Two deaths, one sad…

We had to major incidents to discuss, in the past week…

The so-called Super League (often debated as a future concept in football) was conceived! A brilliant plan. But only from the perspective of greedy money grabbers. Definitely not from the perspective of the fans, the existing competitions and …. sports in general.

It’s wonderful that it happened. It has quickly demonstrated who are in charge of football (and rightly so)… in case you are wondering: the fans! And yes, royalty, politicians and ex-players are also fans…

And if it also leads to the demise of eh certain Mr Woodward who has been mismanaging Manchester United for years now, being their Technical Director without having any football understanding and cultural context understanding… Good riddance!

Yes, there will be changes in the future, but never a concept in which teams have to leave their domestic competition for a money based super -league. We like seeing Liverpool – AC Milan, but we adore watching Liverpool – Everton. Or Ajax – FC Utrecht. Or Barca – Espagnol. These derbies should never die.

We will also always demand a structure in which teams that earn it can move up, and teams that fail get relegated. That is what sports is about.

Some of the clubs that did commit quickly backtracked their way out of it. Chelsea, Man City, United and Liverpool were quick to apologise, with City coach Guardiola and Liverpool coach and captain vehemently criticising this move. In earlier stages, Bayern Munich, PSG and Ajax already said they wouldn’t want to join in.

The whole air castle collapsed before it was actually made and I hope we can put this cockamamy idea to rest for good.

The sad death this week was the passing of PSV and Oranje legend Willy van der Kuylen. The PSV playmaker from the 1970s. A midfielder, a classic #10, but also one who would easily score 20 goals every season. A true class act.

The Brabant born player with the canon in both legs had ample opportunities to play in Italy or Spain but preferred to stay in Brabant forever, close to his beloved PSV. After his active career, he would stick with PSV in all sorts of roles. He’d become Mr PSV and was assistant coach, scout, team leader, analyst, strikers coach, ambassador and PSV’s photo model whenever a new player was signed. One of the few players to hit a penalty kick with full force with the laces. One of the few players who actually kicked a ball (a free kick) straight through the net. Literally.

He started his career as central striker and netted prolifically but in those days in the mid 60s, it was all Ajax and Feyenoord. Willy was as good as they come, but the rest of PSV wasn’t. Yet.

He had vision, was shrewd, saw the pass and had a strong physique. But his biggest weapon, his shot. And he was perfectly two-footed. And he could hit them with real power. Cruyff and Van Hanegem often spoke about his ability to hit a ball in awe. The next player to impress with both feet would be Wesley Sneijder. Willy would score 308 goals for PSV, in 528 matches. Not bad for a midfielder!

He only played 22 matches for Oranje (scoring 7 goals). That is truly a disgrace. His PSV was the key team in Holland in 1974 and Willy was the top scorer again that season. But Willy van der Kuijlen (and Jan van Beveren) would not join Oranje to West Germany’s World Cup. The core of Oranje consisted of Ajax and Feyenoord players. Cruyff, Keizer, Van Hanegem and Israel were boss. The PSV players were seen as inferior and both Willy and goalie van Beveren were disgusted by their cameo roles and decided to leave the camp. Despite this, Van der Kuijlen never blamed Cruyff and never openly discussed this situation in a negative way. He would simply say that Johan Cruyff was the best ever and there are times when the best players don’t necessarily make the best team.

And don’t forget, this is a time where the NT coach had Cruyff, Neeskens, Krol, Van Hanegem, Wim Jansen, Jan Mulder, Rob Rensenbrink, Van der Kuijlen, Rep, Piet Keizer and Sjaak Swart. Out of these 12, only 6 could play. Cruyff, Van Hanegem and Van der Kuijlen could have made a unique trio, but it was not to be. They would hang out together, go to carnival with the wives and respect one another but they would never play together. JC would later name Van der Kuijlen in his “Team of the Century” in 1999.

In 1978, they played against each other in the semi finals of the UEFA Cup. Both skippers shaking, Willy for PSV, JC for Barca. PSV won that match and would go on to win the title.

Players like Luc Nilis and Ruud van Nistelrooy still rave about the personal coaching they got from the legend, who would be gifted a job for life, by then PSV technical director Marcel Brands. PSV would financially take care of Willy until his death. Alzheimer’s stopped Mr PSV, where hundreds of defenders and goalies couldn’t…

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  1. Great article (and video) on Van Der Kuijlen. I knew little about him. Seems like he had that rare quality of being a fantastic football player, and a better person. The comments about Van Beveren and him being left out because they were from PSV are interesting. After Van Beveren passed away awhile back, I heard an English commentator say that if Van Beveren had been the GK at the time, the Dutch would have won both the ’74 and ’78 WC’s. I never saw him play, and no little about him. Was he that good?

    Re: the ESL. I hope you are right that this puts a stake through the heart of the idea of that idea, but I’m a little more cynical. The big teams will always be looking for a way to leverage who they are into a guaranteed slice of the CL money; whether due by performance or not (in fact, the whole point, as far as I can tell, is to guarantee themselves the money even when they aren’t due via performance).

  2. Hello guys. After watching the despairing and chaotic scenes from India which is at the centre of COVID focus right now, just wanna say stay safe, God bless.

  3. Jayden Braaf scored his first goal for Udinese coming off the bench vs Benevento . On loan from city and and still 18. This is a good stepping stone for the highly rated youngester.

  4. Pascal struijk was stunningly good vs a relentless attacking Manu with high quality attack….in the toughest league…
    if this guy is not selected for euros ITS A LOSS FOR NT…i hope fdb correctes his own stupidity..

  5. From one of the sites offering player ratings on the Bearcelona-Villareal match.

    Frenkie de Jong: 8
    If the Dutchman hadn’t missed two key chances in the game, we would have certainly tallied an additional point-and-a-half to what truly was another masterclass in midfield. De Jong is truly a joker card for the Bluagranas, appearing in what seems like every single zone on the field. He constantly makes himself available to create possessional superiorities while also expressing his immense ability to attack and add threat in the forward-most line for the Catalans. He truly is enjoying the best season of his life, playing at an elite level in whichever role is required of him from his coach.

    1. The best part for is koeman grooming him on the right. Good for NT come when simons will arrive on the scene. With a good DM in the middle, the midfield can be the same as barce setup and a effectove one or maybe Gravenberch on the left and frenkie on the left.

        1. He has Discipline issues. Im leaning towards Veerman and hopefully he finds a new club at the end of the season.

          Eiting is also somebody too look out for next season. He was having a good loan season at Huddersfield until a knee injury sidelined for up to 6 months. He made a come back over the weekend and should be back at Ajax next season. Injuries has really resticted his development.

          1. Veerman, interesting. I thought he was more of an offensive player. Would he be able to take on a defensive mf role? I haven’t seen him play much this year, and I know you follow him, so I’m interested in what you have to say about him playing that role,

            As far as Bazoer goes, yes, I’ve heard/read that he has had some controversial moments this year. But he has had an impressive year at the club level. Hate to write him off.

          2. Veerman is somewhat Pirlo esque. Things have changed now at Heerenveen after the arrival of Schone another wise he was operating as a deep lying midfider before where he had the freedom to move around and distribute those over the head balls including opening the play up from any where on the field.

            The only thing left for him is to take it to the next level playing out of a bigger club team than where he is playing now.

            The other thing to note here is dutch midfielders have often found it hard to adpot to other systems such as the double pivot system as they are confound to the customary dutch 4-3-3 system and when ever they end up at clubs who prominentely deploy 4-2-3-1 system or double pivot system they end up struggling and falling out of favour at both club and international level.

            I think there is a need for change here so that there can room for development of all rounded midfielders rather than one dimensional.

          3. Veerman? He’s not consistent at Heerenveen!! He might not even be good enough for Feyenoord. Lets wait with pulling that card ok?

  6. Watched the game till 75′ and AZ simply had no answer to ajax onslaught. The only time AZ looked good was on counters but clealy they are a team relying one or two key players and rest are pretty much average.

    Agree Koopmeiners has become overrated and looking at performance,casts a cloud of shadow whether he actualy will survive outside eredivisie. Actually it was Gravenberch who showed more authority and bossed the midfield better than him. He really punched through the holes and playing a high line. The same cant be said for Koopmeiners.half tackles and half passes etc.

  7. Bazoer is stunningly good DM..on par with makelel,veira,busquest …i hope FDB open his eyes and take him to Euro…
    Cody gakpo,Bazoer both were stunnigly good this season…both are at redhot form…
    Frenkie-bazoer-Koopmeiners-Van de beek-Gini winjnaldum-Stengs–6 nos
    Tyrell malacia-Jetro williams
    Deligt—De vrij


    1. You’ve said a lot of crazy things before, but even mentioned Bazoer in the same sentence as Vieira is insane. Bazoer is a strong Eredivise player who struggled abroad and has major disciplinary issues. If he moves this summer it will be to a middle of the table Bundesliga or Ligue 1 team and he’ll maybe be a starter, but never see European football.

  8. UEFA will increase the squad size to 26 players from what i hear. Weghorst will be one player added for sure. I suspect one more midfielder and one defender.

  9. Amyone watched Lille vs Lyon. Its looking very tight at top of the table in ligue 1 with a 4 way horse race at the could go down to the last match day for the winners to be crowned champions .

    1. So from what I understand, the 8 teams in Pot 1 for next year’s CL are:

      1. The CL winner
      2. The EL winner
      3. English leauge winner
      4. Spanish league winner
      5. German league winner
      6. Italian league winner
      7. French league winner
      8. Portugese league winnner

      But if one of the League winners also wins the CL (PSG or City realistically), then the 8th spot will go to the next highest league winner, which is currently Holland, but I don’t know if our move to 7th counts for next season or if we have to wait a year for it to kick in.

      Either way, I’m hoping whoever wins the CL also wins their league.

    1. Bakker is still a work in progress and though he has shown he has what it takes to play at the highest level, his jump from second tier to the very top has come to early and this is evident in some phases of his game. Though he doesnt hold the ball to long, his accuracy in the course of first time balls whether it lateral, back or forward pass is quite good and add to this his physicality has been his strength and highlight thus far.

      Being said this, he needs to make up of the steps that he jumped without playing at a competitive level and this obviously will be a deciding factor in his development and for his future at PSG.

      If he remains at PSG then he must play consistently and maybe then in a season or two, he will hit his full potential.
      If he doesnt, then he might well have to start from scratch with his high profile outings experience.

      More over you can expect major overhaul at PSG next season.

  10. If UEFA is allowing bigger squad size for the Euros. The wild cards in my view are:
    Gakpo, Danjuma, Koopmeiners, Weghorst, Karsdorp and Bakker. Let’s see whether anyone of these be in the final squad.

    1. Like who? The ones I would have like to see is all out on loan, eiting,Pierrie and Danilio.

      I cant see any one from Jong Ajax that could compete for spot next season in Ajax.

      1. Personally I’d like to see Kasanwijro get a few minutes before the end of the season. He’s not a world class talent or anything, but has been sturdy for Jong Ajax this season.

        Enric Llansana would be another player who should get a few substitute appearances.

        I’d like to see Kjell Scherpen start a game or two before the end of the season. Onana is on the way out, Stekelenburg and Pasveer are way too old, and Scherpen or Kotarski will be Ajax’s next keeper, and I’d prefer the Dutch option, since they’re about equal in quality. Daan Reiziger has gotten some starts towards the end of the season, but its because the other have been playing up.

        Kenneth Taylor is a stud. He’s never going to light up the stats board, but he sort of just does all of the little things right. He’ll be an Ajax player next year for sure. The same goes for Youri Regeer, he’ll be in the squad as well.

        Hansen and Unuvar have had unimpressive seasons, but the team as a whole way pretty bad so you can’t really blame them. I still think they should get some opportunities with the first team.

  11. Hansen and Taylor have both played for the first team this year…maybe get a look at them. More playing time for Kudus, Ekkelenkamp.

    1. I’d also want to see Traore starting in place of Haller. We’re keeping Haller as our 9 for next season, so I’d say give Traore a few games, let him pad his stats a bit and then sell him for a bit more money. Same thing goes with David Neres.

  12. Ajax’s team next year will likely look like the following:





    I assume Tagliafico and Martinez will leave this summer with Onana, so Ajax will need a new LB. They won’t use any of the Jong Ajax guys, as Jong Ajax hasn’t even had a steady LB, switching between three or four different players. They could play Blind there and start Schuurs at CB, but I doubt it.

    Similarly they’ll need someone to play as a 6 in the midfield. Gravenberch is more of an 8, which will keep Kudus out of the lineup. Koopmeiners would be a good fit, but AZ won’t let him go to Ajax. Bazoer might, but I don’t think ten Hag will want him. Blind or Rensch could fill that role if needed.

    Neres will be out the door this summer, Labyad will probably stay and play a bit-part role. Danilo will play as Haller’s backup, and Ajax will likely sign 1 winger this summer to act as a substitute for Antony/Tadic.

    1. scherpen needs to go out on loan and with the arrival of Pasveer, thats mostly likely what gonna happen. FC Twente should be a good destination for him. stekelenburg and Pasveer should be 1 and 2 and depending on Ohana situation, if he signs a new contract then definitely scherpen will end up in pecking order.

      agree they need a good No 6 but also a talented attacking mid to compete at CL Level as well. kudus looks injury prone and hasn’t hit the ground rolling tbh. Rensch and Timber look ok at eredivise level but for CL im not sure.

      also neres has just come out of long term injury that sidelined him for months. I think he will stay. they will let idrissi go as he failed to live up to expectation and replicate his AZ form.

      1. Timber is 1000 times better than dumbfry and ultrauseless hateboer and shi$$$tty bakker.. and he was excellent at chamoins league and europa league vs Top teams…so shut up…

    2. Derekvdberg91, I was going to remain silent but after reading your 3rd post in a row with “fake news” I thought I had to intervene.
      1. I am not sure where you are getting the info that Martinez will be leaving during the summer. I have not heard a word about this and I doubt we will let him go as he is one of the key players on the team.
      2. Koopmeiners is useless. Why would we want him when we have better players at his position.
      3. As for Kudus, he can play as a number 10. The problem is TH prefers Klaassen so it could be an issue for Kudus but once he is back to full fitness and has regained confidence he would be my starting number 10. His impact at the beginning of the season was enormous. Too bad that he got hurt against Liverpool because I think it cost us the qualification in the CL.
      4. Then you mention Labyad will stay when everyone agrees that he is certain to leave.
      5. The Bazoer case? Bazoer will never come back to Ajax. Where would he play? He excels in a 3-men defense. When was the last time Ajax played with 3 in defense? The answer NEVER.
      6. You put Alvarez as RCB but it is unlikely he will play there when he has done very well as a defensive midfielder. Timber and Schuurs will continue to play in that position.
      7. Holland will not get the pot 1 spot regardless of what happens with the EL and CL winners since the ranking that counts for the upcoming year is the one at the end of last season when Holland was 9 I believe. That last CL spot would go to Russia or Ukraine.
      I know we live in an era when anything and everything can be said on the internet and people believe it but we should be a little bit more responsible when posting opinions masquerading as official statements.

      1. You’re such a twit.

        1. Martinez has been linked to a move all year, Lazio and Barcelona specifically.
        2. Dumb, opinionated comment.
        3. You’re agreeing with me that Kudus won’t get a spot because of Klaassen.
        4. I’ve heard no transfer news of Labyad, but please enlighten me.
        5. I said that Bazoer could play the 6 role, but won’t come back because Ajax won’t want him.
        6. Sure.
        7. I literally said that I wasn’t sure of whether or not it came into affect this year or not.

        Do you always read half of the text before responding?

        I’ll wait for your transfer news on Labyad, which is much different than the fans wanting him out, I actually wait for teams to look at players.

  13. Hasn’t Alvarez played the DM role quite a bit this year? I would prefer a mf with more offense in him, but Ten Haag seems comfortable with him in that role. They could then play Timber in the middle next to Blind (not a lot of height I grant you—but Timber has been impressive this year), and play Rensch/Maz at RB. This is just with the players they have—who knows who they will pick up. I get the feeling they think they can do something next year in the CL so wouldn’t be surpised if they got a little extravagant in the transfer market. They’ve made alot of money in the transfer market the last few years, and they should get something for Tagliafico and Martinez, both of whom are under contract until June 2023, if I’m not mistaken.

  14. good to see Armando Obispo punching his way through at PSV. He had a long spell out on the sidelines after sustaining that injury while on loan at vitesse and looks finally to have recovered. next season could be break out season for him and should add to the growing list of defenders for Future NT.

    Danilho Doekhi who was his partner at Vitesse is also on radar of teams abroad. Newcastle and Atalanta is said to be showing a strong interest in him and former Ajax academy player look set to take the next step after almost 4 seasons at vitesse.

    Potential talent from eerste divsie.
    Sydney van Hooijdonk (CF), son of Pierre van Hooijdonk has had a break through season at NAC Breda. 14 goals and 2 assists in 26 games. He made his debut for the club in 2018 and looks to be exciting talent at 21. hope mid table teams in eredivisie are watchig and will scoop them up at some point. its not only him, joel zwarts of excelsior and Jizz Hornkamp of Den Bosch as well who are fighting relegation in eerste divsie.

      1. AZ do not need any players listed above. The team already has too many mediocre players and adding more will not make any good to AZ.

  15. Derek I don’t think Martinez is going anywhere next year since he is extremely important for this team. Now if Barca comes with a good offer then maybe but I doubt he’ll leave Ajax for Lazzio. Ajax under Van der Saar and Overmars try to keep our best players for as long as possible and I believe they’ll do the same with him. Tagliafico will be the first one to go for sure and Labyad will follow simply because he is tired of sitting on the bench. Onana will most likely leave as well but I do hope Overmars can convince him to renew his contract. If Onana stays, Scherpen and Korarski need to be loaned out to other Eredivisie teams. With Nico leaving we do need a new LB unless Ten Hag decides to use either Blind or Martinez on the left. I’m personally not a fan of Daley as a LB. Ajax tries to play high pressure and you definitely need fast full backs to cover in case of a counter. There were rumors and I don’t know how accurate they were on Van Anholt coming in next year as a free agent.

    I was taking a closer look at Ajax’s players contracts and I won’t be surprised if Schuurs gets sold and even Mazraoui. If Ajax was to get a more experienced CB like Davison Sanchez and even Toby Aldewireld I see no room in the team for Schuurs if that happens. If Mazraoui gets sold and if I’m not mistaken his contract expires at the end of next year Timber and Rensch will play on the right and I’m okay with that.

    As for our midfield I suspect Alvarez, Gravenberch and Klaassen will be our starters for next season but personally I’d like to see Kudus get that 10 spot with Klaassen switching to Alvarez position and Edson maybe as our right CB if we don’t sign anyone in that position! With Kudus, Gravenberch and Klaassen the team becomes very dynamic going forward but taking Alvarez out of it makes the team more vulnerable defensively.

    As for our forwards we have Antony and Neres fighting for the starting position on the right. Tadic on the left and with Haller as our CF. I don’t believe Neres will leave simply because he was injured for most of the season and his worth has dropped compared to a few years ago. Best thing is to keep him for at least one more season so he can regain his old form and value. Antony had some good moments and some not so good moments in his first seasons with Ajax. I expect him to be better next season. On the left Tadic has been phenomenal hopefully he has a few more seasons like that on him. We do need a back up for him though with Idrissi going back to Sevilla. Haller is our main CF but I am a little skeptical whether he was worth 25 million and whether we should have gave Brobbey a try. Brobbey definitely showed some very promising moments when he came on as a sub and with Danilo and Traore as back ups I’d like to think we would have been okay.

    1. I agree, Kudus is phenomenal, I’d love to see him play, but Klaassen is playing so well it will be hard to dislodge him. I guess it goes to show that competition does really increase the level of players.

      I don’t mind Haller, he’s clinical without being special. I would’ve loved for Brobbey to stay, he was playing so well I honestly think he would have developed into the starter by the end of next season.

      It’s almost a shame that Rensch and Timber are both right sided, and will be vying for the same position. If one of them was on the left it would be a simple fix for Ajax.

      1. Rensch can play both positions as he is equally comfortable with both feet. He could easily play LB. Given the ambition of the team, we will probably keep most of our players, I agree with Tomy14, especially Martinez, unless there is an offer from Barca for 50M which I doubt. I expect Nico (and even that is not certain) and Onana to go. Kotarski will never play for Ajax 1 so he will leave. As for Scherpen, he should get loaned but I don’t think he will make it either. The GK of the future is in house and his name is Raatsie. He should play next season for Jong Ajax. Labyad has asked to leave so I am sure he will go and so is Ekkelenkamp who is horrendous. My only negatives for this past season is the cruel elimination against Roma as we were 10 times better than them and the fact Brobbey is leaving. I was even thinking that because the entire training staff of Leipzig is gone he could possibly cancel his contract and stay with us!! Wishful thinking I know.

    1. Pierie is very average and Danilo is good for the eredivisie but he is no Brobbey. So behind Haller, the only one who can play in that position is Tadic as he did during the CL 2018-19 and again this year in the EL after Haller was not qualified to play. But with Brobbey we would have a real threat going forward and someone who brings something new by his speed and strength, really too bad he did not stay.

      1. danilo is a very good striker imo. 15 goals playing out of FC Twente this season, shows how good his finishing capability is.

        haller for me is not an out and out clinical striker but mostly brings ariel threat with his physical presence in the box. this is one of the reason why he flopped in epl. at eredivisie level his presence soaks up defenders creating spaces for following up players like klaassen who is always at the right place and at the right time. now if you look at Danilo then he is totally opposite. he brings pace and is a better finisher but ariel treat is limited. he could put up a good fight for a stating spot if he continues scoring goals.

        1. Most of Danilo’s goals were PKs. Will have to see how he does when surrounded by better players. But I am not sure he is the real deal.

  16. Mourinho to Roma making headlines in Italy. I think he will inherit a good squad and with few more signings he can take Roma to the next level. their problematic area has been their Cbs. thisis also good new for kluivert as well who is on loan at RB Leipzig. Mou ws a huge fan of his during ajax days.

    1. Who cares? Kluivert is done and dusted. Bad attitude. He should have listened to his father and stayed at Ajax. But he wanted fame immediately…instead he has NADA!!

      1. He’s 21 years old, I think it’s a bit too soon to call him done. Also, he’s still Dutch and this is a Dutch Soccer Site, so you should want him to achieve.

        1. Don’t tell me what I should or should not say. Kluivert is an arrogant idiot who left too early and is paying the price dearly. I don’t think Ajax would want him back because unlike the others we brought back (Blind and Klaassen), he won nothing with Ajax and did not play long enough in Ajax 1 to truly make a difference. The fact he is Dutch that this is a Dutch Soccer Site has nothing to do with it. Unless he matures very quickly, and I mean now if not yesterday, he will be done. He is already going from club to club not making any real impression. In my opinion, this next season will be his last chance but I am afraid it might be too late…

    2. Mourinho has no track record of developing young talent. Beside, he did not have any success in his last few years. I am really disappointed in Kluivert’s development. This is an example of leaving Ajax too early. I don’t know why Brobbey decide to follow the same path.

      1. The nice thing about this, is that it’s not as much a nail in the coffin as it has been, as Ajax seems very open to taking their former players back for a second life. It used to be you made the wrong move at 19, you were done forever. I could see Kluivert coming back, maybe not next season but the season after, finding some rhythm in the Eredivisie and then trying to make the move again.

      2. Kevin, agree 100% with you. Mourinho is a cancer in football and I think he is finished as a coach. He should become a pundit. Brobbey may have made a huge mistake especially since the people who wanted him the most in Leipzig are now gone. As I said before, maybe he has a clause in his contract allowing him to cancel it. If I were him, I would consult an attorney and check.

        1. Kluivert and Brobbey have one thing in common besides coming through the Ajax’s youth system and that is Mino the scum Raiola who’s their agent. That bastard inflated Justin’s mind even though he wasn’t even a starter for Ajax at the time. He did the same thing with Brobbey as he refused the offer from Overmars after Hallers arrival since he wanted his client to be the starter CF for Ajax. He did the same thing with Kishna, while he influenced Bouy to leave Ajax’s youth at 15 for Juventus. I’m sure we will have a lot of issues with him negotiating with Gravenberch as he represents him as well.

          I personally don’t want to see Justin Kluivert back at Ajax again. Not only he decided to leave Ajax but he also didn’t say the best of words for the club afterwards. The next year proved him wrong as Ajax almost made it to the UCL final while Justin was rotting in Romas bench.

          1. Your comments made me look into Kluivert’s stats at Roma and RB Leipzig and its quiet contradictory. he made 53 appearance (on and off the bench) for Roma in all competition which also included 5 appearance in champions league in 2018-2019 season and 7 appearance in Europa league in 2019-2020 season. Then he managed 26 appearance (on and off the bench) for RB Leipzig in bundasliga including 7 appearance in Champions league for them.

            dont get me wrong here but both bundasliga and Serie A are both competitive leagues than eredivisie and I think the stats speaks for itself on whether his move was success or a failed one. its also debatable if his situation would have been the same if he would stayed back at Ajax. Him staying back wouldn’t have stopped ajax from signing Tadic and Neres form in 2018 – 2019 season would have eventually relegated him to sub role any way and I dont think he would have benched ziyech either. at best he would have got to play eredivise games which is step down to what he has clocked to date playing in more competitive league. in terms of his development, I dont think there is any dutch winger in his age group that has tasted the top level football which he has and from this perspective you could argue his development is still on track given his potential ceiling.

            *note here that he didn’t have high ceiling either given his limited technical abilities. what he has shown so far is, he is a typical winger who can operate on both flanks with good pace, one touch passing and g crossing abilities. this is where he will remain and Im afraid more technical wingers will always have a better edge over him. this is one of the reason why he sent out on loan to build up on his experience.

            Roma still have Zainolo and El Sharwaay who are injured and like I said are better technical wingers than him and It remains to be seen whom Mou will prefer or suits his style.

  17. seeing the youngster’s in city and chelsea thriving at CL Level kind of feels bitter knowing that they will take the current form to euros for their respective international and probably WC a well.

    1. @Wilson, who were you specifically thinking of? For Man City, of the younger players, Foden and Dias (if you consider him a youngster at 23) stood out for me. For Chelsea, Mount and Chilwell. For Chelsea, that central mf of Jorginho and Kante makes everything easier for everybody. Superb pairing.

      1. it will be a good intense final I think and given the heights of city, chelsea are worthy opponent for them given their progress under tuchel since he took over from Lampard and yes you are quiet true about the midfield combo of Kante and Joringho.

        the german contingent has sparked into life now that tuchel has reshuffled the team deploying them in their most preferred position (strong hold). harvetz(21) in particular who now is showing his leverkusen form and also captain america Pulisic (22) who since returning back from injury has in good form.

        1. Completely agree; Chelsea v. Man City is a final I’m looking forward to…I didn’t mention Pulisic because he won’t be playing at the Euros. But, yep, he is good. I’m still not sure about Werner and Havertz. Thought they should have done more with their opportunities both to create and score, and that has been an issue all year with them. You’re right though, Tuchel has been good for them.
          Thought Mount was the best of the front three.

  18. Ajax targets Owen Wijndal. Really doubt it is going to work out as market value of Wijndal is ~$17 and Ajax hope to buy cheaper. AZ does not sell any of its players to its competitors anymore. Last but not least, Ajax culture is not a good fit for AZ players. In general, I do not think anybody will leave AZ coming season. Let’s see if we can kick PSV out from the second place…

    1. tbh honest I would rather see PSV go through as they have better players and are a better unit collectively. I also read they are in the midst of securing $investment deals for future and to stay in the race with ajax. this will also enable them to sign more quality players.

      1. PSV might have better collection of individual players than AZ but as a team they are inferior to AZ. Also, Pascal Jansen is more sophisticated coach than Schmidt.

  19. Interesting situation in AZ. Contracts of Owen Wijndal, Teun Koopmeiners, Fredrik Midtsjö, Calvin Stengs, and Myron Boadu will expire in June 2023. Unless all extend their contracts for one more year, AZ will have to sell them either during coming transfer market in August 2021 or January 2022. Not sure about domestic players but Fredrik Midtsjö will not extend it anymore. The market values of Teun, Calvin, Owen, and Myron are $20, $17, $17, and $13 MM respectively. Fred is within $11MM. The market values of Myron and Calvin, unfortunately, dropped from $22 to $17. This season was not the best for both of them and I expect further drop in marker values which will be reflected in June report. Those two should extend their contracts with AZ for at least another year to redeem their value and form. In contrast Teun, Owen, and Fred significantly increased their market values and they will be most likely sold coming transfer window. Anyway very tough time for Max Huibert.

    1. If Ajax which is by far the wealthiest club in the Netherlands and is now a top 20 club in the world first has to sell before it can buy players, I can imagine it is far worse for other clubs in the Netherlands including AZ. In addition, the clubs that usually buy have also far less money to invest and their salaries are far less attractive. This means that AZ will get far less money for their players. Money talks however and if Ajax offers 10M for Winjdal, he will leave. For the others (Stengs, Koopmeiners, Boadu), AZ will be lucky to get 30M for all 3.

      1. Every club does their business differently. AZ has been very frugal with spending plus salaries of AZ players are not that high as Ajax players. Wealthy clubs also spend wealthy. AZ will not sell their players for anything less than $17 MM. Do not forget Mino Raiola factor who is the agent of Boadu, Stengs, and Wijndal. Players hire Mino not to be sold domestically, and Mino will never push this sale to Ajax. Currently, Inter Milan is researching Wijndal as they want to invest into younger left winger. Ajax should forget about Wijndal. AZ will rather let Wijndal go as a free agent than selling him to direct competitors. Unlike Ajax, AZ is not desperate to sell their players because financially it is very healthy club.

        1. Agree. AZ, PSV and Feyenoord will be reluctant to let players go to Ajax. I’m sure in the end, if they really wanted someone they could get them, but it will be overpriced.

          I think Jayden Oosterwolde would be a good target for Ajax, and Twente is more likely to do business with them.

        2. You are saying AZ is healthier financially than Ajax? Where did you see that? Ajax is the “healthiest” club in Holland, by quite a wide margin and they can count on the 45M Euros from next year’s CL which AZ obviously does not have. Raiola or not, if Ajax offers 10M to AZ for Winjdal, he is gone. Who would not want to play for Ajax? As I said the other playesr (Stengs, Boadu and Koopmeiners) would go for probably less than that.

          1. Overmars just announced that Ajax need to sell 50 million worth of players to break even for the year.

            I’m not sure what AZ’s financials are, but I think what he’s saying is that they’re pretty stable, whereas because of Ajax’s high wages and transfer fees they’re more dependent on sales and external revenues where AZ can just survive on their internal revenues.

  20. Liverpool are looking at signing Teun Koopmeiners as a potential replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum. I personally do not see this happening. It would be great for AZ financially but absolutely disastrous for Teun as the latter will not get a playing time. It could be another Vinsent Janssen story. Teun does not deserve it.

    1. I don’t think Teun would suit Liverpool too much either. One of his weaknesses is definitely his speed, and Liverpool rely on fast counter-attacks. Teun has good distribution, but he’ll need to be able to keep up with the break like Milner, Wijnaldum and others can.

      I’d like to see Teun make a move to a club like Lyon, not a massive move but still a good step forward.

      1. I agree. He is a player of the caliber of Lyon/Lille but no higher. Very good on set pieces but he does not bring much in terms of penetration and speed. Solid player but not extraordinary. A far cry from Grevenberch or Frenkie.

        1. I watched both AZ -Ajax and Ajax – Heerenveen and must say Veerman looked a class above koopmeiners. the only thing left for him to to show he can handle it at a more competitive level. I dont thing the top three will folk out the hefty price tag heerenveen has put on his transfer release but hopefully other teams from abroad will pick him up.

          1. People see players differently, I honestly did not find anything particular in Veerman…But again that is me.

          2. He was the man of match in that game even though heerenveen lost. I mean you cant see this in any other way and plus I did post a video of his highlights in that game which was quiet exceptional.

            If im not wrong than vs AZ for some strange reason he was on the bench.

          3. Veerman is not world class. He is a good eredivisie player for a team in the sub top but that’s about it. I would not mind him at Ajax but only to give us more depth in our roster. But he would not play very much. Koopmeiners is at a higher level but as already mentioned he is no where near the caliber of Frenkie or Gravenberch.

          4. A few clubs were looking at Veerman already, but all of the transfers. PSV doesn’t want to pay the asking fee, and Rangers fell through as well. Reims and Atalanta are looking at him as well.

  21. If we could get Veerman for 4M, I would do it. Otherwise, not worth it. Better to let him go to another club. PSV has no money either despite the promise of an injection of cash, they will need to sell first. They cannot count on the CL money either since they will finish at best 2nd and have to qualify.

  22. Tagliafico told he can go on holidays by Ajax, meaning that he’s likely played his last game in Amsterdam. Will be interesting to see who slots in at LB for the last few games.

    1. It will be Rensch. As I mentioned in a previous post, he is completely comfortable with both feet and has played LB with youth teams. So Maz will come back to RB and Rensch will move to the left.

  23. An unkown dutch midfielder Jimmy Adrian Kaparos ( 19) made his debut for schalke in bundasliga. Looks like he is a home grown kid for Schalke who are all but certain to be relegated this season

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