Meanwhile, in the Eredivisie

The Eredivisie is exciting again!

Ajax is still in the race for a spot in the CL after the winter. The Sons of Gods play Borussia Dortmund this coming CL matchday and it could go anywhere. Ajax could end up last (when they lose against the Germans and Man City beats Madrid). And with a last game at the Bernabeu, it might mean Ajax finishes empty handed. But Ajax could also end this match day in the second spot.

Exciting stuff. Ryan Babel is the big absentee this time around. The Ajax striker played a great game in Dortmund (and missing a huge chance to score, like Eriksen) but will be missing. Alderweireld and Ken Vermeer however, are back from being absent and Frank de Boer can use his full squad.

PSV is the ultimate fave for the title this season. Dick Advocaat, Mark van Bommel, Kevin Strootman, Jeremain Lens, Dries Mertens… The Eindhoven team does show their class regularly but lacks consistency. Wijnaldum, Matavz, Mertens, they all felt the thorn of Advocaat already. If they can overcome their lacklustreness for a spell they should be able to win this.

FC Twente is doing well and collects the points, but seems to lack the width to make it to the end. With Leroy Fer sidelined for a bit, it was clear Twente does not have players to replace him. When Chadli, Tadic and/or Douglas go AWOL for whatever reason, Twente is too vulnerable.

Ajax, like Feyenoord, seems a bit too young, playfull and inconsistent this season and lacks real top quality. Whenever players like Siem de Jong, Eriksen or Van Rhijn are not performing, Ajax becomes mediocre. Same with Feyenoord, with Jordy Clasie, Daryl Janmaat and Graziano Pelle at Feyenoord.

The contenders might have a shot this year. AZ has serious difficulties replacing Martens (injured), Moisander (sold), Rasmus Elm (sold) and Aussie Brett Holman ( sold). FC Utrecht does very well this season under Jan Wouters but will most likely lack stamina. Vitesse might be the club most likely to challenge PSV.
With Fred Rutten at the helm, Theo Janssen and Marco van Ginkel in midfield and Bony scoring the goals, they keep on winning.

With Daryl Janmaat, one of the relevations of this season is mentioned. Last season an anonymous right back at Heerenveen, this season one of the most impressive Oranje players against Germany.

This is actually his second term at Feyenoord. The young back played in Feyenoord’s youth academy until the C youth group. He had a great time in the youth system. ” I never was a great talent. Was a defender or midfielder in those days, but probably one of the least “exciting” players.”

He actually started as a often scoring striker in the F youth. He was topscorer of his first season and scored from literally all angles and positions.

But, he had to go back a line every season. “I stopped scoring at a certain age. There probably were better defenders and also better strikers than me. So I ended up in the position that naturally fits me best: right full back.”

“I do believe not being the biggest talents helped me. I developed a strong mentality. Physically I wasn’t the best either, so I had to train really hard and leave a lot of fun out of my life, to make sure I would make it. It sort of came naturally.”

Janmaat is very confident in his first season in De Kuip. “I know some players are a bit overwhelmed with the atmosphere here. I love it. Totally. We all feel indestructable.”

Feyenoord isn’t beaten at home for a year. The last time Feyenoord had a series like this was in 1996.”In De Kuip, we are invincible,” Janmaat says. “It’s the venue, the pitch and most importantly, the fans!”

The support from the Legion works like dope. The right back, who came transfer free from Heerenveen, gets wings from the buzz from the stands.”

The gung ho defender feels like he is in seventh heaven anyway. His position in the team is without question and now he is also becoming a stayer in the Oranje squad. And not just him, Bruno Martins Indi, Stefan de Vrij, Joris Mathijsen, Ruben Schaken, Jordy Clasie are all on LVG’s list.

The discussion re: De Kuip and the planned demolition (and building of a “New Kuip”) is fueled by statements like the ones made by Janmaat…. The team feels powerful at home. The fans adore the venue. And the ex players lament the destruction of the historic grounds.

But, De Kuip is no longer a model venue in Europe, like it was in the 1950s all the way to the 1980s… Slowly but surely, other venues got renovated or clubs built totally new, modern stadiums. The Amsterdam Arena is often criticised for being like a theatre but from personal experience, I can say that visiting the toilet in the Arena is like going to the loo in the Sydney Opera House while trying to go to the toilet in De Kuip is like visiting a slaughterhouse.

The security protocols can’t be met in De Kuip. It’s becoming a dangerous venue.

One can only hope that the powers that be in Rotterdam make the right decision when moving to a new venue. So Janmaat and Co can feel invincible for many a season…

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  1. I hope Ajax beat Borussia Dortmund today. If Man City can find a way to beat Real, it makes the group last match more exciting.
    From it appears Koeman and LVG has a good relationship (so do FDB and LVG). It is good that making Oranje give these young players more confidence.

    1. Since It seems that we have now many promising defenders, there are now also possibilities for other types of formations.
      IMO we have now some problems with LFB (Willems not ready yet in defensive aspect, Pieters injured..), so I was thinking about the following formation wich I would found very strong and balanced when facing stornger opponents:
      ——————-Krul (Vermeer)——————–

      ———De Vrij—Vlaar(Heitinga)—M. Indi———



      ————–van Persie——-Lens(Robben)———-

      This is some kind of way Italy played in the last tournament and were succesfull.When defending the formation could be 5-3-2 and when attacking even 3-2-3-2.

      Positives: very strong defence a well balanced team which it would be really hard to break.
      Negatives: a little bit to narrow in attack and we cannot use our fast wingers, though IMO they were very toothless recently (especially when facing tough oppo).
      I think If we want to win a tournament we have to do something: we dont know if Robben will be fit or in form and other wingers are simply not world-class, as well as our full backs-they are mediocre. So IMO we have to field a strong hard-working squad.
      Above we have 3 strong defenders (who can also build-up), two strong midfielders (box-box), and two classic wingers with the ability to support the attack and also defend (Janmaat and Emanuelson are quite good in both aspects), then we have Sneijder as playmaker and two strikers (who could also drift out wide and therefore stretch the defence with all 3 midfielders bomobing forward). With this formation we would offer IMO much more of diversity and could really surprise the oppos. What we play currently is far too predictable with our wingers and static striker (they all know what we are going to do). I believe we would have much more of van persie with this tactic (now he is just too lonely and cut-off from game). I am afraid (with all my love and passion for Oranje) that with current system we wont be able to win WC (at least not in 2 years), cause we simply dont have the right players (or they re not enough developed yet).
      Italy is a great example – with mediocre team (on the paper we were far better) they reached the finals. Of course with this system we would also have a very strong bench and we could introduce lot of tactic variations when bringing in other players in the second half (Huntelaar, Narsingh, Clasie..), depending on the scoreboard.
      Well thats only my thoughts.. I would just like us to win something finally, cause I am a little bit tired of waiting for the pas 24 years!
      Anyway I trust LVG and will be the happiest man in the universe if he can manage to bring us the cup 😉

      1. Juventus is the more suited example of that formation.

        And no, on the paper, they are better, because they have quality covering every line. Seriously, when you have the likes of Buffon, Chiellini, Pirlo, Marchisio, De Rossi, Giovinco, Balotelli, Cassano, you cannot put them under our level. OK, at least we’re better on our forward line. Our forwards can score routinely.

        It’s hard to play a formation that we’re not used to play. Dutch tradition rarely (or never? I can’t remember any Dutch team using 3-man defence) using such formation. Will take long to master it.

        But as a backup plan, not bad…
        The wing backs should be good at crossing. And our main outlet is the two-top, assisted by the AMF’s long shots.

        1. Yes ajax in 1995 played 3-4-3 or 3-1-3-3

          —-Davids—————–r. de boer—-
          –F. De boer—————Reigzeiger——
          —————van der sar——————

          That would in my opinion be the equivalent of

          ————–Van Persie—————
          —–Siem De Jong————–Affellay=—
          ——Martins indi——-De Vrij———

          Obviously Elia is not a right winger, would need to be someone else, and if they play with 3 defenders, I would like to see wingbacks like janmaat, van rhijn on the right, and willems and buttner on the left, If we keep playing 4-3-3 I would like to see Pieters be the left back

        2. Ajax played 3-4-3 before, or some would argue they played a 3-3-1-3 game, which I would actually like them to play more often. Sneijder is a special player and can be our jari litmanen. the only problem is all three defenders need to be fast and one has to be a sweeper, and the defensive midfielder in front of the three has to move forward which is why strootman is perfect

          ———–V. Persie———
          —N. De Jong——–Affellay–

          So who could play sweeper to make this work?

        1. Dont get me wrong van Fadly, I am the first who would like to see attacking and fluid 4-3-3.. But unfrutnatelly I doubt in it..
          If I would ask you before the EURO which team you find stornger (Oranje or Azzuri), I am almost 100% you would say Oranje. Of course at the moment (after EURO) situation is daramatically changed with LVG buliding a new team.
          I cant agree with your statement that Netherlands teams never played with 3 defenders – actually famous Ajax in 90´played exactly like that (Reiziger, Blind as sweeper, De Boer). The Only difference was that they had diamond formation in the middle and though use only 1 striker and wingers were further up the pitch. But however my point was only to make a look in our strenghts and weaknesess, to look what kind of players we have and use them the right way. For exapmle: why play with full backs (which are not great defenders and also cannot offer something good in attack) and therefore leave on very good defender on the bench (Heitinga or Vlaar or De Vrij). And we all know our midfielders (Affellay, VdV, Sneijder, Clasie, Maher) are way to one-dimensional (they cannot defend, due to work rate or physical condition) and so there are too many gaps in the middle of the pitch – becuase of that we cannot hold enough of possession and we also dont track back. But the biggest problem IMO is that Oranje alway tends to do something on individual basis (not as a team) – exapmle: give the ball to Robben/Sneijder/Vdv and they will make something out of it on their own. I would just like to see a hard working/balanced team where all players play in both directions – this is all about in modern football, which is evolving and so should netherlands football school/philosophy IMO.
          Again these are only my thoughts and this is what I really like here – to exchange thoughts and ideas with all of you – my fellow Oranje fans!!

      2. the real issue is counter attacks with three defenders leaves a lot of space open, so we need 3 fast central defenders, and the middle guy has to be the fastest and can play sweeper. The goalie is gonna have to deal with lots of aerial balls, and low driven balls, Luckily for us Stekelburg was perfect for this and so fast coming off his line, but now? don’t know anymore, maybe the knockout from lucio has made his scared or playing in italy has made him lose his edge.

          1. Are you basing that on this one game? Because the long ball crosses are usually his best weapon.

          2. It is only my observation in this game. I do not watch him often. I saw every time he used long ball, it is way too heavy for his teammates to control. His cross is good and his short pass is good. And I did not try bash him at all, only state what I saw. If you know more about him, please tell me. He played a good game and I think for the current form, he is better than Elia and Schaken.

  2. I really hope Ajax beats Borussia tomorrow. It’s time people start respecting Dutch teams again!!!.

    During last week’s friendly against Germany the commentator talked all the game about how good the German team is and how they have managed to produce youngsters and never said a single good comment about Holland, I guess he doesn’t watch the Eredivisie.

    I hate it when people say we are under achievers and because of that there’s a lack of respect towards Dutch football nowadays. It was the same with Spain until they won the WC but Spain has never played like Holland has done for the last 50 years.

    I remember Dutch legends like Cruyff, Van Basten, Güllit, Bergkamp, Neeskens, Boer, Seedorf, Davids, Overmars, Kluivert, Koeman, etc….

    Spain’s legendary players are Iniesta, Xavi, Raul? I really think Rijkaard and Davids would kick their asses with their eyes closed!!!.

    What I am trying to say is that it is time the whole world see “LA NARANJA MECANICA” again!!!.

  3. Who is the next great center back?

    BMI seems to be the next leader of our defense and more if used as center back rather than LB but who else?

    De Vrij??? Douglas? Vlaar?…

  4. Miguel, I agree with you. Oranje will have more legend players than Spain ever will, but they manage to have 2 Euro titles and 1 WC title while we have only 1 Euro title. The 74 team is considered the best team ever not to win the WC (if not the best team of all time). I think these factors will make people say we are under achievers.
    So far we only have BMI. LVG uses either Heitinga or Vlaar to pair with him. I do not see anyone else so let’s wait for more games to see.
    Go Ajax! Go PSV!

    1. Well said & can’t agree more on your point of under achievers. In my view, Oranje should have won WC1978 or WC2010. It seemed that Oranje had chance to win more than 1 EC title, especially EC2000 on home soil. Still cannot figure out how can Oranje missed two penalties in regular time in the semi-final. That is really a trauma for many fans of Oranje.

      BMI has potential to be a top central defender. Next year’s friendly with Italy in February will be a good test for him.

      1. >In my view, Oranje should have won WC1978 or WC2010.

        the 1978 was extorted and stolen, it should never count as a legit world cup. The 2010 was squeezed out of us by the yellows and reds of that “motherfather” Webb…

        I agree with you on everything you said, including the trauma… What a Greek style tragedy….

          1. even 1994 was not out of reach !

            But, hey, 2014 is coming. Time to get the cup that rightfully belongs to us…

  5. Since we lost the 2010 final against Spain I figured Holland’s 1st World Cup trophy will be won with flair.

    In 2010 we didn’t play too well and I guess it wasn’t meant to be because the Dutch is a team well known for the flair and passion of their attacking football and that’s exactly the way we will win our 1st WC…and I say WE even if I am not Dutch because I support Holland even more than some Dutch people 😛

  6. Agree that we will win our 1st WC …soon I hope. Like you I support Holland always (not sure about more than some Dutch but there are some Dutch I meet that do not follow football so they do not care much about football, in that sense yes). We should have won 2 Euro (either 1992 or 2000, had we won the semi, Germany or France would lose to Oranje) and at least 1 WC (we had our chances in all 3: leading, hit the post in 89 min, miss 2 important best chances, but too many if….).
    I hope all Dutch clubs do well this week and all Dutch players play well.

  7. —————-Stekelenburg————-





    *Heitinga has played as RB and is experienced.
    *Maduro is a player I like a lot but really don’t know how has he been doing lately.

    1. Heitinga is a disaster on the right back , Miguel . Maduro is playing good for seveille as far as i know , but as a holding mid .

      my best defensive line if we are going to play with 4 defenders is :

      Janmaat___ N.De jong ___ BMI_____ Willems


      Van rijn __ De vrij __ Pieters ___ Van aanholt

      De jong’s best position in Oranje is in Defence . just like Mascherano with Barca . De vrij is fantastic in building up and in defense , Same is BMI .
      BMI imo is far better in the CB than in the LB .

      Arsenal wants to sign Willems in the winter . Van aanholt will be in Chelsea in the next season , don’t forget Buttner who played good yesterday with Man UTD.

      I think we better drop both Heitinga and Vlaar . they are good defenders , especially Heitinga . but it’s time to build a new defensive line .

      1. Dejong would excel there as RCB.No doubt,like Cannavaro 1.75 meter.Dejong could lead from there.but martins indi is 1.83,janmaat 1.85 and jetro is 1.75 that is we dont have a tall defense line but we can make it up with stoortman 1.86 and Leory fer 1.88 in midfeild..i am not convinced by williams,i think old peiters and current aanholt is better than him…

    1. ‘boring’?
      not the adjective i would use…….

      nor do i think dortmund is ‘way better’.

      also, miracles are a misunderstanding of statistical chance.

      i do hope ajax don’t get destroyed – i’m with you on that! 🙂

  8. christian eriksen was brilliant!
    danny hoesen seems a dutch gem!
    jody lukoki is a brilliant trickster!
    viktor fischer is the future -> bench derk boeriggter
    wth is poulsen n enoh doin in the first XI when brilliant Schone is warming the bench??

    1. I feel that FdB shouldn’t sub Boerrigter for Fischer. Fischer was too nervous, couldn’t penetrate properly, mis-passed one time too many. He certainly is good, but not quite for tonight.

      and, I really want to slap Vermeer for the 4th goal. He reacted way too late. His eyes locked to the ball, resulting in no anticipation of Lewandowski’s movement. Lewandowski already brought the ball down when he charged forward. Bang. Tor.

      didn’t see the 1st half, so I can only give 2nd half analysis. this is one of few games when the losing team have way more possession than the winning team. winning on great margin.

      Possession doesn’t matter if you can’t finish it properly.

  9. Ajax is not ready yet. I was hoping for miracle. By the way UEFA is having a highlight of Ajax destroying Bayern in CL semi final on the way to the 95 CL title (, and Ajax lost to BDortmund today. Dutch clubs and Oranje have a lot of work to do. That Ajax consisted of LVG, Blind, Kluivert where FDB is Ajax coach today. It’d be nice if Oranje can win the WC the way Ajax won 95 CL.

  10. Well it’s really difficult for Dutch football to compete at the highest level especially when other leagues buy all our young stars every year!!!.

    The positive thing about Dutch football is that the Eredivisie is not ruled by the famous 3 of PSV, Ajax and Feyenord. Now we see AZ, Twente also doing a great job and that helps making more and more good players who will end up being sold to England, Spain or Italy but it is good for the national team. 🙂

  11. Watched Ajax and Dortmund.
    Tactics – Putting 2 def midfield is proven a mistake that cost the game. Dortmund was sitting back and waiting for counter attack, so enoh and poulsen were basically of no use. At the same time since we do not have enough attackers we could not break the wall at tall. (btw, if we had Anita who want Enoh and Poulsen?). Should have played Schone.

    Individual player – Boerrigter and SDJ are very very limited in skills. SDJ still got something to deliver, but Boerrigter does not. Replace him. Eriksen was our best player but he is too predictable. Vermeer was not on his day. He would have saved at least 2 of the goals if at his best. Hoesen had some silky touches on the ball, I feel something from him.

    Overall performance – Statistically Ajax had 6x% possession and 7x% passing rate(while Dortmund just had 5x% which is pathetic)
    So one cannont really conclude that Ajax played a bad game. The huge difference between the teams is efficiency. Ajax doesnt know how to use the ball at all! Look at Dortmund, which only need 2 pass from back court to goal; end up in goal for almost every chance. And Ajax always panic in 30 yards area. (Where is Sigthorssen?) Dortmund deserve the win but 1-4 is too harsh.

    But once again, what do you expect from a team that forced to rebuild every year? (At least we beat Man City)

    1. ajax don’t want to pay money, so they go nowhere if they come to champions league for 100 years. if u cannot keep ur important players, u would go out. also i cannot see any good thing about PSV. maybe Big dutch teams r too small for good europe teams. Psv have Strootman, Narsingh, Lens, Van bommle, but they can not win a game in EL.

  12. Ajax is still polluted by some people intentions or some people in ajax think that they are 100 perfect pundits on football.they must be open to ideas and should listen outside rather than living in their own heaven.they must change their attitude We are ajax.they should look in to their history and must start from lesson one.

  13. “Look at Dortmund, which only need 2 pass from back court to goal; end up in goal for almost every chance.”
    Sounds like the German efficiency that we know.

  14. Where is Van Bommle and Strootman? why they don’t play in tonight game? they both played in this weekend. also i cannot see Narsingh in Line up, what happend for PSV?

    1. Any Eredivise team in UEFA Europa League(EL) is facing a dilemma. It is not that easy to get continuous good results in EL and in Eredivisie simultaneously. It is a trade-off. And apparently PSV’s first priority is Eredivisie.

  15. don’t know what to say about PSV and ajax, but feel these days r worst days of dutch football, i cannot see anything good in our two big teams. and this is because Eredisive is amateur in these days. look at table, Psv have everything, very big for other teams, but they cannot win against small teams in Europe. dutch football go nowhere with this philosophy.

  16. The worst thing is that now many good players are still playing in Holland! I really don’t want to know what will happen when Strootman, Narsingh, Clasie, BMI, Fer, etc leave their Eredivisie clubs.

  17. I was at the Ajax-Dortmund game with one of my sons. Almost 70% possession and 1-4 result. Really disturbing. We played well and kept the ball but we don’t have enough bite up front.
    I also spoke with Andre Oijer and Ronald de Boer for a quite a long time (I always go in the Philips box). They both said that we are not there yet, but that the A1 and especially the B1 were absolutely outstanding filled with great prospects. Ronald also stated that although de Jong is a great player he is not absolute international caliber. I was frankly amazed by how candid, nice and friendly they were. As we were entering the box, we also saw Overmars and Morten Olsen (coach of Denmark) in an intense discussion, maybe talking about the fact Ajax has become the true pipeline for Danish football (we have 5!). All in all despite the result, it was a great evening and a truly fabulous atmosphere.
    I just thought I would share this with everyone on the blog.

  18. yes am Olsen must be waiting for Boilesen to return…ajax will be reborn with Boilesen and Fishcer bombing down the left and van Rijn and lukoki on the right!

  19. ebicillio is very limited…but lukoki is a whole level higher…bonevacia is avg too….but jozefzoon may rise one day…even though currently he is not at the level of lukoki

  20. Watching wolfsburg vs werderr bremen

    Bas dost always isolated, one chance hits the post should have scored off a header right away on the counter

    Elia gets the ball beats a defender and hits a pass for the score, Werder Bremen up 0:1

    elia is trying to one-two down the line with his teammates and either he or the other person messes up the passes

  21. Anyone who matched Man U today should recognize they are having the same issue that we have had of late. With Fletcher, Scholes and Rooney playing in the midfield they have some great passers but little movement. When Anderson came on he gave the team a new dimension.

    I really hope Leroy Fer continues to develop for us for this reason. Midfield’s cannot be static.

    Van Der Wiel gets another start for PSG. NOt actually sure how he is playing but that is a tough starting 11 to get into so he must be doing pretty well.

  22. To continue on the discussion with de Boer and Andre this past Wednesday in Amsterdam, those are the guys Ronald was very keen on:
    Elton Acolatse, Danzell Gravenberch, Djavan Anderson, Jordi Bitter, and El Hasnaoui. But the two he singled out as absolute gems are Queensy Menig and Sheraldo Becker. He should know since he works with those guys on an individual basis. So future is bright. In fact he stated that some of those guys could make the first team. He also said that although Eriksen is an outstanding player, he still has a lot to learn. He felt he should stay at Ajax at least 2 more seasons but could not be sure of that. He even said that if a very good offer comes, he would go. It is abundantly clear that Ajax new philosophy is to sign young players like they did with Fisher, Anderson and Bazoer; give them long term contracts and let more established players go, They are now trying to offload Sulemani but not sure anyone wants him.
    As for Andre’s plans, he said he was enjoying his life off football for the time being but he was considering going back to football next year with Ajax or PSV. I asked him which club he liked most and he stated Ajax first and PSV second. But did you know he married the daughter of Willy Van de Kerkhof? Willy was also there in the lounge. Another nice guy. As for the best memory of Oijer: First was Holland-Scotland 6-0 win in Amsterdam and then Holland-Brazil WC 2010. He joked that the coach did not want him for the final, otherwise Holland would have won!!
    I have pictures as well so if someone tells me how to do it I an send them. And by the way for those wondering why I go to the Philips lounge is because i have been doing lots of research with Philips for over 12 years. The leader of the team in Eindhoven loves football and is best friend with the person in charge of football related events especially in Amsterdam and Eindhoven (more difficult in Rotterdam), so it is relatively easy for him to get us these seats. But yes it is truly awesome because the seats are perfect and players or coaches always come by.

    1. Jeff, very interesting your chat with the ajax management team. However, I find a bit naive on their part telling you their preferences for teams or players. You could have been an undercover journalist and by publishing their opinions could create issues in the team and maybe dissent too. But maybe that’s how people talk in Holland and this is a non issue.

  23. Anyone notice that a fully fit sneijder is benched for inter and banned from using twitter? Looks like they want to cut his salary as well.. Or they are trying to push him out. I think he should go to man utd and join rvp. They need him there

  24. Balkan, Ronald de Boer is not part of the management team he just works with the youth. But still I agree that I was a bit surprised. On the other hand, it is not like he revealed any real secrets. The only thing that truly surprised me was his assessment of Siem de Jong. He clearly said that the Dortmund game revealed he is not international caliber. I found that strange especially since he is also the captain of the team. But again it is Ronald’s opinion not Frank’s.

  25. Thank you Jeff. It is good that we keep producing good prospects. The problem is that Ajax cannot keep them (other clubs poaching) or they leave too early (money).

    I agree that Sneijder should consider taking a pay cut (get paid like RVP or Rooney but not more) and move to MU.

  26. The only talent we have out wide is really ola john all you need to do is to compare his development to any other wingers, he is 20 and has become valuable to benfica. Compare this to the pretenders aka: narsingh who has failed at psv so far.

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