By Chris Kouns (Twitter)
Five Stripes’ fans are excited about the new coach and here is WHY!
Frank de Boer is a futbol pedigree.
He is the Netherlands most capped player (112). As the Captain of the Oranje, he led them to semi finals of both the 2000 UEFA European Championships and the 1998 World Cup, where his 60 yd diagonal ball for the game winner vs Argentina is the stuff of legends.
As a club player, his experience with both Ajax and Barcelona also included tremendous success. Winning the 1994-95 UEFA Champions League with Ajax, and the 1998-1999 La Liga title with Barcelona.
Following his playing career, de Boer entered into his coaching profession. Cutting his teeth with Ajax, but not with their heralded first team. Rather in their youth ranks, where he spent three years as a their youth coach and the next six years heading the senior Ajax squad. In just his first season in charge, he Frank led Ajax to the 2010 Eredivisie title leading them to four consecutive titles (only time in Ajax history) and earning the Rinus Michels Award as Coach of the Year. Part of that amazing run included defeating a, Tata led, Barcelona side! De Boer’s record at Ajax was 158-47-57, a 60% winning percentage.
Succeeding his time at Ajax, de Boer took on two ‘Fire Sales’. First, in Serie A with Inter Milan, and then EPL with Crystal Palace. Critics will say both of these stents were failures. In 2016 de Boer landed at Inter Milan where they went through 3 three coaches that year; de Boer, Stefan Vecchi, and Stefan’s Piolli. In 2017 de Boer moved on to Crystal Palace who where they burned through 2 two coaches that year; de Boer and Roy Hodgson.
Besides the names and numbers in de Boers lineage, what really excites Atlanta United’s fans is his philosophy!
First, his coaching style at Ajax utilized their renowned youth system. Much like ATL UTD youth system under Tony Annan, with homegrown players like George Bello and Andrew Carlton gaining international acclaim.
Utilize great young players =
Second, he also loves attacking through possession. de Boer focuses on possession with a purpose, and that purpose is to score goals, and while playing fun, attacking minded soccer. At Ajax, De Boer looked to Christian Eriksen and Siem De Jong as his influential, roaming playmakers to be brought into action by the one-on-one brilliance of his wide players. This aligns perfectly with the strengths of Miggy (or soon to be Pity), Tito, Gressle & Josef.
Attacking players who are allowed to flow =
Third, his philosophy all starts in defense. With moves bubbling up from his back line through a central defender who can pass (*Definitely like an LGP quip here, just don’t break the 4th wall.) de Boer will also be looking for thrust to come out wide with attack-minded full-backs which suits Escobar and Bello quite well.
Attacking minded defenders =
Lastly, he is intent on playing the game in the opponent’s half and dominating possession, de Boer’s style is heavy in passing and width. With players swapping positions when necessary to fill gaps and maintain the tempo, off the ball, he demands they press from the front and retrieve it as quickly as possible. De Boer’s high press and desire to hold the ball made his Ajax team difficult to beat. He will look to form a team that attacks and defends as a unit, making them a wall but with an attack minded nature.
Pressing when not in possession =
Get excited Atlanta, we have a coach who knows how to - earn a star(s)/crown kings/raise a Cup.