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John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Daley Blind the key defensive cog in Manchester United's improvement

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says his team still need to improve if they are to make it past the group stage of the Champions League.

For a young man of unassuming character, Daley Blind is an unlikely divisive figure. Two of Dutch football's icons, Marco van Basten and Johan Cruyff, have made him central to a very public philosophical war.

When Cruyff, the 1970s legend who captained the Dutch to losing the 1974 World Cup final, dissected Netherlands' troubled Euro 2016 qualifying campaign in his De Telegraf newspaper column last month, he described the Manchester United man as "the only Dutch player left with a decent, proper...

 By Jason Dasey

Ex-Dutch and Aston Villa star George Boateng eyes Malaysia coaching job

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson discuss Malaysia's performance against Saudi Arabia up until the match had to be abandoned due to fans throwing flares on the field.

As Louis van Gaal masterminded Manchester United's emphatic victory against Liverpool over the weekend, the former Premier League midfielder to whom he gave his full Netherlands debut a decade and a half ago declared his interest in the Malaysia national coaching job.

Ex-Kelantan head coach George Boateng was back in Kuala Lumpur on a personal trip and eyeing what some might consider to have become the toughest gig in Southeast Asian football.

On Sep. 5, under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee took over on...

 By Nick Miller

Netherlands among big teams making a mess of Euro 2016 qualification

Turkey secured a vital three points as two first half goals paved the way in a 3-0 win over the Netherlands moving them into third in Group A.
The ESPN FC panel discuss Netherland's poor run in European Championship qualifying after their 3-0 defeat against Turkey.

The last time the European Championships were held in France was 1984, which coincidentally was also the last time the Netherlands failed to qualify. Back then, only eight teams made it through to the finals, and only the winners of each qualification group were deemed good enough, so it was a pretty tough selection process.

On that occasion the Dutch were battling Spain for the only place in their group, and the two sides went into their respective last games, both against Malta, level on points....

 By Elko Born

Netherlands' arrogance and idealism in doomed Euro 2016 bid under Blind

The ESPN FC panel discuss Netherland's poor run in European Championship qualifying after their 3-0 defeat against Turkey.

It was supposed to be a moment of glory; the moment where Netherlands finally started performing again. New boss Danny Blind, who replaced Guus Hiddink a few months ago, was meant to put minds at ease and restore order to the failing Dutch squad.

However, the past week was yet another shameful disappointment. Unable to properly motivate his men, Blind's side lost 1-0 at home to Iceland on Thursday before being humiliated 3-0 against Turkey as their qualification campaign for Euro 2016 lay in tatters.


 By Elko Born

Can Guus Hiddink finally turn things around for the Netherlands?

Gyasi Zardes, Danny Williams and Bobby Wood scored their first international goals as the United States fought back from a 3-1 deficit to claim a famous 4-3 win at the Amsterdam Arena.

It's been a nerve-racking few months for Guus Hiddink. In fact, his second spell as Netherlands manager could hardly have started any worse.

In September 2014, Hiddink began with a friendly defeat against Italy. Thanks in part to a rather embarrassing howler from Newcastle United full-back Daryl Janmaat, the Euro 2016 qualifier against Czech Republic in Prague that followed the new boss' debut was hopelessly lost as well.

Back home, fans and pundits alike immediately voiced their concerns. Respect...

 By Jason Davis

Michael Bradley leads U.S. to stunning win over World Cup champs Germany

Three musings after the United States closed out a strong European sojourn with a thrilling 2-1 win Wednesday against Germany in Cologne on Jurgen Klinsmann's first trip to his native land as U.S. national team coach.

1. Michael Bradley, playmaker

He doesn't wear the No. 10 jersey (that would be Mix Diskerud), but Michael Bradley is undoubtedly the Americans' driving creative force. Just as he did against the Netherlands, Bradley served as the key man in the U.S. attack, starting moves and...