Above: PSV skipper Mark van Bommel celebrates with Mr PSV, Willy van der Kuylen
The Olympics are on the last stretch, towards the finish. As ever, I highly enjoyed all that sports on telly. My goodness…. After the disappointment that was the Euros and the Tour I got tears in my eyes watching Marianne Vos win gold, seeing Ranomi slicing through the pool, Dorian humiliating his competition and Epke Zonderland win the first gymnastics gold for Holland ever!!
Wonderful sports… And the hockey boys and girls are in it too, still….
But….I am ready for the football to begin!
And with the JC Plate game of last Sunday and Feyenoord’s CL qualification game yesterday, it does feel that we are back in business. So expect the frequency of posts to go up soon :-).
So lets start with Feyenoord. My team. But my oh my, how they fumbled it. They played well. Good enough, at least. Creating massive opportunities. A ball on the post, a free header (should have been a goal) and most shockingly, two players (Cisse and Guyon) going towards goal after a dramatic throw in… If Feyenoord was ever going to beat Kiev it was yesterday. With the 2-1 from the away game, 1-0 at home would be enough. But Feyenoord simply didn’t score. Immers had a close range effort, straight to the goalie in the second half. And of course, Dynamo would chuck salt in Feyenoord’s wound by scoring a late goal themselves.
And having witnessed Koeman’s young team play, one has to say that the CL is probably a couple of levels too high. Sure, the money is great but the team will be butchered by any conceivable opponent and maybe, just maybe, it’s better for the talented youngsters to play Europa League.
Ajax and PSV played their JC plate game, last weekend. The first prize of the season. And taken seriously, at least by PSV. With Dick Advocaat at the reigns and Mark van Bommel back in the jersey, it seems PSV wanted to show Ajax that it means business this season. 2-0 up after 12 minutes, against an Ajax not ready to compete. PSV seems to be eager to start, having signed all the key players they wanted ( Narsingh, Van Bommel) while Frank de Boer of Ajax is still uncertain what will happen with Van der Wiel, Anita and Theo Janssen. The latter is flirting heavily with Vitesse and expects De Boer to really want him to stay, while the EPL is chasing Anita and Van der Wiel. Christian Eriksen was not fit yet so he missed the JC Plate game (and it showed) but all in all, Ajax simply didn’t want it that badly.
It will turn into a massive battle this season, between Frank de Boer’s youngsters and PSV. Dico Kopper, Van Rhijn, Fischer, Eriksen, Blind, Ozbilic… It might take a while, but I love to see them play.
Obviously, PSV is interesting too with Willems (played well!), Wijnaldum, Narsingh and Strootman. And Mark van Bommel of course…
The Eredivisie can start as far as I am concerned.
I will give you my predictions for the Title:
I see PSV win it this time. I think Ajax will lose some players before August 31 and Frank will have to struggle a bit to make it all work, the national competition and the CL.
I do see Ajax finish second and do well in the CL this season.
Feyenoord finishes 5th, as they can’t replace Guidetti and Vlaar and have a decent but not spectacular season.
AZ and Twente occupy 3 and 4 and Heerenveen is knocking on the door still, to enter the top 6.
I think the season will be key for Feyenoord’s future. Do they pay off more debt and get more cash in from sponsors, so they can build on the current talent pool… Or will they have to sell the next lot of talent (Clasie, De Vrij, Leerdam, Martins Indi) to make ends meet?
Share your thoughts with me, good people and let’s prepare for an amazing new season…