And just when we started to feel really good about ourselves…what with Oranje performing well and reaching the Euros, Frenkie impressing in Spain, Dutch coaches on the up and up (US, Bundesliga, Ajax) and Ajax and AZ impressing, fate took a hit at us. As if to say “Nope! You’re not there yet!”.
And while the Dutch handball women won the gold at the World Cup, it was bad news after bad news for Dutch football.
For starters, Ajax getting ousted from the CL. So unjust. So unfair. Yes, Ajax played bad vs Valencia. Didn’t create a lot. Gave away that goal due to a series of errors. True. But we should have had Promes’ goal allowed vs Chelsea at home. That was at least one point, if not three points more in this group. And I don’t believe Ajax should have received 2 red cards in that away game vs Chelsea! Simply bad officiating, from my perspective. Ajax was cheated out of the Champions League!
Ajax lost two Eredivisie games on the trot as well and where the Amsterdam giants were thinking of easily repeating their title winning shenanigans from last year, AZ Alkmaar is now joint leaders of the competition. And rightfully so. AZ is dazzling, and should have had a 0-2 lead vs Man United in the EL. Feyenoord got ousted out of that competition, while PSV already was.
Their loss vs Feyenoord last Sunday was cause for the PSV board to sack Van Bommel. And even though I’m not a PSV fan (I am a Van Bommel fan though), I believe his sacking was very harsh.
Yes, he lost many points. Too many. But…he was the coming man. They knew he was inexperienced, he also had to deal with a new and inexperienced technical director (John de Jong) who didn’t bath himself in glory re: the players he got Van Bommel. I mean, Angelino left for Man City, and what did they get back?
They bought two left backs and they were so disappointing that Van Bommel had to play Sadilek ( a midfielder) on that spot. And Luuk de Jong (20+ goals) left and they got Sam Lammers back, who got injured straight away. Next thing, they bring a 40+ year old Greek striker…
Jeroen Zoet was dealing with a form crisis and on top of that Bergwijn and Malen got injured (Malen again!!) and they had to do without Ihattaren for a spell due to a private matter (loss of his dad). A topsy turvy season for Van Bommel and the board decided to sacrifice him (and keep De Jong in his role as TD). I think it’s weird and at least De Jong should have been loyal and leave as well.
The national cup competition hasn’t even started yet and obviously, PSV was never going to win the Europa League so the PSV board sacked Mark because he was supposed to win the title. But does PSV really believe you can win the title with a defence consisting of Viergever? Baumgartle? Schwaab? Sadilek? PSV’s midfield consists of youngsters (Rosario, Thomas, Ihattaren) or mediocre players like Hendrix and Guti. The forwards, ah…yes. They can play. If they’re not injured. I believe PSV should have supported Mark like Feyenoord did with Gio. He won the title after a season in which he lost 8 on the trot!
And top top it all of, as if it wasn’t enough, both Malen and Memphis got seriously injured. It seems Malen too would be out for half a year or more with tore ligaments but luckily for all of us, Malen’s injury is not that bad. He’ll be “only” 3 months out. Memphis however…. I think we won’t see him at the Euros…
And Daley Blind! During the Valencia game he went down (without ball or opponent close) and was groggy for a couple of seconds/minutes. Was he unconscious? Fact is, Ajax is up in arms after the Abdelhak Nouri drama and sent Blind to the hospital in Amsterdam where he spent two days/nights in their cardiology department under watch. He didn’t play last weekend vs AZ and news has yet to come out.
Isn’t there any good news??
Well, as mentioned, the handball ladies did win the World Cup… Otherwise, Atalanta is through in the CL… Zirkzee made his debut for Bayern. Berghuis got the hattrick vs PSV. But that’s it.
Oh, before I forget… AZ Alkmaar… They did pretty good this week. Joint leaders. Beating Ajax. Scaring Man United. And their golden boys keep on growing and developing. Our straw to hold on to….