Who is Adam Maher? Meet Oranje's future no. 10

Adam Maher was on the radar of big clubs for years now. But the youngster decided to stick with AZ. He dazzles clubs every week and two weeks back he showed Pirlo and De Rossi what he can do too.

The midfielder is probably playing his last season in the AZ jersey. Ajax or PSV is the next station. “The bigger competitions will have to wait. I’m not ready to leave Holland yet.”

The story of a focused lad, who adores his parents.

“If I ever go abroad then my parents will come with me.”

Till death do them part, they will stay together, father Ider, mother Latifa and son Adam Maher. They still live in an apartment in Diemen, but soon they will move to the house Adam bought for the three of them. If everything goes well, they will to stay together for the rest of their lives.

Father Ider Maher: “I come from a place called Tinghir, situated in the south of Marocco. When I became 20, I moved from Morocco to France, but after a few months I moved on towards the Netherlands. That was in 1970. I lived with a friend in the Beilmer and was able to get a job with “Luycks Tafelzuren”, a factory in Diemen, where we produced mustard’s, different oils, pickles and mayonnaise. I even lived for a short time next to the factory. On Saturday we got Dutch language lessons, but in the evening hours I took extra lessons. The language was the most difficult. I understood little of this new society, did not read any papers, did not watch Dutch television and did not understand people on the street. It was some kind of jungle for me. Many Moroccans came with the idea of working in the Netherlands, making money and going back. I never had that idea. I just went with where life took me. In Morocco there was very little opportunity to work. That’s why I stayed here, to make something from my life. 10 years later I married with Latifa, who lived 50 kilometers from Tinghir.”

Mother Latifa Maher: “December 1980 I saw Ider for the first time, on the day we married. After the marriage I went with him to Diemen. It was tough at first, I had a lot of adjusting to do. That took a year. Then I got a job in a hotel and luckily Ider knew the way in society. Unfortunately there is no family from us over here, only friends and acquaintances.”

Adam Maher: “Until I was 16 I went every year to “our” second house in Tinghir. The last 3 years unfortunately I wasn’t able to go anymore as a result of short vacation periods in football. That won’t change the next 2 years hopefully. If we don’t have long vacations, we always go to our third house in Rabat, which takes far less traveling hours. It is always a pleasure to go to Morocco. Then I am with family, beaches, always nice weather, everything tip top.”

Ider: “It sounds like a lot: 3 houses. However here in Diemen we rent an apartment and the house in Tinhir is from my father. In 1985 we bought our house in Rabat for a couple of thousands of Euro’s. As a factory worker one does not get a big salary, so a house in the Netherlands was not affordable without a mortgage. The idea to have an own house when going on vacation and where we could invite family was important for us. That way we were no trouble for anyone and at the same time did not have to sleep in a hotel.”

Adam: “Tough my father and mother lived in Diemen for over a decade, I was still born in Morocco at Julie the 20th 1993. That is what my parents wanted. I don’t know if I would do the same in case I get children. For my parents it was different, because they came to the Netherlands. I could celebrate something like that in Diemen with my parents now.”

Ider: “If everything goes well, the plan is to stay together forever. Diemen is our base, whatever happens. If Adam stops with working, he will go back to Diemen and so will we.”

Adam: “I do plan to live on my own, but for now we are happy with the three of us. If I go abroad, then they will come with me. No doubt about that. They have always supported me. However we always want to be able to come back to the neighborhood. That’s why we are busy to buy a house in Diemen.”

Ider: “We are so proud that Adam does this for us. We could never have dreamed of it.”

Ider: “When he was young he practiced 3 sports: Judo, swimming and football. I picked him up after school time and brought him everywhere for 2 years. However football was really his thing. When we put a big basket with toys in it in front of him, he always picked something round which he could kick away. When he became 4 years old, we brought him to SV Diemen. Though he was too young to play games, he was allowed to participate in training. They immediately recognized him as somebody with special talent.”

Adam: “The moment I became member of the club FC Diemen, everything in life was build around football. My parents did everything for me, brought me everywhere. My father still watches every training of me. I still don’t have a drivers license, so he brings and picks me up everywhere. If we have played in Kerkrade, they drive back with the 2 of them to Alkmaar and then we go with the 3 of us back home. In the car we recap what went right and what went wrong. My parents are critical and that only makes me better. When I went from SV Diemen to Zeeburgia it became all more serious. I got into a team with the son of Sigi Lens, now my agent, and he saw my potential immediately. I think it was then that my parents started to believe into a professional career as well. However there is a big gap between hearing compliments and becoming a professional player. It’s not something you achieve from one day to the other. I believed in myself, but I am raised with idea, that after hearing a compliment you don’t become full of yourself. My parents told me that I played a good game, but also that I was not there yet if I wanted to become a professional football player. “You are at base level and you still have to go up”.”

Latifa: “We always go to every game of Adam: home, away, abroad, always. I don’t think we ever missed 1 game of Adam.”

Ider: “When he went from Zeeburgia to the AZ youth, the intensive years came along. I brought him often as the bus of AZ did not travel on the good hours for Adam. From 7.30 AM to 10 AM I traveled between home, school and AZ before I could return home. I worked the night shift with TNT. That was a choice, as then I could be there for Adam at day time. However Adam was busy as well! When he was part of the AZ second team, he was also often a bench player for the AZ first team. Then he traveled in the weekends with the first team, to play on a Monday with the second team and there were times he did not have a free day between 3 matchdays.
However he never complains, that’s the way Adam is. We live for the happiness and future of Adam. We never got the feeling it was all too much or that he should quit, as we saw him grow and become stronger. My only thought was: As long as he has a nice future and stays away from trouble on the street. At the moment I don’t do night shift anymore at TNT, that is no longer necessary.”

Adam: “I have the names of my parents on my shoes. My mother left and my father on the right shoe. That’s not very common, as most footballers put the names of their children or wife on their shoes. I have also shoe’s with my own name and number on them, but I loved the idea to put my parents name on it. It is my way of expressing that I am so proud of them and that I accomplished all this thanks to them.”

Adam: “When I turned 15, Lyon, Inter, AC MIlan and Barcelona wanted me. I had a 4 country tournament with Oranje under 16 in Paris and there were a lot of international scouts.”

Latifa: “The scouts of Lyon came to us when we sat in the stadium and asked us if we were the parents of Adam Maher. My husband also speaks French so he did the talking. When we traveled back to the Netherlands, the scout already called back, to check if the number was correct. That was after midnight… ”

Ider: “Adam was not 16 years old and as a result of that, he had no contract with AZ. In other country’s players are allowed to sign a contract at a younger age. It happened to us for the first time and we had no idea what to say. We did not realize exactly what was happening. We gave our number and said we would think about it.”

Ider: “In the car we took the decision he would not go abroad as long as he was still too young. It is for young boys very hard to succeed in foreign country’s. He would have start to all over again, prove himself again, go to a new school and learn a new language and culture. We talked about it with football friends, but almost none of them thought it was a wise thing to let Adam move abroad. We wanted him first to become strong in the Netherlands.”

Adam: “Once we were in the Netherlands I heard from the interest and we have talked with multiple people, also the clubs. Of course it were magnificent clubs, but in the Netherlands I could develop myself in a better way and that was the most important thing. If you come to a new club, then people should come to you to introduce themselves, not the other way around. No foreign adventure we concluded and as a reward I could sign a contract with AZ when I turned 16.”

Ider: “Of course it was a lot of money those clubs offered, but his development was more important. If everything would go well, money and top clubs would come in time automatically. If you choose fame, you will run a bigger risk.”

Adam: “Last season I started out on the bench and after 7 games I became a starter. From that moment on, I always remained a starter, I was often a decisive factor, became talent of the year in the Netherlands and became part of the Dutch national team. At the end of the last season I have made an ambition statement towards the club. If a big Dutch club would come, I would like to make the step up. When journalists asked me about it, I have been open and answered their questions in a straight way. I am not someone who starts lying about his intentions. I still stand for the way I have dealt with the situation and I think I am ready for a next step.”

Ider: “We have always told Adam, whatever you choose, we support you. If you think you can make the next step, then we stand behind you. In the end, Adam is the one who has to do it.”

Adam: “I have experienced this year a lot. Also when I decided to choose for the Dutch National team. I have taken the decision with my parents and have followed my hart. It is really beautiful to represent Morocco, but representing the Netherlands is best for my development. With them you play beautiful tournaments. Apart from that, there is the possibility of top clubs doubting to take me as a result of the Africa Cup period. Not everybody in the Moroccan community agreed with that decision. Everybody had his own opinion, while I think that many people would have taken the same decision in my position. But because they were not, they could burn me to the ground.”

Ider: “We have discussed it of course, but he wanted to go for the most ambitious option. And if that is your aim, the Netherlands is the choice.”

Adam: “I am Moroccan, I have been born in Morocco, but I have lived my whole life in the Netherlands and I also think about my career.”

Latifa: “I think the same way. For me it is about his future. He had to take this decision himself. At first, the family did not understand it, but at a certain moment they accepted the decision.”

Ider: “If he does well in the Netherlands or where else in the world, they are proud as well. That decision was a difficult moment, but after that, it was over. Our close family understood the decision, but the outsiders did not. If I have a discussion with these people and I see them getting angry, I just walk away.”

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  1. Great article Jan, it really highlights how important and influential parents can be, Adam is very lucky in this regard. His parents obviously wanted a better life for their son and saw it in football!
    Will he make it all the way ? Only time will tell.

  2. its really sad to see A star like robben having to be so desperate and hardworkin in defense to try and catch d idiot’s eye…i mean he was literally begging for the ball before he went offside but none of the bayern players lukd interested to play him in having killed the game…miss the arrogant lazy lightning skilfulll insolent diving douchebag star we had…poor guy had to bear a legit rough tackle and still made nuthing of it (the ref still gave a yellow it was that bad)

  3. They say Robben is a selfish player but thanks to his pass to Lahm they are almost qualified.

    Robben will gain his starting spot I am not too worried.

  4. Wonderful Article Jan

    I really highlights the difficult choices that kids must make as they try to work from young talent to professional footballer.

    I will continue to follow Adam Maher with interest. Hope he gets a chance at a big Nederlands club next year and from there – the sky’s the limit.


  5. I had some help with this article guys…

    Robben is simply on the bench as the team was rockin’ when he was injured and Jupp doesn’t want to change the winning team.

    But Ribery will lose form and Schweini is suspended for the home game, so Robben will surely come back into it.

    Next year, Pep will use Robben in the Messi role. And Ribery will move on, I’m sure. To England or to Turkey.

    1. agreed. it’s not that Heynckes doesn’t like Robben, but when he was sidelined, the team were doing well. same goes with Gomez. Mandzukic were superb on first half of the season, and still being so. If Badstuber only injured for a short time (unlike the fact that is until the season ends), and he return, it would need effort to be back on starting XI, just like Robben and Gomez.

      but I’m not sure if Robben suited to play on central role.

  6. Roben is a fantastic player and a match winner,able to find goal from nothing…he is scorer of goals,he Doesnt need to play even 90 minutes for that..But over all balance of the team could get in trouble.He is not welknown for his workrate..Bayern play better as team with out Roben.they will have differnet scorers,thats is very important.Roben will have some time with bayern either as a sub or as a starter.what i have seen from Roben is he is great sub,he almost score or even score as sub.Great threat and effective sub and a headcahe for tired defense.

  7. Let me make some critical points about Maher:


    The link tells us something about Maher’s passing accuracy. His mid and long range passing is far from optimal IMO. The link shows that Adam Maher is on 67% if it comes to good passes. That is pretty low. I think his wall pass and first touch are good, but if I see games from AZ, I get pretty annoyed by the sometimes even easy through passes he is not able to pull off. He has also difficulty reading players on their way to intercept his pass and then it is already too late.

    I also find him a bit casual when the level of the opponent is low. I have not really seen this at AZ, but at the Dutch U21 team. This might not look as a big thing, but clubs become champions against the small teams. One of the main quality’s of a champ is being able to motivate yourself independent from the quality of the opposition. The main question a champ asks himself after a game is: Have I been able to reach my standards? Ideal would be: Have I been able to be the best I could be? However the reality of modern football is that players have to play over 60 games a season and in that marathon they also have to be economical with their energy. Either way, players need to carry their own set of demands going into a game and not just drop to the opponents level and think they can toy around with some misplaced arrogance. I have specifically seen this from Maher in an U21 game and it should not slip into or be in his game.

    Also, He could start scoring a bit more. He is playing attacking midfielder and those players are allowed to get double figures in Eredivisie. Even Wijnaldum from PSV is racking up goals compared to him. Van Ginkel who plays much more defensive scored more this season in all competitions. Same goes for assists. It all depends also on the team one plays in, but we saw against Italy that Maher can work on becoming more clinical.

    Big talent, but there is enough to improve.

  8. Completely agree with DRB300 and I also think that Eriksen and Fischer are the top talents in Holland at the moment. Too bad they are not Dutch obviously. With that being said I think Maher could be a top caliber player if he joins the right club. If he comes to Ajax then he will be able to develop fully and be the next Wes (totally different player I get that). So I hope that’s what he will do.
    DRB300, any feedback on the Nextgen huge disappointmnet of Ajax losing at home to lowly Aston Villa? This must seriously derail the Ajax masterplan. I was reading that Kluivert may be coming over from Twente to take over the A1. IS that true?

    1. I think Eriksen and Fischer are a bit overrated right now.Especially Fischer.
      They play one great game and then they are not good enough or pretty bad in the next few(Fischer). When looking at all games this season Maher is rated much higher than Eriksen(looking at gillette pro klassement) because he is more constant. And Vilhena,who is younger than Fischer,also gets a good rating in every game, never playing a poor game like Fischer while still having some great ones.He is also rated much higher than Fischer at Gillette.I do not want to get into discussions who is a bigger talent,I am just pointing out these facts. Rest is opinion…

      1. It’s not entirely fair to compare the statistics of players on the left side of the table to those on the right. Eriksen I’m sure has a much higher pass completion rate but also 90% of his passes are from within 2 meters of his teammate. Just because a pass is completed doesn’t mean it is functional.

        I have been waiting for Eriksen to have his breakthrough for several seasons now, and although I agree that he is very talented, he is never able to put his stamp on the team. Very phlegmatic. He’s much like a poor man’s Van der Vaart.

        I would say that Maher has a higher potential than Eriksen, but only time will tell.

        1. Agree with both.

          DBR, Maher doesn’t score too much, but he scored many important goals in the last minutes, in difficult games. And most of the time that’s beautiful goals.

          Wijnaldum starts to score every game, but he isn’t the same type than Maher, Maher plays lower in general, and Wijnaldum is the type who immediatly runs into the box when the team is attacking, AZ doesn’t need that, as Altidore can make the box work alone.

          1. @Laurent

            >DBR, Maher doesn’t score too much, but he scored many important goals in the last minutes, in difficult games. And most of the time that’s beautiful goals.

            There is a pretty good ranking list based on “win points added” per player at the following site:


            Maher is not that high up that ranking list, while it also takes assists into account. Take a look at van Ginkel coming from a deeper position, having to do all the dirty work for 2 lazy ass players like Janssen and Bony. Last game he gives his team another penalty situation (not totally simulation free to be honest).

            There are also plenty other players from smaller clubs in there. Maher is not like you say a scorer of big goals lately. He does it at times, but plenty players can rival him in this department and he does not stand out to me in this department.

            As for Wijnaldum vs Maher I agree there is a big difference, just used him as contrast material as he is labeled as a wasteful player if it comes to converting chances. Yet he scores when he wants compared to Maher. However Wijnaldum promotes mailman football and Maher promotes fast combination football. Pretty much the best player in Eredivisie in the small spaces. Very happy to have such a player for the Dutch NT.


        2. Just to be clear here, the Maher vs Fischer/Eriksen comparisment is what is added later by others. I have 3 concerns about Maher that stand on their own.

          About the Eriksen comparisment, apart from your argument that Ajax is a higher ranked team, one could add that Eriksen also plays as a half player, while Maher is a clear 10 from whom more risk taking passes might be required which might lead to a higher margin of errors. Also, Ajax players might move better to make themselves available offering Eriksen more options to pass to when being pressured. Frank de Boer is a big fan of the passing game and he invest a lot of time in getting his players to make off ball runs to become options and make them look for triangles all the time.

          That having said, AZ was last season arguably the best footballing team and also this season the football has been pretty good. It were just the goals that did not fall or the defense that let them in too easily. So had he played in a bad footballing team, I could understand his 67%, but AZ still plays pretty good football. The flip side is also true, AZ play good football thanks to Maher. That is not a contradiction. What he does accurate (the 67%) is off pretty high caliber, it’s just that I think the volume of what is inaccurate is too big. Another team that is known for their football is Heracles and the attacking midfielder there was Overtoom (who transferred to AZ this winter). He has a pass accuracy of 77%:


          This is a small club, same position player who is able to do better with quite a margin in this department. He also has made more goals and assists combined this season than Maher at that smaller club.

          The sequence in this matter is that I started to get annoyed with Maher’s sloppy passing at times (the observation from game play came first) and started wondering why nobody in the press or people on forums picked this up. So I started to check out some stats recently and saw Maher ranked at the time as the top player in Eredivisie with most wrong passes. Now it is Tadic I believe. Then I saw this percentage and it further solidified my view of the player and I thought it was interesting to bring it up. Of course if I had stats like “key pas rate” and “through ball rate” (both important creativity stats), we could see if his low pass accuracy is explained by abnormal creativity output, justifying this number. In the Italy game I saw just the same happen again and others with me. He had some hot but also cold moments where he fluffed a goal scoring opportunity or a relative easy pass.

          I really think this is a development point on his part that he needs to start addressing. I have no problem with some glory passes going wrong here and there, just with the easy fluffed passes unable to send a fellow player deep and then the press ignoring it.

          Anyway, I wanted to clear that up and there is no denying he is a big talent.

    2. @Jeff

      > DRB300, any feedback on the Nextgen huge disappointmnet of Ajax losing at home to lowly Aston Villa? This must seriously derail the Ajax masterplan. I was reading that Kluivert may be coming over from Twente to take over the A1. IS that true?

      I don’t know about the Kluivert rumor.I will get back to you when I know more about that. As for the Next Gen series, it was a bit disappointing, but I believe Aston Villa is a very respectable football institution of it comes to youth in England, though they can’t rival Ajax if it comes to names they produced.

      Villa were certainly equal to Ajax if it comes to football in the game. I have seen a summery on Ajax TV and I do have to say they played hard. Sometimes uncalled tackles from behind that were not punished with a red card. The first goal was a stupid mistake from Tete who messed up a pass and then got caught himself by the player who intercepted his pass. The second goal was just from Aston Villa cross and a sleeping moment of Ajax defense. Bad organisation. I think this Ajax team is just not that good. That is not terrible as it’s about those 2 players that can make the first team and that would be defined as success. There are some nice talents like Tete (who was unlucky with that moment), Kishna and Boccara.

      One other reason for the loss I have heard is that the coach is switching up his team all the time. That could be the result of aiming for maximum development of various players. I don’t know, just something I read that I wanted to mention.


  9. And Jeff, unless I am mistaken I think that Ajax is more interested in youth players making it into the first squad then they are with actually winning the NextGen series. Youth teams are all about individual development, which doesn’t necessarily translate into winning all the time.

  10. Dutch future is bright with Vilehna,Maher,Clasie,De vrij,Rhijn,Achabar,Ginkel than the danes.So there is no need for worry.Erikson is elder than Maher so its natural that he is ahead of maher..Fishcer is more pentrative than Vilehna but Vilehna is more useful for team balance..

  11. gotta go to a wake soon, can’t watch all the game but it’s interesting to see sneijder in that role he’s in

    —De Vrij———bmi——–
    —–Van Persie—–Huntelaar–

      1. i just put huntelaar, but like an Ruud van nistelrooy type striker who can get passes from sneijder that split open defenses, it’s not gonna happen, but it would be nice to be able to split a defense open and have a guy finish for the score

    1. Onzie..just take out WEs and hunter and perhaps williams..then replace them with Strootman,leroy and Aanholt..You will beat Germany/spain/Brazil and arjentina……..

  12. I am watching Gala vs Schalke. Sneijder was subbed out after half time. IMO, the reason is because he did not run. And Huntelaar is not better at all. He is really ineffective out of the box. moreover, Afellay is injured and not playing. It is sad to watch CL right now. Only RVP performs.

    What is wrong with our players? Over all the big clubs in Europe, I only see RVP and Robben. But Robben spends most of the time to recover from his injury.

    1. How long need people to know that Huntelaar is only dutch matieral for games against San Marino and Estonia when RVP is injured ? How many goals against “good” team Huntelaar scored in his career ? One against Inter when he was still with Ajax, one against England in a friendly game, and one against Arsenal this year with Schalke. If Arsenal can be considered as a good team…That’s all.

      There was a statistic last year, when he was doing it good with Schalke, that he scored only against opponents from the 9th to the 18th bundesliga. That says a lot.

      I’ve read here many people saying that Sneijder should stay in the selection and VDV out, I don’t agree. Let’s be honest, Sneijder also have been one of the dutch problems these last years. It’s a good player, ok, but definitely not a technical leader. Not a number ten. Poor ability to keep the ball, to skill, to protect the ball with his body, to create space, and totally unable to defend without making a foul. He used to have a good shot, but it has been quite long he doesn’t score like that. He has a good long pass, his best quality, short pass is ok, but not too good. Compare him with players like Ozil and Iniesta, and you understand why Germany and Spain are better than Netherlands. Our number ten isn’t any technical leader compared to them.

      His best things come when he plays as fake left winger, like in Euro 2008 and 2012, and give balls with his right foot, into the box. In 2010 he scored 5 goals and gave some assists, but was really far to be impressive, except two/three good deep balls like against Spain, he does nothing.

      VDV is better than him as number ten, he still has a pretty good shot (showed it against Portugal and with HSV), he runs more, fights more, give pretty good balls on free kicks, he is more a leader according to me.

      1. Very well said.i hope LVG listen to u and other blind people as well..nothing to add much..IMO Vaart is also a 40 minute material.but he is more dangerous than Wes in that 40 minutes..
        Comment about huntlaar would be a shockingly truth to blind supporters of huntlaar.Wes is also problem for balance of the team…lets us hope that LVg always selects according to merit….

      2. I agree on Huntelaar, but I think people underestimate how special Sneijder is. Once in a lifetime player. The way he can speed up the game, give special passes and be comfortable with the ball is something I will miss the second he would stop playing for the Dutch NT. Contrary to Bergkamp, Sneijder was consistent for Dutch NT and always performed to his ability. He also brought us to the WC final and won it for us if Robben had converted his man beating pass. Every time he gets a touch on the ball, he wins tenths of seconds for his team mates. I value that as almost nothing else in football and that is why Sneijder is so special for me. It also hurts me to see him subbed off after 45 minutes in CL and misused in stupid formations.

        1. Sneijder comfortable with the ball ? Maybe in his first touch, I always noticed, less he keeps it, better he uses it. He has a great vision, give very clever and beautiful passes, but he definitly isn’t comfortable with the ball.

          I think it’s one of the ones players considered as number ten, who isn’t able to dribble past somebody. There are two types according to me :
          -players like Ozil, Kaka, Iniesta, Hazard etc. who run quick fast, able to dribble, create spaces etc.
          – players like Zidane, Bergkamp, Rui Costa etc. who doesn’t accelerate, but have the ability to dribble past someone, to temporize with the ball etc.

          Eriksen and Maher are between the two I think.

          Sneijder really argues with the balls when he has to keep it, can’t protect it with his body, never use the bit of speed he has. To take the example of 2010 again, two beautiful passes against Spain, except that ? nothing. Iniesta always try to provocate our defense, was able to run 40m with the ball, always brought speed to the game, it’s a leader, Sneijder isn’t.

          And people who complained about the poor quality of playing that the team had in 2010, it’s nothing but normal. Playing with Van Bommel- De Jong to defend, quite poor in the creation, Kuyt also poor, the only way to be dangerous was Sneijder who gave long balls to Robben, like against Slovakia and Spain. Van Persie was often completly alone, and had to keep the ball waiting for Robben or Sneijder to come. We attacked with 3 players max.

          If we had a real guy able to keep the ball and win space with the ball, instead of Sneijder, we can definitly play with more possession, attack with more players etc.

          Sneijder is a very good player, but we can’t use it as number ten. Can’t use it as a controler midfielder neither, as his activity is low, unable to defend.

          1. > “Sneijder comfortable with the ball ? Maybe in his first touch, I always noticed, less he keeps it, better he uses it. He has a great vision, give very clever and beautiful passes, but he definitly isn’t comfortable with the ball.

            I think it’s one of the ones players considered as number ten, who isn’t able to dribble past somebody. There are two types according to me :
            -players like Ozil, Kaka, Iniesta, Hazard etc. who run quick fast, able to dribble, create spaces etc.
            – players like Zidane, Bergkamp, Rui Costa etc. who doesn’t accelerate, but have the ability to dribble past someone, to temporize with the ball etc.”

            = I agree with this and we used different interpretations of “comfortable with the ball”. When Sneijder gets the ball I get relaxed as he does something well with it. He is just an exceptional footballer with his first touch, creating space and time for himself and then with his passing for his team mates or give them an edge with man beating passes. Dribbling is not his thing and I have always called Sneijder a static number 10. He makes the game evolve around him. The danger of the dribbler kind is that we get mailman football. Hazard is already close to that description for me when he plays for the Belgium NT. For club he somehow does look more exciting and multi dimensional.

            > Eriksen and Maher are between the two I think.

            = Eriksen does possess a real acceleration, Maher is one level down from that. Maher is more one tempo dynamic, can nutmeg one or two people, but a real acceleration not so much. He can beat a man with a nutmeg or some trickery in the small spaces.

            > Iniesta always try to provocate our defense, was able to run 40m with the ball, always brought speed to the game, it’s a leader, Sneijder isn’t.

            = This is just a point we disagree. I think this is where you sell Sneijder short. From the moment he beat Scotland for us in a crunch game to qualify for Portugal to turning up in 2008, 2010 and 2012. In the Denmark game he came off a sub optimal season at Inter and yet makes a record amount of key passes in Euro history in a single game. That RVP fluffs his first touch and does not score does not prevent me from sticking the label leader on Sneijder. He turned up IMO and many others didn’t. If we win against Denmark, the way you play against Germany and Portugal changes. It was a key match and Sneijder was making things happen IMO.

            > If we had a real guy able to keep the ball and win space with the ball, instead of Sneijder, we can definitely play with more possession, attack with more players

            = Once the young players start having bad games for Dutch NT, the rosy tinted glasses come off. New cracks and imperfections are brought to our attention. A WC final is very special and Sneijder played an important part in that. I think a game like yesterday showed that Sneijder was the one pushing upward, chasing as one of the few ones for Gala. That is also a defensive weapon if the team as a whole does it. Tracking back is not his quality indeed, but then with Clasie and Anita kind of forward pressing, game reading DM players, short behind Sneijder, you get a very interesting configuration.

  13. Primo, you are right and you convinced me. Thanks for making this point. I was disappointed by the result but it is true that the goal is to get players into the first team.

  14. Sneijder was pretty freaking unfit and honestly very sad to see his decline…huntelaar played some nice combos but missed a sitter…bascially sneijder and huntelaar look like bench material for holland..VDV is playing much better than those 2 at the moment

  15. I didn’t watch Gala’s game but from what I read Sneijder didn’t do too well that’s bad news although he has plenty of time to recover his form.

    Nice to see Barca lose 😛

  16. I watched a bit of the Galatasaray game and my god, are they ever bad. Every time they lose the ball, the midfielders turn tail and run back towards their own half in a straight line. Even VVV or PEC Zwolle would play with more balls. Its nice for the neutral spectator because it makes for good end to end stuff, but the midfielders are done at half time and you can’t establish any sort of dominance. You see the same with the Turkish national team.

  17. That Gala is a counter club would not have to be a bad thing for Sneijder. Sneijder is still the best counter 10 in the world with some speed in front of him. Give him the ball after a turnover and he will send every mediocre pacey player away in a perfect path towards the goal. Point is that this Gala coach is clueless how to make most of Sneijder’s quality’s and plays him in 4-4-2 where he has to track back all the time. Sneijder needs to be on ball all the time as he is the best footballer. So he needs to play in center on top of a diamond if Drogba and Yilmaz have to play both and that seems to be the case. Those two above Sneijder, Melo in front of defense and two workers to the side.

    There are 3 weeks I believe between this CL game of Gala and the next, so there should be some time for Sneijder to make his point in the league matches.

  18. I skipped Barca to watch Wes and Klaas Jan. To me, Sneijder is not used properly. He is clearly not 100% match fit and to use him on the left flank is silly. Even when top fit he doesn’t have the legs to go from box to box and track back.

    The coach should use Drogba and the other dude up front, with Wes in the hole behind them. And use workers for the rest of the team, like Mourinho did at Inter.

    The playing style of Gala at this point doesnt suit Wes either. He was regularly bypassed. But I’m sure he will come back.

    A player with his vision and passing will be top even at 35, like Pirlo.

    Huntelaar however was atrocious. Missing a sitter, trying a double scissor with two players before the goal. He was horribly out of form.

    1. “””Even when top fit he doesn’t have the legs to go from box to box and track back.””””
      This is where the problem is hidden..LVG must understand that…

  19. I was happy to see young and energetic skilled players of AC milan beat barca…This is the quality of strentgh,willpower,and youthfulness….Orange can do that to spain,portugal,arjetina,itay and germany,brazil ….

  20. DRB300 thanks for your great analysis (as always) of the Ajax A1. I saw the highlights as well and agree that the goals conceded were mistakes and that Aston Villa was extremely physical with a very lenient referee.

  21. Re: Sneijder. Its pretty apparent he is not yet match fit—and he may not be truly in top form until next season, so I think he needs to be given the benefit of the doubt. That said, I wonder if he will ever get back t his WC 2010 form. I watched the Brazil match again. He had, as Shakespeare wrote, “that lean and hungry look.” He was energetic and everywhere, and right now he seems a long way away from that.

    Btw: re-watching the Brazil match is interesting with regard to other players as well. These days, MVB and NDJ are statutes compared to the ground they covered in that match, and Kuyt’s industry (despite his playing on the left) made was a wonder…age and the sheer volumes of games takes its toll. Finally, we talk about who is going to be the rb, but watch VDW in the second half; better than Van Rhijn and/or Janm. presently. You hope that someone can get through to him and he can return to that level.

    1. @Andrew..what u said was right,it is past now..Vanderweil was so solid and played great 7 games.Bommel and Dejong were brilliant and they closed the gaps.but there football was little.In world dutch earned a new name thugs.but we had a water packed defence of 7 members.i include kuyt as defender there.if it was not ooiger against brazil we would nt have conceded against brazil..We were staic but it was hard to score against us.if we had some creaivity up front we would have beaten spain before 90 minutes..

  22. Sneijder is great with the ball in midfield, but he’s not been fit for a long time, seems lazy. His work rate is low, no? I’d rather LVG played someone younger who’s willing to work AND can make the nice pass.

  23. @Tiju,

    My friend, I think you are overstating it a little bit. Most of the teams Oranje played early in SA packed their defenses in and looked for a counter. Oranje had the ball the majority of the time in the Denmark, Japan, Cameroon, Slovakia matches, but they were conservative in that Van Mar. was determined that they wouldn’t be caught on the counter…No team in South Africa played the beautiful, free flowing football that we look on fondly with ever deepening nostalgia. Spain? For all their skills, they didn’t score many goals. Germany? They were a counter-attacking team (more efficient than most)from the get go. The Brazil game is fascinating because both teams came out to play, neither team bunkered in front of the goal. Result: excellent game.

  24. all times new york -5.00 gmt eastern united states standard time

    february 21st thursday
    3:05 or 15;05

    benfica vs bayer leverkusen (ola john)
    ajax vs steau beuchacrst

    feb 22nd friday

    15:00 or 3:00pm

    Estoril vs Sporting lisbon (boulahrouz, van wolfswinkel)

    feb 23rd

    7:45 am
    Fulham vs Stoke city (emanuelson)
    Arsenal vs Aston villa(vlaar)
    norwich city vs everton (heitinga)
    queens park rangers vs man utd (van Persie)

    Bayern Munich vs Werder Bremen (elia, robben)
    hannover 96 vs hamburg sv (van der vaart, bruma)
    mainz vs wolfsburg (bas dost)
    schalke 04 vs fortuna dusseldorf (huntelaar)

    hercules almelo v vitesse arnhem (van ginkel, van aanholt)
    2:45pm or 14:45
    heerenveen vs twente

    sunday feb 24
    11 am capitol one cup
    bratford city vs swansea city (vorm, de guzman)

    8:30 am
    newcastle united vs southampton (krul, anita)

    atlanta vs as roma (stekelenburg)

    borussia monchengladbach vsborussia dortmund (luuk de jong, brouwers)

    feyenoord vs psv
    ajax vs ado

    14:15 or 2:15pm
    benfica vs pacos de ferreira (ola john)

    15:00 or 3pm
    psg vs marseille (van der wiel)

    Monday february 25th
    13:00 or 1:00pm
    galatasaray vs orduspor (sneijder)

    tuesday feb 26th

    2:30 or 14:30
    kicksers vs wolfsburg

    wednesday feb 27th

    2:30 or 14:30
    bayern munich vs borussia dortmund (robben)

    1. When there’ll be better players, I don’t think Ajax is so much better than Steua on the paper, they have good players, whoa aren’t less good than Schone, Boerrigter, Moisander etc.

      Could be different with Sigthorsson and Babel, but not a surprise for me, I’m not sure Steua would lose every year 4-0-4-0 against Real, especially not home. Ajax is weak.

      1. They are not strong but if they were able to beat City then they should have been able to beat Steaua easily.
        Maybe bad day,maybe motivational problems,it can happen,but regardless the Dutch clubs keep loosing against weaker teams from smaller leagues,its frustrating!

  25. And Ajax is out? wow horrible news. We all think we have great Dutch talents in the Eredivisie but these kind of news make me wonder if they are really that great! PSV didn’t even make it to the knock out stage, Ajax sent off by Bucarest!!!.

  26. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_coefficient

    Sort out for 2012/2013. Ugly picture sinks in when you have trouble ending higher in a ranking than Cyprus.

    Must be up there with the worst European years for Dutch club football. We improved point wise year after year and now we have taken a deep dive. Ajax with winning from City at least gives some prestige, but other than that clubs need to be alarmed for next season to do their best.

  27. When I saw Ajax went 1-0 down I had a feeling this would be the result was going to right it on here and when I go back to check I was right. What a crock of shit… Very disappointing!!

  28. As a huge Ajax fan, I am extremely disappointed to say the least. I blame Frank for that. I saw the players relax and joke in Bucarest. No way to prepare a match like that. There is no excuse. Van der Sar was there with the team, De Boer is the coach, Overmars the GM; I mean can we get more experience than those guys in Holland? Yet they failed. I agree with the posts above. Bad for Holland, Bad for Ajax and I am afraid to say it but no hope in sight. The good Feyenoord players will be bought, Lens and Strootman will also go and the only team left will be Vitesse which of course will win the league!!


    1. You’re not an English speaker, so I’ll give you a tip that will make what you write a lot easier to read: Don’t use caps lock.
      I understand what you are saying, and I think that almost everyone wishes that Dutch players would stay in Holland. But unfortunately players are free to play anywhere they want, and other leagues can offer them much higher salaries than the Dutch league teams can.

      And unfortunately it’s not just the star players that leave, but now also the mediocre players go to Eastern Europe. Now instead of the top players moving abroad to play for the biggest teams in the world, we have players moving abroad because they think that moving to any foreign team is a step forward in their career (see Anita leaving Ajax for Fucking Newcastle). We also see the likes of Bakkal going to Russia for more money despite not even being top players in the Eredivisie.

      It’s a big problem IMO (for the clubs), and one that I think can only really be solved if the Eredivisie gets a big money TV deal.

  30. very disappointed,
    danish are overrated, cash out the danish, and use the money to develop the dutch youngsters.
    and forget about vermeer for NT, he is average compared to krul.

  31. most important matches now for holland will be holland-estonia 22.03.2013. and holland-romania 26.03.2013.(full moon…I m afraid) and the match u21 in israel: holland -spain.the battle for freedom for holland ,again. I was born 8.08.1964. and johaN crujff was my idol in total football era 1970s. I had his pictures on my wall.Ajax and Holland were my heroes too, like heroes in the books. I listened sweden pop band ABBA and even today when holland plays super I hear ABBA IN MY HEAD…) SMALL FOOTBALL COUNTRY BEAT GIANTS : BRASIL, ARGENTINA,iTALY,ENGLAND ,BAYERN ……ETC,ETC. I WAS VERY SAD 1974 FINAL(THE ROOTS FOR:GAME IS NO OVER IN FUTURE).AFTER BRASIL(2:0)HOLLAND FELT LIKE (EMPTY) WINNERS. 1978 I M CRYING .RENSENBRINK 90 MINUTE. AND 2010 FINAL.I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED.WITH CRUJFF TOO.THEN SHINE LIGHT IN MY HEAD .I DIDN,T BELIEVE WHAT HE HAS DONE(15-20 YEARS ALL THE BEST IN HOLLAND HE GAVE SPAIN.AND THEN SUPPORT SPAIN.UNBELIEVABLE.SORRY CRUJFF THESE IS ONLY WORDS(MAYBE I M WRONG),NOTHING MORE. LET,S SEE IN THE FUTURE.

  32. It was not showed (or perhaps he has not regained the form) but Sneijder also has free kick and long distance shot in addition to his other skills (passing, vision…) and don’t forget that header against Brazil.

  33. I think there is no point about speaking about wesly.He was a great player..But now he is slow and showing his age and team balance would get hampered if he plays.thats should be avoided at any cost.
    We have some young energetic talents for Wesly and vaart those are Maher/clasie and Ginkel..let us start and proceed with younger ones..
    Laudrup is heading to Madrid this is a bad news for De guzman,,

    1. ‘I think there is no point about speaking about wesly.He was a great player..But now he is slow and showing his age and team balance would get hampered if he plays.thats should be avoided at any cost.’

      Do you actually realise that your first sentence COMPLETELY UNDERMINES the following ones?

      Please think before you type. Just trying to be helpful.

  34. I don’t believe he is showing his age! he’s only 29 or 30 years old!!!.

    Guys don’t forget Wesley didn’t play at all for Inter for a long period of time and don’t forget he’s playing in a different league where he still has to adapt and in top of that if his coach plays him in a position where he can’t take advantage of Wesley’s skills well I guess it’s normal that he is not doing so well. Although if in 2 months from now he is in the same situation I will start getting worried.

  35. As Miguel points out above, Sneijder has been out for a long time. I don’t think anyone is going to know about what level he can reach until about halfway through next season. He is too big a talent to summarily write off after less than a month of his return.

  36. the strongest weapon in holland teams and NT is geometry in their game.others teams need it and buying holland players.others teams and nations are afraid by holland geometry. They try to destroy it and then holland teams in big problems.portugal do it very successful.and then holland defenders are always in big problems.euro 2012. poland and ukraine.holland must learn to hide own tactic.but today it is impossible.others teams have killer instinct better ,much better then holland. it is problem for holland. johan crujff saw it in old times but his solution is to go in spain .haha.some words about johan crujff. he is genius in the football game. maybe pele better player then crujff, maybe maradona better play then crujff,maybe messi better player then crujff but pele is not genius,maradona is not genius, messi is not genius .crujff is genius.but genius maybe plays fool sometimes.maybe he thought that holland never will win in the world cup and because the best in holland he gave the spain .he thought that would holland football through spain win in the world cup. genius is always a strange man. can you imagine that maradona support italy against argentina in final world cup. I can not. I was only disappointed and because I was angry on crujff.nothing more…because holland always must be careful.always.and against estonia and special against romania.holland because had problem even against andorra.it is holland destiny..frodo.I learn english on your blog jan. all words four hours. I m tired.a few beers and cd from ABBA for rest. I hope young oranje be better and better.

    1. Since Cruyff played the game, we have always had a world beater.
      Some examples spring instantly to mind:
      Cruyff, Van Basten, Bergkamp, Van Persie… These are players whose talents would grace any team of any era. They are marque players. They are admired, feared and revered across the planet.
      Their careers overlap in a long line of of success and succession.
      What I don’t see now, for the first time in 40 years, is a new world beater stepping up to the mark.
      When Van Persie retires in a few years, who is our next world beater?? I see good players. I do not see any great ones.
      This is what worries me the most.

  37. yes it is problem. big teams in europe used holland players for them.today holland players needn,t them.it is …( I don,t know ugly words on english).holland players today play in smaller and smaller teams in europe.except RvP ,Ola John ,robben (but no in A team too much) Sneijder(hm).barca and real(M) haven,t holland players more.Because ,I hate what johan crujff did.He gave (indirectly) spain number 1 on the world. But I don,t hate johan crujff.he is genius and he must something to work.but I want that holland be number 1. no spain. I support van gaal because he has geometry. it is very important.geometry against killer instict.players in brasil ,argentina,all south america , russia,balkan etc have killer instict.they live poor and fighting until death on the usual street football match.they have something like hate and it is good thing for them when grow up.And I grow up on that way.Maybe it is sick maybe is it passion.I dont know.Holland play on the brain(mind). because holland must be careful on the full moon.ha-ha.full moon is good for sex not for mind…

    1. and got mad when he got subbed. sure he is. who wouldn’t be mad if he:
      1) the best player of his team on the pitch, scored a goal
      2) his team trailing behind with 4-1 scoreline
      3) his coach subbed him (a double subs apparently), WITH DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDERS…

      and yet Hamburg conceded 1 more goal. final scoreline: 5-1. shame on you, Thorsten Fink.

  38. if you want to see what is really killer instinct click on google youtube: ,miloš šestić youtube, and enjoy. He played 1970s and 1980s.in sfr jugoslavia. he was born 8.o8. like van gaal and me. look at what he does .ha-ha.the coaches thought that he was little crazy.he had a stronger killer instinct then lionel messi.(on this youtube you can see the pieces of that)

  39. I would like bayern win in champions league or Manchester this year.No Barca,no Real.It will be better for football game.van Gaal started up deutche football ( manchester-bayern 3:2 .2010)and then (2011) they (in bayern),shooted, in his.I want ajax beat barca,real(M),manchester, bayern,juventus,milan chelsea, benfica, porto …etc some day.

  40. I hope it’s not serious because I want him to kick Real’s ass!.

    Robben is the best player of Bayern Munich and they all know it. As I said before I’ve no worries about him because I know he’ll get his starting spot back.

  41. its not serious, he played on for 20 min after he fell, just being smart.

    Sounds like robben was on fire, a goal and 2 assists, with alot of chances and good passes.

  42. RVP is in a goal scoring drought. I can’t remember last game he scored. He would have a slump at some point but this is lasting longer than I thought. And it is not the best moment as they face Real for UCL.
    Huntelaar is in an even worse slump. He rarely scores for Schalke now.

    1. Huntelaar I agree and is IMO in danger of being dropped for the Dutch NT. RVP scored in the previous EPL game.

      Huntelaar needs to score to be relevant, RVP does not IMO. Without him scoring in the last cup game something happened when he came on the field. I have seen a stat (not sure if serious)that United ball possession between RVP coming on the field and them scoring their first goal had jumped to 85%. That is as big of an indirect energy and quality indicator as you can get.His presence evoked energy with his fellow players and fear with the opponent drawing their attention and that results in more space and opportunity for his fellow attackers.

      Today he played a marginal role, but his run kept 2 players occupied, then took a shot on goal and from that rebound situation Rafael could score. People don’t see it, but he messed up their organisation for a free shot and goal. After that, he was injured.

      Also if Welbeck could finish, he would have had countless assists during the year and 1 or 2 in the last cup game.


      1. Sorry, yes he did but the way he did it made me forget it. If Heitinga didn’t slip then…..
        Real game will be critical for him for this season especially if Man U gets eliminated and RVP is listless.

  43. van la parra is legit…great acceleration and pace and finishing to capitalize on shitty leroy fer’s mistake..yes in my eyes leroy fer will always be elimintated..he also has a fishy background

  44. Robben was good and probably MOTM against Bremen today. His throw ins are the most underrated weapon in world football. Every time he is causing havoc with those.

    Van Ginkel was very good as well for 75 minutes today. The last 15 he checked out IMO and even got nutmegged close to the line allowing a dangerous situation to happen. With the first goal he created the turnover with a sharp intervention. Second goal he made himself with one of his famous rushes. Made the important third goal himself as well. Defended well, good distribution, dangerous runs, and goals. Van Ginkel is back hopefully.

    1. I’ll be looking at the Dutch NT prospects, not taking sides.

      * Looking for Willems surges on the wing and his defensive solidity.

      * Looking for Vilhena’s weighted passes to connect and his ability to reach the box from midfield, maybe even scoring a goal.

      * Looking for Boëtius’s crosses and shots on goal accuracy, plus his ability to get past Zanka. I hope he does not try to smear him with 2 yellow cards as that I find a bad taste intentions from JPB. I also double check his workrate concerning tracking back. I think it is much better than Ola John so far …..

      * Looking for some minutes for Depay and Locadia from conservative Dick.

      * Looking if Clasie has developed in facing a dynamic 10 in case he has to face Wijnaldum, but I think PSV play 4-3-3 now with the new Swedish midfielder, so that is disappointing. Wijnaldum kind of 10’s are a bit of kryptonite for Clasie. Nevertheless I look at Clasie’s ability to stand up against a physical strong midfield.

      * Looking at BMI and de Vrij for an error free game from them and improvement in dead ball situations. Feyenoord concedes a load of goals that way and it has to get out of their game.

      * Last but not least Strootman’s ability to be a commander.

      So much talent on the field to look out for that it’s hard not to be a bit excited.


  45. Guys I was reading about the Dutch talents all over Europe and came across Nathan ake, does anyone know about this guy ? What I saw online says he will have a bright future, he plays for Chelsea, any news??

    1. Nathan Ake is a real deal as a defnder and a holdmid,Strong,skillfull with some vision,A guilt typo…
      I just wish Bruma,Reikik,Nathan ake stayed with Feynoord.i think they all must learn from Patrick van annholt incident…

  46. liverpool and spurs are behind BMI and De Vrij…Liverpool is a worst club for 21 year old defnder.i hope they dont go there.theay shoudl stay with feynoord for another 2 years and establish them well.

    1. ‘Liverpool is a worst club for 21 year old defnder’

      I find this sort of empty comment ridiculous.
      May I ask, do you actually watch any football games?

  47. What a ridiculous coaching from Advocaat. Matavz wasn’t doing bad the first half, why to subtitute him for Engelaar in order to put Hijlemark as forward…It was supposed to be a defensive choice to keep the advantage, what’s the result ? Hijlemark can’t protect the ball with his back, Clasie takes it, pass to Schaken, 1-1. + I really don’t understand why to bring Engelaar, Clasie Vilhena and Immers are very agressive players with a lot of activity,rythm what was the goal with bringing the sleepy Engelaar.

    I really liked Janmaat, MOTM for me, did almost everything good. Mathijsen and De Vrij also had a good game though they didn’t really have a difficult work.

    My notes :

    Waterman 5,5
    Zanka 4
    Derijck 4
    Marcelo 4
    Willems 5
    Strootman 5
    Hijlemark 4
    Wijnaldum 4,5
    Mertens 5
    Lens 4,5
    Engelaar 4
    Matavz 5

    Mulder 5
    Janmaat 7
    De Vrij 6
    Mathijsen 6
    Nelom 4,5
    Clasie 5
    Vilhena 5
    Immers 4,5
    Boetius 6
    Pelle 6
    Schaken 4,5

      1. Yes, I really liked him, but I can’t give a 7 to a player who is guilty of one goal, and who repeated his mistake after. And I still wait more from him, he has a very good volume, activity, good pass accuracy, but I wait for him to shot more, to try more to past someone etc. his defensive work is good, but he can do better in way to play forward.

    1. PSV were the better side in the first half and had complete control after the 0-1. Then Advocaat completely throws everything off balance by removing the target man up front and putting in a guy who has not even played a total of 45 minutes all season.

      All control was gone and then of course the defenders slip back into their old ways. Good luck trying to undo a 2-1 deficit with Engelaar ‘controlling’ the midfield.

      Individual mistakes played a large part (for both sides) but that substitution was mind-boggling- not unlike The Substitution of 2004 (Advocaat also).

      Good coach, horrible mistake.

  48. What I love about feyenoord is that u look at their line up and u see a real Dutch team with 10 players out of 11 are Dutch, all very young they give u hope, u look at Ajax and u think at one moment that it is a scandavian team with all the Danish and Swedish players they have!!

  49. yes .it,s very nice to see 10 dutch players in feyenoord ,and very important.because strangers comming in holland usual for money and that better sold self in italy,england,spain…danish players in Ajax more think about England then about Steaua..


  51. Concerning the Feyenoord – PSV match:

    What bothers me from a Dutch NT perspective is the absolute mediocrity of Boëtius final pass after a full sprint. The kid has pace, vision, a first touch, distribution and I even like his post match interviews (Is he even better than van Bommel in front of the camera?), but the final ball is to a certain extend everything after such runs. I keep wondering if this will improve once he is put on the right side as he is right footed. I also wonder if this improves in case he stays playing from the left. People always say he is still young and learning, but actual substantial improvement in crossing is something I rarely have seen. Elia is an example maybe of somebody having made serious steps in that department, but at Twente they really have trained on that with him. It is no coïncidence maybe that one of the worlds best crossers in the world (Ola John) is one of their youth products. At Ajax I never see a winger improve in this department. Boerrigter was good at it, but maybe even regressed rather than improved, though that also has to do with his injury history maybe. I remain skeptical Boëtius will ever impress with his final ball from the back line. He also skies the ball from an outside the box shot, rather then getting it on target. Despite scoring a beauty that way recently, there is a certain lack of control with his distance shots until now. I think he should focus on curlers, rather than hard laser shots. He fluffs the last kind all the time.

    Apart from those points, he shows a bit of a cynical side during games, tripping and falling to get his opponent booked or even go for the penalty call. I know from experience that will get an irritation among general population once he becomes more established. I think as soon as next season it will become a talking point in pundit shows and he will really start to be called out for it. I personally hate the Ashley Youngs of this world.

    Having said all this about the player, I think he is NT material very soon. The big difference between Boëtius and Ola John is that the first one tracks back and presses with aggression. I even remember at the end of the game a moment where JPB came over from the other side of the field to press a PSV player. Was great to see. This is not in the game of OJ. OJ has an ingrained lack of aggression and I believe I once read that temperament is a pretty fixed trait. It does not change much during a persons life and I am afraid OJ will become the ultimate frustration for fans and coaches. One of the best crossers in the world, but a defensive liability. This is an important point what separates him from JPB as far as I can see now. Coaches love attackers carrying out their defensive duties and that is one quality JPB has over Ola John IMO.

    Some closing thoughts:

    * Biggest loser of the game was Advocaat with a substitute giving me Euro 2004 flashbacks. Loved the fact he was punished for the coward move today.

    * I want to give props to Mathijsen. He is showing still having the fire in him and did well.

    * Good match intensity, good public in the stance, good fight. Most entertaining match of the day by a country mile for me, without being of very high football quality (too many mistakes).


    1. Boetius has a lacking cross after a sprint,that may be…
      But he does have a great vision(Ola John quality) and his long pass accuracy is also pretty good when he is standing still,not sprinting.
      That gives me hope that he can improve his final cross after a dribble/sprint.

      1. I agree Petrovic, his distribution is good, but he does that with his right foot:


        Please watch this short video one more time and notice that all his high quality distribution is the result of right foot kicks. That is the reason I keep on banging with asking about the reason why he is not put on the left side.

        It gives me the same hope as you have that it can come good, but we still have to establish he can do proper crossing after a full sprint from the back line with his right foot. It remains an art form to keep overview while in full sprint and cross the ball with a good thought behind it, rather than “kicking it somewhere in the box and say a prayer”. Van Rhijn today also had some good crosses for Ajax, but with some he also had quite some time when kicking them and that remains different. I am especially interested in JPB’s ability to do this in full sprint as that is a real winger weapon to have in your team.

        Van Gaal is by the way a coach that likes to put players with a right leg on the right side and vice verca. He does not really use inverted wingers like van Marwijk or in this case Koeman, while Boëtius does keep on trying to go outside and cross with his left.

        So maybe the first time we really find this out is when JPB is selected for the Dutch NT ….

        (just like van Gaal finally putting BMI and de Vrij together in center for Dutch NT, contrary to their club configuration with de Vrij playing center and BMI left back)


  52. And how was BMI? Is his injury a bad one?. Yes I like the fact that Feyenord is playing mostly Dutch players not like Ajax who is tryinh to play Dutch football with foreign players a complete shame.

    1. I’m not a specialist of dutch formation, but what I notice is that Ajax tried to create good dutch players, but what was the result these last years ? Castillon, R.Sneijder, Bonevacia…Players of RKC and NAC level. In the same time, Feyenoord had Wijnaldum, Fer, De Vrij, BMI, Clasie…It’s crazy to know that De Vrij, who is born in 1992, played 92 eredivisie games (and was injured some time last years), while Van Rhijn who is born in 1991, only played 36…

      Except him, Ajax simply doesn’t have a good dutch player born after 1990, you have Anita in 1989, Van der Wiel in 1988, that’s the two last dutch “material” of Ajax formation. But it’s not better in PSV, Willems and Strootman are formed in Sparta, there are no PSV young players formed in the club who can be considered as dutch material.

  53. It would be nice if feyenoord won the title and participated in champions league next year instead of useless Ajax who is full of non Dutch players, a champions league experience for all those young Dutch talents would be nice, and to be honest it got boring to see psv and Ajax win almost always and then go lose in champions league, would be nice to see feyenoord back in action in champions league after so long, I wonder if they can pull few good results in champions league!!

  54. To be realist, Feyenoord doesn’t have the potential to be considered as a good european team, but I also wish they go to to champion’s league insteade of Ajax, PSV or Twente.

    The reason is that they will normally keep their players, Ajax will lose Eriksen, Alderweireld, maybe Blind and De Jong this summer, PSV Lens, Toivonen, Hutchinson and maybe more (Strootman ?), Twente will lose Douglas, probably Fer, Chadli, Rosales and maybe Tadic…

    Feyenoord won’t lose any player I think. The only one I can doubt is BMI, as they will maybe prefer to buy a “real” left back, and to earn some money with him. But for that, it should be a really good offer, <10mo, and I'm not sure a club would do it. And if they qualify, Martins Indi would probably also wish to stay, especially with the world cup coming, so we can consider that if they win, no one would leave.

    Plus, Feyenoord is a really motivated team with a fantastic ambiance in De Kuip, would be crazy for champion's league, nothing to compare with Ajax or PSV.

    So yes, even if we can't expect too much from them, they can be interesting with the young players, the atmosphere etc. can qualify at least if the groupe stage isn't too complicated.

  55. Laurent with all due respect, have you ever been in Amsterdam for a champions league match?
    De Vrij will be gone. Mark my words if Feyenoord wins the title which they might well do, the team will be decimated.

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