After a disappointing week for Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord in Europe, we can look forward to an interesting weekend, with Ajax-Feyenoord on the cards. Although it will most likely be a walk-over for Ajax, as Feyenoord is really lost, it seems.
Some comments: PSV should have won their EL match, hitting the woodwork twice and having so much possession. Feyenoord…what to say. Unlucky with the second penalty (I don’t think it was a foul) but that first handling of the ball by Ie?? Really dude???
Ajax was robbed! The photo clearly shows the VAR fukced up! How bad is this! Millions of dollars / euros are involved and they simply can’t pick the proper still. Un-believable!!
Left is the image used by the VAR, right is the image they should have used
AZ is holding our honour high, as we say. AZ played like Ajax normally played. Focused, with grit, with gusto and desire. Forechecking and with quality. I really think every single player in the team is top notch, except for Dani de Wit. I never really saw his value. He’s just average in every department. He does have a strong physique and runs a lot. Reminds me of Davy Klaassen.
Also good to mention here (as we do have some Bazoer fans) that after 4 clubs, Vitesse is now also considering kicking him out. The youngster has a tremendous ego and the mentality of a thug. Two weeks ago, he kicked an opponent in the face, but got away with it. This week, he picked a fight with Jay-Roy Grot and threatened to fukc him up after training. When Slutsky interfered, he said: “Fuck off, I don’t even want to play for your stupid team!”. Vitesse is considering next steps now.
He’s trouble, he’s toxic, he’s full of himself and can forget about his career.
The man on the rise now, is the guy who was criticized for so long in the country, in Manchester and for a while, here too. Memphis Depay. The new skipper of Olympique Lyon.
He plays and played a vital role in Holland ressurrection. Yes, Virgil our fearless leader. Yes, Frenkie our gifted playmaker. But you need someone who delivers the goods upfront: goals and assists. Memphis (25) is the new figure head and attacking leader of the Dutch: “Yes man, you really want to be part of this!”
This is everything Memphis stands for in Orange. It all happened in one minute: result, honour, team, desire, fighting spirit. His goal in injury time vs Northern Ireland, his second of the night. The explosion of joy, his team mates around him, Memphis acknowledging the man with the assist (Frenkie) and then the Memphis stance: standing still, fingers in his ears and eyes to the heavens. And he yelled out to the fans: “This is what fighting looks like!”
The last international game (for now) vs Belarus, he couldn’t play due to a slight injury. But he was standing next to the team on telly, singing the anthem, with his right arm around his tv screen. Being part of it all.
Memphis is happy at Oranje. No more tension, no more awkward moments. Every since Koeman took the coaching job, Oranje got rejuvenated and Memphis was the ultimate personification of that. Personally, he entered a period of peace, of balance. And on the pitch, Memphis is turning into a leader. The proponent of the New Wave. Tense interviews are a thing of the past. And no one cares what kind of headware he is sporting.
It’s a interaction between player and fans, between player and coach and between private and profession. “I am doing well, personally, and it translates to the field. The results help of course. But the vibe in the Dutch camp is incredible. We are all mates and we created this, on purpose, with a mission. And we also keep track of each other when we’re at the club. We really care about each other. We have the group app and we find each other there. Talk about life, about the games we played and the stuff we experience. This, we need to keep in tact.”
“We are building something with this Dutch team. And we put a lot of positive energy into it. And even if it doesn’t work at club level, we all come to the NT with positive mindset. I’m really happy to come to the Dutch camps and it reflects in the performances.”
Team building and clarity are two core values Ronald Koeman applies. From day 1 he stressed: we need everyone! There will be no dominant egos in my squad. Yes, the squad as a variety of types, personalities, backgrounds and stories, but the mission is the same. After two missed major tournaments, we want to get back to the top. Koeman created consistency in his selections and in the playing style and we’re seeing pretty decent results now.
Memphis didn’t have a great time at Lyon, until now, with new coach Garcia handing him the captains band. Before that, Memphis never knew what the coach wanted from him this time. Koeman never worried. “Memphis is super strong, mentally. And whenever he had issues at Lyon or the results weren’t there, he would show his quality in Oranje. And it’s not just because he scores for us, his overall game is top. You always miss those types of players.”
In the first hour vs Northern Ireland, Memphis had it tough. His mates weren’t able to reach him and if they did in those compact spaces, he was fighting with the ball. It did resemble the semi finals vs England in Portugal, when he was struggling but still ended up with two assists. Against Northern Ireland, Koeman moved him to the left flank where there was more space for him and he paid it back with two goals.
When a junior, at PSV, he used to tell his coaches: don’t sub me, even if I’m playing bad. Because he always had it in him to decide a game. That cocktail of quality and confidence is demonstrated in Oranje regularly. In all 17 international games he was available, he played. He only got subbed ones, in the friendly against Portugal (3-0).
Koeman likes to use players in combinations. A combination that works well in Oranje is the tandem Memphis – Wijnaldum. “Our partnership is authentic,” Gini Wijnaldum says. “We learned to play together at PSV and we always try to create space for one another. We constantly monitor each other movements, so we can benefit from it. We don’t talk, it’s all about observing. The mutual understanding is key, that is what makes a team tick or not.”
And while Oranje looked light in recent years with our offensive players (Vincent Janssen, Bas Dost, Steven Berghuis, Anwar El-Ghazi) today, we are seeing more and more world class talents emerge, in Gakpo, Danjuma, Dilrosun, Bergwijn and of course Donyell Malen. Memphis on Malen: “Donyell is a fantastic talent, with fine technique and blistering speed. And he can score goals! Donyell is now taking that next step, from a promising talent to a player on which you can build. It’s great to see that process develop. I’m proud of him and happy for him.”
Memphis is creating friendships in life and in Oranje. Quincy Promes has been a close mate for many years. “I’m so happy how Promes is doing at Ajax. I knew it would come. People always put pressure on new signing, look at Hazard at Real Madrid. Some players are ready for their new role, because of the fit… Like Frenkie at Barca, and some players need to find their spot. But good players will always emerge. I never worried about Quincy. He’s strong mentally and he believes in himself. Most if not all internationals are playing so well. We work hard and we realise quality alone is not enough. It’s quality and mentality. It’s great to be part of it man, it’s really amazing to be part of this!”
This year, Memphis is the first international in this century to have an involvement in 14 Oranje goals (6 goals and 8 assists). With two more international games this year, he might add more to this list. In the 18 months under Koeman Memphis was involved with 21 of the 38 goals! Second on the list is Gini Wijnaldum, with 7 goals and 2 assists. Oranje had 114 shot on goal in those 18 matches. 45 of these were Depay’s (40%). And in the list of created chances, Memphis leaves his colleagues far behind him.
Memphis in Oranje
|Aspect||Before Koeman||Under Koeman*|
|Shots per 90 minutes||3,4||4,5|
|Shots on target per 90 minutes||1,6||2,6|
|Chances created per 90 minutes||1,8||3,1|
|Dribbles per 90 minutes||5,7||3,8|
|Successful dribbles per 90 minutes||2,9||2,2|
|Touches in the box per 90 minutes||3,8||6,4|
*Since 23 March 2018
Other forwards with Wijnaldum under Koeman
|Shots on target*||1,0||1,0||0,9||0,3||1,3|
|Touches in the box *||3,3||2,8||3,0||4,0||9,0|
*Per 90 minutes