Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is England’s Anglicised Dutchman who learned his craft from Ronald Koeman

England coach Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink speaks with Bukayo Saka before their Euro 2024 qualifier in Naples
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has helped England's players with penalties and done individual coaching with the squad's forwards - Reuters/Peter Cziborra

It is indicative of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s status as an honorary Englishman that he only came to the attention of the Holland national team while playing in the Premier League for Leeds United.

That was in 1998 and Hasselbaink was part of the Holland World Cup squad, when a certain Ronald Koeman was employed as one of Guus Hiddink’s assistants.

“Ronald was always good with the players, always talking to them, always with an arm around the shoulder, always interacting,” said Hasselbaink in an interview with Telegraph Sport in 2015.

Hasselbaink and Koeman, who now manages Holland, will be in opposite dug-outs in Dortmund on Wednesday night for England’s Euro 2024 semi-final, as the Dutchman is part of Gareth Southgate’s England coaching staff.

A feature of Hasselbaink’s career has been his ability to make and maintain relationships. Southgate contacted him personally about joining his England staff last year in a move that even came as a surprise to the former striker’s agents, who had been unaware of the approach.

Southgate and Hasselbaink were team-mates at Middlesbrough and played together for the club in the Uefa Cup final defeat to Seville in 2006. Even though Southgate released Hasselbaink when he became Boro manager the following summer, the pair remained on good terms and met up again in 2015.

Dino Maamria was on the same Pro Licence course as Hasselbaink at St George’s Park in 2015, which Southgate, who was the manager of England’s Under-21s, would often check in on.

Maamria, who went on to work as Hasselbaink’s assistant at Burton Albion, told Telegraph Sport: “I got to know Jimmy on the Pro Licence course and we just hit it off straight away. The first thing that struck me was what a top guy he was and very humble, despite being a big name and everything he had achieved.

“Gareth Southgate was manager of the Under-21s then and would often come and talk with us all and would sit in the back of talks and meetings we had as part of the course.

“Jimmy and I also travelled out to Prague for the Under-21 European Championships that summer. We spent 10 days there as part of the course, watching games, including one England match, and compiling reports on England’s opponents. Gareth was there as Under-21 manager with the team.”

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink playing for Netherlands
Hasselbaink won 23 caps for Netherlands and scored nine goals - Getty Images/Channel 5

Hasselbaink has far more coaching experience than Koeman did when he was part of Hiddink’s staff 26 years ago, having managed at Royal Antwerp, Burton twice, Queens Park Rangers and Northampton Town.

“It didn’t surprise me at all that Gareth took Jimmy into his coaching staff,” said Maamria. “He sees the little details really well and, behind the scenes, he will be doing a lot of work with individuals and the team unit.

“He will make the players feel good and I’m sure he will be doing a lot of one-to-one work. He’s played in the Premier League, La Liga and at a World Cup, so he has so much advice and experience he can pass on.

“The players will love him and you could see how much it means to him by his reaction when Bukayo Saka scored the equaliser against Switzerland. It won’t matter to Jimmy that it is Holland next, he will just want to win.”

Footage from England training caught Hasselbaink and central defender John Stones trying to push each other into the sprinklers, while Jude Bellingham revealed he had spoken to the former Chelsea star ahead of the quarter-final penalty shootout success against Switzerland.

Asked what Hasselbaink has brought to the England set-up, Luke Shaw said: “He’s been bringing everything. He’s been really good, really positive. He’s been doing stuff in training with the strikers, taking some of the training. I’m not going to go into too much detail on what he does, but we’re all really happy with Jimmy and he helps not just the strikers, but a lot of the lads, and also has the advice from what he’s done in the game to pass on.

“He brings a lot of laughs, that’s just the way he is. He’s very confident. He likes a little bit of a joke and he brings the positive energy around the camp, and makes people smile.”

During his playing career, Hasselbaink took penalties for Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Leeds United, Atletico Madrid, Boavista and Holland, scoring 21 in total and missing just once.

“Jimmy’s been working hard with us to do penalties after training in case it goes to a shootout,” said Phil Foden. “Jimmy’s got a lot of experience in the game, he knows his stuff. He’s been taking a few of us after training to practice penalties.”

That practice paid off for Bellingham, who was one of England’s five scorers from the spot against Switzerland.

“I was really confident in my preparation and the things I’d talked through with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink,” said Bellingham. “He’s stepped up for us massively and it’s the work he does behind closed doors with the lads willing to take on that information that put us in those situations to be able to win.”

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink during England training at Euro 2024
Hasselbaink was Gareth Southgate's team-mate at Middlesbrough and believes England should have an English manager - PA/Adam Davy

It is not just the players who Hasselbaink has been teaching a thing or two. He was the representative of Southgate’s coaching staff in a so-called friendly match between the Football Association and the English media.

Anybody who thought he might take it easy was sadly mistaken, as Hasselbaink scored two goals in a 7-0 win for the FA and flattened at least one journalist who battled for the ball with him.

Hasselbaink’s deal with the FA mirrors that of Southgate in terms of length, meaning he too is contracted until December. He had not coached for six months after quitting Burton in September 2022, but the 52-year-old has not ruled out a return to management at some stage. There is also the possibility that Southgate will want to keep him in his staff, either with England or at a club.

Judging by his past comments, however, Hasselbaink will not be putting himself up to try to succeed Southgate as England manager at any stage.

In his 2015 interview with the Telegraph, Hasselbaink said: “For international football, it should be a rule that the coach is from the same country. Holland would never have that nor Germany or Brazil. England has a better future than Holland.”

That verdict on the relative prospects of England and Holland were in reference to his country of birth’s struggles to qualify for Euro 2016, which they ultimately failed to do. But Hasselbaink will be hoping that, with his help, his adopted nation still has a better immediate future.