Dutch company goes all Moneyball on Football!

Most of us will have seen the movie Moneyball, with Brad Pitt? Based on a true story, a baseball team in the US picking and signing players purely based on specific qualities, which together would form a winning team. The club would sign a miss match of cheap or even unknown players, causing frowns in foreheads of other managers, thinking: what are they smoking? But it worked. For a spell. We do need to add that the club actually never won the World Series, so it’s not like it’s a guaranteed recipe for success, but they did get attention.

A Dutch company seems to step into the shoes of Messrs Pitt and co. to revolutionise the way we look at new players and valuable players. In these past week, clubs, managers, scouts, players were busy trying to sort deals in the winter transfer window. Busy times for Giels Brouwer as well. Who? Giels Brouwer: the founder of SciSports, a Dutch company keen to make the difference: “I believe it with all my heart: math will be the foundation of football!”.


So what do they do?

SciSports uses date to generate new insights into football. They have developed three products:

1. BallJames; allowing them to use real-time images into 3D data
2. SciSports Intelligence; develops algorythms to make this data visual
3. DataScouting is a virtual football consultant and talent scout

SciSports is located in Enschede (East of The Netherlands, where FC Twente is) and employs 45 people. Their database has stats of 300,000 players, up to the 2nd division.

He himself runs on Saturday afternoons along the sideline as left winger of Terschuurse Boys 4. “I can’t play, really”, the 27 year old says, when he joins Marcel Brands of PSV, or the Arsenal management or the technical committee of the Belgium football federation.  Or when he travels to Silicon Valley on the invite of the European Union.

His company SciSports is seen as a potential unicorn. A company potentially worth billions in the future. “It’s so surreal. On Saturday arvo, my coach benches me because I’m not good enough, the next day I’m in San Francisco with a self driving car next to me at the traffic lights, or I’m presenting my products before the board of Man United.

giel brouwer

Brouwer (left) with co-founder Babic

So please explain: Justin Kluivert is hot now. What do you know about him that I don’t?

“That’s too hard. He hasn’t played a handful of starting games. We need 15 to 20 games to make a good indication of a players’ potential. We don’t have a partnership with Ajax, so we don’t have his data from the youth academy. With PSV, we are at that point. Based on the youth data of PSV, I can tell you here and now that Kenneth Paal will be a top player for us.”


,,Haha. In our reporting, it appears that teams play better and get better results with him. He’s in our National Team of the Future. We help clubs identify players. A club can ask us: “We want a type of player like Memphis!”. Then we try to find players like Depay who are affordable. We have a database of 300,000 players and we can determine the impact of a player on a team. Not unlike Moneyball. Trying to find the new Kante or Vardy.”


SciSports offer more than data. “Clubs can also ask about negative aspects of a player. Was he drinking and driving? Has ie been suspended by his club? Did he injure a team mate. We have all these data. But it’s only a part of our service. Our core focus is the performance and statistics.”

In 2007, Brouwer commenced his studies at the Technical University in Enschede. Joop Munsterman, CEO of FC Twente opened his eyes during a guest lecture. “He told us about Twente’s technical management and how they did their transfer decision making. I was flabberhasted! I was a big player of Football Manager and I thought this was how it went in the real world. But Munsterman said it was all intuition! There are so many ways to scout a player, but FC Twente was doing it all in 1920 style. So I thought, I’ll build a Football Manager system, for the real world.”

In 2012, it all started for real. “I was in Ukraine for the Euros and I got a text message from a Twente scout. “Do you know a good player for us?”. And I thought, fuck it, I’m going to do this!”

Last year, SciSports assisted with 13 transfers, for Sparta, Vitesse, Twente, Heracles and Genk. At Heracles, they’ve installed 14 3D cameras which collate data for SciSports. “It’s all so basic still, but we’re moving fast. I hired 3 more people last month.”


What was the first big name player you found?

“Wout Weghorst. He was told FC Emmen didn’t want him anymore. But based on our data, he was excellent. Always scoring important goals, always on the right spot. The rest is history. SciSports brought him to Heracles and now he’s the new striker of AZ and no one misses Vincent Janssen. AZ is not his final station, I can alert you to that now.”

So the Dutch Eredivisie has a lot of potential still?

“Without any data to support this statement: Kasper Dolberg. But if you check the data results, Joey Groenbast of Go Ahead Eagles, the right back. And El Azzouzi of Sparta has potential. But the most influential player in the Eredivisie is Joel Veltman.”


“You wouldn’t think that, but yes, based on his stats. I would not have expected that either. But when he plays, Ajax doesn’t concede a lot and he’s always involved with the build up leading to goals. Our main question is always: what is the impact of a player on the team. That is key. Data will never replace the usual football processes of course, it doesn’t say anything about group dynamics. But it helps with generating insight to improve the game. It supports the coach. We help clubs by taking the noise out of the stats. It’s also confirming the ideas of scouts or giving them the devil’s advocate angle. I do believe that math can be the foundation of success in sports. It’s not perfect, but it’s less imperfect that the eye of the individual.”


Any tips for clubs?

“If any club is looking for a winger, I’d go watch SV Eupen in Belgium and sign Henry Onyekuru. A top player!”

SciSports is going like a rocket. But only a couple of years ago, it looked bleak. Two co-founders decided to leave the company and go for a job while Giel realised his savings account was as good as empty. In 2015, the turnaround came when Rapid Wien came and needed help finding a player. That made the penny drop. “We were focusing on the Dutch market but now realised we could easily expand internationally.”

Today, SciSports works for 50 clubs, from Heracles to Valencia, from Besiktas to Lazio Roma. SciSports offers monthly subscription for data reports and analyses to more than a dozen clubs, and counting.

“The Big Clubs such as Man City have their own data teams. They don’t need us per se, but lots of clubs can’t afford that so they are our target market.”

The Dutch National Team of Tomorrow (according to SciSports)

NT future

Then there is the captain of Heracles, Mark Jan Fledderus. He visits SciSports regularly to analyse the qualities of his direct opponent of the up coming match. The BallJames service focuses on details. Like the first touch of a player, or the power of the player’s headers, or the running patterns of teams… Ball James is still an infant, and a loss making activity. “But that will change, I’m sure. The potential is amazing and we are getting so many requests. all football clubs I talk to want it.”

Brouwer is now a player in the world of football. He has lunch with Bryan Roy, has weekly phone calls with Mark Overmars, receives signed jersey from Robin van Persie and rubs shoulders with Silicon Valley based investors.

“I didn’t start this to become a millionaire. It’s nice if it happens, but my aim was and is to make the football sports more beautiful….”

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  1. “Most of us will have seen the movie Moneyball, with Brad Pitt? Based on a true story, a baseball team in the US picking and signing players purely based on specific qualities, which together would form a winning team.”

    Saw the movie. It was fun. But I have to say, as a lifelong Oakland A’s fan, that particular story was a myth…The team wasn’t the Island of Misfit Toys, as the book and movie would have you believe. It was a team was built on a top generation of young talent that all came up at once…plyers who were drafted and nurtured by the very manager, coaches and scouts that the movie derided as “old school” and out of touch. The players the movie chose to focus on were complementary players; not the guys who drove that team to its successes.

    Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest. 😉

    I do think there is a place for this type of analysis. But it has to be put in the evaluation mix along with the other things that go into talent spotting and piecing a team together, and not be given an outsized sense of importance.

    1. @Jan, Fraud is a strong word. I would say it is what inevitably happens when Hollywood goes in search of a story and the writers/producers have to inject certain dramatic tensions and story arcs in order to get what they consider a sellable script.

      Billy Beane didn’t coin the term “Moneyball.” He did indicate that as a small market team he had to exploit inefficiencies in the market, and he felt he could do so by finding cheaper players who could add value to the team by certain undervalued skills. They’d had a great year prior to the “Moneyball” year, but they lost the league MVP—couldn’t afford him. However, they had some other tremendous young players, including three terrific young starting pitchers, and a shortstop who blossomed during that year who himself became the league MVP. Beane’s approach filled in around these guys. A very good financial writer—Michael Lewis wrote a book about the team, and what he considered Beane’s forward thinking, and he coined the phrase “Moneyball.” For some reason, Brad Pitt fell in love with the idea of making it a movie. The movie focused on and how he brought in a couple of guys to fill roles as examples of the way Beane thought. But in truth, the division title and the 20 game win streak had a lot more o do with the pitchers(Hudson, Mulder, Zito) and the shortstop and 3rd baseman (Tejada, Chavez)—all stars; these guys wwere barely mentioned in the movie as being a reason for the team’s success. To bring it around to football terms—it would be s if somebody made a movie about the Dutch winning the 1988 Euro’s, crediting Adrie Van Tiggelen, Bery van Aerle and Wim Kieft, and barely mentioning Gullit, Rijkaard, MVB, Koeman. Not so saying those guys weren’t huge, everyone contributes to a championship team, but they wouldn’t have won without them.

      Apologies to everyone. I know this is a soccer site. Not a baseball blog.

  2. Another disappointment for Spurs…. It somehow doesn’t work for them in Europe. I also think in the EPL they won’t reach 4th this season. They simply don’t have a strong enough bench, for me. I understand why Pochetino didn’t bring Janssen earlier. They needed pace and Son has that more than Janssen. Kane was never going to be replaced so if Janssen comes on, who would have to come off? Dele Alli should stop doing these silly things. Not the first time…

    AZ was a shocker. The difference between Dutch sub top and French sub top is appalling.

    Ajax Kopenhagen now, should be doable.

    1. AZ is having trouble in some time…they are conceding hell lots of goals with or without Ron Vlaar..PSV scored 4 goals against them.
      I think dutch top clubs are PSV,Feynoord and Ajax this year…Not AZ..i dont think Lyon will win easily against any of these three.Coz Except PSV both Feynoord and Ajax has formidable defense system…PSV is a scoring team…

      1. PSV is a scoring team?? Not this season they are not !

        And it’s a good and refreshing thing, to have someone say that Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV are the top clubs in Holland. This will shock all of us here… Thank you!

        1. off late after the arrival of Vanginekl they started scoring…
          There is A HUGE GAP between 3rd placed PSV and 4 th placed utrect,AZ..thats why i said this year only Feynoord,ajax and PSV..Feynoord beat Manu,ajax in 16 round,PSV gave hell of matches vs Athletico..So at least they stand a chance..

  3. Again Foppe De haan won the ECu21 twice,with right mix of team…
    What Italy ha din 2006 to win it than us??
    How Germany reached final of 2002WC?
    How portugal won EC2016?..
    I do belive presence of certain players in team makes team balanced and that makes the team complete..hence they win and that surprises others…but i dont beileve in certain players they have mentioned..

      1. the Scisports ideology. and how it is goin to help…i rate it as Advantage but u cannt ignore the star ones like koeman,Guillit and vanbastens..i was saying it might help dutch NT as per the current scenario..

  4. Tomorrow, Feyenoord PSV. If PSV wins, Ajax is the winner for real, but they need to win vs Heracles.

    It’s in De Kuip though, so I go with 3-1 Feyenoord.

    Jorgensen, Toornstra, Elia, with a late consolation for De Jong.

    1. PSV are on 3rd spot more than 10 points difference with 4 th placed..they want the title and wants to play CL..they will go for all out attack…
      With perrero,luuk,williams and Ginkel they will score goals…
      its feynoord defense vs PSV attack…
      2-2 draw..for me..

  5. Fer was in the Swansea team who lost at Chelsea 3-1, did okay sitting next to Cork in CM, but Kante and Fabregas were much better, Narsingh was a sub and might have made 2 passes.
    Neither Ake or van der Hoorn were in the teams.
    van Aanholt scored his first goal for Palace, nice game for him also creating 2 chances. Both he and de Roon played the full 90.
    Janmaat is back starting in Watfords team, while Stekelenburg is still on Evertons bench.

    Robben had a goal and an assist and played 90 in the Bayern side who thrashed Hamburg 8-0.
    Verhaugh scored a pen in Augsburg’s 1-2 away win, Gouweleeuw was not in the team.

  6. I’d be interested to see what specific stats this company makes use of. It seems like most of what they’re talking about in this article is similar to baseball’s W.A.R. (wins above replacement) stat. This is certainly a useful stat but definitely doesn’t provide much specific details about the player, rather their relative utility. In hockey for example their is a stat called CORSI which looks at shot attempts for and against while that player is on the ice. I’d be interested to see what kind of advanced stats people could come up with for assessing soccer players.

    It really seems that soccer is behind the North American sports such as hockey baseball and basketball when it comes to advanced statistics and analytics but I’m sure that will change in a few years and I look forward to seeing how it changes the game.

    You would be surprised how much a sport can be changed by a simple statistical revelation. For example in basketball people realized that the most efficient shots in terms of points per attempt are 3-pointers and shots from close to the basket. This all but eliminated the mid range player who shoots from 15-20 feet (think Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan).

    1. I agree, it does seem like North America sports are ahead of European football statically, I do believe it is improving though. I have followed hockey as well at times and it often surprises me the amount of stats available there, comparatively, especially considering goals are so much harder to come by in football..

      Great comments on how it can change the game, too!

  7. Huge win for Feyenoord, their Ajax match is important yet but have to say the title is in their hands now! Kongolo sure looks class, and wow what a block from Karsdorp on Bergwijn on 78′, blocking the shot and injuring himself in the process. Great opener from Toornstra (who quietly had a great match, with both more shots and touches than any other Feyenoord player), a la Klaassen in the right place to be to finish the great play from Kongolo and Elia.
    Bummed to see van Ginkel limp off injured.. hope it is not major.
    Berghuis and Elia both had chances to make the score worse.. could have been 4-2 Feyenoord as easily as their deserved 2-1 win. Credit to Zoet for some decent saves as well.

    1. “”a la Klaassen in the right place to be to finish the great play from Kongolo and Elia.””””””””””
      Which klassen is playing with kongolo and Elia..
      We need GOALS IN CRUNCH MATCHES VS TOUGH TEAMS..Klassen cannot do that..So forget klassen.
      Sybe i told you kongolo is beast,He is the best LB we have..

      1. huh? you told me?
        please leave me out of your weird fantasy world childish pride games.
        the good folks here have been following Kongolo for years.

        you already know that your opinion is basically meaningless here, and I can confirm to you now that I especially do not care who you think is a ‘beast’. I learn nothing from you, don’t waste my time.

          1. Dying for Blind?
            Sorry but no, you’re wrong.

            We all (except you and maybe Wilson) want ALL our lads to be doing well.

    2. @Sybe, Appreciate the game report, as always. Haven’t seen any recap but yours. Curious how Bergwijn, Elia, and Ramselaar (if he played) looked over the entirety of the match?

      1. Ramselaar and Bergwijn both looked pretty good, maybe immature yet. Ramselaar puts in a lot of work but maybe just not quite on the same wavelength as the others yet, I do like him better on the wing for this reason but he had to move into the middle when van Ginkel went out. Bergwijn may be a more natural winger, really unlucky to have been blocked by Karsdorp when I thought he was going to score after a really good run.
        Elia had some really good moments, also pretty unlucky not to have scored and makes great plays with Kongolo – was thinking that would be a nice option for us on the left!

        Nice to see some things happening for our players on the wings finally!

        1. Zoet actually scored the winning goal for Feyenoord. Had made a desperate save, but then carried the ball over the line while gathering it up. I saw some of the match, PSV’s defenders looked like children at times, unable to clear… Feyenoord for the title this year?

        2. @Sybe, Thanks, appreciate input. Elia seemed like such a talent when he came on to the scene. I know he lost his way a bit, but he’s still young enough to make it back.

    1. He scored vs Luxumburg,Mitjland and Brugge..i know that luxumburg has 3 wolrdcup and Brugge and Mitjland has 7 Chapions league…So not surprised he will pull some goals vs minows..

          1. Yes, I agree with you. As you said, Depay scored goals with good work rate and will win the World cup for you.

  8. For the EFL cup, Man Utd v Southampton, Blind was on the bench, Clasie and van Dijk both out of the squad with injuries.
    Vorm and Janssen were unused subs in Spurs 4-0 win over Martins Indi and Pieters’ Stoke City. Afellay played the last 30 mins.

    Hoedt and de Vrij back together again at home to Udinese in their 1-0 win. de Vrij with the most blocks interceptions and recoveries..
    Letschert back for Sassuolo, but on the bench.

    Memphis scored 2 goals in Lyons 5-0 victory over Metz, also an assist on one of the 6 chances he created
    Lens and van der Wiel started for Fenerbahce, Lens scored in the 1-1 draw

    1. Nice to see Memphis Depay proving some critics wrong. Poor Janssen. Must wonder if staying was the right move. Up 4-0 at half, still can’t even make a sub appearance.

      1. No he is proving critics right,poor work rate and some goals vs minows as expected..i recently scored 2 vs school boys…that doesnt make me NT material..

  9. Dutchmen Abroad Round-up last weekend

    French Ligue 1

    Memphis Depay’s resurgence in France continued on Sunday as the winger netted twice and added an assist in Lyon’s 5-0 win over Metz. Memphis opened the scoring from close range before firing them 2-0 ahead early in the second half. He went on to cause an own goal and set up Alexandre Lacazette for the clubs fourth. He could have netted a hat-trick but missed two good chances late on.

    Anwar El Ghazi made little impact as Lille went down 3-2 at home to Bordeaux. The winger played the full ninety minutes but didn’t complete a single dribble or cross and had two shots, which were both off target. Ricardo Kishna was an unused substitute.

    English League cup

    Manchester United lifted the league cup after a 3-2 win over Southampton at Wembley on Sunday. Daley Blind was an unused substitute for Jose Mourinho, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah was left out. Virgil van Dijk and Jordy Clasie both missed out through injury.

    German Bundesliga

    Jeffrey Bruma and Riechedly Bazoer both remained on the bench as Wolfsburg slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Werder Bremen.

    Arjen Robben was in outstanding form for Bayern Munich in their 8-0 win over Hamburg, with the winger scoring and adding an assist. Robben also took four shots, completed five dribbles and ended the game with a 91.5% pass accuracy.

    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was an unused substitute in Schalke’s 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim.

    Right-back Paul Verhaegh netted a penalty as Augsburg recorded a 2-1 win at Darmstadt.

    English Premier League

    Patrick van Aanholt netted the only goal to secure Crystal Palace a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. The left-back fired home in the first half to give his side a much-needed victory. Marten de Roon played the full game for Middlesbrough but had little impact.

    Georginio Wijnaldum had a game to forget as Liverpool went down to a 3-1 defeat at Leicester City on Monday night. The midfielder played the full ninety minutes but made an error which led to a Leicester goal.

    Ronald Koeman’s Everton recorded a 2-0 win over Sunderland with Maarten Stekelenburg an unused substitute for the Toffee’s.

    Leroy Fer played the full ninety minutes as Swansea City lost 3-1 at league leaders Chelsea. Luciano Narsingh came off the bench with less than 10 minutes to go.

    Daryl Janmaat started for Watford in their 1-1 draw with West Ham but only played 52 minutes before being brought off.

    Vincent Janssen was once again a spectator as Tottenham hammered Stoke City 4-0. The match seemed perfect for Janssen to get some minutes with Harry Kane scoring a first half hat-trick, but Janssen was overlooked. Bruno Martins Indi and Erik Pieters struggled in the Stoke back four, while Ibrahim Afellay appeared from the bench on the hour mark.

    Italian Serie A

    Kevin Strootman marshalled the midfield as Roma recorded a 3-1 win over Inter Milan on Sunday evening. Strootman made two key passes, four tackles and two interceptions during the 90 minutes.

    Stefan de Vrij and Wesley Hoedt started in the heart of defence as Lazio sneaked a 1-0 win over Udinese. Hoedt was substituted after an hour but De Vrij had an excellent game. He made 5 interceptions, 4 clearances and blocked two shots.

    Timo Letschert remained on the bench as Sassuolo lost 1-0 at home to AC Milan.

    Jonathan de Guzman played the full ninety minutes as Chievo beat Pescara 2-0.

    Hans Hateboer was an unused substitute as Atalanta claimed a shock 2-0 win at Napoli.

    Spanish La Liga

    Jasper Cillessen was an unused substitute as Barcelona secured a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid.

    Ola John was an unused substitute as Deportivo la Coruna lost 4-0 at Leganes.

    Portuguese Liga NOS

    Bas Dost scored a penalty as Sporting Lisbon beat Estoril 2-0. The striker played the full ninety minutes and netted from the spot with four minutes left. Luc Castiagnos appeared from the bench in the 91st minute.

    Turkish Super Lig

    Jermain Lens put in an impressive performance and netted for Dick Advocaat’s Fenerbahce but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Gaziantepspor. Gregory van der Wiel also played the full ninety minutes.

    Adam Maher had a disappointing game and was substituted just after the hour mark as Osmanlispor lost 1-0 to Istanbul Basaksehir.

    Wesley Sneijder returned from injury for Galatasaray’s top of the table clash with Besiktas but he had a disappointing evening and was substituted after 76 minutes. Ryan Babel and Nigel de Jong also featured as Besiktas came out on top 1-0.

    Belgian Jupiler League

    Ruud Vormer netted a first-half double as Club Brugge hammered Zulte Waregem 5-0 on Friday. Stefano Denswil also played the full ninety minutes for the hosts and kept a clean sheet while Lex Immers was brought on with 20 minutes left. For Zulte Waregem, Robert Muhren came off the bench just after the hour mark.

    Bram Nuytinck kept a clean sheet as Anderlecht claimed a 2-0 win over Albert Stuivenberg’s Genk. Jean-Paul Boetius came off the bench for Genk at half time but failed to have an impact while Sandy Walsh was an unused substitute.

    Elton Acolatse couldn’t prevent his Westerlo side from being hammered 4-0 at home to KV Oostende.

    English Championship

    Maikel Kieftenbeld netted as Birmingham City earned a 2-1 win away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

    Marvin Emnes played an hour of Blackburn Rovers 1-1 draw with Burton Albion on Friday night before being substituted.

    Rajiv van la Parra was substituted after an hour of Huddersfield Town’s 1-1 draw at Barnsley.

    Glen Loovens couldn’t prevent Sheffield Wednesday losing 1-0 at Leeds United on Saturday.

    Jaap Stam’s Reading were hammered 3-0 at league leaders Brighton on Saturday evening. Roy Beerens played the full ninety minutes and was one of the standout players for Reading, while Joey van den Berg was an unused substitute.

    Mitchell Dijks put in another impressive performance for Norwich City as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Ipswich Town. Yanic Wildschut was an unused substitute.

    Florian Jozefzoon claimed an assist as Brentford overcame Rotherham 4-2. The winger set up the opening goal before going off in the 71st minute.

    1. Wow what a rap , thanks for that!
      @Jan – the stats article is very interesting and I hope their business takes off in the football world.
      Stats have been used for years in many sports and players definitely get selected based on statistical information , it makes sense right?
      For me the position you play will determine which stats are relevant to you as a player, which I guess is common sense, but let’s just take one example;
      Holding Midfield – 85% pass accuracy, 10% key passes
      If Strootman can produce this stat regularly then we can assume that he is playing very well and making a difference to his team. If he has 85% pass accuracy and 0% key passes then we could assume he is just doing a job without really impressing on the game. I guess this is where a scout looking at said stats could make a judgement on a player, however , unless you know what the coach has instructed his player to do, the stat could be misleading. Eg – Memphis I want you to go,out there and shoot at every opportunity you get even half chances because I know this keeper has poor hands,
      Striker- 40 shots 10% accuracy , no goals.
      I would look at this and think Memphis had a stinker!
      Any how just some dribble to ponder.

    1. For me its…23 men wins it not just 11..
      Kongolo—Hoedt——De Vrij–karsdorp


  10. With the 7-1 drubbing of AZ last week, the continuous decline of Dutch football + the eredivisie, and losing the guaranteed CL spot in the group stage, Im curious as to what you guys think of the Atlantic league idea that gets thrown around every few years. For those who don’t know what it is, it’s a proposal that the top clubs from Holland, Belgium, Scotland, Denmark and I believe Portugal come together to form a new league. Losing the tradition of the Eredivisie is hard, but you’d still have the Beker and I personally think that the Atlantic league along with a playoff where the winner of the rest of the eredivisie and the least placed Dutch team in the “Atlantic league” play for promotion into the Atlantic league might be a good compromise and exactly what Dutch clubs and football need in Europe. Let me know what you guys think.

    1. Interesting concept, I have not heard of this before it would take some serious funding to work, there would be a lot of travel involved which could become prohibitive.

  11. Tiju, don’t think you can “own” the Kongolo-is-the-best mantra here!

    We all know for years he is top notch. He is a CB for me, more than LB though. We all felt Blind needed a spot in Oranje when Kongolo was injured and I still believe Blind should be preferred over Kongolo. But imagine a CB pairing in the future of Kongolo and Mathijs de Ligt (Ajax)!!!

    Memphis had 2 goals and 2 assists actually. The own goal was also off a Memphis pass.

    You can tell by the way the Lyon players celebrated with Memphis how he is liked, there. And he is. Lyon has a strong team with amazingly talented midfielders (young!) and he fits in nicely.

    Feyenoord had the desire PSV lacked. It plays with two wingers who aren’t wingers. Cocu and Brands to blame for this, for me. Ramselaar is clearly out of sorts on the left wing. Ridiculous.

    Bad day in the office for Zoet, but I think Feyenoord did have the best chances overall.

    But that Karsdorp block tells you what it’s all about with Feyenoord.

    1. Kongolos,wijanldum,Blind,Ake ,Mensahare multi talented players who can play in many spots,which is curse too..To save the their own coaching Job ,coahes uses them in teams..this most of the time ends up destruction of players..i want to feel a security in LB ..Kongolo gives that better than Blind,Annholt and Williams…Since we have first choice Virgil as LCB and Second choice Blind as LCB,Kongolo must start as LB now..i belive…

    1. they are looking for Spanish Bellarin too,if they sign both that would be bad for karsdorp..Anyways style of Bazoer,karsdorp will defiantly fit style..

    2. I somehow already pointed that out some time ago. first time I saw him playing, I’m like “this guy HAS to play at Barcelona/Arsenal”

      either Bellerin goes to Barcelona and Karsdorp fill his spot at Arsenal, or Karsdorp goes straight to Barcelona. I think it’ll be better for him to make it step by step, like Digne did. (PSG to Roma then Barcelona).

      Chelsea would also be nice. he’ll have to compete with Moses. or Bayern (Lahm will retire, he’ll compete with Kimmich).

  12. It seems El Ghazi on the right way at Lille, he is now playing regularly for first team & scored, but shame for Kishna he’s still struggling same as his situation at Lazio regularly on the bench there since he’s joined.

    1. Ruud Do you really think El Ghazi has the footballing intelligence to succeed in Top level??Apart from his speed and size??i dont think so..He is like Afellay,at his level best He can play for Stoke city.The players like Narsingh,Afellay,Elghazi has very low level foootballing intelligence.So chances are less for them.Like bertdand tarore for Ajax..

      1. Emmanual, as a fan of Orange i support for all of our players, to me El Ghazi is quite talents, that’s why he reached debut at Orange national level at aged of 19 & played quite lot games for biggest club in Eredivisie Ajax, now he’s at bigger club/league Lille/League 1. His style of playing is quite solid, quite skillful on dribbling, shot, free-kick, teamwork, pace he’s rarely use unnecessary skill on the field so to be top level or not depend on himself & a little lucky i guess. I agree with you he’s quite kind of player like Affelay, Narsingh but i think if he can learn from the fail of those mates & successful path of van Dijk then we can hope.You can see before van Dijk is 1 of the best defender in PL as current no-one appreciated him to be top level, right? he’s just left Ere to join Celtic then Southampton then improve himself step by step. So why not with El Ghazi after left Ajax-> now is Lille and then maybe bigger club/league then become top level, so let’s see. 🙂

  13. Frank/Ronald is right about Memphis. But there is much more to it. I stick to my earlier analysis. I’m convinced my view is better than “he does too much fitness and is not good enough”

    Some others here tend to think this.

  14. Re: Bazoer… It’s sad how it went for him. At PSV he was not acknowledged. He left for Ajax.

    made it into Oranje, talk about Barca move and then Bosz found Schone to be better for the team balance.

    You couldn’t disagree really. Bazoer didn’t play well, Schone did. And he deserves to be in that spot.

    Ziyech has what no one at Ajax has – even Bazoer.

    And now Bazoer is on the bench again.

    It’s sad, coz I really rate him too.

    1. @Jan, i think the key thing here is after Bozs took over Ajax he would like all of players work under his control so that he can apply his philosophy and unfortunately our lads such as El ghazi, Bazoer, Riedewald a little confuse after de Boer left and not follow new coach 100% i guess, so El ghazi & Bazoer had to left while Riedewald’s got success to improve relationship to Bozs so Bozs give him chance to play regularly now, i don’t talk about Bazoer current situation that benching at new clubs as it’s too soon to talk about that, but compare with Schone i believe Bazoer is better & more potential than that Danish, and i believe if without any issue usually the coach will pick a younger & more potential to motivate them for the club in long term. Schone style is quite solid but he’s not special or star i think. 🙂

      1. to be honest, i don’t blame Bozs on that, as a new coach that’s his way to control & make the team to be better, somehow it’s also good for our lads as they can show their talents elsewhere and got experience from that to adapt that situation in the future.

        1. Also remember he started making strings of changes after Ajax failed to qualify for CL in the playoffs vs Rostov.all Bazoer,Riedewald,El Ghazi,Tete were given nod by Bosz but they failed to live up to expectation. Hence the changes were imminent

          1. its all about whole team…Bazoer and Riadwald were not given enough chances with good players…We know Elghazi is not a top notch player..Tete is all about defense he add Zero to attack..when these 4 play together you will see bad attacking team it is mostly down to Elgahzi and Tete..
            Bazoer and Raidwald is top players,Tete is beast in defense..that much i know..

  15. Southampton and Bournemouth have both confirmed they wanna sign Nathan Ake from Chelsea.Southampton could be a good destination for him. Van Dijk and clasie are both there and he could also get more chance of playing on his preferred position.

  16. under FDB ajax struggled in last years..Bazoer and raidwald was top…tete was good too..How many chances Bazoer got under BOsz????very few….u need to play regular..

      1. Bosz had a fight with Bazoer,Elgahzi,Raidwald..only Raidwald case was solved by mutual talks.I think Bazoer and Elghazi was completely pissed of that egoistic,all know mentality Bosz…i am not a fan of Elghazi as a player as he lacks natural dutch intelligence of football like Afellay,Bula etc….But Bula had character ,Elgahzi is not a D#$5k like kishna…
        I dont think Shone is better than Bazoer at anyday…Bosz is stupid coz arraogant people are stupid always..

        1. Have you met Bosz? You seem to know a lot about his mentality. He’s stupid… arrogant… egotistic…

          He’s having a good first year.

          Reidewald…( please check your spelling, it’s not difficult to do) has expressed he’s unhappy with not starting.

          But look, some injuries, and he has a good chance to nail down a starting place, hopefully at Viergever’s expense. He didn’t throw his toys out and sulk like Bazoer, Kishna and El Ghazi seem to have.(Again, I don’t know what happened, I’m assuming here)
          He worked hard in training, and is stepping in when needed. Good on him.

          1. Van Den Berg..FYI Reidwald is way better talent that Veirgiever..HAPPY to see Reidwald beating Bosz and Veirgiver to earn the spot..
            YOU know its always hard to fight against two at a same time..i mean the enemy Bosz(who just want to throw after one bad game)then facing the opponents..i like shone as player,HONESTlY Bazoer way ahead of him..
            i dont like coaches who simply write of players(whom we can see flashes of talent) after 1 or 2 matches..
            Bosz is about his job,he DOESNT CARE ABOUT DUTCH NT.So F#$$5k you Bosz…….

  17. Van annholt is one of the best player for crytal palace in recent games..He is simply busy in tormenting opposition defense ,though his duty is deal with opposite attack..
    F@##king sunderland under idiot moyes keeps loosing…Is this just happening or Happening for a reason?Big Sam is taking Crystal from relgation like last time he did with sunderland..

  18. Wijnaldum scored in injury time in Liverpools win over struggling Arsenal – loves playing against the big teams!
    Martins Indi and Pieters started for Stoke (Afellay remains on the bench) in their 2-0 win over de Roon and Middlesbrough.
    van Aanholt had a nice away clean sheet with Palace over stingey west brom.
    Fer and Narsingh both start for Swansea (van der Hoorn not in the squad) in their 3-2 win. Fer had an assist.
    Clasie back on the bench for Southampton away to Watford, played the last few minutes.. Janmaat not in the Watford side and van Dijk still injured.
    Blind was on the bench today for Man Utd.

    Robben rested for Bayern, likely because of the Arsenal away leg in the CL, even though they hold a staggering lead on agg.
    Bruma and Bazoer both start for Wolfsburg, Bazoer played 90 but Bruma went off injured – hope he is okay.

    Strootman started in Roma’s big match v Napoli, scoring their only goal in the 87th minute of their 1-2 home loss.

    Babel played 90 again for Bestikas, so far not able to gel with the team and find form like he did in Spain.

    1. Bad news: Van AAnholt is injured and will be out for a few weeks. IMO, Blind should look for a new club. Mourinho has no consistency. Blind was playing ok and MU win 3 games in a row, then Mourinho rorated Darmian back and then Shaw. Mensah should also look for new club, Mourinho does not give any minute to him and as a young player, I do not think he can expect Mourinho to do any good to his development.

      Wijnaldum scored the last goal and also played a big role in the second goal of Liverpool today. Depay was subpar and got substituted after 60 minutes. He did played very well the two games before the game vs Bordeaux.
      Vs Dijon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iRLuZ4530c
      Vs Metz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaG21uzNdqw

        1. I like Ake best if he can play regularly. Consider that Ake is not playing, I prefer Blind over other LBs. Blind played well in 2016 and has been part of the team for long time. Unless there is a better candidate, shuffling the team like deck of card won’t help at national level.

          How about you? What is your favourite LB?

          1. Hm I think I might choose Kongolo if Elia is also firing! Really like him but I want to see Kongolo in better competition first – Blind is pretty reliable.
            I also appreciate Haps, very good both offensively and defensively – though, like Kongolo, I’d like to see him make a step up.

          2. I wanted to mention, I like Ake alot as well, but I think his big presence is better in the middle as either a CB, or maybe a DM if can still do it well, though it’s great that he can do LB.
            I think when players are versatile enough for a few positions it really adds to their case for call-ups under Blind.

  19. rumours emerge of Klaassen moving to Everton to join Koeman, with competition from Napoli but also Frankfurt.
    What’s a good move for him?

  20. Haven’t posted or logged back in here in years…life happened, wife, house, kid…but i have still followed the NT and the Dutch teams.

    Very depressing to see how far we have fallen. It was great to live during one of the “golden generations” (i am 32), and it now is clear that Dutch soccer is returning the wilderness, both the NT and domestically. We had a good run for such a small country!

    I will be in Amsterdam in June for the first time in 8 years and i cannot wait!

    Glad to see this place is still going. Respect all!

  21. Didn’t watch either PSVs 4-0 win on Roda, or Feyenoords 0-1 loss to Sparta, but I did watch most of Ajax at Groningen.. cool to see de Ligt get the start at CB, although not so cool for Riedewald!
    The first hour was pretty slow, Ajax probably hoping to keep simple, be patient, get the goal and take the points knowing they could close down the gapto feyenoord, but, Onana with a massive error, makes a move way out of his box and although maybe fouled gives the ball away for Linssen to easily fire the ball into the open goal.
    Klaassen again scored a nice goal from a great Sinkgraven pass which saved the embarrassment of losing, but 1-1 will definitely be a disappointment. Thought van de Beek was good as a sub setting up that Sinkgraven assist as well. Anyway, a draw is fair as they really did not create much.. 71% possession but only 5 shots on target and none of the chances very great, credit to Groningen as well.
    So PSV the ultimate winners this weekend in th Netherlands with Ajax failing to really capitalize on a Feyenoord lapse.

    Janssen and Vorm were really involved for Spurs win over Everton, besides 4 mins of added time for Janssen.. neither was Stekelenburg.

    Lens assisted the late winner and created the most chances for Fenerbahce winning 1-0, van Persie also played the last 15

  22. Hoedt and de Vrij together again in Lazio’s 0-2 away win. I watched the last 20 mins, they did not look bothered, Bologna does not seem to be very good.

    Dost had an assist for Sporting and most chances created.

  23. Thanks Jan for the flash back. I was actually about request for a post on the 1982 world cup after watching a video on the YouTube on the footballs greatest international team which featured Brazil in the 1982 world cup and which featured all the best players from the top clubs in Brazil and was hailed as the greatest team ever till today.

    Had no idea NT failed to qualify for that tournament.

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