Recent reports from the Daily Mail suggest that Blues are eyeing up FC Groningen boss, Danny Buijs as a replacement for the departing Pep Clotet.
The 38 year old Dutchman currently manages FC Groningen in the Eredivisie and is known for a high press/fast-paced style of football, one of Dutch football’s most intriguing young football managers.
The Eredivisie season was halted in April amidst coronavirus fears, with Buijs’ Groningen side sitting in 9th position, boasting a positive goal difference and wins in the league over Ajax and Vitesse.
Branded as a ‘laptop trainer’ by former Groningen technical director Ron Jans, Buijs made the step up from amateur football with Kozakken Boys to Groningen in 2018, recovering from a shaky start to lead his side to 8th place, a Europa League playoff spot.
A key element of Buijs’ side is the attacking full backs, who will surge up to support the midfield when transitioning into attack. When applying these tactics to the current Birmingham City squad, the prospect of attacking full backs is exciting as Blues hold two of the best full-backs in the league with Kristian Pedersen and Maxime Colin. Both full-backs have showed attacking prowess this season, scoring five and assisting eight between them. Groningen have also been known to utilise long balls, with defenders picking the ball up from deep to release an onrushing striker. This has also been seen at Birmingham this season, especially with the combination play between Scott Hogan and Lukas Jutkiewicz, grabbing 20 goals between them in the Championship.
We reached out to Dutch football expert James Rowe (@JamesRoweNL) to get an ‘inside’ view…
Danny Buijs became manager of FC Groningen in May 2018 having previously spent two seasons at the club as a player. Before that he managed Kozakken Boys in the Dutch third tier. During his playing career he played as a defensive midfielder for among others Feyenoord, ADO Den Haag and Kilmarnock.He struggled when he first arrived at FC Groningen but he managed make the club a robust team who were able to launch good counter attacks in particular as well as often making the most of home advantage. FC Groningen finished 9th in the Eredivisie before the 2019/2020 season was curtailed. At present he has a 39 percent win percentage as manager of FC Groningen.There are currently no reports here in the Netherlands regarding a move to Birmingham City nor to another club in the Eredivisie. As someone who has been based in the Netherlands for over a decade I am not sure where these reports have come from.
If Blues were to make Danny Buijs the next boss of Birmingham City, it could certainly be a risk as Buijs has not had any previous football experience in England, but his tactical attacking enthusiasm is sure to make Blues fans optimistic. Would Buijs be a successful import or an underwhelming flop?