The Dutch competition is on its way and most other competitions have followed suit.
Oranje will commence it’s qualifications journey soon and there is more than enough talking points.
We’ll do this one quick and dirty. And get on with more Oranje related articles after this one.
But the European adventures of our Dutch teams prompt some comments.
For starters, PSV seems unlucky to have drawn AC Milan. Any lesser opponent and the frivolous Cocu team might have had a real chance. They still do, of course. 1-1 is not that bad a starting position for the away game, but I think Milan will have learned their lesson and PSV will be brushed aside in the San Siro.
I might have to eat my words in 5 days and I’d be happy to :-).
Feyenoord, in the meantime, really looks in trouble. The consummate pro that is Ronald Koeman has no clue how to handle these situations and seems the first to criticise his players via the media, where the players are not allowed to make any comments in the press. The rules clearly don’t apply to Koeman. It is really key for Koeman to get this right, real fast. The season for Feyenoord (and indirectly Oranje) might depend on his ability to pull his team together.
Ricky scores everywhere….
Ajax doesn’t have any real issues. Yet. The CL is not starting till later for them and there is no real competition in the Eredivisie for them, bar PSV.
And I personally believe Eriksen and Alderweireld will leave the club which will not make Ajax any stronger (bar the bank account).
Gertjan Verbeek is doing well with AZ. He had a good draw of course, compared to Feyenoord, but his new team (Maher and Altidore left, which is a big thing) has done really well already. I expect some firework from AZ this season.
Internationally, some of our players are out with injury (Hunter, Strootman, Narsingh, De Guzman, Janmaat), and others are not in the picture due to lack of form and/or rhythm ( Fer, Sneijder, De Jong, Ola John).
Van Gaal likes to work with youngsters, players he can ‘control’. He added Rekik and Bruma to the squad based on their good work in the first matches for PSV. Stijn Schaars is back too and so are Clasie and Van Wolfswinkel. Clasie’s return is remarkable as the youngster had an abyssmal start with Feyenoord but Fer/De Guzman/Strootman/De Jong not in the picture has everything to do with that.
Wesley Sneijder again not selected is quite logical. Sneijder had only one competitive game with Gala, and although he played well, it is clearly not enough for Van Gaal. And it would be a bit silly to invite him back in after one good performance.
As was stated on the blog earlier, Van Ginkel could have chosen to play for Ajax, and he would have had 3 matches under his belt, instead of the 2 x 8 minutes he has now. For now, LVG seems to accept this, but once Strootman and Fer are back in the picture, the former Vitesse man will be in trouble if he doesn’t add some minutes fast.
This coming weekend, some more exciting fixtures…
Fulham vs Arsenal… how will Stekelenburg hold up…
Hull – Norwich….Ricky Wolf and Leroy Fer
Newcastle – West Ham….. Krul and Anita
Aston Villa – Liverpool…. Vlaar
Blackpool – Reading…. Fan fave Roy Drenthe 🙂
Verona – AC Milan…. Urby and Nigel
Bayern vs Nurnberg…. Robben
Hertha vs Hamburg…. Rafa van der Vaart
Tottenham vs Swansea…Vorm, De Guzman
Augsburg vs Stuttgart….Verhaegh
Feyenoord vs NAC…. BMI, Clasie, De Vrij
Ajax vs Heerenveen….(De Boer vs Van Basten)
ManU vs Chelsea….. RVP, MVG
13 x 90 minutes of football…. not bad….