The unexpected gold of Feynoord and the collapse of Ajax. Everything turned upside down in Holland
Nikita Paglazov May 16, 2023, 20:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
The former Dynamo leader also became a champion. And the van Nistelrooy team was also pleasantly surprised!
Feyenoord became the champion of the Netherlands! Rotterdam took the title for the 16th time in its history. Before that, the team won gold in 2017. With two rounds to go in the Eredivisie, Feyenoord is eight points ahead of PSV. What is the reason for the team’s success? And why Ajax did not participate in the race?
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Feyenoord in the 2022/2023 season gained a lot of momentum: in 32 rounds of the Dutch championship, the team lost only once (in the 7th round against PSV – 3:4). As part of the Rotterdam team, he assembled the backbone of players in their prime and young talents. Main names: goalkeeper Justin Beilo, defenders Lutsharel Gertrayda, David Gancko, Markus Pedersen and Kwilindshy Hartman, midfielders Orkun Kökcü, Mats Wiffer and former Dynamo leader Sebastian Szymanski (9+4 in 27 games), plus a team of face attack Santiago Jiménez, Danilo, Alireza Jahanbaksh and Javairo Dilrosun.
Feyenoord gained momentum in the 2022/2023 season: in 32 rounds of the Dutch championship, the team lost only once
Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
But Feyenoord’s main star is coach Arne Slot. The Dutch specialist has been with the club since 2021. Previously, he put together a decent team in Alkmaar. Under Slot’s guidance, AZ took Eredivisie bronze in the 2020/2021 season, after which the coach was promoted to Feyenoord. In the first year in Rotterdam, Arne led the team to the Conference League final, where they lost to Roma (0:1).
But success came this season. Feyenoord’s basic scheme is 4-2-3-1. The team tries to act aggressively, pressing high and not wanting to give away the ball (average possession – 58.2%). Slot’s coaching work was noticed in the higher leagues: according to ESPN, Tottenham is interested in inviting the Dutchman. So Feyenoord, who will play in the Champions League next season, can start the tournament with another specialist.
In the championship, PSV tried to impose a fight on Feyenoord, but ultimately fell out of the race.
Photo: Photo Prestige/Getty Images
PSV became Feyenoord’s main rival in the fight for gold. Before the start of the 2022/2023 season, the team was led by legendary striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. Under his leadership, the club won the Dutch Cup: in the final, the Eindhoven team beat Ajax in a penalty shootout. In the championship, PSV tried to impose a fight on Feyenoord, but ultimately fell out of the race. However, van Nistelrooy has a good team. The main stars are Xavi Simons, Yoei Werman, Luc de Jong, Ibraim Sangare and the former Spartacist Guus Thiel. And in the course of the championship, PSV left two leaders: Cody Gakpo (Liverpool) and Noni Madueke (Chelsea). It is possible that the team would have performed better with them in the composition.
The main disappointment of the season – Ajax
Photo: ANP/Getty Images
The main disappointment of the season is Ajax. Amsterdam started the year under the leadership of Alfred Schroeder. But it failed: the team unsuccessfully performed in the Champions League group (3rd place), and in the Eredivisie it quickly moved away from the race for gold. The players did not fully understand Schroeder’s demands after working with ten Hag. In addition, Ajax in the summer of 2022 upgraded the team a lot. A group of leaders left the team: Anthony, Sebastien Aller, Andre Onana, Nicholas Tagliafico, Nussair Mazraoui, Lisandro Martinez, Perr Schurs, Ryan Gravenberh.
They were replaced by several interesting players (Stephen Bergwein, Lucas Ocampos, Owen Wijndal, Calvin Bassey, Brian Brobbie, Jorge Sanchez), but a shakeup of this magnitude did not go unnoticed. As a result, Schroeder was sacked in February and Ajax ends the season with and. or Juan Heitinga. Amsterdam is fighting for third place with AZ, which will give them the right to play in the Europa League.
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