Why Robin van Persie will ROCK this coming summer

There is and always has been debate around Robin van Persie in Holland.

It seems like we – Dutch – don’t understand players like him. We like two types of players: players that perform (and we don’t care if they’re arrogant or annoying) and players that are humble and work their arse off.

In category one, we have Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Dennis Bergkamp, Willem van Hanegem, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart…. Cruyff was very egotistical, Willem cynical, Marco aloof, Dennis didn’t fly, Wesley is cocky, Rafa overweight, etc etc. We don’t care. Actually, we love them all for it.

cruyff-bergkamp-van P

Three characters: RVP, JC and The Iceman

The humble ones? Jaap Stam, Jan Wouters, Phillip Cocu, Wim Jansen, Johan Neeskens, Gio van Bronckhorst, Edwin van der Sar, Aron Winter.

And there is a huge category we do not really warm too. The ones that think they’re better than they are. And the ones who rap. Although this second category is basically a subgroup of the first one :-). Drenthe, Babel, Elia, Kuyt, you know who you are.

In that category players who over-estimate themselves are the ones that leave for greener pastures early in their career. Again, Drenthe, Babel, De Ridder…all those players who disappear.

Robin van Persie was one of those lads, almost.

Terribly annoying at Feyenoord (sure, very gifted too), headstrong, streetwise (talking with a Moroccan accent as a result of hanging out mostly with Moroccan kids… Robin ended up marrying a Moroccan wife and according to some converted to Islam).

Bert van Marwijk (and his staff and senior players) couldn’t contain the young prodigy. He was amazingly talented, although Bert didn’t really know how to use the youngster best. Was he a winger? Was he a playmaker? A striker? Whatever he was, the playmaker role didn’t exist in Feyenoord ( Bosvelt played from deep, with runner Tomasson upfront behind Van Hooijdonk). Pi-Air was untouchable of course so left wing was to Robin’s spot.

When he moved to Arsenal, it still took some time for Robin to make it in the first team, as a starter. Sure, he had his games in his first seasons, but also his fair share of run ins with team mates and coach Wenger and even got a red card for a lunge, which resulted in Wenger yelling obscenities at Van Persie from the side line. Van Persie played a wide role for Arsenal for quite a while and had a number of goes as midfielder behind Adabayor. In the 2008/09 season, he took the role of Henry as main striker, when the Frenchman left for Barca.

It would take a bit of time for Van Persie to shine in that role due to injuries.

Robin has quite a reputation from his early days in Holland. He was known to be a misbehaved streetkid who was sent away from school many times. Later on, after a Dutch World Cup qualification game in 2005, he was arrested on suspicion of rape. He was held in custody for 14 days and circumstances were so bad in the little holding cell that RVP passed out at a certain point. The case was dropped as there was no proof that sexual contact with coercion happened and the “victim” – a former Miss Nigeria/Holland – admitted she claimed to be rape to “gain publicity”. RVP did have sex with her and cheated on his wife, in other words, which didn’t help his public reputation. It later emerged that over 200 police officers had had access to the case file, most of them not authorised to do so.

RVP was always seen as a tremendous talent but his personality and his vulnerable physique made it hard for him to be the dominant player he wanted to be. In 2008/09 he reached the 20 goals per season at Arsenal for the first time, but the season after, he dropped back to 10 (in 19 games) as as result of injuries. In 2010/11, his last season for the Gunners he produced a whopping 22 goals in 33 games, a feat he’d better last season for ManU when he scored 37 out 48 games. This is basically 0,8 goals per game!

RVP Bert

Here’s a tip for you: don’t sub me!

In the Dutch team, he scores once every second game (this year, he is on 4 goals in 5 games, which is as good as his ManU stat, by the way). This is certainly not bad for a striker. But somehow, the perception is, that RVP doesn’t deliver in Orange.

The reason being, of course, that he scores easily and prolifically against smaller nations (qualifications and friendlies) but hardly in big games or big tournaments.

In 2006, the World Cup in Germany, he scored one goal at group stage.

In 2008, RVP didn’t start until Romania and he scored two goals before Russia ousted Holland. Robin played as a winger, supporting Van Nistelrooy.

In 2010, RVP played as central striker, but only scored one goal (Cameroon) in a successful campaign.

Sadly, RVP’s performance stood out like a sore nail during that campaign. Sneijder and Robben were the heroes of the World Cup, with Kuyt, Elia, Van der Vaart and Stekelenburg getting headlines as well.

In 2012, the world expected more from him at the Euros, but a disastrous game against Denmark (in which he missed a number of good chances) resulted in a downward spiral. RVP only scored one goal, with his right, against Germany. A game in which he could have had a second one (and maybe saving Holland from disgrace).

The widely heralded striker can not look back on an international career like Ruud van Gol, San Marco, Patrick Kluivert or Johan Cruyff can in a similar position.

But…is it because he is not good enough? Is it because he chokes in big games?

I don’t believe that. To be able to play at this high level for so long (EPL, ManU, CL, etc) your mental state is totally fine. You will NOT survive one week at ManU if you are not mentally strong.

I would call that evidence #1.

Not good enough? There are many YouTube clips demonstrating how good Van Persie really is. His athleticism, his speed (both with his feet and his brain/vision), his ability in his left foot, his ability as a header of the ball, his ever improving right foot, his finishing ability, his ability to set a goal up…. There is nothing he can not do. I believe he’d even make a good goalkeeper.

Messi is probably faster with the ball and a better dribbler, C Ronaldo might be stronger, but other than that, RVP is the complete package.

So what is it then, that held the former Excelsior player back?

I believe it has to do with team-dynamics and hierarchy on the one hand, and team tactics on the other.

I believe Robin and Bert did not have the best of working relationship. I believe Robin may have genuinely liked Bert as a person, but I believe Robin thrives with a coach who really emerges into the team… Someone like Wenger, Mourinho, Guardiola, Ferguson and Van Gaal.

Van Marwijk is more distant. More like Mancini, Benitez, Capello, I’d say. Van Marwijk was very laissez-fair.

Let the alpha dogs sort it out.

We all remember how the Sneijder clan ( Robben, Van der Vaart, Mathijsen, Heitinga, Stekelenburg, Kuyt) knotted together while the RVP clan ( Van Persie, Afellay, Boulahrouz) had their own little circle.

Bert made Wes the man. Kuyt was his #2. And in the team, despite RVP’s role as central striker, it was Sneijder who dominated the game and would always look for Robben as an outlet, as these two complement each other so well.

I am not saying Sneijder did it on purpose to spite Robin. Playing the ball deep to Robben in space behind the defence of the opponent was simply how Sneijder could contribute best. RVP prefers the ball in his feet and Sneijder and RVP would frequently block each other’s space.

But Bert didn’t care about whether Robin shone or not. He cared about winning. When Bert started the WC2010 campaign he did so wanting to play attractive and attacking football. Like Holland did in the qualifications. He was happy to go with the Fab Four (Wes, Raf, Robben, Robin) but Robben’s injury changed those plans. The way we started at the WC (Denmark and Japan both parking numerous busses) determined how we proceeded.

Robin van Persie

“No, that is where the problem is, Louis….”

Louis van Gaal is also all about results but more so about execution and using the weapons you have at your disposal best. Van Gaal knows that results are the result of something. You focus on execution and the results will come.

The system we played in 2010 was not suited for any center striker. Our 4-2-3-1 was executed from a counter football perspective. You can play 4-2-3-1 in a forward pressing mode, which would definitely result in many opportunities for the center striker. But the way we played, sitting deep, allowing space behind the opponents back line, results immediately in a difficult role for the striker. In our case: Robin van Persie.

His tasks, in that set-up, are putting pressure on the opposing defender with the ball and making himself available once they lose the ball. The first pass would go to Sneijder or RVP, the most forward man, who holds the ball up and redistributes towards the midfielders coming forward who then pass to the fast wingers exploiting space. The Robbens, Narsinghs, Lenses and Elias…

It is no coincidence that Elia, Kuyt, Robben and Sneijder were the goal scorers, as rthe wingers would move inwards towards the center position. Robin hardly got a real chance at the World Cup.

Again, playing 4-2-3-1 in an attacking mode would change this significantly, but in 2010 we were not able to do so, unfortunately.

Now, LVG will not play 4-2-3-1.

His 4-3-3 is set up in a very strict, almost rigid way.

People execute 4-3-3 in several ways. With two sitting midfielders (Bayern) and one forward midfielder, or with two creative forwards and one holder ( Barcelona)…

Louis has distinct roles for his players. One holding mid (De Jong, Clasie, De Guzman, Strootman, Fer), one box-to-box runner (Strootman, Fer, Van Ginkel) and one creative forward, playing as a false striker close to the striker (RVP, Lens, Huntelaar). For this role Louis thinks Wesley, Rafael, Maher and Siem de Jong are his candidates.

As long as Robben and the right winger keep it wide, or allow the full backs to overlap, the field will be wide.

It will allow space for Robin and the playmaker to play off each other.

At the same time, we do need to realise that the time the oft scoring striker are over, in modern football.

robben rvp

“Trust me Robin, in the next game I will pass the ball to you…”

Adabayor at Spurs, Benzema at Real Madrid, Torres at Chelsea, Carrol when at Liverpool, the French dude at Arsenal (forgot his name)…. It is less and less their role to be the final stage of the attack. These lads are all key in allowing the runners around them to take position (the coming man vs the player who is already there) and become the most forward playmakers in the box.

Against lesser teams, sure, these guys will score their goals. But against tougher opponents, even in this 4-3-3 I do expect the Sneijder role, the Van Ginkel role and the wingers to be scoring more. Simply because the central striker already is in position (and easier to mark) while the others will jack-in-the-box into the box…

But whether RVP scores or not, I am convinced that (if he is fit etc etc) he will be of the utmost importance to us.

And I do hope Arjen Robben will finally with the Ballon D’Or this year, allowing Robin to snatch it up next year, after winning the EPL title again and the World Cup with Holland. ( He won’t win the CL, as Frank de Boer will claim it this time around….)

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  1. Thank you Jan. I called the “humble” ones the “working horses” of the team and we need them. I have the same hope as in your last paragraph. Brazil showed us how to play 4-2-3-1 and succeeded vs Spain. It is easier said then done as they have the fans, certain type of players, the coach…many factors. In 2010 I wished RVP had more support than he was given. In 2012 vs Denmark, he had chance after chance and missed. I still believe he is one of the leader of this young team. Of the 4, Sneijder and VDV are not fit, Robben is not a leader, he is the only leader left (Strootman is not yet ready). Let’s hope he and the team delivers our first WC next year!

  2. “Although this second category is basically a subgroup of the first one . Drenthe, Babel, Elia, Kuyt, you know who you are.”

    kuyt is not in this category… he is humble and a workhorse

    1. Well spot, Bitterballen :-). I was kidding with Kuyt of course. He is not a rapper. Nor did he leave Holland young. I wanted to see if you really read my posts 🙂

  3. Let’s hope he does finally step up his game next summer, but I wouldn’t rely on him to take us through the tournament. I would still rather rely on Robben and Sneijder (there’s no way Sneijder will still be out of shape next summer)

  4. Spot on jan on persie,but i doubt he will rock in summer.I think EC2012 persie was more pressured by Hunter than the opponent defender ,i fou8nd him so eagar and impatient to score goals.off course am not neglecting the liitle sevrice he recived from older,nonrunning guys..
    Persie was always making space for Wesly/Roben and kuyt by dragging 2 defenders.
    Roben -wesly is a good combo.they ignored persie a lot.
    kuyt- was chasing the opponet wing back for defense.when vere he recived ball the dutch ended up in that wing.
    Wesly-Was always trying top shoot whenver he get a chance,luckly 4 of them went in.

  5. Chelsea have confirmed that an agreement has been reached with Vitesse for the transfer of Marco van Ginkel.

    The 20-year-old will move to Stamford Bridge subject to a medical, and the agreement of personal terms.

    The midfielder scored eight league goals last season as the Arnhem club finished fourth in the Eredivisie, their highest position for 15 years, and he was also voted the Dutch young player of the year.

    He made his senior debut with the Netherlands national team against Germany in November last year, coming on as a late substitute in their 0-0 friendly in Amsterdam.

    A statement on Chelsea’s website read: “Chelsea Football Club and Vitesse Arnhem have reached an agreement for the transfer of Marco van Ginkel.

    “The player will join Chelsea subject to a medical, agreement of personal terms and legal documentation.”

    He would become Jose Mourinho’s second summer signing following the arrival of

    Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen.

  6. Nottingham Forest have announced the signing of Dutch goalkeeper Dorus de Vries on a free transfer.
    The 32 year old stopper brings an array of experience to The City Ground following his departure from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

    De Vries, who has also played in Scotland and his native Holland, has secured an immediate return to the Championship after Wolves’ relegation last season, signing a two-year deal with The Reds.

    Arguably his most impressive season to date came while at Swansea in the 2009-10 campaign – he kept 25 clean sheets, scooping the Golden Glove award in the process, as The Swans narrowly missed out on a Championship playoff berth.

    Forest manager Billy Davies was delighted to welcome him into the pack.

    He said: “Dorus is a very good signing for us. We have a good, young pool of goalkeepers at the club but he brings with him an abundance of experience which will be of benefit to everyone.

    “He played a pivotal role in Swansea’s meteoric rise through the leagues and was unfortunate not to get more games at Wolves.

    “To sign a goalkeeper of his calibre on a free transfer is a great piece of business.”

  7. I hav my reservations about Van Ginkel move..
    No doubt he is promising, good athleticism, passing, awareness but not sure whether he can ‘dispose’ those seniors at Chelsea who have curt status.
    I stay hopeful though. 🙂

  8. The only positive about v.Ginkel’s move too Chelsea is that he has been picked by Mourinho himself and not by a previous manager and as we know its what he wants

    1. Stijnis, happy belated birthday first of all.

      I agree he was hand picked bu Mou but that means nothing. He could still be Mou’s preferred benchwarmer… think about all the talent on that Chelsea squad, who will he displace?

      1. I think he probably wants van Ginkel to play in the pivot. He’s probably seen as Lampard’s replacement (the guy’s 25FFS). Most people look at all their AMs and wonder who he could possibly displace, but I think they are actually pretty short on good pivot players. If Ramires can be a mainstay in Chelsea’s pivot, it shouldn’t be too hard for van Ginkel to get in there.

        That said, I still hope someone snaps him out of it so he turns them down and forces a move to Ajax

          1. Link? Everything I’ve read says that Chelsea still has to agree to personal terms with the player. In other words, they’ve agreed on a fee with Vitesse, but the transfer is not done yet

  9. Greek Super League club Panathinaikos have signed Dutch midfielder David Mendes da Silva on a three year contract for an undisclosed fee.

    Da Silva, 30, with seven international caps, has had spells with Red Bull Salzburg, AZ Alkmaar, NAC Breda and Sparta Rotterdam.

  10. KNVB announce Oranje’s first game in 2014 will be a friendly against France on March 5. FFF will publish venue and time at a later stage.
    9:15pm – 4 Jul 13

  11. Guardiola on Robben: “He is a top, top, top player, a gift for me as a coach. I’ll try to keep him at his level (showed last ssn).” [kicker]

  12. @Jake: thanks for the info that’s a good friendly. I want Holland to play vs Spain and Brazil as well.

    Van Ginkel to Chelsea is a great move he’ll do very well and playing for Mourinho will give him a winning mentality so I love this move 🙂

  13. The best thing about mourinho is that he has no problem to bench a big name if he thinks another one will do better on the pitch. He benched CASILLAS because he thought Diego lopez is just better. You can say the same about pepe and varane.
    If Van Ginkel plays good , he will play enough to be in the WC , at least like Van persie with Arsenal before WC 2006 , if not , i think mou can send him again to Vitesse on loan.

  14. http://youtu.be/axdtOxEREbY


    When i watch these highlights and remember those games , i ask myself actually if this defense is really far better than the current one as many people think.

    I think Oranje always had a problem in the back line regardless the names. The best solutinon for us is to force the opponents to play in their half , so our back four won’t be exposed .
    Just like Spain plays.

    1. I think Stek has some proving to do. Not Stek but Krull is more likely to be first keeper. That having said, Krul’s distribution is lacking in a serious way. Maybe the main reason why we came under pressure against Italy in the friendly in the final 10 minutes. we don’t have the perfect keeper anymore like in the day’s with van der Sar.

      Van der Wiel could be back in time, but with Blanc as new coach of PSG I am not sure he has the best papers to get most playing time. I don’t know what the relationship was between Blanc the former NT coach and Jallet was, but the French are famous to think about national interest. So far, Janmaat has impressed me with the limited ability’s he has. When we are pushed back we will start to see his defending and some people will scratch their head, but for now Janmaat is fitting for the way we want to play. His forward energy is hard not to like. Van der Wiel will have to step up again to surpass Janmaat.

      Douglas can’t take care of proper build up. Van Gaal’s first concern in a football team is proper build up. That is also why despite everybody being sure that Douglas would walk with his eyes closed into the NT, Douglas never even got 1 cap and is not even in the preliminary’s anymore. On top of that he was sidelined by his own club because of attitude problems. A good group mentality is vital for success at the WC and van Gaal knows that.

      Heitinga was horrible for us in 2012 and at times horrible this season for Everton. Errors as big as they get. He is also right footed and this man puts him as a left CB. Not perfect.

      Büttner is advertised by this man as somebody with a brilliant left foot, but Büttner is a lousy crosser. There goes the brilliant left foot. He can not defend either. Positional awareness of a clown and he has not gotten that much playing time at United.

      The biggest joke of all choices is the placing of Fer in holding DM. With that move, football is out of the window. Has no handling speed. The CB paring with Douglas in it, makes football already a problem, now he decapitates that prospect with Fer in the triangle position with the CB’s. That’s 2 anti footballers too many.

      Elia as a winger is possible, but he should first prove again at his club that he is able to produce assists and goals as his effectiveness is pretty low. The guy mentions his ball control as a problem, but I have no problem with Elia’s field ability and control, I have a problem with the net result of all his actions.

      Robben on the right is maybe his first correct call though van Gaal plays him on the left preferably (but that is a choice) and Sneijder behind the strikers is always a possibility.

      Then playing with 2 strikers. Huntelaar and RvP have played together more times than people realize. It did not work. How did people liked them against Portugal? I am always amazed how after a short period of time people come full circle again and claim with fresh spirit and erased memory that they would work well together. I think a guy like Lens would pair much better with RvP than Huntelaar. Van Ginkel as well. Afellay. Huntelaar … not so much.

      For me this line up is from somebody only picking players that are EPL/EPL linked or international known. The main problem I have is the CB-DM triangle that is anti-football and anti build up. The two striker system where there is chosen for names over chemistry is a problem as well. It would not be my team.

      1. This is in a game so these players are chosen based on stats rather than anything else, someone like van ginkel is awful compared to fer who is all round awesome

  15. I think after the 2014 world cup…ruud guillt the new dutch coach should do something a bit unconventional and go for experience in Euro 2016…mainly because there will be 24 teams…more matches…and a bigger variety of opponents in the final tournament..this will call on for more experienced players…with calm heads on their shoulders..hence my suggestions…

    In Goal

    Sander Westerweld – 1st Choice

    who else..this man fends of the mean streets of south africa to play for Ajax 2.0 at the young age for GKs of 38.

    Sander Boschker – 2nd Choice

    @ 42 he is a very experience customer..and superb shot stopper who never really got to shine for ORanje..was on the bench when called up..and his huge experience on the bench for Twente shud make his feel right at home in the euros.

    Piet Velthuizen – 3rd Choice

    A brave decision..but he has played at the biggest stage in south america..albeit for just a half..made a v strong save from the corner..and ever since that day proved his worth as a reliable back up to a back up!

    1. Right Defense – 1st Choice

      Mario Melchiot –

      The Godfather..having earned the big bucks in the heat of Qatar..he has gained the right exposure in the lead up to the summer world cup in 2022..a bit of a risk..but needs to be blooded early to be in top gear..come Qatar 2022.

      Right Defense – 2nd Choice

      Dirk Marcelis –

      Still ripe young with tonnes of ups and downs in his career…fighting back from injury and never being tempted to the riches abroad..his strong grounding..and maturity will be key back up shud melchiot happen to get a knock

      Center Defence Pairing – 1st Choice

      Theo Lucius + Kew Jaliens

      Theo has found playing time @ RKC Waalwijk hard to come by and hence has rejoined boyhood club FC Eindhoven..his exposure to the tougher second division will mean he his man enuf to take down europes best …

      Kew may be the forgotten man due to his friendly nature and buck toothed smile..but has career has come in leaps and bounds behind the scenes…Kew’s olympic experience in Beijing spurred him now to greater heights and his exceptional performances earned him the Poland Championship in his very first season at Wisla Krakow..playing in a league that has a more than decent tehcnical level (lewandowski etc. originated from here)

      Center Defence Pairing – 2nd Choice

      Peter Wisgerhof & Glenn Loovens

      Peter was always unfairly overlooked for a perhaps inferior defender in Joris Mathijsen..due to the fact that he never managed to get a big move abroad..however with mathijsen and heitinga finally out of the way..peter has a realistic chance of putting on the orange jersey..shud either kew or theo get hurt or not perform to expectations.

      Glenn the Scottish hero faced a similar lack of exposure due to the lack of TV channels broadcasting Celtics games..in scotland though he is a cult hero…and with his renaissaince at Real Zaragoza (La Liga mind u..no less..atleast till they were relegated) Glenn shud play the perfect foil to any of the above defenders

  16. Mohamed, I hope you are doing well. I have been thinking of you and what is going on in Egypt. Stay safe.
    On a different and more cheery note, please go to the ajax.netwerk.to website and watch the highlights of the 75th BD party for Mister Ajax Sjaak Swart. It is really heartwarming to see all these legends of Dutch football get together. From Cruijff (of course) to Hiddink, Rijkaard, Bergkamp, Kluivert and on and on. The club is sending a message that Ajax is a family and will mostly rely on their own youth system to build a team of winners. It is almost arrogance like it used to be. A combination of Barca-Ajax philosophy that states “it is our way, take or leave it”. So Maher does not want to come for 5M so be it. We don’t care. Same with anyone else. I like that as long as Ajax keeps winning…of course.

  17. Good point. At least winning the dutch league but yes it is time to expand and start winning in Europe as well. It is interesting to note that most players brought (bought) by Barcelona either flopped or clearly did not live up to expectations (Song, Villa, even Henry, of course Affelay), except for those who were formed there and returned (Fabregas). Is that what Ajax has learned and is now modeling after?

    1. That’s an important point Jeff. I agree. Depending on the youth academy will create a very strong team especially if you can keep the players , but it needs time ” 5-7 years i think “. I can add also mark van Bommel & alexander Hleb to your list , they couldn’t gel with the team.
      I think Alves is the only exception.

  18. Thank you for clearing up the Kuyt comment, Jan.
    He is the most humble and friendliest player I have ever met in my life. A true sporting gentleman. A very, very rare breed indeed. If only we had 11 Dirk Kuyts.

    Otherwise, great article as usual.

  19. Great article Jan. I think you were very fair when talking about RvP.

    I would add one thing, with RvP you would get the triangular short passing game (a Wenger byproduct) and with Robben-Wes we tended to see the Mourinho direct passing game. The 2010 team suffered from personality disorder, but it didn’t show mostly because the Robben and Wesley were having the seasons of their lives. They were the alpha males and they led the herd.

    In 2012 we had the same issue, but Robben had just lost 3 titles and Wes had just gone through 25 different managers at inter. Needless to say Van Bommel was also 3 steps slower and was burned by all the speedy midfielders.

  20. Jeffry bruma is having heart problem,sp PSV put transfer on hold.hope he will be fine..
    Great Japie is doing super work with Ajax and am sure Ajax is goin to have beast of defenders and MVH will get better..
    here is the words from denswill on Jip Jaap the Rebelmonster.
    “He teaches us on how to relentlessly engage an attacker face-to-face”, Stefano Denswil, 20, told the club’s official site.

    “We have already seen him do it on television. That aura that said: ‘this ball is mine’. As a defender, he [taught us] to show the conviction that no one can go past you.”
    Read more at http://www.insidefutbol.com/2013/07/05/former-manchester-united-defender-jaap-stam-earns-rave-reviews-as-ajax-coach/91285/#5lZtwTLjxASFEJlL.99

  21. Final Squad for the U19 Euro in the summer.
    Any Toughts??
    There are some player that didnt made the cut and I think there are very good player like: Jorrit Hendrix, Kenny Tete, Rai Vloet, Thom Haye (he was the man that gave the qualification against Germany!!)
    Also DRB maybe you could make a review of the youngters less follow??

    1. Hendrix could have gone but PSV did not want him to miss the preparation for the upcoming season (that is positive on it’s own). He told that on his Twitter it seems. After further investigation I found out that the same goes for Brenet. The other PSV players did not make the cut as they were simply judged as not better than the others that did make the final selection. So we have to separate these two reasons.

      I am a bit disappointed about Haye. Maybe there is a special reason concerning him into play here as well. Hope so as I expect things from him.

      @ Gabriel, I am now a bit tired but will look what I can do in the coming days.


      1. Thanks men, dont worry, you always gave me loots of scouts!!
        PD: I also like a lot Haye, he is very complete, defending and attacking, and can score goals too!! Veeery interesting player.
        Cheers and have some rest!!

  22. Anyone knows something about Danzell Gravenberch, Bilal Basacikoglu, Roy Talsma, Huseyin Dogan, Wesley Hoedt??
    They were all selected for the U19 euro and I really dont know much about them

    1. This is a first real article about him in a serious paper:


      Marco van Ginkel promised star role after agreeing £9m Chelsea move
      • Mourinho convinced Vitesse Arnham midfielder to join
      • 20-year-old seen as successor to Frank Lampard

      So people get to know him as the successor of Frank Lampard. No pressure then.

      1. I wonder if Mou promised Modric and Sahin minutes before the moved to Madrid. Didn’t Pardew promise Anita a star role in midfield?

        I don’t take these managers’ promises seriously. They play whoever gives them the best XI. No manager thinks before a game “well players X and Y are give me exactly what I need for this game, but I did promise player W minutes to convince him to sign, so I think I’ll play him instead of player X”

        1. I agree. It means shit. But I can imagine a guy like van Ginkel being overwhelmed with Chelsea, the Bridge, Jose M, all those magnificent players…. Can’t blame the lad. Oh, did I mention the $$?

  23. Mohamed, great to hear you are doing well. I can only imagine what it must be like to live through such events. Really incredible.
    Jan, Jose actually does have a history of trusting young players like that. He did it with Robben, Ozil, Khedira (almost unknown at the time with u21 caps for Germany), Varane and now VG. So I think he means what he says. Also Jose and Frankie know each other well so I am sure that he truly felt VG would not play much he would have loaned him to Ajax. Good sign in my opinion that VG will play.
    I read an article about Stam’s coaching ability on Ajax.nl. Apparently he is fantastic as the article Tiju sent us also describes. If Stam and Frank both decided to take VD Horn, they must know something we don’t know or see.
    DRB300 and Gabriel, regarding the euro u19 team selection, I believe that Tete, Haye and some others did not go because they have made their respective club A squads and these clubs do not want to release them for the tournament. Same with TTV, depay etc.

    1. agreed respect the U19 subject, but I really dont understand why clubs made things that way, imagine the team we could had with all the players missing

  24. You’re all crazy with RvP…. He is not the key to us winning a WK. I can only hope that Sneijder returns to the level he is capable of as only he can create the space and opportunity for others.

    He did it week in week out in the toughest league to find space and now he is the marked playmaker in Turkey – if he can do the same there then bring on Brasil2014 – if not then I will enjoy the beaches of Rio next year

  25. Chelsea believe new signing Marco van Ginkel can become Frank Lampard’s successor after completing his £9million move from Vitesse Arnhem.

    The Stamford Bridge club beat Ajax to land the schemer, who was the star of the Dutch side at last month’s European Under-21 Championship.

    Van Ginkel, 20, has been tracked for months by the west Londoners as they plan their long-term future, and will formally agree terms when he has a medical next week.

    He met with new Blues boss Jose Mourinho for assurances over his role before agreeing to the move.

    It is understood the youngster was persuaded that Mourinho wishes to bed him in next season, with a view to replacing 35-year-old Lampard over the next 18 months.

    Van Ginkel scored eight goals in 33 ­appearances for Vitesse last season and made his international debut against Germany in November.

    But what kind of player is he? Our expert Sheridan Bird reckons he can become ‘a hybrid of Frank Lampard and vintage Michael Essien’

  26. I don’t want to be positive about this move, since historically our youngsters disappear when they move too early, but I think van Ginkel could do really well at Chelsea if given a chance. He’s got great ball control, positioning, an eye to go forwards, and the thing that the English will like most about him – he isn’t afraid to do the dirty work. I just he would have been given another year to develop his skills before going to a league where he will likely be encouraged to work on his defensive side more than his ball control skills.

  27. http://tinyurl.com/moj758r

    Telegraaf says that PSV will present Rekik on Monday, who will come over in a loan deal for 1 year.

    PSV have now two talented left center backs in Rekik and Hendrix.

    On a side note: Feyenoord fans must feel some kind irritation about this development of PSV and FC Twente picking up ex Feyenoord talents all the time.

    1. I think it is a good move. People here will cry foul and say that Bojan will be taking the spot of a talented young dutch striker. But the truth is that Ajax have been strugling finding a decent Forward for a long time now. The lad is very good and has Champions League experience so i believe he will be very useful for the season ahead.

    2. Krkic to Ajax. Good for Ajax. I think Krkic could be the difference between trophy or finishing second in the table.

      Having said that, from the Dutch NT standpoint, I am utterly disgusted with this move. Another confirmation of Ajax’ decline on developing Dutch talents. Last meaningful forward transfers were all imports: Sulejmani, Sigthorsson, Sana, Lucas Andersen, and Cuenca (loan). The transfer involving Dutch players were laughable: Boerrigter (limited winger), Babel (ugh, where to start here?). Player that Ajax could claim they’ve developed: Lukoki and Castillion (ouch!). As a sidebar, Hoesen did show some promises, and I was actually hoping that he would make a step forward this coming season. As it turns out out, he will now have his work cut off.

      I think questions need to be raised on the fundamental level as to why a club as successful as Ajax (and all other Dutch clubs to this matter) is having such a trouble developing talents. More often than not, the quick solutions are not always the best in the long term.

      1. I second this. This signing reminds me of Albert Luque. I thought after two league trophies, they can now concentrate on long term development.

    3. Krkic will probably play as a winger,not a striker. Ajax have been looking for a left winger for some time now,and he could be it.
      So Hoesen only has to worry about Kolbeinn in front of him.

      1. Why bojan if affelay is available option to loan, he can play left wing, also good alternative if erricson leave. PSV are now offering affelay to come back.

  28. I totally agree SaintJohn. It is a really good move. All we need now is Duarte and we are set. Every position will be covered. I thought that last year we lacked depth when players got injured and we had to play CL and league games every 3 days. When we objectively look at the Dutch league every single team got significantly weaker except for Feyenoord and us. The problem with Feyenoord is Koeman and lack of midfield play. I don’t see that changing this year since Pelle is likely staying and Koeman won’t change anything. So I think Ajax has a good chance of going 4 in a row.

  29. Roda JC Kerkrade have confirmed the signing of Frank Demouge on a two-year contract after the striker’s deal at Bournemouth was cancelled.

    Demouge joined Bournemouth from Utrecht 12 months ago, but he made only two appearances during his time with the club.

    He linked up with Roda JC on loan in the January transfer window and had his contract with Bournemouth cancelled on Friday.

    The 31-year-old impressed during his loan spell at Roda JC, and the Dutch club’s managing director Marcel van den Bunder is happy to have snapped up Demouge on a permanent basis.

    “Frank has shown in the last six months that his mentality and style of play fits very well into our club,” Van den Bunder told Roda JC’s official website.

    “It is not surprising that, after he has been able to terminate his contract at Bournemouth, he has quickly reached an agreement with us.”

  30. RSC Anderlect have signed midfielder Demy de Zeeuw – who spent part of the 2012/13 campaign on loan in Brussels – from FC Spartak Moskva on a free transfer.


    Demy de Zeeuw spent two years in Russia
    ©Getty Images

    2013/14 UEFA Champions League participants
    Van Ginkel confirmed as Chelsea’s latest recruit
    Coaches in focus in Champions Matchday
    Juventus bolster attacking options with Tévez deal
    Partizan, Dinamo Tbilisi the prize for first four
    CSKA sign Milanov, Zuber
    Van Ginkel heads to Chelsea
    United unveil ‘thrilled’ Moyes
    Anderlecht acquire De Zeeuw
    José Ángel confirms return
    UEFA Champions League group stage contenders RSC Anderlecht have signed experienced midfielder Demy de Zeeuw from FC Spartak Moskva. 

    Suárez pens new terms
    Mbokani joins Dynamo
    Vanden Borre returns ‘home’
    Season review: Belgium
    The 30-year-old, who made three starts during a loan spell at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadion last season, joins on a free transfer, ending a two-year association with Spartak. The former Go Ahead Eagles player initially made his name with AZ Alkmaar, amassing 119 league appearances and winning the Eredivisie at the end of his fourth and final season at the club.

    He left for AFC Ajax in 2009 and lifted a second Dutch title two years later. Capped 27 times, De Zeeuw was a member of the Netherlands squad that finished runners-up at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

    Meanwhile, Spartak have also allowed Argentinian defender Nicolas Pareja to leave for Sevilla FC on loan, while forward Artem Dzyuba and playmaker Jano Ananidze have both signed season-long loan deals with Russian Premier League rivals FC Rostov.

  31. Guys, relax there are loads of talented Dutch players at Ajax. Just give them time. Practically the entire back line is Dutch except for Alderwerld who is likely to leave and Moisander. With Van rhijn, Blind, Denswil, Veltman, VD Horn, Tete I think it is all good there. In Midfield, there is a lot of hope with Klassen and Bazoer, and behind them quite a few talented guys. However, I agree is with the fact we lack really good forwards except for Hoesen, and from what I heard Manig, Acolatse and Becker. So let’s wait. And for those who say Boerrigter is terrible, yes his season last year was not great but he was outstanding the year before. So hopefully he will be good again this year.

  32. Yes I hope so Gabriel. The coaching staff seems to believe in Klaassen despite the fact he was injured all season. Again they must know something!! I also saw some highlights of Kishna and he also seems promising. We will see what happens this year with the new erstedivisie (Jupiter League) format a lot of these promising talents will have to progress quite quickly.

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