Robben blasts Netherlands defeat

When a country like the Netherlands in not present at a European Championship (Euro 2016) and is running the risk of not going to the World Cup in Russian Federation 2018 then there is something not right.

"We were on the right track", Blind reacted to his departure.

"It was a painful defeat in Sofia, during which the chances of the Netherlands qualifying for the World Cup diminished".

"We have respect for what Danny meant to us and the team during his tenure".

Spas Delev's first-half brace saw Bulgaria past the Netherlands 2-0 in Group A of World Cup Qualifying.

Matthijs de Ligt, a 17-year-old with just 13 appearances in Ajax's first team, will make his Netherlands debut as a starter in the center of the Oranje defense.

The loss left the Dutch six points behind Group A leaders France, who beat Luxembourg 3-1, and down in fourth spot. If their team failed to qualify, they will miss their last opportunity to playing the most important football competition in the world.

Interim-coach Fred Grim will lead Holland for the friendly against Italy in Amsterdam on Tuesday night, but there is no rush to appoint a permanent successor following the sacking of Danny Blind. Only the group victor secures an automatic World Cup spot.

The gamble on De Ligt was meant to be a romantic and sentimental move by Blind, but it proved to be a auto crash that ultimately cost him his job.

Despite calling the defeat a "nightmare", Netherlands captain Arjen Robben stuck by both De Ligt and his coach, saying the players "are on the pitch and we have to perform". Dick Advocaat and Louis Van Gaal are also in the picture. De Telegraaf say Koeman wanted the job three years ago, but was cast aside, and now he's quite happening achieving success with Everton in the Premier League.

Bulgaria's national team is going through hard times - the team for a long time did not get on the big tournaments, and bright stars, the level of Hristo Stoichkov, now part of no. Now it's looking like they won't be at the 2018 World Cup either.

  • Julie Sanders