The revolving door of the Netherlands and the four managers they always came back for
Ronald Koeman is set for his second spell as Netherlands head coach after agreeing to take over from Louis van Gaal – but he’s not the first man to take another chance at work.
Ronald Koeman will begin his second spell in charge of the Dutch national team after the World Cup later this year, having been named as Louis van Gaal’s replacement.
Van Goal is set to retire for the second time in his career, having initially returned to coach the Netherlands at Euro 2020. However, his contract only runs until the end of the European Cup. world and will leave to focus on the treatment of prostate cancer.
In his place, his predecessor will return to the fold for his second stint – although he is far from the first manager to return to work. Mirror Football has taken a look at the four managers who can’t say no.
Describing Dick Advocaat as a fellow manager might be a bit harsh for the Dutchman. Known to many for his ill-fated spell at Sunderland, he actually had an impressive career in Holland.
He led PSV to the Eredivisie title in 1997, as well as the KNVB Cup the previous year. Advocaat first managed the Dutch national team in 1992, managing 26 games before leaving for PSV in 1994. He returned in 2002 and led the Oranje to a third-place finish at Euro 2004 before leaving again.
His third stint, however, was much less successful and he lasted just nine games in 2017, but resigned after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Advocaat’s last stint in management came during a brief period as head coach of Iraq.
Guus Hiddink has a reputation as a quick-fix manager, having twice dived at Stamford Bridge to act as caretaker manager. But his track record as manager of the national team is very impressive.
Hiddink first managed the Dutch national team in 1995 and remained in that role until the end of the 1998 World Cup, in which the Oranje were beaten in the semi-finals. He would then repeat this feat at the next World Cup – with South Korea in 2002.
After that stint at the World Cup, he would then go on a brief world tour, taking up posts in Australia, Russia and Turkey, before returning to the hot seat in the Netherlands. His second spell was less than thrilling, however, and he was fired after failing to qualify for Euro 2016.
Louis van Gaal
One of the best managers in recent history, Van Gaal will step away from the game for good in December after the World Cup. Van Gaal, who recently admitted he was battling prostate cancer, will retire for the second time after his contract expires.
Van Gaal first took over in 2000, with a view to qualifying for the 2002 World Cup. However, he left after failing to qualify and later claimed he was close to replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United before the legendary Scot reversed his decision to retire.
After that unsuccessful first stint, he managed Bayern Munich, AZ Alkmaar and Barcelona before returning to Dutch work in 2012. Van Gaal’s side qualified for the 2014 World Cup, and he guided them to an impressive third place. after losing to Argentina in the semi-finals. Van Gaal then left to finally take the United job, before taking a sabbatical from football two years later. In 2019, he announced he would retire, only to reverse that decision in 2021.
One of the best players of his generation, Koeman’s coaching career has never quite reached the same heights. Two Eredivisie titles as Ajax manager are perhaps his finest achievement, although his last stint in the dugout was his disastrous tenure at Barcelona.
Koeman’s first stint with the Dutch national team came in 2018 after he was sacked by Everton. He guided the country to a runners-up finish in the Nations League, before qualifying for Euro 2020. However, he decided to leave the job to take over at Barca, only to be sacked just over a year. year later.
But he will have his chance to redeem himself in the eyes of fans around the world when he returns to Dutch duty, having signed a contract until the 2026 World Cup.