Pascal Struijk, dreaming of Oranje

He is beginning to be a big name in England. While in The Netherlands, he’s still merely a footnote. He’s Marcelo Bielsa’s favourite and is hoping to become Van Gaal’s as well. If only that call came.

The VI Pro pubished this excellent article on Struijk. Enjoy.

Elland Road is a paradise for football lovers. The 124 year old stadium oozes football. The steep stands, the wooden chairs, the names outside on the wall of Norman Hunter, Jacki Charlton and Gary Speed. There is the Don Revie statue of course, who managed the team of street fighters who dominated Englsh football some 50 years ago, with two titles, and an FA Cup.

Captain Billy Bremner is still considered their best player ever but today it’s the serious doctor’s face of Bielsa that looks down on the visitors here, on several big billboards. The maniacal Argentine coach steered Leeds back to the highest level in England after 16 years in the wilderness.

The sales guy in the fans shop: “The jerseys of Phillips and Raphinha are the most popular, but Struijk sits in third place, easily. He was part of the team that got promoted so he will be a hero here for life. He is our Virgil van Dijk!”

The comparison is made often. The Leeds press chef: “Did you see him against Norwich? Blimey! We knew he could defend but his passing is outrageous too. The fans, the manager, the media, everyone is impressed with him. Surely, he is in the National Squad by now?”

More about that later. But yes, Struijk does resemble. Van Dijk. They even look the same a bit and his game play too. Tall, elegant, sovereign, confident. Good in aerial duels. Excellent passer. And great vision. He might still be a tad soft, but once that goes, he will be world class.

There are more portraits in the stadium. Gary McAllister of course. Gordon Strachan. But no Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, for some reason. “One of our best strikers. And we see him often here, he visits us at least 8 times per year.” Eight other Dutchies played for Leeds United, and Robert Molenaar was probably the most popular. The concrete defender from Volendam earned the nickname The Terminator here. And now they again have a Dutch defender who is close to their hearts.

Pascal Struijk waits with a cup of coffee in one of the skyboxes. “See how wonderful this looks. Who wouldn’t want to play here? Most clubs don’t like coming here. The fans are so fanatical, it’s amazing.” Slowly he tells his story. “As a kid, we would watch Match of the Day. I adored English football and when we went across with an ADO Den Haag youth team once, we visited some of the big stadiums. We went to Old Trafford and Anfield and wow… I knew it then and thought: “One day I will play here!”. He played his first match at Old Trafford last season but as a bench warmer in an empty stadium. This season, he started with 80,000 people in the stands. Nervous? “Not really, I was very nervous in my first match v Liverpool, I think I had to go to the toilet 5 times before the game but that doesn’t bother me anymore. I know what I can and I concentrate on that. It feels like normal now. But when I speak to friends or family who are watching at home, I do realise how special it all is.”

“There are always stories of youngsters going across to England and failing, but for me it was the right decision. I don’t think Ajax rated me, which is ok… But I had to take control of my destiny.” He moved from ADO to Ajax when he was 16 years old but he was never really himself. “I didn’t know what my best position was but my coaches didn’t know either, hahaha. They even used me as a striker and it was not good for my confidence.  “I was a bit shy, I guess. I was at home at ADO which is a warm club. Ajax is colder, more like a company. There were big name players, everyone was cocky and egotistical. I was too impressed with it all. You had to be cocky and confident, to survive. I didn’t have that. Matthijs de Ligt, he was such a strong personality, so confident. Justin Kluivert, the same. They all played for rep teams, I didn’t. I was too modest back then. But not anymore, hahaha.”

Lost at Ajax

“There are always players at Ajax who for some reason get the attention. You can feel that coaches are personally invested to get that player to the top. That connection with a coach, I missed that. I was one of these players that was overlooked, maybe like Virgil or Jaap Stam you know? Or Marten de Roon. I wasn’t great, so that didn’t help either. My hidden potential stayed hidden. I missed that sense of urgency to show myself. That came later I guess. I needed some help.”

His manager of Forza Sports Group brought him to a performance coach. “He asked me what my identity was. Was I a leader? Or a beast? And we worked towards building that identity. We did motivational stuff and mental stuff. I grew, I got more confident. It’s in little things. Like little rituals before a game. I also tell myself I am The Best. That helps too, hahahaha.”

Six months after Struijk signed for Leeds, Bielsa was announced. “My dad immediately bought his book El Loco. I had a bit of an idea what to expect. He is crazy indeed, but football crazy. Good crazy. He is obsessed with football and completely focused on making you the best version of yourself. As an example? We get personalised diets, which are balanced out to the calory.”

And of course hours or pre match tactical talks with all the information available about the opponent. “He can tell you which player will start to get fatigue at what moment of the game and he then starts to make silly fouls. Or particular patterns of play. Choices made by the goalie when kicking a ball out, etc etc.” Infamous are his training sessions of eleven v eleven, but without goals and now cornerkicks and no throw ins. When the ball is out, the coaches kick another ball in and the player need to keep on going. Standing still means a red card. Constant movement. Every 5 minutes there is a break. After 5 sessions like this, players are vomiting in the bushes. Bielsa studies the patterns and movements and checks all the data like a professor. When you survive this murder ball, you are ready to play the game. All players will tell you that a match is the easiest bit of being a Leeds player.

Junior at ADO Den Haag

Struijk can only confirm: “The practices are super intense. Bielsa sees everything. Every detail. He made me look differently at football. For instance: don’t follow the ball, follow the man. And he is most sharp when we turn around possession. We train very specifically on that aspect. I really became a way better defender under his leadership. Look at how easy some players allow their opponent to drift away. Or how some players jog back in position. That won’t happen with us.”

“We play different here. We play man v man, all the time. High pressure, suffocating the opponent and always tough in the duels. We won’t change that, no matter where we are in the table. We will go up I’m sure. It is all about the execution. In the start of the season, we were sloppy and we are missing some key lads, but we have the belief.”

Bielsa on Struijk: “He works really hard, mentally and physically. And he is very capable of playing in different roles. He’s important for us as he is also a very intelligent footballer.”

Struijk has been used as central defender, defensive mid and left back. “Bielsa does this on purpose to make me better, more complete. Now, as left back, I need to make a lot of runs. And I usually up against quick and agile players. I played in midfield too where it’s crowded and you need to act really quickly. I am growing in every aspect of the game. I never felt that my opponent had the better of me. The only thing, I saw the data of my aerial duels and even though I am a good header of the ball, the stats say I lose too many duels. So that is something to work on.”

Pascal lives with his fiancee in a small village outside of Leeds where he enjoys his off time walking his dogs in the park. The quiet does him good but some big city clubs are after him now, apparently. Napoli, AS Roma, Leicester City and Newcastle United are chasing his signature, according to rumour. The Leeds press manager leans in when the part Dutch part Indonesian defender responds: “I am happy here. But you never know. I do want to better myself constantly, of course.”

The Romantic Struijk

His fave spot in the team? Left Centre Back. His role model? “Virgil of course. His confidence, his charisma, some opponents simply get intimidated by that already. I watch his games and study him. He was a candidate for the Ballon D’Or as a defender! How good is that!? I want to grow to that level. It’s a high aim to go for but I want that. I want to become one of the world’s best. It’s the ambition at least.”

In September, Struijk was facing Van Dijk, which would be a black day in Pascal’s short career. He tacked opponent Elliott and the youngster of Liverpool ended up in hospital with a complicated ankle fracture. Struijk got red carded and a two-match ban. The whole football world was confused. Even Elliott himself said the red card was ridiculous. “He told me too, I went over to him and he immediately waved my apologies away. It was a clean block but his ankle got stuck under my trailing leg. It was an accident. Virgil asked me what was going on and I told him, that I didn’t know, I hadn’t even noticed at the time. Virgil sent me a supportive message after the game, which did me the world of good.” The young defender hopes to spend more time talking to Virgil, about football, about defending, about anything… And preferably, in Zeist! The home of Oranje.

Pascal was born in Belgium. Both his parents are from The Hague, but Struijk senior had a software company in Belgium and when he was 4 years old they moved back to The Hague. Struijk played 3 matches for Oranje U17 and hadn’t heard from Zeist since. Until Erwin van de Looi, Jong Oranje coach, called him for the Euros under 21. Robero Martinez, Belgium NT manager, called him as well. “I actually considered Belgium. He did have a good story for me and I decided to get my Belgium passport. Because of Corona i wasn’t able to travel to Belgium so that is now all on hold.”

Red carded vs Liverpool

“I don’t want to rule out the Belgium NT. I mean, their defence is getting older but the team itself is a top notch team. It’s not a disgrace to play for the Red Devils, by no means. But my heart goes out to Oranje of course. But I am not sure if Oranje has that with me. I never heard since that Van de Looi call. I would enjoy it if the KNVB would simply let me know they’re following me. That in itself would be grand. People tell me Van Gaal has a similar way of working as Bielsa so I hope to feel right at home with Oranje.”

Struijk’s grand parents are from Indonesia and they have also invited the central defender. “But no, Indonesia is not an option. You know what, if by next year no one shown interest, I could even be selected for the England team! I would be here for 5 years and considered a footballing Englishman, hahaha. That is very unlikely of course, but who knows. My ideal scenario: the Dutch NT of course. And at the coming World Cup, if possible.”

At the end of the interview, the press manager asks: “So what did you say earlier about El Loco?” Struijk: “I talked about the book. and that the gaffer is a bit crazy. But in a good way!”

The press manager: “Then it’s fine, hahaha.”

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  1. Very good player. We should have called him up last Euro when VVD was injured. Now we play 4-3-3 and competition is stiff. VVD, Ake, De Ligt, De Vrij, Timber for 4 spots and they are all deserved in my opinion. It would be a shame to lose him to Belgium. I can see a future of Struijk and De Ligt as our CBs.

  2. I watch the EPL steady. I have seen Struijk play on several occasions not even knowing he’s Dutch. He is no slouch and has energy to burn. Karsdopesque kinda proposition. Would have been quite suitable for a rivalry with Blind since Malacia, Winjdal and co haven’t really cut it.

    But this is the reality of the situation. As much as we are lacking on the left wing, I will be pleasantly surprised if he gets a call-up. Blind has always been the be-all and end all.

    If he was a relative, I would tell him to shelve his Oranje dream, do what best for himself and his professional life. Belgium would be a great country to represent.

  3. Pascal Struijk is good. Comfortable on the ball and tenacious tackling..We are well stacked in defence, especially at the centre. Hopefully, he doesn’t end up like Karsdorp situation. It will be amazing if both get called up. 🤞😃

  4. I would rather have him in the midfield infront of CBs with frenkie further up and somebody on the right.he is good arieally , robust with tall built like Busquets and good both on and off the ball.

  5. I hope and pray we tie him with NT….Hakim ziyech is still a painful and idiotic mistake done by coaches….
    We need a Solid DM..Nathan ake should be promoted to midfeild as Dm and Pascal struijk as Virgil back up in bench…
    With defenders
    Timebt 9 Nos…
    Gravenberch- klassen
    Gini/De beek,Vilhena,Bazoer…any two from them..

    1. Enough with the Ziyech stuff already! No player would decide to not play for his favourite national team because of one assistant coach!!! If I was able to play for Holland and for Indonesia, would I select Indonesia because of some situation with an assistant??

      Crazy. If Ziyech’s love for Holland was so vulnerable I say: good riddance.

      He went for Morocco because of pressure in the family, which happens a lot with those Moroccan players. He probably doesn’t want to say this publicly so we need to believe it is all because of a situation between Hakim and San Marco that happened 10 years ago at Heerenveen?

      BS! Stop this nonsense now Tiju!

      1. You have to look at this from all fronts and I have said this before . ziyech was overshadowed at that point in time by non other than klaassen whom many believed was going to be the next Dutch star. Again if you look back, it would have just taken a good rotation to have ziyech compete with klaassen and at the same time would have him also tied down. But when it comes to football, this is considered unorthodox and not practical. Its a shame tbh given competition brings the best out players and the best option possible. It was not only him but Tjaronn Chery as well. He left eredivise for Queens Park Rangers in championship and then for ch$$ina realizing there was no hope being called up only to make numbers on bench in NT. You also look at present day situation karsdorp and Veerman. Nothing new.

        Ziyech eventually proved his credibility moving and going on to become one of the best players at Ajax. Then everybody started singing his name including van basten. Still todate the attacking midfield is remains a question mark.

        1. Do you honestly think the reason Chery’s career went front up is because he realized he wasn’t going to get called up for the NT?

          Sometimes the things you say are literally crazy man.

      2. 100% agree Jan. That was the case before money destroyed football. Playing for the NT (any country) was the highest honor. They have to feel pride playing for the NT otherwise if they have the slightest hesitance, good riddance to them and I do not care how talented they are. But I realize that these millionaires who get paid astronomic money for kicking a ball don’t give a sh!.t about feeling obligated to give back a little to the country that opened the door to them and their families to get where they are. So even if Ziyech changes his mind and comes begging he should be refused, especially since trying to accuse a saint like MVB as the cause for his refusal. Weak character.

  6. Are there still many Danjuma and Lang fans active here who now see that a couple of good games doesn’t make one summer (free to the Dutch swallow saying)?

    1. Danjuma was played out of position and now he has injury, his form dropped significantly recently. I don’t know, he might read too many comments from this blog and the Danhuma thing got to his mind. I think it is fine that their form dropped, we have Gakpo back now. We need to build the pool of players so that when thing like this happen we have backup.

  7. I don’t see where the regret would be when it comes to Danjuma and Lang. Both were playing at almost a Ronaldo-like level before their call-ups. If we are going to hold them up at those levels, then maybe it is time we open up official enquiries on the likes of Berghuis and Blind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with nurturing a healthy competition. Especially with a team as topsy-turvy and entitled as Oranje.

    Ziyech made the right decision for his career. So would Struijk if he goes with Belgium. Morocco is not Indonesia. It’s the home of Hadji, Timouni, Aziz Bouderbala and an ’86 team that gave the Germans fits.

    Zeist wants the world to see them as they see themselves. Okay. Let’s celebrate with a cake. But where is the batter? Ah-haaa Ah-haaa. But what do I know from funny?

  8. Danjuma is injured. Didnt feature in last game vs Sevilla.

    Being following lang, has been instrumental as ever for brugge. Clement has been deploying him on his stronger left side now compared to on the right before. One goal and assist in the last two games. Both vs Genk. Scored the wining penalty in the cup fixture.

    By the way John van den Brom was fired by Genk after continous poor performance.

  9. Do you honestly think the reason Chery’s career went front up is because he realized he wasn’t going to get called up for the NT?

    Sometimes the things you say are literally crazy man.

    1. I dont know what you mean by ” up front” but he left eredivisie at around 27 for queens park rangers after being named the best midfielder in eredivisie and the team of the season.ziyech too was in the team of the season. I cant locate the article where he said it” you have to move on in life”.

      I mentioned this but looks like you coudnt figure out the context relating to both of them. Again Look at Veerman’s situation. He will never get a call up playing at heerenveen and eventually will have to move to a competitive club where he can prove the critics beyond doubt that he can play at top level. Just like ziyech did but his situation was different.

      This is whats at stakes for players playing in lower clubs in eredivisie and even abroad. Karsdorp is another one. I hope you get the picture here.

      1. You’ve got it so twisted.

        Veerman is not getting called up by the National team because he is not the caliber of the player they want.

        The reason he is at Heerenveen and not a top club is the same reason.

        He’s not a superstar that every scout in Europe has missed who is good enough for the NT, but slumming it at Heerenveen.

        1. This is exactly what im trying to point out and was the story with ziyech at Twente. As usually he was overlooked because he was playing for a mid table team. Nothing changed when he joined joined ajax and he eventually proved critics wrong.

          You are saying veerman is not the calibre of player they want. He could easily come up and compete with Gravenberch and Koopmeiners as he has shown plenty times during eredivisie games. Both are still rookies in NT.

          As for being scouted, there were teams intrested in him but heerenveen put up over price tag on him which fended them away.

          1. If teams aren’t willing to pay 8 mil for this kid, he probably isn’t rated very highly.

    1. This team is significantly stronger this season. They have a finisher now in Haller. Antony is on another level. Berghuis added another dimension to their attack. I hope they can go all the way.

  10. Watched PSG and Brugge. Again they were shadow of the side that drew with PSG in the first leg. It looked like brugge started with 4-4-2 and were pegged in the middle. PSG just found to much room to manoeuvre in the middle between the backline and midfield especially during turnovers. Two goals in six minutes by mbappe and messi before half half just blew them away.

    Again for me Noa Lang was their brighest spark when ever he got poessession and eventually assisted in the consolation goal for brugge. At times took on 2-3 defenders trying to create spaces in between and provide through balls. *Nugmated De Maria once and gave a cheeky smile. Its always joyful watching him in possession. Again popped up all over the park and on counters looked dangerous with his bursting runs but unfortuntely the team couldnt keep up to him and his last pass was often delt with by PSG defenders.

    Brugge needs more investment if they want to aim higher like Ajax. For lang this will be the end of CL for him. They finish the group last. Not sure if they will drop to the conference league but should he get a good offer in Jan , he should move.

  11. Ajax is A Joy to watch… They will tore apart some called big profile plastic money clubs.. Sensational Ajax.. Much better verion than 2019 version… All thanksnto Tenhaag, Vandersar, overmars.. This is wat the real leaders do.. Especially Tenhaag…
    Danjuma and lang…. Lang fights, works better, he is okay as stand bye or even in bench.,. Lang is one of the best player of brugge.. He doesnt look better than Berjwin, beghuis, Malen and Gakpo…. While Danjuma seems slow, connectivity with team. Mates are poor.. Poor and. Pathetic work rate…

      1. Nah..First gaol–.That another gaol by capue looked stunning gaol…Danjuma was lucky to receive such a nice pass from team mate…all he had to do was finish and over run and a slow defender…i did nt see the speed of Malen,Berjwin or even Gakpo there…
        Second gaol was pure technique which is his normal strentgh..Davy klassen has scored such gaols..with slight touch and turn u open the route for direct gaol at Box..

  12. Danju-magic, two goals today , the guy is very talented , very well taken goals!!! Finally something other than mediocrity we’ve seen over the past few years

    1. The first goal is speed, the second goal is ball control in crowded area. Both are very good. He is the top Dutch scorer in Champion League. Based on current form, it would be:
      Danjuma – Malen – Berghuis

      I hope Depay and FDJ got sold both in Jan. Depay got an injury already because no rotation whatsover.

        1. Did you know Danjuma is top Dutch scorers in CL and is the main reason his team in the next round? Meanwhile, PSV is out of Europa 0-3 with Gakpo playing striker and Bergwijn is getting little minutes at Spurs, the team that is on the edge of elimination in Europa Conference.

          Now I am not you, I don’t bash Gakpo and Bergwijn because I think they could become good player given the right condition. Before I post the below, I want to repeat that I hope Bergwijn move to a better club and start playing soon and I hope PSV and Gakpo get better. I do not have any agenda against them.

          But think about it, ok, just try to use your brain, not that hard, ok? What if I come to every single post you said about Bergwijn or Gakpo and post:


          HAHAHA NOT EVEN IN CL OR Europa League …

          What is there to discuss about right? No new information, just pure hate. I know you have your hatred for Danjuma, everyone here know that already. You do not need to go post in every single post related to him.

          1. He did this with Dumfries for a long time too, and then he disappeared during the Euros when Dumfries was winning all of the man of the match awards.

  13. In typical fashion, PSV self destruct and will be in the Conference league, which is probably more appropriate for their level, and all the other Dutch teams win, which is great for our coefficient. As things stand with the 2016-17 points dropping off, Holland will be in 6th.

    Vitesse have a chance to progress if Rennes can hold Tottenham, but the game was postponed due to a covid outbreak in the Rennes team, so it might be a stretch.

    1. Rennes refuse to play another day. Other teams in similar COVID situation need to play or forfeit 0-3 and UEFA made exception for English team. Vitesse did their job but it seems UEFA want Spurs in the next round.

  14. Berjwin—Depay—-Berghuis
    Malacia-Virgil-De vrij–Rensch


    De ligt

    25 man completed as of now..

  15. I hope van gaal and the company are tracking karsdorp.2 assist for Roma and his crossing was top notch through out the game vs CSKA Sofia. Roma wining 3-2 and qualifying for the next. He is at his peak roght now and deserved to be called and competing with Dumfries.

  16. @Derekvdberg91 “He did this with Dumfries for a long time too, and then he disappeared during the Euros when Dumfries was winning all of the man of the match awards.”

    He had a long history of doing this. Kuyt, Van Marwijk, Depay, Daley Blind, Dumfries and now Danjuma. I feel like at any moment, there will be 3,4 players that he constantly talked s**t about. I wonder how a person could hold so much hate. It is like every 3,4 hour, he need to go online and vent out his frustration.

    1. @kevin i had a history of EXPOSING OVER HYPED PLAYERS and Coaches FOR long time…THATS WHAT FACTS ARE..I dont know any players in person to hate or love ….SO YOUR HATRED POINT IS INVALID…
      i think you dont understand what you type..i do agree i hate overrating of any player it includes Messi as well.
      KUYT–He should never have started OVER Van der vaart and Castelen Romeo…on wings/forward…that cost us 2006,2008,2010…it pissed me of very much…
      vAN MARWIJK–Reason behind the fall of dutch NT at 2012 and a killer of new players..i still dont like him as coach…It pissed me of very much..
      Depay—he had bad attitude and i didnt like him..But LVG tought him a lesson at Manu joined Jose..he learned and rectified…i dont blame him any more and he is not overrated ..
      Daley Blind….i think i never doubted his intelligence or footballing skills…i was more pissed at caoches who were not finding an alternate for Slow Blind..Since i found many left backs are crap we have leftas stand bye..i dont mind about Blind anymore…Only Malacia i found good and i want Malacia to be groomed sooner..
      Dumbfries….Dumfries first touch is Joke,His crosses are not that great…every movemnets ends with dumfires…My favorite are Rensch and Karsdorp for RB…i think dumfries might be third best we we have..since i saw him working his AA@@Ss of for the team…He was excused..
      Danjuma—-He is overrated,Yes he can finish and finshing sucees rate is high..but he doesnt gaive balance to team,seems disjointed, pathetic work rate…He doesnt have the speed of Malen,Berjwin,Gakpo…Thats not impressive ….He played 6 games at CL,lucky to score4 gaols(Evrry dog has a day)played 474 minutes and ran 50 kilometer total…very few attempts on goal..
      while berghuis played 6 games,453 minutes played,58 km ran and covered and 14 attempts on goal and scored 3 gaols….this stat states me that Danjuma is good finsher eveyr other depaartment he fails..thats not what we need at modern football. and Berghuis is better for team…

  17. every little boy like you know Villreal play 442 and Danjuma is left striker…He plays as winger left for Oranje…thats what i said…As a winger he is not as good contributer like Malen(strikerplus winger),gakpo,Berjwin and berghuis…..even as striker Depay and weghorst OUTSCORE HIM….pERIOD..
    ””This is the very reason why I always say, this guy is a highlight specialist. He still doesnt know Danjuma plays a striker at Villarreal.””””””i have never watched highlights more than you….okay Tjarron cherry is better,Zivkovic is better i agree..

      1. There is one thing I will acknowledge on what you are saying though.well this is something to look forward for in big
        Games. how Blind and Danjuma link up. If Blind fails to move and stays low then obviously you can expect danjuma to be isolated and waiting to be serviced. I have said this before and how in certain games Blind’s inability to play a high line suffocatesthe left flank while compared to the right where Dumfries is toe to toe with the RW and more lively.

        Another agrument I would like to throw on your face here is How good was Robben’s workrate defensively. He also was all about goals.

        1. Blind was excellent offensivly Danjuma could not cop with intelligence of Blind…thats huge gap..We struggled with Danjuma at left and when Berjwin played with blind on left,we created plethora of chances…Berjwin was excellent vs turkey and montengro and noraway…Vs Montengro and turkey he played on left and Vs Norway home he played with dumfries…Berjwin made difference than Danhumma in three games. with Blind or with out blind…
          We played 3 excellent game with Berjwin and scored 12 gaols without Danhummmmma…We cannot waste 4 games untill Danhumma scores a goal…Period…
          B/W…who cares the workarte of RVP or Roben they are on par with Messi and Ronaldo…but Danhumma who>>>zivkovic who???…

          1. ” danjuma couldnt cope up with blinds intelligence” baHaaaaa

            Which game? Tell us what did Blind do that danjuma couldnt cope up.

            Danjuma was not in the squad vs Turkey.

            Vs Montenegro, it was after danjuma sub that Montenegro came back to level the game and the second goal ( equalizer) was directly from Bergwijn in no mans land. Left his marker free.

            Vs Norway, who assisted in Bergwijns goals and who had how many shots on target. Bergwijn did play well on the right but so did danjuma on the left. Being subbed doesnt mean he was bad.

            As usually you like to pick the cherries from the top.pick from underneath as well so that you can see the bigger picture BOOOY.

            And why bring up zivkovic when he is not in the picture. This is typical you.

  18. I actually think that a team dynamics and system matters alot to a player’s performance. Ajax shows that players who struggled at other teams (Berghuis, Haller, Blind, Klassen etc.) actually thrived. Sometimes, I feel we shouldn’t write off a player just because he failed at other teams
    that’s why I feel LVG can bring the best out of this team. Just like Ten Hag. 🤞

    1. Not for long. Eventually they will meet a team who will counter their offensive tatic on which they are thriving only. Tadic and Antony. They are the focal point of attack for Ajax. You stop them, you stop ajax.

      1. Very astute. In similar fashion if you stop Fernandes and Ronaldo, you stop Man U. Stop Salah and Mane, you stop Liverpool. Stop Mbappe and Messi, you stop PSG.

        1. The difference is tadic and antony is not up to par with all those names you have mentioned. You see both end up servicing haller while the other names you have mentioned are induvidually more clinically holding the ball at feet. I hope you get the picture here.

          1. You dont see tadic and antony running riot like mane and salah. There are on another level and other you have mentioned. Comparing tadic and antony to them is way out of context.

          1. You’re making some claim as a sort of tactical messiah that if you stop the teams biggest two offensive threats that you shut the team down.

            I’m mocking your comment, because if you shut down the star offensive threats on any team you shut the team down.

            I didn’t say you were wrong, I’m using reductio ad absurdum to show you it’s a pointless comment.

          2. Well thats the only strong hold of Ajax. You minus that, the team is neutralized. Or have I not seen something.

          3. Well they’ve only conceded 9 goals in 22 games, across all competitions, so I wouldn’t act like they’re a sieve defensively.

  19. Looks like Vitesse will be advancing to the second round of Conference league after UEFA announced the Rennes-Tottenham match won’t be replayed, which should mean a Tottenham loss.

  20. @wilson..
    1..””””danjuma couldnt cope up with blinds intelligence” baHaaaaa

    Which game? Tell us what did Blind do that danjuma couldnt cope up.””””””
    Last two games of qualifications..we created lesser chance,poor performance from left down to Danhumma..We cannot blame blind for that 100 percent..Danhumma is not match for blind ineteligence..PERIOD…
    2..””””Danjuma was not in the squad vs Turkey.”””
    We created so less cahnce Vs montegngro and Norway in last two games..This was dwon to Danhumma….As Berjwin carried us vs Norway…We played a degraded play compared to first month of LVG…ONLY DIFFERERNCE was presence of Danhummma at left wing……
    Ajax-villreal….ajax will tore apart Villareal….
    You no clue about brazilian antony….He is Just like roben…neither salah or Mane are eqaul to him in terms of technique,workrate,Ball controll….So shut up….
    thank God…He was not in sqaud ,we out played Turkey and won 6-1…With out danhummma we are better…that game was proof for that..

  21. Personally I just hope Ajax don’t get Atletico, I don’t think they’ll be able to deal with their shutdown tactics. Chelsea is scary too, but anyone else I don’t mind.

    Give us Paris.

  22. We spent so much time worrying about the attacking options for Netherlands thinking they are the weak link , but looking at the current status of oranje, midfield seems to be a disaster!!! Attack options improved significantly now with Malen starting to find the net regularly in Germany, Danjuma being a star in Spain and Lang being the talent he is, add to them Memphis and Gakpo and you got a descent group of attacking players (but not stellar yet)!!!

    But what happened to the midfield group we have? Van de beek ? He enjoys being a sub for Bruno Fernandez at the 90th minute!! Wijnaldum? He seems to be a sub option in psg and not a regular starter!!! Gravenberch? He was growing in status like crazy last year but this year the guy seems to be moving backwards with his development!!! Koopmieners? He plays once every three matches for Atalanta, he started today and scored but he was benched last two games!!! And lastly and most painfully for me is Frenkie , he is our untouchable but he is being destroyed in Spain and a lot of fans seem to want him out , as much as I like his elegant style but I am starting to realize that some of what Barca fans say about him is correct , he is a great player who does not perform great!!!

  23. Watched PSG and Monaco. Boadu came on at 55′ for Ben Yedder with PSG up by 2-0. Didn’t do much apart from running as usual. Its just the defenders get better of him especially on over the head balls. His running the lines and positioning looks good by that cditical passes where he can connect is often hard to come by. Most of the balls that is projected to him is usually 50-50 balls in which he mostly comes out second best.

    Also watched Ajax and AZ. Wanted to watch clasie but he looked lost in there. First game for me to watch Rensch. Piss poor, and was subbed off. Can put up the argument he hasnt played much but he shouldnt be anywhere near NT as it is. Suguwara and Wijndal did a good job closing of Tadic and Antony, not entirely but they forced both of them to delay releaing first time ball in the box for Haller and the times they did, the AZ defense were on hand to clear it. Again like what I said. You close them, they start to suffocate. Tadic eventually did found the space and assisted in haller’s equalizer.

    Battle of the LBs, wijndal easily won this one over Blind as he was more adventures going forword.had a goal disallowed and the Second goal was also his timnely run inside the box which caught out everybody and eventually assisting aboukhlal for the wining goal.

    1. Ajax had so many chances to score but just failed to finish. Haller and Klaassen both had chances from point blank and just couldn’t move it to the side of the keeper.

      Wijndal man marked Antony all game, but Antony got plenty of crosses and shots in, just no finishing.

      Wijndal was great going forward for sure, had the speed to play AZ’s counter, but he didn’t shut down Antony and he literally was glued to him for the game. That being said to give that much intensity on both ends of the pitch is a huge commitment, so good game for him.

  24. Vitesse also looks to be on good trajectory under their german coach. They are now fourth 1 point ahead of Twente who are fifith and 7 behind feyenoord who are third. The big one this week. Feyenoord vs Ajax.

    That openda guy (Belgian) in vitesse looks to be in top form.

  25. Ajax will meet Inter in second round of CL. Talk about head to head in every position, this game will surely put the spotlight on Ajax’s current bragging rights.

  26. What a great draw for Dutch team! Haven’t seen Dutch team have this kind of luck in a draw for some time. Ajax face Benfica, who’s performance in leagues is not even as good as Sporting Lisabon, which Ajax beat twice comfortably in group stage. In Conference League, PSV face Tel Aviv Maccabi, a team that is on a much less level compared to PSV, and their teams key player are actually familiar faces came out from Eredivisie. Vitesse (If UEFA does not screw it up and give the spot to Hot Spurs) will face Rapid Vienna, a team on the same or less level compared to Vitesse. Vitesse could have a much worse draw but thanks to Hot Spurs they avoid Leceister City. In Conference League odds, apart from the top 4 team from the big 5 league, Eredivie teams are 5-7th favorite to win it all (PSV, Feyenoord, AZ).

    1. Plus if Ajax manage to eliminate Benfica, there is a great chance Eredivisie will finish in top 6 in europe league ranking, which means two teams will be guranteed to play in Champions League next season.

      1. I don’t think it will be enough to pass them this year, but it means we’re guaranteed to pass them when the points drop off at the start of next year.

  27. I wish Ajax faced Man C, PSG or Liverpool. Benfica can be very tough with the kind of game they play and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ajax is eliminated. Inter would have been easier.
    Jan, you should have opened a conversation about Max Verstappen. What he accomplished yesterday is monumental. Extremely lucky but he was right there and ready and didn’t fail to take it. I haven’t regularly followed F1 since Schumi left but now I am back watching and following a Dutch champion. I remember Jos Verstappen and I am happy his son realized his dream.

    1. Well if they can attrack players from dropping CL team. Brobbery could be one of them for Ajax. I remembsr the previous season and the impact he use to make of the bench.

      1. Ajax are keen to get a new striker to replace Haller when he goes to AFCON as Ten Hag doesn’t have much faith in Danilo. They’re currently looking at a 6 month loan deal for Brobbey.

        There is also Bergwijn who remains on the radar and might fill the hole if Tadic slides into ST, and Bergwijn takes his place on LW.

        There was someone else they were linked to, can’t remember anymore.

  28. Holland draws Belgium, Poland and Wales in what is a fairly straight forward Nations League. It will be us versus a declining Belgium for top spot with Poland a tricky fixture.

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