Tag Archives: Heerenveen

VAN BASTEN TO LEAVE HEERENVEEN IN SUMMER

Team-Heerenveen

Heerenveen head coach Marco van Basten will leave the job at the end of the season, the club announced this afternoon.

The club have offered a contract extension to the former Dutch international striker, but Van Basten has made his intentions clear to leave.

“Marco has notified us that he has decided not to extend his contract, and he will be leaving at the end of the season,” Heerenveen released in a statement on their official website this afternoon.

“In recent weeks, at the request of the club, there were several discussions held between club management and Mr. Van Basten about the possibility of extending his contract, Howver, he told the club he did not have the same feeling. The club management regrets his decision but, at the same time, naturally respects it.”

Van Basten signed a two-year deal with the club in the summer of 2012 and last season Heerenveen finished eighth in the Eredivisie.

Van Basten’s coaching career began with Jong Ajax in 2003 but a year later he was named head coach of the Oranje, staying from 2004 to 2008, after which he spent a year at Ajax. He was then out of the game for three years before joining Heerenveen.

Just last month, Van Basten told reporters he had no desire to coach outside the Eredivisie, but where his next destination will be in unknown at this time.

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Heerenveen sign Lurling

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Ten years after leaving for Feyenoord, 36-year-old Anthony Lurling has returned to Heerenveen on a deal until the end of the season.

36-year-old Anthony Lurling is not ready yet

Lurling has already stated that even at the age of 36, he wants to impress and win a longer contract at the Friesland club.

The striker, who will be 37 in April, arrives from NAC Breda where he has spent the last seven seasons, making 190 appearances scoring 33 goals.

Lurling had plenty of offers but chose Heerenveen out of them all: “When I was allowed to leave Köln eight years ago, the telephone hardly rang. Now I’m 36 and when NAC said I was allowed to leave, the phone has been ringing off the hook with Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie teams interested and also Belgian clubs.”.

Heerenveen’s director of football, Hans Vonk is delighted with the Lurling capture and looks to him nurture the young talent at the club: “Anthony is an experienced player who can play in many positions. We have a talented, but young team that could really do with the support of an experienced player like Anthony. Also, with Anthony knowing the club, this is a huge advantage which will make the transition that much easier.”

The move from NAC was arranged, after this past week, Lurling clashed with Breda manager Nebojša Gudelj after the coach has failed to select the player since the 1-0 win over Cambuur on December 21st 2013.

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Week 20 Eredivisie Report – Vitesse held, Ajax clear at the top

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SUNDAY 26TH JANUARY 2014

Week 20 closed with just three games on Sunday as the Groningen-Twente match failed to take place due to a frozen pitch. The games that did go ahead provided great excitement and two more shock results to close the round of games.

Cambuur-Heerenveen

SC CAMBUUR 3-1 HEERENVEEN

SC Cambuur provided their fans with a good day on Sunday with their first win in the Friese Derby since 1994.

Nigerian forward Bartholomew Ogbeche stole the show making his debut for Cambuur, creating one and scoring in the fantastic win. The hosts warmed up their fans in the Cambuur Stadion on a bitterly cold winter’s afternoon in Leeuwarden with a goal after just four minutes.

The goal was created by a long ball from the back of the Cambuur defence, Ogbeche rose above Joey van der Berg with ease to flick the ball into the path of on-loan striker Elvis Manu. Manu overpowered Christian Kum to win the ball and chip the ball over the onrushing Kristoffer Nordfeldt. The stadium erupted as Manu and Ogbeche wheeled away to celebrate with a dance at the corner flag.

Marco van Basten’s men should have equalized on 16 minutes by Leonard Nienhuis pulled off a great save to deny Hakim Ziyech. After Luciano Slagveer crossed from Ziyech just outside the area, Ziyech let fly with a right-foot volley but Nienhuis got across a tipped it out for a corner.

Just before the half-time whistle, Cambuur’s lead was doubled. Heerenveen’s on-loan defender Mitchell Dijks was penalised for a soft foul on Ajax team-mate Jody Lukoki, currently on-loan to Cambuur. The free-kick was given on the right-wing and Marcel Ritzmaier, also on-loan from PSV Eindhoven, whipped the ball into the centre. Once again, winning the aerial duel was Bartholomew Ogbeche who slipped Ramon Zoner to make it 2-0.

Heerenveen came out for the second half hungry for an early goal but they were unable to cope with the speed of the Cambuur attack and with just twenty minutes to go, the home side wrapped up the points. Manu slipped a defence-splitting ball through to Jody Lukoki who beat the offside trap and raced through on goal. With a one-on-one challenge with Nordfeldt, the 21-year-old kept his composure and finished coolly. The game was done and Dwight Lodeweges could be proud of his team’s performance today.

Before the final whistle could be blown, the inevitable happened as Alfred Finnbogason got a consolation goal for Heerenveen, his 19th goal in 17 games. However, it was an embarrassing defeat for Van Basten and his side and will look to bounce back next week at home to ADO. They now sit fifth and six points of fourth place. Meanwhile, for Cambuur the win lifts them up to 13th but they will need to build on this win to climb out of the relegation battle as Lodeweges men are still only three points off bottom side NEC.

TEAMS

CAMBUUR: Nienhuis, Droste, Van der Laan, Bijker, El Makrini, Van Moorsel, Leeuwin, Ritzmaier, Lukoki, Ogbeche (Barto 74), Manu (Manu 91).

SUBS NOT USED: Zeinstra, Van Boxel, Pereira, Bakker, Van Brakel.

GOALS: Manu 4, Ogbeche 44, Lukoki 69.

BOOKINGS: Lukoki

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Van Anholt, Dijks, Zomer (Sinkgraven 59), Kum, De Roon, Van den Berg (De Kamps 74), Ziyech, Slagveer (Wildschut 57), Finnbogason, Basacikoglu.

SUBS NOT USED: Vandenbussche, Otigba, Marzo, Fazli.

GOALS: Finnbogason 85.

BOOKINGS: Basacikoglu, Finnbogason.

Vitesse-NEC

VITESSE 1-1 NEC NIJMEGEN

Vitesse’s title hopes suffered a bitter blow as they were held at home against relegation candidates NEC in the Gelderse derby.

Vitesse stay second after the draw but it looked promising early on for the Arnhem side after taking the lead on the half hour mark. Star of last week’s win over PEC Zwolle, Christian Atsu whipped in a corner that found defender Dan Mori in the box who headed home past Karl-Johan Johnsson in goal.

The basement boys NEC should have levelled the game up before the interval, after they pressed and had Vitesse on the ropes for the remaining ten minutes of the half.

Vitesse failed to score another and paid the price with just twenty minutes to go. Danish forward Søren Rieks spun in a cross that the Vitesse defence failed to clear and Englishman Michael Higdon notched to tie the game.

The GelreDome crowd went home unhappy and even more so that title rivals Ajax defeated Go Ahead Eagles a few hours later.

TEAMS

VITESSE: Velthuizen, Mori, Van Aanholt, Leerdam, Van der Heijden, Pröpper, Vejinovic, Piazón (Traoré 68), Atsu, Ibarra (Labyad 78), Havenaar.

SUBS NOT USED: Houwen, Achenteh, Van der Struijk, Đurđević, Kazaishvili.

GOALS: Mori 30.

BOOKINGS: None.

NEC: Johnsson, Conboy (Leiwakabessy 77), Van Eijden, Haitz, Vermeijl, Rieks (Foor 65), Koolwijk, Štefánik (Mulder 88), Jantscher, Hemlein, Higdon.

SUBS NOT USED: Smits, Cmovs, Disveld, Castillion.

GOALS: Higdon 71.

BOOKINGS: Van Eijden.

GAE-Ajax

GO AHEAD EAGLES 0-1 AJAX

Ajax struggled to find their finishing in Deventer on Sunday afternoon but a narrow 1-0 win means that they stay top of the pile.

As expected Ajax dominated in the early stages and should have taken the lead after just three minutes, if it were not for a shocking Kolbeinn Sigthórsson miss. Frank de Boer has his head in his hands after Bojan and Davy Klaassen had worked well to head the ball onto the Icelandic striker, but he fired his volley from just a few yards out straight in Eloy Room’s arms.

Ajax’s pressure was relentless but like Sigthórsson, Bojan, Klaassen and Lesley De Sa’s finishing was poor and unable to break the deadlock. Against the run of play, Go Ahead could have gone ahead themselves. Joël Veltman failed to head clear a Jarchinio Antonia cross from the right-wing but the defender got himself in front of Jeffrey Rijsdijk’s attempt to concede a corner.

The first-half petered out and ended goal-less but Ajax fired out of the blocks and were angry that they were not awarded a penalty after 51 minutes. Antonia bundled Klaassen over on the left side of the area, but referee Reinold Wiedemeijer booked the Ajax midfielder for diving, and the majority of the 7,938 attendance were cheering the decision.

De Boer needed a goal and quick and just after the hour mark injected some fresh legs into the attack with the double Dane substitution of Lasse Schöne and Viktor Fischer on for De Sa and the poor Sigthórsson. Within a minute, Fischer nearly opened the scoring but his header from a Klaassen cross forced a save from Room.

The goal finally came on 74 minutes and it was the other substitution that broke the deadlock. After Ajax were awarded a free-kick outside the area courtesy of a Deniz Türüç handball, Lasse Schöne stood up to take it. The Danish midfielder fired his first attempt in the wall but after the rebound returned in his path, his low drive was too powerful for Room to stop and nestle into the corner of the goal.

Ajax held on for the win and due to Vitesse being held by NEC, now sit two points at the top of the Eredivisie league table.

TEAMS

GO AHEAD: Room, Schmidt, Vriends, Van der Linden, Schenk, Overgoor (Amevor 84), Rijsdijk (Lambooij 68), Türüç, Antonia (Kavak 91), Houtkoop, Kolder.

SUBS NOT USED: Cummins, Pot, Oostinjen, Ten Den.

GOALS: None

BOOKINGS: Schmidt, Kolder.

AJAX: Cillessen, Van Rhijn, Veltman, Moisander, Boilesen, Blind, Serero (Poulsen 86), Klaassen, De Sa (Fischer 65), Sigthórsson (Schöne 66), Bojan.

SUBS NOT USED: Vermeer, Duarte, Hoesen, Denswil.

GOALS: Schöne 74.

BOOKINGS: Klaassen.

STANDINGS

140127 - Eredivisie

League table courtesy of FIFA.com

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EREDIVISIE WEEK 20 PREVIEW – Sunday

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Sunday 26th January

Cambuur-Heerenveen

SC CAMBUUR vs. HEERENVEEN – 11:30

Last weekend, in the battle of the promoted sides, Cambuur pulled out a great 2-0 win against Go Ahead Eagles, meanwhile, Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen were unlucky not get the win in their 2-2 home draw with Roda JC.

Sunday should prove to be a totally different story for both sides. With Heerenveen’s attack triple threat of Hakim Ziyech, Bilal Basacikoglu and the Icelandic goal machine Alfred Finnbogason, this game promises to deliver goals. Heerenveen have proved this season to have great days away from home, and are undefeated in their last four league games.

Cambuur will find it hard to cope with the speed of Ziyech and Basacikoglu and trying to make sure Finnbogason does not score is also not easy after hitting the net 18 times in just 16 games so far this season. Look for Alfred to come up trumps once again, and lead his team to victory.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Heerenveen to win (8/5 – Betfair)

Vitesse-NEC

VITESSE vs. NEC NIJMEGEN – 11:30

NEC Nijmegen head to Vitesse on Sunday morning failing to win their last FOURTEEN away in the league, and since Vitesse have won seven of their last eight games, I think you can see where this prediction is going.

Even though he missed a penalty last week, whether he scoring or creating, on-loan superstar Lucas Piazón is on fire. The Brazilian is hitting real form for the Arnhem and combining plays with fellow Chelsea player Christian Atsu has fired Vitesse up to second, joint on points with leaders Ajax.

NEC have conceded at least two goals in their four away league matches so my best bet for this one is Vitesse to win by two or more goals, which is a cracking 8/5 at Bet365.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Vitesse to win by 2 goals or more (8/5 – Bet365)

Groningen-Twente

FC GRONINGEN vs. FC TWENTE – 13:30

Sitting in third, FC Twente are in fine form finding all three points in five of their last six games. In all those matches, Twente have been winning the game at half-time and full-time also.

Dušan Tadić, a contender for player of the season, is leading the charge with Twente searching for their second Eredivisie championship. His creativity, along with the speed and attacking prowess of young winger Quincy Promes, supplying striker Luc Castaignos is causing trouble for all Eredivisie defences.

Groningen sit nine points beneath Twente in sixth place and have only won one game in their last six, losing two. I can’t see past Twente taking all three points here and applying a little pressure to the leading pack.

BURNS’ BEST BET: FC Twente HT/FT (2/1 – BetVictor)

GAE-Ajax

GO AHEAD EAGLES vs. AJAX – 13:30

The hottest team in the league are the Eredivisie leaders Ajax, with their winning streak now up to seven matches. Apart from the influential Siem de Jong, the Amsterdammers are at full strength and after overcoming a tough first half against rivals PSV last week, they travel to Deventer to face Go Ahead.

This will be no easy feat for Ajax either with the Eagles undefeated at home in the last three games including the last two winning against PEC Zwolle and Utrecht.

With Vitesse hot on their tail, Ajax need to keep racking up the wins and I cannot see this game ending their winning streak.

BURNS’ BEST BET: Ajax HT/FT (11/10 – BetVictor)

Click here for Friday and Saturday’s preview and betting tips.

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Week 19 Eredivisie Report – Ajax & Vitesse stay top

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The Eredivisie season resumed this weekend after the winter break and Ajax and Vitesse began their new year with wins to keep them atop of the pile in the Dutch top flight.

Ajax - PSV

The final game of the weekend was the world famous De Klassieker but in all fairness it was a bit of a letdown. Ajax ran out winners against PSV keeping Frank de Boer’s side on top of the division on goal difference. The visitors dominated the opening half, with Ajax on the back foot with left winger Memphis Depay shining the brightest, giving the Ajax defence a torrid time. The young Depay nearly gave Phillip Cocu’s men the lead on 26 minutes with a cute touch that crept just wide after Adam Maher had whipped in the ball.

Two minutes earlier, Jürgen Locadia should have given the Eindhoven side the advantage. Locadia arrive into box on the right, and the on-loan Bryan Ruiz placed him in with a lovely deft chip, but the striker sent his shot inches wide.

With Ajax being forced into their own half for the majority of the first 45 minutes, they relied heavily on the counter attack. After the interval, the hosts came out fighting and on 64 minutes they took the lead and it was an excellent goal. A long ball out of defence from Niclas Moisander found Lasse Schöne on the right-wing Schöne, with fantastic technique hit a first time volleyed cross into the box, where Kolbeinn Sigthórsson nodded past Jeroen Zoet for 1-0.

The goal de-motivated the young PSV side and Ajax pressed for a second, but despite efforts from Davy Klaassen and Viktor Fischer they failed to add to their score. PSV’s title challenge is dust and dusted, if it was not already, as Ajax sit joint top with Vitesse, who defeated PEC Zwolle 2-1 on Saturday evening.

It was an eventful first half with Vitesse a goal ahead after in the third minute. Ghanaian on-loan star Christian Atsu twisted and turned through the Zwolle defence, before sliding the ball home past the helpless Diederik Boer. The visitors were not in the lead for long as Guyon Fernandez notched his fifth goal of the season on ten minutes. Then three minutes later, Vitesse winger Renato Ibarra was tripped in the area, but Lucas Piazón could not place the penalty past Boer. Another Chelsea loanee sealed the win for Vitesse in injury time, with Patrick van Aanholt striding up the field from the left wing to fire home.

On Friday, FC Twente defeated local rivals Heracles by three goals to one in the Derby of the East. Quincy Promes continued his great form firing Twente in the lead halfway through the first half and Luc Castaignos doubled the advantage before the hour mark. The visitors were down to ten-men when defender Jeroen Veldmate was shown the red card but Mark Uth gave Heracles some hope when he scored on 76 minutes with a tremendous solo effort. The points were clinched with minutes to go when Luka Đorđević was brought down by Thomas Bruns and Dušan Tadić converted the spot kick.

Twente are up to 37 points with Feyenoord a point behind them in fourth. Ronald Koeman’s men showed they are still challenging for the championship thumping FC Utrecht 5-2 at the Stadion Galgenwaard on Sunday afternoon. Five goals were shared in a crazy first half and it was the hosts that took the lead when Jens Toornstra capitalised on Jordy Clasie’s mistake on 12 minutes. Feyenoord equalised four minutes later when Ruben Schaken turned in Tonny Vilhena’s shot. The best goal of the game gave the visitors the lead when Italian hitman Graziano Pellè delivered a back-heeled flick to Schaken’s cross from the right. Utrecht levelled the game up when Toornstra notched again on 22 minutes, but Feyenoord went into the break with the goal advantage with a Stefan de Vrij header. Schaken got his second on 72 minutes with Vilhena scoring the fifth with a minute to go.

Heerenveen stay in fifth place despite being held to 2-2 draw on Saturday evening with Roda JC, now managed by Jon Dahl Tomasson. Tomasson will be happy with the away point, especially when he would have feared the worst when Hakim Ziyech put Heerenveen ahead on 12 minutes. The teams went into half-time level, as Guus Hupperts’ cross was fired home by Hungarian striker Krisztián Németh. Alfred Finnbogason notched his 18th of the season after Kees Luijckx blocked the Icelandic striker in the area and Finnbogason stepped up to convert for 2-1. However, Roda did not give up and Hupperts scored the equalising goal with a great show of speed and finishing. The 21-year-old overpowered Christian Kum down the right-wing and hit a wonderful outside of the boot finish from an acute angle to score. Tomasson will look to Hupperts in the coming months to help in the relegation fight.

FC Groningen were unlucky to be held by RKC Waalwijk to a 1-1 draw on Saturday evening, with Michael de Leeuw giving Groningen the lead on the half-hour mark. However, the visitors were reduced to ten-men when debutant Hans Hateboer was shown red for a foul RKC’s Remy Amieux. RKC snatched the draw with an 89-minute Evander Sno penalty after Maikel Kieftenbeld was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area.

Also on Saturday, AZ Alkmaar defeated NAC Breda 3-0. Steven Berghuis scored a brace along with Aron Johansson goal to help AZ climb to seventh place on 27 points.

ADO Den Haag now prop up the league in 18th after suffering a 3-1 defeat away to NEC Nijmegen. Kevin Conboy hit two alongside a Marnick Vermijl effort while a Danny Holla penalty replied for Den Haag. The win meant that NEC leapfrogged ADO into 17th.

Finally, in a battle of the promoted side, SC Cambuur turned over Go Ahead Eagles by two goals to nil, with Marcel Ritzmaier scoring the best goal of the weekend. In the 18th minute, the midfielder, on-loan from PSV hit a spectacular effort from 30 yards out straight past Eloy Room in the Eagles’ goal. Martijn Barto added a second to see Cambuur rise up to 14th while Go Ahead are four points better in 10th.

RESULTS

FC Twente 3-1 Heracles

AZ Alkmaar 3-0 NAC Breda

PEC Zwolle 1-2 Vitesse

RKC Waalwijk 1-1 FC Groningen

Heerenveen 2-2 Roda JC

NEC Nijmegen 3-1 ADO Den Haag

SC Cambuur 2-0 Go Ahead Eagles

FC Utrecht 2-5 Feyenoord

Ajax 1-0 PSV

STANDINGS

140119 - Eredivisie

League table courtesy of FIFA.com

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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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25 EREDIVISIE STARS OF THE SEASON… SO FAR – PART 2

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The Eredivisie season restarts after the winter break on 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 next five…

Feyenoord - Jordy Clasie

Once nicknamed ‘the Dutch Xavi’, Jordy Clasie is once again having a great season for Feyenoord. The tough tackling 22-year-old defensive midfielder is as useful defending his box, as well as attacking the oppositions. This season, Clasie has seen his role sitting a lot deeper and more restricted than other seasons, but still as effective.

Clasie has appeared in all but one game for Feyenoord this term, and created five goals but his strong point has been his interceptions and tackling. Averaging 3.1 successful tackles per game, the stats suggest that the midfielder has helped Feyenoord concede just 24 goals in 18 games in the Eredivisie this season.

As another season passes, another round of transfer rumours involving Clasie are sure to circle around, but he has no plans to move. Clasie was quoted stating “I’m not going to judge the guys who left, they had their reasons.

“I can only speak for myself and I’ve always thought it best to complete your football education where you’re the most comfortable – and Feyenoord is my place. Ever since I was a kid my aim was to become a professional here, to regularly play in front of full-houses at De Kuip. That dream has now come true, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story.

“I want to make a name for myself at Feyenoord, help the club win things again. I’m under contract until 2015, so any move abroad is much further down the line as far I’m concerned.”

PSV - Memphis Depay

One of the hottest properties in Europe, Depay has become a key player for the very young and struggling PSV side this season, starting 17 league games and every European game on the left wing.

Oranje coach Louis van Gaal has recognised his talents and this season has saw the 19-year-old break onto the international scene winning three caps, and looks to have an outside chance of heading to Brazil in the Netherlands 23-man squad.

PSV need to pick up points and quick, Phillip Cocu’s side currently are 11 points adrift from leaders Ajax and Vitesse. With six goals and four assists, if his team-mates can follow his form they may move up the league instead of lingering into seventh, as they are right now.

Heerenveen - Alfred Finnbogason

The Icelandic goal-machine, Finnbogason has netted an incredible 17 goals in 15 appearances in a tremendous five months for the striker. A lethal finisher that he earned many admirers since moving from Lokeren in Belgium in August 2012, and in another amazing goalscoring stat, scored 41 in 48 total games for Heerenveen.

Under Marco van Basten this season, the Frisian club are currently located in fifth place in the Eredivisie standings and Finnbogason has to take the majority of the plaudits. His finishing has been irresistible, scoring his 17 goals out 69 total shots with a massive 79% on target.

It is no surprise that Finnbogason is a wanted man across the European big leagues, with his magnificent goalscoring record a move will be in the future for the Icelander. Although, it will possibly have to wait until the summer as Finnbogason has stated he will not make any decisions on furthering his career abroad until this season is complete.

Vitesse - Jan-Arie van der Heijden

The Dutch central defender, that also finds himself at home in the holding role of the midfield, has been a revelation for the high-flying Vitesse Arnhem the past five months. While the goals have been banged in by Lucas Piazon, Peter Bosz can thank Van der Heijden at the other end with a huge 89 clearances in 17 games (an average of 5.2 per game).

Do not think because Bosz has selected Van der Heijden at the heart of defence all season, that those clearance stats suggest that the former Ajax youth player likes to boot the ball up the field. His short, simple accurate passing out of the defence, keeping the possession, provides even greater statistics. The ball-playing central defender that has an amazing 91.5% success rate, a total of 1166 passes have met his team-mates over his 17 appearances.

Due to his great footballing brain and concentration, Van der Heijden rarely makes a mistake and is a key cog in the Vitesse wheel, especially if they are to clinch their inaugural Eredivisie championship.

Roda JC - Guus Hupperts

Even though Roda linger just above the relegation places, right-winger Hupperts, has become the ‘diamond in the rough’ this season. The 21-year-old has really shined, finding goals against top-half sides, FC Twente and Heerenveen.

In October, Hupperts led the struggling Kerkrade side to a great 2-1 win over PSV. Bombing down the right-wing, Hupperts gave PSV full-back Jetro Willems a torrid time and while standing at 6ft tall, also winning aerial duels over the Oranje international.

These impressive showings will see possible see Hupperts move at the end of the season, with Ajax being strongly linked with the player.

JOIN US TOMORROW FOR PART THREE

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Norwegian international to sign for Cardiff?

Team-Heerenveen

It’s the January transfer window and once again the transfer rumours are running rampant – but this one does seem to have some legs.

New Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer was spotted with Heerenveen midfield star Magnus Wolff Eikrem outside St James’ Park shortly after the Bluebirds’ 2-1 FA Cup victory over Newcastle United.

BdKKeTPCUAAehtU Solskjaers 1st buy? Ex Man United man Magnus Eikrem (Heerenveen) spotted at Newcastle v Cardiff

WHO IS MAGNUS WOLFF EIKREM?

At age 12, Eikrem attended one of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s soccer schools and shortly after, he was signed as a schoolboy for his local team in Norway, Molde FK.

It is no coincidence that Solsjkaer has already gone on to manage the Heerenveen midfielder twice, at Manchester United reserves and at Molde. Eikrem signed for Manchester United on his 16th birthday before being managed by Solskjaer in the reserves in 2008.

Then in his first full managerial role, Solsjkaer was appointed manager of Molde in his native Norway in 2011, he brought the midfielder back to his home town club in the same month as his appointment

The pair helped Molde win two Norwegian Tippeligaen titles with Eikrem scoring six goals in 68 appearances under Solsjkaer’s leadership and winning the ‘Player of the Year’ award in his second season. Then just this past June, the new Cardiff boss sold Eikrem to Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen where the 23-year-old has scored twice in 13 appearances.

IF THE TRANSFER HAPPENS?

Obviously close friends; it now appears that Eikrem could be Solsjkaer’s first signing for Cardiff. Particularly when seen the player is seen in Newcastle watching a Cardiff game, while his club, Heerenveen are in Albufeira, Portugal at a winter training camp.

However, if the transfer happens, Cardiff City can expect a creative right-footed central midfielder who has been often compared to former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric.

A weakness could be his height, standing at just 5ft 8in, winning just two of 13 aerial duels for Heerenveen this season. Although, Eikrem is not a powerhouse, he is strong on the ball and his brain along with his rapid-fire decision making could prove to be a hit in the Premier League. Like a champion chess player, before accepting the pass, he knows what his next move is going to be, being very aware of team-mates movement around the pitch.

Eikrem’s quality precise passes is currently opening Eredivisie defences for fun, currently with a 79% success rate, making 362 of his 456 attempts. Also, look for the midfielder to hold his own in the tackling department; he is currently averaging 2.2 tackles per game, a total of 29.

BdKDwZdCYAEDXAQ Solskjaers 1st buy? Ex Man United man Magnus Eikrem (Heerenveen) spotted at Newcastle v Cardiff

As the picture above shows, it certainly looks like the young Norwegian could be on his way to Wales to play for Solsjkaer once again. He will join Jon Dahl Tomasson, Marcus Allback, Afonso Alves, Oussama Assaidi and Georgios Samaras in the long list of Heerenveen players sold to the English Premier League – but look to him to make a bigger impact that the majority of that list.

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EREDIVISIE WEEKS 7 & 8 ROUND-UP

Header-EredivisieReport

As our head writer Will Burns was away on holiday the past two weekends he was unable to keep up on the Eredivisie reports. He returns with a quick round-up of the past two matchdays in the Dutch top flight.

20131001 - PSV 4-0 Ajax

The new leaders in the division are PSV Eindhoven on the back of a huge 4-0 win over fierce rivals Ajax.  Frank de Boer’s defending champions tasted their biggest defeat on their since April 2009 when PSV put six past them. After a goal-less first half it was not until 53 mins when the floodgates opened. Slovenian striker Tim Matavz opened the floodgates in the 53rd minute following a mistake by Amsterdam goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer and then Jetro Willems, Oscar Hiljemark and Park Ji-Sung struck in rapid succession to finish off the visitors.  It was a bad week for de Boer who suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat in the Nou Camp against Barcelona the previous Wednesday.

The weekend after, the Eindhoven suffered their first defeat of the Eredivisie season losing 2-1 away to AZ Alkmaar. The league leaders fell behind in the 21st minute when an unmarked Nick Viergever headed in from a corner kick. Memphis Depay went close to levelling the score five minutes later, he fired a strike wide, via the fingertips of the keeper. However, Depay was not to be denied the equaliser, with the 19-year-old on target in the 35th minute with a wonderfully hit free-kick. However, the hosts went ahead in the 57th minute, through a stunning strike from Aron Johannsson. PSV remain top despite the defeat as AZ move up to third in the table.

After receiving the thumping from PSV on matchday 7, Ajax dished out a demolition of their own hitting Go Ahead Eagles for six. De Boer’s side desperately needed a response after their 4-0 mauling and duly delivered a morale-boosting performance. Like a week earlier, Ajax went into the break goal-less but a 48th-minute Jop van der Linden own goal opening the scoring. Young winger Lesley De Sa made it two in the 50th minute while Icelandic striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s quickfire brace complete a spell of four goals in five minutes. It was 5-0 when Lerin Duarte fired home in the 64th minute while Siem De Jong completed the scoring with 21 minutes remaining as Ajax moved into second place, level on 14 points with PEC Zwolle, who were held to a 0-0 draw at home to NAC Breda.

A week earlier Zwolle had slumped to a second successive defeat, going down 3-0 at Vitesse. On-loan Chelsea attacker Lucas Piazon scored twice for the Arnhem side, with his goals in the 35th and 88th minutes sandwiching a strike from Kelvin Leerdam.

Feyenoord continued their improved form with a 1-0 home win over FC Utrecht, Tonny Vilhena netting the only goal 10 minutes before half-time, while NAC Breda beat AZ Alkmaar 3-0. Danny Verbeek, Rydell Poepon and Elson Hooi all struck second-half goals for NAC who have now won back-to-back matches and scored eight times in the process having started the season with three defeats and two draws.

WEEK 7 RESULTS

Friday 20th September

GO AHEAD EAGLES 0-0 CAMBUUR

Saturday 21st September

HERACLES 0-3 FC TWENTE

FC GRONINGEN 4-1 RKC WAALWIJK

ADO DEN HAAG 1-1 NEC NIJMEGEN

RODA JC 3-3 HEERENVEEN

Sunday 22nd September

VITESSE 3-0 PEC ZWOLLE

FEYENOORD 1-0 FC UTRECHT

NAC BREDA 3-0 AZ ALKMAAR

PSV EINDHOVEN 4-0 AJAX

WEEK 8 RESULTS

Saturday 28th September

AZ ALKMAAR 2-1 PSV EINDHOVEN

RKC WAALWIJK 1-4 HERACLES

FC UTRECHT 3-3 RODA JC

PEC ZWOLLE 0-0 NAC BREDA

AJAX 6-0 GO AHEAD EAGLES

Sunday 29th September

NEC NIJMEGEN 2-3 VITESSE

HEERENVEEN 2-1 CAMBUUR

FEYENOORD 4-2 ADO DEN HAAG

FC TWENTE 5-0 FC GRONINGEN

STANDINGS

20131001 - Eredivisie

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Sunday 15th September 2013

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WEEK 6 – Sunday 15th September 2013

It was a case of goals galore once again in the Eredivisie as an amazing total of TWENTY-FOUR goals were seen over the day’s five games.

NEC - Feyenoord

NEC NIJMEGEN 3-3 FEYENOORD

A late Feyenoord equaliser from defender Bruno Martins Indi deprived NEC Nijmegen of their first win of the season, which saw Ronald Koeman’s side flee with a 3-3 draw.

The hosts nearly broke the deadlock but English striker Michael Higdon, still trying to find his feet in the Eredivisie, could not defeat Feyenoord goalkeeper Erwin Mulder in a one-on-one challenge.

The scoring began in the 26th minute as Lex Immers as he headed home a Ruben Schaken cross, however, it was 1-1 five minutes later.

Slovakian midfielder Samuel Štefánik, a new signing from Slovak side FK AS Trenčín on deadline day, caused Koeman’s defence lots of problems all afternoon and grabbed the equaliser. After Mulder parried the Slovak’s initial shot, but after the Feyenoord failed to clear the rebound, Štefánik poked the ball home.

The teams went into the break tied at a goal a piece but Feyenoord emerged the side looking more likely to go on to win the game. The game could have been dead and buried if the usually prolific Graziano Pellè had not crashed two shots off the woodwork early in the second period.

Feyenoord did go 2-1 up on the hour mark, young winger Jean-Paul Boëtius, playing his first game since March, scored after Immers played him through on goal, but that lead only lasted two minutes this time.

Once again it was some shocking defending from the Rotterdam side, as Mulder flapped at a Kevin Conboy free-kick and Feyenoord failed to clear as Icelandic midfielder Victor Palsson was free to tap in the leveller.

On 77 minutes, NEC took a shock lead, with Štefánik scoring his second goal of the game. A surging run forward by Søren Rieks, found Conboy down the left and he crossed for the Slovak midfielder to volley home with a powerful drive. A great debut for the 21-year-old Slovak.

For the remainder of the game, the Nijmegen side had to deal with a Feyenoord barrage but unfortunately for the home side Martins Indi was on hand to finally prod home a Boëtius cross in the final minute of the game.

Neither, Ronald Koeman or Anton Janssen, will be pleased with the point after leading the match.

AZ - Go Ahead Eagles

AZ ALKMAAR 3-0 GO AHEAD EAGLES

AZ clipped Go Ahead Eagles’ wings on Sunday afternoon with a 3-0 win at the AFAS Stadion to end a three-game winless streak in all competitions.

Aron Jóhannsson scored a 31st minute penalty to put Gertjan Verbeek’s side ahead. The goal ended a personal three-game drought for Jóhannsson.

Eagles held their own but strikers in stoppage-time from Viktor Elm and Steven Berghuis cemented the win for AZ.

SC Heerenveen - FC Groningen

HEERENVEEN 4-2 FC GRONINGEN

Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen have climbed to third in the Eredivisie, thanks to a 4-2 win over Groningen, helped by two goals from Icelandic striker Alfred Finnbogason. It was a great game to watch at the Abe Lenstra Stadion, but marred by terrible refereeing decisions by Danny Makkelie.

The referee made his mark on 11 minutes, giving a straight red to Groningen’s Timo Letschert a wild challenge. The tackle was wild, but the defender never left his feet in a 50-50 challenge with Luciano Slagveer. Slagveer jumped over the tackle and flipped over but Makkelie instead of giving a yellow card gave Letschert a red, and the visitors were in a real battle to gain something out of the game.

Within twenty minutes, the game was levelled out with both teams ending up with just ten men a piece. Giliano Wijnaldum entered the box to challenge Heerenveen’s on-loan defender Mitchell Dijks to a ball from Tjaronn Chery’s cross. Dijks slipped as Wijnaldum advanced on goal, but the defender grabbed the Groningen mans legs and brought him down for a penalty. Dijks was sent off and Nick van der Velden cheekily chipped home the spot-kick. Makkelie got his decision right this time round.

In the second half, Heerenveen began to up their search for an equaliser and in the 52nd minute, Yanic Wildschut found it. Rajiv van la Parra was determined to swing the ball in from the left and once he had beat Wijnaldum and whipped the ball in, the green shirts failed to clear. The ball feel to Wildschut on the back post who blasted a volley off the underside of the bar and into the net.

Heerenveen went in for the kill and scored a second just three minutes later, as Hungarian defender Kenny Otigba powerfully headed in a Magnus Eikrem inswinging corner past goalkeeper Marco Bizot.

The home side were not in control for long as sixty seconds later, Johan Kappelhof grabbed an equaliser. It was a cleverly worked free-kick from the left wing, as Van der Velden fired a low ball to the back post where Kappelhof was arriving unmarked to fire home via a deflection off Otigba’s boot.

After Bizot brought down Van la Parra in the area on 72 minutes, Finnbogason stepped up, converted the spot-kick and inside the final minute, Finnbogason put the icing on the cake and made sure of all three points. This takes his personal tally to eight in five games. An amazing feat this early in the season and no wonder he is wanted by some of Europe’s top clubs. Heerenveen will face a struggle to keep the Icelander at the club this coming winter.

The referee cards were not finished after 79 minutes he gave Chery his marching orders for a slight tussle in the box with Marten de Roon. It was a second yellow card for the Groningen winger but it was pure handbags by himself and De Roon, and the Heerenveen midfielder was not shown a card for his efforts in the battle.

Groningen’s head coach Erwin van de Looi had stated he will complain to the KNVB about the decisions that Makkelie made and will be appealing Letschert’s red card.

Roda JC Kerkrade - NAC Breda

RODA JC 1-5 NAC BREDA

In a shock win, NAC Breda thumped five past Roda JC to grab their first victory of the season.

Roda dominated the first period and actually took the lead just before the half-time whistle, when Mitchell Donald nodded in an excellent Mark Hocher ball from the right. However, the sides went into the interval level as Kees Kwakman headed home a Jordy Buijs free-kick.

The team talk Nebojša Gudelj must have gave his side worked as they arrived back onto the pitch and scored four goals in 25 minutes.

On 67 minutes, substitute Elson Hay poked home at the back post from a Mats Seuntjens sliding ball from the right byline. It was 3-1 just minutes later, as Seuntjes nipped in and stole the ball from Donald. The striker found himself through on goal and coolly finished past goalkeeper Filip Kurto.

Just a minute later, Roda’s day was over as they were reduced to ten men when Frank Demouge was dismissed for a high boot on Buijs. Yet another harsh sending off in the Eredivisie today.

With four minutes remaining, the Roda goal was breached again with Croatian Stipe Perica, on-loan from Chelsea making it four.

As the stadium emptied, Jeffrey Sarpong made it five, two minutes later.

FC Utrecht - RKC Waalwijk

FC UTRECHT 2-1 RKC WAALWIJK

In the final game of the weekend, FC Utrecht got back to winning ways with a narrow 2-1 over RKC Waalwijk.

Steve de Ridder, a recent signing from Southampton, scored two first goals before a Remy Amieux free-kick gave RKC a second-half consolation.

STANDINGS

20130915 - Eredivisie

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Saturday 31st August 2013

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WEEK 5 – Saturday 31st August 2013

PSV were held at home by new boys SC Cambuur on their big anniversary day, as Go Ahead Eagles keep flying towards the top end of the division.

FC Twente - SC Heerenveen

FC TWENTE 1-1 HEERENVEEN

FC Twente escaped with a 1-1 draw at home to Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen as Swede defender Rasmus Bengtsson struck a late equaliser.

FC Twente were in control of the majority of the game as Heerenveen, without star striker Alfred Finnbogason due to a toe injury, took the lead through midfielder Joey Van der Berg score on 64 minutes.

The draw means both sides are locked just outside the top two positions.

Heracles Almelo - ADO Den Haag

HERACLES 1-0 ADO DEN HAAG

Heracles managed to hold on to their lead this week as they beat ADO Den Haag 1-0 at home.

ADO are in the middle of a poor run, only winning one of the last five games and it was the hosts that dominated.

Australian left-back Jason Davidson got the only goal of the game on the half-hour mark with Heracles failing to add to that goal, but remaining comfortable throughout.

RKC Waalwijk - Go Ahead Eagles

RKC WAALWIJK 1-4 GO AHEAD EAGLES

Go Ahead Eagles are still soaring as Erik Falkenburg hit a hat-trick in the 4-1 defeat of RKC Waalwijk.

The former Jong Oranje international joined the Eagles on loan from AZ Alkmaar in early August and opened his account in fine style as they secured their second win of the season.

After notching two first-half goals, the 25-year-old completed his hat trick midway through the second half, while Marnix Kolder added a fourth goal from the penalty spot.

Denzel Slager pulled one back three minutes from time for Waalwijk, which has earned just one point from its last three games.

PSV - SC Cambuur

PSV 0-0 SC CAMBUUR

PSV’s anniversary celebrations were spoiled as they were held to a 0-0 home draw by newly promoted Eredivisie rivals SC Cambuur in the evening game.

The Eindhoven side were celebrating their 100th year in football, and could have gone top with a win, but Philip Cocu’s side slipped to their fourth consecutive game in all competitions without a win.

PSV had the most of possession and fired in more shots than their opponents, but a lack of accuracy cost both sides as they each only managed two on target.

PSV were eliminated from the Champions League in Wednesday’s play-off by Milan and will hope they come back from the international break reinvigorated as they ready themselves for a championship battle and a Europa League campaign.

REMAINDER OF WEEK 5 FIXTURES

SUNDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER

FC GRONINGEN vs. AJAX

PEC ZWOLLE vs. FC UTRECHT

AZ ALKMAAR vs. VITESSE

FEYENOORD vs. RODA JC

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Friday 23rd August 2013

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WEEK 4 – Friday 23rd August 2013

Ajax have stumbled again in the defence of their Eredivisie thriller in Friday night’s six goal thriller against Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen.

SC Heerenveen - Ajax

HEERENVEEN 3-3 AJAX

Frank de Boer will be worried about his side’s shocking defensive frailties as Heerenveen overturned a two-goal deficit to hold Ajax to a 3-3 draw in an exhilarating encounter inside the Abe Lenstra Stadion.

Missing left-back Daley Blind, De Boer was forced to play young Danish defender Nicolas Boilesen as Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld passed a late fitness test after suffering a perforated ear drum in the 2-1 win over Feyenoord last Sunday.

Two goalkeeping howlers by Heerenveen’s Swedish stopper Kristoffer Nordfeldt handed Ajax a two goal lead, and both goals were headers from Christian Eriksen corners. The opening goal came as Ajax defender Niklas Moisander rose above everyone at the back post to head down through Nordfeldt’s legs.

Four minutes later, it was two. Icelandic striker Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, also at the far post, rising above the failing Nordfeldt to make it 2-0. However, Van Basten’s side pulled the game back to lead 3-2 at the half-time whistle.

The Eredivisie ‘Golden Boot’ leader Alfred Finnbogason was once again on the scoresheet, nabbing a brace before the break. The Iceland international sprung the offside trap to latch onto Hakim Ziyech’s through-ball and fire past Kenneth Vermeer, before the same combination brought the equaliser when Finnbogason latched onto the Ziyech’s lofted pass and coolly slotted under the goalkeeper.

Ajax verliest twee punten in Fries doelpuntenfestival

The turnaround was complete shortly before the internal when Norwegian midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem side-footed an effort from the edge of the box past the stunned Vermeer.

The champions Ajax showed their own fighting spirit when Christian Eriksen completed a fine individual performance with a well-placed finish from 25-yards on 66 minutes.

The 3-3 draw leaves both sides neck and neck with Ajax just ahead of Heerenveen in fourth, with the hosts sitting fifth due on goal difference.

REMAINDER OF WEEK 4 FIXTURES

SATURDAY 24TH AUGUST

NEC vs. RKC WAALWIJK

HERACLES vs. PSV

ADO DEN HAAG vs. RODA JC

PEC ZWOLLE vs. SC CAMBUUR

SUNDAY 25TH AUGUST

GO AHEAD EAGLES vs. FC GRONINGEN

FEYENOORD vs. NAC BREDA

VITESSE ARNHEM vs. FC TWENTE

FC UTRECHT vs. AZ ALKMAAR

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Sunday 18th August 2013

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WEEK 3 – Sunday 18th August 2013

Frank de Boer’s Ajax defeated Rotterdam-based rival Feyenoord in Sunday afternoon’s De Klassieker, Heracles shock Heerenveen and ADO steal a late win at NAC Breda. However, the day ended with a horror show for FC Utrecht being hit for six by FC Twente.

Ajax - Feyenoord

AJAX 2-1 FEYENOORD

Ronald Koeman’s title hopes with Feyenoord look to be all over as they currently sit nine points adrift of leaders PSV and PEC Zwolle. A Kolbeinn Sigthórsson brace helped Ajax defeated Koeman’s side 2-1 in the first De Klassieker of the season.

The Ajax eleven had to make changes from the team that were defeated 3-2 away to AZ Alkmaar last Sunday. Inspirational captain Siem de Jong is set to miss up to six weeks with a collapsed lung and Danish stalwart Christian Poulsen took his place in Frank de Boer’s team. Feyenoord also need to make changes due to the double sending-off of Stefan de Vrij and Jordy van Deelan last week against FC Twente. Nineteen-year-old right-back Sven van Beek made his debut with Miquel Nelom sitting in at left-back. Koeman had left new signing Samuel Armenteros, on-loan from Anderlecht, on the bench.

Feyenoord have now lost three matches in a row, which is their worst ever start to a season but they took the lead after just six minutes of play. A Ruud Vormer free-kick was swung towards the back post which hit Poulsen on the torso and dropped into Graziano Pelle’s feet. Kenneth Vermeer failed to clear and the Italian striker stabbed the ball into the net.

Before today, Ajax were unbeaten in the last 12 matches at the Amsterdam ArenA, the last defeat coming at the hands of Vitesse Arnhem, 2-0 in November 2012. De Boer’s side took control of the possession and pushed for an equaliser immediately.

Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld smashed a long-range effort towards goal on 17 minutes, all Erwin Mulder could do was parry the ball into Lasse Schöne’s path but the Dane spooned the shot wide.

Relentless in their attack, Ajax nearly got the goal two minutes later. Winger Ruben Schaken got caught in defence with the ball at his feet; Christian Eriksen picked his pocket but like his compatriot earlier placed the shot wide.

Just before the half-hour, Ajax turned up the tempo and after Mulder saved another effort from Eriksen, the defending champions were awarded a penalty.

Another Dane, the tricky Viktor Fischer was dribbling towards goal and Vormer dived in to tackle but brought the youngster down. Or so we thought, replays showed that Fischer clearly dived and Vormer failed to make any contact with the striker. Nevertheless, referee Björn Kuipers pointed to the spot and Iceland international Sigthórsson powerfully converted the spot kick.

Six minutes later, Sigthórsson got his and his team’s second. The Icelandic striker, now getting a permanent starting position after a long series of injuries, nodded a header in from a Ruben Ligeon cross. There was a bit of confusion as the header crashed off the underside of crossbar, but it bounced over the line. Fischer had a great chance to make it 3-1 before the half-time whistle but he crashed his shot against the post.

The second-half was majorly uneventful and although Feyenoord saw more of the ball, De Boer’s side held on for the three points. Ronald Koeman is now under major pressure as his side has failed to pick up a point in three matches and must start next week hosting NAC Breda. For Ajax, they travel to face Heerenveen to try and keep the pace of the title race as PSV run on.

SC Heerenveen - Heracles Almelo

HEERENVEEN 2-4 HERACLES

After a great start to the new campaign by Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen, they fell 4-2 to Heracles Almelo this afternoon.

De Superfriezen’s Icelandic hotshot Alfred Finnbogason, was at it again, scoring his fourth goal in three games after just three minutes into the game. Celtic have been watching Finnbogason to replace the void that Gary Hooper left by leaving for Norwich. The Scottish scouts would have been impressed they way he headed home Magnus Eikrem’s corner after escaping his marker at the near post.

Heracles were in poor form before today and their star player Lerin Duarte should have levelled the scores on 24 minutes. The midfielder found himself breaking the offside trap and was one-on-one with Kristoffer Nordfeldt, but Duarte hauled his shot wide of the post.

Ghanaian striker Matthew Amoah had another opportunity to draw level on 33 minutes, but his toe poke from close range was denied by Nordfeldt. Just before the teams broke for the interval, Duarte got his goal. Striker Mikhail Rosheuval whipped in a cross and there was Duarte to head home to equalise. Swedish ‘keeper Nordfeldt will be disappointed in the goalkeeping for this goal as the header squirmed under his legs.

The second period started slowly and the hosts have a great chance to regain the lead ten minutes into the half. Finnbogason was through on goal but instead of taking a shot the Icelandic international unselfishly passed to Luciano Slagveer who fired his shot into the arms of Remko Pasveer.

On 62 minutes, some poor defending by Van Basten’s men was punished by Ben Reinstra. Kenny Otigba dwelled on the ball and Reinstra finished with precision.

It was 3-2 six minutes later with a tremendous volleyed goal from Mike te Weirik. From 25 yards out, Te Weirik hit the ball sweetly on the half volley, giving the goalkeeper no chance of stopping.

On 72 minutes, Heerenveen grabbed a goal back and got themselves back in the game, as Rajiv van La Parra’s cross was turned in by Joey van den Berg.

Heracles sealed the win with two minutes remaining with another cracking goal. Bryan Linssen, a summer signing from relegated VVV Venlo, used some tremendous skill to cut inside the box from the left, before power driving a first time shot past Nordfeldt.

The first three points for Heracles and a much improved performance from their last two outings. As for Marco van Basten’s side, it was a disappointing defeat that highlighted some problems that need to be sorted if their aim is for European football next year.

NAC Breda - ADO Den Haag

NAC BREDA 1-2 ADO DEN HAAG

We had to wait until 76 minutes for the deadlock to be broken. Aaron Meijers picked the ball up just outside the penalty area before smashing a shot past goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar.

NAC Breda equalised from the penalty spot, which was their first goal of the season. ADO’s goalkeeper Gino Coutinho fouled Alex Schalk, and the striker converted to make it 1-1.

We still had time for drama deep into second-half stoppage time. With his first touch of the game since coming on, Michiel Kramer fired past Ten Rouwelaar to snatch the three points.

FC Twente - FC Utrecht

FC TWENTE 6-0 FC UTRECHT

The future of Jan Wouters in charge of Utrecht is in major doubt after a disastrous six goal defeat away to FC Twente.

The day started badly for Utrecht in the warm-up with first choice goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter picking up an injury and thus Jeroen Verhoeven replacing him in the first eleven.

Twente hit their first goal after just eight minutes when Quincy Promes twisting and turning two defender then hitting a low shot past Verhoeven. Two minutes later, Twente were awarded a dubious penalty, after an apparent foul by defender Johan Mårtensson on Shadrach Eghan. Serbian international Dušan Tadić converted the spot-kick to double the lead.

Shell-shocked Utrecht were 3-0 down after 25 minutes. Promes picked up a long ball in space down the right-wing, crossed into the box for Luc Castaignos to fire home.

It gopt worse for Wouters’ men as Castaignos added his second and his sides fourth on 35 minutes. The striker met a Tadić cross, with a diving header.

It was five twenty minutes into the second half. Tadić surged down the left-wing, before sending a pinpoint accurate cross into the box for Promes to nab his second.

Just before the final whistle, the final nail in Utrecht’s coffin was hammered home as captain Rasmus Bengtsson sent a powerful header past Verhoeven again.

Wouters and Utrecht now look set for a relegation battle this season and between the manager and Alex Pastoor of NEC, they both look favourites to be dismissed soon.

STANDINGS

20130818 - Eredivisie

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