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EREDIVISIE: Heracles 1-4 FC Twente

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SUNDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER 2014

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HERACLES 1 – 4 FC TWENTE

FC Twente put in a convincing away performance to defeat bottom side Heracles, who started well, but faded, with a two minute period at the end of the second half killing the contest writes Jake Jackman.

In the opening exchanges, neither side could fashion a real clear cut chance, despite the positive intent from Heracles against a strong FC Twente side. The away side started with lots of attacking talent with the likes of Luc Castaignos, Ryo Miyaichi and Hakim Ziyech, all who can cause significant damage to opposition sides.

The first came after Ziyech played a nice forward pass to Kyle Ebecilio, who had space in the final third, but he could only fire his shot off target. Twente continued to push for the opening goal, but exceptional defending from the home side saw three promising positions from Twente prevented, with some brilliant last ditch defending. The home side then went straight up the other end, with Thomas Bruns playing a nice ball to Wout Weghorst in space, who duly went on the slot the ball past Nick Marsman.

It wasn’t long until the away side equalised, after a block fell kindly for Luc Castaignos, who finished well, a forward of his quality was never going to let a chance like that pass. Although he has always had a big reputation as a player, who had good potential, Ryo Miyaichi was continuing to waste good positions. The home side failed to retake the lead, after Rasmus Bengtsson mis-kicked, allowing Bryan Linssen to find Oussama Tannane, who fired wide from a great position.

As Heracles were preparing to go into half time level, Luc Castaignos scored his second of the afternoon as he headed home from a decent cross provided by Jesus Manuel Corona.

If this wasn’t bad enough for the home side, Twente scored again just moments later through a brilliant finish from Hakim Ziyech as Twente really started to make their quality count. It was perhaps harsh on Heracles, who played well in the first half, but it was certainly Twente who had the better chances and they made those count.

The second half started the same way as the first with very few clear cut chances as Twente looked happy to hold on to what they already had. Bryan Linssen had the first clear cut chance but his shot missed the target. Heracles were doing all of the running and the ball fell kindly for Simon Cziommer who fried straight at Nick Marsman. Despite the pressing from the home side, Twente quickly added a fourth as substitute Youness Mokhtar finished smartly after some good approach play. Iliass Bel Hassani had a late chance, but it would have counted for nothing anyway.

This was certainly a clinical performance from FC Twente and it has shown them as a dangerous side, who will cause a lot of problems this season. Their attack is very potent and they have the ability to finish in the higher positions, especially if Luc Castaignos keeps up the form he showed today. Heracles continued their disastrous start, and they still sit bottom with 0 points. They started well today, but look very vulnerable at the back, they are set to face a serious relegation fight, unless things improve.

TEAMS

HERACLES: Telgenkamp, Schenkeveld (Koenders 53), Veldmate, Engberink, Te Wierik, Bruns (Bel Hassani 68), Pelupessy, Fledderus (Cziommer 46), Linssen, Weghorst, Tannane.

SUBS NOT USED: Navratil, Sibum, Paljic, Fij.

GOALS: Weghorst 16.

BOOKINGS: None.

TWENTE: Marsman, Martina, Bjelland, Schilder, Bengtsson (Breukers 73), Ebecilio, Ziyech (Eghan 80), Mokotjo, Corona, Miyaichi (Mokhtar 68), Castaignos.

SUBS NOT USED: Stevens, Lachman, Koppers, Børven.

GOALS: Castaignos 24 & 33, Ziyech 44, Mokhtar 74.

BOOKINGS: None.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jesús Manuel Corona (FC Twente)

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EREDIVISIE: FC Twente 2-1 Go Ahead Eagles

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SATURDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER 2014

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FC TWENTE 2 – 1 GO AHEAD EAGLES

After four consecutive draws, FC Twente grabbed their first win of the season against Go Ahead Eagles but they did not rely on the plethora of talent they brought in at the summer to provide the action it was a forgotten man that stole the show writes Will Burns.

Back in August 2013, I wrote this about the young Mexican Jesús Manuel Corona, as he was a player I had seen many times star in Mexican championships and international youth tournaments. After only making 15 games last season, the winger had not really set the world alight until on Saturday evening against the Eagles of Deventer.

Twente started bright and were ahead in less than four minutes through Luc Castaignos finishing off a wonderful team goal. Hakim Ziyech fed in Castaignos on the edge of the area, who in turn played to Corona, who then threaded the needle for the big striker to finish.

On twenty minutes, the game was tied through Marnix Kolder after he was failed to be picked up and he blasted home from close range after good work from Jules Reimerink.

Within ten minutes, the lead was restored in which Jesus Corona notched what would be the winning goal with an excellent effort. After easily dispatching his marker, Sven Nieuwpoort on the left wing, the Mexican cut inside and played into the area. With only Erik Cummins to beat, the 21-year-old dipped a shot across the goal that deceived the keeper and nestled into the corner.

Hakim Ziyech decided to get in on the act just before the half-time whistle with a great chance that Cummins did well to stop. Ziyech received the ball from Andreas Bjelland’s long ball out of defence and took the ball down well on his chest then flicked it over his and Xandro Schenk’s head. With the crowd roaring in delight, he emerged into the area and fired a half-volley at Cummins and Castaignos nearly grabbed onto the rebound.

Just after the restart, Coruna weaved his magic and again and won his side a tremendous chance of clinching the points early, after Giliano Wijnaldum fouled the Mexican in the box. Castaignos smashed the penalty at the left of the goal and Cummins held strong and palmed away.

Twente pressed and it could have been a lot worse for Fouke Booy’s men were it for not for Cummins’ great display. The last twenty minutes saw Ryo Miyachi make his debut since signing on loan from Arsenal but the game petered out and Twente claimed their first win of the season.

Still undefeated, Twente have the squad to be a major rival for Ajax and PSV in the title chase but will have to improve at the back and in front of goal when playing the top sides.

TEAMS

TWENTE: Marsman, Martina, Lachman (Bengtsson 46), Bjelland, Schilder, Mokotjo, Ebecilio, Ziyech, Mokhtar (Miyaichi 70), Castaignos, Corona (Eghan 83).

SUBS NOT USED: Stevens, Koppers, Børven, Breukers.

GOALS: Castaignos 4, Corona 31.

BOOKINGS: Ziyech 60, Mokotjo 85.

GO AHEAD: Cummins, Van der Linden, Schenk, Wijnaldum (Ten Den 88), Overgoor, Kolder, Duits (Lambooij 77), Nieuwpoort, Lewis, Van Ooijen (Rijsdijk 69), Reimerink.

SUBS NOT USED: Van der Hart, Amevor, De Bondt, Van der Meer.

GOALS: Kolder 22.

BOOKINGS: None.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Jesus Manuel Corona (FC Twente)

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Hakim Ziyech’s transfer saga is over

One of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer has been settled as Heerenveen playmaker Hakim Ziyech has signed for FC Twente on a four year contract for a fee reported to be around €4 million writes Will Burns.

Alfred Schreuder and Hakim Ziyech – image courtesy of FCTwente.nl

The talented 21-year old, scored nine goals in 33 league appearances for Heerenveen under Marco van Basten last season, and he has made a great start to this campaign, with two goals in as many games.

With only a year left on his current deal at the Frisian club, Heerenveen felt it was the best time to cash in on Ziyech, although he is considered one of the hottest properties in Dutch football.

With Ziyech along with Kamohelo Mokotjo added to the already talented squad in Enschede, Twente must be regarded as one of the candidates to stop Ajax’s stranglehold on the Eredivisie championship this season.

One of the main reasons for Ziyech’s recruitment is to act as a replacement for Quincy Promes, who joined Spartak Moscow earlier this month for a reported €7 million.

Talking to FCTwente.nl, Ziyech said: “I knew before I went on holiday that Twente had an interest in me and this interest remained. The conversation I had with the coach, he persuaded me to make this choice, the right choice. He gave me the feeling that I will feel at home here and that I can play in my favourite position.”

Other clubs were interested too, especially Feyenoord, whose technical director Martin van Geel could not guarantee Ziyech a spot in the starting line-up in Rotterdam, which is maybe why Ziyech has swayed towards the move to Twente.

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EREDIVISIE: Feyenoord 1-1 Heerenveen

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FRIDAY 15TH AUGUST 2014

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FEYENOORD 1 – 1 HEERENVEEN

The points were shared at De Kuip, despite Heerenveen having to play the last third of the match with ten men. Feyenoord are still adjusting to life without the stars of last season, but their start has been encouraging.

Despite having differing results on the opening weekend, there was little difference between the sides in the first half, as both sides had chances to take the lead. It was an entertaining start to the match as both sides had a good chance each within the opening ten minutes. Heerenveen forward Luciano Slagveer went on a powerful run through the opposition half, but his show sailed harmlessly wide. Feyenoord then had a chance of their own as the ball was fired across the box to Basacikoglu, who fired wide with a powerful drive.

The match was end to end, but neither side stayed calm in the final third, as they both struggled to create clear cut chances. It’s clear Feyenoord are missing the host of stars that were sold over the summer, while Jordy Clasie didn’t feature against Heerenveen, his future is far from certain.

In the final stages of the opening 45 minutes, the hosts came to life. They started to pass the ball with vigour in the final third and a nice interplay saw Tony Vilhena receive the ball on the edge of the area, his stinging shot was well saved by Nordfeldt. Moments later, Basacikoglu found space to deliver an excellent cross, but the resulting header from Mitchell te Vrede was pushed wide by the Heerenveen stopper. The momentum was building, yet Heerenveen nearly nicked a goal before half time on the break as Van Den Burg’s shot from long range was well stopped by Mulder and Uth could only head the rebound over the bar. Despite their late chance, the away side will have been pleased to make it to the break still level.

Minutes into the second half, powerful play from te Vrede allowed him to turn his marker after he controlled the ball from a throw in. The striker then scuffed his effort wide, however the strength showed was encouraging. Feyenoord continued to attack with purpose as Immers couldn’t control his effort goalwards after an excellent cross into the box from Boetius.

Heerenveen almost scored in the 60th minute after clever play from Slagveer to skip inside and hit a left footed shoot low past Mulder but the post came to the home side’s rescue. Then Van Den Burg received his second booking for a silly foul in the middle of the pitch, meaning Feyenoord were playing ten men for the second Eredivisie match in a row.

Yet it was the team with the numerical disadvantage which opened the scoring as Hakim Ziyech curled a free kick over the wall and past Mulder, who will have been disappointed to have been beaten by that strike. The home side quickly equalised after Schaken beat his man on the right wing, and put in a great cross, which was headed goalwards by captain Lex Immers, but it flicked off Te Vrede on the way in.

Feyenoord were in control of the game for the final half an hour, having lots of possession in the final third, Nordfeldt was forced into a save from Manu’s shot after the ball fell to the Feyenoord player in the box. Although Feyenoord continued to push, they couldn’t make their one man advantage count, unlike in their previous match, with Te Vrede coming closest to a winner after Nordfeldt saved smartly from his header.

Although they didn’t win, Feyenoord will be pleased with their four points from two games as the team starts to settle without the players who starred last season, with Mitchell te Vrede being a particular highlight, he looks like he could be set for a great season. Heerenveen will be relieved they hung on for a point in the end.

TEAMS

FEYENOORD: Mulder, Wilkshire, Van Beek, Mathijsen, Kongolo, Vormer, Immers, Vilhena, Basacikoglu (Schaken 57), Te Vrede, Boëtius (Manu 76).

SUBS NOT USED: Verhoek, Hahn, Nelom, Steenvoorden, Karsdorp.

GOALS: Te Vrede 70.

BOOKINGS: Vilhena 74.

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Buijs, Van Aken, Van Anholt, De Roon, Van den Berg, Ziyech (Wildschut 83), Sinkgraven, Slagveer (Schmidt 87), Uth (Raitala 67).

SUBS NOT USED: De Fockert, Otigba, Thorsby, Dalgaard.

GOALS: Ziyech 67.

BOOKINGS: Van den Berg 13.

SENT OFF: Van den Berg 60.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Luciano Slagveer (Heerenveen)

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HEERENVEEN SEASON PREVIEW

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All change at Heerenveen as coach Marco van Basten and the club’s all-time top scorer Alfred Finnbogason has both moved to bigger clubs, but Will Burns feels the Frisians have replaced well this summer.

Van Basten announced last winter that he would be leaving the Abe Lenstra Stadion after two years. Experiencing a great season at Cambuur, head coach Dwight Lodeweges did the unthinkable and announced in March that at the end of the current campaign, he would be crossing 30km over to Heerenveen. The Cambuur fans went ballistic and protested until Lodeweges resigned with immediate effect.

With vast knowledge of the game from all corners of the world, Lodeweges could turn out to be a great replacement. Lodeweges first major task at the club was finding a replacement for top scorer Finnbogason. The Icelander hit the net 53 times in just 65 games and earned a move to La Liga side Real Sociedad for €8million. Heerenveen went out shopping for a similar striker with a decent record and found Viborg FF’s Thomas Dalgaard.

Of course, the Danish attacker has some big boots to fill, however he has all the credentials to do so. In two years at Viborg, he has scored 50 goals in 75 games. Not a bad record at all and he should score goals in the Eredivisie. Especially, when he has a creative machine like Hakim Ziyech supplying him, the 21-year-old number ten scored nine times himself last term, with the same amount of assists.

Another casualty was the sale of Bilal Basacikoglu to Feyenoord. The Zaanstad-born winger notched six goals in 23 appearances last season and will be a big miss, especially going forward. Eighteen-year-old Norweigan winger Morten Thorsby was recruited from Stabaek after an impressive season in the Tippeligaen and will look to fill that void.

If all the new players, and the new coach, can get it together Heerenveen could have a good season. However, if not, mid-table obscurity beckons.

TRANSFERS INS AND OUT

IN: Jens Jurn Streutker (Heracles), Jordy Buijs (NAC Breda), Morten Thorsby (Stabaek IF), Thomas Dalgaard (Viborg FF).

OUT: Alfred Finnbogason (Real Sociedad), Anthony Lurling (FC Den Bosch), Arnold Kruiswijk (Vitesse), Bilal Basacikoglu (Feyenoord), Brian Vandenbussche (AA Gent), Chiel Kramer (FC Eindhoven), Christian Kum (Heerenveen), Joeri de Kamps (NAC Breda), Mitchell Dijks (Ajax), Rajiv van la Parra (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Ramon Zomer (Heracles), Uche Nwofor (VVV Venlo).

MANAGER – DWIGHT LODEWEGES

Coming from bitter rivals Cambuur at the end of the season, Lodeweges will face a baptism of fire when he returns to the Cambuurstadion in February with Heerenveen. The Canadian-born coach has broad shoulders and should lead Heerenveen to a top ten finish, although expectations inside the Abe Lenstra Stadion will be higher.

KEY PLAYER – HAKIM ZIYECH

One of the Eredivisie’s best and untapped talents, it is a surprise that Ziyech will be lining up in a blue and white shirt this season. Ziyech is an attacking midfielder with great trickery, a great mind and a great eye for a goal. He will lead from the front with Heerenveen this season, and new striker Dalgaard will thrive on the 20-year-old’s creativity.

PREDICTION – 10TH

BET VICTOR EREDIVISIE TITLE ODDS: 33/1

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25 EREDIVISIE STARS OF THE SEASON… SO FAR – PART 5

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The Eredivisie season restarts after the winter break this Friday night, so as a preview, we have decided to rundown the stars of the division so far this season.

Here’s Will Burns with the final five…

FC Utrecht - Robbin Ruiter

The 26-year-old stopper has had a breakthrough season at Utrecht under Jan Wouters, highlighted by his David Seaman-like ability, by saving three penalties already in five months.

Currently averaging 5.2 saves per game, the second highest in the entire league, Ruiter joined Utrecht as a replacement for Michel Vorm in July 2012, who left for Swansea.

His colleagues have not had a successful season at the other end of the pitch, only scoring 26 goals in 18 games, which has left Utrecht sitting in ninth.

FC Twente - Dusan Tadic

Tadić is a tremendously talent left-footed winger, who joined Twente in the summer from FC Groningen. At 25 years old, the Serbian is in the prime of his career and the states this season are showing this to be the case.

Starting all but one game this term from the third place side in the league, Tadić has made seven and scored seven goals, linking fantastically well with colleagues Quincy Promes and Luc Castaignos.

His playmaking skills light a fire under the Enschede side, and so far he has completed a total of 831 including averaging 4.1 key passes per game.

Ajax - Joel Veltman

Joel Veltman was a relatively unknown until this term, and Frank de Boer had no quarms about throwing the 22-year-old in at the deep end. The 6ft 2inch central defender has not disappointed replacing Niclas Moisander after he fell to injury, and also Toby Alderweireld after Ajax cashed in on the Belgian international in the summer.

Starting the season, in the Jupiler League with the Jong Ajax, Veltman has only made nine appearances in the Eredivisie this term, but his partnership with fellow inexperienced Stefano Denswil has been more than successful. Inside the nine appearances, Ajax have only conceded four goals.

PSV - Jetro Willems

Jetro Willems is a 19-year-old left-back with many admirers, and his performances this season has proved that he is on the way to becoming one of the very best. Although, Willems has been hampered with injuries, he has fought past these adversities and became a stronger player.

Linking up well down the left with Memphis Depay, the defender has notched twice from 15 shots on goal and a solitary assist from 21 chances he has created.

It is going to be a real dogfight between Willems and Ajax’s Daley Blind on who will hold that starting left-back spot for the Oranje in Brazil this summer.

Heerenveen - Hakim Ziyech

If you are not a newcomer to the Eredivisie, you will be wondering where this guy has come from? Hakim Ziyech, another young talent at only 20, has been a real find for Heerenveen this campaign.

Inside Marco van Basten’s more conservative 4-3-3 this season, Ziyech has taken over from last season’s playmaking star Filip Djurcic, who left in the summer for Benfica. Ziyech has starred in every game this term, including 16 starts creating seven goals for others (usually Finnbogason), while he has notched six himself.

Even at just such a young age, his tactical restraint, positional awareness, high tempo energy, quick fire decision-making and technical ability has rightfully been praised by the Dutch media. His temperament is also a testimony to his personality and at this early stage in his career, you can see Ziyech is going to be a star of the future.

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