Tag Archives: Tonny Vilhena

Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 1


Welcome to week one 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.



ELOY ROOM – VITESSE: A Fran Sol goal was the only thing that spoiled the fantastic outing for Eloy Room in his side’s 4-1 away win to Edwin van de Looi’s Willem II.


GIOVANNI TROUPEE – FC UTRECHT: At only 18, on his first start for Utrecht, the attacking Troupee was very impressive, defending well and forcing Jetro Willems into some difficult decisions.

ERIC BOTTEGHIN – FEYENOORD: FC Groningen rarely threatened due to Botteghin’s defensive play and great reading of the game.

DANIEL SCHWAAB – PSV: A solid performance from the experienced German that may force PSV fans to ask ‘Jeffrey who?’

LUCAS WOUDENBERG – FEYENOORD: Another youngster that impressed and deserving of claiming the left-back spot in the TOTW.


DAVY PROPPER – PSV: Lead the midfield to inspire a PSV comeback against a plucky FC Utrecht side in the 2-1 win.

TONNY VILHENA – FEYENOORD: Dominant performance in midfield and bagged himself a goal in the 5-0 demolition of FC Groningen.

DALEY SINKGRAVEN – AJAX: Finally looked settled in the Amsterdammers line-up and provided a great goal to give Ajax the lead in the 3-1 away win against newly promoted Sparta.


MITCHELL VAN BERGEN – VITESSE: Did anyone forget this kid is only 16 years old when watching him on Saturday?

NICOLAI JORGENSEN – FEYENOORD: A great performance for the Danish international in his league debut since his move from FC Copenhagen. Capped off with a goal.

ELJERO ELIA – FEYENOORD: The former Southampton winger notched a hat-trick and deserves the PLAYER OF THE WEEK award. Not even a dislocated finger could stop him on Sunday.

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


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Could Tonny Vilhena be ready to call Sunderland, Bournemouth or Southampton home?

Although the Dutch are not going to be at the European championships this summer, there is still a lot of very talented players coming through and several of them will be targets for European clubs this window. The three big names that I expect to be attracting interest are Anwar El Ghazi, Jetro Willems and Tonny Vilhena. In this article, I’ll be concentrating on Vilhena, who could leave this window, due to his contract wrangle with Feyenoord at the moment. He looks set to leave the club with Giovanni van Bronckhurst admitting that much recently writes Jake Jackman.

The types of clubs that have been linked with Tonny Vilhena aren’t the biggest, despite his undoubted potential. Sunderland, AFC Bournemouth and Southampton have been credited with an interest in the attacking midfielder, but none of these sides are in the greatest health at the moment, which might lead to Vilhena leaving it until the summer to move. Ronald Koeman has spoken out about his interest in the player he managed for a period at Feyenoord and that could be the best fit for him, as it’s unlikely that either Eddie Howe or Sam Allardyce know the midfielder’s game as well as Koeman does. Although the English media believe that Sunderland are the favourites to sign him, Allardyce’s treatment of Jeremain Lens could leave Vilhena with doubts about moving to the North East, especially considering the club’s perilous league position.

Vilhena has hardly had a great contribution to Feyenoord’s season to date, only starting in three Eredivisie matches, but he did manage to score in the club’s last two fixtures before the winter break. The midfielder has two goals and two assists this season, with a goal involvement every 107.8 minutes, which is a very good return and begs the question why he hasn’t been used more. He is best served as a number ten, which is a possible that Feyenoord haven’t always used this season and this may be part of his reason for leaving.

The Feyenoord midfielder is attacking minded, which is why he has struggled to break into the side this season as he can be lazy defensively when used as part of a midfield three. His best position is as a number ten, with his movement being one of the major strengths to his game. He knows when to stay deep and when to make surging runs into the box. He is also an excellent finisher with both his feet and his head. As expected from a Dutch youth international, Vilhena is very good when passing the football, with the ability to play defence-splitting passes.

In a period of precariousness for Dutch football, Vilhena will have a great belief in his ability to be a big part of the future. There remain doubts about his attitude after he was involved in a bust up with team-mate Miquel Nelom in recent times. Feyenoord may be even keener to do a deal for the midfielder this month as he is obviously looking for a move, and that won’t have a good impact on the overall morale of the squad. Feyenoord have a very good chance of achieving something this season as they are only two points off PSV in second and five off Ajax, after a good first half of the season.

I think Vilhena is a very talented individual, who is struggling to push on, which is why he is trying to move to another club. He has the ability to play in the Premier League and he will take a lot of confidence from the way Gini Wijnaldum has settled into the league. Although he is nowhere near as complete as Wijnaldum, they are similar players and that will be the level Vilhena is trying to hit in the next few years. Southampton would be the best fit for him, if that deal can be salvaged. If he goes to Sunderland as is being rumoured by some media outlets, that move could do more damage than good for his career long term as Allardyce isn’t known for being a fan of players like Vilhena.



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Feyenoord – A bright future ahead

In the Dutch squad for this past summer’s World Cup, Feyenoord contributed more players than any other Dutch club.  A total of nine of the squad either had been a youth player trained and educated at Feyenoord at their famous Varkenwood academy, still played for them or had left to a club in another country.  Their names are Bruno Martins Indi, Daryl Janmaat, Stefan De Vrij, Terence Kongolo, Jordy Clasie, Robin Van Persie, Jonathan De Guzman, Leroy Fer and Georginio Wijnaldum writes Andries Oosterveen.

At the time of writing due to Holland’s excellent run at the tournament, the big clubs from some of the biggest leagues have already come calling. This has led to sad but inevitable break up of a Feyenoord side that I believe had a very strong opportunity to win the Eredivisie title, KNVB Beker and make an impact in the Champions League.

Ronald Koeman has left to coach Southampton with his brother Erwin Koeman in the English Premier League and has been joined by Graziano Pelle for a fee of €8m.  His goal to game ratio for Feyenoord was lethal and is certain to be missed though hopefully properly replaced. Daryl Janmaat made it three by joining Newcastle United for a modest fee of €5m.  The latest player to leave is the speedy versatile giant of a defender Bruno Martins Indi who has signed for FC Porto of Portugal in a €7.7m deal.  The latest rumour concerns young defender Stefan De Vrij and a possible €8m transfer to Lazio in Italy or a possible €10m transfer to Manchester United.

What is good however about the above transfers is that these players will move to highly competitive leagues with top teams who play top teams each weekend, are coached by world class coaches and are rarely out of European competitions.  The value of that in terms of their own personal development and different experiences is priceless and can only benefit the Dutch national team in the future and add another positive note and reference to Feyenoord’s highly successful Varkenwood youth academy.  There is also the funding for the new 75,000 capacity stadium that needs to be found and considered.

Yes, both Koeman and those players need replacing and the easy thing would be to buy outside of Holland like clubs in the Premier League do. However, this is Holland, where quality recruiting and youth player development has always been top of the priority list.  As a result Koeman´s replacement was chosen as Fred Rutten.

Rutten is 51 years old and spent his whole playing career at FC Twente.  After retiring he managed FC Twente, Schalke 04, PSV Eindhoven and Vitesse Arnhem.  His management win ratio at those clubs was 52% FC Twente, 41% Schalke 04, 70% PSV Eindhoven and 55% Vitesse Arnhem.

Rutten will also keep the Feyenoord playing style alive as the fans expect the players to work like they do, chase opponents down and play at a high intensity.  This would also be in line with the famous club saying of “Geen Woorden Maar Daden“ which in English means “Not Words But Deeds“.

In 2010, Feyenoord was almost made bankrupt which was the catalyst for them to turn to youth first before looking elsewhere to provide players for the first team squad.  There was no cash for new players so the youth academy was the main supply for the squad.  The academy is known as Varkenwood and has been voted now for the fifth year running as Holland’s best youth academy since 2009.  The head of youth development is Damien Hertog and the Academy manager is Rob Kurvers.  Proudly in May 2014, they again collected the Rinus Michels Award for this achievement.

The great story of Feyenoord’s Varkenwood youth academy was started by the great Stanley Brard who was a player at Feyenoord for most of his career.  In February 2006, he was appointed chief of the youth academy and in the 8 years since turned Feyenoord’s youth academy into the best in Holland.  Sadly Stanley Brard has now left Rotterdam to coach in Azerbaijan at FC Gabula but the success is continuing and the fanatical Feyenoord fans now have a homegrown team which is more than capable of achieving sustained success.

Besides appointing a new head coach, Feyenoord have in this month signed the experienced former Dutch international defender from Brondby in Denmark known as Khalid Bouhlarouz, who at 32, will add experience in defence, but recruiting from within to replace those sold is surely the priority as the success of Varkenwood shows.

In line with the great work being done at Varkenoord, here are some youth players to look out for and who could fill the void left by those already gone:


Ronald Koeman has described him as the perfect defender.  He made his Feyenoord debut this season.  As he is tall, fast and intelligent, he is seen as a natural defender and is potentially the best defender of the De Vrij, Willems, Veltman, Indi, Rekik, Bruma and Denswil generation.  His talents were noticed by Van Gaal and as a result he was included in the Dutch World Cup squad ahead of more experienced players.


A stocky striker, strong with the ball, lots of ambition and handy in the use of his body.  Roy Makaay, Feyenoord’s attacking youth coach was once told by Achahbar that Feyenoord should not sign Graziano Pelle as they had him.

TONNY VILHENA (Midfielder)

Seen as a box to box midfielder in the Steven Gerrard or Patrick Vieira mould, he combines his technical abilities with a strong physical appearance.  He possesses offensive and defensive qualities and is able to nick the ball away and create danger with sharp crisp passing.  Former PSV coach Aad De Mos once called Vilhena the biggest talent in the Eredivisie.


A fast winger who combines speed with technique and creativity; he enjoys taking on right-backs with no fear and pressure.  He is consistently proving to be a rising star which was evident in his debut goal against Ajax in October 2012 with a composed finish.