Hi all, I wasn’t intending on harping on on the Berghuis topic, but I watched the Studio Voetbal broadcast on Monday, with Rafael van der Vaart and Ibi Afellay and the topic of Berghuis came up.
And I decided to transcribe exactly what was said.
Apparently some people here don’t “see it” in Berghuis. One of our finest left footed playmakers (the best since Willem van Hanegem) shares his opinion and I didn’t want to withhold it from you. It may change the way you look at the guy.
In The Netherlands, we have a couple of football analysis programs.
Studio Voetbal is the main program with serious analyses by serious ex players (Van der Vaart, Van Hooijdonk, Afellay, Theo Janssen) and coaches (Buijs, Arne Slot, Ten Hag, Van Marwijk, Rene Hake). This is produced by the NOS, the key Dutch broadcaster who also have the rights to the Eredivisie.
Veronica Inside is a more satirical talk show with humor, criticism, music and analysts like Van der Gijp, Derksen, Hans Kraay and Wim Kieft.
Ziggo, the commercial broadcaster, has Rondo where the likes of Ruud Gullit, Aad de Mos and Youri Mulder are usual suspects.
Veronica Inside has the most viewers, Ziggo Rondo the least. But Veronica Inside is not always taken seriously, while Studio Voetbal can be seen as the norm. Veronica Inside is actually banned by the Dutch National Team players and coach Van Gaal due to their ongoing fierce criticism and ridiculing of said players/coach.
In the last Studio Voetbal, Rafael van der Vaart ( ex Ajax, ex HSV, ex Real Madrid, ex Spurs) and Ibi Afellay ( ex PSV, ex Barcelona, ex Schalke 04, ex Stoke City) got the question:
How did Steven Berghuis do on the #10 position?
Van der Vaart: “Well, mmmm…not great. But I have to say, he wasn’t helped by his team mates. Of course, it all starts with you, with yourself. I think his personality has changed. At Feyenoord, he was the leader, he demanded the ball. Whenever Feyenoord had a problem, he would be sought. Now, at Ajax, he is one of the many. And the Ajax players will look for Tadic or Gravenberch or Blind when they need a solution, and not Berghuis yet.
And I said this from the start: he is being overlooked. Look at these situations. It annoys me. In my eyes, he is the most creative player at Ajax now.
Here is he in between the lines, and starts the attack. He’s in the circle.
This is the next move.
Here, he should receive that ball back! He is coming into the frame, his left foot is ready for it, but Antony goes for the difficult option using the run by Gravenberch.
And here, I get annoyed that this right-footed player tries a shot on goal with his weaker left foot, while Berghuis with that wand of a left foot is overlooked!
And people might say I am nitpicking, and yes I probably am, but he’s the best player in the perfect position and they try to go for the hardest option.
And I believe that when he plays, he needs to get a lot of balls. He needs to be used constantly, because he is the one who can find the solution. And the service he gets is garbage.
From the 20 passes he could have gotten, he gets 4 or 5 balls. And that is the problem for him.
How about this one. He has positioned himself in an ideal position.
He can’t take the free kicks, he can’t take the penalties… He did have a corner yesterday, I mean, he still had 2 assists, which is good.”
Afellay: “He’s too humble. Raf says it right, he is the most creative player of the lot. He usually always does something good with the ball.”
Rafael:” I also see that when he is overlooked at Ajax, he has a question mark on his face and opens his arms. If that happened at Feyenoord, he would have exploded.
And it’s wrong. I mean, Anthony and Neres are good players with a dribble and speed. Mazraoui is also a good runner and dribbler and now they have this new Danish winger, he too is all about speed. But no one can do what Berghuis can do with that left foot. He has the through ball, the cross, the distance shot… That annoys me. He needs to be an asshole on the pitch and he team mates need to help him. I can’t understand why they don’t use him better.
And with the other options on the right: I would always select Berghuis and I’ll tell you why: he is unique. No one else can do this. Same with Oranje, in the NT there is no one who plays like him. He had a number of killer passes in the Oranje games, which are typical Berghuis balls. Van Gaal is no fool, he uses him for a reason!”