Tag Archives: Sparta Rotterdam

Eerste Divisie: Stegeman makes an flying start at Go Ahead Eagles

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The first week of the Eerste Divisie is complete and as usual it was a weekend full of goals with only one goalless draw across the fixtures. Will Burns is on hand to describe the action.

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The big winners this week were Go Ahead Eagles who thrashed Jong FC Utrecht by five goals. It was the dream start for new coach John Stegeman as Richard van der Venne notched the opener on 22 minutes and defender Gino Bosz doubled the scoring by half-time. Thomas Verheijdt, Maarten Pouwels and Paco van Moorsel completed the rout after the break to send the De Adelaarshorst faithful home optimistic about the new campaign ahead.

On Monday night, Almere City defeated Jong AZ as the era of Michele Santoni began. The Italian left his role as Technical Coach for Cagliari in the summer to up sticks to the Netherlands and began life with a 3-2 win. It was eventful game that saw Almere three goals to the good before half-time with goals from Niek Vossebelt, Tim Receveur and Stijn Meijer. Almere left-back Moustpha Seck was shown red for a foul in the area and AZ’s Jelle Duin missed the spot-kick. AZ got a goal back against the ten-men through Tijani Reijnders and Ferdy Druijf scored in stoppgae time but there’s where the comeback ended.

In the Eindhoven derby, Jong PSV came from behind to dispatch FC Eindhoven 2-1 at De Herdgang. The visitors took an early lead when Siebe van der Heyden rose like a salmon to beat Dirk Abels to head home a 6th minute free-kick. However, Zakaria Aboukhlal equalised in first-half stoppage to level the game up with a long range effort that took a deflection. Full-back Jordan Teze found himself in unfamiliar territory to hit PSV’s winner.

Former Eredivisie champions FC Twente had a successful start to the campaign at home to fellow relegated side Sparta Rotterdam. German loanee striker Ulrich Bapoh notched after ten minutes played but former Nottingham Forest target man Lars Veldwijk equalised in the 16th. Tom Boere converted a penalty before half-time to wrap the game up for Twente.

Elsewhere, SC Cambuur clawed back a 2-0 deficit away to N.E.C. to take a point back to Leeuwarden with two late goals. Anass Achahbar, formerly of Feyenoord, and Sven Braken gave Nijmegen to lead only for Frank Sturing to score in the wrong goal three minutes from time. Full-back Emmanuel Mbende was the hero notching five minutes in stoppage time to make it 2-2 and send the away fans home in jubilation.

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Roda JC dispatched last year’s champions Jong Ajax thanks to two goals from German winger Mario Engels (pictured above) in a 2-1 victory.

There was further wins for RKC Waalwijk, TOP Oss and FC Den Bosch before the weekend was over while FC Dordrecht and Helmond Sport played a goalless draw.

Results

Friday 17th August

FC Dordrecht 0-0 Helmond Sport

Go Ahead Eagles 5-0 Jong FC Utrecht

Jong PSV 2-1 FC Eindhoven

MVV Maastricht 0-2 TOP Oss

N.E.C. 2-2 SC Cambuur

Roda JC 2-1 Jong Ajax

FC Twente 2-1 Sparta Rotterdam

FC Volendam 1-2 FC Den Bosch

RKC Waalwijk 1-0 Telstar

Monday 20th August

Jong AZ 2-3 Almere City

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TotalDutchFootball.com

Eerste Divisie 2018/19 Preview

The Eerste Divisie has undergone a revamp this summer and has been renamed the Keuken Kampioen Divisie due to a new sponsorship taking over, Will Burns looks at the season ahead.

Looking at the twenty teams involved in the 2018/19 Eerste Divisie campaign, the league looks strong with many contenders for promotion. Some big names like FC Twente, Sparta Rotterdam, N.E.C. Nijmegen, Go Ahead Eagles, Roda JC, SC Cambuur and RKC Waalwijk are in the competition this year in what looks to be an unpredictable season (as usual) for the Dutch first division.

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As expected, on paper FC Twente look to have one of the strongest squads with Oussama Assaidi, Xandro Schenk, Peet Bijen, Wout Brama, Haris Vuckic, Tim Holscher and Jari Oosterwijk all lining up for The Tukkers. If the former youth prodigy Oosterwijk can’t get new promoted head coach Marino Pusic goals then Tom Boere surely will. Boere scored 33 goals in 38 appearances for TOP Oss in the 2016/17 season and if he can replicate that performance he’ll surely fire his team into promotion contention.

The oldest club in the Netherlands, Sparta Rotterdam fell out of the Eredivisie last year and Henk Fraser takes over the reins from Dick Advocaat. De Kasteelheren themselves have an abundance of talent well capable of mounting a challenge from promotion. With Lars Veldwijk, Ragnar Ache, Edouard Duplan and Mohamed Rayhi in the attack, Sparta fans should be treated to plenty of goals. Dries Wuytens and Bart Vriends provide some solid top flight experience at the back and Suently Alberto and Giliano Wijnaldum (younger brother of Liverpool’s Georginio) should benefit from working with them while Adil Auassar should create chances for fun. One big story coming out of the Het KasteelI was the turnaround of Royston Drenthe. The former Real Madrid and Everton man has opted to come back to football after retiring last January to take up a rap career under the moniker of ‘Roya2Faces’.

Jack de Gier is once again linked up with N.E.C. Nijmegen returning from a two-year stint at Almere City. He has some great talent at his disposal from the goalkeeper Gino Coutinho to the forward line with Anass Achahbar up top. In defence, Guus Joppen, Robin Buwalda, Rens van Eijden, Josef Kvida and Leroy Labylle are an array of resource with Eredivisie experience for the back-line. In the middle of the park, Joey van den Berg has the ability to run the show for most games. One blow for De Gier is losing winger Randy Wolters to injury until the new year but one guy that I feel will stand out is. He signed on from Heracles in the summer but I feel has too much quality to playing in the second tier Brahim Darri week in, week out.

Go Ahead Eagles john stegeman

The less said about the 2017/18 campaign, the better for Go Ahead Eagles and Total Dutch Football.com’s Steve Davies (an Eagles fan). Despite spending the previous campaign in the Eredivisie, the season never really got going for the Deventer boys. The management change of Leon Vlemmings with Jan van Staa failed to produce an upturn in form with the Eagles eventually stumbling to a 17th place finish – the club’s worst for over a decade. Unsurprisingly, the summer saw an overhaul of both the playing squad and technical staff with John Stegeman raising many an eyebrow by taking a step down from a successful spell at Heracles to take charge of his beloved Eagles. The 41-year-old was a huge success in Almelo leading Heracles up to from 14th to sixth in the Eredivisie so he could most certainly be the man for the job. Stegeman will have almost a completely new squad to choose from with notable arrivals. Goalkeeper Hobie Verhulst has made the switch from FC Volendam, full-back Roland Baas and Czech winger Jaroslav Navrátil has followed Stegeman from Heracles. Former Heraclieden defender Jeroen Veldmate, turned down the opportunity to play in the top flight with newly promoted FC Emmen to make the switch to De Adelaarshorst. The optimism is as high as it has been for a number of years, so expect the men from Deventer to be back in the more familiar surroundings of the promotion/relegation play-off picture come the end of this season.

Roda JC managed by former Leeds United defender Robert Molenaar, will also be in the running. ‘The Terminator’ known for his side’s tough tackling and in-your-face football will have his team organised and hard to beat. They do not possess as much quality as many other teams but German right-winger Mario Engels will be a force to reckon with. Fast, strong with a clinical finish, the 24-year-old has fantastic ability from set-pieces and may steal the show in many games.

Former Twente boss René Hake still resides at SC Cambuur, a job he gained last January and steered the Leeuwarden side into eighth place. His business in the summer has not really strengthened the side into contenders and another year of missing out on promotion looks likely. The same can be said for RKC Waalwijk. After an incredibly disappointing finish in 18th last year, new RKC boss Fred Grim has not had the funds to increase hopes of reaching the playoffs.

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Jong Ajax and Jong PSV will be using the league as usual to nurture their talents ready for the heights of the Eredivisie and European football and taking points away from the promotion hopefuls.

When it comes to predicting who could finish as champions, I would need a crystal ball the size of De Kuip to come up with a conclusion for such a crazy league.

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TotalDutchFootball.com

Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 2

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Here is round two 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

ERNESTAS SETKUS – ADO DEN HAAG: ADO’s new stopper denied Vitesse time and time again in his side’s 2-1 away win on Saturday.

DEFENDERS

MICHEL BREUER – SPARTA ROTTERDAM: The 35 year old led well from the back and his performance was imperative in Sparta’s emphatic 3-0 win over PEC Zwolle.

RON VLAAR – AZ ALKMAAR: PSV could have destroyed his side if it was not for Vlaar’s determination and communication at the back.

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.

JURGEN MATTHEIJ – EXCELSIOR: A surprise to be making the team of the week but scored against the poor Groningen side and held strong against anything they could throw at him.

MIDFIELDERS

LORIS BROGNO – SPARTA ROTTERDAM: Claimed a brace in the unlikely 3-0 win over PEC Zwolle.

JENS TOORNSTRA – FEYENOORD: The midfielder bagged a goal and ran the show for the Feyenoord attacks in their 2-0 win over Twente.

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.

ATTACKERS

KASPER DOLBERG – AJAX: The 18 year old Dane that does not play like a teenager. Notched twice against Roda but his teammates let him down in the 2-2 draw – PLAYER OF THE WEEK.

KEVIN MAYI – NEC: The French striker scores a goal on his home debut that clinched a vital point in the 2-2 draw.

CRAIG GOODWIN – SPARTA ROTTERDAM: Excellent performance capped off with a goal for the new Sparta man.

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

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Week Two

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As always, Steven Davies is on hand to inform you of all the action in Week two of the Eredivisie.

Week two of the 2016/17 Eredivisie season got underway on Friday night at the Abe Lenstra Stadion where, for the second week in succession, Jurgen Streppel’s Heerenveen came from behind to share the spoils in a four-goal affair.

In contrast to Streppel’s delight, his opposite number, FC Utrecht coach, Erik ten Hag, was left feeling short-changed, not only by the controversial manner in which the home side squared the score-line – a goalmouth scramble (which could just as easily have resulted in a free kick to the visiting side) following a Heerenveen corner which was finished by Iranian international, Reza Ghoochannejhad in the 69th minute, but also the fact that ten Hag’s men had, for the second week in succession, put in a performance worthy of much more than the single point his side ultimately left Friesland with following two quick-fire goals in three minutes just after the half hour mark – a Sebastien Haller penalty followed by a Bart Ramselaar cracker from well outside the area that had initially overturned Luciano Slagveer’s 12th minute opener for the home side.

Despite being just two weeks into the 2016/17 campaign, things are rapidly reaching crisis proportions in Groningen after Ernest Faber’s men followed up last week’s humiliating pounding at the hands of Feyenoord by slipping to an embarrassing defeat to Feyenoord’s Rotterdam neighbours, Excelsior in the early evening fixture on Saturday.

By sharp contrast, new Excelsior coach, Mitchell van der Gaag has enjoyed a perfect start with two wins on the bounce. A glancing header from 23-year-old central defender, Jurgen Mattheij after just two minutes had elapsed at the Stadion Woudestein followed by an incredible David Beckham-esque, Kevin Vermeulen lob from inside his own half of the field just seconds after Groningen ‘keeper Sergio Padt had rattled the Excelsior post with a header after coming up for a last-gasp free kick in the second minute of stoppage time secured the points for the tiny Rotterdam outfit and left Groningen at the bottom of the early season standings.

Mitchell van der Gaag wasn’t the only coach celebrating an unlikely six-point haul from his side’s opening two fixtures of the season after Zeljko Petrovic guided ADO Den Haag to an unlikely victory over Vitesse Arnhem at the GelreDome.

Things had started well for Henk Fraser’s side – Ricky van Wolfswinkel putting the Arnhem outfit in the ascendancy after 22 minutes, but ADO were back on level terms just after the half hour through Gervane Kastaneer who struck again just after the hour mark to secure all three points for the men from The Hague.

The surprising results continued at the Amsterdam ArenA on Saturday evening.  With the first leg of their UEFA Champions League playoff against Russian club, Rostov on the horizon on Tuesday evening, Ajax coach, Peter Bosz surprisingly elected against shuffling his pack for the visit of Roda JC. A Kasper Dolberg brace either side of an Adil Auassar effort should have been enough to see de Godenzonen past the plucky Kerkrade outfit. However, a Tom van Hyfte equaliser deep into stoppage time salvaged a point for the visitors despite Frederic Ananou seeing red for Yannis Anastasiou’s men after picking up his second yellow card of the match with seconds remaining on the clock.

Saturday’s Eredivisie action concluded at the MAC3PARK Stadion in Zwolle where the home side were incredibly hit for three without reply by newly promoted Sparta. A well taken goal from Loris Brogno following a deft back-heel from Stijn Spierings and Aussie forward, Craig Goodwin’s deflected effort either side of the half time interval set the visitors on their way to victory with Brogno adding a touch of the emphatic to the score line for the reigning Eerste Divisie champions with three minutes to go.

Heracles easily dispatched a woeful Willem II in Almelo in Sunday’s early fixture – racing out to a three goal lead through an Iliass Bel Hassani freekick after 26 minutes followed by a Paul Gladon double after the interval. Erik Falkenburg’s spectacular lob of Heracles ‘keeper, Bram Castro may well prove to be a strong contender for Goal of the Week in the Eredivisie but, with just 8 minutes left on the clock, it proved too little too late for Erwin van de Looi’s men who have now conceded an alarming seven goals in their opening two matches of 2016/17.

Two teams seemingly moving in polar opposite directions met a De Kuip where Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s, Feyenoord overcame the spirited but ultimately futile efforts of Rene Hake’s beleaguered FC Twente. Jens Toornstra opened the scoring for the Rotterdammers on 23 minutes but the anticipated avalanche of goals failed to materialise thereafter as the home side found their counterparts from Enschede in stubborn mood – Nicolai Jorgensen’s second goal of the season eventually putting the game to bed with ten minutes remaining to leave Feyenoord perched atop of the fledgling Eredivisie table on goal difference.

A real ‘game of two halves’ unfolded in Deventer where newly promoted Go Ahead Eagles found themselves under immense pressure during a first half dominated in terms of chances and possession by Peter Hyballa’s NEC Nijmegen – the visitors deservedly taking the lead when a Quincy Owusu Abeyie through-ball split the Eagles’ brittle back line and put Kevin Mayi in the clear – the forward beating ‘keeper, Theo Zwarthoed with a low drive.

However, despite the visitor’s first half dominance, the second stanza began with the home side on the front foot – Hans de Koning’s charges equalising through a 25 yard thunderbolt from skipper, Sander Duits just four minutes after the resumption before Estonian import, Henrik Ojamaa cut in from the right and curled a well-placed effort into the top right hand corner of Joris Delle’s net to send the raucous home crowd at De Adelaarshorst into ecstasy just short of the hour mark.

But, the Deventer-based outfit failed to emulate fellow promoted side, Sparta’s exploits from the previous day – being denied their first win back in the top flight by Frenchman, Mayi, who, having exchanged a quick one-two on half way following the breakdown of an attack by a home side in search on their third of the afternoon, found himself once more one on one with Zwarthoed who he beat for a second time to tie the score at two apiece but neither team could fashion a winning goal.

The second round of matches was rounded out in Eindhoven where reigning champions, PSV squeezed past a resolute AZ Alkmaar in a largely uneventful encounter thanks to a Hector Moreno header after 52 minutes of play at the Philips Stadion.

RESULTS

SC Heerenveen 2-2 FC Utrecht

Excelsior 2-0 Groningen

Vitesse 1- 2 ADO Den Haag

AFC Ajax 2-2 Roda JC

PEC Zwolle 0-3 Sparta Rotterdam

Heracles 3-1 Willem II

Feyenoord 2-0 FC Twente

Go Ahead Eagles 2-2 NEC Nijmegen

PSV Eindhoven 1-0 AZ Alkmaar

RESULTS

NEC Nijmegen 1-1 PEC Zwolle

ADO Den Haag 3-0 Go Ahead Eagles

FC Utrecht 1-2 PSV Eindhoven

FC Twente 1-2 Excelsior

Willem II 1-4 Vitesse Arnhem

Groningen 0-5 Feyenoord

AZ Alkmaar 2-2 Heerenveen

Sparta Rotterdam 1-3 AFC Ajax

Roda JC 1- 1 Heracles

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Week One

 

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Week one is in the books and here is Steven Davies with a full rundown of the action.

The 61st season of the Eredivisie kicked off on Friday 5th August with PEC Zwolle travelling to Nijmegen to face NEC – now under the stewardship of German, Peter Hyballa. The visitors hit the front shortly after the half hour with new signing, Anass Achahbar teeing up Ajax loanee, Queensy Menig with a deft back heel. However, Ron Jans and his charges were pegged back just after the hour when new signing, Reagy Ofosu beat the offside trap and scored on his debut to leave honours even at the Goffertstadion.

On Saturday, it was the turn of the first of the two promoted teams, with Go Ahead Eagles – having negotiated a tough promotion/relegation playoff campaign against first, VVV and then De Graafschap – travelling to The Hague to face ADO. However, it was not to be a fairy tale return to the Dutch top flight for Hans de Koning’s Eagles, who, despite looking dangerous in front of goal on numerous occasions throughout the match, conceded a penalty just after the quarter hour which Japanese international, Mike Havenaar duly converted before adding a second with twenty minutes remaining. ADO, now under the guidance of Zeljko Petrovic following the departure of Henk Fraser to Vitesse, then added a third through Tyronne Ebuehi with eight minutes left on the clock as the Eagles chased the game in vain.

After adding the Johan Cruijff Schaal to their burgeoning trophy cabinet following last weekend’s triumph over KNVB Beker winner’s, Feyenoord in the season opening showpiece, reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven began the defence of their title with a trip to Utrecht and were shocked when Sebastien Haller put Erik ten Hag’s men a goal to the good just after the quarter hour.

However, second half strikes by first, Davy Propper in the 51st minute and then Gaston Pereiro with 10 minutes to play, ensured that normal service was resumed and that Phillip Cocu’s men left the Stadion Galgenwaard with all three points.

Having staved off demotion and potential financial oblivion over the summer, FC Twente could not however withstand a stubborn Excelsior side who took all three points from their visit to De Grolsch Veste on Saturday evening.

Kevin Vermeulen put the visitors into the ascendancy after only 13 minutes had elapsed in Enschede before Leeroy Owusu doubled the Rotterdammers lead just after the hour mark and, despite Jari Oosterwijk pulling a goal back for Rene Hake’s men with eight minutes remaining, Excelsior – now under the tutelage of Mitchell van der Gaag – were good value for their victory.

The visitors were also celebrating in Saturday’s late fixture where Henk Fraser’s Vitesse put four past Erwin van de Looi’s, Willem II in Tilburg.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel – making his re-debut for the club where his career began – put the Arnhem outfit in front after 21 minutes before a calamitous own goal by Willem II’s Greek goalkeeper Kostas Lamprou followed by a brace from Chelsea loanee, Nathan gave the visitors a healthy advantage going into the break. The Tilburg side did manage to add some respectability through a solitary header from Spanish striker, Fran Sol after 54 minutes but a miraculous comeback failed to materialise.

Sunday’s Eredivisie action began at the Noordlease Stadion in Groningen where Ernest Faber’s men were thrashed by an impressive individual display by Eljero Elia – who netted a hat trick in a 5-0 away triumph for Feyenoord.

It was the so often enigmatic Elia’s initial shot which, having been poorly dealt with by Groningen ‘keeper Sergio Padt, presented an open goal for Tonny Vilhena after 19 minutes had elapsed. Elia then smashed a crisp half volley past the helpless Padt following a Toornstra cross from the right before curling a well-placed strike into the top left hand corner from just inside the edge of the box on the stroke of half time.

Groningen offered little by way of attacking intent throughout the match and it came as little surprise when Elia completed his hat trick – tucking in the rebound after Padt had initially denied Vilhena on 56 minutes after which he left the stage with a dislocated finger – before new signing, Nicolai Jorgensen got off the mark for the Rotterdammers with his first goal in Feyenoord colours with seven minutes left to play.

It ended all square in Alkmaar where AZ and Heerenveen shared four goals. Markus Henriksen gave John van den Brom’s side the lead just after the half hour but the Frisian outfit – now under the guidance of former Willem II coach, Jurgen Streppel pegged the home side back through 21-year-old Swede, Arber Zeneli to send the sides in all square at the break.

Former Heracles striker, Wout Weghorst restored the home side’s advantage early in the second half – scoring a goal on his AZ debut from the penalty spot. However, the visitors responded once more with a strike from a former AZ player – Stijn Schaars ensuring the spoils were shared with eight minutes remaining.

After squeezing past PAOK in the Third Qualifying Round of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, Peter Bosz took his Ajax side to Het Kasteel in Rotterdam to face the second of the clubs to have won promotion to the Eredivisie for the 2016/17 season – Sparta.

A double by Ajax skipper Davy Klaassen was enough to secure passage through to the playoff round of the UEFA Champions League where the four-time European Cup winners will face the Russian side, Rostov for a place in the group stages of the tournament, and it was Klaassen again who popped up with a bullet header from an El Ghazi cross from the right to give his side the lead after just 5 minutes of play.

Alex Pastoor lead Sparta to the Eerste Divisie crown last term following six years in the wilderness and the new boys showed that they would be no push-overs this season when they pegged de Godenzonen back just three minutes later when a Sanusi free kick took a deflection from Gudelj to deceive Jasper Cillessen who fumbled the ball into the Ajax net.

However, Ajax weren’t to be denied and, despite the dismissal of Joel Veltman for two bookable offences with six minutes remaining, second half strikes by Daley Sinkgraven and Colombian, Mateo Cassierra ensured all three points went back to Amsterdam.

The first round of action was rounded out in Kerkrade, where Roda (under new coach, Yannis Anastasiou) and Heracles ended with honours even at the Parkstad Limburg Stadion – Czech, Jaroslav Navratil giving the home side the advantage just after the half hour mark before Adil Auassar equalised for the visitors with 18 minutes left to play.

RESULTS

NEC Nijmegen 1-1 PEC Zwolle

ADO Den Haag 3-0 Go Ahead Eagles

FC Utrecht 1-2 PSV Eindhoven

FC Twente 1-2 Excelsior

Willem II 1-4 Vitesse Arnhem

Groningen 0-5 Feyenoord

AZ Alkmaar 2-2 Heerenveen

Sparta Rotterdam 1-3 AFC Ajax

Roda JC 1- 1 Heracles

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EREDIVISIE Week 1 Betting Tips

This article is produced in association with HeaderBlue

As usual Will Burns is on hand with his thoughts on two of this weekend’s Eredivisie games. The very best of luck if you are betting!

WillemII-Vitesse

Saturday 5th August 2016 – 19:45BST

WILLEM II v VITESSE

After taking in their friendly against Newcastle United last weekend, I feel we could see a resurgence from Vitesse this season under Henk Fraser especially with the squad he has at hand. Although, Milot Rashica & Navarone Foor will sit out the today’s visit to Tilburg through injury. One player that to watch that impressed me against The Magpies is likely to start on the bench, 19-year-old Yuning Zhang. The Chinese international striker had a good pre-season overall, but new recruit Ricky van Wolfswinkel is tipped to begin the game in his return to Eredivisie and I think he will play a key role in this game.

Willem II will be led out this season by Edwin van de Looi, who joined from FC Groningen this summer, and he will hand debuts to striker Fran Sol (a former Real Madrid youth), midfielders Jari Schuurman, a loan signing from Feyenoord and two permanent signings in Thom Haye (AZ) and Andreas Calcan (Universitatea Cluj).

Looking at the pre-season friendly stats (which is usually risky, I am confident about goals going in here. The safe banker bet here for me is with Bet365 and their Over 2.5 Goals with Both Teams to Score option priced at just above evens.

TIP: Over 2.5 Goals with Both Teams to Score (2PTs placed on 2.05 at Bet365)

 Sparta-Ajax

Sunday 6th August 2016 – 13:30BST

SPARTA ROTTERDAM v AJAX

After their successful jaunt to Greece in midweek which saw them tie up a Champions League playoff with FC Rostov, Ajax travelled to what will be a raucous crowd in Rotterdam as the oldest club in Dutch Football, Sparta make their return to the top flight in six years.

Sparta manager Alex Pastoor, as the norm with promoted sides, has seen his squad undergo major changes over the summer with 11 leaving and ten arriving. His side will be more than up for this game and I think likely to score. Winger Thomas Verhaar, scorer of 24 goals last term, will be one to look out for and will be a threat to the shaky Amsterdammers back line.

Ajax coach Peter Bosz tinkered with his formation midweek and experimented with a 3-5-2 in the 2-1 win over PAOK Salonika, however it expected he will revert back to 4-3-3 in this game. A young forward line may spearhead the Ajax attack as highly-rated Danish striker Kasper Dolberg is in line to make his Eredivisie debut, as is 19-year-old Colombian Mateo Cassierra, a summer signing from Deportivo Cali.

The Ajax defence over the two legs against PAOK has shown that are suspect and they will leak goals this season. New experienced German signing Heiko Westerman was in particular poor and Sparta could easily breach Jasper Cillessen’s goal. Although, I see Ajax winning this match expect Sparta to score at least one goal. Ajax to grab the win while conceding is valued at 9/4 by Betfred and I see that as the best bet in this match,

TIP: Ajax to win with Both Teams to Score (2PT placed on 3.25 at Betfred)

In addition to these tips keep an eye on Get Bet Smart’s Twitter account for their #SocialMediaExclusive tips including the very successful #DutchDouble.

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Wiel Coerver – Holland’s Most Influential Export?

When one think’s of Dutch football both past and present it is usually the same players and managers names such as Cruyff, Michels, Neeskens, Van Hanegem and Van Basten for example that come up.  They are often talked about for special moves, goals, trophies won or a magnificent pass in a game.  Andries Oosterveen says what about remembering, respecting and acknowledging a man who created a system some thirty years a go which changed the way the game was being taught and till today is being used by coaches all over the world at all levels of the game?

Wiel Coerver is a very strong candidate for being Holland’s greatest and most influential footballing export.  Known as the “Einstein of football“, Coerver was born in 1924 in the town of Kerkrade in Limburg.  He managed several football clubs between 1959 and 1977 including teams such as Go Ahead Eagles, Sparta Rotterdam, NEC and the Indonesian national team.  But it was not until the 1970s and with Feyenoord that he achieved his most famous success where in his two year stay he won the UEFA Cup in 1974 against Tottenham Hotspur and the Eredivisie title.

The coaching method that Coerver developed in the 1970´s has been taken on worldwide and grown thanks to Alfred Galustian and Charles Cook.  Many well known coaches have and still use the methods and include household names such as Bobby Robson, Alex Ferguson, Ricardo Moniz and Rene Meulensteen for example.  It is now one of the most widely adopted training methods in the world.  To Coerver football was more of a science than an art.

WHAT IS THE COERVER METHOD?

During the 1970s Will Coerver took inspiration for designing this coaching system by spending hours and hours studying some of the world´s greatest players of the time especially Pele and Johan Cruyff.  This led him to believe that whilst some players are naturally born with great skill levels others can be taught from a very young age such skills but in a structured academic way.  By dissecting the moves of great players Coerver made it possible to teach such moves to young players.

Training systems include a variety of aspects such as ball mastery, the Cruyff Turn, the step over, the feint, 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3 and 4 vs 4 situations, and learning how to trick a defender into thinking you will do one thing and you do another.  Being extremely comfortable with the ball was essential.  The whole idea behind the system was to catch defenders off guard as one cannot always rely only on outrunning an opponent as if you are being marked very tightly you will need to have a way to get out of that situation for example.  Passing drills, receiving drills and a strong emphasis on speed of play fast counter attacking was also focused on.

Sadly within Holland, Will Coerver despite his obvious strong and passionate dedication to the game was never used in any aspect by the KNVB.  Such a role would have been perfect for him and the game as a whole in the country.  Despite not getting the respect he deserves with football historians his legacy lives on and his influences are clear to see.

Will Coerver –  A great Feyenoord coach and an amazing planner and thinker of the game. I will leave it to you the reader, Holland’s most influential football export?

Name-AndriesOosterveen

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Eerste Divisie preview

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A total of 20 teams will take part each week in the Eerste Divisie, also known as the Jupiler League. It will be the fifty-ninth edition of the competition, since its establishment in 1955. The season will run from the beginning of August 2014 until May 2015, as teams fight for promotion into the Dutch top flight – the Eredivisie.

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After facing relegation last season from the Eredivisie, Roda JC Kerkrade will begin their new campaign in the Eerste Divisie, also joined by NEC Nijmegen and RKC Waalwijk also faced relegation but this time through the playoff rounds after finishing second and third from bottom in the top flight last season.  All three clubs will be hoping that their time spent in the Eerste Divisie will be short lived, as they battle for promotion during the 2014/15 campaign.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DUTCH DOMESTIC LEAGUE?

Only the club that tops the table at the end of the season guarantees themselves automatic promotion to the Eredivisie. Teams finishing between second and fifth will enter the second round of the Eredivisie promotion/relegation play-offs, which also gives the sides a chance to qualify for the top flight.

There is also a slight chance for teams who finish the season between sixth and ninth to gain entry into the Eredivisie, as the teams will also enter the Eredivisie play-offs in the first round of the knockout format. The rest of the ten teams finishing from 10th to last will remain in the Eerste Divisie for the following season.

WHO ARE FAVOURITES TO GAIN PROMOTION?

Without a doubt the main objective for the three clubs that have been relegated to the Eerste Divisie will be hoping that they can rejoin the top sides next season, but other clubs such as FC Den Bosch, VVV-Venlo, FC Eindhoven and De Graafschap will all be hoping they can finish in a promotion place, whether it be a round one or two entry into the playoff faze, they will still be in with a chance to gain promotion.

There is also an odd side chance that FC Volendam and Fortuna Sittard may upset the odds and surprise many this season, a chance to battle for a place in the Dutch top flight means high attendees in the ground on match day, which no club would refuse, considering the impotents of finance in clubs these recent years.  The league will be occupied by three reserve teams from Dutch giants – Jong Ajax , Jong PSV and Jong FC Twente. Last season, the PSV youngsters managed to finish ahead of the other two’s ‘B’ teams and ended the season in tenth with a + 5 Goal difference. It is impossible for any of these three sides to gain promotion, due to the fact the clubs already have teams in the top flight.

There is four sides that I believe will struggle to compete in the league this season, they are Almere City , FC Oss , Telstar and Achilles ’29. These sides appear not to have the strength in their squad to compete for any type of silverware or promotion this coming season. All four sides ended the season on a minus goal difference last campaign, and that may not change come the end of the 2015/16 season.

Usually in the Eerste Divisie matches are played on a Friday evening at 7pm (BST) and this weekend is the opening weekend of games in the league.

WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH THE EERSTE DIVISIE 2014/15 SEASON?

– Remember the Dutch legend Jaap Stam?  Well, he will manage Jong Ajax this season as he attempts to bring his experience to the players of future who hope to break into Frank de Boer’s  Ajax side.

– Other popular names such as Ruud Kaiser will manage the FC Den Bosch side, Kaiser coached Dutch stars such as Robin Van Persie , Wesley Sneijder , Nigel de Jong and several other current Dutch internationals as he coached the Dutch in the 2005 European Under-17 Championship.

– Many young stars are loaned out from major clubs in the Netherlands to smaller clubs, where they get the chance to show their qualities and learn their trade

– Not forgetting that the fans and atmosphere each week is not to be forgotten as the crowds for the Dutch first division continues to grow.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE?

Every week here at Total Dutch Football, I will doing a ‘Game of the Week’ feature and weekly round-up for the league so stay tuned for full coverage of the 2014/15 season.

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The Rotterdam derby

Rotterdam is the only city in Holland with three professional football clubs.  Eindhoven has only two clubs with PSV Eindhoven and FC Eindhoven.  Feyenoord is the most well known of the three but the other two clubs, Sparta Rotterdam and Excelsior also have interesting histories and have always played a huge role in ensuring the derby games are colorful, exciting and eventful.  The last game derby game was played between Feyenoord and Excelsior in 2012, sadly Sparta Rotterdam no longer play in the Eredivisie as they were relegated. However, Excelsior achieved promotion last season and the Rotterdam derby will return this year.

Feyenoord is located in the Feijenoord district of South Rotterdam and Excelsior is located in the Kralingen district of East Rotterdam with Sparta can be found in Spangen, a district in West Rotterdam in Delfshaven.  On a special note, Sparta is the oldest professional club in Holland, founded in 1888.  They have won six Eredivisie titles and three KNVB cups.  Excelsior sadly have won no trophies in the top flight but only some trophies in the lower divisions, but they were one of Holland’s first working class football clubs.

Traditionally the Feyenoord versus Sparta derby game is the biggest.  History and class differences have played a huge role in this.  Rotterdam unlike other Dutch cities is a working class town but while Feyenoord and Excelsior were founded in working class districts, Sparta was founded in a time in Holland when football was for the upper class only.

The Feyenoord versus Excelsior fixtures are a bit more low key now as since 1996 Excelsior has been the feeder club for Feyenoord.  Both clubs have also created a regional youth academy called Feyenoord Academy and have merged both clubs reserve teams.  Over the years Feyenoords youth academy players were able to gain important training and experience as a result.  But, for many Excelsior fans, who are strongly against the partnership, they feel that the club has sold its soul and thus for them it is a heated rivalry tho one which is not reciprocated by the fans of Feyenoord.

In the end, Rotterdam is a proudly working class town. As one Sparta fan once famously said: “Rotterdam makes all the money, the Hague divides all the money and Amsterdam wastes all the money“. 

These three football clubs bring some exciting fixtures to the season with their stadiums, fans, stories, backgrounds and colors.  The return to the Eredivisie for both Excelsior and Sparta can only be a good thing for Dutch football, the city of Rotterdam and the excitement of the league.

Name-AndriesOosterveen

Week 34 Eerste Divisie Report: Willem II in pole position

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Willem II are now the favourites to earn the automatic promotion spot to the Eredivisie after overcoming league leaders FC Dordrecht 3-1 on Friday night. The Tilburg side stay in second but are now just one point adrift from the top spot with a game in hand over their rivals.

Willem’s top scorer Ruud Boymans, on loan from AZ Alkmaar, lead his side to the all-important victory scoring a double including the opener after just three minutes. Brazilian forward Bruno Andrade got the second just after the half-hour mark to send the hosts in two goals to the good. As Dordrecht pressed for goals to try and get back into the game, Boymans hit his second on 68 minutes to cement all three points. The visitors got a last minute consolation goal through Paul Gladon but Dordrecht will be hoping that De Graafschap can do them a favour on Wednesday, when Willem II travel to Doetinchem in their game in hand.

The biggest win of the weekend was Excelsior 8-0 drubbing of Telstar in game which saw the Rotterdam side five goals up at half-time. Eerste Divisie top scorer Lars Veldwijk took his tally to 25 goals in 33 games with a hat-trick as fellow striker Kevin Vermeulen notched a brace. Scoring was complete by Moroccan midfielder Adil Auassar, Ricky Kruys and Lars Hutten netting the other three goals.

Third-placed VVV Venlo maintain their playoff position with a 2-1 home victory over FC Emmen, thanks to goals from Oguzhan Tuerk and Prince Rajcomar after Ronald Bergkamp had grabbed a equaliser for the away side.

RESULTS

Friday 4th April

WILLEM II 3 – 1 FC DORDRECHT

VVV VENLO 2 – 1 FC EMMEN

FC OSS 0 – 3 ALMERE CITY

TELSTAR 0 – 8 EXCELSIOR

HELMOND SPORT 0 – 1 FC VOLENDAM

Saturday 5th April

MVV 3 – 0 ACHILLES ‘29

SPARTA ROTTERDAM 2 – 3 FORTUNA SITTARD

Sunday 6th April

JONG TWENTE 2 – 1 DE GRAAFSCHAP

Monday 7th April

JONG PSV 1 – 2 DEN BOSCH

JONG AJAX 1 – 4 FC EINDHOVEN

STANDINGS

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League table courtesy of WhoScored.com

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Week 32 Eerste Divisie Report: Four-point lead for Dordrecht

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With only seven games taking place due to a large amount of police presence issued to work this week’s Nuclear Security Summit 2014 in Den Haag, only two of the top five played with both coming out on top.

Second-placed Willem II were not in action this past Friday evening which allowed FC Dordrecht to stretch their lead to four points on Friday night with a 3-1 victory over Jong Twente. Youri Leon put the league leaders ahead after 20 minutes but soon after the half-time break, Kristopher Vida equalised for the Twente reserve side. Two goals in the last six minutes courtesy of Paul Gladon and Genaro Snijders clinched the victory.

VVV-Venlo comfortably sit in third four points ahead of Excelsior in fourth with a hard-fought 3-2 win over FC Oss. Venlo took a first-half lead through a Leon de Kogel penalty, which was the strikers 11th goal of the campaign. After Jorzolino Falkenstein equalised just before the hour mark, VVV stepped it up a gear and regained the lead nine minutes later with Oguzhan Turk grabbing the goal. Dyon Gijzen looked to cement the points six minutes before time, but Johnatan Opuku Agyemang notched in the 90th minute to give Venlo an unnerved few minutes before the full-time whistle.

Jong PSV missed the opportunity to leapfrog into fifth when they fell 3-1 away to Volendam. The division’s top scorer Robert Mühren notched twice to take his tally to 23 in 27 games with a Ludcinio Marengo goal in injury time to seal the win. PSV’s young central defender Menno Koch scored a second-half penalty which proved to be nothing but a consolation.

Ronald Bergkamp scored the only goal of the game in FC Emmen’s win over FC Eindhoven as the highly-rated Abdelmalek El Hasnaout notched Jong Ajax’s only goal in their 1-0 away win to Fortuna Sittard.

Helmond Sport and Telstar cancelled each other in a 1-1 draw with an early Serhat Koç goal giving the hosts the leas but a late Toine van Huizen leveller meant the points were shared.

Down at the bottom, Achilles ’29 gained a point at home to Sparta Rotterdam but they still sit rock bottom on just 22 points.

RESULTS

Friday 21st March

FC EMMEN 1 – 0 FC EINDHOVEN

FC VOLENDAM 3 – 1 JONG PSV

FC DORDRECHT 3 – 1 JONG TWENTE

ACHILLES ’29 1 -1 SPARTA ROTTERDAM

VVV VENLO 3 – 2 FC OSS

FORTUNA SITTARD 0 – 1 JONG AJAX

HELMOND SPORT 1 – 1 TELSTAR

STANDINGS

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League table courtesy of WhoScored.com

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Week 31 Eerste Divisie Report: Dordrecht return top as Oss win 8-0

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On Friday evening the most unlikely result of the Eerste Divisie season so far was witnessed as 19th place FC Oss handed 15th place FC Emmen an unbelievable EIGHT-nil pasting writes Will Burns.

The relegation threatened FC Oss have been improving in recent weeks but no-one expected a score like the one we saw on Friday evening. Dennis Janssen opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour before Jonathan Opuku and Lorenzo Pique added to the tally before half-time. Janssen added his second, while Marko Maletic netted early in the second half. Ryan Sansai and Guyon Phillips added to the rout before Maletic grabbed his brace to send Emmen home with their tails between their legs.

FC Dordrecht grabbed top spot after a great 2-0 away win against title rivals VVV Venlo on Friday night. Paul Gladon gave the visitors the lead in the first half before Giovanni Korte added a second in second half stoppage time. VVV’s chances of getting back in the game were hampered by defender Jeffrey Altheer receiving a red card midway through the second half. Venlo are now third, seven points away from Willem II in second.

Promotion hopefuls Willem II sit in second after Jong PSV hit two late goals to pinch a 2-2 draw on Monday night. Ruud Boymans scored his 20th of the season and Terell Ondaan add a second to fire the Tilburg side ahead but PSV full-back Joshua Brenet grabbed on what was thought to be an 85th minute consolation for the home side. The PSV reserve side did not give up and in the final kick of the game Alex Schalk scored the equaliser to send Willem II back to Tilburg with just the point.

Excelsior missed the chance to go in third falling at home by the single goal to MVV Maastricht. Twenty-one-year-old Belgian midfielder Marco Ospitalieri notched the only goal of the game.

De Graafschap moved up to fifth with a 2-0 win away to Telstar thanks to the young strikeforce of Nathan Kabasele and Vincent Vermeij notching the all important goals.

Jong Ajax came from behind to defeat Achilles ’29 in a great 2-1 win on Saturday. The part-timers went ahead through Thijs Hendriks on 54 minutes before Serbian winger Dejan Meleg equalised just after the hour mark. Highly-rated Danish playmaker Lucas Andersen got the winner with twenty minutes of time remaining.

In other games, Helmond Sport were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Fortuna Sittard as Sparta Rotterdam fell to a 1-0 defeat while entertaining Almere City a day later. On Sunday, FC Volendam lost 2-0 to Den Bosch while Jong Twente defeated FC Eindhoven 1-0 on Monday evening.

RESULTS

Friday 14th March

EXCELSIOR 0 – 1 MVV MAASTRICHT

VVV VENLO 0 – 2 FC DORDRECHT

FC OSS 8 – 0 FC EMMEN

TELSTAR 0 – 2 DE GRAAFSCHAP

HELMOND SPORT 1 – 1 FORTUNA SITTARD

Saturday 15th March

SPARTA ROTTERDAM 0 – 1 ALMERE CITY

JONG AJAX 2 – 1 ACHILLES ’29

Sunday 16th March

FC VOLENDAM 0 – 2 FC DEN BOSCH

Monday 17th March

JONG PSV 2 – 2 WILLEM II

JONG TWENTE 1 – 0 FC EINDHOVEN

STANDINGS

20140317 - Eerste Divisie

League table courtesy of WhoScored.com

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EERSTE DIVISIE REPORT: Week 16

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Week 16 – 8th-11th November 2013

Dordrecht take three points again, FC Oss closing in on Achilles

Another round played in the Dutch Jupiler League and it was a round in which Sparta hoped to go past Dordrecht in the table. Sparta hosted the league leaders on Saturday knowing that they were yet to be beaten at home, but it all went wrong for Sparta in the first half as Dordrecht managed to lead 0-3 at the break thanks to goals by Gladon, Meulens and Danso. Sparta did pull back to 2-3 in the second half and even got the opportunity to level the game, but Bilate failed from short distance.

FC Eindhoven benefited from Sparta’s loss by easily beating Achilles ’29 at the Jan Louwers Stadion. Three Eindhoven goals before half time meant they could sit back and relax after the break, in which Achilles scored a consolation goal to make it 3-1.

The day before these two matches, FC Den Bosch went back to winning ways. After two trashings against Dordrecht and Sparta, they beat Helmond Sport 3-1 at home with goals from Van Den Broek and Quekel in the last twenty minutes. Willem II humiliated Almere City by putting five behind Van Duin. The win keeps them in fourth place, seven points behind Dordrecht. Meanwhile, bottom of the table side Oss got a draw against in-form Excelsior to keep the pressure on Achilles and Almere City. The first half was most exciting as all four goals were scored before the break.

Jong Twente and Jong PSV both grabbed wins in their fixtures. Twente had an easy game against Telstar (3-0), while Jong PSV continued their run by beating mid-table rivals MVV Maastricht 3-2 in an interesting match. Jong PSV now find themselves fiercely involved in the period title battle with 16 points from the last 7 games.

Their run contrasts sharply with that of rivals Jong Ajax, who lost their seventh game in a row, this time in a 1-2 defeat at home to De Graafschap. Although the Ajax reserves did grab a lead through former De Graafschap man Sam Hendriks, De Graafschap eventually got the win. First, De Graafschap were lucky as Ajax were denied a free kick, followed up by a quick counter attack that Anco Jansen finished off. Then, in the second half, Martina got sent off for allegedly bringing down Vincken in the box, although Vincken himself indicated he was not sure if it was a foul. Parzyszek scored the following penalty kick to score the final goal of the game, 1-2.

FULL RESULTS

Friday 8th November 2013

FC Den Bosch 3-1 Helmond Sport

FC Oss 2-2 Excelsior Rotterdam

Fortuna Sittard 2-0 FC Emmen

Jong FC Twente 3-0 Telstar

Willem II 5-0 Almere City

Saturday 9th November

Sparta Rotterdam 2-3 FC Dordrecht

FC Eindhoven 3-1 Achilles ‘29

Sunday 10th November

FC Volendam 1-1 VVV Venlo

Monday 11th November

Jong Ajax 1-2 De Graafschap

Jong PSV 3-2 MVV Maastricht

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