Year of Truth for PSV

PSV seemed to join the ranks of Dutch behemoths Ajax and Feyenoord over the last 15 years with a huge string of titles. The last years, however, PSV had to allow two non-Top-Three clubs (Twente and AZ) to snatch the title while Ajax won it twice in a row now.

Fred Rutten had to make way, just like 95% of the squad was renewed over the last two years. The designer behind this renovation is Marcel Brands. With Martin van Geel (ex Willem II, ex AZ, ex Ajax and currently Feyenoord) the most “visible” of technical managers in the Dutch Eredivisie. And like Van Geel, he has a history as a player in the Feyenoord jersey (Van Geel also played for Ajax).

Brands succeeded Van Geel when the latter left AZ for Ajax and PSV was happy to snatch the former Feyenoord and RKC midfielder to reconstruct the PSV squad.

You used to be able to find cheap players with a lot of potential, but at PSV it is as if you are throwing big money to young and coming talent?

Marcel Brands: “That has to do with the club where you work. At AZ, we had less means. We had to buy smart. PSV has a higher yard stick. We want to win titles and play along in the CL. This means you have the buy quality. And quality costs more money. At PSV, we need players who can immediately settle in. We used to get players for the future, like Stef Nijland, but that doesn’t work here. Jetro Willems is an exception. He was signed for the C team and immediately made his way in. But players like Narsignh and Wijnaldum are players who are expected to deliver immediately.”

Narsingh was also on Ajax’ hit list. Did you outbid them?

MB: “No. He could make more in Amsterdam. He simply wanted to play for PSV. That is a strong factor, which is often overlooked. We wanted to sign Sighthorsson as well, last year but he picked Ajax. Not because we didn’t offer enough. But because he always dreamed of playing for Ajax. You can’t fight that.”

Don’t you fear that clubs will make use of the fact that PSV is willing to pay top dollar?

MB: “But we aren’t. We set the norm for players. If a club doesn’t want to negotiate, we walk away. We wanted Moisander from AZ, last year. They over-asked and we walked. Same with Jorgensen from Kopenhagen. We are prudent, even though out budget is bigger than other clubs.”

Proof that Brands played for Feyenoord ( standing in the mid row, next to Martin van Geel)

So you changed the squad and technical staff over two seasons. Is this the Year of Reckoning for PSV?

MB: “You can name it what you want, haha. The point is that we have certain expectations. And sometimes, the media share this opinion and then they proclaim us to be the title favorites. But you can only know if this is reasonable when you’re a couple of weeks into the new season. Players need to settle, tactics need to fit, etc. Once it’s August 31, the market closes and it’s up to the coach to work with the material.”

The current squad has three PSV talents (Depay, Locadia and van Ooijen) in it. Is that satisfactory?

MB: “We are starting to see talents. I am satisfied about the progression. We can also see it in the Oranje youth teams. We didn’t have starters in those youth teams. We have more and more starters now. We have some huge talents in Eindhoven.”

Were you shocked by the level of the PSV Academy when you came here in 2010?

MB: “The density of talents in Eindhoven is less than Amsterdam or Rotterdam. That is fact. Plus, our competitors spend much more than we do on their Academy. Viktor Fischer of Ajax, has cost them 1,4 Mio euros! We have never paid a fee like that for a youth player! We only invested 700k euros per year on the whole academy! So, the low return is not that strange, considering those facts.”

PSV had a tremendous number of Belgian talents in the youth academy. None of them ever made it through?

MB: “I know. Belgium is part of our service area. It’s only 30 car minutes and you’re in Belgium. But we have now deployed the rule that the further a talent lives, the better he needs to be. We have three quality levels (A, B, C) and players who live further away, like in Belgium, need to be A-level players. We now have a Belgium player in our midst, 16 year old Bakkali, who is definitely A-team quality.”

It was quite a battle to keep him in Eindhoven, right?

MB: “Yes it was. That is today’s football world. Someone from Anderlecht simply stood at the door of Bakkali, to try and get him to sign. And one day before we would sign our contract with him, some unlicensed agent invited him to come and see a Manchester City match. Man City!! The lad is only just 16. Luckily he was strong enough to ignore these people. But there is only so much you can do. We hope to be able to keep a good relationship with the kids’ parents. They are the ones that can be counted on, to take the wellbeing of the kid into account. But, we lost Perreira, who went to Man United. He was 16 years old and it was his dad who forced this move…so…”

Jetro Willems

And now, PSV sold two players to the two Sevilla clubs and is owed 5 Mio euros. Which are not forthcoming…

MB: “this happened before my time. I don’t know all the facts. It’s the Spanish federation that is at fault. In Holland, Germany or England this would never happen. When at AZ, I sold Medunjanin to Valladolid. For 450k. We’d get half in cash at signing and half a year later. That second half was never paid, but Valladolid sold him on to Tel Aviv for 600k and still AZ didn’t get paid. That is just crazy… Only in Spain.”

Remarkable, Dick Advocaat had allowed you to cut away a full time equivalent in his staff? He only works for Ernest Faber and sometimes Cocu as assistant?

MB: “That is result of Dick’s philosophy. He doesn’t want to work with line-coaches. One for attack, one for midfield and one for defence. He rather has one assistant for the whole week, than 3 assistants for 2 days in the week. We also want to invest more in youth academy coaches.”

When is PSV able to invest in a serious way in youth?

MB: “That has to do with our CL qualifications. Once we get acces to the CL, the income stream will increase and we can make some delayed investments. We are still making investments. Narsingh is one example. But we also invested in a heated practice pitch, we renovated the the first floor of the main stands…we do what we can.”

Dickie, always happy to save PSV some money…

PSV also wanted to decrease wages cost in the A-squad. Did that happen?

MB: “Yes, we have a salary cap. 1 million euros gross and no one is paid beyond. When I started here, we had 7 players above that level.”

And suddenly we here in Eindhoven that the title must be won. Must?

MB: “Yes, that is Dick Advocaat for ya. He is the one articulating the objectives loud and clear. THis is also the difference between Rutten and Advocaat. Advocaat is not happy when he doesn’t win anything. Our squad is ready, we have experience and talent in all lines. We are ready.

In the first weeks of the Dutch competition, the hand of Advocaat is not yet too visible.

He has had his run ins with big name players such as Mertens and Wijnaldum and he has also put Matavz and Narsingh on the shame bench. Matavz was too heavy and Narsingh didn’t deliver enough.

Advocaat means business, but he still needs to rule out the lack of consistency of his team.

Dickie: “So I said to De Kromme… I have ball this big! I will demonstrate it to you. In the second half, I’ll sub Robben!”

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  1. Great article Jan.

    To comment on the interview and what MB says:

    MB: “The density of talents in Eindhoven is less than Amsterdam or Rotterdam. That is fact.

    This right here. How does this work. Eindhoven is maybe a smaller city than Rotterdam and Amsterdam, but Noord Brabant is a province of close to 2,5 million people, almost as much as Noord-Holland. PSV only has to snap their fingers and talents will move from say RKC or Willem II to their club, let alone the talents from the amateur sides. Noord-Brabant also has produced great athletes like Pieter van den Hoogenband, Anky van Grunsven, Marianne Vos, Leontien van Moorsel, Gianni Romme etc. . I mean, it’s not like the genetic pool is made off from retards or something. There comes a point he has to look at their education level and their commitment to let the youth fill in the spots for the first team. This was a club that was not even prepared to give Huntelaar more of a chance. Huntelaar was able to fight back after dropping to play Eerste Divisie (not Eredivisie), but how many other talents where not able to do just that and would have turned out differently with a push at the right time? We will never know how many talents PSV have squandered.

    Depay and Locadia look like proper talents. What puzzles me is how Manolev is getting a contract extension for 700.000 Euro a year, but a talent like Joshua Brenet is not given a look in even once. No wonder you have only small money for the academy when you hand out all these bags with Euro’s to foreign C players. Why is Menno Koch not tested either. As if the center defenders at PSV are doing a proper job at the moment. I also think Depay is not given enough minutes as does Locadia. I rather see Locadia fail here and there, then to see the same failings done by a player like Matavz who has the swagger of a dead corps. Depay is some kind of Suarez in the making and should be development priority number 1. Mertens at away games turns into non contributor against any serious opponents time and again. Thinks he put that label to bed scoring 3 against VVV in “de Koel”. I don’t think so. I would put Depay in the starting 11 ever away game from now on. Yet Mertens is allowed to keep continue his poor away performances and Depay can sit on the bench looking at them.

    MB can paint a great picture about Bakkali (who is from Belgium, making clear that his point about the talent density of the city of Eindhoven irrelevant, as PSV already covers a much bigger scouting area with loads of people), but that player is already unhappy, as PSV is not following up to agreements they made. What agreements I do not know, but he came out very recently. Also, one of the biggest Dutch defensive talents and the captain of the Dutch U17 team (Bazoer) has just moved from PSV to Ajax as he thought he would have more chance to succeed at that club. Also Bazoer did not go to Manchester City (the other option) and made his choice for development reasons (though Ajax will probably have paid him quite good money). I think PSV has a problem when their biggest talents are so unhappy at their club and think they can develop better somewhere else in the Netherlands.

    IMO it’s time for PSV to build a great youth academy and do something with all the kids from the region. They are located in a province with many talented people and it’s time we see them shine for PSV and Dutch NT.

  2. Been gone for a while, busy with work, but sad to see PSV drop out of Europe and now Vitesse, not sure whats going on with these guys, maybe i will watch today’s loss to see whats up.

    Vitesse is the real deal though

  3. Also, after watching the Germany game, i can say clearly that

    1. Schaken was useless, looked like another babel/ibi, alot of speed but no end product — DROP

    2. Van Ginkel looked great! He had some great passing and won the ball a few times, was very impressed

    3. Hunter should have started ahead of Kuyt, and Kuyt played where Schaken did, we had enough speed out there as is

  4. A team with so many Dutch prospects like PSV should win! They have Strootman, Narsingh, Lens, Willems, Wijnaldum plus an ex-Dutch international like Van Bommen and they can’t win?!?!?!!!!!!!.

    1. Vitesse also has great Dutch prospects/players.

      At the back it starts with the keeper. Piet Veldhuizen is maybe in the long run an option as third keeper for the Dutch NT.

      Jan Arie van de Heijden. Send away by Ajax, but developing really nicely at Vitesse. I don’t think he is that solid defensive, but Vitesse have conceded 2 goals in 7 away games and has conceded only 11 goals so far in Eredivisie. Least amount after FC Twente. He has added to that as well. How many times did Vitesse put PSV players off side today? Countless times. That way you can solve it as well. I must say I like Kashia even more, but he is not Dutch.

      At left back Patrick van Aanholt is finally coming to fruition and starting to fulfill his promise. He really is all over the field. he had Narsingh in his pocket and also threw out some impression runs. 1 time he was outsmarted by Mertens and had 2 bad passes, but overall a proper game and he is been doing this now for some time in the season. Starts to make a case for himself IMO for the selection of the NT. Not directly playing time, but a selection in the final squad or a selection in the preliminary squad is close to becoming a reality if he continues this way.

      In midfield we have the Eredivisie player of the year when he was at FC Twente. Theo Janssen. Maybe he has not gotten everything out of his career, but there are few players in the world with a better long pass than Theo. Today again with that ball on Reis who assisted Bony with it. Very Sweet. Not in the discussion anymore for Dutch NT, but van Bommel is neither. Still a player I really enjoy to watch.

      Marco van Ginkel. He was good again! Bit reckless at the start mind you. This is a player that in time probably meets the requirements from posters like Demi, but also those of posters like me. He is winning duels, tackles, works like an ox, a true battler, goes box to box, but is also a refined player with that sweet through pass, cross or ball over the top. He has vision, a good first touch and is time and again able to find the football solution as he is good in long and short passing. But he can also head a ball in and drive the ball up running with it at his feet for 40 meters. At the root he has the best of both worlds. Defensive solidness with attacking refinement. Without a doubt the most complete player on the Dutch fields at the moment. What is holding him back then? Efficiency in front of the goal and “presence”. He has to grow into a more dominant player as he somehow goes off the radar for me. On top of that he has to increase 30% of his chance conversion rate. If he does that the next 2 years, he is ready for a club like Arsenal. He is a typical Arsenal player. I also expect Arsenal to rise as their financial model is in perfect alignment with FFP and so him going there will be a really ambitious move a few years from now. If Vitesse rises the way they do, he does not have to make a national step anymore. Ajax, FC Twente and PSV are not a step up at the moment as things are going well and the owner also looks like the real deal, building a multi million youth complex and all.

      The sub that came in is Davy Pröpper. Also a Vitesse youth product like van Ginkel and was also the big talent of the two. I know that many Vitesse fans are still waiting for his rise. It hasn’t happened yet and maybe it will never come. He is still pretty young and who knows what belonging to a side that is pushing for the title does to him. Football is not the problem with him. It’s that he is a bit of a softy.

      All in all some nice players as well.

      I would also like to add that Wijnaldum is hated by PSV supporters more and more with every game. People here still name him as a big talent, but as of now he is not able to touch the level that is required to play for PSV. Also today he added close to nothing and missed huge chances. They start to scream for a quick Toivonen recovery.

      Narsingh also starts to become a clear picture. In a ball possession team he is of far less value than in a counter team. Narsingh needs space and is not like Assaidi (his former mate at Heerenveen) to operate well in the smaller spaces. Dutch NT has so far not played with a high line, really bringing it to the opponent. That’s why Narsingh has done relatively well. He had often quite some space in front of him. Keep in mind that he was quite absent in some games as well and only received positive critique for his assists and goals. Very important, but in the other 85 minutes he did some proper ball losing and going off the radar as well.

      Strootman had a pretty bad game in the football department today. Missed 2 huge chances and was very sloppy in the passing. A wall pass to Mertens he messed up as well in a key situation. Strootman however always is able to create value as he wins duels and keeps working hard. He is a player with “presence”, something van Ginkel is missing as of yet.

      Lens is a player I love, but one only has to look at his stats for PSV and see what his problem is. Lens has IMO everything to succeed at higher level than PSV, but he needs to score more. He is not a great goal scorer, but he is a scorer of great goals. I still think Lens must be in the discussion for striker position for Dutch NT behind RVP. Lens, Dost, Huntelaar in the form he is in now (not that good), have all going an argument for themselves. From those 3 I love lens by far the most as he is such a complete player. Also people can’t say he has been ineffective for country so far. For all I know, maybe he is one of those players that do better for country than for club. Enough players that pull off of the opposite thing, ** cough ** RVP ** cough **.

      On top of this I think it is wonderful that PSV loses, being unable to convert all their chances. They have a certain Depay on the bench who is pretty lethal in front of goal. Was not given a single minute today. Locadia only 10 minutes or so and only after Vitesse scored 2-1 and went into turtle mode. Maybe this gives the PSV management proper motivation to start using Depay more. The guy has now started to bleach his hair to be noticed. If you see it, you start laughing. The things the kid has to pull off to get noticed. It starts to become comical.

      Oh and one more thing. At Feyenoord they finally started to invest some proper game time in Vilhena (as Leerdam did not want to sign and so his spot became vacant) and today he was Man of the match:

      He has received the star and that is good news. Scored a good goal and was running midfield in a good way. Depay deserves more game time as well.


      1. Great post,great analysis of players. I will have to agree on pretty much everything.
        That is bothering me for some time now,maybe I wrote about is already,how young players do not get many chances at a league like Eredivisie. I mean,look what had to happen for Vilhena to get a chance at Feyenoord. Boetius should also be playing more intead of Verhoek. Train them,it is a great league for that!
        And Advocaat is starting to really get on my nerves with his not using substitutions. He is loosing,and he doesnt change things at all. I can not understand that…How many times has Depay scored as a sub? I do not have time to check but he did it a few times after comming in for underperforming Mertens.

        Thing is there are really some very good talents who are not getting any chances because some older player with no future is playing instead OR they bought some foreign player who cost money so he has to play. I like what Feyenoord is doing now with young players,and they have to do it because they have no money. And are they performing bad because of it? Of course they are not!

        I am sorry,but maybe I am like this because as a Netherlands National Team fan I do not really care who will win Eredivisie as long as the winning team has some Dutch talents who were main players.

        1. Yeah, however I think Eredivisie is compared to other competitions a very young league. I actually think talent gets quite some chances, but I would like to accelerate it and improve education and invest more money in youth development for survival reasons. A club like PSV should increase their budget with many, many millions IMO. The reason for that is, that I think Eredivisie belongs to the losing group in the great scheme of things. The way EPL is accumulating money now also from selling their television rights abroad will make their clubs insanely rich. EPL is rich and will get much richer very rapidly like a snowball. This will mean that soon even the Stoke City’s and Aston Villa’s will come knocking at the door of big clubs like Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV. Well, Villa already did. Historically it is almost funny, but the financial reality is what counts here. It’s better to respond then to sit angry in a corner. Then we have the upcoming competitions like Russia, Turkey and Ukraine that start to buy away the second string of players from Eredivisie. We are now close to no Dutch sides being in Europe after Sinterklaas by the way.

          The only thing you can do against these financial reality’s is getting an excellent development name, by branding yourself as the best development league in the world. This is an argument Eredivisie can win. They can also point at all the horrible stats clubs like City, Chelsea and more big teams have in giving their youth a chance to get into the first team. Simply make sheets per club with graphs and percentages of youth representation through the years at such clubs. The numbers are bad and then you can present your own and show talents that their chances to make it into pro football or even reach the highest level is much higher if they come or stay in Eredivisie for the first years. Bazoer, one of the biggest talents in the Netherlands, said for this reason already “no” to City and “yes” to Ajax.

          However then your story must be based on the truth. You really have to be the best in this regard. We must become better educators and also be an example of how to bring talent and develop them. It’s about becoming the outlier in the world in this regard, so all talents in the world associate best development with Eredivisie first.

          That way you can keep your talents the first years at your club and maybe fill up some spots with bright talents from abroad that also understand that it makes sense to make this step for themselves.

          The other reason for this is to keep engagement going under the general population. Contrary to what people might expect, Eredivisie stadium occupation rates are very high and up there with the other two high achievers in this regard, EPL and Bundesliga. Also the already insanely popular sport of football is still growing in the Netherlands. Talk shows are watched a lot. However when the significance of Eredivisie diminishes, engagement could go into a downward spiral at some point. The best way to counter this, is starting to use local pride in a much better way. In the past, club fans did not really care so much where the players came from (and maybe this is still the dominant way thinking) as long as the club wins. However I can not pretend something is not happening at the moment. If you see on forums how proud Feyenoord fans are with their first team being filled up with boys from their own academy and even own town, you can see how engaged they get from it.

          So when winning relevant things in Europe becomes almost impossible and from that the relevance of winning the Eredivisie becomes devalued, it is excellent to fire up the cylinder of authenticity. Going back to the roots of football, where the boys from City A fight for the honor against the boys from City B (and for a higher paycheck of course). In the end is NT football the same, but then with country’s. Football is a way of self expression from a certain community and with club football one should go back more to that being the city. Less mercenary’s and more Rotterdammers at Feyenoord and more Amsterdammers at Ajax. I believe that this way you keep engagement in the sport high and also future proof with the financial reality’s coming our way where the rich will be much richer soon and the poor relative speaking more poor.

          So less foreign C players like Manolev occupying the spots of local talent. I am not building a case for the van Ooijen category yet(some might do that as well by the way), but talents that have represented Dutch youth teams at all levels, are skipping classes as they are deemed much further than their age group and also have scored quite some goals with the minutes they got (Depay), then I think he should get more trust. Vilhena won 2 U17 Euro’s and is also a big talent. Just give him some games where he is also allowed to fail. Today he re payed that with an excellent man of the match performance.

          The vision for me is a crossing between a softer version of what Athletic Bilbao does with what Ajax/Feyenoord is aiming to do.


      2. >This is a player that in time probably meets the requirements from posters like Demi, but also those of posters like me. He is winning duels, tackles, works like an ox,

        thanks for taking that into consideration. We need 2-3 players like that in every Elftal … Strootman and Van Ginkel are both excellent examples. I am partial to Kevin though. You don’t get to wear the aanvoerder band for the Oranje at the age of 22 if you don’t have that special character.

    1. Apparently, Financial Fair Play is motivating Inter to clean up shop. Or they using it as an excuse to have Sneijder accept a pay cut. So they’ll sell him or force him to change his contract.

      1. Sneijder should never accept a pay cut at Inter. If they want to sell him then so be it. Out of that blackhole. I guess they will have to find a club that can accommodate his salary per his contract at Inter. Hopefully he goes to England or Germany.

  5. Here are the summaries of Eredivisie games of this weekend:

    What I did not notice well previously is how Locadia created 2 huge chances in the 10 minutes he got. 1 for Strootman when he heads it perfectly to the side from a high ball and the other he lays the ball to the side when Wijnaldum takes the opportunity (maybe Locadia wanted to score himself, dunno). That’s quite a good sub appearance.

    1. right – there was a technical issue with his contract called “wage” which inter is trying to strip from him. I think Sneijder will go to Man City of Chelsea. My preference would be Man Utd or Bayern Munich but doubt either one of those would buy him, even though I think Man Utd is in dire need of his abilities.

  6. Scnijder should have left Inter 2 years ago.

    But the big clubs should be really careful in picking him up. He’s a great player BUT one with a huge ego. And his defensive commitment is very questionable. Plus he seems more interested in scoring goals that setting them up.

    He’d be a great fit for Man U – if he’d play behind their big guns. Also for Arsenal, City, Tottenham, etc. In each and every case in the EPL he could add a lot of value IF he focused on being a playmaker and committed to D. Really hard to see him doing that.

    And yes, Tottenham really needs Van de Vaart this season. That extra oomph in 2nd halves.

  7. Well as far as I know he didn’t create problems at Ajax, Madrid or the national team and with Inter he helped them win the UCL so all in all he is a GREAT player and would be a great buy for any club.

  8. Rafael will be out for the remaining season and most likely won’t be match fit in Feb13 Italy friendly , with sneijder’s fate is still uncertain, LVG may opt other playmakers? I hope he will try 3 midfield, strootman-fer-van ginkel, bacause currently other playmakers are not in a good form:

    affelay – not first team
    maher dont deserve as spot with struggeled AZ
    Wijnaldum – not consistent and below expectation
    anita-emannuelson – average in their respective clubs

    I hope for debuts of:
    -Ola john
    -P v Annholt
    They deserve it

    1. @Jake Affelay is a useless dribbler.he lacks the intelligence of Wesly,vaart,persie,roben,kuyt,bommel and even his intelligence is below of that of new players like clasie,Maher,Achabar,strootman,leory and vanrhijn.
      Emmanuelson must be used in a better way.dutch should use him as a left winger perhaps as starter ahead of roben.Urby is guy with better intelligence than affaley and also has better skills on ball tha kuyt in fact he is mix of Afaleey and kuyt.its the time for roben to play as supersub..
      left wing pecking order

    2. Rafael will only be out for about 3 weeks. at least he will play one more game before winter break. the HSV homepage and Rafa’s tweet confirmed it.

      so no, probably no change on playmaker position. unless Sneijder returns.

  9. Luckily i am not the coach of dutch national team.if i was on current form my first elevn would be
    ————-Van persie—————
    Urby———-Clasie———–Maher/Van ginkel
    Van annholt——————–Van rhijn
    ———–Indi——-De vrij————
    ————–Tim krul———————-
    My second line would be
    ——–De guzman–Dejong———Janmaat

    1. really we luckily. clasie as attacking mid is redicolous. Maher? u see him? he is amateur man now, maybe improve but for now he is nothing. u see Emanuelson in milan? u never see it, if u see it u didn’t even invite him. he sit on bench in last 3 weeks. i just hope robben and snejder back to their best from.
      good luck man.

      1. @Faraz mean luck for other teams,infact they are more they have a chance to get a WC.Maher is an intelligent player,will get better soon.needs some good coaching thats it.i know that urby is not a regular in milan .But i respect his talent.he has better work rate than Roben and which is needed for team balance,also he is better skilled than kuyt and useless dribbler Afelley.Roben lost a lot,still loosing everyday.its the time for him as a not concerned about fluke goals and fluke assists ,i really look in to talented players and if u trust them and give him enough support they will die for u.and u will end up in winning a trophy.thats how people are..

        1. @Faraz
          Wesly caanot play 60 minutes so is vaart.Afelley is useless dribbler we have and Lenz and Narsingh are mediocre at best.WE must fins some wingers like Overmars and roben.if we dont get that,drop the idea and feild the most intelligent players who has the lungs for 120 minutes.thats the way i think……

  10. Xavi paid a BIG compliment to LvG, saying it was HE who instilled into the squad and Barca that his vision is to see EVERY player in the 11 coming from their youth system. When Alves went off injured – there were 11 players from the youth system on the field. As van Gaal wanted it !

  11. —————–Stekelenburg—————





    1. Miguel I like your line-up very much!!! Its very well balanced with midfield trio of vGinkel, Strootman and Fer. This way we could really neutralise defensive weaknesess of Sneijder, vPersie and Robben. And with this trio we dont need NDJ as all three are good box-box players. I would only place de Vrij or Vlaar instead of Heitinga. De Vrij especially is showing great prospect and I believe he will develope in a world calls CB. He and BMI are the future!! Maybe I would also use Janmaat instead of vRhijn as he offers more in attack and since we dont have anyone on the right side of attack this would probably be even better in attacking aspect to balance the team.

  12. @Tiju. Very interesting stuff. I really think that you are belittling the talent of one of our most talented players, Ibra. Infact, i see Ibra as the future of our NT midfield. Strootman/Clasie as dm and Afellay and Maher as the either side.

    Also, Urby ahould never be mentioned in the place of Robben, Ibra, Narsignh, Lens and not even Schaken.

  13. De Guzman, Ola John, Maduro, Van Wolfswinkel and Van Aanholt should all be named in the next provisional squad, given that they maintain their current form.

    Van Aanhotl should be selected ahaead of Willems. He is a much better dedender and attacker. Also, he wins most of his duels and makes very good decisions.

  14. Caution notes:

    A. Fer has lungs, physical presence and good technique. However, he has not shown that he has the best passing abilities.

    B. Ibra is still yet to reach his full potential and he is already our most talented midfield dribbler.

    C. Ola John has the potential to become a huge player. Speed, touch and bravery are just a few of his weapons. at only just 20 yrs, he has a lot further to go.

    D. Van Aanholt and Buttner has the potential to become world class leftbacks and Willems is simply too young and too inexperienced to even be selected for the senior team now.

    Janmaart is the future of our NT. Van Rhijn is good and developing well; however, Janmaart is in my opinion the best attacking fullback in the Eredivisie. And although the statistics doest support that, I think that he has added more to the attack of Feyenoord that even the wingers, it’s just that the finishing of the opportunities that he created have been woefully inefficient.

    E. The erevisie teams have been giving a lot of opportunities to young players over the years. What has been happening is that too few of these young players have developed into top quality European players. Ajax gave opportunities to Veltman, Densil, V Dijk, Van Rhijn, Lukoki, Klaassen and Fisher. PSV gave Van Ooijen, Ritzmaijer, Depay and Locadia. And we all know about those at Feyenoord.

    1. @Van ibra is 26 and he is at Schalke….he went to barca and i thnk he failed to convince pep and tito.that says something.i know that ibra is talented,i mean he has speed,trickery,etc.but i just wish he had the intelligence of kuyt.though never i have been a fan of kuyt.i want dutch to have the best 23 for a WC or Ec.Intelligence+hardwork+skill makes a player world class otherwise he should be extreamly athletic and skilled like Pele,Messi,Maradona,etc.I found an interesting point that dutch and German players are most intelligent players on football feild.Curreent spain has some players in that catagory.while latin ameriocan players are more skilled but they lack the intelligence of dutch and the germans.But they are extreamly skilled and they win WCs,Ecs etc.
      African teams are more Powerful,work rate and above average skills.they just disappears against a brilliant team.that is what happening all these years it my observation though..


    Hi guys:

    There is a player who deserves special attention and maybe a post. If babel had one, why Lens not?

    I have not been Lens fan, and certainly I am not, but after an objective observation, I think Lens is a very interesting player for the National team.

    Central Striker: You can argue that Lens is the third or fourth best Dutch central striker right now. After RVP and JKH, Lens can be better option than Dost, LDJ, SDJ, Kuyt and RVW. Lens has very good speed but also very strong shape, and good definition ability.

    Wing: But Lens also can be our second, third or fourth best Wing. After Robben, Lens has to compete with players like Narshing, Affelay, Shaken, Elia and Babel. For me Lens is not a natural wing, but he plays very well as wing, because have good dribble skills, speed and anticipation. And right now, I think Lens is better than Elia, Babel, Shaken and Narshing. My only doubt is if Affelay is better than him on the band.

    I think this national team has a “winger crisis”, because beside Robber, the rest of the wingers aren´t (now) world class or even a very good class (as Zenden was), and the good prospects are too young (Depay, Ola Jonh). So, with the options that we have, Lens is clearly a very good one.

    So, Lens ability to play very good as a central striker and as a winger (by both sides) becomes him in a very useful and interesting player for the national team. Much more than what I saw long time ago.

    1. Ola John was quality last season ,and is quickly becoming a fan favorite at benfica, who are top of the shitty portuvisie, give him two years and im sure he will have developed more. I say this because he will have a core of good players around him like cardozo.
      Compare this to our young midfielders in the Eredivisie.
      Van ginkel – Alongside the experienced and brilliant Janssen ( best dutch midfielder IMO)
      MAher – was with elm last season who was pretty damn good, now without him he is lost
      Stroot – same thing with van bommel
      Wij- I really dont know his story, i would say because he lacks intelligence and for some reason is developing sideways
      clasie -lost el ahmadi

  16. Whats happening with huntelaar? Just checked his stats, he is losing efficiency, shot/ shot on goal/ goal : 43/17/5.
    Dost scored 6 , almost half of his team goal, he is better than huntelaar at this moment.

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