Tag Archives: Marco van Basten

EREDIVISIE: AZ Alkmaar 0-1 Heerenveen





AZ played host to coach Marco van Basten’s former club Heerenveen on Saturday with the Dutchman still unavailable on the touchline due to illness. Alex Pastoor once again barked out the orders as they fell to a 1-0 defeat writes Will Burns.

It was the first time that the home AZ fans inside the AFAS Stadion got to see summer signing Sergio Rochet and he impressed early on. The 21-year-old Uruguayan goalkeeper, arrived from Danubio in May, stopped early efforts from Mark Uth and Jordy Buijs inside a busy first half but seven minutes before the interval, his goal was breached.

Young midfielder Daley Sinkgraven has had a great and impressive start to the 2014/15 campaign and he was on hand to make it 1-0 after poor defending from AZ. Morten Thorsby found some space down the left-wing to find Uth on the edge of the area. Uth lost to the ball to Jeffrey Gouweleeuw who could not direct his clearance out of the path of Sinkgraven who hit a first time shot past Rochet, giving the young keeper no chance.

AZ barely threatened Kristoffer Nordfeldt at the other end but on 55 minutes they should have maybe had a spot kick awarded after Joost van Aken made a clumsy challenge in the area on Derrick Luckassen. Referee Bas Nijhuis waved away any appeals and Heerenveen rode the game out for the win that places them in second place, two points behind PSV.


AZ: Rochet, Luckassen (Elm 73), Gouweleeuw, Wuytens (Haps 54), Poulsen, Ortiz, Hupperts, Gudelj, Haye, Tankovic, Mühren (Johansson 64).

SUBS NOT USED: De Winter, Henriksen, Hoedt, Rosheuvel.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Johansson 67.

HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Van Aken, Buijs, Van Anholt, Van Den Berg, De Roon, Sinkgraven (Schmidt 90), Slagveer, Uth (Dalgaard 86), Thorsby (Otigba 81).

SUBS NOT USED: De Fockert, Raitala, Varga, Van Amersfoort.

GOALS: Sinkgraven 38.

BOOKINGS: Sinkgraven 58, De Roon 76.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Sergio Rochet (AZ Alkmaar)


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Last season was certainly an eventful one for AZ. After beating PSV in September 2013 Gertjan Verbeek was sacked due to ‘a lack of chemistry’ between the management and the playing staff. He was replaced by Dick Advocaat until the end of the season when a replacement would hopefully be found. They finished the season in 8th qualifying themselves for the Europa League Play-offs writes Ryan O’Grady.

They beat Heerenveen 3-1 on aggregate in the semis before losing to Groningen 3-0 on aggregate in the two-legged final. Advocaat has now moved on to manage Serbia and he has been replaced by former Heerenveen manager and Ajax legend Marco van Basten. AZ will be hoping he can replicate Heerenveen 5th placed finish last season. They will also need more goals from elsewhere on the pitch as they only scored 54 goals last season, joint 8th best in the league, and when you consider Aron Jóhannsson scored 17 of these and Berghuis was second with 9, they certainly need more goals from a midfield which last season only managed to find the target 13 times. Aron Jóhannsson is currently recovering from an ankle injury he sustained while playing for the US national team in the World Cup, but he has been quoted as saying that he would like to be back for the start of the season or even the second game at home to Ajax.

They will miss Roy Beerens this season after he moved to Hertha Berlin in Germany, as well as scoring five times last year he also managed 5 assists. The club are hoping that his loss will be covered by the arrival of Guus Hupperts from Roda JC who managed 9 goals and 6 assists and if he can replicate that form at AZ then he should help propel them to their predicted position of 5th. AZ have had a mixed preseason, they beat 4th tier side AFC ‘34 by 4 goals 1, then playing in a goalless draw with NEC before beating VVV 2-0 away. However their latest preseason friendly was against German side 1899 Hoffenheim in a game where AZ played very poorly losing 3-0 and barely threatening to score themselves and this is made even worse by the fact that the German side played for over an hour with only 10 men. The young player to watch this season is probably 19 year old Thom Haye. He only made 3 senior appearances last year but he has already won the UEFA U17 European Championship with the Netherlands and has appeared for the U19 Netherlands side eight times.

Overall there is promise for AZ Alkmaar, some of the teams who finished above them last season probably won’t be as strong for the forthcoming season, such as Vitesse who have lost loan stars Lucas Piazon and Christian Atsu and Heerenveen have lost Alfred Finnbogason as well as manager Marco van Basten who of course is now manager at AZ. If new signing Hupperts repeats last season’s form and more goals arrive from midfield then 5th place is certainly attainable.


IN: Guus Hupperts (Roda JC), Muamer Tankovic (Fulham), Sergio Rochet (Danubio).

OUT: Thomas Lam (PEC Zwolle), Erik Heijblok (FC Volendam), Etienne Reijnen (SC Cambuur), Hobie Verhulst (MVV), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Charlton Atheltic), Joris van Overeem (FC Dordrecht), Nick Viergever (Ajax), Roy Beerens (Hertha Berlin).


There isn’t much you can say about the ‘Swan of Utrecht’ that isn’t already known. One of the greatest strikers ever during his time with Ajax and AC Milan, he turned his gaze to management in 2003 after famously being quoted as saying that he would never try management as an assistant at Ajax B. In 2004 he became the manager of the Oranje, quickly establishing himself as a strong no-nonsense figure. After Euro 2008 van Basten signed a four-year contract with Ajax but resigned after one year following failure to qualify for the Champions League. In 2012 van Basten was announced as manager of Heerenveen. In his first season he led them to an eighth placed finish before they finished 5th last season.


One player who will be reunited with his former manager this season is 23 year old centre back Gouweleeuw. He quickly rose up through the youth team ranks at Heerenveen before making his debut in 2011 against Excelsior. In the 2011/12 he was an important member of the team which went on to finish 5th that season and qualify for the Europa League. The following season wasn’t so successful, Gouweleeuw found himself on the bench at the start of the season and he nearly left in January to join AZ. This fell through but both Gouweleeuw and Heerenveen had a much better second half to the season reinforcing his reputation as one for the future. In the summer of 2013 he finally got his move to AZ for 1.5 million.  Last season he was an ever-present for AZ making 37 appearances scoring one goal.





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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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