Category Archives: DUTCHMEN ABROAD



Barclays Premier League

What a difference a month makes, in the August edition, Daryl Janmaat was being commended on his good performances and in helping his side, Newcastle United, to a decent start to the season. Although Janmaat himself has not worsened drastically his team have. Since the 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace they have only won once, 3-2 in extra-time in the League Cup against the same opposition. His manager Alan Pardew is under extreme pressure and it seems that he will soon be on his way. Robin Van Persie and Manchester United have improved on their poor opening month of the season. In the league they have won four out of five, they lost to Leicester City 5-3 in an amazing game, and Van Persie has managed to grab himself two goals as well this month. Both Ron Vlaar and Erik Pieters were mentioned last week for their brilliant performances but both their teams have dipped in September. Even though Aston Villa beat Liverpool away, Vlaar & Co have lost their last three games whilst Pieters’ Stoke sit in 16th having lost two, won once and drawn one game in September.


Arjen Robben and Bayern Munich continued their dominance of the Bundesliga this month winning all 3 of their games as well as winning two group games in the Champions League, at home to Manchester City and away to CSKA Moscow. Although he didn’t manage to score he did provide an assist for Thomas Müller against newly promoted SC Paderborn in a 4-0 rout. Huntelaar continues to try and drag Schalke by the scruff of their neck as he performed well this month but his team didn’t and Roberto Di Matteo replaced Jens Keller as manager. He grabbed a goal in both Champion’s League games, against Chelsea and Maribor respectively, and helped Schalke beat rivals Borussia Dortmund who are also struggling but this was not enough to save Keller after defeats to Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hoffenheim as well as drawing at home with group minnows Maribor. Other mentions include Rafael Van der Vaart whose issues go on after he didn’t play a single game in September in a side that are really struggling and sacked their manager Mirko Slomka.

Serie A

Jonathan de Guzman has had a mixed month with Napoli; they lost their first 2 games before drawing with Palermo and going on to win their last game of the month. He appears to have already gone to th top of the pecking order at Napoli with captain Gokhan Inler struggling for consistent playing time. In Rome Dutch utility man Urby Emanuelson has had a tough start to his Roma career, featuring only once in Serie A for Roma. On the other side of the capital both Stefan de Vrij and Edson Braafheid have become crucial parts of the Lazio who currently sit eighth in the table. In other Serie A news midfielder Kevin Strootman is not leaving Roma according to many at the club including coach Rudi Garcia and is expected to return in December from his long term spell on the treatment table.

Best of the Rest

In Russia two players are becoming crucial members of their team, Alexander Buttner of Dinamo Moscow and Quincy Promes of Spartal Moscow. Buttner has been key to helping Dinamo to third in the table whilst Promes has played 7 times and scored twice for his new club following his summer move from Twente. Over in Ukraine Jeremain Lens is slowly working his way back into the team after being on the verge of leaving in the summer, he scored against Volyn last month. Further South in Turkey Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt have been featuring for Galatasaray and Fenerbache respectively whilst in Portugal Bruno Martins Indi and Porto have built on their solid start to the season, they beat BATE Borisov 6-0 in the Champions’ League.


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Barclays Premier League

There have been 3 weeks of action so far in the Premier League and it has been a mixed started for Dutch players. Daryl Janmaat has made a decent start to his Newcastle United career, making his debut in a 2-0 loss to Manchester City, a score line that is harsh on Newcastle as they played very well. He then scored against Crystal Palace in only his fourth game for the club. Some of the gloss was taken off his goal due to the fact that they conceded 3 to the early season strugglers. Robin van Persie on the other has made a very poor start to the season with Manchester United. He didn’t feature in their first game due to injury, but did play in the next two, both of which were disappointing draws away to Sunderland and Burnley respectively, and he was substituted in both. Other notable mentions include Ron Vlaar, who has helped his Aston Villa side to their best start in years, and Erik Pieters whose assist helped Stoke City gain a famous win away to Manchester City.


Only 2 weeks of action in the Bundesliga due to a later start date because of the World Cup. Arjen Robben has carried on where he left off both from last season and this summer’s World Cup; he scored the winner for Bayern in their opening game at home to Wolfsburg. Klaas Jan Huntelaar has also had a notable start to his season, he scored for FC Schalke against Hannover but they were unable to hold on to their lead and lost 2-1. Hertha Berlin’s new boy has fitted in well at his new club, with Beerens already getting an assist for Julian Schieber as he helped his side to 2-2 draw in their first game. Rafael van der Vaart has once again disappointed so far this season for Hamburg, his side faced the two new boys in their first two games but could only manage a 0-0 draw away to FC Köln and suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat at home to relegation favourites SC Paderborn.

Serie A

Serie A kicked off this past weekend and already Dutch players have had an impact. Napoli new boy Jonathan de Guzman scored the winner in the last minute of added time away to Genoa, whilst Lazio new boy Stefan de Vrij was booked in the 62nd minute and only a minute later gave away a penalty although he wasn’t sent off in the 3-1 defeat away to AC Milan. On the other side in that game Nigel de Jong who did what he does best in breaking up the play before distributing the ball to the forward players. Roma beat Fiorentina 2-0 but Strootman hasn’t yet recovered from his injury and their new signing from AC Milan, Urby Emanuelson, remained on the bench.

Best of the Rest

Bruno Martins Indi has already become a crucial part of FC Porto’s backline after €7.7 million move from Feyenoord. He has played in all 5 competitive games for the Portuguese side resulting in 5 wins, 3 in their domestic league and they won both legs of their 3rd round Champions League playoff against Lillehe to progress to the group stages. In Turkey both Dirk Kuyt of Fenerbaçhe and Wesley Sneijder of Galatasaray helped their team to opening day wins. Jeremain Lens hasn’t made a great start to his season in Kyiv with Dynamo; he has only started one game an looked set for a move to QPR of England before that fell through after the bid was rejected.


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Nathan Ake – Chelsea’s next big thing!


There have been many young stars who have failed to make the cut at Chelsea over the years – Kevin De Bruyne and Daniel Sturridge to name just two – but, and whisper it quietly, that is a pattern that could be about to change with Gullit-lookalike Nathan Aké writes Sam France.

The young defender, 19, has turned down numerous loan offers and has made several first-team appearances, evidencing a will to succeed and to better himself that belies his precocious youth. He signed a new contract with the Blues last summer, so his future is guaranteed until 2018; with new addition Kurt Zouma, he could form part of a fearsome future defensive lineup.

Having started his career with ADO Den Haag, Aké made the step up to Feyenoord as a twelve year old and remained there for much of his development. Varkenoord, the Feyenoord youth academy was voted the best youth set-up in the Netherlands during Aké’s time there, and some of its recent graduates include Robin van Persie and Norwich’s Leroy Fer. He moved on again after four years at the club having broken into the Dutch under-15 and under-16 squads, and has continued to represent his nation at every youth stage up to the Jong Orange (under-21), however he is yet to receive a full international call-up.

Aké’s first Chelsea start came against Championship side Middlesbrough in last year’s FA Cup, and it took some a while to realise that the wild-haired youngster in the centre of midfield was a teenager rather than Brazil’s David Luiz. It was not just a matter of the hair; Aké’s performance was composed and fluent, and although he did not set the world on fire, in his position that is just what you want – he was barely noticed, but passed the ball like a veteran and constantly broke up the attacks of a pacey, highly-motivated young team at a packed Riverside Stadium. He was entrusted with the same position in the Europa League quarter-final against Rubin Kazan, so then-manager Rafa Benitez must have had a great deal of faith in the youngster. His first European appearance ended in defeat, but an aggregate victory eventually saw Chelsea lift the Europa League trophy – Aké was an unused substitute in the final.

He clearly has a bright future, but there are some question marks about his best position. Throughout his youth, he has been mainly used in a purely defensive capacity, but given his size – only 5’11” – he may not be suited to the physical nature of being a Premier League centre-half. He has been deployed on the left of defence, a position soon to be made vacant by either the departure or possibly retirement of Ashley Cole, but his passing and reading of the game would be wasted out wide. It seems that his best position is the ‘Makelélé’ role, but it is a position occupied by Nemanja Matic and sometimes Ramires. Getting into this Chelsea side will be no mean feat.

With his position already well-filled, a loan spell would seem a good option with the window fast approaching. Vitesse Arnhem and Middlesbrough are Mourinho’s preferred destinations with links with both clubs, but Aké has reportedly demanded his choice of club. He clearly has the confidence and the mentality to make it at the top, but does he have the ability? At this point in time, there are few who would bet against him.


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Dutchmen in the Bundesliga


While they may be big rivals on the international stage, there is a history of Dutch players plying their trade in the German top division. There have been successful spells like Roy Makaay winning the double twice in a row with Bayern, and there have been less successful spells like Luuk de Jong’s 2 year spell with Mönchengladbach.

Last season there were eight Dutch players in the Bundesliga and as of the 17th July 2014 there are now only seven with Ola John returning to Benfica. This is a review of the main Dutch players in the 2013/14 season. Some had a good season while some had a not so good season by Ryan O’Grady. Enjoy…


ARJEN ROBBEN (FC Bayern Munich)

What can you say about this ‘Flying Dutchman’?  He came third in the Bundesliga Player’s Player of the Year Award. He notched 11 goals and five assists en-route to helping Bayern to win a second successive title in record time. The former Real Madrid winger also helped his side clinch the DFB Pokal by opening the scoring in extra time. He was unfortunate to miss out on the FIFA Club World Championship triumph with a deep cut on his right knee.


It was a mixed season for the ‘Hunter’ he missed five and a half months with yet another injury, but still managed to score 12 goals in only 18 games thanks to a much better second half of the season. If he can stay fit for most of next season he should be in with a shout of winning the top scorer award in what is now a team with some young stars and a bright future ahead of them.


A terrible season for van der Vaart. His team only narrowly avoided relegation after winning their relegation playoff. When his team needed their star man to deliver he failed to, being completely outshone by youngster Hakan Calhanoglu. He is lucky to be still be at the club and almost certainly would have have been forced out had the team been relegated.


A brilliant season for the Dutch defender. He helped his team to a magnificent eighth place after narrowly avoiding relegation the season before. As a near permanent member of the defence he helped them to the fifth best defence in the league, better than some teams who finished above them, including Wolfsburg.

BAS DOST (VfL Wolfsburg)

A poor season for the big Dutchmen. A meager return of 4 goals from 13 games looks to have convinced the club hierarchy that it’s time for Dost to go. They’re have been recent reports linking him to Feyenoord where he can hopefully gain back some of the form that saw him score 32 goals in 34 games for Heerenveen.

ELJERO ELIA (Werder Bremen)

In a word disappointing. For a player that was voted Dutch Talent of the Year in 2009 and is now at the age of 27, it does not look like he will ever live up to the hype. Although this past season’s return of 4 goals was better than last season’s return of 0, it’s still a disappointing return for a very attacking winger.


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Celtic set to lose commanding defender?


Celtic’s Dutch central defender Virgil van Dijk is set to leave the Scottish Premiership champions at the end of the season according to his agent, Henk-Maarten Chin.

The 22-year old has been a revelation in the Celtic defence this season since his £2.6 million summer move from FC Groningen last year.

Due to his success he has been linked with a move away throughout the season with a host of Barclays Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Manchester City waiting in the wings to take the big Dutchman to the North-West of England.

Yesterday, his agent, Henk-Maarten Chin, stated that the Celtic defender could certainly be leaving Parkhead in the summer, although he did admit no club has bid so far.

Speaking to the Scotsman, Chin said: “There is certainly interest. Many English clubs are interested in him – many top clubs. They watch him and are very keen but there has been no official approach for Virgil yet, but that will come after the season ends.

“There’s certainly far more interest in him than we could have dreamed of and I expect something will happen for him this summer.”

“Celtic were completely outplayed by Barcelona, but Virgil was the only player who was OK and against AC Milan, he made a great impression in his battles against a top player like Mario Balotelli.”

The player is yet to comment on his agent’s words but one thing is for sure, it is every player’s dream to play for his country and since Van Dijk’s move to Scotland, he has been overlooked by Oranje coach Louis van Gaal despite the defender’s incredible form.

Van Gaal has been selecting young Eredivisie defenders like Ajax’s Joel Veltman, Feyenoord’s pair Stefan de Vrij and Terence Kongolo, PSV’s Jeffrey Bruma and Karim Rekik while these five players have showed weaknesses all season that Virgil has not.

Anyone who watched the Eredivisie last season will be shocked by Van Dijk’s exclusion in the Dutch squad but will not be surprised by the interest shown in him by other clubs. In fact I remember writing at the start of the season, my shock that this player chose Celtic to advance his career.

No disrespect to Scottish champions, as I am fully aware of the massive size and support of the club but I honestly thought a move to the Premiership, where the big money and the vast exposure is available for players, would have suited Van Dijk and especially his agent better.


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Royston Drenthe – Where did it all go wrong?


When Royston Drenthe signed for Real Madrid in 2007, he was a precociously talented youngster with a bright future and one of the Netherlands’ leading lights for the future.

Seven years on and he is one of football’s forgotten men, struggling to break into a Reading side just inside the Sky Bet Championship playoffs – it seems unlikely he will add to his solitary international cap any time soon. He is blessed with electric pace and impressive strength for his 5’6” frame, but it has been his options off the pitch which have caused him problems, frequently missing training sessions and being filmed drink driving by a friend.

Born in Rotterdam, Drenthe joined his first club Neptunus at the age of five, before being snapped up by Feyenoord eight years later. He had disciplinary issues as young as 15 and was nearly forced out of the club while still in the B-side, but he went on to make 29 appearances in the Eredivisie before his big-money move came along. £12million was a lot for then-manager Bernd Schuster to spend on an unproven youth player which says something about the excitement surrounding his talent, and he played regularly in his debut season. Occupying the left wing and left back roles, he scored an absolute scorcher from 35+ yards against Sevilla, (see video below) but was gradually phased out due to the emergence of first Marcelo at left back, then the purchase of Cristiano Ronaldo. His form dipped and his popularity with the fans followed, and under Juande Ramos it is rumoured that he asked not to be played after being viciously booed by the Madrid fans.

His first loan spell, to Hércules, followed in 2010 and although his performances were good he found himself relegated amidst a row over unpaid wages. He then spent a year under David Moyes at Everton, and again his performances made him popular with the Toffees’ faithful – once again, though, eventually his manager lost his patience. After several missed training sessions, Moyes decided he’d had enough and left him out of his squad for the FA Cup semi-final. After a period out on compassionate leave, he even accused Lionel Messi of being racist, saying that the Argentine repeatedly called him “negro” after an on-field altercation.

After returning to Madrid, he finally left as his contract expired and decided to make a move off the beaten track to FC Alania Vladikavkaz of Russia. He was there for less than a year and scored three goals in six games, all in a crucial victory over fellow relegation rivals Mordovia Saransk. His manager called him “a great professional and an example for the youth”, but it wasn’t long before he made his way to Reading. He has since struggled with injuries, but is slowly finding his way back into the first team after two months out. There is, then, a glimmer of hope under Nigel Adkins. A good season for the Royals and a promotion challenge would put him well and truly in the shop window for a Premier League club, which could even alert him to Louis Van Gaal; who knows, he could even build on that solitary substitute appearance against Turkey.


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Luuk de Jong – Who is Newcastle’s new loanee?


Tonight, Newcastle United announced the loan signing of Dutch forward Luuk de Jong from Borussia Mönchengladbach until the end of the season, with a view to permanency.

The 23-year-old passed his medical today and joins fellow Oranje internationals Tim Krul and Vurnon Anita at the Premier League outfit. The striker is desperate to make an impression for the Magpies after being frozen out at Mönchengladbach.

De Jong joined the Bundesliga side for a reported €15m two years ago, after notching 45 goals in 86 appearances for FC Twente. Unfortunately, after the lack of chances in the first-team, De Jong has found the net just six times in Germany. De Jong did not fare well under Swiss coach Lucien Favre, who restricted him to cameo appearances this term and froze him out of his first team plans.

De Jong last scored in April 2013 in a 1-0 win against Greuther Furth. Reflecting on his time in Germany, De Jong stated: “The coach did not give me the impression he had faith in me. It has been a time to forget. He just did not talk to me that much.”

In an interview with the club official website, De Jong is now looking forward: “It has been a tough season for me so far but I am here to play games and want to be important for the team, and successful with goals and assists.”

“I am really looking forward to playing for Newcastle.”

The Oranje international, who has won seven caps, could make his debut in Saturday’s Tyne-Wear derby against bitter North-East rivals Sunderland at St. James Park. De Jong will compete with Loic Remy, Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi for a place up front, and try to play himself in contention for the Dutch World Cup squad this summer.


The brother of Ajax playmaker Siem de Jong, Luuk started at De Graafschap and rose up through the ranks for the youth squad. He played one season in the first-team and that was enough to persaude FC Twente to snap him up at the start of the 2009/2010 season.

The notoriously composed De Jong has already, at 23, a history of winning titles and has played in pressure-cooker atmospheres such as the Amsterdam ArenA. Winning the Dutch title under Steve McClaren, he experienced some high-octane and shouldn’t be affected by a passionate but potentially overwhelming grounds of the Premier League.

Past history has shown that the Dutchman is pretty calm in the penalty area. If he regains his confidence, you will not see him rush his shot and he does not stress with defenders breathing down his neck.

An undervalued attribute is his ability to finish with both feet. Although the right foot is his strongest, he has scored a lot of goals with his left. His movement is excellent and quick, and even standing at 6ft 2inches tall, he can use his speed to move quickly to pressurize the opposition. He can hold his own in the air so if Newcastle can find some decent deliveries now that Yohan Cabaye has been sold, De Jong will become an aerial threat. With Remy and Cisse, Alan Pardew’s side lack height and presence up front so the arrival of De Jong should take that burden from Shola Ameobi, who has been a bit-part player for Newcastle this season as a target man.

Even though he is tall, do not except him to be the new Duncan Ferguson as he is not the most aggressive forward you’ll see. In the past, Twente’s and Mönchengladbach’s creative players have provided De Jong with clear-cut chances, not created many of his own, so this is where he may struggle and drift out of the game against the most aggressive of Premier League’s defences.

With a loan deal, it is not much of a gamble for Newcastle, the risk all falls on the Luuk de Jong. This is a chance for him to prove himself once again and either cement a permanent deal in the North-East, or once again impress scouts across Europe that had many clubs vying for his signature 18 months ago.

Whether or not he will be a success is yet to be seen, but with his cool attitude in the box and if the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Vurnon Anita and Moussa Sissoko can create for him, maybe you could see De Jong in the Oranje squad and a black and white shirt for years to come.


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Dutchmen in the A-League


We have been following the fortunes of the following Dutchmen who have been playing in the Australian A-League in the 2013/4 season.

Marcel Seip (Central Coast Mariners) – the former VVV man was signed by the Mariners to replace the retired Patrick Zwaanswijk.  Unfortunately it hasn’t gone quite to plan for Seip who hasn’t lived up to his countryman’s shoes.  Has played a sum total of 8 games thus far and is currently out of favour in Gosford.

Orlando Engelaar (Melbourne Heart) – The former PSV man suffered an horrific leg break in a pre-season friendly against Brisbane which ruled him out of the first half of the season.  He has now returned to full fitness and has played bit parts in the past 2 games for the cellar dwellers.  His presence will hopefully lift the squad off the bottom.

Rob Wieleart (Melbourne Heart) – The former Ajax and PSV man has been a mainstay in the defence of the bottom placed Heart.  He has played 15 games thus far this season but has been unable to lift the defence.

John van’t Schip (Melbourne Heart) – Has recently been reinstated to his former role as Manager of the struggling Heart following the dismissal of John Aloisi.  He has steadied the ship and managed to lead the side to their first win of the season last week against Newcastle.  The club has been taken over by Manchester City and they are said to be impressed with van’t Schip’s experience.

Kew Jaliens (Newcastle Jets) – Jaliens has been ever present in the heart of defence for the inconsistent Jets.  His experience has lead to 12 appearances and 1 goal so far this season as well as a red card.

Pascal Bosschaart (Sydney FC) – Pascal suffered a serious Achilles tendon injury last season that resulted in him being released by Sydney FC early in the season.  He is now back in the Netherlands with Ijsselmeervogels.

Youssuff Hersi (Western Sydney Wanderers) – Hersi has quickly become a club legend at the Wanderers after his exploits last season.  He has been a bit inconsistent this season but has still managed 11 appearances for 1 goal in 16 game thus far for Western Sydney.


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Marvin Emnes: A Dutchman on Teesside


Having represented the Netherlands’ youth teams from u-16 to u-21, it was with a sense of excitement and intrigue that Middlesbrough fans greeted the signing of 20 year old sprinter-turned-striker Marvin Emnes in the summer of 2008. He joined Gareth Southgate’s young side with big things expected and turned in some star performances early on in his Boro career, but has earned a reputation as something of a mercurial forward; amazing one week, anonymous the next.

Following a disappointing relegation in 2009 and the eventual sacking of the man who bought him, Emnes was largely frozen out by new managed Gordon Strachan, who sent the youngster out on a short, but memorable loan move to Swansea. Despite only making four appearances, he became something of a cult hero in South Wales having scored the winner in a heated derby against local rivals Cardiff. Having fought for his Boro place upon his return, he has been repeatedly linked with a move back to Swansea in the years since, but nothing has ever materialised. There is some debate among Middlesbrough fans as to whether Emnes would be good enough to make the step up to the Premier League – although some point to his meagre goal scoring record, there are those who would argue he can be unplayable, when he is willing to ‘put a shift in’.

In terms of goals, the 2011-12 season under Teesside hero Tony Mowbray has so far been Emnes’ most successful season. In the opening month, Emnes shot to the top of the goal scoring table as Boro found themselves at the top of the Championship, but after Christmas both Emnes’ and Boro’s form dropped off – Boro finished seventh, with Emnes bagging an impressive if unspectacular 14 goals along the way. That season saw the best of Emnes; his pace and strength from his childhood as an athletics nut were evident, and confidence pulsed through his veins. He took defenders on at will and seemed to be able to find the net from any angle, however acrobatic he had to be – a League Cup volley against Walsall sticks particularly in the mind.

Since then, his career has taken a dramatic downward turn, with rumours of £5million bids from Premier League clubs a startlingly distant memory. In fifty appearances in all competitions since the agonising end of that season, Emnes has only found the net seven times and only once in twenty games this season. His form was symptomatic of the ignominious end of Mowbray, with a perceived lack of interest drawing abuse from an irate fanbase. A double in pre-season against French Cup champions Bordeaux seemed to herald a new dawn, and in truth his performances this season haven’t been too bad. His work rate has improved and at least in his dribbling, if not his finishing, there are some signs of the Emnes of old. Aitor Karanka has already started to work miracles for the Boro; at only 25, there is time for him to do the same for “Marvellous Marv”, but Boro have been heavily linked with strikers across the Football League and beyond this month. Another loan spell could do him the power of good… if not, the former Sparta Rotterdam man could soon find himself shipped back to the Eredivisie.


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