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 By Elko Born

Netherlands must end obsession with past after Danny Blind sacking

Steve Nicol says the 'spiral' the Netherlands find themselves in lately goes beyond whoever the coach is.
Danny Blind admitted that it would be tough for the Netherlands to qualify for the World Cup after their 2-0 defeat to Bulgaria.

The past two years have been difficult for fans of the Dutch national team. After finishing third at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, they have not only had to endure losses to teams like Iceland, Czech Republic and Turkey, but two-and-a-half years of bad, boring and painfully naive football as well.

Much to the relief of those fans, Netherlands boss Danny Blind was sacked after another loss for the Oranje, a 2-0 defeat in Bulgaria. And maybe spirits within the Dutch squad will be lifted as...

Danny Blind's use of Matthijs de Ligt for Netherlands was selfish

Matthijs de Ligt had made two top-flight starts for Ajax before Danny Blind put him in the squad against Bulgaria.

Danny Blind is out as coach of the Dutch national team and Fred Grim has replaced him. (From Blind to Grim: insert your own joke here.)

That was the fallout from the Oranje's 2-0 away defeat to Bulgaria, which left them fourth in Group A, six points behind France, three behind Sweden and two behind Bulgaria. Automatic qualification is likely beyond them but they still control their destiny in terms of a playoff spot given they have home dates against Bulgaria and Sweden coming up in September and...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Van Gaal to help Dutch search? Henry plays down Arsenal job

Steve Nicol says the 'spiral' the Netherlands find themselves in lately goes beyond whoever the coach is.

NETHERLANDS: Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal could return to football with the Netherlands in an advisory role, according to multiple reports.

- Netherlands sacked coach Danny Blind in the wake of their World Cup qualifying loss to Bulgaria.

ARSENAL: Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer Thierry Henry has refused to rule out the possibility of becoming the club's manager should Arsene Wenger vacate his position at the end of the season.

- Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil...

Brazil and U.S. resurgent while Alexis Sanchez lashes out: Heroes & Villains

Shaka Hislop talks which of England's strikers will most likely feature in the 2018 World Cup next summer.

It may be another international break, but with World Cup qualifiers raging all over the globe, there's still plenty at stake. Iain Macintosh runs through the good and the bad of the action as teams jostle for position on the road to Russia 2018.

HEROES

Brazil haven't quite qualified for the 2018 World Cup yet, but if they were to place a bulk order of "Teach Yourself Russian" books this week, they wouldn't have to worry too much about keeping the receipt safe. Their away trip to second place...

 By Simon Kuper

As top stars like Depay and Janssen flop, why is Dutch football in crisis?

Is this Memphis Depay's last chance to make an impact at a big club?

Two years ago, Memphis Depay was the great Dutch attacking talent. Having scored for fun in the Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven, he joined Manchester United at the age of 21. But in last month's transfer window, United dumped him on Olympique Lyon, who may yet come to regret the purchase.

Last summer, Vincent Janssen was the great Dutch attacking talent. Having scored for fun in the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar, he joined Spurs at the age of 22. So far, the only goals he has scored for Tottenham have...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Louis van Gaal unretires, Xabi Alonso to hang up boots?

The ESPN FC panel share their thoughts on the FA's discussions regarding retrospective bans for diving.
FC's Stewart Robson and Paul Mariner have differing opinions on how Diego Costa's teammates will view him after his absence.

Here are the latest stories for Wednesday.

LA LIGA: Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has come out to deny that he is retiring from football and revealed that Valencia have made an approach for his services.

- Carlo Ancelotti says the key to Zinedine Zidane's success at Real Madrid is his relationship with the players, telling ESPN FC that his predecessor Rafa Benitez struggled even though he "probably has more experience and more knowledge of the game."

BAYERN MUNICH: Bayern...