Ajax’s stock continues to rise, despite player losses

AJAX’s renaissance last season was always going to be short-lived as Europe’s big clubs were waiting in the wings for their chance to pounce on the best players. Those hung up on presentism expressed their surprise that a team from the Netherlands could compete with the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus, even though the Dutch have provided more European champion clubs than Spain and … Continue reading Ajax’s stock continues to rise, despite player losses

Ajax show they’re still potent

EVERYBODY expected Ajax’s renaissance in 2018-19 would come to a shuddering halt as they started to lose their key players to Europe’s elite band of clubs. When Ajax were beaten in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League, thanks to a heartbreakingly late goal, the conclusion was that an exciting young team had probably lost its chance of immortality. Ajax certainly lost two of their … Continue reading Ajax show they’re still potent

European attendances – symptomatic of a superficial age

FREE MOVEMENT of people is one of the basic rights across the European Union, allowing cross-border travel and employment opportunities. It has many benefits, some of which will become apparent to the United Kingdom’s population when the country does stumble uncomfortably out of the EU. While this has opened-up the world, or at least part of it, to young football fans and businesses, it has … Continue reading European attendances – symptomatic of a superficial age

Ruud Geels – tradesman of the penalty area

HE MAY have been blonde and an Ajax player, but Ruud Geels is rarely mentioned in conversations when the great Dutch masters are discussed. Could it be that he was prematurely balding in a time when long, flowing hair was de rigeur, or the fact he was overshadowed by more celebrated players. Or perhaps it was because he never moved out of the Benelux region. More likely … Continue reading Ruud Geels – tradesman of the penalty area

How European football marginalised itself

FOOTBALL is big business – a massive global concern dominated by a handful of major clubs that resemble multinational corporations in their business behaviour and their ability to sweep-up cash. There’s no doubt that, at the top of the ladder, the product offers good entertainment and excitement, but the polarisation of European football has created huge imbalances that have pushed many countries into the shadows. … Continue reading How European football marginalised itself

The Rotterdam renaissance

  WHISPER IT QUIETLY, but Feyenoord could be ending an 18-year wait for the Dutch league title. A 2-1 win against PSV Eindhoven, champions for the past two years, has positioned them well to end one of the most barren spells in their history. Feyenoord are five points clear of second-placed Ajax – the two bitter rivals meet on April 2 in Amsterdam –  and … Continue reading The Rotterdam renaissance

Feyenoord: ‘Cause Rotterdam is anywhere

In the 1960s, a geography field trip (if you lived in Thurrock) was a trip to Tilbury docks to look at one of the biggest container ports in Europe. At the time, Tilbury was in competition with Rotterdam, which gave the Essex town a slightly continental element to it. But while Rotterdam was a city with a port, Tilbury was most definitely a dock with … Continue reading Feyenoord: ‘Cause Rotterdam is anywhere

PSV Eindhoven…still part of the family

The Netherlands has three globally recognisable teams: Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven. Popular opinion suggests that Ajax and Feyenoord dominated Dutch football for decades, but while it is certainly true that the Amsterdam-Rotterdam axis stood astride the Netherlands in the 1960s, the 1970s belonged to Ajax. The Cruyff-led side won 12 major prizes in that decade, with Feyenoord winning four and PSV six. And in … Continue reading PSV Eindhoven…still part of the family

PSV may struggle to keep their table-toppers together

PSV Eindhoven are the winter champions in the Netherlands, topping the Eredivisie by four points with title holders Ajax in second place. Such is the reduced status of Dutch football these days that PSV may be vulnerable to losing some of the players who have taken them to the summit this season. Players like full back Jetro Willems, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and winger Memphis Depay … Continue reading PSV may struggle to keep their table-toppers together