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The Best Dutch Managers in the Premier League so far 

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By TKTAdmin

Very few Dutch managers can be rated highly as the best ones in the Premier League so far. 

Dutch managers are in the headlines lately as two Premier League teams are involved with them following the end of the season. Manchester United is one of them. They are likely not to continue their collaboration with their current Dutch boss, Erik Ten Hag, even if he managed to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final this weekend. Meanwhile, their classic rival, Liverpool, has just announced their new boss, Arne Slot, who is also Dutch. 

Some believe that Slot will experience what Ten Hag has gone through. He will be in charge of a Premier League giant with plenty of silverware, not to mention being compared to his predecessor, Jurgen Klopp, who has been one of the club’s legendary figures. It was the same situation Ten Hag has dealt with in The Red Devils, which is the current record holder in the English top flight. 

Slot’s silverware in the Eredivisie is even less than Ten Hag. The former Feyenoord manager has just won one league title and one KNVB Cup. He has only been awarded the Rinus Michels award for the best manager in Eredivisie twice. Such is still less compared to Ten Hag, a three-time Rinus Michels award winner who has lifted the Eredivisie three times and the KNVB Cup twice. The former Utrecht boss even managed to guide Ajax to their first UCL semi-final in 2019 since the late 1990s. Slot’s best achievement in Europe was being a finalist in the first edition of the Conference League 2022. 

It is too early to consider his appointment a mistake, but there is a chance for it. The Reds’ fans surely hope that Slot can prove the doubters wrong and deliver positive results and silverware immediately to keep in high demand. Otherwise, the image of their bantering era before Klopp’s arrival could be lurking and haunting them. 

Unfortunately, there are very few Dutch managers who thrive in the Premier League. Even none of them ever wins the league title. So, who are the best Dutch gaffers in the Premier League so far? Here are those who fit the description.

Ronald Koeman

The 61-year-old boss has been at the helm of two Premier League clubs, Southampton and Everton, from 2014 to 2017. He had promising spells with both sides, despite not winning any silverware.

Koeman’s first season in the Premier League was fine. He managed to guide the Saints to finish seventh in 2015 and even higher in the following season as Sadio Mane and Co. clinched sixth place and qualified for the Europa League. The former Barcelona boss had helped Southampton secure impressive victories, including two away wins versus Manchester United and another three points on the road versus Chelsea. Koeman’s men were also able to come out as winners against Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal at home. They beat them convincingly with 4-2, 3-2, and 4-0 wins, respectively.

Meanwhile, his only stint at Goodison Park did not end well. Despite his team’s promising starts, including important wins over Arsenal, Manchester City, and the reigning champions, Leicester City, Sadly, he could not complete his second season due to being dismissed following the heavy 5-2 loss in October 2017. Koeman’s first season was satisfactory too, finishing seventh in the final standings.

Ruud Gullit

Koeman’s fellow in de Oranje in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ruud Gullit, was the first Dutch manager in the Premier League. He was at the helm of two EPL sides, Chelsea and Newcastle United, from 1996 to 1999.

He was first named player-manager in 1996/97 and made a positive start. The Blues might have only finished sixth on the table, but the former PSV and AC Milan man was able to deliver the FA Cup in his managerial debut. It was the first major trophy at Stamford Bridge in 26 years. Chelsea’s notable games under Gullit were when they picked up an away 3-2 win over Manchester United and two home victories against Liverpool in the league and FA Cup. Unfortunately, his stint came to an abrupt end as he was sacked in early 1998 due to his disagreement with the management.

His next spell with the Magpies was not as remarkable as expected. The former midfielder did bring them to the 1999 FA Cup final before losing 2-0 to Manchester United, but Newcastle’s form in the domestic league was disappointing since Alan Shearer and Co only sat 13th. Gullit’s time in the Tyneside eventually did not last long, as he was dismissed because he conflicted with two key players in the squad, Robert Lee and Alan Shearer.

Louis Van Gaal

Van Gaal is one of the most successful Dutch managers in history. He always delivers trophies for each of his clubs, from the top teams like Ajax Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Bayern to the lesser-known ones like AZ Alkmaar. The Amsterdam-born gaffer has lifted the Champions League and UEFA Cup trophies as well.

His stint in England was fine, but not a glittering one. The former Netherlands boss in three different eras was named Manchester United manager in 2014. The fans hoped that he could bring back the old glory days of the Red Devils under Sir Alex Ferguson. Yet, what he was only able to do was steady the ship. United was still trophyless in his first season but finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League. His team’s notable games in that season were when they crushed Manchester City 4-2 at home and Arsenal and Liverpool on the road.

In the second season, 2015/16, Van Gaal, in general, had a better campaign as David de Gea and Co. clinched the FA Cup title. However, their form in the Premier League was rather below expectations. Manchester United only finished fifth and missed the Champions League spot. No wonder that he was dismissed at the end of the season.

Guus Hiddink

Hiddink is an exceptional manager with a remarkable record with the club and national teams. He has a reputation for fixing and improving non-elite teams. The former Real Madrid, Real Betis, and Valencia boss did it with PSV as he led them to snatch the European Cup (the old name of the Champions League) in 1988, which remains their only silverware in the continental top tier. He also guided South Korea to the semi-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, as well as Russia to the 2008 EURO semi-finals. Hiddink even managed to bring Australia to the round of 16 for the first time in World Cup history back in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In England, the former midfielder was appointed to take over Chelsea twice as interim manager. In his first campaign in 2008/09, he was able to lead the Blues to finish third in the league, reach the semifinals in the Champions League by losing only on away goal rule against the eventual champions, Barcelona, and win the FA Cup. John Terry and Co. only slumped to a defeat once during his tenure.

Meanwhile, the second one was in the middle of the 2015/16 season. This time, it was a harder campaign with less positive results. Chelsea fell to 16th place when he took charge. The Dutch boss could only guide them to finish 10th in the end but without any silverware as in his first spell. Eden Hazard and Co. also suffered more defeats compared to Hiddink’s previous stint in London.