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…