Dutch football on the up and up (again)

Wow! Two clubs in the Champions League group stages! What a luxury. Well done Ajax, well done PSV! A wonderful start to the season, particularly with Salzburg missing their chance, meaning that The Netherlands have surpassed Austria (sic!) on the coefficiency list of the UEFA and if all goes well and we get more than enough points together, we could have a direct placement in the CL group stages again in the 20/21 season! Yay!

And based on the draw, I wouldn’t be surprised if we actually get quite some points. Ajax doesn’t have that big a shock. Bayern Munich is definitely too good for us now, but, we play them the second time on the last day. This could be good. Bayern will most likely be placed already and might field a B-team!

The other two opponents seem doable. Beatable.

PSV however will have a mountain to climb, but with sensational ties. Spurs, Barca, De Vrij’s Inter…. Mouthwatering. And I do think PSV could well finish third in the group and go into the Europa League after the winter break.

Bloody annoying that Feyenoord and AZ didn’t do what they could have done and pulled their weight too!

Mark van Bommel deserves praise for the way PSV plays. It’s not all silky smooth yet, in particular in the Eredivisie PSV is not on steam. PEC Zwolle played PSV off the pitch, but…PSV didn’t concede while they took their chance in the last minute of the game to seal the win. That is a quality too.

But the team impressed vs Bate Borisov. Energetic, on the front-foot, playing like a real team. With much criticized Luuk de Jong as one of the leaders, a perfect target man and he is also finding the net again!

Pereiro being found in between the lines

Gaston Pereiro was the most skilled PSV player to never fulfil his promise, for a long time. Every one can see and could see he has tremendous qualities, but will he ever be consistent? Well, under Van Bommel he is the key man. The Dreh-und-Angel punkt. The metronome. Whenever PSV has trouble finding him, like against PEC Zwolle, PSV is under par. Whenever they can find him, like vs Utrecht and Bate Borisov, PSV plays well.

PSV is getting better and better in finding the man more situation on the pitch and the new full backs, former City man Angelino and ex Heerenveen back Denzel Dumfries are perfect for Mark’s game plan. They offer energy, runs forward in the channel and most importantly, great final balls.

And with Lozano and Bergwijn, PSV can dominate games and they can play on the counter attack! Promising, indeed!

PSV in counter attacking mode

The technical management of the club is as pro-active as the players, with two key signings on the night PSV secured CL football. Mexican midfielder and bossom buddy of Lozano Guiterez was signed, while Australian international full back Aziz Behich is coming in as well.

More news this week, Koeman’s Oranje squad. It lacks Weghorst (understandable), Berghuis (lacking form) and Bergwijn (harder to understand) and it will offer a debut to Frenkie de Jong (long overdue) in Oranje. Obviously, Wesley Sneijder will be part of the squad for the Peru game, as he will be farewilled in that game and start as captain.

Koeman called Van Bommel to explain why Bergwijn was not in the squad and why Kluivert (not a starter at Roma) is. Van Bommel declined to tell the media what Koeman told him. Most likely, Koeman wasn’t impressed with Bergwijn’s first matches (he only started to fire in the last week or so). And, Bergwijn is a player who, like Memphis, loves to come into the ball and doesn’t so much go deep or in behind without. This is what Kluivert will give you. That seems reasonable. But Bergwijn will definitely get his spot in the limelight, for sure.

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  1. Yea, really excited to see AJAX and PSV into the CL. Regardless whether they can advance further, the experience to be gained from playing against top teams in Europe will be invaluable.

    A question. Do u guys think we are all set for 5-3-2? Or are we now good for 4-3-3?
    I just feel that having too many defenders can be detrimental…it takes a good understanding to play the trap (offside) and players’ marking/tracking. (Without understanding) may end up all the defenders in a disarray and conceding goals.

    1. I think we are more set up for a 4-3-3, with Frenkie as one of the midfielders, but almost acting as a 3rd centre-back, sitting just in front. Have van de Beek and Wijnaldum as the other two midfielders, and a front three of Kluivert, Depay, Promes.

      1. Indeed


        Janmaat – De Ligt – Van Dijk – Van Annholt

        Wijnaldum – De Jong – Strootman (Van De Beek)

        Kluivert – Depay – Promes

        1. I dont think so. Even though things are looking good under koeman but still there is lack of quality in some department atleast.wijnaldum will never thrive in NT like he is doing at Liverpool and so is strootman.VDBeek aint no special either and looks like another klaassen when he was at the same age at Ajax.frenkie looks special but he too has flaws and looks vunerable at times defensively.though he has being playing in the backline as well but a advanced role suits him and this is where you need a good defensive minded midfielder.this is what pep is doing at city when he plays with two attacking and central midfield. De Bryne- fernandinho- Silva. I think frenkie can fit perfectly in that setup.on the other hand they need somebody robust to anchor that 3 man midfield and who also is versatile at the same time.for me that man has to be St Juste but unfortunately he is not playing in that position and which could help him polish up. I think this where koeman needs to have a talk with GVB.

          1. Promes to Sevilla. Finally moved out that pos team… it is not the best that could happen to him but he will find some competition in la liga. 6-8 games against real, Barcelona and atletiko should be good for some improvement versus the Russian league.

          2. Sorry Van de beek is better player than klassen who was over hyped,1 trick pony surived only due to his game intelligence….Van de beek has better ball control,better accuracy in shots,better passing range etc..Van de beek is physically stronger than him…Van de beek has energy which neither strootman nor klassen can produce….
            —Frenkie——–Vande beek—–
            on bench?????

          3. For a moment I thought you were gone with flood. Either way god bless to the flood victims.

            You can go and rewind the season when Klaassen broke into the first team. He was hailed better than what VDBeek is now and other were on brink of comparing him to the ice man ” bergkamp”.im pretty sure on this one so I leave it for you to dig the stats. The only department where VDBeek is ahead of klaassen is agility and is more mobile to certain degree.

            Eiting will surpass him very soon.

          4. I personally thought promes would fit Liverpool and could help by giving depth. on the other hand he might not be getting too much playing time there. the Italian league was probably the best fit for him for now. But hey, at least with Sevilla he will face tougher opponents a few times a year. That is the only way to develop and improve.

  2. Well Done

    I am not being over optimistic, but I truly believe that Ajax can finish first in the group, Bayern Munich is not as strong as before, Robben is aging along with Frank Ribery, Ajax just have to play its best.
    About PSV, I don’t know, many people say that PSV have no chance, but with good organizing and hard work, we could fight for a second place.

  3. Strootman started in 4-2-3-1 for Marsellie vs Moanco.
    Marsellie came from behind to Monaco 3-2. He looked sharp and linked up well with the forwards.it will be intresting to see how he adpots to the new system.if he can polish up defensively, he could be an important player in euros and WC respectively.

  4. Vito Van Crooj again was on target for PEC Zwolle as they won their first game of the season 1-0. This guy is techincally gifted with super speed and has a good ball control.you could easily rate him easily above malen and bergwijn but the benefit of doubt as usual always goes to those playing in top 3.

      1. if consistent as an playing regularly then so is vito too. I was more comparing to what they can bring individually rather than what they cant do without other players around them.it is always the case with players getting the nod in NT due to playing in top 3. this aint no luxury for players playing in bottom club teams and chery is the perfect example of it.unlike Bergwijn , Van Crooij is subject to taking those smaller steps like what he did switching from VVV Velno to PEC Zwolle. I mean realistically this the only way to climb the ladder.if sandler can get the attention of City, I mean who knows where can (Van Crooij)next destination be.

        I was looking at italy selection,well look at some of those club names. they are recognizing the talents and giving them the break.maybe this is where the Dutch need to dig deep.
        Defenders: Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina), Manuel Lazzari (Spal), Leonardo Bonucci, Daniele Rugani and Giorgio Chiellini (all three Juventus), Alessio Romagnoli and Mattia Caldara (both Milan), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Davide Zappacosta and Emerson Palmieri (both Chelsea).

        Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Cagliari), Marco Benassi (Fiorentina), Bryan Cristante, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nicolò Zaniolo (all three Roma), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter), Jorginho (Chelsea).

        Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Nice), Simone Zaza and Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Pietro Pellegri (Monaco).

  5. Van de Beek is like a double upgraded version of Klaasen . He is at least 2-3 class better than klaassen you can see his mentality is so different

    Thought it is true no matter frenkie de Jong , or van de Beek , we are still missing a solid defensive midfielder , someone who can replace Nigel De Jong ( I really missed him and still don’t understand why he left the national team so quick )

    If someone has to replace him , I only have one person in mind who is Van Ginkel, sadly still injured

    1. Seriously, after van basten , he will be the next one to hand his boots due to injuries.Van Ginkel is not built for defensive duals.the reason why he gets injuried frequently is because he puts his body on the line wildly while defending.

      Being said this a midfield of Frenkie, a good defensive midfield ( kante/casemiro type) and van ginkel could be intresting. Other like eiting, Koopmeiners, hendrix , clasie simply lack that balance to become a dynamic and complete midfielder.Regarding VDBeek, his career will stall like to that of klaassen. Just wait for Matusiwa and Ekkelenkamp to break into the Ajax first team.

      1. really?? based on what would you rate Ekkelenkamp that higher, even higher than Van De Beek?

        In my opionion, van de Beek, Frenkie de Jong are our new Generation and would be top stars very soon.

        If Eiting is that good, why wont he get the chance as starter?

        1. Frenkie yes. Eiting is getting the start. Eiting has just broken into the first team this season and he is more direct replacement for schone. Neres, Tadic and Ziyech are lock which means schone, Frenkie, Eiting and VDBeek are subject to rotation and thats whats happening. On some occassions Frenkie is pushed back to CB to accomdate for eiting or van der beek.

          Ekkelenkamp pre season.

  6. Kayserispor has pulled off a coup by signing Tjaronn chery. Scored the winner defeating Fenerbahce 3-2 and dear or dear Cocu is starting to feel the heat now.kayserispor climb to fourth while Fenerbahce remain 13th in standing.what a waste of talent, I said it back then and im saying in now he was suppose to be sneijders predecessor.

  7. Another young player to keep an eye on: Dilrosun. Saw the Schalke-Hertha match. Rekik came off injured very early; Dilrosun replaced him. (Hertha did alot of shuffling; he ended up on the left wing). Looked good, directly responsible for Hertha’s first goal, superb first touch on a long pass, and lovely cross leading to the goal. Hertha closed things down for most of the remainder of the game, and he did alot of heavy work defensively tracking back and covering. As the game opened up, he got more touches and looked dangerous. Fast, aggressive, skilled.

  8. Great news that Dildorsun got so much playing time in the early season

    I rate him becoming one of the strikers partnering with Depay

    Competition will be among Dilrosun, kluivert , Chong and one more perhaps Bergwijn

    Sorry but no space for Janssen , Promes or even Ryan Babel will soon have to go

  9. I believe we can play 4-3-3 too,

    The 5-3-2 is very interesting when you:

    – have to play compact against strong opponents
    -have amazing wing backs.

    I think our wingbacks are good but not sensational.

    We don’t have Alonso or Mendy quality wingbacks.

    I think we need to be able to use both systems and when we play opponents like Denmark, Austria, Turkey or Poland we should be able to play 4-3-3.

    I would not rule out Propper. He is playing top football week in week out in a holding role.

    The times of specialists like Nigel de Jong are over. There are no teams of real quality anymore with a destroyer like him.

    All big teams have midfielders who can do it all: run, tackle, pass, cross, score.

    Kante, Pogba, Wijnaldum, Fernadinho, Milner, Matic, Rakitic, Kroos, etc etc

    We have Van de Beek, Eiting, De Jong, Vilhena, Propper, Wijnaldum, Klaassen, Hendrix, De Roon, Strootman….sure we can find 3 in form who can be our midfield players.

    I can see a 3-4-3 work as well.

    With two wide midfielders who can control the flanks.

    I can see Vilhena on the left and Karsdorp on the right.

    Blind – Van Dijk – De Ligt/De Vrij at the back.

    Frenkie and Propper in midfield.

    Memphis – Promes – Bergwijn up front

      1. “depending on the opponent” can you elborate more on this. you will sink the ship with the above kind of mentality.whats the use of selecting a player who is only good depending on the opponents. in other words what im getting from you statement is Propper should play vs average team and come big guns should drop back to the bench. this kind of players should be kicked out.

        1. Davy propper is really playing well,he is playing better than klassen,strootman and he is nice finisher too..he cannot be easily written off…He scored some goals for NT..we started winning games fater his arrival and benching kevin strootman and booed dast..

        2. sure. every team needs depth. some big players ahead of him might be injured or tired or need rotation for many different reasons. it is not that Holland is like France or Germany and can field 2 different 11s… Propper is great for certain games where speed is not a big issue. He is a smart creative player and can fit with several opponents.

          Honestly, I don’t properly understand your question. That is why I am giving you a generalized answer. I dont see anything wrong with players who are useful depending on the opponent. With this logic Van Gaal played Krul versus Costa Rica and took us to the semis. I can come up with more examples but if you field a more specific question I thnk I can come up wth a more specific answer.

  10. changing players is important and introducing new players is good but tactics must also change like taking risks including playing formations 2-3-2-3 like liverpool. There are players Vandijk and wijnaldum in NT who can play in such situations.

    1. The three man field can play a low line of defense while Depay marshalls the space between them and has the room to move between the lines and where he is absolutely deadly.

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