On the Road to Qatar: Steven Berghuis

Whether he going the long way from the amateurs to the pros or whether its through a headline grabbing transfer from Feyenoord to Ajax, Steven Berghuis will always go his own way, dreaming of a pro career and dreaming to reach Oranje, like his dad Frank “Pico” (ex PSV, ex-Galatasaray) did.

He made his debut in pro football in 2011, for FC Twente in a game versus Heracles. It’s no surprise that Steven got into the National Team, as that whole team consisted or would consist of internationals. A couple of names: Mihaylov (46 caps for Bulgaria), Rosales (91 caps for Venezuela), Onyewu (69 for the USA), Landzaat (39 caps), Luuk de Jong (38 caps), Nacer Chadli (66 for Belgium) and Marc Janko (70 for Austria) to name a few.

Ironically, defender Douglas didn’t get any. But he was the one Louis van Gaal pushed to get a Dutch passport and after a prolonged visa process, he did get two call ups for qualification matches with Oranje but never played a single minute for the Dutch NT.

Berghuis’ debut in Oranje

12 years later, it’s the longhaired youngster with the shiny boots who would become the most prolific international for Oranje from this particular squad. He made his debut in 2011 but there is only 4 seconds of footage of him, in which he is recognisable due to his typical little spring in his step. Assistant coach Alfred Schreuder (!) told him to go out and enjoy himself but he might not even had touched the ball, against Heracles with a young Remko Pasveer on goal.

A couple of years before his debut, he has had a sniff of pro football when WSV from his home city Apeldoorn selected him as 15 year old to play with the first team against Feyenoord in a friendly. The amateurs lost 4-1 but Berghuis gets his goal and celebrates it as if he just won the Champions League. When he made it to skipper at Feyenoord, many years later, he posted a photo from that match, standing in between Gini Wijnaldum and Slory, with goalie Henk Timmer on the right.

15 year old Berghuis against Wijnaldum

His dream to become a pro player like his dad Frank seems shattered when the Vitesse/AGOVV academy decides to cancel his spot there. He tells his coaches that he will find another way to become a pro player and goes back to his amateur club, where he would play for 2 years, until several pro clubs come knocking. He gets into the Twente first team squad via the Go Ahead Eagles academy and the rest is history. He doesn’t get much chances at Twente, where Co Adriaanse feels he is too feeble and vulnerable for the top. He makes a move on loan to VVV Venlo where he shines and gets picked up by AZ Alkmaar scouts.

Watford recognises his talent and pays good money to lure him and dad Frank (as scout) to Watford, after having impressed at AZ. He doesn’t fit in the system of Quique Sanchez Flores though, and only gets a couple of sub turns, before he is relegated to the B team, from October to April. Late in the season he gets two games and partly due to two Berghuis assists is Watford able to stay up. Flores praises Berghuis’ tenacity but the technician feels English football is probably not for him. When Feyenoord decides to get him in, on loan first, he grabs the opportunity with both hands and becomes a regular at De Kuip.

Danny Blind also recognises his talent and selects him for Oranje. Berghuis would finally eclipse dad Frank, who played 1 cap for Oranje, and gets his hare against Ireland in a friendly.

At Feyenoord, he is important in his first season, when Feyenoord wins the title. Striker Jorgensen and Dirk Kuyt are the key men but Berghuis still gets seven goals and five assists. He will grow out to Feyenoord’s main man and skipper in the seasons after. In four seasons, he will become the most valuable player with a role in 106 goals in 119 matches.

In a 2020 interview, he is asked about his stats in relation to his role as winger: “I don’t see myself as a winger. I don’t have that speed or particular dribble like Robben had. I am more a 10 playing wide. Something you see more often. Ziyech plays like that, Mahrez, Tadic. I could also play as a real 10 I think. But in modern football, a lot of the 10s are now more box to box players, with lots of movement, like Guus Til or Davy Klaassen.”

Steven and Frank Berghuis

Interestingly enough, at Ajax, Berghuis is used a lot as midfielder, and actually, a midfielder who can play at any position. Under Ten Hag he plays mostly as a 10 but under Schreuder and recently in Oranje as well, he is used as an 8 or even a 6.

This means he gets involved sooner, and has more impact on the game. His stats demonstrate this. This season, he had 91 touches in a match and 68 passes! That is the highest he had ever since returning to the Eredivisie.

In Oranje, Van Gaal used him as controlling mid and in that role he had 4 key interceptions defensively and three shots on goal and a wonderful assist.

In the National Team, he can play in any role in midfield and in a 4-3-3 he could also play as right winger. Wonderful for any coach to have such a versatile player, with a wand of a left foot. When he played his first U-19 match, he wondered if he could do better than dad Frank. With 39 caps now and a World Cup on the horizon, it seems like he has definitely made his dad proud.

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  1. I have talked about him alot. Tempo dictated player. If the tempo suits him he will shine, if it doesn’t, ghost. Write it somewhere. Will never live up to expectation vs the big guns.

    He was always an above average from AZ days but the difference this time around is he finds him self around better players and weaker opponents. If you even go back to his time at feyenoord, in Europa league he couldn’t replicate much of eredivisie form and the same I would say in CL as well. His workrate his average, on the ball as well. He is good for team like Lativa, Gibraltar, Qatar, etc.

    Xavi Simons is a better option then him imo.

  2. Though Simons has no NT experience he still has showed just in how months he can play at the highest level and even has better qualities than most of the midfielders with NT caps

  3. Looking at Gakpo’s form its hard to see him sitting on the bench and given he is bracketed in the same position as berghuis ( hole) it will be intresting to see who starts there. Gakpo is good on the ball and has a better ling range shot ability. I just can’t see berghuis clocking much minutes as van gaal for sure will wanna get the best team up and running from the first game.

    Again it will be intresting as Klaassen is also in the mix. Let’s see how it unfolds.

  4. Now if you put up the argument in Simon’s case, that no coach will wanna take risk this close to the WC, I would say given what Simons has being showing, it’s worth taking the risk.

  5. There is a high chance ximons will. Be huge hit at wc.. He is a good finisher, vision, incredible on ball skill, good work rate..but he fades away after 60 minutes.. I feel ximons more mercurious than berghuis… We would be loosers if he doesnt play.. Ximons is an attacker who doesn’t need as experience as a defender in NT to debt..

  6. I have better trust in Pasveer than Cillessen..for Me its Pasveer,Cillessen,Bijlow…i know cillesen cannot stop penalty..Then how about Bijlow..i think Bijlow is pretty good..taking 4 Gks to WC would be stupidity…Also Defense wins Titles so 10 Defenders are Must…Just 10 days Van gaal will announce his final 26..Gakpo and simons are on fire….
    Blind-Malacia–Struijk-Ake-Virgil-Devrij-Deligt-Timber–Frimpong -Dumfries-10
    Frenkie-koopmeiners-klassen-Berghuis-Taylor-Simons–6 nos
    Depay,Gakpo,Berjwin,Malen,Luuk Dejong,Janssen,Noah lang-7

  7. @jan Its quite bold of you to write an article about berghuis so early in the “road to Qatar” series. Let’s hope the criticism doesn’t get out of hand. Thankful for another awesome post.

    1. @emmanuel have you seen Paasveer lately? Lots of mistakes! He had another giveaway against Rangers tonight which somehow they failed to convert. I’d rather see the experienced Cillessen in goal.

      1. @Tommy Pasveer is playing with a weak defense…So he will be under pressure all time…That wont be the case when he plays with Virgil,Ake,timber,Devrij…last game against west ham idiotic english pundits were praising Maguire,infact De gea had to pull out his career best saves to keep it clean when Maguire played…Maguire was slow,sluggish,cannot carry the ball,Least press resistant..and was protcetd by Martinez..
        Cillessen and Flekken looks lost at times,Cillessen is the worst GK vs penalty,especially in this VAR ERA..refree will call penalty if it touches your D#%ick..i rechecked all matches played by cillessen and Flekken..they dont look better than Pasveer..

  8. @Emmanual I think thats a decent 26 you have. I personally like botman over struijk based on how amazing he has been for newcastle.

    I also think danjuma will come for lang. I wonder if van gaal would take 9 defenders so he could take danjuma, lang and malen.

  9. Watched Leverkusen 0-0 Club brugge. Lany lasted 66′ and clearly looked out of gas. Signalled to the bench to be subbed of. On ball looked good as usually, created some good opportunities with his technical passes and pretty much that was it. Not the same work rate as often which again tells the story about his fitness level. Him and frimpong had sime good battle on the flanks. Pretty much nullified each other.Not sure how this will be interpreted by the jury. I think this weekend is the last round of games before the international break for the world cup.
    Bjorn Miejers started in 3 man backline for brugge. Showed good strength breaking down plays which also included keeping a check on Frimpong. Some good build up from the back as well linking up with Lang and other brugge forwards with overhead passes.( blind esque). Surely not the position he would be poised to be starting at but did well

    Frimpong didn’t have much joy on the flank and like I said was kept in check by the brugge backline. Sobol and Meijers. Did manage to penetrate few times and had one good shot that went wide but otherwise minimal threat in this game.

    Must say Bakker had a good game. Robust in tackling and offensively was lively going forward and showed good footwork linking up with team mates in those tight situations. Certainly is undisputed for leverkusen at the moment. There is still room for him to improve particularly on his crosses and pulling trigger when in good position. long range shots

  10. Actually, I am glad @Jan wrote this post about Berghuis.

    He is an unpopular player in this blog. Overall, is rated as an average player that doesn’t deserve too much recognition.

    However, I believe he can give us a lot in the next World Cup.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but when Ziyech was the Ajax playmaker, Berghuis was the player with more goals contribution (goals plus assist) in the Eredivisie. When Berghuis was a Feyenoord captain, and has the responsibility of the team on his shoulders, he played at a very high level, and make the team play better.

    When he moved to Ajax became more conservative. Played more by the book. Took less risks. He was not the Star anymore, just another player more of a team full of stars.

    But this year I have seen a great development. Berghuis is taking more the leadership of the team. He is oozing confidence. He is trying different things, even risky ones, nice first touches, nice long passes, shoot outside the box… and he has been great. Not just for Ajax for in Orange games too. Is there is an Ajax player we can save for the current Ajax situations, this player is Berghuis.

    Also, he is very versatile player. He can be our playmaker, or a strong contender for that position. Gapko is by far better winger, but I don’t know who is better midfielder.

    Don’t underestimate him. He is not Van ser Vaart nor Seedorf, but I trust he will play a very important role in the World Cup.

  11. Good passing, good ball control and decent finish. He is lacking speed and strength. That was the reason he could not succeed in EPL. Given the right set up, I could see he do decent work. I will take him as a backup. De Jong – Koop – Gakpo will be my midfield. Berghuis can take come in as a 8 or a 10 and change the shape of the formation.

  12. Argentina likely to lose Giovanni Loselso, midfielder who plays for Villareal due to hamstring tear. Surgery might be required, so he may lose the worldcup .

  13. Watched the first half of bayern vs Inter. Gravenberch started at AM in more advanced role but really didn’t looked comfortable operating there. Was mostly involved in duals and link ups. Pretty much it. It not looking good for him with klimmich and sabitzer being more dominant in starting 11. If this continues he might get shipped out on loan or something.I think he Was brought in more as for future and to provide backup for both klimmich and sabitzer.

    For inter must say De Vrij looked very shaky and was dispoessed in some dangerous situation. Didnt watch the second half so can’t confirm if he improved in the second half or no. Dumfries remained on the bench and didn’t feature of the bench either.

    So Barcelona, Juventus, leverkusen, Ajax are confirmed to be dropping down to europa. This will definitely make the competition more intense.

    1. Gravenberch started in a deeper position against Plzen and he did not impress there as well. I think he will be shipped out. That might be better for him as he struggle to get off the bench. And when he was given opportunity, he did nothing to justify it.

  14. Messi can always drop in the midfield or play second striker behind Lautaro martinez and hence accomdate both Alvarez ( city) and Di Maria ( juventus). They have alot of options if in worst case scenario. 3-5-2, 3-4-3. And above all coach scolani has already tested different players in different formations.

  15. 1998 we were robbed off a penalty by refree VS Brazil..
    2002–Silly mistake and we lost the spot to 2 very best european teams at that point of time..
    2006–Arrogance by Van basten to play kuyt instead RVN
    2010 –stupidity by bert van to play kuyt for Van der vaart.
    2014–Loius ran out os susbtituion for Penalty shootout..unlucky
    2018–stupidity by Blind and Hiddink…
    2022 …Shear Brilliance by king loui Van gaal…
    Players should get the meassage..ITS NOW OR NEVER so does van gaal..We should not aim for quaterfinal vs some Messi..We should look for th gold..We have wat it takes to win..
    1998–France had headers vs Brazil to win we didnt get that in semi..if so we would have burried brazil..
    2002–Brazil got a lucky gaol from david seaman mistake
    2006–VS australia rfree won the match for italy
    2010–casillas toe saved spain
    2014-Germany did many mistake,still arjentina couldnt penalise it..
    2018-Even pavard scored from scremer vs Arjentina..thats happens once in blue moon..
    We need some luck
    Best of Luck for NT…

  16. @Emmanual. I disagree with your logic that the singular reason we lost a world cup is because of stupidity or arrogance etc. For example, in 2010 we played a very structured system that kuyt helped maintain. Would we have made the final playing a more fluid and attacking system with van der vaart instead of kuyt…. Im not sure. It could have been brilliance by Bert to identify that our back 4 were weak and that he needed to have a defensive structure. If robben scores, Berts a genius. Also, you could make the claim that van der vaart is the reason iniesta scored…

    I also don’t believe it is now or never. In fact, I think we may have a better squad for 2026. Most of our players will be hitting their prime. We lose blind, Luuk de jong, Klassen, Maybe van dijk and de vrij, berghuis, de roon, wijnaldum. VVD is the biggest loss but we have loads of guys to replace him and he still may be playing. I am not sure we have a like for like in de roon but im sure we will be fine. The loss of Berghuis is sad as his style is very unique. However, we have guys like lang, simons, etc who can also offer creative solutions.

    GK: Bijlow?
    RB: Rensch and frimpong will be more developed. Dumfries/karsdorp still in the mix. Maybe Hoever?
    CB: We replace van dijk and de vrij with botman, struijk, van den ven timber(coming of age). Ake, de ligt still around and better players. Van den Berg?
    LB: Blind replaced for a better malacia, bakker, maatsen? Meijer? Baas?

    CM: Klassen and berghuis for gravenberch, taylor, simons who are all further developed. Add in frenkie, koopmeiners, veerman, Schouten. Unuvar? Q. Timber?

    LM/RM: Gakpo, Lang, Danjuma, Malen, Bergwijn Will all be hitting their peaks. Summerville? Kluivert? Braaf?

    St: Depay will most likely still be around. Brobbey will be more developed. Boadu? Zirkzee? Hansen? Redan?

    Frimpong/Rensch De ligt/Timber Botman/Ake Malacia/Bakker

    Frenkie/Veerman Gravenberch/Taylor Simons/Koopmeiners

    Bergwijn/Gakpo Depay/Brobbey Lang/Danjuma

    Based on the line up above, only depay is likely on the downward swing of development from now until 2026. Everyone else should improve or stay around the same level they are currently at. This line up assumes mostly safe bets (Gravenberch and simons will develop well etc.) It doesnt include any young potential superstars that could have a massive break out between now and 2026. However, we could easily see some incredible players come out of no where or kickstart their development(boadu, zirkzee, kluivert)

    I’d love to hear more predicted lineups for 2026 if anyone else finds that fascinating.

    1. @Anthony..1-Bert van was coward he got schooled in EC2012,,he was riding the fruitful years of Roben,RVP,sneijder(Ballon d or got stolen),Nijel Dejong….We had a double pivot to protect defense with Dejong and Bommel with very good work rate..what are you talking about?//the double pivot system was used by San mark as well,He did with Nijel and Englaar..even we got a name thugs..even cryuf doesnt wanted us to win 2010 Vs spain…i was pissed of by the back passes by kuyt,every time kuyt got the ball,our movemnet ended there.the same team under Bert got schooled were semifinalist of WC2014..Bert was worst in terms of futuristic approach..He was hesistant to play Strootman for Bommel which he got screwd at EC2012..He was afraid even in every friendly he went with same squad…
      2–Now or never is an attitude i meant…Tomorrow is not in your hands bro,even next second…
      3-kluivert justin and zirkee lacks quality…they wont make it big i am sorry..boadu might..
      4-if greece can?if italy can in 2006?if Denmark in 1992 then why not oranje in 2022???..
      I was sceptical on luuk de jong ,but more i study his character i become a fan of him…i will play him as 10 -15 minutes puncher only…but he is fighetr,he delivers when no one expects..He can score vital gaols at vital moment…

  17. @ Emmanual
    1. I am not disputing that he was riding some great talent in 2010. My point is that if you were to change the tactics and player selection that got us to the gold medal game, then maybe you do not make it to the goldmedal game. Those tactics got us within a Robben breakaway from winning the world cup. Van der vaart had a poor clearance, then was caught in no mans land for iniestas goal. If Kuyt was in that position, he may have had a better clearance and then iniesta doesnt score. You may not like the tactics, thuggery, or that kuyt slowed the game down, but it worked. It wasnt until de jong and kuyt were subbed that spain scored. The point I am making is that Kuyt vs van der vaart starting is not the sole reason why spain won the world cup and we got second. A World cup has way too many variables in play to attribute all the negatives onto 1 player and then forget about all of his positive contributions.
    2. Yup, good point. We should have this mentality for every game.
    3. Kluivert probably wont but to be 23 and getting minutes for valencia is decent. I doubt it too but who knows how players develop. When zirkzee was 20 he scored almost a goal every other game in belguim. It’s quite early to say he cannot develop further. You are probably right, but I am sure we will see some young player develop into a better player than we expected when 2026 comes.
    4. Hell yeah! I fully believe we can win it! (Technically though, your examples of Greece and Denmark are only Euro winners and Italy isn’t in the same category of underdogs)

    1. @Anthony…We got concede when Dejong got subbed,why did bert do that??when your defense is weak as you said earlier..That team never existed with out RVP,Roben,Nijel and Sneijder…i was shocked to see Dejong was taken out..We would be creating hell chances with Vaart supportiing Trio..okay then how did we reach final???we facced only one good team that was Brazil and we almost lost it…Sneijder found two gaols out of no where,shortest man on pitch got a header…Then Julius ceaser blunder…When we faced a better team we lost..kuyt would have been nice once we take lead at final..Bert van was coward(Most of coward people in this world are called genius)We struggles after Bert,he never groomed any one in NT..we were left in shambles..Luckily LVG came back and took us to WC from a tough group…Then almost wo against arjentina…
      4-Italy was not a better team in 2006,they were lesser to france,brazil,arjentina,portugal,and dutch..Just like us in 2010 they had little lucky run..rfree bought them against Australia,almost failed in final..some how beat germany..Good teams colided each other and murdered each other..France Vs brazil,Portugal Vs Holland,Arjentina Vs germany..(germany won by penaltyshootout)..We are Just like italy in 2006 or better than them…We are not underdogs like denmark or greece….

      1. He took de jong out to do exactly what you are saying should happen. He took out a player who slows the game down and passes sideways and backwards for vdvaart. It seems odd that you would criticize this tactic. Is it only when kuyt slows down the game and plays with thuggery that you do not like this tactic but you’re in favour of it when de jong does?

        I think the point of my argument is getting lost. I disagreed that Van der vaart or kuyt starting isn’t the sole reason why we won or lost a world cup. I think you are now criticizing Van Maarwijk in general? If thats the case then I can see your point. I personally think taking us to extra time in a world cup final is a massive success (especially given our squad in 2010 and how amazing the spain squad was). However, i can appreciate that you may think that the expectation for our squad in 2010 was to beat spain/win the world cup and it was Bert van Maarwijk coaching that made us underachieve.

        4. I think Italy was quite a good team. Buffon, Cannavaro, Pirlo, Del Piero, Zambrotta, Totti, De rossi, Gattuso, Nesta, Inzaghi are all regarded extremely high. We might just be splitting hairs if we are arguing that Italy is a Tier 1 or a Tier 1.5 team. I don’t think either of us think they were a tier 2 team like a denmark.

        1. @anthony You cannot take nijel Dejong or Joris Matjijenson for Van der vaart thats stupidity…Van marwijk wasted initial 70 miuntes with spain as we should have gotten more chances..Spain hardly scored 7 or 8 gaols in enire seven matches..He should have started with vaart and after taking lead defend with kuyt..that was sensible in aspects..He was coward,he never wanted a change ,Somehow sneijder,RVP,Roben gaols were saving bert van…When they faill we fail…They were most potent trio of any internatioanl team at those times…When you have double pivot with Nijel and bommel why kuyt instead vaart vs a boring tiki tkak spain team???..Nijel de jong can be replaced with equal DM..Vaart is creativbe player…while vaart can easily replace kuyt…

  18. Can someone share an update about Malen?

    According to this article he was left out of the last international friendly because of an injury. But he claims he is back in form and playing regularly.


    Is Malen playing regularly? Since when? Is he playing good? Is he fit?

    I really like this player but I think he get lost in Dortmund and haven’t reached his potential.

    Van ser Vaart is arguing he should be a started in the next WC (if is fit) because he offers more than the others strikers.

    “If you’re going to play with two strikers, he’s ideal to have on hand in such a system. If he’s in shape, I might as well line him up next to Memphis. Bergwijn has done very well with the Dutch national team. He will play and he has earned it. But if Malen is really in shape, he’s got something the others don’t.”


    On y books, Malen is not playing at good level despite be fit and I will take Danjuma over him. But I am not sure. I don’t follow Dortmund.

    1. Malen is superb at dortumund ,he is a starter..he earned starting spot..unfortunate that he was injured for long time…He is Mercurius..He should be in qatar…Van der vaart Tips Malen to start as he is inform player…

    2. He was given decent chances at the beginning of the season but did not impress. Then he got injured and just came back to the squad last few weeks. He was in and out. He got 1 assist this whole season and no goal. If you go to Dortmund forum, they consider him a flop already. With Haller not in the squad, he has a lot more chances now and he could not take it. I think when Haller come back or when Dortmund decide to buy a replacement, he will shipped out.

      Seriously, if he think Bayern game is a good example of how he should go to WC then in my opinion, he should stay at home. He need to understand that he is doing badly and he need to improve. If you read VDV interview, he said if multiple times. The if is that he need to be in form which is he is not. Even so, if everyone is on form, he should not start. Depay and Bergwijn did a lot more than him so they should start. I don’t read too much into VDV interview, he is considered as one of the worst critics and often gave wrong opinion.

      He got an assist last week so I hope he improve from there. We have many out of forms players: Depay, Malen, Lang and Danjuma so we really need them to improve before the WC.

  19. I have been keeping a eye on Senegal players and must say it won’t be walk over on the park for NT. leaving mane aside the side still boost a good balance in the team and depth off the bench as well. Koulibaliy Napoli/ chelsea and Diallo ( PSG/ Leipziq), ballo Toure ( milan) are expected to lead from backline

    The kouyates, Gueyes and mendys, sarrs are all stacked in the team and so are the ligue 1 contingent jacobs and diatta from Monaco, Marseille hitman bamba Dieng and Villareal raising start nicolas Jackson and Villareal loanee at salernitana now. Boulaye Dia. Not sure of their coach though because van gaal is known for tatically outclassing not so tatical coaches when its a tight affair. Vs Australia 2014. The only causlity for them right now is Chelsea goal keeper, Eduardo Mandy.

  20. @Wilson. Argentina is Vulnerable to set pieces They are also weak with aerial balls. The opposing teams have to take advantage of these weakness. Brazil, i think has a bit weak defence but i dont know more about them.

    1. Why do you say this and with respect to whom . If you are thinking because of Martinez then no you are wrong. Otemendi ( Benfica) is old but still reliable and so is Romero ( spurs) whom both are starters. Even if Argentina go back three they will still be formidable with Martinez on the left, otemendi in the centre and Romero on the right. Plus they have a robust CM of De Paul and Paredes.

      1. @wilson…where you are looking at/?/Manoj has valid point…Martinez is great guy with heart ,amazing player,not bad at aeral threat….But ottomani thrives with reckless fouls,since he is arjentine he WONT get red card..Romero is also a good defender..Martinez is just one guy….how can he stop When De ligt-Ake-Vrigil–Luuk dejong comes for header at one man??/He cannot..Nobody cannot…Just like zidane did vs Brazil Vs france at WC 1998 final…We can burry arjentina by 4-1 or 4-2…we can bang them with headers…our heading specilaists will determine the outcome in crunch matches i mean there will be chess matches..We can burry arjetina and brazil with header gaols..We might concede but we can outscore them..

  21. My biggest fear right now is the players picking up injury. It is now too close to the WC to be able to recover from even minor injury.
    Still got 2-3 matches left to play. 😬
    I actually wish the players not play for their clubs at all starting now. guessed they must be also in dilemma whether to go all out for their clubs at this stage.

  22. Just watched Club Brugge Vs Leverkusen game. I would think good individual performances by Noa Lang and Frimpong. Lang clearly still finding his game rhythm, but his technique and ball control are still good. Frimpong as usual showed good energy down the right flank. Will be interesting to see whether both make the final cut. Noa Lang & Xavi Simons will provide the creativity as a #10 behind the two forwards. But LVG may well decide to just take one of them.

  23. “But ottomani thrives with reckless fouls,since he is arjentine he WONT get red card..Romero is also a good defender..Martinez is just one guy….how can he stop When De ligt-Ake-Vrigil–Luuk dejong comes for header at one man??”

    What crap is this man???? What are you saying.

    What manoj Kumar said was ” vulnerable in set pieces” yes off course Van dijk, Ake and Luuk are arieal specialist and will bring that threat in every game but that doesn’t mean that it will be gifted to them on the plate.

    Pay particular attention to their winning streak in this article.


    Aslo in 98 Brazil were not weak in arieal defense. Zidane simply was a showed his class. In SF vs NT, van hooijdonk was sent on to do the same thing but instead was falling all over looking for soft penalties. Just saying.

    1. “””What manoj Kumar said was ” vulnerable in set pieces” yes off course Van dijk, Ake and Luuk are arieal specialist and will bring that threat in every game but that doesn’t mean that it will be gifted to them on the plate.””””””””””””
      What crap you are talking about…Do you think players sit in chair on feild????When Virgil,ake,Deligt,Luuk de jong runs at set peice Arjentina must be shivering their legs..there will be bullet headers and thats the way to beat this ornganised arjentina team…perhaps thats the only way…LVG should think of that..Even brazil failed to score against arjentina on ground game…so its better to forget that..

    2. “””Aslo in 98 Brazil were not weak in arieal defense. Zidane simply was a showed his class”””””””
      even against a strong areal brazil zidane scored ,just copy that and apply against a weak aeral Arjentina thats it…Van hooidonk retired 20 years ago ,you dont have to worry that…

  24. Looks like there is deliemma now at LB with both Blind malacia dropping to bench at their clubs. This is not what you want to see this close to the world cup.

      1. @KEVIN …the real problem at back is BLind…you have to hide him,Thank GOd BMI is not available..So i would prefer multy position defender like struijk who can play LB an LCB..ideally
        We should go wth Malacia-Struijk–Ake-Botman-Virgil as 5 left sided defenders…on right side..Devrij-Deligt-Timber-Dumfries-Frimpong…but we need to wait for another 7 days to know who will be in qatar..

    1. Yes, it is amazing that they can go to the next round as group winner. Feyenoord lost more than half of the first team at the beginning of the season. Arne Slot is forming a new team.

  25. Yeap that was an intresting group
    . All teams ended up with 8 points and dramatically FC MIDTJYLLAND whom were bottom of the group qualified runners up behind feyenoord pipping Lazio on GD. There was also reports of urine in bags thrown at Lazio bench. Disgrace tbh

  26. The Emanuel criticism on Van Marwijk is old hat now guys. It’s been debated for 12 years now. We all know how it works: if Robben would have scored, Van Marwijk would be a legend. We came second and Van Marwijk is a loser. That is typical for the more agricultural football fan.

    As for Malen, he’s a top player but is not very fortunate at Dortmund. He missed a sitter recently in the CL and seems to lack confidence. Another player who was strong at his home grown club but sort of faded on foreign grounds (Klaassen, Vd Beek, El Ghazi, Bazoer, the list is super long).

    With Lang and Danjuma and Gakpo fit, alongside Memphis and Bergwijn, I think Malen will miss the cut. Rafael van der Vaart is a big fan and would take him along but he’s just not convincing enough. Remember the game he played at the Euros vs the Czechs? A top notch attacker would score that goal. It’s all marginal at top level.

    Blind and Malacia not playing everything should not be a problem and definitely not cause to get Bakker in. Struijk, I’d welcome. He’s a potential centre back or holding mid as well.

    But Blind and Malacia will have enough rhythm to come along.

    Great win for Feyenoord. Very pleased for Slot who is arguable the best coach in the Eredivisie at the moment and probably our next big export.

    I will post my preferred squad soon, and I promise you I will have at least one big shock inclusion for you all to criticise 🙂

    1. @Jan Any agricultural coach would play kuyt over vaart in world cup final where spain hardly scored 8 goals in 7 matches…that to Carles puyol scored the header vs Germany…Bert is still legend after looisng all the matches in 2012Ec for any agricultural fan…

  27. @ Jan,

    If your starting 11 has Berghuis, Blin, Klasssen, we’ll know that you are not serious.
    By the way, It’s still amazed me that Depay has not played for months than again he’s going to be on the starting 11. Please do not expect much.

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