I said it before, for me the competitions haven’t really started when everyone is still trying to sign or sell players… It’s so weird… You can’t expect players to commit fully when they know their clubs want to offload them or when you know you might be packing your bags for another country…
It definitely ruins my football pleasure. And in the meantime, some of the biggest games of the season are being played. Before September started, Feyenoord was already kicked out of the CL qualifications AND the Europa League. Theoretically, they could have signed Messi, Rooney, Van Persie and Pirlo on the last day of the transfer window but that wouldn’t have helped them in Europe… Weird.
I repeat (ad nauseum, I know and I apologise 🙂 ) please, either shorten the transfer window (less time to play games) or start the competitions at Sept 1.
So, to give you a brief overview of all relevant (as far as I’m concerned) transfers of this last transfer period.
Raf van der Vaart returns to HSV. The playmaker cost Spurs 3 Mio Euros if I’m not mistaken (or 5?) and is sold now for 12M. Dembele and Sigurdsson will compete for his spot.
Nigel de Jong is off to join AC Milan, like many Dutchies before him. The Man City destroyer looks happy when he visits the fashion capital of Italy.
Ibi Afellay joins Schalke 04 on loan, and is reunited with former PSV chief Huub Stevens.
Greg van der Wiel is off to Paris. Wealthy PSG will pay a healthy 6 Mio euros for the player who would have walked out of the Arena for free in a year’s time. Well done Ajax. Ajax makes more money this period, as they can claim 700k for Nigel de Jong’s and Raf van der Vaart’s moves.
Funnily enough, Feyenoord will not get any euro from Van Persie’s move from the Gunners to Man United. Only international moves count, which obviously is stupid. The multi million deal for Van Persie would have netted Feyenoord a cool million euros, which they would have gotten if Robin would have gone to Juventus, for instance.
Ajax has done very good business, as they will sign the transfer free Ryan Babel for one year, allowing him a opportunity to shine and make himself attractive again. Frank de Boer already lamented the physical frailty of Boerrigter and Sighthursson and with Babel has a powerhouse upfront. Ajax also signed a number of high potential talents from Denmark and Eastern Europe.
Feyenoord did a deal with FC Twente. Jerson Cabral was on his way to Swansea but decided against the EPL and goes to Twente instead. His mate Leroy Fer interfered. Twente has offered winger Wesley Verhoek to Feyenoord. The stockey ex ADO player could well become a cult hero in De Kuip. Former AZ striker Pelle will also join Feyenoord on a one year loan from Parma. The Italian striker could never impress at AZ but does have good memories of working with Ronald Koeman.
All this came too late for Feyenoord’s European return. No CL and no EL groups stage football for the former Giants. Despite a courageous game in Prague, Spartak simply was too strong and a cheap penalty signed Feyenoord’s fate. AZ was simply taken to the cleaners by Hiddink’ Anzhi in an open game in Alkmaar: 0-5.
Ronald Koeman: “We are simply not good enough. We play along nicely at this level and we do create opportunities but we lack quality and experience to kill off games like this. It is how it is. Small steps forward.”
Gertjan Verbeek: “Last week they gave us the impression we could maybe get something against them… But tonight they showed their real class. They are 3 levels better than us at any aspect of the game. Every opportunity is a goal with them, today. As opposed to us. We have nothing to expect against an opponent like them.”
Heerenveen was totally toothless at home against Molde. Not really highflyers, but Marco van Basten’s side could have used San Marco as a striker instead of a coach. And without the hosts scoring, the visitors decided to take the initiative and executed the Friese pride. Marco van Basten was livid. But not towards his players. Towards the club management. “I feel let down and screwed over. We sold our top forwards for quite some good fees and I was promised half of that money to invest. Instead I only got players on loan deals and free transfers. You can’t expect to maintain a sub top spot like this. I feel let down. I don’t blame the players. They did what they could. But I won’t throw the towel. We’ll simply do what we can, but a subtop spot in the Eredivisie is too much to ask for this season.”
PSV had no problem whatsoever. The second tier team (Engelaar, Manolev and youngster Depay, Wijnaldum and prospects Van Ooijen (scoring two) and Zanka) won 9-0 against Zeta, making it 14-0 on aggregate.
FC Twente had to dig really deep to get through, after losing 3-1 in Turkey. In the “Hell of Enschede” the game went into extra time and a very late goal by Leroy Fer, always important in big games scoring big goals, Twente was able to progress.
Oranje coach Louis van Gaal must have liked Fer’s development over the last weeks, as the Twente midfielder is in the Oranje squad for the Turkey game, along with Feyenoord debutants Clasie and right back Darryl Janmaat. Twente defender Douglas has been left out of the squad (although he was on the prelim list)… Van der Vaart, De Jong, Afellay and Gregory van der Wiel (all focused on getting to a new club) are off the definite list. Vurnon Anita, Khalid Boulahrouz, Ola John, Luuk de Jong, Siem de Jong, Adam Maher, Stijn Schaars and Ruben Schaken are also dropped.
This is Van Gaal’s elite:
Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Bas Dost (VfL Wolfsburg), Urby Emanuelson (AC Milan), Leroy Fer (FC Twente), John Heitinga (Everton), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Tim Krul (Newcastle United), Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahçe), Jeremain Lens (PSV), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Joris Mathijsen (Feyenoord), Luciano Narsingh (PSV), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax), Arjen Robben (Bayern München), Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale), Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma), Kevin Strootman (PSV), Nick Viergever (AZ), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Michel Vorm (Swansea City), Jetro Willems (PSV).
And lastly, some more positive news (….wink wink…). The CL draw.
Ajax is in the group of Death. Why not? After all the drama this summer at the Euros and the demise of AZ, Heerenveen and Feyenoord, why give Ajax a break, right?
Real Madrid, Man City and Borussia Dortmund. Three champions. Spain, England and Germany. And Holland of course. Can this draw get any tougher? Why didn’t they add Juventus too?
Poor Frank de Boer. Poor Ajax. Another anonymous season in Europe…