Tag Archives: Anwar El Ghazi

Could El Ghazi be the next player to leave the Eredivisie for the Premier League?

Anwar El Ghazi is perhaps the best player to come out of the famous Ajax academy in a number of years and he has stepped into Memphis Depay’s shoes as the leading player in the Eredivisie. It has not been surprising to see the Dutchman take the next step in his career after a good first full season in the first team. He has emerged as the most important player for Ajax as they lead the table after twelve matches, as Ajax attempt to reclaim the championship at the first attempt writes Jake Jackman.

He has operated on the right of the attack in the majority of matches this season and he has looked threatening in almost every game. The attacker has eight goals in the league to date, with the majority coming at the beginning of the season. Recently, he has not threatened the scorers, but he has still looked dangerous in the final third and his influence on matches has still been huge. The main disappointment for El Ghazi has been his inability to transfer his league form to the Europa League and that will cause interested clubs to have doubts about his ability to perform outside of the Eredivisie.

The Ajax attacker is only 20-years-old and it is obvious to everybody who watches him that he has a big future in the game. He is most dangerous when he is running with the ball as he has the ability to beat players and get into dangerous positions. This season, he has been good at crossing the ball and cutting in to shoot, which makes him unpredictable in the final third. Moreover, he is good in the air, which is unusual for a winger, but it gives him an extra element to his game. His main weakness is his lack of defensive contributions, which will become more of a worry if he leaves the Eredivisie. He can afford to not track back at Ajax, but in bigger leagues that will be a huge problem as Memphis Depay is finding out at Old Trafford.

He has been linked with Manchester United and Newcastle United in recent weeks, with both having Dutch connections. Depay has struggled to settle in at Manchester United and that may cause El Ghazi to have doubts about joining Louis van Gaal’s side. They do need more wingers in their squad though, which is why they will be looking at the Dutch international. It is still early in El Ghazi’s career and he may opt to join a smaller club originally, which is why the Newcastle link is interesting. They have been poor in the last twelve months, but they have a large Dutch contingent in their squad and Georginio Wijnaldum has shown how joining Newcastle may have been the correct move in the long run with his excellent start at St James’ Park. It’s clear that Wijnaldum has settled in better at his new club than Depay and that could have an effect on the way players in Holland view their first move away from the Eredivisie.

There is no doubt that El Ghazi will have a lot of interest in him, especially after his start this season. He is a dynamic attacking player, who is capable of scoring goals and he has the potential to get much better. It’s important that he doesn’t rush a move as Ajax are a huge club and he still has a lot of time to grow in the Eredivisie. Many thought Depay had outgrown the league, but that isn’t the case for El Ghazi yet. The best decision may be for him to stay at the club for at least another twelve months, but it’s difficult for clubs to resist the money that Premier League clubs have in their pockets.


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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 4


Welcome to week four of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition.  All players have performed so well this weekend that Martijn Hilhorst and Will Burns have decided they should be in our team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.



JEROEN ZOET – PSV: Another commanding performance from arguably the best keeper in the league right now.


SANTIAGO ARIAS – PSV: Solid performance defending for PSV keeping Dirk Kuyt at bay and a great attacking display that resulted in a good goal.

TIMO LETSCHERT – FC UTRECHT: The Utrecht man seems to realising his potential. Letschert was indispensable at the back in Utrecht’s 2-0 win over FC Groningen.

SANDER FISCHER – EXCELSIOR:  Sander is always a real handful to strikers but against De Graafschap he halted everything fired in his way.

GURAM KASHIA – VITESSE: The big Georgian notched a goal to cap off an excellent show that kept Bart Ogbeche out of trouble.


DAVY KLAASSEN – AJAX: The man-of-the-match in Ajax’s 4-0 thumping of ADO Den Haag. The Amsterdam captain provided a goal and two assists which makes him our PLAYER OF THE WEEK.

DAVY PRÖPPER – PSV: A wonderful assist and winner of a dubious penalty in the big clash against Feyenoord. Looks to be finding his feet in Eindhoven.

ILIASS BEL HASSANI – HERACLES: Bel Hassani snatched the limelight back from last week’s star Oussama Tannane in Almelo. Lead the way scoring the opening goal as Heracles heaped more misery on Twente fans in the 2-0 victory over the Enschede side.


ANWAR EL GHAZI – AJAX: The Eredivisie top scorer notched another two goals and also provided an assist for Klaassen.

LUUK DE JONG – PSV: The big striker won the majority of his aerial duels against Eric Botteghin and Jan-Arie van der Heijden and continuously held the ball up in the Eindhoven side’s 3-1 win over Feyenoord.

MAXIME LESTIENNE – PSV: A goal and the completely bossing of Sven van Beek that resulted in some good crosses in PSV’s 3-1 win over Feyenoord. Could have more than the one goal.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.


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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 2


Welcome to week two of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition.  All players have performed so well this weekend that Martijn Hilhorst and Will Burns have decided they should be in our team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.



KEVIN BEGOIS – PEC ZWOLLE: Quality commanding display from the Belgian stopper in Zwolle’s 3-0 win over De Graafschap.


KEVIN DIKS – VITESSE: At only 18-years-old, Diks is showing all the doubters that he is not too young to play at the right-back position for Vitesse. Great through ball for Abiola Dauda’s goal.

CALVIN MAC-INTOSCH – SC CAMBUUR: If if were not for Calvin, Cambuur may have suffered a larger defeat than the 2-0 issued to them from Feyenoord.

GURAM KASHIA – VITESSE: Strong outing for the big Georgian and one of the many stars in the Vitesse team in their win over Roda.

BART VAN HINTUM – PEC ZWOLLE: Notched a rare goal for Ron Jans’ side in the 3-0 win over new boys De Graafschap.


JEFF STANS – EXCELSIOR: Great goal in a great 2-2 draw against top side AZ Alkmaar.

ANDRES GUARDADO – PSV: Battler. Attacker. Defender. Creator. The Mexican has it all and showed it once again this week in the 2-0 win over FC Groningen.

RIECHEDLY BAZOER – AJAX: Strong performance from the youngster in the 3-0 win over Willem II. He held the midfield well, and he is making the position his own.


LUCIANO NARSINGH – PSV: Two goals from the winger who is currently showing Eindhoven fans what life after Memphis will be like. PLAYER OF THE WEEK

ANWAR EL GHAZI – AJAX: Another brace for the Ajax striker, he goes from strength to strength.

RUBEN SCHAKEN – ADO DEN HAAG: Nabbed his first goal for ADO in their 4-1 thrashing of FC Twente in their own backyard.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.


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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 1


Welcome to week one of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition.  All players have performed so well this weekend that Martijn Hilhorst and Will Burns have decided they should be in our team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.



MARTIN HANSEN – ADO DEN HAAG: The back-heeling goalkeeper makes the team of the week for obvious reasons.


FARSHAD NOOR – RODA JC: The first of many debutants for his club, displaying a great first outing for his new club. Topping it off by providing the assist for Faik’s late goal.

WOJCIECH GOLLA – N.E.C. NIJMEGEN: The big Polish defender displayed great qualities at the back to keep Excelsior at bay and clinch a clean sheet for N.E.C.

DIRK MARCELLIS – PEC ZWOLLE: A goal scoring return for the big defender and beast of a outing, even though he was let down by fellow defenders to allow SC Cambuur perform a two-goal comeback.

CANER CAVLAN – SC HEERENVEEN: The young left-back had a great debut that kept De Graafschap’s attacks at bay.


SIMON THERN – SC HEERENVEEN: An excellent two-goal performance from midfielder in Heerenveen 3-1 win over new boys De Graafschap, that makes the Swedish midfielder our PLAYER OF THE WEEK.

HICHAM FAIK – RODA JC: The midfielder capped a strong performance off with a wonderful goal to clinch a 3-1 over Heracles.

ERIK BAKKER – SC CAMBUUR: Great leadership from the midfielder, whose goal inspired his side to back from two goals down to clinch a draw against PEC Zwolle.


DIRK KUYT – FEYENOORD: He’s back. The veteran lead his side to a fantastic ten-man performance with a 3-2 win over Utrecht, which he capped off with a penalty goal. An inspirational asset to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side.

EDWIN GYASI – RODA JC: Grabbed the equalising goal in the 3-1 victory over Heracles and was a constant threat to the Almelo defence.

ANWAR EL GHAZI – AJAX: Scorer of two of Ajax’s three goals in the 3-0 win over AZ Alkmaar including a stunning 30-yard dipping strike that sent the travelling Amsterdammers into raptures.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.


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Total Dutch Football 2014/15 Breakthrough Talent of the Season


Throughout this year’s campaign, we have seen some great talents emerge as scouts from all over Europe honed in on them. Myself and the remainder of the staff at TotalDutchFootball.com have been assessing who can be declared as the best ‘Breakthrough Talent of the Season’.

All staff were asked to name their top three talents. Each first pick received three points, second place received two points and one point was awarded for the third pick. The results are below…



Winner – JESUS CORONA (FC Twente) 5 points

The little Mexican nicknamed “El Tecatito”, signed on a free transfer aged 20 from Liga MX side Monterrey after rejecting a new contract from the Mexican club in 2013. After taking a while to settle in under Albert Schreuder, Corona now 22-years-old, has shown he is perfect example of a pacy winger with a tremendous dribbling ability to torment full-backs down either flank.

He appeared in 27 games for Twente this year, notching nine goals and supplying four assists, showing to be a shining light, in a what has been a disappointing season for his side. Tecatito’s consistency has enhanced his already impressive skills. His speed and trickery make him a very elusive footballer who provides depth to the team, which results in goal opportunities.

Due to Twente’s crippling financial status, Corona looks to be moved on next season and could end up leaving the Eredivisie. However, the young Mexican has finally shone in Holland and he is surely set to raise a big chunk of funds for the Enschede club.

Joint 2nd – MARK UTH & SAM LARSSON (Heerenveen) 4 points

The Heerenveen pair have been surprising successes for Dwight Lodeweges this year. Both used as replacements for summer sales, Alfred Finnbogasson and Hakim Ziyech respectively have excelled. The stocky German striker, Uth has scored 15 times in 32 outings to become the club’s top scorer and managed to use his strength to hold the ball up and created 10 assists. Also notching goals is Swedish winger Larsson with eight with four assists. Both players have linked with moves away themselves this coming summer, not an unusual process for Heerenveen.


ALBERT RUSNAK (FC Groningen) 3 points

TJARONN CHERY (FC Groningen) 3 points

ANWAR EL GHAZI (Ajax) 3 points

TOM VAN WEERT (Excelsior) 2 points

TERENCE KONGOLO (Feyenoord) 2 points




BERTRAND TRAORE (Vitesse) 1 point


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AJAX 1 – 3 PSV

It was a great match between Ajax and PSV Eindhoven in ‘De Topper’ with lots of goals and entertainment. The away side ran out 3-1 winners at the Amsterdam ArenA, proving themselves as title challengers reports Jake Jackman.

It’s always exciting when Ajax and PSV Eindhoven meet in the Eredivisie and this match was no different, especially as many are tipping PSV to be serious challengers for the title this season. Ricardo van Rhijn was back in the starting eleven after his serious injury, while Daley Blind started in midfield, despite interest from Manchester United. The visitors had Kerim Rekik back in their defence, after he was again signed on a loan deal.  Memphis Depay had an early chance, but blazed over from the edge of the area. Ajax also had a good early opportunity as Davy Klaassen’s powerful header was saved well by Jeroen Zoet.

Ajax took the lead after 16 minutes after Anwar El Ghazi glanced a header over Jeroen Zoet who was closing down the youngster. The delivery from Klaassen was exceptional, but Zoet’s positioning was poor, don’t let that take away from the goal though, as it was a wonderful bit of quick thinking from El Ghazi on his first league start. The goal was perhaps against the run of play after PSV’s impressive start. The home side nearly doubled their lead, after a powerful run from Nicolai Boilesen, who played a one two with Lasse Schone, forced a good save out of Zoet with a low powerful shot inside the box.

Georginio Wijnaldum was one of the best players on the pitch in the first half, dictating play in the Ajax half when PSV had possession of the football and he forced a save from Jasper Cillessen mid way through the first 45 minutes. Calamity nearly struck for the away side as Van Rhijn’s ball was nearly sliced in by Joshua Brenet. His poor clearance could have went anyway, but luckily for Phillip Cocu’s men, it went wide.

Ajax started the second half on the front foot, with the right hand side of El Ghazi and Van Rhijn looking really good, but just minutes into the second half, the former had to be withdrawn. Ajax will be hoping that the injury isn’t too serious as the youngster has looked excellent in the opening few matches. Although the home side nearly doubled their lead through Schone, it was PSV who scored the first goal of the second half as Luciano Narsingh got past the Ajax defence utilising his pace, before he squared it to Memphis Depay, who slotted into an empty net. It was the Dutchman’s fifth Eredivisie goal of the season.

The pressure continued to build with Narsingh and Depay showing exactly why they are among the most talented attackers in the Eredivisie and it was the former who scored PSV’s second goal. Luuk de Jong picked up the ball in the Ajax half and played a perfectly weighted ball through to the winger who finished calmly past the Ajax keeper. The away side were showing exactly why many feel they will be title challengers this year.

The home side were pressing hard for an equaliser and came so close after Niklas Moisander was through one on one with Zoet, but fluffed his lines as his shot flew widely over the bar. Frank de Boer would have wished that chance had fallen to one of his forward players as it was the perfect chance to equalise.

Ajax continued to push for their second goal of the game as Schone fired just wide from a free kick, it was extremely close and PSV started to look nervy as they tried to take three points away from the Amsterdam ArenA. PSV always promised to be dangerous on the break and so it proved as they grabbed their third goal through Florian Jozefzoon who successfully got on the end of a long ball, despite pressure from Blind and Joel Veltman. The two Ajax defenders really should have done better.

Today showed again how pace exposes Ajax and other sides will have taken note of that. Especially in the second half, as Narsingh and Depay looked fantastic, while the link up play between those two, De Jong and Wijnaldum was brilliant. Ajax looked good at times, but PSV came here with a game plan and it paid off, they didn’t panic when they went behind and they showed their class in the end. The final week of the transfer window could prove pivotal for both sides as Ajax look likely to lose Blind, while PSV will look to strengthen further. This year’s title race should be intriguing, and like many said pre season, PSV will certainly be right in and amongst it.


AJAX: Cillessen, Van Rhijn (Serero 70), Veltman, Moisander, Boilesen (Ligeon 66), Klaassen, Viergever, Blind, Schöne, Sigthórsson, El Ghazi (Andersen 50).

SUBS NOT USED: Vermeer, Van der Hoorn, Kishna, Milik.

GOALS: El Ghazi 16.


PSV: Zoet, Brenet, Bruma, Rekik, Willems (Tamata 53), Wijnaldum, Hendrix, Maher (Hiljemark 70), Narsingh (Jozefzoon 80), De Jong, Depay.

SUBS NOT USED: Pasveer, Koch, Ritzmaier, Locadia.

GOALS: Depay 52, Narsingh 63, Jozefzoon 86.

BOOKINGS: Rekik 12, Depay 61.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Luciano Narsingh (PSV)


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A comfortable win for Ajax after controlling the game for most of the 90 minutes, save for a short spell during which AZ scored. AZ lacked the cutting edge that Aron Jóhannsson surely would have provided and could only manage three shots on target while Ajax were comfortable and assured in possession writes Ryan O’Grady.

PSV’s large margin of victory yesterday meant that only by winning by a few themselves could either team go top. AZ’s manager and former Ajax player and legend Marco Van Basten was hoping to beat his former side for the first time ever in his managerial career.  He named an unchanged side from the win away at Heracles while Frank de Boer brought in two of the Netherland’s World Cup stars, Jasper Cillessen and Daley Blind, for their first game of the Eredivisie season. Ajax were coming off the back of a slightly unconvincing 4-1 win against Vitesse Arnhem on opening weekend.

Ajax were very comfortable in the first half with more of the possession and they had the better chances. AZ lacked a presence upfront with Tankovic, who to be fair is not an out and out striker but with Aron Jóhannsson still out with injury there was really no other option for Van Basten.

The game started off quite slowly with Ajax’s Ricardo Kishna having the best early chance after being put through by a wonderful ball from Blind but AZ keeper Alvarado stood tall and saved it easily. AZ had a couple of shots on target in the first half and one of those came in the 10th minute when Ajax defender Ligeon dallied on the ball and was dispossessed by Hupperts on the edge of the box and the ball eventually came back to Hupperts who had a shot well saved by Cillessen.

Then in the 15th minute a lovely bit of play from the Ajax players was rounded off by a through ball from Schöne which took out three defenders and was picked up by Davy Klaassen inside the corner of the box before a lovely low finish into the near side corner of the net.

The response from AZ came six minutes later when they had a free kick near the touchline crossed in by Berghuis and Tankovic had a free header in the box that he put just wide. This was followed by a quite spell of around ten minutes and that was ended when Sigthorsson received the ball outside the box and spun his defender but lost his balance allowing Alvarado to collect easily.

Four minutes later, Sigthorsson was lucky not to be sent off after losing control of the ball before lunging into a tackle on Poulsen who thankfully managed to lift his foot before contact was made, Sigthorsson escaped with a yellow. The rest of the half only contained a few half chances the best of which fell to Berghuis when he had a header across goal that was easily saved by Cillessen.

During the break, Frank de Boer brought off Ricardo Kishna for Anwar El Ghazi presumably because of an injury to Kishna as he didn’t play badly in the first half. This worked out well in the end, as El Ghazi was one of the best players in the second half.  The break also constituted a change of tactics from Marco Van Basten and his side who pressed noticeably higher up the pitch after the interval and this paid off almost immediately.

First Hupperts brought down a ball beautifully in the box before releasing a weak shot that went wide of the post, then from the subsequent goal kick the ball was given to Ajax defender Nick Viergever who immediately gave it to Guus Hupperts and he sent a ball across the box which was missed by Henriksen before being followed up by Steven Berghuis who supplied an almost identical finish to Klaassen’s earlier goal.

This opened up the game and there were frequent chances at either end for both sides including a great chance for substitute El Ghazi who beat two defenders inside the box before wasting a clear shot on goal by playing a ball across the six-yard box that was easily cleared.

Then in the 69th minute there was a comical moment when Schöne appeared to take the ball over the line at the side of the box and both Schöne and the AZ defender just looked at the ball before realising it was still in, Schöne reacted quickest and beat a couple of defenders before sending a lovely curled effort in from the edge of the ‘d’ into the bottom right corner.

Following the goal there was a period of Ajax pressure to try and put the team 3-1 up and out of AZ’s reach. The best chance in this period came when both Sigthorsson and Wuytens went for the ball near the halfway line but the AZ defender was half-hearted in his attempt allowing Sigthorsson to race clear but he took to long to get his shot off in the box that Poulsen was able to cover and put the Ajax striker off causing Sigthorsson to fall over with what appeared to be a wry smile as he appealed for a penalty which was never going to be given.

Wuytens was then booked shortly after as he blocked off El Ghazi from racing clear. The pressure continued in the 78th minute when the ball broke to Sigthorsson on the edge of the box but he yet again wasted what should’ve been an easy goal for someone of his standard. Schöne then had a chance in the 83rd minute when El Ghazi broke into the box before playing it across to Schöne who had a try from a tight angle blocked by Poulsen for a corner.

The resulting corner was delivered into the box and Sigthorsson rose to meet it only for it to ricochet off the post and fall to the feet of Viergever who had a shot saved by the keeper.

The win was rounded off in the 89th minute when the impressive El Ghazi scored his first ever senior goal with a lovely effort from a similar position to Schöne’s goal but this time the ball went into the top left corner leaving the keeper rooted to the spot. The game ended in bad taste after a foul on El Ghazi in the 92nd minute led to a coming together of most of the 22 players on the field but referee Kevin Blom managed to regain control of the situation before booking Hupperts, Gouweleeuw and Moisander.


AZ: Esteban, Johansson (Elm 77), Gouweleeuw, Wuytens, Poulsen, Gudelj, Henriksen, Ortiz, Berghuis, Tankovic (Rosheuvel 84), Hupperts.

SUBS NOT USED: Rochet, Luckassen, Hoedt, Haps, Haye.

GOALS: Berghuis 50.

BOOKINGS: Wuytens 75, Hupperts 90+3, Gouweleeuw 90+4.

AJAX: Cillessen, Ligeon, Van der Hoorn, Moisander, Boilesen, Klaassen, Viergever, Blind (Serero 77), Schöne (El Ghazi 46), Sigthórsson, Kishna.

SUBS NOT USED: Vermeer, Tete, Riedewald, Andersen, Milik.

GOALS: Klaassen 15, Schöne 69, El Ghazi 90.

BOOKINGS: Sigthorsson 37, Moisander 90+4.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Lasse Schöne (Ajax)


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