Tag Archives: Kostas Lamprou

Doelman Dilemma: Who will succeed Andre Onana as Ajax number 1?

With the recent flurry of transfer activity revolving around many prominent members of Ajax’s current first team squad – most notably Frenkie de Jong’s record-breaking switch to FC Barcelona, a number of questions regarding next season and beyond are yet to be resolved by Messrs Overmars, ten Hag and Co.

One of which is, with his departure seemingly imminent, who will succeed Cameroon international Andre Onana between the sticks at the Johan Cruijff ArenA?

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Big Andre’s tipped to move to the big leagues in the summer.

Despite no move materialising during the current transfer window, it appears almost guaranteed that Onana will be snapped up in the summer and, as Kostas Lamprou’s recent performance – standing in for the injured 22-year-old in an eight-goal thriller with Heerenveen on January 20th that saw Ajax squander the chance of leapfrogging reigning Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven into first place coupled with the resultant media backlash that saw accusations of poor judgement aimed in the direction of director of football, Marc Overmars, head coach, Erik ten Hag and even the club’s goalkeeping coach, Carlo l’Ami, from an irate Dutch media proved, a long-term successor to Ajax’s current number one is far from clear.

As such, we here at TotalDutchFootball.com have compiled a list of both short and long-term solutions for Ajax’s ‘doelman dilemma’.

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Onana’s current understudy Kostas Lamprou

Promote from within?

Despite both arriving at the club in the summer of 2017, Kostas Lamprou and Benjamin van Leer have thus far failed to really stake any sort of claim as Andre Onana’s long term successor. Despite an impressive stint manning the nets for Willem II, the Greek international’s few first-team appearances in an Ajax shirt have been far from convincing and his current deal, which expires in the summer, is unlikely to be extended. Meanwhile, despite being initially tipped as a potential solution to the Ajax goalkeeping conundrum following his switch from Roda JC, having slipped behind not only Onana but Lamprou as well in the pecking order for a starting berth in Amsterdam, Benjamin van Leer now finds himself on a season-long loan with NAC Breda and, despite having a deal that runs until the summer of 2021, it appears unlikely that the club will turn to the 27-year-old when Onana does eventually decide to look for pastures new.

Despite being capped at U17, U18 and U19 level for the Netherlands, with just fifteen senior appearances to date, 21-year-old Sven van Bladeren appears to lack the necessary experience to shoulder such a burden at this stage in his development while the same can be said for both Croatian U19 glovesman Dominik Kotarski and Moroccan U23 stopper Issam El Maach who are both just eighteen years of age.

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Former Dutch no.1 Maarten Stekelenburg

An experienced hand?

Should the club conclude that the aforementioned inexperience of Messrs van Bladeren, Kotarski and El Maach means that promoting from within is not an option and a short-term solution is instead required, Ajax may turn their attention to a familiar face in the form of Everton’s Maarten Stekelenburg. A product of the club’s famed youth system, Stekelenburg manned the Ajax nets with distinction until his departure for Roma in the summer of 2011. At the age of thirty-six and with no real likelihood of first-team football on the horizon thanks to England international Jordan Pickford’s presence at Goodison Park, Stekelenburg may jump at the opportunity to finish his career where it all began while a true long-term successor is prepared. However, it should be noted that Stekelenburg’s current deal with Everton runs until the summer of 2020 and thus might make any move financially unfeasible at this stage.

However, Michel Vorm’s current deal with Tottenham Hotspur is set to expire in the summer and, at the age of thirty-five, seeing out his career at the Johan Cruijff ArenA may well appeal to the former FC Utrecht stopper.

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Youngster Scherpen halts a PSV attack in its tracks

One for the future?

Should Ajax opt to recruit an experienced glovesman with a view to buying time while a long-term replacement is readied, one name immediately springs to mind – FC Emmen’s Kjell Scherpen. Despite being just 19-years-old, Scherpen has played all but one of Emmen’s twenty games in all competitions this term and has been impressive throughout. Given time to acclimatise, the Dutch U19 international could well become the long-term solution Ajax are looking for.

A ready-made replacement?

However, should Ajax desire a ready-made replacement, the club may well look to AZ Alkmaar’s Marco Bizot. The 27-year-old has enjoyed an impressive campaign thus far having posted ten clean sheets in his twenty-four appearances in all competitions and his good form resulting in a call-up to the Dutch national team.

Whatever the club decides, recent events clearly illustrate that it is imperative a decision on Andre Onana’s long-term successor be made sooner rather than later.

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Which Eredivisie stoppers could be on the move?

So the Winter Transfer Window is wide open across Europe and Steve Davies take a look at some of the goalkeepers that could be on the move over the next month.

We begin in Amsterdam with the perennially in-demand Andre Onana. While Ajax’s talented young stopper will surely be on the move sooner rather than later, given Ajax’s progression in the Champions League, it appears unlikely that any move will come to pass in this transfer window. However, with Onana apparently staying put this does cast some doubt over the future of the club’s other two senior glovesmen – Benjamin van Leer, who is currently on loan at NAC Breda and Kostas Lamprou, whose deal at the Johan Cruijff ArenA expires in the summer.

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Staying put – Andre Onana (Ajax)

Meanwhile, in Eindhoven the situation is even more congested. With Jeroen Zoet having seemingly been out the proverbial door on more than one occasion in recent years, PSV have covered their bases by drafting in not one but three possible long-term replacements in the form of Eloy Room, whose contract at the Philips Station expires in the summer, Hidde Jurjus, who is currently on a season-long loan at former club, De Graafschap and the man seemingly most likely to inherit the starting spot when Zoet finally makes his long-awaited move abroad – German keeper, Lars Unnerstall, who, upon arriving at the club on a free transfer from VVV over the summer, promptly found himself loaned back to the Venlo-based outfit for the duration of the current campaign

In Rotterdam, despite the departure of rival, Brad Jones this past summer, the form of Feyenoord’s talented young keeper, Justin Bijlow has left the experienced Kenneth Vermeer out in the cold and with the Dutch U21 international having recently penned a new deal keeping him at De Kuip until the summer of 2023, the writing appears to be on the wall for Vermeer, who, at the age of 32, is currently in his goalkeeping prime and unlikely to want to waste any more time of what was once a promising career playing second fiddle to a much younger man.

Elsewhere, in goalkeeping terms, there is one name in particular that has been making waves in the Dutch top flight this term – FC Emmen’s 18-year-old wonder-kid, Kjell Scherpen. While the Dutch U19 international is contracted at De Oude Meerdijk until the summer of 2020, it wouldn’t come as a great surprise if one of the ‘big three’ or indeed one of the division’s more established clubs, laid claim to his services in this transfer window before allowing Scherpen to see out the remainder of the campaign with his current employers.

Outside the Netherlands, it may be worth keeping tabs on the status of former FC Utrecht keeper, Michel Vorm, whose contract at Tottenham Hotspur is set to expire next summer while, at the age of 36, the under-utilised Maarten Stekelenburg may yet, despite having extended his current deal with Everton until mid-2020 this past summer, opt to look for first team football away from Goodison Park.

Finally, will Barcelona’s Jasper Cillessen remain the ‘world’s best back-up goalkeeper’ forever? Only time will tell.

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TotalDutchFootball.com

Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 3

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Here is round three of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our 2016/17 Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition. All players have performed so well this weekend that Will Burns has selected them in the team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.

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GOALKEEPER

KOSTAS LAMPROU – WILLEM II: Kept Ajax at bay in his side’s shock 2-1 win at the Amsterdam arena.

DEFENDERS

SANTIAGO ARIAS – PSV: Inspirational in PSV’s 4-0 thumping away to PEC Zwolle.

TERENCE KONGOLO – FEYENOORD: The top performer at the back for Feyenoord, collecting their third clean sheet in a row away to Heracles.

HECTOR MORENO – PSV: Not only did he hold the PSV defence together he notched the only goal of the game in the 1-0 win.

RIDGECIANO HAPS – AZ ALKMAAR: The 23-year-old was tight at the back and great going forward in AZ’s 2-1 victory in Utrecht.

MIDFIELDERS

ERIK FALKENBURG – WILLEM II: The creator of the all important equalizer for Willem II in their first ever away victory over Ajax in their history.

ANDRES GUARDADO – PSV: The Mexican ran the show and his creativity should have produced more goals for PSV in their 1-0 win against AZ.

JORRIT HENDRIX – PSV: A beast in the midfield, defending the back four and pulling the strings in attack.

ATTACKERS

LEWIS BAKER – VITESSE: Notched a great goal in the narrow 1-0 win over Roda.

LUUK DE JONG – PSV: Big Luuk finally notched his first goal of the season against Zwolle and provided an assist to earn his spot in the Team of the Week.

ENAS UNAL – FC TWENTE: Flawless. The Manchester City loanee was the standout performer of the weekend, notching a hat-trick to claim the PLAYER OF THE WEEK award.

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

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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 3

Header-TeamOfTheWeek

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

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GOALKEEPER

KOSTAS LAMPROU – WILLEM II: A tremendous clean sheet against AZ Alkmaar, denying the Alkmaar side seven times to keep a point for the Tilburgers.

DEFENDERS

KEVIN DIKS – VITESSE: Another fantastic outing for the soon-to-be-superstar – kept Feyenoord at bay while posing a threat at the other end.

THOMAS LAM – PEC ZWOLLE: The young Finnish defender has become reliable at the back for Ron Jans and made some vital challenges in their 2-1 over FC Twente.

DIRK MARCELLIS – PEC ZWOLLE: The rock and leader at the back for PEC Zwolle – creating a great partnership with the young Lam.

CANER CAVLAN – SC HEERENVEEN: The left-back has made quite the arrival in Friesland. Great performance keeping Luciano Narsingh quiet and converting a spot-kick in the great 1-1 draw against PSV.

MIDFIELDERS

BEN REINSTRA – PEC ZWOLLE: Scorer of the winning goal in a team that is over-performing yet again this season so far.

WOUTER MARINUS – PEC ZWOLLE: Strong performance for the young midfielder who is finally finding himself under Ron Jans.

THOMAS BRUNS – HERACLES: A helping hand in Heracles’ 6-1 victory over SC Cambuur – a solid outing topped off with a fine goal.

OUSSAMA TANNANE – HERACLES: Scoring FOUR goals means that Mr Tannane is our PLAYER OF THE WEEK.

ATTACKERS

ARKADIUSK MILIK – AJAX: A leading performance up top for the Amsterdammers, notching a goal in their 2-0 win over N.E.C. Nijmegen.

WOUT WEGHORST – HERACLES: Took a ‘supporting actor’ role in Saturday night’s 6-1 demolition of SC Cambuur. However, notched a lovely goal to help Heracles complete the rout.

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

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EREDIVISIE: Willem II 1-3 PSV

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SUNDAY 10TH AUGUST 2014

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WILLEM II 1 – 3 PSV

Philip Cocu’s PSV was uninspiring away to Eredivisie new boys Willem II but still came away with a 3-1 win in the final game of the weekend.

PSV exploded out the blocks and harried Willem II into two defensive mistakes that resulted in two goals in the first ten minutes. First off, Kostas Lamprou making his debut for the Tilburg side since joining on loan from Feyenoord, dramatically rushed out of his goal on seven minutes to meet the ball a few yards outside of the area. After the keeper took an awful touch, the ball flick up in the air which allowed Jürgen Locadia to nod the ball out of the goalie’s path. The striker then aimed the ball towards goal and Jordan Peters hurried back but was unable to clear off the line and PSV were a goal ahead.

The lead was doubled minutes later after another horrific mistake. After a pass back went wrong from Robbie Haemhouts, Memphis Depay collected the ball twisted and turned the Willem II defence and place a low drive inside Lamprou’s post. The fans inside the Koning Willem II Stadion were booing, apart from the 500 PSV fans in the south east corner.

The Eindhoven side looked like they were going to go on a rout, however the Eredivisie newcomers collected themselves and put up a fight and even grabbed a goal back before the break. The exciting Terrel Ondaan got past Luuk de Jong on the right and fired in a low ball into the area. Brazilian striker Bruno Andrade collected the loose ball, spun his defender and finished from close range, a great goal.

The relegation contenders looked anything but after the goal as Cocu’s men were on the ropes and had Jeroen Zoet to thanks for retaining the lead. Before the break, the PSV keeper parried a great effort from long range by Ondaan.

After the interval, as the torrential rain came down, Willem II should have been level within eight minutes of the restart. Andrade whipped a vicious ball towards the back post from the right wing which Ben Sahar connected with his head and nodded back across goal. Belgian midfielder Stijn Wuytens was a metre out and headed the ball straight at Zoet, easy enough for the keeper to catch. A terrible miss by the former PSV midfielder.

Zoet held firm for the remainder of the game and PSV wrapped up the points with less than 15 minutes to go. Depay placed a perfect ball through to Georginio Wijnaldum in the area and the midfielder was tripped by Lamprou, who immediately received his marching orders from referee Kevin Blom. Depay easily dispatched the remaining penalty to seal the win.

TEAMS

WILLEM II: Lamprou, Peters, Ondaan (Vicento 67), Haemhouts, Messaoud, Andrade (Meul 75), Sahar (Ippel 80), D. Wuytens, Heymans, Cornelisse, S. Wuytens.

SUBS NOT USED: Heerkens, Vossebelt, Zanelli, Deckers.

GOALS: Andrade 40.

BOOKINGS: Messaoud 50, Andrade 61, Peters 68.

SENT OFF: Lamprou 73.

PSV: Zoet, Brenet, Bruma, Hendrix, Tamata, Maher (Ritzmaier 80), Wijnaldum, Hiljemark, Locadia (Narsingh 81), De Jong, Depay (Jozefzoon 85).

SUBS NOT USED: Pasveer, Arias, Vloet, Koch.

GOALS: Locadia 7, Depay 10 & 76P.

BOOKINGS: None.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Memphis Depay (PSV)

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A long season awaits for these five Eredivisie goalkeepers

I expect it to be a busy season for many goalkeepers in the Eredivisie, but no other number ones will feel the pressure quite like the following keepers mentioned in this piece. I can only imagine that the 2014/15 campaign will be remembered for either all the right or wrong reasons for these five men writes Kalkeren Kieran.

JELLE TEN ROUWELAAR (NAC Breda)

It is never easy being a keeper in these times but being captain of the club along with the responsibility of holding the goal really brings it into a different level of pressure. In which NAC Breda’s first choice stopper this season will be once again the 33 year-old Jelle ten Rouwelaar.

Already appearing a remarkable 236 times for the club, Ten Rouwelaar has spent virtually all of his livelihood in the Netherlands, appearing for Austria Wien for one year out of his fifteen-year long career.

At the age of 33, there is no doubt that he will be depending on all of his experience this season to lead the side. His main objective will be to keep them out of any trouble and another season to look forward to in the top flight, however it will not be easy for this Dutch-born star, as the side conceded 54 goals last season finishing with a -11 goal difference. Considering 11 of the 54 were scored in the last ten minutes of the game, means that concentration will be key for the side staying out of trouble during the 2014/15 campaign.

LEONARD NIENHUIS (SC Cambuur)

SC Cambuur will be relying on 24-year-old Nienhuis to keep the goals out this season. Although he is currently recovering from a serious injury sustained from late last season, his return is unknown.  I am sure all the supporters of Cambuur will be hoping that he recovers in time for the first week of the season, as the team face an impressive FC Twente side at home in Leeuwarden.

I am sure if the Cambuur stand any chance of taking something out of the opening weekend they will need Nienhuis to be in tip-top shape. Mainly due to the fact, that the first choice stopper is recovering from injury, Cambuur have three keepers in their squad for this coming season, including Harm Zeinstra and Jurjan Wouda.

After winning the Eerste Divisie with the club in the 2011/12 season, Nienhuis knows what it is like to taste success. However, as everyone knows not all clubs are capable of continued success, and this upcoming campaign. I cannot imagine Cambuur’s expectations are higher than a play-off place into the Europa league qualifying round and this season could be a real battle for the club, to prove that they are worthy of a spot in the Eredivisie for the 2015/16 season.

Last season Cambuur’s opponents scored first 17 times out of a possible 34 matches, although the team only conceded a -10 goal difference, unlike other teams such as FC Utrecht or Go Ahead Eagles.

FILIP KURTO (FC Dordrecht)

Born on Olsztyn, Poland, Kurto could be the first name on the FC Dordrecht team sheet, as the side attempt to avoid the drop zone this season and resist exiting the Eredivisie in their first year back.

The 23-year-old may be remembered for his embarrassing own-goal last year during the 3-3 draw against FC Utrecht while keeping goal for Roda JC. He was released by the club and in July 2014, he signed a contract for the newly promoted FC Dordrecht.

I believe this will be a massive chance for the Pole to prove himself in the Dutch top flight and also to demonstrate to his old side that he should not have been let go so easily. Kurto is no stranger to Eredivisie football after appearing 65 times for Roda JC in the last two campaigns. As a relatively young keeper, I would love to see this number one at Dordrecht having the season of his life. I have high hopes for this club in general this coming season, however they will have to build from the back and no better way to do it than to start off with a keeper that has a safe pair of hands.

JORDY DECKERS (Excelsior)

Deckers will be preparing for a busy season ahead as his club Excelsior Rotterdam in their fight to try to avoid the drop zone like so many other clubs this season.

The 6ft 3 inches goalkeeper has appeared 54 times prior for Excelsior. He was a large part of the Rotterdam side’s promotion success last year as Deckers went on to play 38 Eerste Divisie matches and appeared in the four play-off matches.

The Dutchman will be out to do his best this upcoming season and there is no doubt, that the pressure will be on. Hopefully he can return from his summer break with a smoking hot pair of gloves to keep this club in the league. Success could be discovered by the club by competing in the KNVB Beker and doing respectablely well. This would be a great positive for the club, which I believe can only go into this season with realistic views and not get too eager.

All eyes in the Woudestein will be on Deckers this coming season, as his inexperienced defence will come under immense strain from the attacking forces of several of the top sides.

KOSTAS LAMPROU (Willem II)

Beginning his loan spell at Willem II for this campaign, Lamprou will be hoping he can show his parent club Feyenoord that he is worthy of a place in their starting eleven.

Born in Athens, Lamprou could be in the spotlight every weekend as his side attempt to fight for their lives in the Eredivisie. In 2012, he received the call from Greece national side, due to his consistency. However, his lack of height has continued to hinder his goalkeeping career, as he has received criticism from past stars of the game for only being 5ft 10. Which is a tad small for a regular keeper of this day and age, but this should not be too much of a factor for Lamprou this season.

Either way, the Greek keeper will have his work cut out for him this season and keeping a well mannered defence will be his main priority.

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