Tag Archives: Bas Dost

Bas Dost is now fully deserving of Oranje starting berth

He may not be the most dynamic, fluid or exhilarating striker, but the goals of Bas Dost can no longer be ignored. Dost’s second half of the Bundesliga season was seen as a flash in the pan by many, however, the Wolfsburg man has started where he left off this term and is showing few signs of letting up. As the Oranje crashed out of Euro qualifying in an embarrassing fashion, they did so without a leading marksman, so is Dost now the answer asks Alex Blinston.

Go back twelve months and any talk of Bas Dost being deserving of an Oranje call-up would have been first laughed at, and then duly dismissed with good reason. The Netherlands were coming off a 3rd place at the World Cup; an overachievement by any means, and Dost was keeping the bench toasty at Wolfsburg.

Well, what a difference twelve months can make. 2015 has seen Dost flourish in to the striker that many were expecting when he made the switch to Lower Saxony in 2012 after a 32 goal season with Heerenveen. In the last six months Dost has scored four in a game against Bayer Leverkusen, got on the scoresheet in the DFB Pokal final and be part of a Wolfsburg side that came 2nd behind the untouchable Bayern Munich; however, he is still yet to make his impact with the Dutch Lion on his chest.

There is only one reason for this: he hasn’t been awarded the chance. The football purists will point to his technical flaws; that he doesn’t fit the Totaal Voetbal theory that is deeply embedded in to Dutch football. However, neither does Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the man with 76 caps and 42 goals to his name for country and his career with the national side, on an individual basis if nothing else, has been a success.

Guus Hiddink and Danny Blind persisted with the duo of Robin Van Persie and Huntelaar, whose powers are both waning; leaving Dost had to watch from the side-lines as he made just two substitute appearances in Euro qualifying.

This is not to take away from the prestige of Van Persie and Huntelaar – after all they are first and second respectively in the Netherlands’ all-time leading scorers list – but the mistake of picking stature over form may have been a costly one. Of course hindsight is a beautiful thing, but Dost has scored 25 club goals in 2015 – the aforementioned duo have only accrued 17 between them in the same time.

Unlike Wolfsburg’s backers, Volkswagen, Bas Dost’s reputation is only growing, and the sceptics who described his form last season as fleeting period of success, are quickly diminishing. The 26-year-old has averaged a Bundesliga goal every 96 minutes in the Bundesliga last term, compared to a goal every 120 minutes this season but it would have been ludicrous to expect Dost to maintain his pace from last term. Dost epitomizes the traditional no.9: dominating in the air and clinical in front of goal – his conversion rate (37.2%) was the best of all players in Europe’s top five leagues last term.

While Wolfsburg boss Dieter Hecking has slammed Dost for being ‘egotistical’, a common problem with Dutch front men, his showings this season will have gone some way to get him back in to Hecking’s good books.

Johan Cruyff – who I would like to wish support to in his battle with lung cancer – famously said, “It’s better to go down with your own vision than with someone else’s.” His vision, and the Dutch vision will always be Totaal Voetbal, something Bas Dost will never fit in to. However, Cruyff also said, “Every disadvantage has its advantage” and bare this in mind with Bas Dost and the direction the Netherlands should take. Dost isn’t aesthetically pleasing, like many of his predecessors have been; however, he has a lot to offer an Oranje side that needs to stray away from Totaal Voetbal.


A Dutch injection of youth

The end of an era is inching closer:

Arjen Robben 31 years old, 86 appearances, 28 goals

Robin van Persie 31 years old, 96 appearances, 49 goals

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 31 years old, 71 appearances, 39 goals

Wesley Sneijder 30 years old, 113 appearances, 28 goals

Rafael Van Der Vaart 32 years old, 109 appearances, 25 goals.

These players have been the staple of the Oranje for the last seven years, now all of them are on the wrong side of thirty. To say that they do not have valuable playing time left would be foolish, Robben is having the best scoring year of his career, and if not for injuries would have eclipsed the twenty goal mark for the first time in the Bundesliga, while Van Persie was the leading goal scorer for Manchester United before also picking up an injury. These injuries are proof that these legendary Dutchmen are slowing down, and that father time is creeping up on them. It is time for change, time for new stars to be bloom and become legends themselves.

Thankfully for the Oranje Crush, young players are making strides at all levels, making their debuts for clubs in Holland, moving to bigger leagues, and are donning the KNVB jersey for the first time at a senior level left, right and center. So who will be the stars of the future? Which players will shine bright on the international stage? Thomas Tittley investigates…


If anyone in the footballing community has not heard of the electrifying left winger by now, they shall soon be introduced to his brilliance as he has just signed for Manchester United and Dutchman Louis Van Gaal. Compared by many to Ronaldo, Depay surprisingly made the national team during the World Cup in Brazil last summer, however was far from disappointing, scoring twice including a stunner against Australia.

The 21-year-old has incredible pace and balance, able to explode down the wing with his fantastic dribbling skills, cut into the middle causing defenders to twist and turn, before releasing a powerful strike with his cannon of a right foot. The young man has found the back of the net 22 times in the Eredivisie this season, many of which have been highlight reel goals, including a whopping seven free kick goals.

Depay will play left wing, a position where the Netherlands have lacked scoring for several years, with Eljero Elia, Ibrahim Afellay and Jeremain Lens all failing to make a serious impact on the squad. Eventually, the young man will have to replace Robben as the main threat on the wing. He will undoubtedly become a world-star, however will he be a big enough star to lead the Oranje to their first major international trophy since 1988.


Yes this one is somewhat surprising, but every great squad needs a great striker up front, and Dost has all the tools to become a great striker. No other country in the world has produced as many quality strikers as the Netherlands, from Marco Van Basten, to Patrick Kluivert, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Robin Van Persie; there is seemingly no end to the talented goal-scorers. Unfortunately for Holland, Robin Van Persie, the all-time leading scorer for Holland, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the third leading scorer, are both 31-years-old.

Dost offers a glimmer of hope, the 6’5 Wolfsburg striker is one of the most polarizing players in football, fans do not know if they should despise his inconsistent play and slow starts, or marvel at his goal scoring tally. Incredibly, Dost has scored 16 times in the Bundesliga, despite having only one goal through the month of November. While he was on his scoring streak he had a shooting percentage of 82%, scoring on more than eight out of his every ten shots. With Dost, the Netherlands could play beautiful attacking football, with him holding the ball up for the insane amount of pace that Holland possess on the wings, very similar to how PSV played with Luuk De Jong. Yet when you have a 6’5 striker who is talented in the air, sometimes the temptation to go route-one is too strong, which was evident against Turkey a few months ago. This temptation is something Guus Hiddink should try and stay away from as it takes the rest of the squad out of the flow of the game and is easy to defend.

Bas Dost could end up as either one of the most prolific strikers in Europe or a total bust, for now just enjoy his quality in front of goal, and pray that he continues to develop.


The 24-year-old Wijnaldum is the rare midfielder that combines skill and athleticism, capable of picking out a brilliant pass, as well as beating a defender for pace. He showed this talent while playing for the Oranje in Brazil last summer where he impressed with his distribution ability and even scored in the bronze medal game against Brazil.

The young man playing in Eindhoven has converted from a winger, which he played at the Under 21’s and was arguably Hollands best player during that tournament, to a box-to-box midfielder. Wijnaldum has impressed both offensively and defensively, as well as being the leader and organiser of the Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven. Scoring 13 goals and three assists throughout the season, he impressed many using his athleticism to take defenders on and has terrific finishing in front of goal. Since moving to the midfield he has thrived, his passing ability evident averaging 32.8 passes a game, 1.2 of which are key passes, with and 84.7% success rate (WhoScored.com).

Wijnaldum has also embraced the new defensive responsibilities with 1.1 tackles a game and one interception a game, pretty fair for someone who was a winger two years ago. Now it is time for Wijnaldum to take on a new challenge, with the brilliant season for PSV behind him, Premier League squads are eyeing the attacking midfielder who has been linked with Manchester United, Newcastle United and Liverpool.


Injuries have ravaged promising careers of Dutch players, such as Elia and Afellay, who showed so much promise, were slowed by multiple long term injuries. The Netherlands should pray that Kevin Strootman is different. When healthy, he is one of the best distributors in the world, capable of picking out a pass with ease and slicing open a defence like a knife through cheese. After the 25-years-old Strootman moved from PSV to AS Roma for a hefty £17 million, great things were expected.

Unfortunately, a knee injury in March of 2014 kept him out of the World Cup where he would have without a doubt been the favourite to start in the midfield beside Wesley Sneijder. In January of 2015 Roma announced that Strootman needed ACL surgery which would keep him out for a lengthy period of time. Although these injuries seem grim, in only seven appearances for Roma he already has two assists, making 41.3 passes a game, 1.3 key passes a game, averaging a passing accuracy of 85.9% (WhoScored.com). Those are gaudy numbers for the playmaking Strootman, who will hopefully make a full recovery and continue to open up defenses on the international stage.

The Netherlands have been contending for big trophies for the past decade, if they wish to continue their success and add to the trophy case, then this injection of youth that was seen in the 2014 World Cup, will have to continue throughout the Euro qualifiers and beyond.

Data courtesy of Opta


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The Resurgence of a Fallen Dutch Striker – Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost

Bas Dost has seemingly begun the resurrection of his career after having a very underwhelming stint in Germany so far. This tall centre forward scored an impressive 32 league goals to top the scoring chart in the Netherlands just a few seasons ago. However, he has had a very difficult time playing in the Bundesliga as Rion Rodgers explains…

The Rise

It was in the summer of 2008 that a lanky Bas Dost moved to Heracles Almelo as a young prodigious striker from FC Emmen, and his stay at the home of the Polman Stadion showed sporadic flashes of brilliance and quality. He spent two seasons in Almelo and after using his first season to get acclimatised to the top flight, he was able to score 14 league goals in his second season.

After just two seasons with Heracles, he was on the move to SC Heerenveen where he showed his prolific goal scoring abilities by scoring 13 goals in his first season and a massive 32 goals in his second season. His style of play was that of the “old fashioned” centre forward who is tall and strong, and transforms into a goal scoring predator whenever he gets into the 18 yard box. Fantastic heading skills and a good first touch were some of the attributes he displayed on a weekly basis. He also showed pretty decent movement and linkup play, which  could be attributed to his experience of playing in the midfield a lot during his youth career. By the end of his second season at SC Heerenveen he had the full attention of Dutch fans. He unquestionably declared himself to be a reliable attacker who could no doubt become useful for the senior Dutch team.

The Fall

Inevitably, in accordance with the prevailing European football trend, a team from a big European league came calling for the giant striker in the summer of 2012. And expectedly, Dost was gone from the Eredivisie to fulfil his dreams and aspirations at VfL Wolfsburg.

His first season in the Bundesliga saw him scoring only 8 goals. His second season was even more dismal, as he scored only 4 league goals and made less than 15 league appearances as a result of persistent injuries and being benched a lot.

The current season started much like the previous one ended with Dost being marginalised by his club, troubled by injuries and his form being sorrowful. With the progression of the first half of the season, things just continued to look more hopeless for the striker. It seemed his career in Germany was destined to end unceremoniously. He was failing miserably and it didn’t appear the club, coach or fans were going to afford him the time to get fit and regain his form.

The Resurgence

Then in the last league game prior to the Christmas break, Dost made a rare appearance in the starting lineup and scored his second league goal of the season. In hindsight, that goal was the spark that lit the fire, because he unexpectedly followed up that goal with two beautiful ones against the table toppers, Buyern Munich, in the first game after the winter break. The second goal was especially impressive as it was scored from almost the half way line with an effort that seemed to poignantly turn a new page for the forgotten Dutch striker.  Such a shot showed outright confidence from a centre forward who has fleetingly showed real self belief or moments of such high quality, over the last few seasons. Since that game against Buyern Munich, he has went on to start the next two league games for Wolfsburg and scored one more goal.

It might be woefully premature or outright ridiculous to think that merely scoring four goals in the last four games could signal that this man’s career is rising from the abyss. However, the fact is that he is now the first choice centre forward for the team that currently sits second in the Bundesliga. Also, he is now fully fit and his current form is such that he has scored 5 league goals in just nine appearances. Taking all of these positives into consideration, it is clear that his career is finally showing signs of life once more.


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Moving from the Eredivisie – ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’

Rogier Waalder investigates the players that have left the Eredivisie for clubs around Europe and asks… has is been successful for them?

With the excellent performances of a youthful Dutch team at the recent World Cup, much has been made of the success of the large Eredivisie based contingent of the side.  For a league that is widely regarded as an excellent developer of young talent, it was no surprise to see the likes of Memphis Depay, Daley Blind, Bruno Martens Indi, Daryl Janmaat, Stefan de Vrij and Jesper Cillesen doing so well.  At the time of the World Cup 2014 these players were all playing for Eredivisie Clubs specifically Ajax, Feyenoord or PSV.  Since the conclusion of festivities in Brazil and the Third Place Playoff match, Martens Indi (Porto), Janmaat (Newcastle), Blind (Man Utd) and de Vrij (Lazio) have all left the Eredivisie for pastures anew.

Much speculation was made towards the end of the recent transfer window as to the future of Memphis Depay, arguably the player with the rawest talent of any of the Eredivisie stars at the World Cup.  In the end he took the advice of some Dutch legends,such as Guus Hiddink and Ruud Gullit, to commit himself to the Eredivisie and PSV until 2017. Did he make the right decision or would he have been better off following the likes of Daley Blind onto a bigger club, on the back of a World Cup high?

The Eredivisie has undoubtedly produced many top class Dutch talents over the past years with the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Jaap Stam, Edwin van der Saar, Wesley Sneijder and Dennis Bergkamp going onto bigger and better things.  The main point to note with these players is that they each played over 120 Eredivisie matches (except van Persie &  Robben).  So is there a magical number of Eredivisie matches that a young talent should play that will guarantee success at a higher level?  Let’s take a look at some recent young stars who’ve left the Eredivisie for the bright lights of a bigger league and see whether this theory makes a player a Hit or Miss beyond the Eredivisie.

Royston Drenthe: After starring at the 2007 UEFA U/21 Championships, where he was player of the tournament, Drenthe moved to Real Madrid having played just 29 Eredivisie matches.  Since his ill-fated Madrid experience Drenthe has played at Hercules, Everton, Alania and Reading.  MISS

Maceo Rigters: Another member of the 2007 U/21 team, Rigters played 80 Eredivisie games before moving onto Premier League outfit Blackburn Rovers, whom he played for twice.  He spent most of his time out on loan to lower division clubs such as Norwich, Barnsley and Willem II before the glittering lights of the Gold Coast attracted him to an ill-fated stint in the A-League, and he hasn’t been seen since.  MISS

Daniel de Ridder: Yet another star of the 2007 U/21 team, de Ridder played just 30 times for Ajax before moving to La Liga outfit Celta Vigo.  In the 9 years since he’s managed barely 100 games in total and now finds himself back in Holland with Cambuur, after no less than 7 clubs since leaving. MISS

Luc Castaignos: Castaignos played 42 times for Feyenoord before moving onto Inter Milan in 2011.  After only 8 appearances for Inter he returned to the Eredivisie just a year later and currently plies his trade with FC Twente.  Perhaps didn’t give his time in Italy enough of a chance. JURY’S OUT

Luuk de Jong: After a reasonably successful spell with FC Twente, de Jong moved to Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012 after 76 Eredivisie appearances.  He had 2 fairly unspectacular seasons in Germany (and also a short stint at Newcastle Utd) before returning to Eredivisie with PSV this season. MISS

Ibrahim Afellay: The former wonderkid of Dutch football Afellay actually did have a fairly substantial Eredivisie career (159 games at PSV) before moving onto Barcelona, where he hasn’t done much since.  Much of his woes have been down to injury though. MISS

Ricky van Wolfswinkel: van Wolfswinkel played just under 100 games for Vitesse and Utrecht in the Eredivisie and was quite a prolific scorer.  He moved to Sporting Lisbon in 2011 and was actually quite successful there scoring 1 goal for every 2 games he played in Portugal before his ill-fated moved to Norwich last season.  JURY’S OUT

Bas Dost: Dost had a very prolific 66 matches in the Eredivisie with Heerenveen which yielded him 45 goals. Wolfsburg clearly didn’t heed the example of Afonso Alves and signed the striker in 2012, where he has only played a further 40 games for a return of just 12 goals.  MISS

Tim Krul: An exception to the norm here as Krul didn’t play any Eredivisie matches before moving onto Newcastle where he has since been a big HIT.

So it would appear as though on the weight of evidence that young Dutch players, moving on from the Eredivisie, are better served staying in the Netherlands for a bit longer before moving onto a bigger league.  It seems as though Dutch players really do like the comforts of home and the coaching styles and techniques of the Eredivisie and find it hard to replicate their Eredivisie form at foreign clubs if they haven’t served a long apprenticeship at home first.  There are always unique talents that are exceptions to this rule ie van Persie & Robben, but for the most part young Dutch players should follow the example of the van Nistelrooy’s and Bergkamp’s of this world and get plenty of games under their belt in the Eredivisie before making the move to bigger clubs abroad.  Memphis Depay, seemingly, has heeded this advice and let’s hope for his future that he turns into the next Arjen Robben and not the next Royston Drenthe.


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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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Feyenoord forced to wait for Dost

New Feyenoord head coach Fred Rutten would love to have Bas Dost sign as a replacement for the outgoing top scorer Graziano Pellè who joined Southampton yesterday.

However, a chain of recruitment dealings is delaying Dost’s transfer from Wolfsburg to Rotterdam, as the Bundesliga side are waiting to get the all clear to sign a replacement for the Dutchman.

Wolfsburg have enquired to Chelsea for the availability of young Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and until they get a decision from the London club, they will not allow the Dost negotiations take place.

Feyenoord are set to start a Champions League qualification campaign next month and are heavily dismantled from last year’s squad. Rutten has a big job at hand with talisman Pellè already left and Bruno Martins Indi is set to join Portuguese giants FC Porto in a €9m deal, already agreed during the World Cup. With rumours of the Rotterdam club ready to receive offers for Daryl Janmaat, Stefan de Vrij and Jordy Clasie also, Rutten and technical director Martin van Geel could have a massive rebuild to do if he wishes to challenge for the Eredivisie championship this coming season.

Dost would be a great start and welcome addition up front. The 25-year-old has notched 12 goals in 45 appearances for Die Wölfe and at 6ft 4 inches could fill that void that Pellè has left as the big guy in attack. Before heading over to Germany, Dost had a very successful two seasons at Heerenveen under Marco van Basten. The striker managed to find the net 45 times in 66 games before landing a €7m transfer over to Germany.

If Feyenoord can divert any bids for any more of their stars and invest in Dost, the Rotterdam side may be prepared to push rivals Ajax and PSV to the limit once again  this year.


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