All posts by Will Burns

Feyenoord Cry “Don’t Leave Me This Way” As Leeds United Sign Summerville

Sorry for the Communards reference but Will Burns thinks given time, young winger Crysencio Summerville could be a big hit at Elland Road.

Leeds United’s new winger Summerville is an 18-year-old (19 in October) who was born and raised in Rotterdam, and he started at local amateur club R.V.V. Noorderkwatier.  It was not long before scouts were buzzing round him for his signature and he opted to sign Feyenoord in 2008 at a young age of seven years old.

Appearing at international youth level for Holland, Summerville moved through the ranks and stayed in the headlines for all the right reasons, until December 2018. He was involved in a training ground bust-up that ended up in a locker room fight with teammate Mats Knoester.  Although he apologised publicly, Feyenoord punished Summerville by suspending him and sent him on loan to Eerste Divisie side FC Dordrecht.

Despite the setback, on the pitch Summerville knuckled down and appeared 18 times for Dordrecht grabbing five goals and one assist. Dordrecht fans were buoyed by his fierce pace and cleverness with the ball at his feet.

Een van grootste talenten van Feyenoord speelt nu bij ADO: 'Ik ben een  jongen met pit' | Den Haag |
Summerville notched two goals and three assists while on loan last season in Den Haag.

He returned to Rotterdam in the summer of 2019 but was loaned out to ADO Den Haag last season due to the global pandemic.  At only 17, he gained some great experience of Eredivisie football and managed to create three goals and scored twice in 21 outings in a struggling ADO side.

Pundits tipped him to go out on loan again this year before potentially making his mark in Feyenoord but Marcelo Biesla’s Leeds United have stormed in for his signature.  Reports emerged earlier this week that a fee of £1 million had been agreed between the two clubs, after Summerville rejected a new contract offer at De Kuip.

Fans of the newly promoted Leeds need not to think that Summerville will be able to step into the first team, he is at least a year away for being a consistent Premier League player.  With his lean build, he is comfortable on either wing but not the strongest player. However, along with his tricky feet, he uses this to his advantage and wins free-kicks in abundance.

He will be a dangerous player for The Whites and under a top coach like Biesla, he will progress at a rapid rate but give him a year to settle and learn the English game. Then you will see the impact of this talented youngster.

FREE Eredivisie 2020/21 Season Preview Magazine including team previews, betting picks and season predictions

The new Eredivisie season is finally here and we have delivered an exclusive magazine to celebrate our return.

The publication is available to download now for FREE by clicking the button below. has published the only online publication on the planet about the upcoming Eredivisie season.


  • Dedicated team-by-team preview – all 18 teams reviewed and rated.
  • Profiles on every Head Coach and the Star Man for your team.
  • Full squad lists ready for the new season.
  • Expert opinion from around Europe on the season ahead.
  • Full in-depth articles on the ‘Race for the Title’ and who we think will win the ‘Eredivisie Golden Boot’.

All this and it’s FREE to download by clicking the button below.


Yes that is correct, we are back after five long years with our comprehensive Eredivisie Season Preview and it’s FREE!!!

We have produced an exclusive magazine to celebrate our return and the new Eredivisie season that begins on Saturday. is producing the only publication free to download about the upcoming Eredivisie season!

I’m excited, are you?


  • Dedicated team-by-team preview – all 18 teams reviewed and rated including profiles on every Head Coach and the Star Man for your team.
  • Full squad lists ready for the new season
  • We interview various experts in Dutch football for their picks on who will win the league, the KNVB Beker, who will be relegated and much more.
  • Full in-depth articles on the ‘Race for the Title’ and who we think will win the ‘Eredivisie Golden Boot’.

All this and it will yours FREE to download in PDF format tomorrow evening!

Eerste Divisie Report – Week 2

With 36 goals banged in last week, we saw 31 this week in just six games. As always, Will Burns is here with all the action.

Almere City records bizarre 4-6 win over Excelsior, NAC wins with debut  Immers | NOW | News1 English
Almere City celebrated a 6-4 win over Excelsior Rotterdam on Sunday.

Excelsior and Almere City played out an amazing ten-goal game on Sunday morning but what was more amazing is that seven of those goals were scored in the first half… and three in three minutes at the end of the game.

Almere took a three minute lead through a Thomas Verheydt header although Excelsior responded in style with a Reuven Niemeijer goal just two minutes later. Last week’s player of the week Elias Mar Omarsson hit two first half goals on 16 and 18 minutes to give Excelsior a 3-1 lead.

However, we saw a first half comeback from Almere as Faris Hammouti and Jearl Margaritha notched in 24th and 25th to level the game up. Six goals before the half-hour mark – crazy.

The first-half action was not finished as Verheydt added his second to give Almere a 4-3 lead at the break. The goals dried up until five astonishing minutes at the end of the game.

Xian Emmers added a fifth in the 86th minute to drive the nail in the coffin for Excelsior but from the kick-off Omarsson grabbed his hat-trick to give the socially distanced home fans some hope.

However, from the resulting kick-off Almere finished the game off with their sixth goal from Tim Receveur. A truly crazy finish to a crazy game.

Cambuur evenaart clubrecord met monsterzege

SC Cambuur experienced a huge 7-1 win away to MVV Maastricht on Saturday evening. Goals from Robin Maulun, Mees Hoedemakers, Robert Muhren (2), Jamie Jacobs and Jarchino Antonia handed Cambuur their biggest win since defeating Jong Ajax 6-0 in April 2019.

Full results below.


Saturday 5th September

FC Eindhoven 2-3 SC Telstar

MVV Maastricht 1-7 SC Cambuur

Roda JC 3-0 TOP Oss

Sunday 6th September

Excelsior 4-6 Almere City

FC Den Bosch 2-1 FC Dordrecht

Helmond Sport 0-2 NAC Breda


So yeah let’s give him it again! Icelandic striker Elias Mar Omarsson added a hat-trick in the 6-4 loss to Almere City to the two goals he scored last week against Jong PSV. Five goals in the two games.

Well done Elias.

UEFA Nations League: Netherlands vs. Poland Preview




UK TV: Sky Sports Premier League

International football returns this week as Ronald Koeman’s Holland take on Poland in a UEFA Nations League Group 1 contest. Will Burns thinks despite the upheavel backstage, the Dutch can simply win this one.

Dwight Lodeweges appointed Netherlands interim coach | MARCA in English
Lodeweges with Koeman before Ronald signed up for his La Liga challenge.

Oranje’s caretaker manager Dwight Lodeweges takes control for the first time as the Nations League finalists began their journey against Poland, and the 62-year-old has inherited a side that were in impressive form during qualification for Euro 2020. The Dutch won six of their eight matches and suffered just one loss to finish as runners-up in Group C behind bitter rivals Germany.

Ronald Koeman left the national post to lead Barcelona next season but leaves the Oranje in a much better position than what he inherited from Danny Blind in 2018.  Koeman guided his side to five wins from their final six Euro 2020 qualifiers to represent in next summer’s finals, having failed to qualify last time. - Ihattaren included in provisional Netherlands squad
PSV wonderkid Mohamed Ihattaren will be itching to get on Friday night.

Lodeweges has an abundance of talent to pick from and could hand debuts to PSV wonderkid Mohamed Ihattaren, AZ’s Marco Bizot (GK) and Owen Wijndal (LB) or to Ajax’s central defender Perr Schuurs.  Although Juventus defender Matthias de Ligt is missing, the usual suspects of Virgil van Dijk, Gini Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay will form a strong spine in the team with the likes Steven Bergwijn, Quincy Promes and new Manchester United signing Donny van de Beek all vying for a starting spot.

One major blow for Polish manager Jerzy Brzęczek is that arguably the best centre-forward in the world fails to join the squad for this set of games. Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is having an extended rest after scoring 61 goals in 56 games for club and country this past year, I think he deserves it.

The history buffs will want to know that the Dutch’s record in 15 games against Poland is won six, drawn six and lost three. The Oranje are unbeaten in last seven encounters (W4 D3) since 2-0 European championship qualifying loss in Chorzow in May 1979. Poland have yet to win in seven games against Oranje in Netherlands (D5 L2). However, history means nothing at all when the team’s line-up on Friday night. After all half of these lads were even born in 1979.

Bundesliga | Can Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski be top  scorer at the 2018 FIFA World Cup?
Robert Lewandowski is rested after a unbelievable season.


Although I think the game may be a sluggish one for all concerned, and with the Oranje being disrupted by Ronald Koeman’s packing of his bags, I still think the Dutch are capable of clinching the win with ease. 

The main Polish threat, Robert Lewandowski will not play so I fail to see how Holland’s defence can be breached.

No Bobby Lewi, no Polish party.

Netherlands win to nil (2.30 at Bet365)

We will post preview/betting articles for the Eredivisie, Eerste Divisie, European and International competitions like this one throughout the year and we will keep track of our profits and losses for the whole 2020/21 season.  This is not an official bet due to lack of football from the Dutch sides over the past few months. Official bets will be begin in September.

What does Donny van de Beek bring to Man Utd’s midfield?

Ajax midfield maestro Donny van de Beek is on his way to Old Trafford to join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United on a five-year deal. Will Burns explains how Donny can improve the Red Devils.

Manchester United linked with Ajax's Donny van de Beek - The Busby Babe


The 23-year-old Van de Beek has been an influential figure over the last few years at the Johan Cruyff Arena and helped the Amsterdammers reach the semi-finals of the Champions League semi-finals and lift an Eredivisie title in 2018-19 season.

Manchester United have parted with a reported £40m to bring the young Dutchman to the Premier League but can he fit into a midfield which already boasts Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes – well yes, I believe he can.

Van de Beek rose through Ajax’s De Toekomst academy until he made his first team debut on 26th November 2015, as a substitute away to Celtic in a 2-1 Europa League victory. By the next season, he cemented his place in the Ajax midfield but it was the 2017-18 season where Donny started to shine.

Scoring eleven times in 34 Eredivisie appearances, Donny started to gain some serious plaudits and was tipped to move into the big leagues in the near future. He managed to supply a further six assists and primarily played as a box-to-box midfielder.  Head coach Erik ten Hag then moved Donny further forward the season after, where the then-21-year-old played in an attacking midfielder role and scored 17 times, with 13 assists in 57 games in all competitions.

His goals and creativity helped Ajax win the league title and the Amsterdammers unexpectedly found themselves one win away from a UEFA Champions League final. Last season, which was abruptly ended due to ongoing global pandemic, Donny shared his time as a number ten role and back into the middle of midfield. He still managed to nab ten goals in 37 appearances with 11 assists before the season was cut short.

Scout Report: What Donny Van de Beek brings to United – utdreport


As mentioned above, Van de Beek possesses the ability to play as a perfect box-to-box midfielder but he can advance forward or sit in front of the defence.  His versatility has proven that he can be the perfect link between the defence and the attack, and although he is more than adept at sticking a foot in to help out the defence, he is more comfortable going forward. However, defensively he is sound. He averaged 2.2 tackles per game in the Eredivisie last term.

Going forward, time and time again, he has shown that awareness that will see him arrive on the edge of the box late to surprise the opponents. Van de Beek shows a rare intellect with his capability to drift between the lines of the opposition, linking together team mates and finding dangerous space in the final third. The front three at Old Trafford are going to find Donny a joy to play with.

Ajax and Manchester United see eye to eye on Donny van de Beek

His Future

Now the deal has been confirmed, Manchester United fans can get excited that one of the best young midfielders in European football is going to be wearing their red shirt.

Van de Beek is suited to the English game and I can see him initially sitting in a deeper role than he usually used to for Solskjaer’s side.  As experience and knowledge of the Premier League comes to him, then you will see Donny been given the green light to play more advanced.

In a 4-2-3-1 formation, van de Beek could be alongside either Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the middle and on paper, Man Utd have one of the strongest midfield’s in the league with an exciting young forward line ahead of them.

However, Donny will not be without a fight for places with Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay also competing for the central midfield role but long-term, the position will become his own.

Eerste Divisie Report – Week 1

Well, after a break of what feels like forever, football in the Netherlands returned this weekend and no less than a total of 36 goals were exchanged in the ten games in the opening matchday and Will Burns is here with all the action.

NAC Breda and Excelsior start with a resounding victory in the season in  KKD | NOW | News1 English
NAC hit Jong AZ for six.

NAC Breda and Excelsior hit the most goals over the weekend in a pair of 6-1 wins on Saturday.  Excelsior smashed a very inexperienced Jong PSV with first half goals from Ahmad Mendes Moreira and Joel Zwarts with a further four going past goalkeeper Maxime Delanghe in the second half. Thomas Oude Kotte added a goal just after the break, followed by an unfortunate own goal from Justin de Haas. A double from Icelandic centre forward Elias Mar Omarsson rounded out the scoring with PSV striker Damian Timan notching nothing but a consolation.

While NAC blew away Jong AZ by also hitting them for six. Breda exploded out of the blocks with goals from Huseyin Dogan, Mounir El Allouchi and Finn Stokkers before half-time. Spanish defender Roger Riera added a fourth before the hour mark and former Manchester United youth striker Joshua Bohui scored the fifth.  AZ got a goal back through Thijs Oosting but Nick Venema scored NAC’s sixth and final goal.

It was a bad weekend all round for the Eredivisie reserve sides as Jong Ajax were thumped 4-0 by Roda JC on Sunday afternoon and Jong Utrecht saw defeat 2-1 to FC Eindhoven on opening night.

Robert Muhren continued his incredible scoring rate for SC Cambuur on Friday night in a 2-0 win at home to N.E.C. Nijmegen. His 75th minute penalty was Muhren’s 27th goal in just 30 games for The Yellow-Blues and Sven Nieuwpoort also notched in the opening day victory.

The unthinkable happened on Sunday as we saw a pair of goalless draws as FC Dordrecht held Go Ahead Eagles at home as Almere and MVV ended in a 0-0 stalement.

The weekend was rounded out on Monday with De Graafschap’s resounding 4-2 win over FC Den Bosch.  Full results below.


Friday 28th August

Jong Utrecht 1-2 FC Eindhoven

SC Cambuur 2-0 N.E.C. Nijmegen

Saturday 29th August

Jong PSV 1-6 Excelsior

Top Oss 1-2 Helmond Sport

NAC Breda 6-1 Jong AZ Alkmaar

Sunday 30th August

SC Telstar 2-2 FC Volendam

Jong Ajax 0-4 Roda JC

FC Dordrecht 0-0 Go Ahead Eagles

Almere City 0-0 MVV Maastricht

Monday 31st August

De Graafschap 4-2 FC Den Bosch


Elias Mar Omarsson for Excelsior wins our inaugural weekly award after notching two against Jong PSV in a masterful 6-1 away win. The Icelandic striker notched twelve in 28 outings last year and looks to be on course to smash that total this year already.

AZ Alkmaar – FK Viktoria Plzen Preview




Even though the Bayern Munich celebrations are still ongoing from their triumph on Sunday evening, AZ Alkmaar begin their quest for Champions League qualification on Wednesday afternoon in a proverbial banana skin one-legged match against Czech side FK Viktoria Plzen writes Will Burns.

We zullen er woensdag staan', zegt AZ-trainer Arne Slot, 'd ...
The AFAS Stadion is far from complete but will play host to this all important tie for AZ.

Even though the Bayern Munich celebrations are still ongoing from their triumph on Sunday evening, AZ Alkmaar begin their quest for Champions League qualification on Wednesday afternoon in a proverbial banana skin one-legged match against Czech side FK Viktoria Plzen.

Due to the current worldwide pandemic situation, UEFA introduced one-legged ties in the interim which introduces more uncertainty into the competition. By halving the length of the ties, this now matters least to the teams of similar ability and most to the teams of contrasting ability and provides more chance of an upset.

AZ head into the game as favourites but Plzen will be hungry for victory in this unfamiliar one-legged affair. The Czech’s experienced great disappointment at this stage last season, tasting defeat to Olympiakos, before coming a cropper just a few weeks later to Antwerp in the Europa League qualifying.

They qualified for this year’s competition by finishing second in the Czech 1.Liga in 2019/20 and have dished out convincing performances in recent friendly games. Plzen opened their league campaign up with a 3-1 victory over SFC Opava on Friday while resting a few players. Although they conceded first and missed a penalty, they ran out resounding winners by two goals.

GALERIE: SESTŘIH: Plzeň - Opava 3:1. Favorit otočil proti deseti ...
French striker Jean-David Beauguel will lead the line for Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday afternoon.

Plzen will led up top by their top scorer last year, Frenchman Jean-David Beauguel.  He notched 14 goals last term but was rested in Friday’s win until an injury forced him into the game late in the first-half. He went onto net once in the 3-1 win.

The Czech’s possess a strong midfield and creative attack and the AZ will have to be aware of that constantly. Teun Koopmeiners, Jordy Clasie and Dani de Wit will be in for a tough night and will have to play with great caution.

Despite just one win in six friendly outings and competing in an empty, half-finished home stadium on Wednesday afternoon, AZ are still favourites to win. As captain Teun Koopmeiners said in an interview earlier this week “Last year, the pre-season results were not as we wanted, but we won our first league game 4-0”, so spirits should not be down in the AZ camp.

UEFA Europa League: Who are AZ Alkmaar, Manchester United's Dutch ...
AZ’s Teun Koopmeiners is hopeful for a good performance.

They were boosted earlier this week as coach Arne Slot stated that veteran defender Ron Vlaar and speedy winger Calvin Stengs are both declared fit for the clash, however both men would be highly unlikely to see a full 90 minutes.

Stengs will be vital in the AZ forward line that worked so well last year. On the left, Oussama Idrissi will start and Myron Boadu through the middle, and the trio should create chances copiously to trouble Plzen keeper Ales Hruska.

If they can perform to the standards of last season, then advancing to the third round of qualifying should be a formality.


Although they will not be up to the usual performance and condition that Plzen may be, due to sheer abundance of pace and sheer talent in attack, I see an AZ win here. This is the same team that took Ajax to the limit last year, they are yet to lose any of their talents to the bigger leagues and they should have enough quality to see off the Czech league runners-up.

AZ to win with Both Teams to Score (4.00 at Bet365)

We will post preview/betting articles for the Eredivisie, Eerste Divisie, European and International competitions like this one throughout the year and we will keep track of our profits and losses for the whole 2020/21 season.  This is not an official bet due to lack of football from the Dutch sides over the past few months. Official bets will be begin in September.


DUTCH FOOTBALL IS BACK!  The Dutch first division gets underway this Friday night as the twenty (…well 16) teams of the Eerste Divisie begin their journey vying for promotion to the Eredivisie writes Will Burns.

Henk de Jong’s SC Cambuur should run out as favourites to clinch promotion, when the season kicks off this Friday night.  In the cut-short 2019/20 campaign, the boys from Leeuwarden lead the division and much thanks to the goals of loanee Robert Muhren from Belgian outfit Zulte Waregem. One vital piece of business this summer was securing Muhren down for another season. If he can repeat his tremendous feat of scoring 26 goals last term in 29 games, Cambuur should produce a strong challenge for that top spot again.

SC Cambuur tipt Ronald Koeman: Mühren in Oranje | Nederlands ...
SC Cambuur hitman Robert Muhren scored 26 goals in 2019/20.

However, to ease the burden on Muhren they have signed Maarten Pouwels from Go Ahead Eagles on a permanent basis.  The 21-year-old managed to score four times in 13 appearances for the Eagles last term, he should get plenty chances to outlast that figure this time round.  They have kept the majority of their core as midfielder Jamie Jacobs, defenders Doke Schmidt, Sven Nieuwpoort and Calvin Mac-Intosch, goalkeeper Sonny Stevens and wingers Jarchinio Antonio and Issa Kallon are still in Leeuwarden to help mount a serious challenge.

Levering NAC-shirts loopt opnieuw vertraging op, club probeert ...
Stokkers and Dogan need to start hitting the target more often for NAC to succeed.

NAC Breda have strengthened during the break and look a sturdy contender for the ascension to the top league.  Experienced in the Eredivisie, Dion Malone and Thom Haye have joined on frees from ADO Den Haag.  Haye making last years’ loan move a permanent one, while Scottish youth international midfielder Lewis Fiorini has flown in from Manchester City.  The striking power of Finn Stokkers and Huseyin Dogan needs to improve.  They notched just 11 league goals last season, if Breda are to mount a serious challenge, they will need to find the net more consistently.

Despite losing highly-rated winger Anthony Musaba to French giants AS Monaco, N.E.C. Nijmegen should still be a contender.  New coach Rogier Meijer has brought attacking players Rangelo Janga (loan from FC Astana), Anton Fase (free transfer from AZ) and Elayis Tavsan (free from Sparta Rotterdam) into the squad to soften the blow of Musaba’s departure.

The Nijmegen side also lost Mike Tresor Ndayishimiye to Willem II and defenders Bas Kuipers and Josef Kvida to Go Ahead and Greek side Pafos FC respectively but the permanent capture of former Jong Ajax midfielder Jordy Bruijn from SC Heerenveen is a real coup for N.E.C.

Van Wonderen gematigd tevreden over eerste oefenpot Go Ahead ...
Kees van Wonderen leads Go Ahead into the new season.

Go Ahead Eagles, following a sixth-finish under Jack de Gier last year, sees Kees van Wonderen take the helm in Devanter.  The Eagles overhauled their midfield options which were high on Paul Bosvelt’s (Technical Director) agenda. Jay Idzes (FC Eindhoven) and Erkan Eyibil (FC Mainz) have been drafted in joining Kevin van Kipperslius, Scotsman Frank Ross, Bradly van Hoeven and former Den Bosch favourite Luuk Brouwers to bolster the squad that saw a substantial turnover of staff over the protracted off-season.

Elsewhere, there is some debate who will wear the number one shirt following Hobie Verhulst’s move to AZ. Ex-Volendam keeper Mitchel Michaleis arrived to compete with 20-year-old Jay Gorter for the starting berth in-between the sticks. The playoff should be the target for van Wonderen’s side and a vital piece of the playoff puzzle will come from the goals of Frenchman Antonin Rabillard. The 24-year-old found the goal 11 times in 28 outings last season, and the Eagles will be hoping he builds on what was an impressive first season at the club.

Sterk spelend De Graafschap verslaat sc Heerenveen met ruime ...
Experienced defensive midfielder Rick Dekker is now plying his trade at De Graafschap.

Mike Snoei will lead De Graafschap into the new season with an abundance of new talent in his squad. After claiming fees for Leeroy Owusu (Willem II) and Branco van den Boomen (Toulouse), Snoei used the resources to bring in highly-rated goalkeeper Rody de Boer on loan from AZ and experienced midfielders Rick Dekker from PEC Zwolle and Johnatan Opoku from VVV.  They have retained the services of Ralf Seuntjens up top with Joey Konings joining him from Heracles in attack. Konings will look to revitalize his career after failing to nail down a permanent forward slot in Almelo.  Right-back Julian Lelieveld arrives from Vitesse on a free to benefit the options in defence.

Hij was ooit deel van een 'gouden generatie' bij Anderlecht ...
He’s back. Francesco Antonucci returns to play for FC Volendam this season.

With one of the youngest squads in the division, Wim Jonk’s FC Volendam may struggle to match their third-place last year, with minimal new blood injected into his team.  The former Dutch midfielder saw Francesco Antonucci return to the club after impressing last term. The 21-year-old Belgian playmaker was loaned in from AS Monaco last year but Feyenoord intervened in the summer to purchase the players and allowed Jonk to loan him back to Volendam for further playing time.  Scoring 11 times in only 20 appearances inspired Jonk to pull out all the stops to bring the midfielder back. However, losing left-back Gijs Smal to FC Twente was a blow and Jonk is yet to replace him.

Richelor Sprangers - Fotos | imago images
Telstar will pin their hopes on Haiti striker Richelor Sprangers to score goals this season.

Excelsior lost influential midfielder Rai Vloet to Heracles but coach Marinus Dijkhuizen will turn to new arrivals Reuven Niemeijer or Mitchell van Rooijen to fill the void.  Telstar were forced to part with top scorer Reda Kharchouch as his 20 goals in the last campaign saw him attract attention of Sparta Rotterdam. Big hopes will be placed on the shoulders of Haitian striker Richelor Sprangers to do the business in front of goal.

We are in for another interesting season in the Eerste Divisie, which fills our Friday nights with excitement and goals galore.  We will see more young talents emerging with Jong Ajax, Jong PSV, Jong AZ and Jong Utrecht, obviously unable to clinch promotion, looking to take points off the promotion hopefuls in the process.

Get ready for the new Eredivisie season with our FREE DOWNLOADABLE document.  The only comprehensive season preview available in English on the web… and it’s yours for free! COMING SOON!

EREDIVISIE REPORT: Ajax humiliated by Feyenoord, PSV stretch lead further


The nineteenth round of Eredivisie action got underway at the Rat Verlegh Stadion where a goal from super-sub Gervane Kastaneer five minutes into the second half ultimately proved enough to earn struggling NAC Breda a priceless point from their clash with ADO Den Haag in their battle to beat the drop.

Saturday’s action began in Almelo where goals from Mike van Duinen and Lennart Thy saw a resurgent PEC Zwolle post back-to-back victories for the first time since the end of September by seeing off hosts Heracles.

Elsewhere, goals from Luigi Bruins and Mounir El Hamdaoui saw Excelsior snap a run of five games without a win at the expense of rock bottom De Graafschap while a first-half double from Hirving Lozano saw reigning Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven negotiate the challenge of visiting Groningen to open up a five-point lead at the top of the standings.

The day’s action was concluded in Venlo where a last-gasp effort from Michael Chacón in the fifth minute of added time saw FC Emmen snatch all three points in a five-goal thriller with VVV.

Sunday’s Eredivisie action began in Sittard where a 92nd-minute strike from Finn Stokkers saw Fortuna snap a run of three games without a win by seeing off visiting Vitesse

Image result for feyenoord 6-2 ajax

Elsewhere, there were remarkable scenes at De Kuip where Feyenoord claimed Klassieker honours in emphatic fashion by hitting title-chasing Ajax for six while a lone Daniel Crowley effort a minute into the second half ultimately proved enough to earn Willem II all three points on the road in Utrecht

The nineteenth round of Eredivisie action was brought to a close in Friesland where an own goal from the unlucky Sherel Floranus and an Oussama Idrissi effort saw AZ Alkmaar make it three wins on the bounce in all competitions with a victory over Heerenveen.

Results: Week 19

NAC Breda 1-1 ADO Den Haag

Heracles Almelo 0-2 PEC Zwolle

Excelsior 2-0 De Graafschap

PSV Eindhoven 2-1 FC Groningen

VVV Venlo 2-3 FC Emmen

Fortuna Sittard 2-1 Vitesse Arnhem

Feyenoord 6-2 AFC Ajax

FC Utrecht 0-1 Willem II

SC Heerenveen 0-2 AZ Alkmaar

Team of the Week

GK – Mickey van der Hart (PEC Zwolle)

DF – Jeremiah St. Juste (Feyenoord)

DF – Kingsley Ehizibue (PEC Zwolle)

DF – Menno Koch (NAC Breda)

DF – Jurgen Mattheij (Excelsior)

MF – Jens Toornstra (Feyenoord)

MF – Ousamma Idrissi (AZ Alkmaar)

MF – Younes Namli (PEC Zwolle)

FW – Jonathan Opoku (VVV Venlo)

FW – Robin van Persie (Feyenoord)

FW – Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord)

Player of the Week

Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord) – 2 points

Click here to follow our Player of the Season tournament.


Click on Steven’s name above to follow him on Twitter

Ajax target Bayern youngster as De Jong replacement

The Dutch side has reportedly targeted Bayern Munich youngster Meritan Shabani as a replacement for the Barcelona bound Frenkie De Jong. De Jong completed a £65m move to Barcelona this past week writes Will Godley.

Image result for meritan shabani
Shabani has emerged as a target for Ajax

German newspaper Bild have reported that Shabani is seen by the Dutch club as De Jong’s successor.

Shabani is a Munich-native, having joined Bayern when he was seven years old. He is currently contracted to the club until 2020 and trained with the first-team in Doha during the German winter break.

The 19-year old is seen as one of the most promising youth prospects at Bayern Munich and has made three first-team appearances.

However, with so many talented midfielders currently at Bayern, opportunities will be hard to come by for Shabani unless he moves away.

Ajax appears to be very interested in the player and should now step up their interest, after the sale of De Jong earlier this week. The Eredivisie side is keen to integrate Shabani into head coach Erik ten Hag’s team during the second half of the season and hope to make a deal before the January window closes.

Bayern may consider inserting a buy-back clause or a first-option clause into the player’s contract, should he leave the Allianz Arena.

It is no secret that Bayern is interested in Ajax’s 19-year old centre-back, Matthijs de Ligt. With that mind, they may also consider giving Ajax favourable terms in the Shabani deal to get an upper hand in future negotiations for De Ligt. Any advantage would be favourable, considering the size of the club’s competing alongside them for the signature of the Dutch youngster.

Shabani is most comfortable in an advanced midfield role. His skill set has allowed him to move further forward during his career and he is capable of playing on either wing. However, he is more confident operating centrally.

He was promoted to the Bayern U19 squad at the age of 16. Shabani’s rapid rise continued from there, moving up to the Bayern II team, before earning a first-team call-up.

Jupp Heynckes gave the youngster his first-team debut in the Bundesliga against Eintracht Frankfurt last season, after Bayern had already won the league title.

Since then, his confidence has grown. He featured prominently in the club’s pre-season tour of the US and made another Bundesliga appearance against Frankfurt this season. He has also appeared in the DFB Pokal.

Image result for meritan shabani
Shabani is a German U20 international

Shabani is a dual national, who is eligible to represent Germany and Kosovo at international level. Although, Germany appears to be winning the race for his services. He is currently an U20 international for the Germans.

The midfielder’s statistics are very impressive. For the Bayern U19 side, Shabani scored 15 goals and made 12 assists in 69 appearances. For the Bayern II team, he has scored 9 goals and made 4 assists in 19 appearances – including 3 goals in 4 UEFA Youth League games.

Shabani has good ball control and likes to run at defenders. That, combined with his impressive goals tally, makes him a real attacking threat.

Will Godley

Click here to follow Will on Twitter.

Doelman Dilemma: Who will succeed Andre Onana as Ajax number 1?

With the recent flurry of transfer activity revolving around many prominent members of Ajax’s current first team squad – most notably Frenkie de Jong’s record-breaking switch to FC Barcelona, a number of questions regarding next season and beyond are yet to be resolved by Messrs Overmars, ten Hag and Co.

One of which is, with his departure seemingly imminent, who will succeed Cameroon international Andre Onana between the sticks at the Johan Cruijff ArenA?

Image result for andre onana
Big Andre’s tipped to move to the big leagues in the summer.

Despite no move materialising during the current transfer window, it appears almost guaranteed that Onana will be snapped up in the summer and, as Kostas Lamprou’s recent performance – standing in for the injured 22-year-old in an eight-goal thriller with Heerenveen on January 20th that saw Ajax squander the chance of leapfrogging reigning Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven into first place coupled with the resultant media backlash that saw accusations of poor judgement aimed in the direction of director of football, Marc Overmars, head coach, Erik ten Hag and even the club’s goalkeeping coach, Carlo l’Ami, from an irate Dutch media proved, a long-term successor to Ajax’s current number one is far from clear.

As such, we here at have compiled a list of both short and long-term solutions for Ajax’s ‘doelman dilemma’.

Image result for kostas lamprou ajax
Onana’s current understudy Kostas Lamprou

Promote from within?

Despite both arriving at the club in the summer of 2017, Kostas Lamprou and Benjamin van Leer have thus far failed to really stake any sort of claim as Andre Onana’s long term successor. Despite an impressive stint manning the nets for Willem II, the Greek international’s few first-team appearances in an Ajax shirt have been far from convincing and his current deal, which expires in the summer, is unlikely to be extended. Meanwhile, despite being initially tipped as a potential solution to the Ajax goalkeeping conundrum following his switch from Roda JC, having slipped behind not only Onana but Lamprou as well in the pecking order for a starting berth in Amsterdam, Benjamin van Leer now finds himself on a season-long loan with NAC Breda and, despite having a deal that runs until the summer of 2021, it appears unlikely that the club will turn to the 27-year-old when Onana does eventually decide to look for pastures new.

Despite being capped at U17, U18 and U19 level for the Netherlands, with just fifteen senior appearances to date, 21-year-old Sven van Bladeren appears to lack the necessary experience to shoulder such a burden at this stage in his development while the same can be said for both Croatian U19 glovesman Dominik Kotarski and Moroccan U23 stopper Issam El Maach who are both just eighteen years of age.

Image result for maarten stekelenburg
Former Dutch no.1 Maarten Stekelenburg

An experienced hand?

Should the club conclude that the aforementioned inexperience of Messrs van Bladeren, Kotarski and El Maach means that promoting from within is not an option and a short-term solution is instead required, Ajax may turn their attention to a familiar face in the form of Everton’s Maarten Stekelenburg. A product of the club’s famed youth system, Stekelenburg manned the Ajax nets with distinction until his departure for Roma in the summer of 2011. At the age of thirty-six and with no real likelihood of first-team football on the horizon thanks to England international Jordan Pickford’s presence at Goodison Park, Stekelenburg may jump at the opportunity to finish his career where it all began while a true long-term successor is prepared. However, it should be noted that Stekelenburg’s current deal with Everton runs until the summer of 2020 and thus might make any move financially unfeasible at this stage.

However, Michel Vorm’s current deal with Tottenham Hotspur is set to expire in the summer and, at the age of thirty-five, seeing out his career at the Johan Cruijff ArenA may well appeal to the former FC Utrecht stopper.

Image result for Kjell Scherpen
Youngster Scherpen halts a PSV attack in its tracks

One for the future?

Should Ajax opt to recruit an experienced glovesman with a view to buying time while a long-term replacement is readied, one name immediately springs to mind – FC Emmen’s Kjell Scherpen. Despite being just 19-years-old, Scherpen has played all but one of Emmen’s twenty games in all competitions this term and has been impressive throughout. Given time to acclimatise, the Dutch U19 international could well become the long-term solution Ajax are looking for.

A ready-made replacement?

However, should Ajax desire a ready-made replacement, the club may well look to AZ Alkmaar’s Marco Bizot. The 27-year-old has enjoyed an impressive campaign thus far having posted ten clean sheets in his twenty-four appearances in all competitions and his good form resulting in a call-up to the Dutch national team.

Whatever the club decides, recent events clearly illustrate that it is imperative a decision on Andre Onana’s long-term successor be made sooner rather than later.


Click on Steven’s name above to follow him on Twitter

EREDIVISIE REPORT: PSV falter but Ajax have a late four(all)


With the winter break over, the eighteenth round of Eredivisie action got underway on Friday evening in Arnhem where a 67th-minute effort from Maikel van der Werff ultimately proved decisive as Vitesse edged out visiting Excelsior in a five-goal thriller.

Saturday’s action in the top flight of Dutch football began at the AFAS Stadion where AZ Alkmaar got back to winning ways by hitting FC Utrecht for three without reply.

Elsewhere, PEC Zwolle kicked off the Jaap Stam era in style by putting three past visiting Feyenoord while VVV Venlo made it back-to-back victories by hitting an undermanned ADO Den Haag for four on the road in The Hague.

The day’s Eredivisie action was brought to a close at the Hitachi Capital Mobility Stadion where a new-look Groningen posted their first win since the start of December by smashing Heracles for three.

Image result for nicklas pedersen

Sunday’s action got underway in Tilburg where goals from Pol Llonch and Marios Vrousai saw Willem II claim the bragging rights against an undermanned NAC Breda in the Brabantse derby.

Elsewhere, bottom-of-the-table De Graafschap gave their survival hopes a much-needed shot in the arm by smashing Fortuna Sittard for five while two goals in the space of the final ten minutes from Nicklas Pedersen saw FC Emmen snatch a late share of the spoils in their clash with defending Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven.

Image result for ajax 4-4 heerenveen

The eighteenth round of Eredivisie action was brought to a close in spectacular fashion at the Johan Cruijff ArenA where a late leveller from Kik Pierie in the first minute of added time saw Heerenveen claim a last-gasp share of the spoils in an eight-goal thriller that also denied title-chasing Ajax the chance to replace PSV at the top of the standings.    

Week 18: Results

Vitesse Arnhem 3-2 Excelsior Rotterdam

AZ Alkmaar 3-0 FC Utrecht

PEC Zwolle 3-1 Feyenoord

ADO Den Haag 2-4 VVV Venlo

FC Groningen 3-0 Heracles Almelo

Willem II 2-0 NAC Breda

De Graafschap 5-1 Fortuna Sittard

FC Emmen 2-2 PSV Eindhoven

AFC Ajax 4-4 SC Heerenveen

Team of the Week

GK – Warner Hahn (sc Heerenveen)

DF – Ricardo van Rhijn (AZ)

DF – Kenneth Paal (PEC Zwolle)

DF – Maikel van der Werff (Vitesse)

DF – Bram van Polen (PEC Zwolle)

MF – Youssef El Jebli (De Graafschap)

MF – Thomas Bruns (FC Groningen)

MF – Martin Odegaard (Vitesse)

FW – Sam Lammers (sc Heerenveen)

FW – Fabian Serrarens (De Graafschap)

FW – Patrick Joosten (VVV Venlo)

Player of the Week

Fabian Serrarens (De Graafschap) – 2 points

Click here to follow our Player of the Season tournament.


Click on Steven’s name above to follow him on Twitter