Finally a bit more time for post with some “body” :-).
So happy to be in 2014 and to leave 2013 behind. A weird year.
For 2014, I have great hopes and I can see wonderful things.
I think Ajax will not make it this year. They had a fantastic run the last three seasons and Frank de Boer is a top top coach. He is doing amazing things with the current young squad but it’s too young and inconsistent this second season half to actually win the title. Second place for Ajax. PSV will veer back from their bad first season half and with Wijnaldum and Narsingh back in the team they clim back to a top 5 position. Vitesse will not be able to sustain their run and will end up number 3. Twente will have an up and down second season half and like Ajax their good but too young and instable. It’s Feyenoord’s season, this one. Finally, after 15 years, the Rotterdam club will win it. Not easily and not with a big margin, but the big games will be won by Feyenoord (against Ajax and Vitesse) and they’ll find a second wind which gets them their much coveted title.
Which will be good news for Koeman (who will leave), Janmaat, De Vrij, Martins Indi and Clasie. Schaken and Boetius will show a lot of promise for the future, while Mathijsen will have an outstanding season but will not play himself in the World Cup squad.
I can see big transfers this summer though, for a number of players and Ajax will lose Daley Blind, Moisander and Siem de Jong.
Feyenoord will lose a number of players and will struggle next year in the CL and Eredivisie as there is still only limited cash available for new signings. I can see Gio van Bronckhorst take the top job in Rotterdam.
It will be a bit too early now to call what the 2014-2015 first season half will bring but I do believe PSV will be rejuvenated once Cocu gets the machine going.
Van Persie will have a mediocre year at Man U, but Buttner will show himself. Kuyt and Sneijder will have very decent second halves in their competitions, but Kuyt will miss out on Brazil. Sneijder will be part of the squad of course. Van Gaal is doing all he can to motivate the little general to the tee. Strootman will not with the title in Italy but will be seen as one of the best signings of the season and will be one of the leaders of the Oranje squad going into the World Cup. Robben will do it again with Bayern, winning the CL for the second time and will be fit and in good form for the World Cup. Van der Vaart, Dost, Van Wolfswinkel and most of the other “internationals” will have a season as to be expected. Leroy Fer however will have another outstanding half season with Norwich and he will find himself on the shortlist of bigger clubs in Europe. Virgil van Dijk will also develop like a rocket and will make it on Van Gaal’s squad list, after making a move to the EPL.
Nigel de Jong will have a steady season for Milan while Emanuelson will fade away a bit. A good club player but simply not outstanding enough to make waves at the top. Jeremain Lens will regret his move to the Ukraine and will not make Van Gaal’s Brazil list.
I won’t go as as far as predict the results in the countries around us, but I can see Bayern reigning supreme in Germany, and Arsenal finally winning the EPL in 2014. With awesome football, and Man City and Chelsea slugging it out for second place. Liverpool joining in the fight is a treasure to behold as well. Man United will have a mediocre season as we can all see.
Spain and Italy…no clue… I think Barca in Spain and Juve in Italy.
World Cup Brazil:
There is a couple of scenarios for the Brazil World Cup. It’s hard to determine a carved-in-stone scenario of course. Lots depends also what happens in the other groups.
But, in general, Van Gaal will assemble a good mix of old and new and will have some surprises, as ever.
My guess now:
Krul, Vorm, Cillesen
Defence: Janmaat / Van der Wiel – Vlaar, Veltman, Martins Indi, Van Dijk – Blind, Van Aanholt
Midfield: Nigel de Jong / Clasie – Strootman / Fer – Sneijder / Van der Vaart
Attack: Narsingh / Wijnaldum – Van Persie / Huntelaar – Robben / Depay
I can see a fierce and motivated Oranje beat Spain in the first game. We will go on to beat Australia (for the first time) and we draw Chile.
Holland will be first in the group, Spain second. Spain will leave the tournament after losing against Brazil.
After that, it’s all open of course :-). I can see Brazil disappointing. Too much pressure, too many expectations. Somewhere in the semis, Germany or Italy will be too strong for them.
This means Holland will face Germany / Italy in the finals ( I haven’t checked if this is a possibility draw-wise so don’t sue me, ok?).
We will lose this finals.
Of course not! We will win it. Finally. In Brazil.
Let me know if you like this prognosis. And what you might believe will happen.