If the clubs at the top of the Eredivisie table have a familiar look, so do the names and faces of their respective, current managers. Frank de Boer at Ajax, Phillip Cocu, recently named manager at PSV, but having been part of the PSV managerial staff including a stint as interim manager, and Ronald Koeman at Feyenoord, collectively represent a direct link back to these clubs’ fortune-laden successes of previous decades. Season after season, these clubs not only ruled Holland on an annual basis, but perennially mounted serious pursuits for European championship silverware when the flowing, attacking Dutch style captivated fans across Europe and the world. Given the current managers’ respective and collective experiences, talents, and affinity for the traditional Dutch style of play, the past two Eredivisie seasons’ results may represent but a preview to the coming years of Dutch football.
As former players, Koeman, de Boer, and Cocu collectively represent a total of 429 goals scored (across all competitions), 13 Eredivisie titles, 7 Dutch Cups, 6 Spanish La Liga titles, plus a European Championship, a UEFA Champions League title, two European Cups, and a UEFA Cup. These three players were also integral figures on the Dutch national teams, respectively, from Holland’s Euro ’88 Champion, to the ’94 quarterfinal World Cup and ’98 semifinal World Cup sides.   Still, as football constantly reminds us, great players don’t automatically translate into great managers. Nevertheless, there are common threads in these three players’ careers which speak to the successes they’ve already had, and which are likely to inform their continued success.
As young players, all three came up through the Dutch system – albeit via different paths; all three played for the clubs they now manage – in Koeman’s somewhat unique case, he enjoyed playing stints with Ajax, PSV, and Feyenoord; and all three spent appreciable segments of their careers at FC Barcelona under the Dutch, tactical, attack-minded tutelage of either Johan Cruyff or Louis van Gaal. As such, all three men’s organizational and tactical perspectives are informed by having been similarly trained, educated, developed, and matured as world-class players in the Dutch and Oranje Barcelona traditions of cerebral, creative, flowing, attacking football with total-field vision. 
Given their paths and pedigrees as players, it is little wonder that now as their respective managers, the triumvirate of Dutch football have reclaimed their traditional spots atop the Eredivisie table.
 Historiche statistieken. Eredivisie Live. http://eredivisielive.nl/eredivisie/historischestatistieken/
 Player record and performance data: Ronald Koeman, Frank de Boer, Phillip Cocu. Transfer Markt. http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/
 Wereld van Oranje.NL. http://www.wereldvanoranje.nl/
 “A Dutch Great Helped Transform Spain’s Game.” New York Times. July 10, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/sports/soccer/11cupfeature.html?_r=1&
 History: 1988-1996, 1996-2008. FC Barcelona.com. http://www.fcbarcelona.com/club/history