Ronald Koeman has slammed his Netherlands side’s performance in Friday night’s 4-0 defeat to France, saying he ‘expected more from everyone’ on the pitch.
The former and Southampton boss was taking charge of the first match of his second spell as Oranje manager, having taken over from Louis van Gaal following the .
But his reign got off to a woeful start at the Stade de France, with the hosts netting three times in the first 21 minutes – the last time the Netherlands fell behind to that scoreline so early in a match was 104 years ago.
Fresh from his captaincy snub, Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring after an assist from skipper , before centre-back doubled the lead after just eight minutes.
Mbappe got in on the act not long after, racing in behind and firing in at the near post; France had plenty of chances to add to the scoreline but their new captain had to wait until the 88th minute to bag his second goal of the night.
The Netherlands actually bossed possession – boasting 59% and playing 195 more passes than their opponent – but looked blunt up top and saw a late penalty saved by Mike Maignan.
A raft of players had been sent home prior to the match through illness but Koeman did not want to blame the result on that and felt his players were second best throughout the match and made too many mistakes.
Speaking afterwards, he said: ‘Of course in football you can make mistakes, but just look at the first goal. They were waiting for that. We lost the ball 20 metres from our own goal!
‘After seven minutes you are 2-0 down and then they can play the game they want. They waited for the moments and countered. It’s about us making mistakes in places where you should never make them.
‘After 3-0 it’s usually over, we had no chance. Knowing who you’re playing against as well you’re then even afraid that it will be a very big result.
‘We showed very little in this game, I didn’t expect such a gap. It’s not the team I had in mind to put out, but you know the circumstances. But I don’t want to find excuses for this mediocre performance.
‘We should have been a lot more aggressive and made fewer mistakes. There was nothing very positive today. We showed big lapses in all areas of the game.
‘I expected more from everyone. It was a team performance that was below average against a very strong opponent, that’s why you get this difference.’
He added: ‘We expect a reaction on Monday [against Gibraltar]. We will analyse where things were wrong, but the players also know that. We shouldn’t dwell on this for too long. I think it can work out positively. The players know their place again.’
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