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Ronald Koeman creates clarity as Netherlands rediscover their mojo | Arthur Renard

Oranje manager has overseen the team’s revival and his squad face England in the Nations League with a new sense of unity

It has been only a year since the Netherlands and England last met but to Ronald Koeman it must feel like an age. At the time, he had just been installed as his national team’s manager after an unsatisfying stint at Everton. His main task was to bring back the old days after the country missed out on the previous two major tournaments.

On the evidence of his first game – a 1-0 home defeat by England – glory was not about to return any time soon. The verdict in the Guardian made for uncomfortable reading for Oranje fans who had seen their side beaten by England on home soil for the first time since 1969. “We saw here why this is regarded as the worst Dutch side for a long time,” Daniel Taylor wrote, adding that “a win against this lot cannot be considered the prize it once was”.

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