Yes, this weekend it will most likely happen, after 18 years of drought. Sure, in 2002 we got the UEFA Cup and we won some national cups, but the title…the best of the country, access to Champions League… A historic year for Feyenoord for sure!
But, we do need to open this post with some words for Ajax. They have seen it all suddenly start to gel together. A bit late in the season giving Feyenoord the lead from day 1 up until the end. But Bosz had to take its time and is laying the foundation for another football miracle. Maybe… Fingers crossed. Who’d expected a Dutch club to reach the finals in a European competition? Earlier this year even, experts on telly and in the Voetbal International magazine repeated their mantra: “We will never have a European champion ever anymore!”. Well, they could well be wrong. In a demonstration of joyful, adventurous football, Ajax brushed aside the likes of Standard Luik, Celta de Vigo, Schalke 04 and hopefully Olympique Lyon as well. So bring on Man United!!
It might well be an even better result than Feyenoord’s title! Although the away game in Lyon might well be more difficult than we all hope…
But we’re allowed to dream, right? Ajax and Feyenoord in the Champions League next season! You’d almost want to ask Ajax to lose their next domestic match just to make sure Feyenoord gets in the CL and Holland can build up their points internationally…
And interestingly, it seems the National Team is in dire straits, mostly due to screw ups at KNVB level, but the clubs seem to have contrarian performance levels. PSV’s season was not great, but only last season they impressed at CL level (and won the title to boot). With youngsters like Karsdorp, Berghuis, Vilhena, Kongolo, Kluivert, Van de Beek, De Ligt, Bergwijn, Ayoub, Brenet, Hendrix, Tete and many others, our future looks quite bright, thank you very much. Add the internationals like Depay, Hoedt, Ake, De Roon and we don’t have too many reasons to be depressed.
Feyenoord deserves their party on the Coolsingel in Rotterdam, where a crowd of 100,000+ people will cheer the champions again. Last season, a dress rehearsal was executed with the National Cup (the pinecone) as the trophy, this year it will be a Shield.
Here is why:
The majority (75%) of clubs winning the winter title will go on and win the actual title.
Experience from Kopenhagen
Kasper Dolberg might well be the new superstar striker in Holland with his stoic and ice cool play under pressure. Only 18 years old and destined for greatness. “He is a tremendous prospect,” says his compatriate Nicolai Jorgensen. He is not a prospect. He’s a man, 2 meters tall almost. And he has a string of titles behind him already. “I wasn’t here for those 18 years, so I don’t know what happened. But I’ve learned that if you’re not Bayern Munich, or PSG, you need to fight every match to get the result. And the foundation you lay before the winter. Go into the winterbreak with a lead, makes all the difference. It doesn’t need to be beautiful, but it needs to be strong. When you play bad, you still can and need to win.”
In the season 2001/2002, Feyenoord won the UEFA Cup after having to exit the CL competition. Van Hooijdonk quipped: “This is a good thing. We will never win the CL but the UEFA Cup….”. He copped criticism for those comments. Pierre wasn’t motivated enough. But he was right. Feyenoord was able to win the UEFA Cup. Sometimes, not having to deal with midweek European games can have an advantage. Feyenoord’s exit from the Europa League after beating Man United might have been a blessing.
Ajax’ fields a team with an average age of 21 years. Exciting! But also inconsistent. It’s the norm in Holland, where Utrecht, AZ, Twente and other clubs use youth to build on. ADO Den Haag is the only team “older” than Feyenoord but the experience of Brad Jones, Dirk Kuyt and Karim El Ahmadi proved to be pivotal.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst won a prize in his first season. Finishing third and winning the cup would be regarded as a top performance for any coach, let alone a newbie. And Gio had to deal with a losing streak of seven games, a period he survived, partly thanks to Dick Advocaat. There is no shame in that. He’ll win the title in his second season which starts a nice series maybe for the former Barca star. The CL title next season? Any coach who is responsible for a season with the most goals scored and the least conceded in the history of the club deserves utmost respect.
“It took too long, it will never happen anymore”
Contrarian Co Adriaanse always used this particular statement, when confronted with bad odds for his team. “If it has taken so very long, it just means it’s just around the corner… Statistically, the chance of it happening will increase, not decrease.” AZ and Twente won the title recently, so surely Feyenoord can do it.
You win the title in Deventer
You win the title against the small clubs. And there are more and more small clubs in Holland. Feyenoord took four points against the two major rivals. They can win against any Dutch opponent. Feyenoord lost against Ajax, but that can happen. They also lost against relegated Go Ahead Eagles from Deventer. This clearly shows that Feyenoord’s only real opponent which they need to overcome, is themselves.
“It starts with belief,” is what Kuyt said when he returned to Feyenoord. Kuyt felt lonely at times, last season. But still, he stood on the balcony with the national cup. When he shows the shield this season to the fans, he’ll go down in history as the man who helped Feyenoord believe in itself again. Kuyt didn’t drop in quality this season. It is the rest of the team that made a step up. And Kuyt is annoyed when he doesn’t play, but he’s also very happy inside to see players like Toornstra stepping up and rising above their usual level. Gio, Elia and Kuyt almost won the World Cup only 6 years ago. These three know, you can only win as a team.
Feyenoord does not depend on one player. Kuyt doesn’t need to play. Vermeer can be injured for a year. Van Beek can be absent for a season. And if Jorgensen doesn’t score and Kuyt doesn’t play, Toornstra or Vilhena or Elia will find the net. Hell, even El Ahmadi scores goals this season. And if it doesn’t work with Van der Heijden or Botteghin, Michiel Kramer is brought on to force a winner in the dying minutes.
Just like in 1993 and 1999 this Feyenoord is clearly a team of mates. When Tonny Vilhena’s mum died, the team had difficulty focusing on promptly lost their next competition match. No coincidence.
We probably haven’t seen the best of Feyenoord. Elia and Berghuis have not played together that often, as they both suffered from little knocks and injuries. When they both swing, anything can happen. Away vs AZ in Alkmaar, both players were present and showed how powerful they can be with their specific qualities.
Feyenoord looks German at times. You only’ve won against them when you can see them drive off with the players’ bus. The number of times Feyenoord overturned a losing scoreline can’t be counted on one hand. They can get knocked down, but they get up again! It’s an un-Dutch thing and something the other clubs and particularly the NT might take some samples of….
Usually the Brazilian players are there to impress, to swoon and to entice. Neres now at Ajax, Romario at PSV, Neymar at Barca, Coutinho at Liverpool… Matches you win thanks to forwards, but titles and tournaments are won by the defenders. And Feyenoord started to move up the ladder when Eric Botteghin was a starter. The most undervalued cog in the machine.
Feyenoord can even get better when awareness about their capabilities grows. Toornstra: “I’ve seen many players in my time, but in this team at Feyenoord there is no cocky behaviour, no ego, no arrogance. But we do have that feeling of “We are Feyenoord! We are invincible!”. When we won the cup we said “and now the title” and we led since day 1 in the Eredivisie and are still on top.”
The Goal keeper
You win the title thanks to the goal scorers but definitely also thanks to the goalie. Every home is built on a foundation stone. The UEFA picked Brad Jones as the goal keeper of the Europa League group stages. He has been around. Watched the big lads do it from the dressing room at Anfield, playing with Alonso, Suarez, Gerard and…Kuyt. He keeps Hahn and Vermeer out of the starting line up, two goalies who’d probably be starters at any other club in Holland.
Feyenoord season tix distribution heatmap of the Netherlands
The media, the experts, the officials, the fans….
Usually the media try to approach football from a neutral stance. Sure, Sjaak Swart wants Ajax to win everything. Van Hanegem and Boskamp want Feyenoord to win everything. But all the usually more objective pundits support Feyenoord this season. “They deserve it!”. Even the head honchos at the KNVB – much to Ajax’ chagrin! – have expressed to “be happy for Feyenoord to win it”. Johan Derksen predicted it months ago already and the fans…well the fans… the biggest club in the country has The Legion behind them. 35,000 Feyenoord fans traveling to an away game in Arnhem. Where do you see that? The support of the media and the many supporters will carry Feyenoord to the title.
The biggest cynic to ever play for Feyenoord and who coached the club later, Amsterdam born Rinus Israel, finally sees the glass as half full. “It might just happen this season…”.
Results from the past do not guarantee any result for the future
I think it was the depth in the feyenoord team that led them through. through out the season GVB just had just too many options from the back to front at his helm.the only weak link in the team if any was Miguel Nolem but again in most crunch matches the need for him to start never arised.
also it may look when compared to Ajax, Feyenoord failed to inject young talents but given the form of current players it would have been hard for any coach to inject them especially when you are being pushed for the title. if you look at players like Lucas Woudenberg, Bart Nieuwkoop, includung svan van der Beek, they played very ltitle but they also are talented players and at some stage they will get the opportunity to fill the big shoes.
my expectations is big for feyenoord next season. they need to offload players like Tapia,Kramer, Vejionvic and get some quality backup for the current 11 whom GVB have extensively used throughout the season. the workload will be more and to another level and there is where they will be stretched and need back up quality players.
A good striker who can push Jorgensen, Back up for AL Ahmadi
and a good BTB midfielder.
and yeah maybe a new outfit next season. the current just sucks.
Ooh Wilson don’t make that jersey comment in Rotterdam … 🙂
I meant the design.
this one was a good one.
Thanks Jan, I think Jorgensen nails it with his quote “it doesn’t need to be beautiful, but it needs to be strong. When you play bad, you still can and need to win.” Title-winning mentality!
Ajax’s and PSV’s slower starts help of course too. Feyenoord, on the other hand, started the season with 9 wins in a row allowing only 3 goals and scoring 25!
Ouch, van Aanholt with his second game back at Palace but they are slammed by rampant City 5-0.
Martins Indi starts again at Stoke while Pieters remains benched in a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth, though he came on the 90th minute.
Janmaat played for Watford again, seems to have finally earned the starting role just in time for the season to end, although playing LWB today and lost 3-0 at Leicester.
Not the best morning for Dutch defenders in England, hopefully Blind has a better time tomorrow at Arsenal.
Bazoer started again for desperate Wolfsburg, who really needed results to avoid relegation. Involved with a nice pass in the buildup for the Didavi goal. Very good game, was robbed of a goal with a nice save near the end. 0-2 final.
Massive 3 points away for them brings them tied for 13th with Augsburg, who saw Gouweleeuw and Verhaugh both start again, almost got a much needed win but had to settle for a draw conceding right at the end.
Robben stayed on the bench for Bayern.
Congrats to Feyenoord, it’s nice to see them winning the title for the first time in a long time.
I do think the Ajax performances in Europe are much more important than who wins the Eredivisie though. Even though I am an Ajax supporter, I was quietly hoping they would lose against PSV because I wanted them to be rid of the title distraction and focus fully on the Europa league.
I don’t really place much value on the Eredivisie as I used to (and the cup has almost no meaning). If we want to make our league reputable again, the only way to do it is attract players and investors through European glory.
I hope Feyenoord can do well in the Champion’s League next season. I also wouldn’t mind PSV getting second so we can possibly get three teams in the CL to rack up our coefficient.
Have to say I am a little surprised by the lack of attention to Ajax’s recent performances on this blog. Along with PSV’s fairly good run in the CL last season, they are the most important developments in Dutch club football in over a decade. And with Ajax we finally see some exciting, free-flowing, attacking football against reputable international opponents!
Stekelenburg starts again for Everton at Swansea, where Fer and Narsingh were both on the bench, but he was shut out 1-0. Fer played the final 15, as Swansea make a huge step to not getting relegated (would be Fer’s 3rd relegation in a row 😳).
Promes played RW and had the most chances created and most takeons in a Spartak 1-0 win, -also scoring the only goal (penalty).
Sneijder scored in added time for 10-man Galatasaray losing 1-3 at home, and playing 90 obviously again and having one of the best passing stats on the side even though he was playing #10 and short handed..
Sneijder goal: https://mobile.twitter.com/ajaxdailydotcom/status/860968806881087488
Exactly my point that we can’t just get rid of Sneijder and Robben
no doubt he still has got the armory in his bag. but it still doesn’t change the fact the form he is at Gala .can be super sub at most
big news to start the day – Bas Dost played 90 minutes for Sporting already and (brace yourself) somehow did NOT score 😉
He couldn’t add to his 33 portuguese goals.
Zeegelaar (highest passing % on his side) also played all but the last 15, while Castaignos only played the last 20 (yikes. not one goal or assist for him this season – though has only been chosen to play 330 minutes or so) in Sporting’s 1-3 home loss.
With Bas Dost we play luck based game,so ugly and no connectivity,no fluid football,with Depay also we play no fluid games..
Ajax has proven you DONT need Depay and Dost to play good football..
Some circus is going on 3-0 for Excelsior….Bet365.com effect?????i couldnt see 75 minutes though…
Ajax leading 4-0..
Big morning in the eredivisie with 2 matches to go and Feyenoord holding their 4 pt advantage.
I watched Ajax, which saw Bosz ring the squad changes to keep his lads fresh for their return leg in Lyon this week, as they gave starts to Riedewald, Nouri, van de Beek, Neres, Kluivert and I was not disappointed. Kluivert scores from outside the box before Neres run sets up Dolberg for 2-0 at half, while Feyenoord is 0-0 and PSV is down 0-1. Crowley, the young Arsenal loanee at GAE looked pretty decent too creating a few chances..
Further changes for the second half with Frenkie de Jong replacing captain Klaassen – who scored after 2.5 minutes with a nice header from a Viergever cross after nice Nouri play, who was robbed shortly after. Casierra made it 4 after some nice play between de Jong and Kluivert.
Nice match as they kept pushing forward for goals, needing GD if they were to catch Feyenoord on points. 4-0 win. For once a midfield player has the best passing stats for Ajax instead of one of their backline – gotta love van de Beek 👍 who had the most tackles as well as passes!
Very excited for this young midfield at Ajax playing some fluid and attacking possession football.
Elsewhere, in an unbelievable manor, the usually stingy Feyenoord totally blow it in the second half at Exelsior and lose their match 3-0! Seems like they put on their best lineup as well.. anyone watch that one?
Lammers scored for PSV at Groningen, replacing an again injured Locadia, putting the score to 1-1.
I guess it is a morning for youngsters!
Before the final match day:
Feyenoord 79 pts (play at home to Heracles)
Ajax 78 pts (away to Willem)
And stuck on 3rd place – PSV 73 pts (home to Zwolle)
Side note – rumours out that Koeman has made Klaassen his #1 transfer target for the summer.
sorry Wilson you must really hate that – imagine if he took Blind off of Man Utd as well 😂
elsewhere.. Wijnaldum starts for Klopp as always, but neither Clasie or van Dijk were available to appear for Southampton. Gini had the best passing %age in the 0-0 draw.
de Vrij and Hoedt finally played together again while Lazio defeating 10 man Sampdoria 7-2
Both of them scored as well and the game is technically not over yet….
koeman appreciate intelligent players,thats why he wants klassen,also koeman is installing dutch football in everton .He thinks klassen can add to that and he is not heavy pricey..if klasen can join koeman that would be nice move.or else he moves he will end up like other failed ones..
I will comment further if it really happens.
Blind stayed on the bench for United at Arsenal, Fosu-Mensah injured yet? No room on the bench for him..
Memphis starts in a 3-2 home win for Lyon to Nantes, 2 times he assisted the come from behind game winner.
Huntelaar on the bench for Shalke as usual, played the second half but couldn’t help them from losing 2-0.
Babel starts for Bestikas hosting van Persie and Lens starting for Fenerbahce (van der Wiel not in the squad), Babel created a few chances and played 90, as did Lens. RvP subbed off and watched Fen tie it late, 1-1.
Fosu Mensah, from what I’ve read, is done for the season after dislocating his shoulder in a late game appearance against Man City.
Kind of cool from Kompany, after he caused the injury to TFM:
It is really enjoyable to watch Ajax plays..moving the ball around fast, pressing the opponents and attaching. also excited to see how the young players are playing, it is like a throw-back to the 90s where the likes of Kluivert, Davids, Seedorf, Overmars came to fore. 😊
Feyenoord lost. It is going to be an exciting end to the season. Best scenario, Feyenoord wins the championship and Ajax the Europa cup.
this hasselbaink guy looks like a good talent.
again this is a wake up call for GVB. they needs some new and quality reinforcements in the summer to stand a chances in CL if they do go on to scoop the title. this is exactly what happened to FDB and Ajax last season.
Dick Advocaat to be introduced as the Bondscoach tomorrow?
I like what Bosz is doing with Ajax I really hope they qualify for the Europa League final and then why not kick Mourinho’s ass? 🙂
Mourihnos ass needs to be kicked ,though i am a Manu fan..
Bosz has proven you dont need Dost,Depay,BMI to be champion of Europa.Even with out Roben and Sneider We can qualify with RIGHT PLAYERS AND RIGHT COACH.
Tiju makes a really important point here (again)…
It’s also worth noting that Bosz didn’t need Pele, Maradonna, Robin van Persie, Robin Leach, Robin Givens, or Robin (Batman’s buddy). He also didn’t need Suarez, Eden Hazard, the Dukes of Hazard, Rafael van der Vaart, Rafael the painter, nor Rafael the Ninja Turtle.
I don’t know why you guys just don’t get it.
CLASSIC COMMENTS!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA
Actually i forgot to add that Bosz had spiderman in his team…Which i forgot..thanks for reminding me..
I will take the Ajax comment to heart. Indeed, the Oranje soap and Feyenoord’s unique opportunity took the limelight, but Ajax will get the attention they deserve here soon!
After taking Holland nowhere in his first 2 stints 80 year Advocaat returns for a 3rd time hoping that 3rd time is the charm. I expect him signing up with some chinese team during halftime of our game with France and not showing up for the 2nd half. Breukelen needs to have Leo Beenhaker or some other ancient dude lined up just in case we need a coach for the second half.
balkan incase you never heard or knew. Adovcaat had already decided to retire at the end of this season at Fenerbahce and then comes a knock oh his door. he opens the door and its Hans van Breukelen with the head caoch proposition. one door was about to close and the other opened.
you are just mixed up with emotions here like others who shared the same sentiments .NT has nothing to losse with his appointment.
Advocaat is the new coach with Gullit as his assistant…but for how long is the contract?.
I would like the KNVB to start working to find a new coach for the long term with Koeman as the main candidate to get us to EC 2020. Also find a football person to manage the KNVB, Louis van Gaal would be magnificent.
Miguel first 5 games are given to them i mean qualification..if doesnt qualify Advocate will leave..Gullit is like Danny under LVG typo,may be Gullit will take over from Adovocate if they go to Russia..
i think the luck factor is back,and People Mocked Gullit a lot,and you know i feel this time Gullit is going shut the mockers mouth..
u will see a disciplined orange.
LVG would have been better but i am sure Adovocate cannt to worse than hiddink or Blind..
Well I really don’t want an experiment with Gullit. After the WC I hope the KNVB can appoint someone else.
I just happy it was not Van Gaal, FDB or any other past Ajax coach. I think guilt appointment is timely one as he can be a good motivator to the players like Zindane at Madrid, with Advocaat dealing with tatical stuff.
without no doubt this guy was Sneijder’s successor in NT.
its just a pity that his talents was not recognized. I just hope he signs for a good club in the summer window. true and and class mudfielder
He seems much more deadly than Depay..Freekicks were always deadly too..
Compared to LVG advocate is nothing..
Here’s a very positive article on Ajax and their progress:
Having seven of the starting lineup at 21 or under in the first match against Lyon (and still five today) is promising, even if not all of them are Dutch.
Ajax looking dangerous again, and just scored as I was typing on a dribbler from Dolberg.
United already up 1-0.
Should be an interesting Europa final if the current status holds…
1 mintes madness its 2-1 for Lyon…
Watching Ajax. They have been really wasteful. Had the chance to be 3-0 up and put the game beyond reach. Now they suffered 2 goals in 2 mins and are in a risky position. Stupid young players thought they had the game in the bag. de Ligt at fault for both goals. I hate it when a team relaxes and plays carelessly long before the game is decided. Ajax can be eliminated unless their coach really scolds them at halftime. Lyon is just an ordinary team.
Agree 100%. Hopefully they can regain composure and control in the second half
I fear their naivety . They’re very young and can get rattled easily. They won’t get this chance again anytime soon.
Hopefully they’ll find some maturity quickly. This could actually be a positive if they advance — it may bring them back to earth a little bit.
Lots of lunging and flopping by both teams so far in the first few minutes of the second half.
HUGE save by Onana!
Ajax still attacking…
And Lyon is too — That overlapping run on the left is wreaking havoc for Ajax and now its a one goal game 🙁
If van de beek’s shot had just been inches lower
Viergever out on a red. Bad, bad decision.
Viergever is off and Lyon is teed up from the top of the box…and blasts over
Defense is in shackles, under huge pressure. I hope they hold.
Unbelievable! About 19 players in Ajax’s box and Cornet misses an open shot!
Over. What a relief.
Just wide-open thrilling desperate end to end action
i felt 3 minutes like 3 hours…
It shouldn’t have come down to this. However, reaching the final is an achievement. Winning it would take a miracle.
Balkan let me tell you one truth as Manu fan..Jose is clown who loves only winning by any means..he has no clue what Ajax has in store at Stockholm..He is just an assembler of super paid stars..Any EPL team except current liverpool and Chelsea would be easy for Ajax..trust me..
But ajax must remove Vletman for Tete and Raidwald for Veirgiver..
@Balkan: I don’t think Ajax needs a miracle to win it.
Actually they didn’t deserve to lose 3-1 Van de Beek’s shot on the post and some other fine opportunities.
I believe they can win it. Riedewald will be starting as Viergever was sent off (I believe Riedewald is better), also Tete should start ahead of Veltman. Traore was too calm tonight he could’ve done better many times but he was a little off. I liked Van de Beek and De Ligt.
I haven’t seen much of ajax this season or UEFA football for that matter. But I can say that Lyon is more than ordinary. Ajax has some very young players but almost none of them seemed special to me. Even Dolberg was disappointing. Perhaps too much psychological pressure which is understandable. Noticeably Traore was a waste of space, seemed full of shit about himself, tried to dribble his way into net too many times. Klaasen was a gladiator. Defense players clashed with each other in more than a few occasions. What matters now if the final. If they can get past the pressure and just play for fun they can win it. But I have a feeling ManU will own them especially because of experience.
HOWEVER, this may be Ajax year. It is exactly 30 years since last time Ajax won UEFA cup. I remember the final like yesterday when Van Basten scored against Leipzig with a header. I was mersmerized by those players: Siloy, Blind, Rijkaard, San Marco, Wouters, total football. Wonderful memories.
Balkan Traore work rate was incredible,incredible stamina,he had the pace to receive great passes.He played a better role in keeping balance than Justin kluivert and Dolberg..He might lack the intelligence but he is like kuyt with better dribbling skills and enormous stamina..
Next match Vierfgiver cannot play..Veltman and viergiver lacks pace to be Wing backs,they were terribly exposed for that.
Van De Beek is better than Shone..Evry player of ajax played well,only one player annoyed me was justin kluivert..he came in as sub that little bitch was acting as if he is super star.He didnt give enough help to Viergiver at LB,while amin younes was great in defense too..Justin wasfreshly brought in and that was annoying…
Does anyone know where I can get 2 tickets for the Europa League final since uefa’s website says it’s sold out! I was looking at a few websites online and I came across ticketnetwork.com. Do you guys know if they are legit?
Ajax’s openness vs Mourinho’s cynicism will be an interesting contrast
It will be interesting to see if Jose’s need for CL football will lead him to park the bus against a team with maybe a tenth of the value of his roster.