New Video Journal!!

Hi guys,

With the transfer period now finally behind us, we can actually start the competitions.

And with that, I can introduce you to Jan Da Man, who will be hosting a periodic Video Journal on our site.

He’s a bit of a tool, I’ll give you that, but he will be able to get some really cool people in the studio for exclusive interviews…

A quick look at the transfer action:

– Ridiculous amounts of money paid for players ( Bale? 100M??? Really??)

– Ajax lost their top players and wasn’t able to secure a new winger (although the former PSV winger Labyad)…will Duarte be good enough to have us all forget Eriksen?

– Feyenoord didn’t lose any player (and may still be able to sign free agent Otman Bakkal again)

– PSV didn’t lose Wijnaldum (as was feared)

– Sneijder is staying at Galatasaray

– Afellay does get a squad number in the Camp Nou: number 19 is his

– Ozil will add more pressure to the already overpopulated Arsenal midfield…

And speaking of Wijnaldum…the youngster is injured for the Oranje games so Van Gaal recalled WESLEY SNEIJDER!!

Expect the former Ajax man to shine in the coming week and take charge of Oranje again.

More news soon, with Jan Da Man’s LVG interview!!

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  1. Great first video, though you might want to try a different shampoo & conditioner to look your best.

    Louis Van Gaal?! Hmmmmm….

    Looking forward to it, I think. 😉

    Hup, Jan!

  2. Well Srinjoy there is hope. Jong Ajax beat PSV away 4-2 after being down 2-0. I was very impressed by Sporkslede, Bazoer, De Sa and Meleg. Maybe DRB300 can give us his take on the game as well. I would not be surprised if Bazoer joins Ajax 1 during the season.

    1. I only saw parts, might watch the whole game later this week.

      Bazoer and Lobotka are getting more and more phrase. Both (aspiring) midfielders and looking promising. These start to look as serious options to take over in time.

      Another scenario (which as a Dutch NT fan I like even more) is that Bazoer is actually pushed back by Lobotka in case the technical staff thinks he is better of the two in DM. Bazoer is then asked to become right center back or stay on the bench. Bazoer will then take playing time at the back I hope. Dutch NT has enough midfielders, we need a world class right center back. We have an idiotic amount of quality coming through at left center back, not right center back. However this all is reasoned with the Dutch NT in mind. One could also say that as a DM Bazoer is forced to develop his handling speed which might benefit him later in life in case he moves to right center back after all. What is wisdom in this case?

      Meleg had a good game, but was pale in the previous ones. I was also not that impressed in some bits I got to see from Serbia U19 who won the Euro. But again, only saw bits. The goal he scored with Young Ajax was great technical display. In his run he flipped it further into his path with the back of his heel and then stayed very calm in front of goal. Such things could be indications of what is to come, especially when he is able to switch towards a more consistent performer.

      De Sa I am not sure he will ever become a factor for the Ajax first team. Hope he proves me wrong as he was always repped as a quite a talent. I also saw an interview of him and he came across as kind and down to earth. Really wish him well.

      I am hoping for the return of Kishna. Fingers crossed that his injury spells have not made him a shadow of his old self.

      1. DRB this guy Kishna, Is he always injured or is a looong injury. Lets hope he recovers well.
        On a siding note do you know when Boettius will be back, now that is a youth prospect that I really like!!

        1. So Kishna first had cartilage problems in his right knee. To solve that huge problem they took some from it (can’t be taken from other body parts as that is too risky) and send it to a lab in Boston to culture and multiply it. Then they send it back and glued it back into his knee. These cells are slow cells so it needed more than a year to recover.

          Now that happened and then he got the same to the other knee but only far less severe.

          He got prescribed that he needed to train his knees to make them stronger. He has also went to Stuttgart for injections to protect the cartilage better.

          This has been a very long affair.

          If I am correctly Boëtius in some way or at some degree suffers from cartilage problems as well. It is better to have muscle problems or even broken bones than problems with cartilage. It cane be the kiss of death to a top athletes career. Ask van Basten and van Nistelrooy. Must be very carefully with this. Hopefully these treatments have their positive effect.

          Boëtius is projected to make his comeback in 2 or 3 weeks. Maybe against Utrecht he will make some minutes.


          1. thanks DRB, very interesting and how bad luck!! Lets hope he can recover, at least John and Depay doesnt have that problem too!! Maybe John Depay Kishna and Boettius could be our winger for the next 10 years!! Lets hope so!

  3. I am very pleased of course that our Sneijder is back with the NT. But it is too soon. I must say he is improving his fittness and in a few games he had looked very good. My only concern is that I think he is not very suitable for playing 4-3-3. Lets see, but seriosly if he continues that way, we need to build the team around him without any doubt!!!

      1. well I cant say I am happy because i prefered maher over vaart. Altought Maher has been almost invisible with PSV lately, the only good game was against milan.
        Cheers and thanks for the info

  4. Thanks DRB300. Great analysis as always. I have to say I agree with nearly everything you said. Not sure De Sa has what it takes but he seems to be slightly more technical than Lukoki was. Given the paucity of options on the wings for Ajax, he may have to play at some during the season, so that will be the test. But in terms of defensive MF, I do think Ajax and even Holland need a top class player. I really believe Bazoer is that good and that kind of player. Maybe he will finally start on the Ajax top team at the young age of 16 like Seedorf did many years ago.

    1. If Bazoer chooses DM as his territory at Ajax, then for the NT he will start to clash with Ake who I think is a very interesting DM. I think in turn, if Ake decides that left center back is his territory then he will clash with Rekik in the NT. Rekik is on his way to become one hell of a defender.

      If Bazoer decides to play right center back, Ake DM and Rekik left center back, then we have one hell of a triangle in development. All 3 are strong on ball and good defensively. Quite complete except Ake not being the most creative player in DM.

      This however is a lot of looking in the future. Bazoer certainly looks very mature for his age. Exciting prospect.

  5. I didn’t expect Ajax to sign Ola John or Elia. As splashing 7-10 million is so unlike Ajax these days. I was however surprised they didn’t sign Cuenca on another loan deal. aren’t they in need of a winger? maybe it was the injury or they couldn’t afford the wages not that they have Bojan on their books?

  6. So the midfield against Estonia can be the same than some months ago against them : De Guzman-Strootman-Sneijder.

    Schaars and Maher would play against Andorra I think.

    1. I don’t think so. Remember that midfield was struggling to break Estonia; it wasn’t until VdV came on for Sneijder that we started to score.

      I’d like to see a midfield of de Guzman/Maher/Strootman or Sneijder in place of JdG.

      1. Maher is taken as last option replacement. But yeah, as Van Gaal makes often the most illogical choices, it wouldn’t be so surprising that he starts.

        Again we only have 5 midfielders. LVG could take at least two more : Fer, Van Ginkel, Vilhena, Duarte are available for example. Without talking about N.De Jong who would be useless against Estonia and Andorra.

        Worst is about wingers, took only Robben, Lens, Kuyt, Schaken. Boring. Especially against Andorra, perfect game to test young new players. Depay for example.

        Does someone know if Mokthar has already chosen between Holland and Morocco ? He just left Zwolle for Twente, he is interesting technically.

        1. He isnt choose actually, he played for netherland at the beginning and the he player for Morocco in the U21 team. So he is still eligible, lets see

  7. @DRB (or anyone else,

    You’ve noted on a number of occasions the depth of talent coming at left centerback–Indi, Rekik, Kongolo, Hendrix, and the dearth of talent at RCB. Though I may be one of the few who thinks that De Vrij will ultimately develop into a very good player (my view is that CB’s take a longer time to fully develop than just about any other position), I’ll assume for argument that DeVrij does not develop and RCB is a problem, and at the same time, all of the LCB’s develop very well. I know its not optimal, but wouldn’t it be better to start say, Indi and Rekik or Kongolo or some combo therof rather than rigidly adhere to having a right-footed CB and a left-footed one? I get the feeling that Rekik (whom I like more and more each time I watch him) could slide to the right without missing a beat.


    1. If I remember correctly Rekik was used as the right CB in the U17 EC winning team,Kongolo being the left CB.
      So yeah,it is possible for him I think,but it is better to have a right footed and left footed player at those spots.
      I also have faith in De Vrij,he is still very young. Defenders are usually much slower developing.They need more time to reach the top than midfielders and attackers.
      De Vrij lacks speed and is a bit on the lighter side,not very aggressive,which are two problems that can be solved with maturity and playing in tougher league.
      If not,we can hope for Bazoer,who I also want as a CB. But he is so young,so now the spotlight is on De Vrij.

  8. P.S. @DRB, my comment re rigid adherence was not directed at you personally—I always look forward to a post with you name at the top. I’m more thinking of LVG’s “profile” of positions, and what your thoughts are with regard to playing two left-footed CB’s, and at what point a disparity in talent warrants it, and on to a broader subject, what do you think of LVG’s position “profiles.” Personally, I think whether a particular player meets a position’s profile should be the beginning of the discussion, not the end of it.

    1. I understood you perfectly, so no problem. However this preference of van Gaal to play left footed defenders on left positions and vice versa is not specific due to him using profile sketches or being very strict and rigid. Many coaches range from having this preference all the way up to being religious about it. In attack it variates more I think.

      I personally feel that players want to perform their first touch with their best foot as most feeling is in that one. So in build up phase you might have a problem when playing a left legged player at right center back.

      Look at this video:

      * Jump to 0:50.
      * That ball coming down left from the keepers side is more easily to get in this option rich position in front of the player (5) with the right foot than with the left foot. The speed of the ball is used to let it roll just past the player a bit to his right foot that stops it and boom, options. No uncomfortable first touches, but a very easy one.

      * Jump to 1:06
      * this “bowl” in the possession phase aiming to circulate the ball to find an opportunity (or window) to bring it further up is more easily executed with a left legged player as left CB and a right legged player as right CB.

      Also another very important weapon is in danger with another configuration. The cross pass!

      So the ball is in front of the left CB. However in this case the player is right legged (the “wrong” configuration is chosen). Then he has to turn his body position significantly to give that long ball with his right. Maybe he even needs an extra touch. Not only time passes with incoming players pressing, also 22 hostile eyes of body reading experts are catching up on to the cues that are given away. Cross pass success falters with tenths of percentages as before the receiver can control the ball, his defender has either intercepted it, dispossessed the receiver after performing his first touch or kicks it away to clean up his area. If he gives that long pass with his weak foot, higher fail rate will also occur. Either way, there is a disadvantage that occurs from the chosen setup.

      All in all. Making the game (and we still love that in the Netherlands) is harder for a left legged player on right CB and vice versa.

      One more thing. Habituation. Because of this line of thinking being applied throughout many youth teams, players have gotten used to it. From that, it becomes a thing on it’s own. If you are used to driving on the right side of the road and suddenly have to drive at the left side, you are not that sure anymore. It’s not comfortable. That could result in an accident and in football it results in mistakes/inaccuracies that could lead to ball loss (especially under pressure of crowd and chasing attackers) and that leads to conceded goals as we are talking about defense here not somewhere up the pitch.

      Pure defensively (not looking at build up) there might be contra arguments we could think off maybe, however above points could be reasons for coaches who think in ball possession to fancy playing with left legged player on the left CB position and vice versa.

      About the profile sketches.

      At first I felt it was kind of refreshing. I like speed on the wings and obviously that is what we get with the way van Gaal works. However at one point, everything is about effectiveness. It’s an art on it’s own to know when to follow the plan and knowing when to drop it and go by what is demanded/needed/working best. Robben on the left did not really seem to work against Portugal. I also did not see upcoming backs that came inside (while in other games I saw that working). I find it hard to make that judgement to say van Gaal should drop his approach. Van Gaal often though had these rigid things in his career that were not worth it, like that battle with Rivaldo at Barca. Moved him from 10 to the left. IMO that was the beginning of the end of him at Barca. He by the way made not that mistake at Bayern. Rib kept his left spot and Robben came from the right. They brought him to the CL final (or Robben did actually, who he now places on the left).

      So yes I like the clarity profile sketches bring, it also kind of allows a coach to fit in and replace players more easily as they all answer to a same kind of quality set other players can expect from that player when put in that position. At the other hand it can cause blindness. Putting Robben on the left might be such a case.

      Finally about de Vrij. I think he does not turn around his axis fast enough. That is important for a defender. He is not that fast, neither is he ruthless with interceptions and header situations. Think about all the conceded goals by Feyenoord with dead ball situations last season. This year a few of his weak headers ultimately also resulted in conceded goals(against Zwolle IIRC). I am glad to hear you like him though as I think he is underrated on this forum. Most people here probably rate BMI over him which is not fair IMO.

      However I do not see world class potential in him. I am somebody who has Frank de Boer and Jaap Stam as the gold standard engraved into his football memory and that is what I want to return back to, if not better. I think de Vrij will not reach that norm, but I hope he proves me wrong. Frank de Boer received a lot of criticism at the start as well IIRC.

      Funny thing is that at Ajax there is a left center back I like as well: Riedewald. Must see more of him but looked good in the bits I saw. At Feyenoord there is I believe another player at left center back that is repped as doing very well: Verdonk. I have no idea why there is such an overload all of the sudden on this position. Soon we might be able to select a first 11 only made from left center backs 🙂

      I hope Bazoer gets to play right center back for Ajax and otherwise we have to move to less optimal solutions. However I am not sure a left legged CB of higher quality could win competition from a de Vrij who is used to play there and develops further every year. It could become a case of having to choose between two less ideal options while I strive for “perfection”.


      1. @DRB,

        Great reply. Many, many thanks for such a thoughtful comment. Gives me much to think about and consider.

        Glad you bring up the Frank DeBoer example as a younger defender; I remember a period of time thinking “uh oh” whenever I saw him in the lineup. I think Stam developed late as well.

        Cheers back,

  9. @Jalepinho, Cuenca is injured and will be out for 4 months I believe.
    @Laurent, I like that kids Mokhtar as well. I don’t know whether he chose which national team he will play for. Frankly I don’t even think he thought he would ever be in the situation to choose LOL. I also like the 2 wingers from Heerenveen Van la Parra and Slagveer. This is what gets on my nerves about Ajax. I am all for developing players from the youth but if they (meaning the coaching staff) know they don’t have a specific player in the youth, then why not buy such a player? This is exactly what they used to do in their heydays. I can still remember when Ajax was missing a winger in the early 90s. What did they do? They bought Overmars from Willem II. We do not do this any more. I think Duarte will be the first Dutch player that Ajax buys who will make a big difference. I would not be surprised if he ends up on the national team within 3 months. By the way, Bosman is the assistant coach for young ajax. Not bad!!

      1. He isn’t bad, I know him for quite long, I remember the u17 championschip with Holland in 2008, he was there and I saw him the first time. He moved to a french team- Caen- but didn’t play a lot there, was too young. Then came to Heerenveen and is doing good things.
        Technical winger, makes me a bit thinking of a mix between Depay and Boetius.

        I never noticed something really special about Slagveer, is he really good ?

        I know Ziyech who is a typical dutch moroccan player with his technical, and Wildschut whom I don’t like so much. Athletic player, powerful and fast, but weak technically. Would probably suit an english second division team.

        1. Some other dutch players I like in the Eredivisie :

          -Ryan Koolwijk : Central midfielder, almost as tall as Engelaar but quicker and more technical with the ball in his feet. Had two really good seasons with NEC, now he is missing the start of the season and it’s maybe one of the reasons why the club is doing so bad.
          That being said, he is already 28 years and I think he already played with Suriname national team, so he wouldn’t be any dutch material anyways.

          -Tjaron Chery : Winger/Midfielder, last year with ADO he was one of the most productive player in the dutch league. Scored 8 goals and gave many assists. Now he moved to Groningen and is starting good there.

          -Mitchell Donald : Ajax product, central midfielder, playing now with Roda. I always found potential in him, powerful player, a lot of energy, good shot, I remember his goal against Benfica in Ajax tournament some years ago.

    1. Duarte has many things in common with Davids I think. Skillful box to box player with good defensive abilities , nice long passes.
      Davids was a better defender with more powerful shoots though.

  10. Europa League draws


    St Gallen


    Dinamo Zagreb
    Chornomorets Odesa


    Standard Liege


    Rubin Kazan
    Zulte Waregem


    Pacos Ferreira


    Eintracht Frankfurt
    Maccabi Tel-Aviv


    Dynamo Kiev
    Rapid Vienna




    Olympique Lyonnais



    GROUP k
    Tottenham Hotspur
    Anzhi Makhachkala


    Maccabi Haifa
    Shakhter Karagandy

    1. World cup 1994 draw :

      Group A
      United States

      Group B

      Group C
      South Korea

      Group D

      Group E

      Group F
      Saudi Arabia

    1. it seems like this blog has always had one or more really insightful people in the mould of DRB sharing their knowledge…people like Goose, Alex, Ferenc, Carlos and Finn (RIP) come to mind, but unfortunately they don’t seem to comment much if at all anymore.

  11. Very nice, Jan. Your hair looks fantastic.

    Thanks for all of your work on this blog, it’s really excellent. Looking forward to more good stuff to come.

  12. Some slightly good news: Van Ginkel is named in Chelsea’s overall Champion’s League squad. Essien is left out. 10 overall midfielders are listed; Chelsea play with 5, and with subs maybe 7 per game.

    Here is the list of Midfielders:

    •7. Ramires
    •8. Frank Lampard
    •10. Juan Mata
    •11. Oscar
    •12. John Obi Mikel
    •14. Andre Schurrle
    •15. Kevin De Bruyne
    •16. Marco van Ginkel
    •17. Eden Hazard
    •22. Willian

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