Everton manager Ronald Koeman was not shocked to see his name linked with the Netherlands job in recent days but is not paying attention to rumours surrounding him and the Oranje, insisting that turning around the Toffees' fortunes is his main "priority" at this moment in time.
The Netherlands suffered another unsuccessful and damning qualifying campaign that saw them fail to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The disappointment led Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, who Koeman is a columnist for, to suggest that the former Barcelona legend is one of the "main candidates" to take over from Dick Advocaat, who is widely expected to leave his position as Netherlands boss.
Former Oranje midfielder George Boateng suggested that it could benefit both Koeman and Everton if his compatriot decided to take up the reins in his homeland, but the former Southampton manager is only focused on reviving the Merseysiders and will hope to return to winning ways against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday (15 October).
"No I'm not surprised they put my name in because they did the same some years ago," Koeman said in his press conference. "But I'm the Everton manager and that's the most important thing. It is not realistic now because we have other business to do with Everton and we need to win and change our situation this Sunday. That is my priority."
Many have been dumbfounded by the Dutch's fall from grace on the international stage, but Koeman thinks the reason for his country's decline is rather simple. The former Ajax and Feyenoord boss does not think the Netherlands have the same quality of player as they did three or four years ago but believes they will soon be gracing the top table of international football before too long.
"We lost quality, we don't have the top European players any more," Koeman said. "[Arjen] Robben was the last and now he has stopped. we have some really good talent but the whole competition in Holland, young players go abroad too fast. We had a good time with a lot of good players. Countries like Belgium and Germany have changed around, but we will come back."