Published on January 31st, 2017 | by David Kraakman0
The Barcelona man leading a Feyenoord revolution
Dominating the Dutch league table, hopes are high in Rotterdam that a former Barca star can deliver Feyenoord a first league title win since 1999
Coming into the latest season in the Netherlands, Feyenoord’s realistic chances of a title win were fairly slim. The club finished the previous year in third but did so with a cavernous 21-point deficit to the eventual champions PSV Eindhoven.
Optimism is a virtue that Feyenoord fans certainly don’t lack, however, and so the title was always their target for this season. As it turns out, their optimism might be well justified.
The Rotterdam-based outfit began the campaign with a run of nine straight wins. And with their main rivals PSV and Ajax stumbling out of the starting blocks, hearts of thousands of Feyenoord fans were filled with hope. De Trots van Zuid have been able to maintain the side’s solid start and are now in a position where history should not repeat itself.
Although Feyenoord have largely been overshadowed by Ajax and PSV over the past 15 years, there have been moments when the club was involved in a title race but failed to pull through. Under the guidance of Ronald Koeman (2011-2014), for example, the supporters enjoyed some great football but finished runners-up twice.
Incidentally, a former teammate of Koeman is now in charge as Feyenoord are heading into yet another title challenge. The appointment of Giovanni van Bronckhorst was met with multiple raised eyebrows as the former Barcelona and Arsenal player had too little experience that would be required for the job, according to many pundits. However, the 41-year-old has done extremely well since his arrival and is currently on the receiving end of praise.
The key players for Van Bronckhorst this season are his talisman Nicolai Jorgensen and former Aston Villa midfielder Karim El Ahmadi. The technically gifted Moroccan pulls the strings in the centre of the park and this is one of the main reasons the Eredivisie leaders have scored an impressive total of 54 goals so far.
Next to Jorgensen and El Ahmadi, Feyenoord still have veteran Dirk Kuyt in their squad as well. The Dutchman looks every bit as sharp as in his Liverpool days and can, with his experience, become instrumental in Feyenoord’s pursuit for a first Eredivisie title win this century.
One thing is for sure; if Feyenoord can pull it off, everyone single player will be greeted as gods by the fans and celebrations will be like you’ve never seen before. The supporters are crying out for the title and missing out on it yet again would be a very hard blow to overcome.