Tag Archives: AZ Alkmaar

EREDIVISIE REPORT: Sunday 1st September 2013

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WEEK 5 – Sunday 1st September 2013

After week five, PEC Zwolle still sit top even though they dropped their first points of the season as Ajax were also head by Groningen. Feyenoord seem to finally finding their stride as they romped to a 4-0 home win over Roda JC.

FC Groningen - Ajax

FC GRONINGEN 1-1 AJAX

The defending champions drew first blood halfway through the first half, when Danish midfielder Lasse Schöne fired a rocket of a shot into the bottom corner from outside the area.

The hosts looked for an equaliser and defender Eric Botteghin had a great chance to score. Ajax ‘keeper Kenneth Vermeer saved his defence with a great stop from the rising Brazilian’s defenders header from the back post.

After the break, the visitors should have made it two but Bojan, largely disappointing since arriving on loan from Barcelona, went on a jinking run past two defenders. However, instead of playing the ball to an unmarked Schöne, the Spaniard lost the ball after trying to trick his way through on goal.

It was end to end stuff, and Groningen won a corner, and when Botteghin once again saw his header saved by Vermeer, stocky striker Genero Zeefuik was in the right place at the right time to level the score.

After Bojan fluffed another opportunity, Groningen could have won the game themselves in the final minute, but Ajax were saved by the post. Sixteen-year-old Richairo Zivkovic headed on to a free Filip Kostić, but the Serbian’s shot cannoned back off the post.

Frank de Boer will be disappointed with the point as his side are yet to tatse a win away from home this season. This will only get tougher after losing Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld this weekend.

It is a case of reserved fortunes for Groningen, as they bounce back from second-rate performances against Eredivisie new boys Go Ahead Eagles and Cambuur.

AZ - Vitesse

AZ ALKMAAR 1-1 VITESSE

AZ and Vitesse struggled to entertain in the first period of the match, neither side unable to break the deadlock or trouble either goalkeeper.

Just before half-time, AZ created a chance and took it. Swedish right-back Mattias Johansson powered his way up the pitch down the right, cut inside, encroached into the area and fire a superb effort past Piet Velthuizen.

Vitesse pressed and AZ soaked up the pressure looking to attack on the counter. It backfired though as late in the game, Jonathan Reis salvaged a point for Vitesse.

With just five minutes remaining, Frank van der Struijk swung in a cross from the byline and Reis nodded home at the front post.

20130901 - PEC Zwolle 1-1 FC Utrecht

PEC ZWOLLE 1-1 FC UTRECHT

PEC Zwolle are still top of the pile in the Eredivisie but lost their 100% record as they dropped their first points in a 1-1 draw at home against FC Utrecht.

Jan Wouters side took the lead five minutes after the break with new signing Willem Janssen nodded home his first goal for his new club. A recent loan signing from FC Twente, headed home a Jens Toornstra free-kick.

Zwolle equalized in the 74th minute through Stef Nijland. Nijland, a free-transfer from PSV in the summer, finished off a nice move down the left from Jesper Drost to keep Zwolle undefeated in five games.

20130901 - Graziano Pelle, Ruben Schaken & Tonny Vilhena

FEYENOORD 4-0 RODA JC

Ronald Koeman will be a happier man tonight, after losing their first three games of the season, his Feyenoord side has now won their two matches including 4-0 demolition of Roda JC today.

A 31st minute Ruud Vormer’s spot-kick fired the home side into the lead. Meanwhile, Italian hitman Graziano Pelle continued his strong start by notching his sixth goal in five games just before the break. It was a cracker, a half-volley from the edge of the box after the Roda defence could not clear a free-kick.

Nelom Miquel made it three on 68 minutes, and it got worse for the visitors as they were reduced to ten men on 80 minutes. Henk Dijkhuizen was shown a straight red card for a needless tackle from behind on Ruben Schaken on the half-way line.

John Goossens put the icing on the cake a few minutes later with his first goal of the season, a low drive from outside the area, as Feyenoord move towards the top half of the table.

STANDINGS

20130901 - Eredivisie

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EUROPA LEAGUE: Feyenoord out, AZ through

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THURSDAY 29TH & FRIDAY 30TH AUGUST

QUALIFYING PLAY-OFF – SECOND LEG

Feyenoord - Kuban Krasnodar

FEYENOORD 1-2 KUBAN KRASNODAR

Kuban win 3-1 on agg.

Ronald Koeman’s season is going from bad to worse after Feyenoord crashed out of the Europa League at the qualifying stage at the hands of Russian Premier League side Kuban Krasnodar.

Feyenoord were awarded an early penalty after just two minutes of play, when Samuel Armenteros, a recent signing from Anderlecht, was tripped over in the box. However, the usually profilic Graziano Pelle saw his spot kick saved by goalkeeper Aleksandr Belenov.

In a high-octane opening of the match, the hosts saw themselves ahead on seven minutes with Pelle, this time, finishing his chance. After being played through by midfielder Lex Immers, the Italian finished the move well for Feyenoord to draw level on aggregate.

Feyenoord’s lead was not for long, as Krasnodar equalised on 18 minutes. Another defence splitting ball saw Gheorghe Bucur sped past Daryl Janmaat, and stopping the ball on the byline, crossing for Ivelin Popov to finish with ease.

The sides went in level at half-time and just five minutes after the interval, the Russians shocked Koeman’s side with a second goal. The creator turned goalscorer as Bacur finished with a excellent volley from outside the penalty area.

The Dutch side pushed looking for a way back into the tie but failed to trouble the organised Krasnodar defence, as they saw out the win.

Feyenoord are now the third Eredivisie team to be eliminated before the group stages, not a good stat for the Dutch UEFA coefficient for future tournaments.

AZ pip Atromitos in delayed finish

AZ ALKMAAR 0-2 ATROMITOS

3-3 on agg. – AZ Alkmaar win on away goals rule

In a Europa League first, this tie was played over two different days as AZ Alkmaar advanced to the group stages. The Dutch side went through despite the 2-0 home defeat to Greek side Atromitos, they progress on away goals after the 3-1 victory in the first leg.

Inside the first minute, AZ Alkmaar found themselves down to ten men, when Marcus Henriksen was sent for a early bath for a challenge on Javier Umbides. The red card was very harsh as replays showed that there was minimal contact between the players.

The Greeks had a glorious chance to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty on 18 minutes. AZ goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado, who gave away the spot-kick, redeemed himself to save the penalty from Dimitris Papadopoulos.

The Greek striker also redeemed himself by opening the scoring on 53 minutes. Just six minutes later the match was halted for safety reasons due to an electrical fire linked to the floodlighting system at the AZ Stadion.

When the game was stopped, AZ trailed 1-0 on the night but led 3-2 on aggregate. Under UEFA’s competition regulations, the match resumed on Friday morning from the point of abandonment. Thanassis Karagounis struck a second goal for the Greek visitors on 75 minutes, but despite Stefano Napoleoni hitting the woodwork late on, AZ held on to progress on away goals.

WillBurns

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Sunday 25th August 2013

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WEEK 4 – Sunday 25th August 2013

Feyenoord, FC Utrecht and Vitesse Arnhem all pulled off wins to try and salvage their season so far after poor starts in the opening three weeks. 

20130825 - GAE 3-3 Groningen

GO AHEAD EAGLES 3-3 FC GRONINGEN

Eredivisie new boys Go Ahead Eagles put in another valiant performance and were unlucky to go home with all three points early Sunday afternoon.

The hosts took the lead after just ten minutes with a yet another goal from Marnix Kolder. Erik Falkenburg found some space down the right and swung a ball across the goal for Kolder to slide home.

Groningen should have had an equaliser on the half-hour but the Eagles were saved by goalkeeper Eloy Room and the woodwork. Nick van der Velden floated in a free-kick that the home side failed to clear and the ball fell to Krisztián Adorján (on-loan from Liverpool) to smash a half-volley towards goal but Room tipped the shot against the crossbar.

On the stroke of half-time, the visitors found their goal. Van der Velden racxed through on goal after evading the offside trap and layed the ball into the on rushing Tjaronn Chery to tap home.

Three minutes after the restart, Eagles went 2-1 in front from that man again, Marnix Kolder. A weak goal that the Groningen defence horribly defended, and as the ball came out to Kolder’s feet, he placed the ball home past a stagnant Marco Bizot.

It was 2-2 on 53 minutes, the orchastator for the goal was the brilliant Filip Kostic. Surging down the left wing, turning Eagles defender Mawouna Amevor with ease, Kostic spun a low cross over to Adorján to finish beautifully.

The away fans weren’t celebrating for long. Just before the hour mark, left-back Xandro Schenk got forward and grabbed his second goal of the season,after another pitiful display of defending by Erwin van de Looi’s team. Various shots came in and Groningen failed to clear their lines, before Schenk blasted home on 59 minutes,

Groningen, 3-2 down and the game looked over on 69 minutes when Adorján received his marching orders for an elbow on Sjoerd Overgoor. It got worse two minutes later when Timo Letschert received his second booking for a clumsy challenge on the edge of the box.

However, the points were shared in the closing stages of the match when substitute striker Genaro Zeefuik scored for the nine men to clinch a vital draw. The powerhouse caused problems throughout his time on the pitch, but he scrambled a ball in after a corner on 87 minutes. It looked liked handball but the goal was awarded.

20130825 - Graziano Pelle feyenoord 2

FEYENOORD 3-1 NAC BREDA

Italian striker Graziano Pelle scored an excellent hat-trick to lead Feyenoord to a 3-1 victory over NAC Breda, the Rotterdam team’s first points of the season.

Feyenoord were dominant and looked a very different side to that over the past three weeks and could have been two or three goals up int he opening ten minutes. It was a feisty contest and scrappy at times with Jordy Clasie and Rydell Poepon both booked for a pushing contest they participated in on 21 minutes.

Tackles continued to fly throughout but we the first goal finally came on 37 minutes and it was the beginning of a quickfire double by Pelle. Clasie swung a free-kick from the left into the area where Pelle rose above everyone to head home, 1-0.

The ever-loud De Kuip got even louder from the kick-off with Pelle finishing a lovely move by Clasie. Two goals up and the home side were cruising.

Another header gave Pelle his treble on 53 minutes. New signing Samuel Armenteros found space down the left to swing a ball towards the back post where Pelle was waiting to nod another into the goal.

NAC’s Joey Suk got a consolation goal six minutes later but it was not enough to change the result.

The pressure is off Ronald Koeman slightly as he heads into a must win game against Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Vitesse - FC Twente

VITESSE 1-0 FC TWENTE

Peter Bosz’ Vitesse finally got back to winning ways on Sunday with a 1-0 home win over FC Twente.

Tall Japanese striker Mike Havenaar scored the only goal of the game on 22 minutes with a powerful header from a Theo Janssen corner.

The home side were the stronger of the two throughout and should have been two goals ahead on 25 minutes but on-loan Chelsea playmaker Lucas Piazon placed hi shot against the foot of the post.

Twente had their chances too, but poor finishing let them down and they returned back to Enschede with nothing to show for their efforts.

FC Utrecht - AZ

FC UTRECHT 2-0 AZ ALKMAAR

Jan Wouters lives to fight another day as FC Utrecht won their first game of the season to end a bad run, courtesy of two goals from summer signing Steve de Ridder.

After a goal-less first-half, De Ridder, signed from Premier League club Southampton last month, got the opening goal on 54 minutes. Great link-up play between Tommy Oar and Dave Bulthuis down the right set-up the goal, with Bulthuis crossing for De Ridder to slide the ball home.

The lead was extended on 66 minutes with De Ridder’s second. Oar again involved powering through the middle to set De Ridder through on goal, where the former Southampton striker finished coolly.

AZ look jaded and poor over the 90 minutes which may be due their Thursday night Europa League win in Greece over Atromitos. The second leg is this Thursday in Alkmaar, where AZ are leading 3-1 on aggregate.

STANDINGS

20130825 - Eredivisie

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WillBurns

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EUROPA LEAGUE: AZ success as Feyenoord falter

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THURSDAY 22ND AUGUST

QUALIFYING PLAY-OFF – FIRST LEG

KUBAN KRASNODAR 1-0 FEYENOORD

Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord suffered their fourth successive defeat this season at the hands of Russian Premier League side Kuban Krasnodar. Senegalese striker Ibrahima Baldé got the only goal of the game on the hour mark.

If it were not for goalkeeper Erwin Mulder, Koeman’s side could have been returning to Rotterdam virtually out of the competition. The Russians left with just the 1-0 win but it was well-deserved after yet another lacklustre display from Feyenoord.

Goalscorer Baldé was lively throughout the game and had glorious chance to give the Russians the lead after just three minutes, but the Senegalese striker fired narrowly wide from just inside the area, much to Mulder’s relief.

Feyenoord failed to find the net and even the usually consistent Italian hitman Graziano Pellè had yet another off-night wasting his side’s best chance of the game. Pellè flicked a shot onto the post and midfielder Lex Immers over hit the rebound and blasted it over Aleksandr Belenov‘s crossbar.

Into the second period, the Russians looked much more likely to score and continued to press for the opening goal but this did not materialised until the 60th minute. Baldé was in the right place at the right time to fire home. A long ball by Ángel Dealbert was knocked down by Ivelin Popov into the striker’s path to force the ball past Mulder.

De Kuip hosts the return leg next Thursday, with Ronald Koeman knowing that his team still with a good chance to reach the group stages. However, he will also understand that their performance needs to improve quickly otherwise the season looks to be a write-off, even at this early stage.

Atromitos FC - AZ

ATROMITOS 1-3 AZ ALKMAAR

AZ Alkmaar look likely to advance to the group stage of the competition after an excellent 3-1 in Greece against Atromitos.

After a uneventful goalless first-half, Jóhann Gudmundsson helped himself to a brace with Aron Jóhannsson scoring in the middle of the goals to give the Dutch side the win.

Gudmundsson opened the scoring on 50 minutes, with the newly American striker Jóhannsson grabbing the second on 73 minutes. AZ looked comfortable even though the Greeks scored a 76th minute spot-kick from 31-year-old striker Dimitris Papadopoulos. However, Gudmundsson added a third in stoppage time to give AZ the two-goal cushion to return home tomorrow morning.

WillBurns

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 17th August 2013

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WEEK 3 – Saturday 17th August 2013

PSV and surprisngly PEC Zwolle have three wins out of three and top the table after matchday one of week three. Only themselves and Heerenveen have 100% records with the Friesian side due to play on Sunday at home to Heracles.

PSV - Go Ahead Eagles

PSV 3-0 GO AHEAD EAGLES

PSV keep up their 100% record with another win at home to Go Ahead Eagles, who headed into this game undefeated coming off a great victory hosting ADO Den Haag last weekend.

Eindhoven coach Philip Cocu needed to make two changes to his team due to injuries to young duo Jurgen Locadia and Zakaria Bakkali. Slovenian Tim Matavz returned in the lone spot up front with Florian Jozefzoon appearing on the right-wing in his first start for the club since his €850,000 move from RKC.

It was an even first-half with either ‘keeper being worked well but PSV right-back Santaigo Arias, a 20-year-old Colombian recently signed from Sporting Lisbon, was suffering with Eagles’s left-wing attacks. Down the left, Xander Houtkoop and Deniz Türüç were getting past Arias time after time, therefore Cocu made the decision to sub the Colombian for 19-year-old Joshua Brenet after half-an-hour, and the youngster coped well throughout.

Memphis Depay, on PSV’s left-wing, got into the game towards the end of the first half and Eagles goalkeeper Eloy Room, on loan from Vitesse, had to stop him three times from scoring before the interval.

Arriving for the second half, PSV stormed out of the blocks and found a breakthrough within two minutes. Jetro Willems finding space down the left, fired a ball across the box, Matatvz intercepted at the front post and placed Jozefzoon in to score on his first start.

The Philips Stadion faithful roared their team on and it was two eight minutes later. Swedish international Oscar Hiljemark hitting a low long range effort past Room from around 25 yards out.

The game was wrapped up with nine minutes remaining with a 30 yard free-kick from Depay. A swerving driving effort, that Room could only manage to palm onto the post but into the goal.

Another good win for Philip Cocu’s men who sit on top with superior goal difference to second placed PEC Zwolle, ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League first leg tie against Serie A giants AC Milan.

SC Cambuur - FC Groningen

SC CAMBUUR 4-1 FC GRONINGEN

After a promising start to the season, the world has come crashing down on Groningen, suffering a heavy 4-1 shock defeat away to lowly SC Cambuur.

Cambuur had failed to score a goal in the past two weeks of the season but they managed to find the net within two minutes of this match. Michiel Hemmen, scoring his first goal in the Eredivisie, pounced on a loose ball to finish after a mistake by Eric Botteghin.

It could have been two after 12 minutes with Groningen goalkeeper Marco Bizot saving his side on many occasions with a barrage of Cambuur attacks. The home side’s pressure was relentless and they did double the lead on 21 minutes through Erik Bakker. A one-two between Bakker and Hemmen placed the former into a lovely position in the box to time a first-time shot into Bizot’s goal.

The new boys were finding their groove and it was three on the stroke of half-time. Oebele Schokker crossed an inswinging corner and defender Ramon Leeuwin rose above everyone to power a header home. Groningen was sinking fast and would have been glad to hear the half-time whistle.

The away side emerged for the second-half knowing that they needed an early goal if they had any chance out getting back into the game and they scored five minutes after the restart. Michael de Leeuw, who had replaced the injured David Texeira midway through the first-half, scoring the goal. Nick van der Velden created some space down the right and swung in a cross for De Leeuw to smash a header past Leonard Nienhuis.

Groningen failed to score any more and Cambuur fourth killed off any chance of a comeback on 69 minutes. A lovely combination move by the hosts, which was finished by a low drive from Wout Droste from the right of the penalty area.

A huge win for Cambuur, finally getting some points on the board but as for Groningen, it was a terrible display. The game highlighting many problems for the team, and coach Erwin van de Looi will tend to these before next week’s travel to Deventer to play Go Ahead Eagles.

RKC Waalwijk - AZ

RKC WAALWIJK 1-2 AZ ALKMAAR

AZ Alkmaar travelled to Waalwijk and beat RKC 2-1 with Maarten Martens scoring the late winner just seconds after Jean-David Beauguel had equalised for the hosts.

AZ took a fourth-minute lead through American striker Aron Jóhannsson. After Nemanja Gudelj was trying to force his way into the box, the ball fell to the unmarked Jóhannsson to dink the ball over the onrushing Czech goalkeeper Jan Šeda.

RKC kept their composure and pressed for an equaliser with caution, and had to wait until seven minutes remaining to draw level.

French striker Beauguel had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes replacing defender Ingo van Weert. Rushing onto a long ball from the counter-attack, the tall striker powered his way past defender Nick Viergever to chip goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado to send the crowd into raptures.

The crowd quickly calmed down a minute later when Gudelj crossed deep from the right to meet the volleying right foot of Martens to take home the points. A crushing blow for Erwin Koeman’s side.

NEC - PEC Zwolle

NEC NIJMEGEN 1-5 PEC ZWOLLE

The pressure is on for NEC coach Alex Pastoor, his team is propping up the league without a point and victims of a crushing 5-1 defeat to highflying PEC Zwolle.

Zwolle’s Jesper Drost scored after 12 seconds last weekend, making his goal the fastest ever in Eredivisie history. However, Drost must have thought his record had been smashed right in front of his eyes when NEC’s Victor Pálsson drove the ball home after just ten seconds on the clock, but English striker Michael Higdon was penalised for a foul a second earlier.

Drost was on the scoresheet again putting Zwolle in the lead on 15 minutes. His first shot was saved by Karl-Johan Johnsson, but he headed the rebound home.

The pair of Youness Mokhtar and Kamohelo Mokotjo once again ran the show for Zwolle and the two combined three minutes later to make it 2-0. The Moroccan midfielder Mokhtar weaved his way in and out of the NEC defence before laying onto the South African Mokotjo for his second goal of the campaign. The Nimigen crowd were not happy and boos rang out of the Goffertstadion.

The pain continued for Pastoor’s side before half-time with striker Fred Benson, lively throughout, grabbing his first goal of the day on 37 minutes. Once again, the tricky Mokhtar taking on defenders then whipped a ball for Benson to head home at the front post, to send the away side into the break three goals to the good.

Two more goals were added early in the second period. Surging down the wing, left-back Maikel van der Werff continued into the area and laid it on a plate for Benson to tap home for his second on 49 minutes. As Benson danced to celebrate, a small percentage of the NEC fans were seen leaving the stadium in disgust.

More boos rang out just three minutes later as Zwolle scored their fifth and final goal. Some good work from Mokotjo set-up Mokhtar to fire home to score a goal that he had well deserved.

NEC’s only consolation came from Christoph Hemlein’s 76th-minute strike which was met with sarcastic applause from the home fans. They had a perfect chance to score a second after Hemlein was fouled in the area by Zwolle ‘keeper Kevin Begios, but Higdon hit a poor penalty that was easily saved by the goalkeeper. It has been a poor start to the season from the English striker and he may be in danger of being dropped if his action in front of goal does not improve.

The Nijmegen side are in major trouble failing to grab any points in three outings and conceding five goals in two consecutive games. The pressure is indeed on for Alex Pastoor and they must look for victory at home to RKC next weekend, if he is still in charge by then, after most of the fans are calling for his resignation.

Zwolle on the other hand maintain an 100% record with three wins in three and they look stronger and stronger as the games go on, they host newly promoted Cambuur next Saturday night.

Roda JC Kerkrade - Vitesse

RODA JC 1-1 VITESSE

Two goals in seven minutes settled a 1-1 draw between Roda and Vitesse. Highly-rated Brazilian playmaker Lucas Piazón, on-loan from Chelsea, made his first start and impressed. His skill nearly produced the first goal on six minutes, he slalomed through three Roda defenders but Vitesse failed to capitalise on the Brazilian’s good work.

We had to wait until 62 minutes to get our first goal. Valeri Kazaishvili putting the visitors ahead after another Chelsea loanee, Patrick van Aanholt has pressed his way down the left-wing. The lef-back continued into the area to lay the ball off to the Georgian to finish high into the goal superbly.

Seven minutes the game was tied through some great reactions from Roda striker Marc Höcher. After captain Mark-Jan Fledderus had seen his shot crash off the crossbar, the alert Höcher fired the ball back across the goal to send the ball home into an empty net.

REMAINDER OF WEEK 3 FIXTURES

SUNDAY 18TH AUGUST

AJAX vs. FEYENOORD

HEERENVEEN vs. HERACLES

NAC BREDA vs. ADO DEN HAAG

FC TWENTE vs. FC UTRECHT

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WillBurns

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Sunday 11th August 2013

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WEEK 2 – Sunday 11th August 2013

PSV Eindhoven will be celebrating tonight after title rivals Ajax and Feyenoord both tasted defeats just two weeks into the new season. Another great day for goals in the Eredivisie and Will Burns is here to describe them all.

Feyenoord - FC Twente

FEYENOORD 1-4 FC TWENTE

The first game of the season at De Kuip and as always the crowd was jumping, well that was before the game. After the final whistle the supporters were leaving hanging their heads in shame. Feyenoord finished the match with just nine men on the field and Twente had defeated them by four goals to one, ending a 28-match unbeaten streak in Rotterdam.

The hosts went ahead after half an hour with their usual source to goals, Italian Graziano Pelle heading in at the front post from a Jordy Clasie out-swinging corner.

Twente hit back from the kick-off and fired a warning shot when former Feyenoord striker Luc Castaignos smashed a shot at Erwin Mulder’s goal that rattled the crossbar, and the woodwork had saved Koeman’s men.

They did not take heed of the warning as a minute later the scores were level and it was another former De Kuip man who scored the goal. Kyle Ebecilio recently signing on a free from Premier League club Arsenal kept his cool to finish inside the area, after a scramble.

With usual right-back Daryl Janmaat injured, the young Jordy van Deelen was making his first start for the club and midway through the second half he made a fatal mistake. Failing to get ahead of Shadrach Eghan, he pulled the Ghanaian midfielder down in the box and referee Richard Liesveld pointed to the spot and dismissed the debutant. As the rookie was trudging off the field, Dusan Tadic stepped up and slotted home the spot-kick to give Twente the lead.

Nine minutes later, Feyenoord lost another defender to the red card. Stefan de Vrij who had stupidly been booked midway through the first-half for diving in on a tackle he had no business is challenging for in the opposition’s half, did the same again on Castaignos inside the centre circle.

Twente’s attacking left-back Dico Koppers, a recent buy from Ajax in the summer, won a penalty surging into the box and being felled by Joris Mathijsen. Mathijsen received a yellow and Tadic converted his second penalty of the match.

The game was done but Twente weren’t finished as Castaignos and Tadic combined on the edge of the box and the former finished clinically to make the day worse for the Rotterdam fans.

Pressure will be on Koeman now, his team was tipped to be title challengers, but are now already six points off the top spot. The two defeats in two equals their worst start since the 1963/64 season, fifty years ago.

Tien Ajacieden lopen in Alkmaar tegen verliespartij aan

AZ ALKMAAR 2-3 AJAX

Last years’ Eredivisie champions Ajax took a major blow in the defence of their title as AZ Alkmaar gained revenge for last month’s Johan Crujiff Schaal match, and ended their fifteen match unbeaten run with a 3-2 victory on Sunday afternoon.

Frank de Boer’s men did take the lead on 20 minutes with a wonderful free-kick from Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen. From around 25 yards out, he lifted the ball superbly over the wall, spinning low into the goal past Esteban Alvarado, leaving the Costa Rican goalkeeper helpless.

The home side were level before half-time due to some bad goalkeeping by Dutch international Kenneth Vermeer. Trying to punch the ball away in a battle with Viktor Elm but flapped miserably and the ball fell in the path of Roy Beerens to poke home.

De Boer must have been furious with his goalkeeper so much that he replaced him at half-time with Jasper Cillessen. The Amsterdammers regained the lead on the hour mark but Siem de Jong delightfully finishing a Bojan cross, but it was poor defending from AZ as the Oranje midfielder was all alone to score.

Then disaster struck for Ajax five minutes later. Right-back Ricardo van Rhijn pulled down Nick Viergever in the penalty area and received his marching orders. The new American international Aron Jóhannsson’s spot-kick hit the back of the net and the reigning league champions were on the ropes.

Shortly after his entrance substitute Maarten Martens was invaluable for AZ, his beautiful pin-point cross found Elm unmarked at the back post, who placed a superb first-time volley into the back of the net.

It was a fantastic win for Gertjan Verbeek and the fans inside the AFAS Stadion but will probably be celebrated more by PSV coach Philip Cocu, whose side are already three points ahead of their rivals after just two games.

HIGHLIGHTS

FC Groningen - FC Utrecht

FC GRONINGEN 2-0 FC UTRECHT

Although less convincing than last week in Nijmegen, FC Groningen won their second game of the season. Utrecht, going through a real bad spell at the moment, fell 2-0 in the Euroborg Stadion, thanks to goals from Nick van der Velden and SIXTEEN-year-old Richairo Živkovic.

For those who had not taken their seat when the opening whistle was blown by referee Dennis Higler, they may have missed his second whistle too, when he blew for a penalty kick. Utrecht’s captain Mark van der Maarel fouling Filip Kostic and Van der Velden took advantage of the spot-kick.

FC Groningen pressed throughout but did not double the score until 71st minute. After Robbin Ruiter parried a Van der Velden shot, the young Živkovic, brought on as a substitute just five minutes earlier, cooly converted a rebound. This was his second goal in two games after playing a total of just 12 minutes of play this season so far.

RKC Waalwijk - Vitesse

RKC WAALWIJK 4-2 VITESSE

After crashing out of Europe on Thursday, Vitesse travelled to Waalwijk to turn their attention back to the league where they defeated Heracles 3-1 last Sunday.

Within three minutes, it looked good for them as Kelvin Leerdam headed home at the front post from a Theo Janssen corner. Going forward, it was clear to see that the visitors were pressing a lot better than Thursday’s night’s defeat to FC Petrolul but defensively they looked dodgy. Patrick van Aanholt especially, getting caught out and minutes after the goal, contributing to what could have been an equaliser.

The Chelsea man and Jan-Arie van der Heijden passing around in their own penalty area and Luxembourg international striker Aurélien Joachim caught them out and had a glorious chance to put RKC level, but poorly placed his shot wide.

On 12 minutes, RKC were level. Some tremendous work from Romeo Castelen turning Van Aanholt inside out on the right-wing and crossing for Robert Braber to finish coolly.

Before half-time, Castelen himself got on the scoresheet and put RKC in the lead. Peter Jungschläger dinked a lovely ball over the defence and Castelen ran on to score his first goal in the Eredivisie for six years. The former Feyenoord winger had spells him Russia and Germany since leaving the Rotterdam club.

Vitesse boss Peter Bosz had to turn this around and replaced Van Aanholt and Giorgi Chanturia for Davy Propper and Valeri Qazaishvili. On the 54th minute mark, Qazaishvili scored the equaliser.

At that moment, the Arnhem side may have took the draw but RKC were not and two goals in as many minutes from Sander Duits sent Vitesse and their fans home miserable.

STANDINGS

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 3rd August 2013

Header-EredivisieReport

WEEK 1 – Saturday 3rd August 2013

As usual in the Dutch top flight, it’s a case of goals, goals, goals on Saturday evening. Two games had five goals exchanged and Heerenveen vs. AZ Alkmaar had six, but as one extreme to the other, FC Twente and RKC Waalwijk failed to find a goal in their match.

ADO DEN HAAG 2-3 PSV

The Cocu Revolution made a great start to their title challenge with a 3-2 away victory over ADO Den Haag. PSV took a 3-0 lead thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum, a Danny Holla own goal and Jetro Willems within the opening 35 minutes. However Holla pulled one back on the stroke of half-time for the home side and young striker Mike Van Duinen reduced the deficit deep into injury time.

Nineteen-year-old forward Jurgen Locadia had an excellent chance to score in the opening minute but was thwarted by goalkeeper Gino Coutinho. PSV ‘keeper Jeroen Zoet was called into action for the first time in the 11th minute as he palmed away a long-range effort from Jerson Cabral.

A minute later and the visitors took the lead, new signing Stijn Schaars played in Wijnaldum and the captain slotted home at the far post.

Wijnaldum came very close to doubling the lead on 17 minutes with young prodigy Memphis Depay setting up Wijnaldum, he first touch was sublime, but his shot was subpar as the ball crept agonisingly wide of the post.

ADO had their chances too, as Cabral fired an effort on target but had his shot nodded away by Jeffrey Bruma.

PSV extended their lead in the 27th minute through an unlucky own goal by Holla. The defender tried to clear a long ball from Wijnaldum, but his looping header beat Coutinho.

Cocu’s young side, with five teenagers in the starting eleven, looked to have settled the match six minutes later. Left-back Willems wrong footed three defenders before blasting home.

PSV did not let up, and a minute later, looked for a fourth and the left-wing menace Depay looked likely to score, as he cut into the box and rounded two defenders but he sent his shot wide.

PSV sat back to protect the third goal lead but as it invited ADO on to the attack, they found a goal before half-time. Danny Holla making amends for his mistake by firing Ninos Gouriye’s dangerous cross past Zoet.

Diciating the tempo, PSV slowed down the pace of the game, with the home side enjoying the bulk of possession. Chances went begging when Wijnaldum headed Zakaria Bakkali’s free-kick over the bar and Locadia just could not connect with Depay´s cross. While ADO striker Van Duinen headed well wide over the bar in the 68th minute.

Van Duinen handed Den Haag a lifeline in second-half stoppage time, capitalising on a defensive slip but PSV held on to take all three points.

HIGHLIGHTS

NEC - FC Groningen

NEC 1-4 FC GRONINGEN

FC Groningen also made a winning start to their campaign defeating NEC by four goals to one at the Goffertstadion on Saturday evening, a margin of goals that makes them top the table as of time of writing.

Both NEC and Groningen were quite active this summer in the transfer market, capturing six new players. As Groningen signed known Eredivisie experience in Tjaronn Chery, Eric Botteghin and Nick van der Velden, NEC mostly signed players without Dutch top flight familiarity.

It was obvious last season that NEC could use some fresh blood in as coach Alex Pastoor stated at the start of the campaign that him aim was to guide the team the Europa League playoffs but in the last twelve games were only four points were collected, three of them against the relegated Willem II.

Groningen came flying out of the blocks and one of the new boys, Chery scored the opening goal after just ten minutes of play. Kalle Johnson, last season’s NEC third choice goalkeeper, was responsible for the goal. Filip Kostic’s shot from the edge of the area, changed direction, but the weak save from Johnson led Chery to grab his first goal for the club on his debut.

It was 2-0 on 27 minutes and again Chery was involved. He placed a through ball to Andraz Kirm and the Slovenian outwitted Johnson to double the lead.

The two goal advantage put the visitors in the driving seat with Navarone Foor replying for the hosts before the half-time whistle.

Howver, second-half strikes from David Texeira, on 54 minutes and a late Richairo Zivkovic goal put the result beyond doubt.

FC TWENTE 0-0 RKC WAALWIJK

After losing top stars, Nader Chadli and Leroy Fer, FC Twente looked toothless and clueless in their opener against a RKC Waalwijk side which they should be quite capable of defeating. Instead it was a poor game and neither side could find a goal.

Even RKC has made some major changes in their playing staff, coach Erwin Koeman had to say goodbye to Jeroen Zoet, Cuco Martina, Henrico Drost, Guy Ramos and Ard van Peppen. Hardly any replacements of the calibre of the players that have departed have came in, and even after the Florian Jozefzoon’s transfer to PSV, there was not much money for new players.

The hosts did have their chances to win the match, especially through Willem Janssen and Luc Castaignos but the new RKC goalkeeper Jan Seda, had an excellent game and kept their best efforts out.

HEERENVEEN 4-2 AZ ALKMAAR

Heerenveen and AZ shared six goals in a high tempo match at a packed Abe Lenstra Stadion. Marco van Basten’s side showed that the administrative problems at the club have no impact on the performance on the field.

AZ had the best chance inside the first ten minutes when Swedish midfielder Viktor Elm found himself unmarked in the area and fired from close range straight at his compatriot Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

Heerenveen looked a different side to last year, with the high pressure and tenacity winning balls back deep into the opposition half. They grabbed the lead after 22 minutes when a penalty was awarded after a handball from Jan Wuytens inside the box. Icelandic hot shot Alfred Finnbogason made no mistake with the spot-kick, powering the shot into the right corner past Esteban Alvarado.

AZ were close to equalising minutes later but Nemanja Gudelj’s header from a corner clipped the crossbar and went over.

The visitors did grab the leveller, five minutes after the internal, with a tremendous solo effort from right-back Mattias Johansson. The Swede surged up the pitch with the ball stuck to his feet, played a lovely one-two inside the area with Aron Jóhannsson, and smashed it home.

The teams were only level pegging for just less than four minutes as Finnbogason clinched his second of the game. It was a poacher’s goal by the Iceland international, tapping home from a save from a lashing shot from Pele van Anholt.

Two minutes later, Van Anholt also got on the scoresheet as Heerenveen extended their lead to 3-1. The defender, who loves to get forward, arrived into the box as Finnbogason was doing some great play on the left of the area. The Icelandic squared the ball for Van Anholt to side-foot home with a neat finish.

The goals quietened down but the action did not, the hosts were reduced to ten-men after on-loan defender Mitchell Dijks was shown his marching orders for a strong but late challenge on Steven Berghuis. Luckily the striker was not seriously injured and continued the match.

AZ were given a chance to get back into the game when Rajiv van La Parra was deemed to have handle the ball in the area. The newly stated American international Jóhannsson converted perfectly hitting the inside of the left post on the way in.

The scoring had not been completed with the Van Basten’s boys when Van La Parra hit a superb curling effort from just outside the area to complete a 4-2 victory for Heerenveen.

HIGHLIGHTS

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JOHAN CRUYFF SCHAAL: AZ 2-3 Ajax A.E.T.

JohanCruyffSchaal

Ahead of next week’s Eredivisie season kick-off, champions Ajax faced KNVB Beker winners AZ Alkmaar at the Amsterdam ArenA for the coveted Johan Cruyff Schaal (Shield), in the usual season preview to the upcoming campaign. Ajax were looking to finally end an curse in this match which has seen the Amsterdammers which has seen them lose the match the last three seasons consecutively, although they went on to win the Eredivisie title on all three occasions. Not a bad consolation prize, but it was a case of third time lucky for Frank de Boer’s side this evening, coming back from two goals down to finally clinch the Shield.

AZ 2-3 AJAX

AFTER EXTRA TIME

The first 45 minutes were a cautious affair from both sides of the pitch but after a goal-less first-half, but in the second period, the game opened up and delivered four goals.

The first goal was produced against the run of play after Ajax defender Daley Blind was knocked down on the edge of AZ’s penalty area by Jeffrey Gouweleeuw. Gouweleeuw launched the ball forward as the AZ attack had a three on two advantage. The Icelandic attack linked up well as Aron Jóhannsson squared to an unmarked Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson who buries it past Kenneth Vermeer to put the underdogs ahead. Coach De Boer was furious that the foul had not been given up the pitch before the goal.

Moments after the restart, it was nearly 2-0. AZ surged forward again and when the ball was threaded through to always pressing Gouweleeuw, he poorly hit his shot straight at Vermeer, but Ajax were on the ropes.

Gertjan Verbeek’s men did get their second goal with some good work from their midfield exposing some defensive frailties from the Amsterdam side. Markus Henriksen and Roy Beerens linked up well to split the Ajax backline and left Jóhannsson to tap home to double the lead. De Boer acted by bringing on 18-year-old Danish attacker Lucas Andersen for the on-loan Bojan Krcic, who had largely been disappointing.

AZ - Ajax

Ajax grabbed a goal back with an unlucky own goal. Up stepped Christian Eriksen with the free-kick which ricocheted off Gouweleeuw’s head and into the goal.

Toby Alderweireld hit a long-range effort straight at Esteban Alvarado but the Costa Rican goalkeeper could just parry the effort into the feet of yet another Icelandic, Kolbeinn Sigþórsson to level the game up with fifteen minutes of time remaining.

With chances for either side going begging, the game ended 2-2 on 90 minutes and headed into extra-time. Moments into the first-half, attacking AZ full-back Mattias Johansson found space inside the box but pulled his shot narrowly wide, a huge let-off for De Boer’s side.

Ajax knokt zich terug van 2-0 en wint Johan Cruijff-schaal

Ajax finally took the lead in the match on 103 minutes, Eriksen whipping in a high cross for Siem de Jong to nod home from the back post. Ajax continued to look for goals hitting AZ on the counter while the Alkmaar side pressed to get themselves back into the game, but time ran out for them and Ajax were awarded the Shield.

By winning the trophy this evening, De Boer has wrote himself in the record books once again. He is only the second Ajax man to have lifted the trophy as both a player and a coach, the first being Ajax legend Danny Blind.

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Altidore leaves AZ for Sunderland

The Eredivisie has lost yet another of it’s stars of last season, with American international striker Jozy Altidore leaving AZ Alkmaar to seal a move to the Premier League with Sunderland.

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The 23-year-old has signed a four-year deal with the Black Cats, for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be around €8 million.

The striker completed a medical on Monday and put pen to paper on the contract on Tuesday and talking to the club’s official website he said: “I’m thrilled to be here. It’s a fantastic club, I’m really excited about this season and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Altidore began his career in the MLS with the New York Red Bulls, before heading to Spain with Villarreal, where he went on to enjoy loan spells at Xerez, Hull City and Bursaspor. He arrived in Holland in the summer of 2001, and joined AZ, scoring 38 goals in 67 appearances in the process. However, last season he made his mark, winning the KNVB Beker and scoring a career-high 23 goals.

It is a blow to fans of the Dutch league who has seen top performers from last term like Marco van Ginkel, Filip Djuridic, Dries Mertens, Virgil van Dijk, Sanharib Malki and soon to be top scorer Wilfried Bony all departing for pastures new. This maybe cements the fact even further that the Dutch top flight is the stepping-stone of Europe, but of course, this also means that the next season, others will have to step up and make their mark like Altidore did last year.

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Groningen invest in defence

After the sale of Virgil van Dijk to Celtic, FC Groningen have acted quickly to replace the big man and also bring in a new left-back.

Eric Botteghin and Giliano Wijnaldum arrive at the Euroborg

Arriving for the centre of defence is Eric Botteghin from NAC Breda. The Brazilian, with an Italian passport, stated he made the move so that he can play European football.

Botteghin said: “The people here are similar clubs as NAC Breda, with fanatical fans, but in Groningen, the sporting ambitions a lot bigger and that appeals to me. I have come here to get to the playoffs and play European football.”

It was revealed that Botteghin also spoke with Heerenveen, but had a better feeling for FC Groningen.

Also arriving is young left-back, Giliano Wijnaldum from AZ Alkmaar. The 20-year-old signs as a free transfer from AZ and signed a two-year contract. The brother of PSV midfielder Georginio stated he has arrived at the Euroborg Stadion to progress as a player.

“I am very glad I signed here,” said Wijnaldum “For me, FC Groningen is a step forward. Especially since I have here the opportunity to develop myself further, and that feels good.”

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KNVB BEKER REPORT: AZ Alkmaar 2-1 PSV Eindhoven

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AZ clinch their fourth KNVB Beker trophy

AZ 2 (Maher 11, Altidore 13)

PSV 1 (Locadia 30)

AZ Alkmaar hit a quickfire double to defeat favourites PSV Eindhoven two goals to one in De Kuip, Rotterdam to win their fourth KNVB Beker. The goals came from American international Jozy Altidore and Adam Maher. 19-year-old Maher showed the veterans of PSV how it’s done with an excellent opening goal and overall majestic performance.

In a dream start, Gertjan Verbeek’s side went a goal ahead from some magic from the young attacking maestro. Recieving the ball on the edge of the area, Maher ghosted past several PSV defenders and slotted the ball past Boy Waterman in the PSV goal after only 11 minutes. It was horrendous defending by Dick Advocaat’s team but a sublime piece of skill and the finish to match from Maher.

PSV needed to re-group and quickly, but unfortunately for De Boeren, it was not quick enough and they were hit with a sucker punch, two minutes later. The powerful Altidore scored his 32nd goal in all competitions this season on 13 minutes. A long ball through from Viktor Elm set-up the big strong American who ventured into the box, and forced a strong shot underneath Waterman. It was poor goalkeeping and poor defending all around from PSV again.

AZ were in full control is respect of the scoreboard but they were lucky to escape a good penalty shout against them. A Jurgen Locadia strike appeared to hit the arm of defender Nick Viergever, but referee Bjorn Kuiper waved play on.

It took some excellent work from Dries Mertens to create the PSV goal. Mertens sped past two defenders and crossed towards the back post where the ball met Wilfried Bouma’s head. Bouma’s header zipped across the goal for youngster Locadia, picked ahead of Tim Matavz for today’s game, to finish to give PSV some faith. This goal was PSV’s 144th goal in just 49 games this season and this equals a club record they set back in the 1987/88 season.

After the break, PSV came out looking likely that the Eindhoven side would reel in AZ during the second half, but chances for Mertens, Locadia and Strootman went begging and Jermain Lens missed a glorious opporuntity ten minutes from time, crashing the post with his close range shot.

AZ now enter Europe next season without having the worry of the playoffs, they will begin in the fourth qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League. It is their first silverware since their 2009 Eredivisie title.

After the match, Jozy Altidore stated that this season ‘boys became men’ in this AZ side and on this performance, we can see that statement is accurate. What the future holds for this team is set to be seen with Maher almost certain to move on and Altidore, on this form, will be a wanted man throughout Europe.

Some major changes will happen this summer for PSV and on this display, they are well needed, whether or not Marcel Brands will be given the chance to spend money will need to be seen.

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Week 32 – Friday 26th April 2013

Eredivisie_LogoAZ Alkmaar jumped up to eleventh in the Eredivisie with a shocking emphatic 4-0 win away to Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen.  American international Jozy Altidore grabbed his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season in the process.

Goalscorer Jozy Altidore and Adam Maher celebrate

With AZ coach and leader Gertjan Verbeek sitting in the stands due to a suspension many pundits would have wrote off their chances of defeating a strong Heerenveen side who have won six of their last eight games with only one defeat. The Cheese Farmers  proved those pundits wrong in the Friday night and thumped Van Basten’s men by four goals.

Without the creativity of seasoning Filip Djuricic, who also sat in the stands with a hamstring injury, Heerenveen looked to have no inspiration or determination. Altidore grabbed the first goal after breaking the offside trap and getting goal side of central defender Jeffrey Gouweleeuw. The American placed a shot that forced a save out of goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt but the ball gratefully feel perfectly for Altidore’s head to nod the away team ahead.

Two minutes later, the lead was doubled. From the left, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson whipped in a vicious ball to the back post where Roy Beerens was arriving to smash past Nordfeldt.

Heerenveen came out the second half looking for a revival, unfortunately for the home side, this was not produced and the game was all but finished just after the hour.

A great run by Guðmundsson ended by the Icelandic getting on the scoresheet after a cute little backheel from Altidore. The icing was put on the cake three minutes later after AZ were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Altidore grabbed his second. The striker stepped up and took the free-kick quickly and curled it in the left top corner giving Nordfeldt no chance.

Heeremveen currently sit in seventh with a chance of making the Europa League next year through the playoffs while AZ are placed 11th and well out of the relegation trouble now.

LEAGUE TABLE

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NEWS: Adam Maher… Holland’s hottest property!

Adam Maher – wanted by the Premier League’s best

It is no surprise to many following the game in the Netherlands that AZ attacking midfielder Adam Maher is perhaps most coveted Dutch footballer at the moment. 

Earlier this year in the January transfer window, English Premier League clubs knocked on the door of AZ Alkmaar, and now as the season ends and clubs around Europe await the opening of a new window, the English superpowers are ready to rumble throughout the summer for the Ducth international.

The Morrocan-born Oranje star is wanted by Eredivisie giants PSV and Ajax but the top clubs from the Premier League are in the market and they very well may tempt the playmaker to head to the British Isles.

British newspaper The Mirror have reported that Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are some clubs that Maher would like to attract.

In AZ, they are only too well aware of the foreign interest. On Maher, as what happens with many young Dutch talents an excessively high price tag has been slapped on so that AZ can make some major profit. It is rumoured that interested clubs can tempt AZ to sell him for around £15.4m, which is approximately equivalent to €18m.

But which club is the preference for Maher?  Maher himself does not except anything to happen and says to he will wait until the summer. “I look to see which clubs are interested but nothing will be discussed until the summer. “

But as friend of the site, Scottish-based Dutch football expert Peter McVitie added, Maher has said over and over that he wishes to stay in Holland: ‘He has maintained since January that he wants to stay in Eredivisie and, since February, he has made clear that he wants to join one of Ajax or PSV in the summer. He lives in Amsterdam and has praised Ajax several times in recent weeks and he has actually said that he has an idea which club he would prefer to join.’

For Maher, who would like to leave with his ailing club, it is hoped that when he does leave this summer, AZ make as much as they can so they use the funds to be a force in the Eredivisie again.

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