‘Mistakes where it should never be allowed’
Koeman watched it with sorrow. Already in the second minute Antoine Griezmann scored and after a little more than 20 minutes it was already 3-0. “We suffer ball loss 20 yards from our own goal,” Koeman said. “We make mistakes in places on the pitch where you should ‘never’ do that.”
Watch the French’s opening goal, with ball losses by De Roon and Taylor:
Griezmann makes quick 1-0 for France against Orange
That he could not call on Frenkie de Jong, Steven Bergwijn, Cody Gakpo, Matthijs de Ligt, Sven Botman, Joey Veerman and Mats Wieffer for various reasons did not excuse Koeman. “It’s not allowed. That has nothing to do with people not being there.”
After the three quick French goals, Koeman already knew that his team faced an almost impossible task. “Chance-free,” he thought of his team. “You are even afraid it will be a very big result.” The Dutch were spared an even bigger defeat than 4-0, especially as France calmly played out the match.
Koeman stepped away from the system with five defenders that his predecessor Louis van Gaal said was necessary to have success with this Oranje. Yet Koeman does not attribute the defeat to his choice of the 4-3-3 from the Dutch School.
Coach Koeman after debacle against France: ‘This was not due to system’
“You can always discuss choices, but in my opinion this was not due to a system. We were very naive,” Koeman said.
Moreover, in the vice world champion, the Orange also encountered an opponent who is eminently capable of punishing mistakes. “The fourth goal is ball loss by Memphis, but if you see what Mbappé does after that, that’s of great class.”
Monday is the second match in the qualification series. Then Gibraltar will be the opponent and Koeman expects a reaction from his players. “This can only have a positive effect, that everyone knows where we stand. You have to learn from that.”