Wednesday October 14 2020
De Boer: 'Holland changed for Italy'

Dutch coach Frank de Boer explains his decision to change tactics for the 1-1 draw with Italy. ‘Looked rationally at the opponent and what we can offer in return.’

The Oranje surprised many, including Roberto Mancini, when scrapping the 4-3-3 formation for a 5-3-2.

“I wanted to play with five at the back so that my forwards didn’t have to keep chasing back with their overlapping players,” former Inter coach De Boer told NOS TV.

“Basically, it’s just a question of looking very rationally at the opponent and working out what we can offer in return. In this case it meant sacrificing a player like Steven [Berghuis].

“My feeling said I should do this. The one training session we had to practice the system was also very encouraging.”

The change was needed after a 0-0 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday and the Netherlands are now third in their Nations League group, two points behind leaders Poland.

“Of course, we should have played better against Bosnia and Herzegovina, but this evening I thought we were superior. It was about 60-40% in our favour.

“Ultimately we can't be happy with the result, because we want to win this group, but this performance gives us a lot of confidence. If we can play like this, regardless of the system, then we will make it difficult for any opponent.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: