Netherlands disappointed Koeman with lackluster performance against France

    Ronald Koeman unsurprisingly said he expected more from his Netherlands team after they lost 4-0 to France in his first game as head coach.

    Koeman has replaced Louis van Gaal to start his second tenure as Orange manager and he will be surprised like no other to see his team lose 2-0 just eight minutes later at the Stade de France and with score 3:0 after 21 minutes.

    Speaking to NOS Sport after a crushing defeat in the first qualifying match for Euro 2024, Koeman admitted that he did not expect such an abyss, although his team finished with 59 percent possession of the ball and just one shot less than the hosts (12-11).

    “I didn’t consider that the difference would be that big,” he said. “I expected more from everyone. The performance of the team was below average.

    “We lost the ball 20 meters from our own goal. This is the place where you should never lose the ball. And then, France, of course, is a very good team that lurks and immediately benefits.

    Antoine Griezmann, Dayot Upamecano and new France captain Kylian Mbappe cautioned Le Bleus early on before Mbappe kicked again two minutes later after intercepting a pass from Memphis Depay, whose penalty was later saved by Mike Meignan.

    Memphis lost the ball, but Mbappe, of course, finished the ball superbly after that. So it wasn’t just us. It was also the class of France,” admitted Koeman.

    The Netherlands was missing some key players including Matthijs de Ligt, Cody Gakpo and Sven Botman with viral infections, but Koeman was in no mood to make excuses.

    “Of course, the preparation was not perfect. It left its mark,” he said. “But today there were too many moments where we failed.

    “Now we know where we are and have learned from that. So this can also turn out to be positive. We will learn and improve, including as a technical staff.”

    Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk added: “We didn’t get there, lost duels and lost the ball too often. The second goal came from a set piece, but the others scored because we gave them the ball. There is so much quality in France that they immediately punish it.

    “We will analyze the defeat and take a good look at what we can do better, but it is clear that we are very disappointed.”

    On Monday, the Netherlands will host Gibraltar in the second match of Group B.

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