Phillip Cocu has similar qualities to Frank Lampard, says Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan
Last Updated: 03/07/19 3:39pm
Phillip Cocu has similar qualities to Frank Lampard and is a good choice to replace the Chelsea-bound manager, says De Telegraaf journalist Marcel van der Kraan.
The 48-year-old Dutchman won 101 caps for the the Netherlands and played for PSV and Barcelona, but his move to Pride Park will represent his first taste of life in English football.
When asked what Derby fans could expect from Cocu, Van der Kraan said: "It's striking the club are looking for a very similar character with a very similar view on football.
"If I look at the style Frank Lampard has as a player and that he used at Derby, Phillip Cocu has all those similar qualities. He's very composed, he's very well-mannered, he behaves well on the touchline.
"The early part of his career as a coach was very important, under the wings of Guus Hiddink. He guided him on the path to the top level."
Cocu worked as part of the backroom staff with Netherlands and PSV after he ended his playing career in 2008, before becoming PSV head coach in 2013.
He won three Eredivisie titles and two Dutch cups during his five years with the club, and when questioned on the secrets to Cocu's success, Van der Kraan said: "Bringing youth into the team, not demanding major signings all the time and being happy with the signings he got.
"He does have strong opinions but keeps them inside. He's not a great story-teller to the press but he very much focuses on his players.
"He puts an incredible amount of energy into making players better, and I think that's what you're looking for if you're Derby and you're pushing for promotion.
"He has a wealth of experience; he's been at Barcelona and won league titles. He played under the best coaches in the world and with the best players in the world.
"At the same time, he knows you cannot demand everything of players who are in the Championship. I think it's a good choice."
After enjoying success with PSV, Cocu made an ill-fated move to Fenerbahce which ended after just three months. However, Van der Kraan does not believe Derby supporters should be overly concerned.
"It was a complete clash of cultures. I was very surprised Phillip Cocu joined Fenerbahce in the first place," he said. "Sometimes money talks but managers find out that money is not everything in life.
"When Cocu was at Fenerbahce, he had three people working against him. They were making plots against him - his Turkish assistants were briefing everything to the media. It was a complete sabotage.
"Fenerbahce couldn't sign the players he wanted and that is they key reason why he left after a few months. He had a very unbalanced squad and a very hectic atmosphere around him, which wasn't the sort of style he was used to working in.
"I am sure Derby must have assured him they bring in some more players, because that was his main concern - will there be enough quality in the squad to push for promotion?"