The new Black Pearl of Benfica: Ola John

Last summer, Man United wanted to sign Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan. Sir Alex was happy to offer 25 Mio euros + Fabio and Macheda. Benfica refused.

Today, Gaitan warms the bench and Benfica has a new young star. The Black Pearl (Mark II) has arrived: Ola John.

Ola’s older brother Collins is still a pro. He plays his football for English club Barnet. The twice capped striker started his career at Twente and took him to all sorts of places. From the EPL (Fulham), to Belgium, the US competition, Iran even (!) and now back to England.

But his biggest claim to fame, by now, is being Ola’s manager (and role model, but more…like how you don’t manage your career).

When young talent John came through the Twente ranks and left at an early age to Portugal, most fans thought he would make the same mistake as his brother (chasing the money at a young age).

But Ola himself tells a different story. “I actually didn’t want to leave Twente. Collins is not my manager either. He does support me of course, but I went to talk about opening up my contract at Twente but instead of that they said they accepted an offer from Benfica. That was a surprise for me. I remember saying: Good for you, but I will determine where I will play my football!”.

John’s manager Frank Schouten confirms this. “We were flabbergasted. Nine mio euros was the deal. Ola decided to check Benfica out. We went for a day, but Ola wasn’t able to decide. He was on his way back to the airport when Twente called and asked him to stay a couple of days longer. He had training the next day, but Twente allowed him to forget about that.”

In those days, John felt that Benfica really wanted him. They did what they could to make him feel at home. “I remember playing Benfica for the CL qualifications the season before. I played a good game and after the match their coach came up to me and said “very good game”. I don’t think I ever heard that from the opposing coach, haha. When we went to play there, the players of Benfica told me I was going into the wrong dressing room. In hindsight, it seems they had an eye on me for a while.”

“When I met Rui Costa, Benfica’s manager, he said he only needed to watch a video of my highlights for 15 minutes to know he wanted to sign me. And they followed me for 20 games! It was clear that the coach knew exactly what my qualities are and how to use me, I was really impressed.”

Ola John is a football fanatic. He watches everything and is very aware of the qualities of Benfica. “I followed the competition and knew most players. Benfica as a club, with their history and players like Eusebio, Nuno Gomes, Rui Costa… I always liked them. I remember that big game against Man United of two seasons back in the CL and they do have a reputation of making players better.”

And John is right. Benfica is not like Man City or Chelsea. They don’t buy big names and spend money. Benfica is – more even than any Dutch club – capable of spending a couple of millions to on-sell players after they developed for multiples. John: “People who think I went to Benfica for the money don’t know football. I would have gone somewhere else for that, if that was my goal. At Benfica, we play modern 4-3-3 football. We play CL almost every season and we play for trophies domestically. A great step for me and I improve here daily.”

John plays on the left flank when their game against Barcelona is on. Due to injuries, the coach asks the Liberian born to play on the right wing. John plays against Carlos Planas and is Man of the Match. In the Barca game, Ola John demonstrates that he is the complete package. Physically strong, explosive and fast and he is a good decision maker. He can dribble, play pass and move, he has a good long pass and cross and he can score goals. Skilled and intelligent. How is it possible that the Dutch Under21 coach believes VVV winger Wildschut is better?

Judging him on his Barcelona game, John is better than Lens, Narsingh, Elia and Schaken and belongs in the Big Oranje.

Frank Schouten is used to scouts from other clubs to harass him. “After the Barca game, the Man City scout came up to me to ask when John’s deal ended in Portugal. The Sunderland scout asked me for players like Ola, but in a less expensive category….”

John was brought with care. His coach didn’t throw him for the lions, but allowed him to get used to the football in Portugal. I didn’t agree. I wanted to play. But they talked to me about Angel di Maria. He played 12 games in his first season. 14 games in his second season, and then Real Madrid signed him for 33 mio euros. Benfica plays 60 games per season, so you will always play a good number of them.

“Practice every day with guys like Aimar, Cardozo, Gaitan, Bruno Cesar and Luisao is something else. I played with Theo Janssen at Twente. An amazing kicker of the ball. But check out what our striker Cardozo can do with it. That takes it to a different level altogether. In Holland, training is mostly skills based. Here it is too but also more tactics. I think I have become smarter here, as a player.”

Heading a ball is the only weakness in John’s game. “I never had to. I was always used on the flank. I was the man of the cross. I am perfectly two footed, thanks to Boudewijn Pahlplatz and Theo ten Caat, my youth coaches at Twente.”

Despite his one weakness, Ola John is dazzling the pundits in Portugal. In his first full game, Benfica won 3-0 and John was involved in all three goals. He has played everything since.

The only downside of living in Portugal is the intensity of trainings camps. “At Twente, you slept at home before a home game. In Portugal, we basically live on the trainings ground. We have our own rooms there and we have camps for every game. That takes getting used to. You’re never home. But my girlfriend understands. We love life here. We hang out with Ricky van Wolfswinkel and his girlfriend a lot. He helped me find my way a bit here.”

Ola John may not have been on the radar of the youth teams in Zeist, but Bert van Marwijk did select him for his first trainings camp with Oranje. “That was great. A nice confirmation. I remember I had to pass as I got injured, but I knew I was on a list in Zeist. When Van Gaal started to use all the youngsters in his campaign, I knew I was close to a call up. All you can do is perform at your club. This is what Mr Van Gaal told me too. Simply focus on playing well and regularly for the club. I trust that everything else will follow from that. Any next step, or any Oranje invitation. I focus on what I can influence: my game and my contributions to Benfica.”

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  1. Johnnnn?? Collin in Iran??:D i never see his game here, but i think he was choose Mes ( a team with many Foreigner player), and don’t get anything with them. but it is beautiful to hear and understand a dutch player in my country league,

    as u know Arie Haan come to iran too , and was Persoplis (The Biggest Iranian Team) Coach for Half of the Season, but wrong politics and Mafia in iranian league, cannot see his success.

    1. I shall pick Boetius atm , or depay if he proves himself with PSV next season .
      Danny Hoesen is very talented too . FDB can make a great winger of him next season . you never know .

  2. Great reading . thank you Jan 🙂 .
    as Tiju said ; Lens , John and Robben will hopefully be a part of Oranje squad in Brazil .
    Narsingh , Depay , Boetius or Schaken can be good subs for the next WC .
    I think VDV current form is far superior to that of Wes .
    his control over the ball in the second goal is just awesome .

        1. Fulham is not a great team,Urby is working hard and pretty good at dribbling he passes players with ease,has speed and good workrate too,playing for team unselfishly.i just wish he get a chance coz of attitude,workarate and skill.i admit that he lacks consistancy.

  3. Its all game intelligence thats is why Vaart still finds goal with his less work rate.but everytime this wont work.Wesly is working hard to get back,Apart form this Orange should find one more intelligent winger for national team.and requires a letheal striker who can find goals from half chances.Like brazil Ronaldo and RVN.
    Urby emmanuelson was superb for Fulham last day,he was everywher on pitch,with effective dribbles…If Boteius is not matures enough we must take Urby as winger..

    1. In the First half Vittesse has really nothing to show to us, and it look the game was between Feyenoord Vs Theo Jansen. this Vittese is really one of weakset team i see in my life, how a team like Vitesse can be in 4th place??

      Bus also Feyenrood really play bad, they can not pass together easily and Immers and Vilhena totally was disappointing and classie not invovle in the game too much, he just come to get ball from Vitesse and don’t try to make a attack for his team,

      First Half

      BMI 6
      Matjisen 6.5
      De Virj 4
      Janmaat 6
      Clasie 5
      Vilhena 3
      Immers 4
      Pelle 7

      1. Tnx Petrovic, i was really sad, i hope see Clasie and Vilhena Against Van Ginkel but i miss him too much. i like Vitesse because of him and when he don’t play i cannot be fan of Vitesse,

      1. While Ajax did benefit from some referee mistakes at time, I think they were denied at least 10 deserved penalty this season. Most of them being handball.
        (Purely from my memory. Please dont argue with me if you disagree – I am not going to find clips for each of them)

      2. The ref himself said that he should have given two penalties after he saw the replay. He also said they should be allowed to use replay during the games

      1. he shot the ball and he feel something bad in his feet, no one touch him. i think it was Muscle cramps, i hope it wasn’t serious, but he cannot countinue against Vitesse. also i think Koeman don’t want to do risk about him.

  4. Looking forward to Man U game tonight..really hope Man U can clinch the title and Van Persie can then hav the “Champion” or “Winner” mentality and propel him to greater heights.
    I always feel that he lack the belief that he can win the big prize.

  5. Remaining fixtures in eredivisie

    Ajax 67

    A NAC
    H Willem II
    A Groningen

    PSV 63

    H Groningen
    H NEC
    A Twente

    Feyenoord 63

    H Heracles
    A Den Haag
    H NAC

    Vitesse 61

    H Willem II
    A RKC
    H VVV

    PSV still get to visit Twente. Looks like Feyenoord has a fairly good chance to finish second(or even top, who knows?).

  6. Interesting story about Ola John. However I am not ready to get hyper-excited about him. He seems to have some brilliant flashes but he still doesn’t seem to command a regular place in Benfica’s first team. Over the weekend against Sporting he was a sub until the 70th minute. By the way Sporting with 4 dutch players lost 2-0.
    Hopefully RVP will score a double today and take the lead on goal scorers table while winning his first title.

  7. RvP has a hattrick…. I can’t believe the English Commentators, but they seem to think all 3 goals were offside… I dont know what they are looking at.

    On a side note, does anyone else think that DeGea is better than Neuer? His stops against Real Madrid were just astonishing, while Neuer keeps giving away goals…

  8. Sorry for Vlaar, i hope aston villa remain in Premier league, and Congra…. to RVP and All Dutch fan here, now he is again on top of league. better than suarez ( who totally fail and out yesterday)

  9. rvp will definitely get top scorer. im pretty sure suarez will be suspended for the rest of the season. i just don’t understand why his reaction is to bite. crazy.

    1. I do believe it is the natural act of a baby when in anger. So he just hasn’t unlearned that yet, probably has something to do with the fact of being plugged away from your family before you’re old enough to tie your own shoelaces because it just happens to be that you’re a good footballer.

      In short, he never had a chance to grow up and be properly taught and educated by people who know how to raise a child. How old again was he when he became a big star showered with gifts (creating arrogance, pride and a alpha male mindset, since we talked about that last one some time ago)?

  10. Did anyone see RVP save a goal (header) clearing the line at the beginning of the second half? And yes, the second goal….reminded me of one of Afellay’s feed to RVP and he converted for Oranje (I forgot what game it was). He will win EPL Player of the year the 2nd time. The feed to RVP by MU players was good although his finish was more clinical than other MU players (see Kagawa’s miss). Now we just hope that NT player can feed RVP those nicely pass and RVP brings his top game for NT at the 2014 WC and I can dream of the first WC.

  11. @hien: that goal was against Mexico 😛

    It’s great to have a striker like RVP now that he has won the EPL he’ll feel more hunger to win a trophy with the national team.

  12. Thank you Mohamed and Miguel. With Suarez expected to be banned for the final month for biting an opponent on Sunday (how low this player can get?), RVP is likely to finish EPL’s top scorer, and by the time those coaches/captains/sport journalists vote for FIFA player of the year, again we see Messi, Ronaldo and another Spanish player? We should ignore this award just like FIFA ranking. I have not forgotten how they voted in 2010.

  13. I personally think that Van Persie deserves a lot of credit for what he has achieved this season. Even-tough MU has dominated the season, nevertheless the Premiership is still a well balanced and competitive league. I can’t say the same about the La Liga, the Spanish League is just two (I’ll repeat that) two super teams consisting of All Star Players. Both Teams try to score as many points as possible against “weaker” teams, at the end they go against each other in the desired “Finale” (Cup Match/Champions League) or in the Clasicos. The gap between Barca and Madrid and the rest is tremendously huge. Anyway, Bravo to Van Persie
    I huge he maintains this level until 2014!!

  14. Van Persie is just damn awesome! so happy for him to finally get a trophy.

    I agree the FIFA player of the year / b’allon d’or is pure bull shit. Last year RVP scored 30 goals playing on a much weaker arsenal team than his current Man U squad and still not even close to winning this award.

  15. On ESPN Sportcenter, the main sports show in America, RVP goal was ranked and vote #1 play of the day.

    Pretty unprecedented for a non-soccer country, all my friends are texting me about it.

    Pretty cool.

  16. John??

    1- Robben has assist
    2- Van Persi has “the goal of the Century”
    3- Van der vaart Score For HSV.
    4- Feyenoord beat overrated Vitesse.

    and many other good things happened about dutch player, not it is ur turn, to post about it my firend 😉

  17. Pep has signed Gotze for Bayern,Pep always looks for intelligent players.looks like budesliga is goin to be one man horse race.Gotze is one of the most intelligent players of this new gerneration.but definitly Clasie, and ginkel would reah the same level,perhaps Maher too..
    I want Roben to have one CL at least……..Go roben beat barca,
    Barca is back with titto.titto is the main problem and messi comes second.Bayern must beat titto tactics first,the worrying point is second leg in camp nou and refreeing,last time Manu got a redcard from winnig position this time i hope bayern doesnt get any red card in Camp nou…spainish players are hugly protected by refrees..

    1. Tiju my friend you can rest assure that Maher will reach gotze level too, the problem is the gap betwen Bundesliga and Eredivisie. But Maher is simply brilliant, the only thing I wish him to have is a litle more speed, nothing else, ah! also a litle more of accurancy, last play agains PSV he missed too many shots on target

      1. Gabriel its all have to do with attitude,if maher works hard and he is open to ideas and ready to learn,then he will succeed…i wish him very best, definitely my mind is saying he will improve..

          1. Gotze got more talent than Maher. Also more than Eriksen.He got their technical and vision, but more speed and better shot.

            I’d wish Djuricic was dutch, he got a fantastic potential, Benfica signed him only for 6,5mo, he worth at least twice more.

  18. does the arrival of Goetze to Bayern mean the departure of Robben? I mean we all know Ribery, Shaqiri and Muller are not going anywhere.

    We all know Gomez will be hitting the road soon. That leaves Robben and Kroos. Given the fact that Kroos is German, is loved by Matthias Sammer and Uli Hoeness, I don’t see how they will be letting him go.

    The question that I’d like to know is who is interested in Arjen Robben? I don’t want him to go to a sub-par second rated team – we already have VDV and Sniejder playing for very low rated teams.

  19. Well after tonight’s performance I don’t think he’ll have any trouble finding another top club but I think he’ll star in Múnich. He was MOTM tonight and was cheered by Bayern’s fans 🙂

  20. But Gotze doesn’t play in Robben’s spot or am I wrong? I thought he was like a creative midfielder.

    I have always thought Robben is better than Ribery. I really won’t understand it if they sell Robben.

    Guardiola is a good coach and I don’t think he’ll want to sell him.

  21. Should we worry about these facts:
    Germany adopted dutch youth school from years ago,
    Bayern absorbed dutch total football from LVG and has just beaten barcelona,
    Gotze coming to join bayern next season and more germany top players,
    Pep guardiola coming to bayern next season,
    Bayern will learn to play tikatika,
    Germany will play total football and tika tika in WC14-EC16

    1. Jake

      I sure hope you are wrong – all of those are things to worry about —

      Hey maybe we could just train like maniacs and beat them on conditioning!


  22. Tonight he was great. Total team work by him and when he had the chance he scored a beauty but during the whole game he was looking on assisting his teammates and defended well also.

  23. Robben was fantastic!! he contributed all over the park… I’ve never doubted him once, if it wasn’t for his bad run with injuries it would definitely be the big 3 Messi, Ronaldo & Robben.

    Robben’s taking off corners is the best bar none in my opinion the speedd and accuracy they whip in sends the defence in to disseray and when you have someone as deadly as RvP on the end of them… Wow!

  24. Bayern has covered more pitch than barca,all the bayern players worked their socks off…Great work rate with super skilled players like Roben,Ribery,shweni,Martinz,Alaba..if skilled and intelligent5 players wokrs hard then no one can beat them.that is what bayern showed….

  25. Correct me if I am wrong: I think that there is a strong influence in Germany to favour Bayern (Beckenbauer and all of ex Bayern players)plus Bayern have money. This contributes to Bayern’s driving to buy top German players. This way they also dominate the German national team, in a way similar to Barca’s influence with Spain national team, hopefully that bring success back to Germany and beat Spain. If you remembered they bought Ballack, Klose, Podolski, Gomes, Boateng, Neuer… Young players from their system are Schwinsteiger, Lahm, Hummels, Kroos, Muller…. Having say that, I don’t think they are playing tiki taka.

    1. To play tiki taka,players should be able hold their feet for a while.Barca enough of of those players.if germany has such players they can play tikitaka.tiki is boring..

      1. hah, I already find myself incapable of resisting the hope for a Borrussia goal (in spite of what I said earlier :))

        This is harder than I thought.

    2. quote: “hopefully that bring success back to Germany…”

      Are ‘we’ rooting for Germany now? Ieuw!

      Anyway, in a very reluctant way I’m rooting for Madrid tonight, cause I want Robben to kick their ass(es). But Borussia would be good too for Robben, revenge.

      Perhaps I’m getting too far ahead of myself, but 4-0….really.

  26. Sol, I’m not rooting for Germany now. I’m just saying those ex Bayern try to have a Germany-Bayern team (like Spain-Barca) that they (not me) hope to bring success back as they are in the longest dry spell since 96 Euro title. I only cheer for Holland.
    The way Borussia thumped Real and Bayern to Barca, i have to say we are looking at an all German final. Nothing is impossible (perhaps with referee’s errors). I hope Robben can win CL this time after twice failed to Sneijder’s Inter and Chelsea.

  27. How pity for Germany to have such defenders.

    Hummels proved once one that he is everything except a trustful defender. This guy got at least 5 problems of concentration per game which cost or can cost goals. No matter how good he can be in his anticipation, he never seems to feel concerned.Same goes for Howedes.

    The only real good german defender is Boateng, but it seems like they underrate him, making him play as right back which isn’t his best position…

    I’ve been looking for other good german defenders, it’s quite hard to find, Badstuber is serious and concentrated but limited, really slow, Wollscheid of Leverkusen seems not too bad but don’t know much about him, maybe they can try Sven Bender as central. Except that they have almost nothing, even in the right back position, I don’t find.

      1. I believe what Laurent meant is the CB. Lahm can’t play there.

        Back in the first half of the season, I would say Westermann. But he’s been a disaster for Hamburg in 2nd half, so bad that he got his captaincy stripped.

        how about Serdar Tasci? he’s in Germany’s WC2010 squad.

  28. Hi:

    Everyone is talking about Gotze because Bayer paid 37mm for him. Germany has great Attacking midfield like Muller, Otzil and Gotze.

    My point is… and please don´t blame me for make this question: are they better than ours attacking midfield?

    Is Otzil or Gotze much better than Maher or Van Ginkel (same age) or Sneijder or Vaart?

    Off course the Germans play in better teams, but I don´t know if this German new generations if far better than the Dutch ones.

    At least, I want to know if the new German generation is better, worst, or the same level than the Dutch.

    1. Edurado……
      Ozil and Gotze are more experienced than Maher and Ginkel so they have advantage over experience.But rest looks on par.
      then comes Ozil and gotze vs Sneijder and vaart.Both Wes and rafel were better than them till 2 years ago.Ozil and gotze are younger and more eager so they advanagte their with out much of compromising quality.
      but aam sure that clasie,Maher,Ginkel will become qually good as them or may be they might offer better threat..
      considering age and talent of gotze ,37 million for gotze is not much when compare amount Caroll got from liverpool.35m.

  29. I have a lot of faith in Maher, Clasie, Strootman, but I don´t know how Gotze can cost 37mm and Maher only 10, or Strootman 15mm. Sometimes I think I am missing something.

    1. It’s understandable nowadays.

      How can you purely rate a young guy playing in the dutch league ? Maher, Clasie, Ginkel and Strootman never played any champion’s league game, they’re playing with the dutch squad, but none of them is really impressing neither. It’s the two parameters when you play in dutch league : Champion’s league games or games with national team.

      Gotze plays in one of the best club in the world, showed his class against the biggest clubs, first impressive games with Germany etc. nothing strange that he worths X3 more than Maher or Strootman, it’s the market.

      What is more unfair for me is that Altidore will probably leave AZ for something like 8mo, while I read that Benteke worth 25mo…

  30. At this point both Gotze and Ozil play effectively at the highest club level, and in the German National team. Maher and Van Ginkel play for AZ and Vitesse, and barely see the field for Oranje…so yes, based on achievement and performance, the two Germans are much further ahead than Van Ginkel and Maher…In the future, who knows?

    1. No one, everything can happen of course.

      Though I believe Gotze and Draxler are better than what we got in 90-93 talking about pure footballistic qualities, regardless of the clubs they’re playing with.

      I’m scared people expect too much from Maher, I’ve seen him playing quite often, he is good but nothing too special. Labyad was also really good with PSV, a kind of Maher with more speed but less cleverness, he is just an average player in Portugal with Sporting. Maher doesn’t have an extrem quality, even about vision and passes, he gives often the ball too quick/too late, he got no speed, average shot…

      Players like Gotze and Draxler got vision but are also really quick with the ball, always running forward…More complete players according to me.

  31. one night when ajax beat boring Man city in group stage in , we all here kill ourselves for it and we all know ajax has 7 or 8 foreign player, now the question is what German Fans do? if Van GInkel and Narsingh is talent! what is Gotze and Rues? Super talent??

  32. Lewandowsky rumored to bayern next season, thanks God, he is not German.
    Germany has already the strongest midfielders, imo. Now gundogan has made stronger competition with khedira, Schweinsteiger, ozil, gotze, kross, muller, and so on.
    Thats like equally strong midfields teams, 3 of 4 cl semifinalist.

    I think we only bit better upfront with RVP-Robben.

  33. I hope Ajax and one of PSV or Feyenoord can do well in CL next year (and no injury, and the other team perhaps do well in Europa League). It will help NT and the “young” players in the squad. I hope Robben can win CL this year and perhaps RVP’s turn in CL next year, then we top it up by winning WC.

  34. Everyone is focusing on how brilliant Germany and their football is right now.

    but our Ajax isn’t doing too bad either.. Feyenoord having a decent year.. Van Gaal playing youth and getting good results with them… the dutch are def under the radar and the world would be surprised on how good we play come the world cup. i’m not worried about the germans…

    1. Are you compairing players that are with 1 foot in the Champions League final with players that either couldn’t even get out of the group stage (Ajax) or couldn’t even win their play-off match against Dynamo Kiev (who subsequently go out of the group stage and lose their first match in the UEFA Eruopa League, indicating their poor quality compared to Bayern and thus Germany players as well)?

      I guess your glass (and Abhirup in his comment after his earlier warnings about “top level”) is half-full. 🙂

      Quote Abhirup: “After 2-3 seasons, they’ll reap the benefits of such steps and we’ll have the best NT in the whole world for years to come since the talent is obviously there for everyone else to behold. We played Italy off the park”

      yeah, like Italy was even trying for the first 80 minutes. “best NT in the whole world for years to come”, from Eredivisie young talents(considering what you said before that, which isn’t going to happen anyway)? Like Maher, Clasie, Blind, Jan Maat, de Vrij, Martens Indi, Strootman and Lens (taken from the Italy game)?

      Get them all together in one team and I don’t see them becoming the world’s best team for years to come “after 2-3 seasons”. I guess that means I’m a glass is half-full kind a guy, or just ‘coming back down to earth’-realistic. 😛

      1. especially since half those names are already playing together so we have a good indication of their capabilities as a team. Sub-Champions League so far, Feyenoord still has some work to do even to compete in the Champions League (and no guarentuee if they have to play play-offs, certainly don’t see them winning the Champions League in the next 2-3 seasons even if they stay together).

        1. and add the other 4 names

          I agree with most other things you say (Abhirup again, reply is now in the wrong place), but I guess that means I don’t need to comment on that. But yeah, I do think that if these 8 players I names played together for 2-3 seasons it would improve their team performance, but I guess that’s obvious. Just not towards ‘best of the world’, not even close in my opinion.

          So in short, I believe to win the WC (best of the world), we’re going to need Robben, vPersie, Hunter, Sneijder and VDV again. I’m just hoping the eredivisie players can keep up (not talking speed or fitness here).

  35. I still believe that the key to having a strong NT lies in the trick of having a group of players playing for the same club at the top level with the same manager at the helm of things….Reus,Gotze, Hummels, Gundogan have such a strong chemistry between them ’cause it has been many many years since they started playing together; goes double for (Schweini,Kroos, Lahm,Gomez) or (Ozil,Khedira). Furthermore, Klopp happens to be a very good tactician who knows how to get the best out of his young players. He’s like a young LVG who shares a great relationship with his lads.
    Germany’s squad depth is frighteningly amazing now. Now coming back to our team, we’ve got so many Feyenoord players in our NT setup. Although there’s a certain and undeniable advantage in having so many players from the same club, I feel compelled to say that they’ve not been exposed to the top level yet. Add to this the fact that Ronald Koeman is a poor manager. He fails to see the obvious (like placing BMI in the LB position despite his massive potential as a LCB) and is not as good as Frank De Boer in terms of tactical thinking and game reading. I believe players like Clasie, Maher, Ginkel can excel together in a team like Ajax but they need to ensure that they stay there for at least 2-3 seasons before moving on to ‘bigger’ and ‘greater’ things. Remember, Dortmund were knocked out in the group stages last season and didn’t even qualify for the previous edition of CL football (2010-11).
    So, our boys need to gather valuable CL experience by playing together for ONE team.
    Having said that, such a scenario is virtually impossible, until and unless the FFP policy gets introduced. So, the only option is to go to clubs where CL exposure as well as first team football is guaranteed for these lads. Meanwhile, the top clubs like Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV should build a strong core of 7-8 Dutch youngsters in their starting 11 and try aiming for CL football. After 2-3 seasons, they’ll reap the benefits of such steps and we’ll have the best NT in the whole world for years to come since the talent is obviously there for everyone else to behold. We played Italy off the park with the youngest squad of this century consisting of 8-9 Eredivisie players. So, LVG was absolutely right when he claimed in a pre-match press conference that the Dutch league is as good as the Italian Serie A. I believe in these players, I believe in LVG for materializing a long term project. With JC, DB10, De Boer and Overmars pulling the strings at the top of the Ajax management, we can only hope for the best. THE FUTURE’S BRIGHT, THE FUTURE’s ORANJE!!!! Let’s show these Germans and Spaniards that we are the creators, the masters of Total football, and the ones who invented the style of football they’re playing right now.


    1. I always wished young dutch talent to stay as long as possible in the dutch league, but I’m starting to change my mind.

      If you look at our 90-93 generation, just two years ago, I think we could consider us as the best one. Wijnaldum and Fer were doing well since years, some names like Strootman, Clasie,Maher, Van Ginkel, De Vrij etc. started to come in the rumors about top clubs.
      I always was saying that compared to France or Germany, we were forward about this generation.

      If you look now, in one year, guys like Pogba,Varane, Kondogbia came from nowhere with France and are already considered as top european references. Already took a bigger dimension than all our young players from the dutch league.

      Same for Germany, who knew about Gotze and Draxler two years ago ? They already proved much more than Wijnaldum and Fer who play since 2007 but are still average eredivisie players.

      We read quite often that dutch young talents shouldn’t leave young for a top club cause most of them finish on the bench, but why guys like Varane and Pogba are already key players in top clubs ?

    2. Abhirup…the issue is Germans have got some intelligent players with good skills.I am not goin to other factors like speed,accuracy etc,it is also there.
      Current aging spain team had some genious of players in Xavi,ineasta,villa,Casillas,pique,puyol,alonoso thats why the won so much.its sure that they are on decline and they all getiing affected by age disease like Vaart and Wes. Unlike germany their current generation is not better than germans.i think spain is sceond to germans in current generation.
      its true that Bergakamp,Deboer,overmars are doing well with Ajax.But We need intelligent,focused and skilled players for the future.We are getting good amount of skilled ones but except Clasie,Maher,Ginkel i doubt others.may be Ola and Fer might something.but in defence we clearly have better hope like kongalo,Devrij,BMI etc on card.
      Many average skilled players ;they all go for rapp and hardressing which is weired and i have not seen this kind of things in the younger age of great players like Dennis,Gio,FE deboer,Stam etc.i think what these some new generation are doing ,its utter foolishness.thats the worrying point.

          1. Thanx,
            Thats their loss. They cant see that Robben has been the catalyst to their 3 champs league finals

  36. Actually feel that Robben will not be suitable for the tiki taka style that pep will likely get Bayern to play. Robben is more for direct style of play which is what the NT is playing under LVG or the current Bayern team.
    so not exactly bad that he leaves…maybe to Man U? 🙂

    1. @YC

      No one has stated it yet but “Germans don’t play Tiki-Taka” – never have and never will.

      My prediction is that if Pep is going to succeed it will take years, and in the short term Bayern is going to be a mess.


  37. It is a bit ironic that Jan doing an article about Ola John who did not play well (while he played well before).
    I don’t mind if Sir Alex F. sell Nani, Anderson and perhaps buy Robben.

    1. Perhaps this is like the Sports Illustrated Curse, where the athlete who makes the cover suddenly starts failing. Maybe all of Jan’s articles should be about Germans and Spaniards from now on…

  38. Bremen suspend Arnautovic & Elia
    Latest Heynckes: Mandzukic will start against Freiburg NextHeynckes plays down Madrid rumours
    By Will Jones
    Apr 26, 2013 3:52:00 PM

    The duo were stopped by policemen in the early hours for speeding and the club have excluded them from the squad just a day before they face Bayer Leverkusen

    BET: RETURNS: Leverkusen £14.40 Draw £45.00 Werder Bremen £65.00
    Weder Bremen have suspended wingers Eljero Elia and Marko Arnautovic after they were caught driving 50 kilometres per hour too fast in the early hours of Friday.

    The pair were stopped by policemen at around 03:00CET on the A1 Autobahn and the club have moved to discipline them ahead of their critical game against Bayer Leverkusen.

    “We are deeply disappointed,” sporting director Thomas Eichin said in a statement.

    “We need the players to be 100 per cent professional to deal with the task at Werder. Anyone who is still travelling on the highway at 03:00 two days before an important game cannot happen. We must send a clear message.”

    Coach Thomas Schaaf added: “We cannot tolerate unprofessional behaviour like that while we are preparing for our match against Leverkusen.

    “We release them until we can sort this out.”

    A poor run of form has seen Bremen slip to 14th in the Bundesliga table, just five points ahead of the relegation playoff place.

  39. I do hope Robben picks to join RvP in Man Utd if he’s to leave Bayern. But do Man utd fans want him to go there? He did score that firecracker to send them out of UCL 3 years ago.

  40. Cardiff City will celebrate promotion to the Premier League by signing former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt from Fenerbahce.

    Holland international Kuyt joined the Europa League semi-finalists last summer when he left Anfield in a £1million deal.

    He will turn 33 before the start of the new season but Bluebirds bosses reckon he will still possess enough of his trademark strength and stamina to make an impact in the English top flight.

    Sources in Turkey suggest Kuyt, who would link up with former Reds striker Craig Bellamy if he joins Cardiff, could be allowed to leave for a fraction of the fee he cost Fenerbahce.

    The Welsh club have a £25m budget after winning the Championship title but intend to be as prudent as possible in their quest for Premier League survival.

  41. I have a couple of MU fan colleagues who think that Robben may not fit MU style. They think Robben “too selfish” which I think sometimes defines who he is. There is a need to balance but I can defend Robben by that cross he gave to RVP who scored against Romania. Anyway if the rumour is true that Mourinho rejoined Chelsea then it is likely Robben will go to Chelsea.

  42. You guys realize how much Robben has won?

    I dont think he has ever been on a losing team.

    2002-2003 Eredivisie
    JC Shield – 2003
    2004-2005 – EPL
    2005-2006 – EPL
    FA Cup – 2005, 2007
    LEague cup, 2005, 2007
    La Liga – 2007-2008
    Spanish supercup – 2008
    German Bundesliga – 2009-2010, 2012-2013
    German cup 2010

    Are you kidding me?

    Not to mention several CL finals and a WC final.

    What a career!

    1. Robben is quite simply a game-changer.

      When he is on his game he is unstoppable – and barring episodes of injury – that is pretty much every game. What is more remarkable is that these days with his maturity level – he is as likely to assist as he is to score. This makes him even more dangerous – the double man-marking he’s had to deal with for his entire career is not quite as safe and predictable as it once was for defenders. Robben is no longer totally single-minded towards the net he’s now single-minded towards results.

      As one of you here said (DRB300 maybe?) – he is a complete joy to watch.

      We need to appreciate his level of skill and talent – it will be a long time before we see another like him.

      I just hope he can keep this level for a couple more years – as a super-sub any team on the planet would be happy to have him.

      If Bayern really is willing to let him go – then I for one will not be surprised to see him land somewhere else and ignite another team towards tropies and titles.


      1. I don’t see him going for any team in leagues he’s already played in. Leaving pretty much only France and Italy as possible destinations and from their leagues only PSG and Juventus with more than likely championship and extended CL potential. He’ll probably go for PSG over Juve because of the financial backing of that team and their drive to make PSG a permanent fixture as a top European club.

        Anything else will only be regarded as a winding down of his career, which he doesn’t seem the player for. He’ll stop at the height of his career or when he feels he won’t be able to reach that level anymore. For Arjen Robben it’s all or nothing and that’s exactly what makes it exciting to see him in action.

        It’ll be PSG for a year, the WC in Brazil and that’s when I expect him to call it quits by joining one of the eredivisie clubs to train down.

          1. Oh yes – and if he leaves Bayern – I also would not be surprised to see the Bavarians falter — again.


  43. Fun day with the Eredivisie matches – the finish will be – entertaining too.

    IMO – even the weak teams are playing good voetball – Willem II, Heracles etc – as clubs they are “almost” there in many respects, and in most cases it is just a question of missing one or two key pieces of the puzzle. Either their defenders don’t get it (at all), or their midfield gives up control too easily, or de aanvallers – keep hitting the seats behind the goal. But for flashes, for moments of time – even the lesser teams of this league can look quite good.

    This is a good sign for the league. And like I already said – it is fun to watch.



  44. whats goin on with BVB.there are plenty of purchasing clubs are there for BVB players.
    approximate amounts not sure exact ones

    Gotze=35 M bayern already done
    Reus=37 M bid mancity
    Lewy=30 M by bayern,mnau and others
    Gundogan=30M by Real and others
    Hummels=25M barca,Manu etc…
    what are they goin to do with these millions..
    Germany is reaping the reward of youth system…..i feel envy about them..

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