AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - New Netherlands coach Frank de Boer has received a ringing endorsement from one of his predecessors, Bert van Marwijk, who he assisted when the Dutch reached the World Cup final 10 years ago.
De Boer was named new coach of the Dutch on Wednesday, replacing Ronald Koeman, and will take charge of the side through to the next World Cup in Qatar.
On top of winning 112 caps as a player, De Boer was assistant to Van Marwijk when the Netherlands reached the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg, losing in extra time to Spain.
“If the KNVB wants a young national coach and also one for the long term, I think they have made an excellent choice with Frank,” Van Marwijk told Voetbal International magazine.
“Frank has a bond with this group of players but can also stand aloof from them when required. He already had that as an assistant.”
De Boer’s candidacy had been questioned by several pundits in recent days, notably over his failures as a coach at Inter Milan and Crystal Palace.
He was fired by Inter Milan after just 85 days in charge in 2016 and the next year lasted 10 weeks at Crystal Palace.
His last job was at Atlanta United in Major League Soccer where he led the club to cup success but left in July after 18 months in charge.
However, his experience at Ajax, where he won four successive Dutch championships between 2011 and 2014, could not be overlooked, said Van Marwijk.
“I don’t know why things went wrong abroad,” he added.
“But I do know that he has performed excellently with Dutch players by becoming champion with Ajax four times in a row, under difficult circumstances.”
De Boer will address the media on Friday and also name his first squad for next month’s games against Mexico, Bosnia and Italy.
Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Peter Rutherford
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