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The Daily Bee (November 12, 2020): Frank de Boer Sucks

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He’s made history with the Netherlands, and not the good kind

Netherlands v Spain - International Friendly Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Good morning, Fear The Wall!

I want to ask you all something: Have you ever heard of the term “failing upwards”? It’s generally described as continually getting better jobs despite performing poorly in their previous job. Whether its through cronyism, nepotism, or just dumb luck, some people fall into success despite being absolutely awful at their previous position.

Which leads me to...

Frank de Boer is Bad at Coaching

Frank de Boer, the former Ajax/Inter/Crystal Palace/Atlanta United manager and current manager of the Dutch national team, is the absolute perfect example of someone who is failing upwards through life. From the top team in Netherlands, to one of the big boys in Italy, to a Premier League team, to one of the top teams in MLS, and now to his home country’s national team, de Boer has seemingly ended up somewhere better than when he started at every stage of his managerial career, despite showing that he doesn’t exactly deserve any of it.

Now, though, Frank has a very bad distinction during the early stages of his Dutch NT tenure:

Yep, ol’ Frank is 0-3-1 in his four matches at the helm for the Netherlands. A friendly loss against Mexico and then three straight Nations League draws against Bosnia & Herzegovina, Italy and Spain. I understand drawing with Italy and Spain, as the Netherlands is going through a rebuild after failing to qualify for Russia 2018, and those are two of the best traditional footballing powers in the world. So it might be going a little overboard on Mr. de Boer for those results.

But drawing Bosnia & Herzegovina? That’s bad. Frank deserves all the criticism in the world for not beating the pants off of that team. No offense to any readers from Bosnia & Herzegovina, but they are not on the same level as the Netherlands. That should’ve been a guaranteed three points for the Oranje, so credit to Zmajevi (dragons in Bosnian, which is the coolest nickname for a national team I’ve seen) for holding the Dutch without a goal and shame on de Boer and the Dutch for not scoring.

A lot of people saw this coming, especially after each of his previous managerial jobs ended the way they did:

  • He lost the Eredivise to PSV Eindhoven two years in a row after winning four straight titles with Ajax.
  • He would finish last in Inter’s Europa League group and lead Inter to 12th in Serie A before his sacking.
  • He lost seven straight matches with Crystal Palace without scoring a single goal, earning himself the title “Worst Manager in the History of the Premier League” by Jose Mourinho.
  • He won a couple of trophies with Atlanta United, but their play was never consistent and he left the club after going winless in the MLS is Back Tournament.

If/when he gets sacked by the KNVB, I fully expect him to end up managing at PSG or Real Madrid or something. That’s just how lucky/well connected this guy seems to be.

The Daily Buzz

What’s your favorite example of someone failing upwards?