Netherlands’ Uninspiring Performance Falls Flat with Oranje Fans at Euro 2024

The Netherlands' soccer team (Netherlands/Euro 2024)

The Netherlands’ soccer team is disappointing their thousands of enthusiastic fans at the European Championship. Despite impressive individual players, the team has underperformed, limping into the knockout stage with a third-place finish in Group D. Coach Ronald Koeman, a key defender on the Dutch team that won Euro ’88, is unhappy with his team’s lackluster display.

The Netherlands’ struggles are a longstanding tradition, with highly regarded players failing to deliver when playing for the national team.

The Netherlands’ soccer fans (Netherlands/Euro 2024)

Memphis Depay, Bart Verbruggen, and Donyell Malen have all underperformed, with Malen missing chances and scoring an own goal in the 3-2 loss to Austria.

The team’s woes are compounded by the absence of influential midfielder Frenkie de Jong and the decline of Ajax Amsterdam, a four-time European champion and the country’s “football factory.” Koeman’s squad is drawn from 19 different clubs, making it challenging to forge a cohesive unit.

The Netherlands’ disappointing performance is humbling for a country that has contributed seriously to modern soccer. Despite their struggles, the team will face Romania in the round of 16, with a potential rematch against Austria in the quarterfinals if they advance. Coach Koeman is not afraid to make changes, but so far, none have paid off.

The team’s lack of confidence and composure is a serious issue, with players mishitting the ball and lacking aggression. Koeman has criticized his players publicly, saying, “We started very badly in many aspects… We did not defend well… There was a lack of pressure, and we lost the ball.”