When it was announced that Frank de Boer would be taking over the Dutch national side, you would have expected fans to rejoice at the thought that a homegrown legend would be at the helm. After all, he was once their most capped player and was assistant to Bert van Marwijk in the 2010 World Cup where the Netherlands went all the way to the finals, only to lose to Spain in extra time. He also became the first manager to win four consecutive Eredivisie titles when he did so with Ajax, from the 2010/11 season to the 2013/14 season and his managerial career looked all set to reach great heights.
However, a dip in form towards the end of his tenure at Ajax was followed by poor stints at Inter, where he lasted just 85 days, and in the Premier League with Crystal Palace, where he was manager for just seven games, and it seemed like it had all come crashing down. A revival of sorts was on the cards when he moved to the MLS with Atlanta United, where he won two trophies in his first season but a dip towards the latter stages once again saw him leave before he was announced as the new Netherlands boss a few months later following Ronald Koeman’s departure. Under de Boer, however, the national side was winless in their first four games and have had three wins out of eight. In this tactical analysis, we will look at the tactics of de Boer as manager of the national side and our analysis aims to identify the reasons behind their unconvincing performances.