgaria's fifth-minute opener, his failure to deal with a long ball capitalised on by Spas Delev for his first Bulgaria goal.

"We hope to have a new coach in place quickly but it won't be ready in one week", KNVB technical director Jean Paul Decossaux said on Sunday.

Blind said he "did not baulk" at the hard choice to select de Ligt, said the federation.

One day after slipping into fourth place in UEFA Qualifying Group A, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced that Blind has been fired as the Dutch national team's boss, citing the possibility that one of soccer's world powers is in danger of missing out on its second straight major worldwide tournament after failing to qualify for Euro 2016. De Telegraaf say Koeman wanted the job three years ago, but was cast aside, and now he's quite happening achieving success with Everton in the Premier League.

Van Gaal had a successful second stint as Holland coach.

Bulgaria visit Belarus on June 9 in their next game in the group while Netherlands host bottom team Luxembourg.

Bas Dost had a weak header saved by Mihaylov as the Netherlands were left contemplating missing a second successive major tournament having also failed to qualify for Euro 2016.

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