In this updated post, below a cool inside into the Oranje camp.
It goes too far to call him a cash cow.. The 22 year old Tyrell Malacia still looks like a kid. He was 9 years old when he joined Feyenoord, having grown up at a stones throw from De Kuip. “My first match on the stands was back in 2007 or something like that. Kuyt was still at Liverpool. I was amazing so many people wanted to watch a game of football…”
Now he plays there, for crowds of 30,000 people and he can call himself an international too, after his first start in Oranje. After the Germany game, Louis van Gaal praised him as one of the few players who were good on the ball, in the first half. Not a surprise for Feyenoord coach Arne Slot.
But, great versus Germany, and mediocre against Willem II. How good is Malacia? A number of formal left backs and ex-coaches have an opinion about the young defender, who struggled in his first years at the club. “Not so much the football was a problem, it was more the discipline, the rules. I just wanted to play football. I threatened to quit a number of times, but my dad was always able to make me see the right path. I’m grateful I never quit.”
We asked Arne Slot (his coach), Ruud Heus (former left back), Dick Advocaat (ex coach), Gio van Bronckhorst (ex coach and former left back and the coach who offered Tyrell his debut) to analyse the Malacia’s qualities.
Arne Slot: “Tyrell is a fan of Marcelo and Alaba of Real Madrid, backs who can defend and attack. He is and has always been strong as a defender, but now you can see him make progress on the ball as well.”
Ruud Heus: “The Malacia you see against Antony is the total package. Antony is fast, so is Malacia. Antony is agile, so is Malacia. This is a Brazilian winger, playing in their NT, who has trouble with this Feyenoord left back. That means Malacia is a force to be reckoned with. He has everything: speed, dynamic, agile and has a very decent technique.”
Dick Advocaat: “when we lost 1-0 v Ajax last season, Antony was invisible. Tyrell completely neutralised him. When he has the focus, he is one of the best in the country. I can understand Van Gaal’s excitement.”
Gio van Bronckhorst: “I remember Tyrell from the youth teams. I had seen him play and I realised he did ever so well at that young age. He was able to be tight on players who needed that, but he could also defend zonal. That is hard for young players. I thought he was very complete at a young age. I remember saying to Van Gastel: there is our future left back. When Haps was injured for the Napoli clash in the Champions League, I had no issue playing him. Sometimes, you can’t be too fussed and just give the boy your confidence.”
How Good is he On the Ball?
Arne Slot: “I saw him play the semi finals vs Germany with Young Oranje and he played very strong. Even though they were beaten. He keeps on growing individually. I think as a defender he is amongst the best in the league already.”
Heus: “He is totally top of the league on any level. His technique, that is handy to have, man. He plays along, he is available, he sees the pass, he moves on… With him, you can play on and keep moving forward. And than with his speed, he can compensate any mistakes.”
Advocaat: “His strength is that he can defend like a defender and play attack like a midfielder. Feyenoord should be happy with this gem.”
Van Bronckhorst: “He is an attacking full back. I think he is quite good on the ball. And yes, he puts his foot on the ball at times, he is cheeky like that and that will problably never totally go away, hahaha.”
What should he Improve?
Slot: “This season, we have the ball more as a team, so he now needs to be prepared for any counter attack. He’s doing this well. I also see him more and more as a driving player, when we’re behind he is typically the player to try and force the issue, or to ignite a spark with a run or a tackle. Our left wing with him, Sinistera and Kokcu is pretty strong.”
Advocaat: “At times, he is on the ball too long. I am not sure why, but he might not see all the options in time. When he comes into the box, and he does this often, his yield needs to be better. More effectiveness.”
Slot: “I do see him taunt opponents a bit too much. Almost showing too much of the ball, to get them to bite. At times, it’s too much. He looks a bit complacent, arrogant even, at times. I talk to him about that.”
Heus: “Everything he does wrong can be trained. The coach needs to tell him at training: you, Tyrell, you can only touch the ball twice. And if he keeps on persisting, you may need to bench him for a game.”
Van Bronckhorst: “Every winger will have a headache the night before playing against Malacia. He is quick, agile and a great work ethic. At times he can be overexuberant. I had video images of him versus VVV Venlo at one stage: he was playing right winger! He laughed when I confronted him, like “sorry trainer, I will do my best more”… It’s his drive, his passion.”
Last summer, Club Brugge wanted to buy him. Feyenoord said NO. This coming summer, his agent Ali Dursun already announced, he will be courted by bigger clubs. Is Tyrell ready for a step up?
Slot: “That remains to be seen but the fact of the matter is, that his game vs Germany will have resulted in more clubs following him.”
Heus: “I am a big Daley Blind fan, on the ball. But without, he is becoming more and more vulnerable. I think it’s Malacia’s turn now, or Wijndal’s. They are the two left backs for Oranje, in my view. I would like to see Malacia stay one more season, than play a strong World Cup and then make a move. ”
Advocaat: “Of course. Feyenoord is third in the country, with the potential to go higher up. Tyrell has the quality and the drive. And off the pitch, he’s a good lad. He has not frills, is honest and hard working. He is the real deal.”
Van Bronckhorst: “When you play like this against Germany, it means you can play on a higher level consistently. I recognise his journey, I went through the same stages. Academy, Feyenoord 1 and then a step up. When you play at a higher level, you can easily play along and become better as a result. I played my best football at Barcelona. Mainly because I played with world class players. Is Ty ready for a next step? !00%!”