Ajax back in European top!!

Oh my Goodness, where to start!!?!?

Well, with that comment from a blog guest the other day, saying Ajax isn’t getting enough airtime here. If they reach the bloody finals a bit more often, I can write more about them! Just kiddin’ of course ;-).

However, I did check the past posts and I don’t think Ajax fans have anything to complain about. The majority of posts is on Oranje, of course. Other than that: Johan Cruyff got a lot of exposure, as did Piet Keizer, Marco van Basten, Ruud Krol and even a recent Peter Bosz interview… So…. Just sayin’!

But now Ajax deserves all the exposure here, until Feyenoord wins the title coming Sunday. Or next season. Or sometime in 2034…

I have been heavily enjoying Ajax’ development this season. It was like a perfect machine being made by Dr Frankenstein (Peter Bosz). Very clunky and rusty in the start of the season, and amidst the groans and moans from the dissatisfied players (Gudelj, El Ghazi, Bazoer, Tete) slowly the ideal Ajax team emerged. For me, Tete still is much better than Veltman as RB and I do like to see more of Riedenwald too, but boy, Bosz got his boys swinging!

Bosz blij

Ajax has been nothing short of spectacular these past weeks/months. They surely have Feyenoord worried. The football machine from Rotterdam has been winning games based on their power, strength, mentality and will and quality to simply kill games. Ajax has been winning games on class, speed and skill. The youngest team ever to reach the EL finals.

The irony is, that a number of years ago, one Johan Cruyff – you may have heard his name before – went to Amsterdam with velvet gloves on to preach another footbal revolution. His words: “If we want to compete with the best and have more European successes, we need to go back to our football vision of Total Football and develop classy youthful talents and build a team around them!”

He was ridiculed by most. “A Dutch team will never win a big European trophy anymore” everyone said. Cruyff put people like Overmars, Van der Sar, Bergkamp and Jonk into the Ajax management structure and Wim Jonk was charged with developing talent. The revolution didn’t go too well. Frank de Boer appeared to be a pragmatic coach, and despite winning titles, his Ajax was heavily criticized for being dull and boring. In Europe, De Boer never made the grade.

So Cruyff was basically pushed out of Ajax with velvet gloves, and poor Wim Jonk became the sacrificial lamb.

Kort geding Cruijff en jeugdtrainers tegen Ajax

Jonk and Cruyff (Stam and Overmars behind them) taking on the Ajax Revolution…

Now, almost two years later and one year after JC’s passing, Ajax did exactly what Cruyff/Jonk stood for.

They are in the EL finals with a young team brimming with Academy prospects (Tete, Riedewald, De Ligt, Van de Beek, Kluivert, Dolberg, Nouri) and some older players developed at and by Ajax (Klaassen, Veltman) and some stray cats (Traore, Neres, Viergever). Cruyff will potentially turn in his grave or smile in his grave… I am sure Wim Jonk will look at this success with a smirk. He had to go, while doing El Salvador’s work at the Future (“De Toekomst”, the name of Ajax’ youth grounds).

But even though Cruyff, Van Gaal, De Boer, Bergkamp, Overmars and Jonk all had a big hand in this success, it took an Ajax outsider to actually make it all work. The ingredients were there, the chef had yet to find the best combination for the tastiest dish.

Peter Bosz, ex-Vitesse and ex-Feyenoord. The man with the armband, when Feyenoord won the title under Van Hanegem in 1993. De Kromme got frequently annoyed with Professor Bosz who already demonstrated traits of a coach when playing as a defensive mid in the Feyenoord team. He had his time in France, Japan and in the Bundesliga before returning to Holland, where he coached Heracles, was Technical Director at Feyenoord (not too successful I might add) and took the coaching reigns again at Heracles, Vitesse before leaving to work in Israel with Jordi Cruyff. Bosz was always a Cruyff adept and had a lot of time with both Jordi and Johan when working with the “son of”… His teams, whether Heracles or Vitesse, always played attractive and at time suicidal offensive football. The match Bosz – Ajax was an obvious one.

bosz mourinho dick

Peter: “You have as much chance to beat us as the length of your willy!”

In typical Cruyff style, Bosz forced his vision onto the team, with the risk of getting it wrong. When Ajax played in the CL qualifications, it simply had to beat Rostov to progress in the CL but Bosz refused to be pragmatic, as a result, Rostov tore Ajax apart.

He took it on the chin. Copped the criticism and the fact that his tactics cost Ajax millions of CL prize money. He seemed unphased. He even said he didn’t need to get Hakim Ziyech, but succumbing under the immense pressure of the fans, the Ajax management decided to sign the wizard of Twente. Bosz made a statement by declaring “Ziyech wasn’t ready for Ajax yet”. He took the fight to the strongwilled Moroccan playmaker and benched him a number of times and criticized him in public.

Bosz won the battle. Ziyech had to be taken off his high horse and with Gudelj and Bazoer going through the exit, Ziyech would grasp the spot in midfield, alongside Lasse Schone, the man who can do it all (but play 90 minutes on full speed) and Klaassen. The Ajax Duracell man. Bosz struggled to get his team going on a consistent basis but in the Europa League games, Ajax impressed.

bosz ghazi

Peter Bosz butted heads with some players

Celta de Vigo was brushed aside, and a B-team took care of Standard Liege. Celta, not a bad team. They ended up playing the other semi finals and ex-Feyenoord striker (and ongoing legend) John Guidetti almost exited Man U from that finals in the last second of their match. That would have been something!

The secret to this Ajax? 1) Great youth development and therefore amazing skills. 2) No fear, the Amsterdam arrogance, if you will. 3) No pressure, being the underdog suits Ajax. 4) tactics. Bosz has it spot on. From the choice of Stanley Menzo-ish goalkeeper Onana to the mercurial and ice-cold Dane Dolberg. And then there is the 5 seconds rule. Like JC, like Pep, like Simeone, Bosz expects his team to hunt like wolves when the ball is lost. Schalke couldn’t deal with it, Lyon couldn’t deal with it.

It was clear that whenever Ajax dropped the intensity (whether due to fatigue or simply not executing the tactics), it would get in trouble. Domestically and internationally. Schalke got 3 goals against Ajax. And so did Lyon. That is a risk. But Bosz is from the school of “whatever happens at the back, as long as we simply score one more”.

pen lyon

De Ligt with a teenager mistake

With Ajax playing Man United in a 1 leg tie for the title, I feel they have a massive chance to get it right.

Yes, Man United has more money. Yes, Man United has the big name players and the big ego coach. But Ajax might well have the best team. A team with nothing to lose!

The key for Ajax in the coming years is to try and keep the top players in Amsterdam for a while. Should Ajax win the EL, they’ll qualify for the CL immediately. What an income stream. This might definitely help Overmars and co. to keep the likes of Dolberg, Sanchez and Klaassen one more year. Klaassen was said to be on his way out, but with this European title and another run in the CL, he might well be convinced to add one more season. Ziyech might also stay on. He’s not too keen on an overseas adventure. He picks his career path well. From Heerenveen, he could have gone to Feyenoord, but the Rotterdam club didn’t guarantee him a starting spot. So he went to Twente first. I can see him add one more season to Ajax at least.

Dolberg would do well to stay a bit longer too. He’s only 18 years old. Other players flirting with a move: Kenny Tete. For me, another outstanding performance vs Lyon when he came on for Veltman. I hope he’ll stay, I can’t imagine Veltman keeping Tete out much longer. Sanchez might be a problem though, the phenomenal Columbian – another MOTM performance by him – is on the short list of the PSG’s, Barcelonas and Man Uniteds of this world…

dolberg scoort

Dolberg scores

The games vs Schalke and Lyon will have warmed a lot of hearts internationally and nationally for Ajax. In particular, the home games. Away, they were a tad vulnerable. Overwhelmed maybe. Out-challenged at times physically and some players do still make silly decisions under pressure. Yes, De Ligt is in his right to make a couple of mistakes. He’s 17 years old. You take the bad with the good. Same for Dolberg and Kluivert. But Nick Viergever, the hero of Gelsenkirchen, is no spring chicken anymore and he was the zero this time. The second goal was the result of a weak clearance from him. The third goal went via his knee but can’t blame him for that, but the two yellow cards were downright stupid. Ridiculous. No need for him to do what he did.

Bernard Traore moving back to London is not a bad thing either. Yes, he works hard for the team in that right wing back role and impresses at times, but he’s also quite blind once he’s on a roll and he lacks the real goalscoring desire. There were two or three situations where he should have gambled and make a run into the goal area, when a cross came in meant for Dolberg. He could have had two tap ins. Time for an Ajax lad to take his role. Why leave Kluivert or Neres on the bench and prefer a loan player?

klaassen nouri

Davey Klaassen and Appie Nouri: “We gaan naar Zweden toe!” (JR: “We’re off to Sweden!”)

Anyway, Dutch football is suddenly giving us some excitement! Last season, PSV got the shivers into Atleti, this season Feyenoord returned to the fore again as domestic challenger (fingers crossed for Sunday!!) while Man United’s scalp was seized in a European campaign cut short by a ridiculous decision in an away game (unfair penalty and sending off of Boteghin).

With players like Karsdorp, Vilhena, Berghuis, Elia, Toornstra, Kongolo and the likes of Lammers, Hendrix, Willems, Propper and talents like Tete, Van de Beek, Kluivert, Riedewald, De Ligt and others (Ayoub, Ake, Hoedt, De Roon, Memphis) the future isn’t that bad…

Ajax made it to the finals of the Europa Cup in 1969 for the first time and lost that match. A year later Feyenoord won it and Ajax followed suit three times in a row. With Oranje lagging behind in 1974 with a memorable turn at the World Cup.

Good times ahead!! Big congrats to Ajax for their totally unexpected campaign. JC is dead, love live JC!

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  1. Jan, I thought you would drop a note on Ajax last time it won what was then Winners Cup exactly 30 years ago. Very young team back then as well. It was the start of the new era in dutch international success. Today’s players are not even close to those back then and back then the team had 11 pure dutch players and not an international mix. Anyway, I really hope Ajax wins it and again signs good things to come. I had not seen a full AJAX game in a very long time but I noticed players like Ziyech, Traore, Younes were nothing special. Kudos to Bosz for coming this far with these players.
    If Ajax is to win they can’t miss chances like 1st half yesterday. Man U is no Lyon.

    1. Ziyech and Yunnes are really good,they are capable dribblers ,hence they cause problem when they have ball.they help defense as well..Ziyech is a loss for NT in this time..Traore is like kuyt..So industrious..
      The boys to watch are Van de beek,Sanchez(Who is already famous).Dolberg.Tete,deligt…i hope nauri and frenkie dejong also would step up.

  2. Excellent article Jan!

    And thank you for the posthumous shout-out!

    Great respect for both Ajax and Feyenoord this season. I enjoyed my time in Rotterdam, and Ajax, well what can you say — Ik maak eigenlijk zelden fouten, want ik heb moeite me te vergissen.

    1. Hendrik, even in death you do none of the work and take all of the credit. You pop in and out as it suits you, even in the afterlife!

      Do you notice anything about both teams playing in the Europa League final, hmm…?

      Oh that’s right, I managed both of them to their most recent successes!

      Jan should have written “LVG is dead. Long live LVG!” except that I am not dead like you so that wouldn’t make sense. Ha!

  3. Guys, don’t always fight about all this ok? It’s a known fact that JC did it all first. Louis, you were the supposed successor to JC at Ajax as a playmaker remember? That didn’t end well.

    But as a coach you basically followed in Johan’s footsteps (Ajax, Barca). I’m sure Johan could have coached more big teams if he wanted to but he didn’t have any interest.

    Anyway, once you die Louis, I will treat you with the respect the dead deserve.

    Until then, get your ass in Zeist pronto!

    1. Jan:

      I would love to take over the KNVB. It would be a great opportunity to demonstrate my omniscience. I’m just not sure that the time is right. The problem is Nicolaas. Now that he is involved yet again, I just don’t know. Our only past successful collaboration involved body paint:


    2. Jan:

      Please do not indulge Aloysius. I would be more help to the KNVB dead than he is alive. But like I say, you can’t order steak in a fish restaurant…

      When I appear in the news these days, it is because a stadium is being named after me, or because my charitable foundation is doing good things!

      When Aloysius appears, it is because he holds up a trophy for a competition involving two teams that he is no longer managing.

      He tries to play chess while the rest of the world tries to play football. Then he blames the pawns when they cannot carry out the movement of a bishop.

  4. As for the comparison with the 1992 winning Ajax! That post needs to wait until Ajax wins this cup in Sweden!

    If they win it, the 1992 comparison is there.

    If they lose, we’ll go with the 1969 loss (which got Feyenoord snatching up the cup in 1970 before Ajax ruled Europe).

    Let’s hope that if Ajax does lose, Feyenoord will win the CL next season and then, and only then, Ajax is permitted to win it again!

    Histoire se repete…

  5. Robben scored the GW in a crazy game at Leipzig, winning 4-5. Again playing 90 mins..

    Bazoer played a nice game for Wolfsburg, coming back to draw Monchengladbach with an assist for Gomez. Has played the last couple matches on the right side of the midfield, almost on the wing at times.

    Gouweleeuw and Verhaugh both played 90 in a 1-1 draw between Augsburg and Dortmund.

    Huntelaar started probably his final Shalke match, subbed off with 10 mins to go without anything to show for it.

    1. Bazoer is top notch..We need him at dutch NT..Donny van de beek seems matured beyod years too..i know that Justin kluivert is talented,i feel that he is getting spoiled….
      Team of
      ON BENCH
      ————–Van debeek————–
      Oh my God we got such a wonderful team…
      Stand bye

    1. hmmm Depay does strike me as being a defensive player at all, nor is his vision good enough for midfield – so to me DM is one of the last positions I would guess he could play..

    2. Our best DM is still out…thats NATHAN AKE…
      De Roon/Raidwald must the second best…but in more footballing aspect a combination of Bazoer & Donny van de beek would be world class..

  6. Mr Feyenoord Dirk Kurt sure took the stress out of the morning for his fans – scoring in the first minute versus Heracles and again in the 12 minute..
    So HT and we are 2-0 for Feyenoord.
    Over at Willem, Ajax lead 0-1 but it may not matter..

  7. News from Saturday:
    Clasie and de Roon square off in Middlesbrough, van Dijk-less Southampton win 1-2. Both were pretty good, I prefer Clasie as he is smoother on the ball and a little wiser positionally but de Roon was good too and also created a couple chances, and hard to say since he plays for such a poor team will unfortunately be relegated..
    Fer subbed on for the final 20 at Swansea, Narsingh subbed on in 89′, and van der Hoorn stayed on the bench for their 0-2 win at Sunderland.
    At Stoke, Martins Indi goes back to CB and Pieters is back in the lineup for hosting Arsenal – who thrash them 1-4 and lrobbamy should have been 0-5. Both our lads were out to lunch on a few occasions, namely ALL the goals – not that any of their teammates were at better.

    de Vrij missed out for Lazio so Hoedt gets another start, but they lost 2-3 at Fiorentina, which unfortunately leaves them unable to reach Napoli in 3rd.
    Hateboer played the final 5 mins while Atalanta drew with Milan.

    Dost had only an assist in Sportings 2-1 loss on Feirense.
    Lens started, RvP was on the bench, for Fenerbahce. Strangely RvP was not used even while his side lost 0-1 at home. Lens withdrawn in the 68′, I notice he was only 1/11 on crosses and 1/4 on takeons unfortunately.

  8. van Aanholt scored the 4th goal in a 4-0 Palace win over Hull.
    Wijnaldum starts for Liverpool as usual, winning at West Ham 0-3 and all but clinching a top 4 spot with them.. 90 mins, 93% passing percentage, an assist and the most recoveries as he again does so much work in the middle and with a big smile on his face.
    Janssen and Vorm both keep their bench places for Spurs hosting Blind who starts for United in a few minutes.

    Strootman and Roma host Juve later, technically Roma could catch them but almost impossible.
    Earlier in Italy, Letschert was in a Sassuolo side which beat Inter 2-1 at home.

    1. Actually Strootman misses out today as he’s suspended..

      Blind played 90 in United’s 2-1 loss at Spurs, where neither Janssen or Vorm played.
      Blind with both the most crosses and interceptions for his team.

      Sneijder played 87 minutes before subbing out for Nigel de Jong today.. scored the GW, and created the most chances (4) a season usual for them away to Gazientep.

        1. 1-okay Aanholt
          2-he is just back from injury,you want him score from first match that to as defender??
          3-Yes he is LB he has scored more golas than Depay in EPl
          4-Yes danny called him but didnt played him when tem needed him.
          thats why Danny is sacked and sitting in home now..

        2. only pointing out non-factual things, don’t put words in my mouth buddy!

          1 – ok good, stop repeating it wrong it’s lazy and annoying

          2 – his 6th game back since injured, first goal, second on the year, but you said he could not stop scoring.. that’s all

          3 – you say ‘even as a LB’, so you suggest he is played out of position? maybe he will be a LW one day, but for now, pretty much only a LB so you are just wrong.. (and btw comparing with a LW player is dumb and I’m tired of explaining why – but, let me know if you ever saw van Aanholt get double teamed, or even marked by one player! Let alone being in a team that hasn’t to break down a defensive team..)

          4 – you had said Danny never called him, but you were wrong – I don’t care about the rest of your assumptions/ opinion on it

          haha wilson says you nailed it, so now you know it must not include fact and must be teeming with assumption 😂

          1. syber Buddy😆. this is the last thing I wanna do (defend Tiju) but since you mentioned me also there, some facts for you.

            A very simple and general statement Tiju made ” Van annholt cannot stop scoring…in the toughest league even as LB..

            fact 1 he also played LB for Sunderland and he also was often on target there (my view not assumption). agreement point.out of the six games he has played as you mentioned, he only started 2 games and the rest were of the bench. he was also deployed both on LW and LB. even vs Hull he came on for Townsend and scored the winner so again no assumptions here but it’s you who as usually WANT to see things from one perspective only or maybe your own perspective. well I can’t blame you for that. that’s your typical style and we have already talked about this before so I wont exaggerate here much.

            fact 2 the reason why I said why he has nailed it simply because he acknowledged his mistakes and then buttered it with this ” that’s why Danny is sacked and sitting at home now.” perfectly.

            again we have discussed in depth about calling and starting a player.

  9. Congrats to Feyenord. Kuyt with a hat-trick!. I am son happy for him and Gio!.

    Some have said J. Kluivert is too spoiled but I see a confident player with a huge fighting spirit, he is a good player he is very smart on the field.

      1. you can check out Memphis in 45 mins as he starts again for Lyon, looks like in the same LW position he has played for all of his matches for them so far 😉

    1. @Miguel against lyon Ajax was struggling and they lost veirgiver,this kluivert comes in and he didnt help the defense like Amin yonues did.it was scary 10 minutes for ajax.when team needs you defend and still you attitude..thats a bad thing..mya be he is just 18 year old.. i dont know..
      I have seen locadia gave him nice check vs PSV.

  10. A big hearty CONGRATS to Feyenoord and its amazing, unbelievable fans. i couldn’t end better with Kuyt scoring a hat trick. He can now join the ranks of legends.BRAVO.

        1. Oh, stop being such a tosser, wilson.

          Have you no generosity of spirit? Can you not give credit on a day like today?

          Of all the times, all the days, for you to get prickish about Kuyt, this is a real winner.

          Piss off.

        2. @Wilson, the comment on Kuyt and 2010 is kind of harsh. Its always been my impression that Goldstone’s comment about “earning his Heineken” has been for the honesty of effort, and work rate that he brings to a game.

          But even if you are suggesting that he was net negative rather than positive to the team, I’d say we have difference of opinion. From where I sat, he “earned his Heneken” in 2010 by any measure. He gave BVM what he wanted: End to end running, tireless effort, protection for the fb. BVM knew they would likely face Brazil in the semi’s and he wanted Kuyt in the team to help handle their fb’s (Maicon and Alves). He did he his job. He also flicked on the header that led to Sneijder’s game winner. They had won all the other matches going into the final—so he clearly wasn’t letting the team down in the first seven games. Had Robben’s ball not touched the outside of Casilla’s boot, there would have been plenty of glory to go around. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way. But its hard to see how Kuyt had any more responsibility for the loss than anyone else.

          In any event that was seven years ago. Does the WC loss in 2010 diminish what he accomplished for Feyenoord on Sunday?

          1. @ Andrew

            Im not being harsh. Its a reality check. no doubt he always gives 110% when ever he plays but when you are playing in a FINAAAAAAAAAAL and instead of going around your player, you show them your ass and keep passing backwards,what the use of putting in that extra effort early on only to stumble on the last hurdle. i hope you get what im saying.

            it was really heart breaking every time he passed backwards. that was the game you would have expected him to shift another gear given what you said about his earlier games ,but he jus couldnt and just lagged the whole game.

            as for feyenoord win,you make it sound like he singly handed guided feyenoord to the title which is kind of controvesial I think,lets dont forget he only came in because of Vilhnea who was injured.

            what I get from your last statement and Gladstone’s is Feyenoord wouldnt have won without him in that last game.which again is arguable.

          2. I have nothing personal against him but it’s just arguable what gladstone said. thats it. kyut also played vs Excelsior the previous week but yet they scumbed to defeat in a match which could have seen them win the title earlier. I hope you see where I’m coming from.

    1. Goldstone….i stopped speaking against kuyt after seeing kuyt playing RB and DM under LVG for NT.for me i believe thats was his best performance for NT when team was in need..that was the real spot he should have played when we had fab 4..that didnt happend under stubborn fart van marwijk.
      congrats to Feynoord they deserved it..
      it was team effort by them not just kuyt.

  11. I don’t know about you guys but I am confident. We have plenty of talented youngsters, I really really hope Ajax, PSV and Feyenord can keep many of them and the players that do choose to leave I hope they choose a team where they can play week in week out.

    With players like Ake, Karsdorp, Tete, Riedewald, Kongolo, De Ligt, Hoedt, De Vrij, Virgil, Klaasen, Wijnaldum, Promes, Vilhena, Janssen, Strootman, Van de Beek, J. Kluivert….we have enough to build on.

    I didn’t like the idea of having Advocaat again as the Bondscoach althoug I must say he’s an experienced coach and when he was Blind’s assistant we showed some signs of improvement. With Güllit this team will gain some balls, he is a real leader who can motivate especailly our younger players.

    1. @Miguel
      Believe me the aforementioned players are enough to win us WC.We can do it even with out Roben and Sneijder..But we need a very good coach,who selects right 11 in every game..
      I just pray that at least we qualify for WC..
      Advocate cannot be worse than Danny FORSURE..

  12. First thing first. A solid DM then secondly whether to play with 2 or 3 CBS.this should be the starting challenge for Adovcaat on the blocks. if this is not addressed, im afraid it will continue to drag

    with most of the leagues coming to conclusion now there are few players who need to be called up. first and for most is Ruud Vormer. though the champions league was a disaster for Club brugge, but without a doubt he has been one of their best players through out the season.was reading in an interview by him where he stated that people in beligum are suprised how come he is not playing for the national team.but then he also aknowledged strootman and Wijnaldum who are ahead of him in that position and are playing in better teams. never the less I reckon he should be backup for strootman and Advocaat has to give him the shot in NT given his stand out performance in Belgium. Also Club Brugge wont make it to the CL this season as Anderlecht seems to have edged them out. this is the right time for Vormer to move to a better league to cast out the benefit of doubt being playing in Beligum.

    Then comes Alex Buttner. still not 100% at Vitesse but Henk Fraser deployed him on the LW VS Roda JC.played some 50 minutes I think,was running riot on the left flank and got a assist for Wolfswinkel. I will put a question mark on him for now but come after pre season he definetly should a player to look out for especially if it is for the wing back role.

    CBS look ok. Van Dijk, Bruma, De Vrij, Hoedt. De ligt could be exception here and if Advocaaat decides to go with 3 CBS then Van Dijk, Bruma, De Vrij, Hoedt, De ligt and Riedewald should be a lock.

    Promes – Depay – Robben

    buttner – Van Ginkel – Strootman – Karsdorp

    Ake – Van Dijk – Bruma


  13. both Janmaat and Ake played full 90 repectively for Chelsea and Watford. Janmaat with a nice goal and Ake with assist. chelsea winning in the end 4-3.one thing you can notice about Ake is his movment in the box is quiet good. he always finds spaces in the box ready bto pounce onto the ball.

  14. Hello everyone!

    I wanted to thank you for your support over the years. I am excited about coaching the Netherlands for the third (or fourth) time now. Although I am getting on in age at this point, I am still looking for new adventures and new opportunities (just think of me as a Dutch Larry Brown, but without the championships).

    I hear that these types of online forums are great for identifying new career opportunities, so please let me know if you hear of any football managerial positions coming open later this year.

    My impending job at this moment, of course, is to qualify us for the World Cup in Russia. As you may know, I have prior experience in doing so, and in fact oversaw our progress to the quarter finals back in 1994. I also led our magnificent Oranje to the semi-finals of the Euros in 2004. Although slightly disappointing back then, those defeats to Brazil in 1994 and Portugal in 2004 were some of the greatest moments in our national team’s history. In fact, those results were undeniably the pinnacle of what could have been achieved with the limited talent available to me at the time. The memories of those triumphs should cause your hearts to swell with pride and foreshadow the type of success this latest endeavor will likely yield.

    In case my talents had somehow escaped your recent memory, in announcing my hiring, the current highly qualified KNVB technical director described me as a “very experienced professional” and in fact an “authority”. So if you know of anyone who is looking for a football manager in the near future who possesses such characteristics, please feel free to pass on his assessment of my credentials.

    As qualified as I am for this new managerial position, however, I am still in need of subordinates. So far, I have retained an assistant you all know very well as my right hand man –Ruud Gullit. Ruud and I get along famously, except when we don’t and end international careers as a result. Right now, of course, we are getting along, but were the right opportunity to arise, we can quickly cease getting along and I will be completely untethered while leaving the national team job in his “sexy football” hands. In fact, I’m sure he would probably prefer a more central role at this point, although I prefer him on the right…

    My CV will follow in a separate posting.

    Please feel free to pass on to anyone int€re$ted

    Yours in football,


  15. @Wilson,

    I get what you are saying. Just don’t agree. He was not the reason they didn’t win in the final. He did make a significant contribution to their reaching the final.

    As far as Feyenoord goes, I didn’t say anywhere that he was solely responsible for the win, or that they would not have won without him. But he had a hat trick in the final, deciding game of the season to bring a championship to a team that hadn’t won in a long time. That is not nothing.

    As for your comment being a “reality check,” I really just do not understand your point. Are you saying that he is overrated? That his career isn’t to be admired and respected?

    1. I never said he was the reason NT never won in 2010. my argument was simply he never lived up to expectations in the final.you need to create chances to get goals not passing back wards.


      this is what he should have being doing and this is a reality check.

      1. overrated no. simply he had limited ceiling and unfortunately it was in that final that it got EXPOSED which for me is contray to what Gladstone said.

        about his career to be admired and respected, I think he will always be remembered for his consistency and his V8 engine.

          1. @Wilson, Nice clips, but different teams, different players, different eras (that was a great game, though).

            I think I get your point. I just don’t agree. Fair enough.

          2. My cents on 2006WC and 2010WC..
            i think oth world cup we had a tremendous team,highly efficient scoring players we had up front…Both world cup kuyt played as forward and as a forward kuyt had to cross in and dribble and create hovac in opponent half.WHICH HE NEVER DID…Then Vs portugal he replaced RVN as starter and Fucked some nice chances..EvEryday you cannt expecte RVP,Roben Sneijder to score and SAVE UR Ass…sOME ONE NEEDS TO STEP IN crunch matches..
            In 2010 Vaart was benched for kuyt. that was another sin made by Bert..
            We lacked sharpness in attack with kuyt up front.
            But he played his best WC in 2014 and he covered weak players like BMI and CO.

  16. For Those of You Who Don’t Know Nic:


    Following an illustrious playing career, I was first appointed as an assistant to Rinus Michels with the national team in 1984 and then again in 1990. I took a much needed break during the 1988 Euros to focus on club football, when I managed Haarlem and then SVV, each of whom experienced unparalleled success under my leadership (although I hear that the elftal had modest success during my absence as well). I took over the national team on my own following the 1992 Euros. However, vicious rumors in the press suggested that I would be replaced as coach for the 1994 World Cup by a man far less qualified, but thankfully those rumors never came to pass (sort of like Arjen Robben – Ha!). After that World Cup, I returned to club coaching with PSV, and finished third, second and first in the Eredivisie, which suggested to me that it was time to seek out greater challenge$.

    Having so thoroughly dominated a smaller, continental league, my sights were then set on the big time – the (Scottish) Premier League. I became the first foreign manager of Rangers and our club dominated yet again, convincingly defeating all of the other high-powered clubs in Scotland for several seasons. Surprisingly, the club became insolvent fairly soon after my departure, and so my timing continued to be impeccable.


    With dominance at the club level becoming somewhat boring, I felt called to return to the international scene, to once against lead Oranje to historic success. In the interim, highly acclaimed but less talented managers had failed to qualify us for the 2002 World Cup, and so I took up the sword again. Thankfully, it was my familiarity with the Scottish national team (after my time spent with Rangers) that enabled us to qualify for Euro 2004. Once there, we dominated again, and my tactical nous was on full display. And how insightful was I at that tournament in recognizing Robben’s need to be rested? Look at how his career has blossomed since! No thank yous are needed at this time.

    Having again achieved all that was possible with our national team, I returned once more to club football. I spent an enjoyable year in Mönchengladbach, but the weather was so poor that I sought out warmer climes. The United Arab Emirates beckoned, but only for a month until a position in South Korea became available. And in the 2006 World Cup, I led South Korea to an emphatic victory over Togo!

    Good weather proved to be no challenge for me, so I looked to push myself further, taking on the role of manager at Zenit (my employment roughly coinciding with Gazprom’s takeover of that storied club). I became the first foreign coach to win the Russian championship, again dominating a highly competitive continental league. Based on my immediate success in Russia, the Australian national team offered me a job and I signed up to coach on yet another continent, but Zenit ultimately ₽ersuaded me to stay. And their ₽ersistance in retaining me was rewarded as I won them the UEFA Cup against my old club Rangers (prior to their administration)! In 2008, I was even named Trainer of the Year in Russia! I then signed up to coach the Belgian national team, but since I was such an effective club coach as well, AZ Alkmaar hired me to coach their team at the same time (I value industriousness and feel that one can never have too many jobs)! Still, the proximity of the two positions became boring, and the two and a half hour drive so tedious that I began to search for other options.


    Ultimately, Belgium graciously agreed to let me out of my contract after just six months in 2010 (with minimal litigation) so I could then pursue a position with the Russian national team, and I left AZ shortly thereafter as well. Russia successfully qualified for the 2012 Euros, but I was yearning for home at that point and returned to Holland to again manage PSV in July 2012. I temporarily retired from club football following that season, but took over at AZ the following season for a brief period. $erbia then invited me to coach their national team in 2014, but it took me only four months to see that the talent there was lacking. In fact, the whole former Yugoslavian region has been lacking in technical ability for some time now.

    In 2015, I made a triumphant return to the Premier League (this time the English version) as I swooped in to the rescue at Sunderland (it even sounds a bit like Nederland) and bossed them to a 16th place finish. Their fans were so joyful at avoiding the drop, that it brought me to temporary tears. However, one cannot let emotions stand in the way of future €ndeavors, and so I retired from football a week later until Sunder£and offered me a new contract. Then, after making some outstanding signings of former PSV players, I decided that the time was right for a new adventure.

    I am now with the glorious Turkish club Fenerbahçe, who currently reside in 3rd place in the highly competitive Turkish ₺eague. Only fierce loyalty to my homeland could drag me away from such a wonderful opportunity! All that said, I have demonstrated throughout my career that I am able to develop loyalty quickly as needed, and I always have my suitcase packed for the next adventure.

    References upon request.

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