New Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman has vowed to revive the team’s fortunes following his appointment on Tuesday.
“I’m really positive about the future of the team as we have enough talent but we have to change some things, which I will talk about at a later stage,” he said at a news conference after being named to the job by the Dutch football association (KNVB).
“I think the Netherlands should and must be qualifying for major finals and I see a bright future in that regard. That’s why I’ve taken the job.”
The 54-year-old Dutchman will lead the Oranje up to and including the 2022 World Cup.
He is the seventh coach in eight years for the Dutch team, who were runners-up at the 2010 World Cup and finished third in Brazil four years later but failed to qualify for this year’s Finals in Russia. They also missed out on the 2016 European Championship.
Koeman, who earned 78 caps for the Netherlands, succeeds Dick Advocaat, who had been brought in midway last year after the sacking of Danny Blind in March.
Koeman also said there was more “tactically” that the team can do, hinting that he may not always stick with the Dutch team’s vaunted 4-3-3 line-up.
“I’m a coach who likes to change systems. Players should be able to handle different systems,” Koeman said. “We know we don’t have the best players, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot have the best team.”
His first assignment will be a friendly against England at the Amsterdam Arena on March 23, followed by a meeting with Portugal in Geneva three days later.
The Dutch are helping the two Russia-bound teams prepare for this year’s World Cup.
Koeman has been out of work since being dismissed by Everton last October after a poor run of form in the Premier League.
“Koeman’s sacking at Everton came as a gift from heaven for the KNVB,” the popular Dutch daily De Telegraaf said.
Koeman did, however, enjoy significant success as a club coach in his homeland, winning three Eredivisie titles – two with Ajax Amsterdam (2002 and 2004) and one with PSV Eindhoven (2006-07).
He has also coached Vitesse Arnhem, Benfica, Valencia, AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord and Southampton.