Ronald Koeman got to a nightmare start as Netherlands’ new manager in Euro 2024 qualifier against France.
The Netherlands suffered a shock defeat at Stade De France in Ronald Koeman’s opening campaign as the new manager.
It was a rout. Les Bleus scattered and tore apart the Dutch with an emphatic opening victory at Stade de France.
Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe shoved their captaincy tussle aside to pummel the visitors in France.
Griezmann opened the scoring for Les Bleus after he ran into Kylian Mbappe’s pass in the box, firing a left-footed strike pass the Dutch goalkeeper just in the 2nd minute.
Upamecano doubled the lead in the 8th minute after a goal-mouth scramble following Griezmann’s freekick from the edge of the box.
21 minutes into the game, Kylian Mbappe completed the rout in the first half with the third goal. Kolo Muani had feigned a touch of the ball, leaving the Dutch defense at a loss, as he allowed the ball to roll freely to Mbappe. Mbappe then came one on one with the goalkeeper before firing a low shot into the bottom left corner.
Les Bleus went three goals up in less than 30 minutes and headed into the break with the lead.
Late in the second half, Kylian Mbappe completed his brace, netting in the 88th minute to seal the win and put the game beyond the Dutch.
It was Ronald Koeman’s first game in charge as manager after former manager Louis Van Gaal resigned after crashing out in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals via penalties to Argentina.
The heavy defeat was a nightmare start for Ronald Koeman. The former Barcelona manager has previously been in charge of the team between 2018 to 2020 and was tipped to do better in his second spell as manager.
Instead, he stood clueless on the touchlines as the team crumbled in pieces before Didier Deschamps’s camp of champions.
Before the match, Daily Mail reported that Cody Gakpo of Liverpool, Matt de Ligt of Bayern Munich, Bart Vertbruggen , Sves Botman, and Joey Veerman were all sent home due to flu infection.
However, Ronald Koeman was not expected to fall so easily with his star-studded side to France.
Reacting to the shock defeat, Ronald Koeman turned his post-match press conference into a bitter exchange.
He blasted his players for such a poor and unprofessional showing against the home side.
Koeman said he is not ready to tender excuses for the team after the dismal display, saying they should have pressed harder and avoided unnecessary mistakes.
“We did very little in the game. There was a huge gap in the lineup after the flu incident but that is not enough excuse”, he said.
“The team should have been more aggressive from the start and avoided unnecessary errors and mistakes at the back.”
“So many shortcomings were also recorded in other areas”
Ronald Koeman was particularly angry with how the team conceded goals cheaply without a fight.
He also referenced the quality Mbappe brought to bear to create the goals but maintained the team would have done more.
“The first and fourth goal particularly hurts. The team would have done more but it also due to Mbappe’s quality”, he noted.
Ronald Koeman will hope to make amends when he leads the team against Gibraltar in the next game.
The match comes up on Monday and will be streamed live on beIN Sports and other online streaming platforms.