We covered Ajax and PSV, time to look at the number 3 of the Top 3 and the winner of the JC Shield: Feyenoord! Five trophies in four seasons is not bad, not bad at all.
The changes this summer were not too bad (knock on wood, transfer period isn’t over yet…). But Jorgensen didn’t get away, Vilhena didn’t get away and despite the interest for Berghuis (Germany) and Van Beek (Turkey), the only players who left are El Ahmadi (free transfer) and Bilal to Turkey for €1,000,000. Very late in the game, Brad Jones got a deal to go to the sand pit and the Australian goalie saw the writing by Bijlow on the wall – who played an amazing pre-season – and decided to prop up his pension fund by taking his exit.
So, with Robin van Persie staying on and homeboy Jordy Clasie returning on a loan deal Feyenoord looks in decent shape. Yassin Ayoub joined on a free deal from FC Utrecht and South American surprise Sinistera was signed to replace Bilal.
Clasie’s return is a good sign for the fans. The midfielder played a decent season for Club Brugge (“I played almost everything in the second season half… only when the finals came, I was dropped to the bench, without explanation. The coach wanted me to stay another year, but something broke when that happened..”). Clasie returned to Southampton and impressed Mark Hughes in the pre-season. Despite this, Clasie longed for a spell back in Rotterdam. Even a last sms by Hughes didn’t change things.
Clasie: “I want to play. Money doesn’t make you happy. Maybe I’m not a guy to play abroad, who knows. When I don’t play I need my friends and family around me, and when you’re in another country and you aren’t playing…it’s hard. But, having said that, it was magical. Playing in the EPL was a dream, I have great memories but I’m also very happy to be at Feyenoord. We’ll see what pans out.
Feyenoord’s pre-season looked ok, with some good, average and bad games / results. The first test was the match vs PSV for the Johan Cruyff Shield. Feyenoord won. And that win might have thrown some magic dust in the eyes of the fan, as Feyenoord didn’t play too well.
Reaction-football. Low pace, never great in possession and quite lucky not to concede. Although they did get the better chances towards the end of the match.
But goalie Bijlow made the difference and Feyenoord had another trophy.
The real test would be the away game against the orange coloured Trencin, for the Europa League. A game in which Gio van Bronckhorst had to trust his youngster for a result. Haps is injured for a spell already, as is goalie Vermeer. Ayoub is injured, Jorgensen as well, Van Persie wasn’t fit enough and St Juste couldn’t start either, while Vilhena was still suspended.
With these big name players missing, Gio hoped for his young talents to step up to the plate.
And sadly, their 4-0 bashing vs Trencin will dominate this post and the week ahead, as they played a dreadful game. Yes, also Bijlow, Van Beek, Vente and Amrabat… Naive, lacking in energy and leadership… Just shallow and clumsy and lacklustre.
Which will give Gio enough headaches for sure. With Van Persie in the team, or Jorgensen, you’d expect leadership, guidance… a player who can sense the danger. But Clasie, Van Beek, Berghuis and Toornstra weren’t capable of bringing some much needed grit to the team.
At home, next week, it is still possible for Feyenoord to do the heroic. Which would boost everyone sensationally of course. But, the odds aren’t good.
At the same time, it could be a blessing in disguise. With Ajax most likely reaching the CL after doing well away vs Liege (2-2) and PSV in the CL, it seems Feyenoord could benefit from a Europe-less season… One must always hope.
And who knows, with New Zealander Ryan Thomas making a late move from PEC Zwolle to PSV Eindhoven, the competition (Ajax and PSV) is getting stronger, while Feyenoord might still lose some players (Vilhena, Jorgensen, Berghuis, Van Beek).
The main issue I see for Feyenoord is their lack of will, their lack of real desire. The Must-Win mentality that Ajax always had and PSV most definitely will have even more of now Van Bommel is in charge. I fear Feyenoord will have to go for the third place. Ajax and PSV will fight for the title I suppose…
As for the rest: Heerenveen lost some quality but do have a new coach in Adriaanse adept Jan Olde Riekerink (my old school mate) and the signing of Rodney Kongolo, from Man City (former Feyenoord talent).
FC Utrecht will be a contender again, as per usual, as will Vitesse, under Russian coach Sloetsky. I do expect something from FC Groningen this coming season, in all honesty and I hope PEC Zwolle can keep on overachieving.
AZ still has to prove it to the fans, with their two threats up front – Weghorst and Jahanbaksh – gone. The new signings haven’t done it so far for the Alkmaar club but with Stengs on the way back and many great young talents, you can rest assured Van de Brom will have a goodlooking team and will battle for a place up top.
So, your turn guys… What do you think we can expect from this Eredivisie season?