That was the hallmark of the Dutch women’s team under former national coach Sarina Wiegman: positive energy. Even when players have had a bad day, they have often won their important games. They suffered fire for each other, it seemed. There was little public murmur.
Since the appointment of Briton Mark Parsons in May – he only took office in August after the Olympics, where the Netherlands lost to the United States in the quarter-finals after a penalty shoot-out – he little remains. Vivianne Miedema’s arm gestures were symbolic on Saturday in the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic, which just ended in a draw. As a result of this result, the Netherlands remain group leaders (eleven points in five matches), with Iceland (six points in three matches) just behind. Top scorer Miedema played a difficult game and Sari van Veenendaal (in 2019 still FIFA goalkeeper of the year) did not have the best day at Mestsky stadium in Ostrava.
Parsons’ debut was unfortunate. He first combined the Dutch national team with a job at the American Portland Thorns and missed a steal in October and part of the World Cup qualifying prep with Cyprus. Sometimes it seemed like everything was wrong.
Parsons implements rejuvenation (which its predecessor failed to do) and tries to make the game less predictable, but not all gamers seem to understand it as well. The coach is also unlucky enough to improvise due to injuries. Before the friendly against Japan on Monday night, he changed teams to no less than eleven places.
What is the state of the Netherlands, who ended the year in a draw (0-0), for this under Parsons? Is there any cause for concern? Seven football experts speak out. “There is going to be a tournament where things are terribly wrong.”
“We can be happy to play the European Championship next year”
Fresia Cousiño Arias (30) is an ESPN football presenter.
“We are against foreign coaches in the Netherlands. In men and women; it must be a Dutchman. I had to get used to it myself, but it’s actually strange, because the players of the national team often play abroad, under the guidance of foreign coaches.
“It’s been a bit of chaos under Parsons so far. He’s missing a few big names and is also calling in younger players. These changes do something for the feeling of the squad.
“I’m not that optimistic. We are entering a period of reform. For a long time it was logical and obvious that ‘we’ were going to qualify for the final of the European Championship. We can no longer count on that. we can be happy to be at the European Championship next year, we are certainly not among the favorites.
“There will be a tournament that is going terribly wrong”
Former football star Leonne Stentler (35) regularly joins Sport Studio as an analyst.
“A match like the one against the Czech Republic last Saturday is impossible. They are a mediocre team, you will be beaten against a high level country. Parsons’ tactics aren’t working – yet. The players don’t do what I think he wants them to do. His tactics only worked well against Cyprus. But yes, Cyprus …
“I think Parsons is a very good club coach because he pays a lot of attention to people. But as a national team coach you don’t train twice in a day and you don’t have daily contact with your players. Hopefully he will thrive at the European Championship next summer, when he works with the players for a few weeks.
“Yet sooner or later you have to rejuvenate. And there is no perfect time for it. If you do this now, you will ruin the European Championship. If you continue to position the older successful players, a problem will arise later. There is going to be a tournament where things are terribly wrong. It happened to Germany. This country was great and fell apart when much of a generation stood still.
“I don’t trust this man at all”
Johan Derksen (72) is a sports journalist and football analyst.
“Ms. Wiegman did a great job. Under her, the Dutch women’s team was a well-oiled machine. Then a dear British American – a man who left Europe for years and who certainly doesn’t know the Dutch peculiarities – and it doesn’t work anymore. So isn’t he responsible for it? First he’s not there, then he’s too late, because he still has a club in America, and when he’s there, his vision turns out to be very different from Wiegman’s. These girls don’t like it. It radiates from their faces.
“The KNVB is always happy: we have the best coaching education in the world. Why not designate a Dutchman? Why not the assistant Jessica Torny pushed forward? What idiot from Zeist decides such a thing? Someone who wanted to do “something special”? Now you get culture shock. The Dutch approach football in a much more romantic way than American companies.
” How’s it going ? Parsons has a contract, so you can’t throw it away right now. But I don’t trust this man at all. All you can do is hope these girls do so well that they get points. If they don’t qualify for the World Cup, there will be panic in the tent. “
“Involve your key player more in your game concept, coach”
Suse van Kleef (35) is a football commentator at we Along the line and hosted a TV talk show at the 2019 World Cup.
“I haven’t seen any progress in the women’s team in recent months. It depends on several factors. Players need to get used to their new coach, Mark Parsons was managing another team until recently [het Amerikaanse Portland Thorns FC] and there were a lot of injuries. But I also find it striking that star player Vivianne Miedema is not thriving.
Last weekend, after the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic, Miedema was not happy that she had not been put in place. She had a bit of that bubbly about her that we know from her at the time. “It is very easy to blame the national coach,” she said, “but we have to look individually at why we are not delivering quality.”
Parsons should care. If I were him, I would involve Miedema more in his game design. If your key player doesn’t feel comfortable with your game concept, I think that’s a problem. Maybe he already does, but at least it doesn’t look like it.
“I think it’s too early to write Parsons off after a few months. It happens too easily in football. It also does some good things here and there, like bringing some rejuvenation and trying to make the game less predictable.
“But I have my doubts how he does that. Put on high pressure, quickly capture the ball and defend far in front of your goal – that sounds good. But if that means your attacker is not getting into position and that your best defender Stefanie van der Gragt has to play with space behind her back – which is not her strong suit – then something is wrong. “
“Under Wiegman, the team also played bad duels”
Hélène Hendriks (41) is a television host and sports journalist.
“When a new coach is appointed you always get a different dynamic, especially after a successful period like the Netherlands. Something like this takes time. In fact, I don’t think that much sane can be said about Mark Parsons’ performances except that everyone is a little out of their comfort zone.
“Under Sarina Wiegman, the team also played bad games, outside of the finals. I remember a duel during the Algarve Cup. It was bad for me!
“The game against the Czech Republic was not good. But to say that it all depends on the coach? No. You can also expect the best players to reach a certain level. They are smart. You can also put that with them.
“Parsons wants things that are not suitable for the team”
Foppe de Haan (78) was assistant to national coach Sarina Wiegman in 2017.
“It’s less, isn’t it. And somehow it makes sense if you’ve been working with the same team for as long as Sarina. The players aren’t that old yet, but a little refreshment wouldn’t have been out of place in his period A little competition can’t hurt.
“Parsons’ start was miserable with all that back and forth, those two customers and his missed flight last month. But I also think he wants things that don’t fit well with the team. He leaves the defenders behind. left and right playing very deep. That way you get ahead of striker Miedema, who needs space. Parsons relies too much on his own ideas, not on the quality of the players.
“A number of women are playing worse than they have played for a long time. The team received the cover on the nose. Maybe they need it, who knows.
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”