Ronald Koeman

Premier League social media wrap
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Premier League social media wrap: Fuchs’ empty airport experience, Man City birthday party

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Monday’s wrap-up of the best of Premier League personalities on social media is going to be a bit different.

We’re going to start with a reality check during this brutal coronavirus pandemic.

While the social media wrap is meant to spotlight the fun antics of Premier League players, Christian Fuchs brought us eye-opening video from JFK Airport in New York.

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Presumably en route for a return to Leicester, Fuchs took a stroll through the ghostly airport. It’s…. off-putting.

The ePremier League Invitational is back this week for a second go-round, and teams are getting fired up.

Well, sort of.

Watford forward Andre Gray is clearly lacking in confidence ahead of his tournament debut and wants the Hornets faithful to know the score (or dangers of a lopsided one).

On to a different kind of screen…

Newcastle United and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Rob Elliot was all about that “May the Fourth Be With You” life.

“The Rise of Skywalker” was redemptive in his mind.

Morgan Schneiderlin has his old boss in his thoughts.

Former Southampton manager Ronald Koeman underwent a heart procedure Sunday after a scary incident, and is said to be recovering.

The current Everton midfielder is thinking of the Netherlands manager and praying for the best.

Finally some teammate and mentor-mentee vibes to close out Monday’s wrap.

Man City captain Fernandinho has openly spoke of his duty to get the next generation of players ready, and Brazilian youngster Gabriel Jesus clearly enjoys his relationship with the old man.

Netherlands coach Koeman undergoes heart procedure

Ronald Koeman
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman underwent a heart procedure Sunday at a hospital in Amsterdam after feeling pain in his chest, his management company said in a statement.

The 57-year-old coach, who has also managed Premier League clubs Southampton and Everton, underwent a successful “heart catheterization” and will return home Monday, his management company Wasserman said. It did not elaborate on the nature of the procedure and nor did the Dutch soccer association.

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Dutch national broadcaster NOS cited Koeman’s business manager, Rob Jansen, as saying that the former Barcelona player was hospitalized after feeling chest pain after a bike ride.

“We are shocked and wish him a good recovery,” the Dutch national team’s spokesman Bas Ticheler told The Associated Press.

Koeman’s management said the coach would be resting in coming days.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, it in unclear when the Dutch team will play again. The European Championship that was due to start June 12 has been postponed due to the global pandemic.

Going to EURO: Netherlands qualify to first EURO since 2012

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It was far from a convincing performance, but with a 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park on Saturday, the Netherlands clinched a major tournament berth for the first time since the 2014 World Cup and a first EURO since 2012.

Needing a sole point to qualify for next summer’s big-stage European competition, Ronald Koeman and company clinched wit luck and tight, defensive work on their side. Throughout the final 45 minutes, the Northern Ireland’s possession of the ball was a mere 29 percent, while recording a lone shot off target.

A big reason for the defensive solidity was contingent on the Netherland’s center back tandem composed of Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt. The two defenders combined for three clearances, one blocked shot, one tackle and eight ariels won.

With the attack lacking in the finishing department despite accumulating 14 shots (three on target), the 28-year-old captain recognizes it was a tough, yet meaningful game for the team and for all of Netherlands, who failed to qualify for the 2016 EURO and 2018 World Cup.

“It was a tough game,” van Dijk said. “Unlucky for him (Davis), good for us! The lads are very happy in the dressing room. We’re back at a major tournament. It means a lot for us as players. Hopefully it means so much to the Dutch people.”

“We have to make sure we prepare very well for a big tournament,” he added. “We missed the last two. We want to perform well.”

With one game left against Estonia midweek, the Netherlands trails Group C leaders, Germany, by two points. Northern Ireland, on the other hand, qualified for the playoff round, with their opponent still to be determined.

Report: Dest will announce international decision this week

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Ajax defender Sergino Dest is expected to make a decision on his international future this week, according to a report in Holland.

Dest turns 19 on Nov. 3 and has two caps for the United States men’s national team after a sensational career with the program’s youth club.

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But he’s also eligible to represent his birth nation of the Netherlands, and is the starting right back for its most celebrated club.

The back turned down a call-up from Gregg Berhalter last month as a cap in the CONCACAF Nations League would’ve tied him to the USMNT for the rest of his life.

It’s natural to feel that Dest would be inclined to choose the Netherlands, as Ronald Koeman‘s team is firing on all cylinders and Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT has been mostly miserable against significant competition. Berhalter also played Dest at left back in both of his caps versus Mexico and Uruguay, playing Reggie Cannon at Dest’s preferred right back.

But Dest has more history with the USMNT set-up, and the Yanks could still use him at the Olympics this summer (The Netherlands have not qualified for Tokyo). They have a puncher’s chance, but the timing of the announcement seems to lean toward Koeman.

The Dutch can qualify for EURO 2020 with a draw or better against Northern Ireland, meaning Koeman could blood a number of youngsters against minnows Estonia at Ajax’s home Johan Cruyff Arena four days later.

Not to mention the report is coming out of Holland. You’d feel a whole lot better if an American outlet was reporting it, but maybe that’s just negativity following the USMNT’s recent play. The Dutch set-up has a much better history than the USMNT. There’s a lure there, and we can hope that Dest feels tied into the USMNT.

Koeman reveals Netherlands offer to USMNT product Dest

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Ronald Koeman has revealed that the Dutch Football Association have spoken to Dutch-American defender Sergino Dest about switching his allegiance to the Dutch national team.

After making his international debut last month for the USMNT, Dest, 18, turned down calls up to both the U.S. men’s national team and the Netherlands for their October games.

Dest would have been cap-tied to either nation had he played in their competitive games during the October international window.

Speaking ahead of the Netherlands EURO 2020 qualifier in Rotterdam against Northern Ireland, Koeman confirmed he and the KNVB technical director met with Dest and tried to woo him but didn’t guarantee him a spot on the national team roster.

“Nico-Jan Hoogma and I have spoken with him,” Koeman said. “We have sketched the picture about his future with the Oranje. I don’t promise anyone, but I told him that I see a future for him at the Dutch national team.”

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter has previously said that he’s spoken with Dest about his future and that the discussions were positive.

For now, Dest is taking time to decide which nation he wants to play for. And that’s smart.

He’s played for the U.S. men’s national team at youth level and is no doubt going to be a starter for the U.S. for many years to come. A versatile player who is most comfortable at right back, Dest is a regular for Ajax and is the latest gem to develop at their academy. But after playing for the USMNT in friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay last month, was he put off by their style of play and the immense rebuild underway under Berhalter?

With Denzel Dumfries as his main competitor in the right back position, Dest may have to wait for his chance with the Dutch national team. But the Oranje are on their way up under Koeman, having reached the UEFA Nations League final and well on their way to reaching EURO 2020 with Virgil Van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong leading the charge.

This Dutch team could be very good and a force on the global stage for the next 10 years. If you’re Dest, why wouldn’t you want to be part of this?

Can you really say the same about the trajectory of the USMNT under Berhalter? Nope. The USMNT is a program which will be absolutely delighted just to make it to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and their young core is talented, but not on the same level as the Dutch youngsters Koeman has to work with.

Yes, he obviously has strong feelings about the USMNT and his allegiance at youth level has been crystal clear. But he never expected to be in this position this early in his career, as his dramatic rise at Ajax has the U.S. and the Netherlands involved in a tug-of-war for his services.

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