I said it before and having your own blog means you can say it again (and again). For me the competition really starts when the transfer period is closed. And for obvious reasons. For starters, players with their heads elsewhere don’t play, or refuse to play or aren’t allowed to play. This is falsification of the competition. Secondly, teams are not yet “formed”. If Ajax buys three new lads end of August, their team will have to be rejigged in September onwards, clubs that can’t or won’t strike the iron early (like Feyenoord did) will have a slow start. And lots of clubs are forced to wait.
While at the same time, for smaller competitions, the CL and EL qualifications have already started. Typically for Ajax these days, they struggle in August. But so has every Dutch club having to play for CL qualifications.
Finally in England, people start to wake up and demand that the competition can’t start unless the window is closed. Of course! That shouldn’t even be a topic of discussion!
Haps and St Juste, two young future Oranje players
As I said, Feyenoord did well. And all or mostly homegrown players. With Feyenoord’s cash going to AZ, Heerenveen and FC Utrecht these clubs can now pay it forward by picking players with talent from the level beneath them. The money stays in Dutch football. Feyenoord was in a good position and it only got better when Ajax – sadly – didn’t qualify for the CL. The full Dutch moneybag will go to Feyenoord and this allowed them to sign Samba Sam Larsson of Heerenveen.
The balance in the Feyenoord team is such, that Feyenoord could merely shop in Holland. With experience in the team (Jorgensen, Toornstra, El Ahmadi, Van der Heijden and Jones, Feyenoord could sign young prospects to be slowly guided into the team. Ajax for instance, will need more than a young center back from Heerenveen.
Although Sam Larsson, for me, was overlooked by both PSV and Ajax. He’d fit the bill in Amsterdam 100%. And PSV? They don’t even have one left winger. How they didn’t pick up Larsson, I don’t know…
Davy Propper. He doesn’t even try to look happy
PSV is hurting financially and had to sell Propper. The only player left on the radar of international competition scouts. Willems left for a disappointing sum and Luuk de Jong’s value evaporated. Jeroen Zoet might still leave but that will happen late in the month. Propper now has to take out a special medical insurance for his neckpain as a result of all these high long balls going over his head.
Ajax’ policy I will not get. The only thing you can say in their defence, it is very hard to find a player in the category they are looking for, without immediately arousing interest from bigger clubs. Ajax buys one left back in two years. Man City buys 7 left backs in one season, of all different age groups. When Ajax calls up a talent in, say, Brazil, the manager will immediately inform the network “Ajax is after this talent”. And Wolfsburg, Sporting Lisbon, Inter Milan, Sevilla and Watford are on the case. The clubs mentioned can afford more, the competitions are more interesting and the money for the player will be five-fold what Ajax can pay! Oh and on top of that: Ajax doesn’t play CL football this season (and maybe no EL football either).
Yassine Ayoub before he picked Morocco as his national team
Ajax lost Sanchez, and got 44 mio euros (a new record). But will they be able to find a solid central defender like him again? Having the cash and finding the right player to target and win the deal in this crazy market are different things… But they need a left full back, a central defender, an attacking midfielder and a left winger, in my book. I would definitely get Ayoub from FC Utrecht and Haps and Larsson would have been perfect for Ajax. Siem de Jong is close to returning to Ajax, but Jaap Stam’s Reading is also in the mix.
Wesley Hoedt, liberating Virgil van Dijk?
Wesley Hoedt to Southampton is an interesting move. I hope De Vrij will find a new club too. A step up. Hoedt to Southampton will potentially mean that Van Dijk will be released. Certainly, Liverpool needs him.
And so does Oranje. But this will be too late for now. We’ll play France and Bulgaria without him. The De Vrij – Hoedt tandem seems a sure choice. Van Persie is back in the prelim squad and he might well become a squad member. I can imagine a 5-3-2 system, with Van Aanholt as left wing back and Tete as right wing back. Daley Blind in the role of his dad, libero with the aim to push up to central midfield with Sneijder on 10 and runners beside him. The two strikers: Robben and Memphis. Speed and guile. Intelligence in the axis with Sneijder and Blind. And Strootman and Wijnaldum doing the work in the engine room. Cillesen on goal of course and Van Persie as super sub.
Let’s beat the Frogs 0-3!