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Friday 19 December  
Bert van Marwijk in Kharkiv after his third defeat in a row
Theo Tamis's picture
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Holland manager Bert van Marwijk quits

Published on : 27 June 2012 - 9:58pm | By Theo Tamis (Photo: RNW/Theo Tamis)
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Bert van Marwijk has resigned. The most successful Holland manager ever made the announcement ten days after the most disastrous tournament performance by a national Dutch side in three decades. 

Holland crashed out of the Euro 2012 early last week without a single point following three painful defeats in a row, scoring only two goals and conceding five. Both the players and the coaching staff were subjected to a torrent of criticism at home, which may have precipitated Van Marwijk's decision.

The Holland coach was the first to accept the blame. "I've certainly failed," he admitted straight after the final group match against Portugal in Kharkiv. But he added meaningfully "and so have the players." Prima donna behaviour by some of Holland's many superstars has widely been cited as the main reason for Holland's dismal performance at the Euros.

The entire Dutch media blamed Van Marwijk for losing control of the dressing room and for making "big mistakes" in the run-up to the tournament. The Holland boss failed to call up players on form and opted for virtually the same line-up and tactics that had been so successful at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but now looked hopelessly out of date.

Van Marwijk always said he would step down the moment he sensed any signs of erosion in support for his work. In the end, he found the decision to resign hard to take, as he admitted to Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad on Wednesday evening.

Open and frank
The announcement came after two post-tournament assessment talks, which the Director of the Royal Dutch Football Association, Bert van Oostveen, described as "open, frank and constructive." 

"We are grateful to Van Marwijk," Van Oostveen said. "He performed exceptionally well, steering us to the 2010 World Cup final and to the top of the FIFA World Ranking. Personally, I look back on our collaboration with a good feeling. Of course, it's always regrettable to say goodbye at an early stage, but we have to be realistic."

Waiting in the wings
Last December, Van Marwijk renewed his contract as Holland manager until after the next European hampionships in France in 2016. After taking over from Marco van Basten in 2008, he coached 52 international matches, of which 34 were won, ten ended in a tie and eight were lost.

The Dutch FA is expected to announce a new manager before long. The first scheduled fixture is a friendly away against Belgium on 15 August. Later this year, Holland will play 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Turkey, Hungary, Romania and Andorra. Potential candidates for the job reportedly include Ronald Koeman, Guud Hiddink, Louis van Gaal and Frank Rijkaard.


Anonymous 18 September 2014 - 8:33am

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work I am always using , are i am always using.

Anonymous 12 September 2012 - 12:38pm / Portugal

I miss you bertje, that pic makes me really sad..

javier bastida 2 September 2012 - 5:38pm / basque country spain

in the future i will designed jordi cruiff for holland football selection jordi is a good trainer

jasmin 28 June 2012 - 4:27pm

Sorry to know about the Oranje crisis. Hope they find their way to the top again.

Anonymous 28 June 2012 - 7:37am / Gelderland

Holland? I thought van Marwijk was coach for the Netherlands?

Andrew G Sennitt 28 June 2012 - 10:52am

The name Holland is the colloquial term used in the Netherlands to refer to the Dutch national football team. It is also widely used by international media. I would have thought that someone in Gelderland would know that. In all other cases (except football) RNW refers to the country as the Netherlands.

Casper Timmermans 28 June 2012 - 5:15am / Canada

The day we stop thinking about playing a "beautiful game" and start thinking "winning is beautiful", is the day we win something again. This wasn't Bert's fault...Its on the men, (boys), on the field!

Anonymous 28 June 2012 - 3:10am

A good decision by Bert, but sad news for his supporters. I think, instead, the non-performing players should have been punished...

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