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Will AZ win the league?

  • No, Feyenoord will perform a miracle and win it!

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  • No, none of the above. Heerenveen or someone else will win it!

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Absolutely stunning what happened tonight with PSV losing at the hands of Wiljan Vloets seemingly flounderless Roda and with AZ now as herfstkampioen.

So what do you reckon will happen in the second half ? can't get more exciting than this..

will AZ be able to keep their form? I certainly think they will. I even think they played better in October than now. Also lets not forget, AZ will play PSV in Alkmaar in the 2nd half of the season.

or will PSV come back? one thing is that they'll need to sure up their seemingly rock solid defence which has conceded 9 goals in the last 3 games plus they might need to buy a striker (though Hiddink has said he won't buy anyone in the winterbreak)

or will Ajax come back when they probably buy a new striker (possibly Charisteas) in the winterbreak?

or will Feyenoord do the impossible under Gullit? could Bahia be the next Saidi and Bandalovski an unknown gem and could Ono play well consistantly?! too many ifs and buts for my own team I fear :( but you never know..

or is anyone willing to bet on a complete outsider like Heerenveens Ugur Yildrim and Klaas Jan Huntelaar?!

Let the predictions come gents and let the ball start rolling :cool:
 

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I really hope SO! but the 'sly fox' :)tongue: ) is just so sly..


I say I hope so cause it's not gonna be feyenoord :( gullits hands of destruction are starting to work.
 

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I doubt Charisteas will bring Ajax many goals, and I think Ajax would agree with me on that one. Anyway, I still think PSV will return to their "usual" form when the competition resumes. I also think AZ will be worn out much more by their European endeavours, compared to PSV and their endeavours.
 

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Heerenveen? U are having a go there Wally :D As for Ajax or Feyenoord, I have written them of, cos Ajax still plays crap, not the football of a champion, and Feyenoord's defence is just too leaky..

AZ is playing very good, still I think PSV will win the race in the end, since they're used to the pressure and they'll prolly be out of Europe after the next two games, so they can concetrate on the league, whereas AZ just might be going on till Lisbon.. I hope I'm wrong tho, I'm one of those who wants to see AZ winnning it :)
 

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First of all: Congrats to the winterkampioen! :) And thanx for making the competition more exciting again.
It is not undeserved that they are on top, they play nice football and I really like to watch them playing. But I think PSV or Ajax will win the title in the end. Before the season started I would have rated Feyenoord higher btw. Under the best´2 .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well yeah, PSV will probably win since Lothar and Cocu know how to win as does their manager

but I'm going to put my head on the block and stick with AZ :stuckup: Their squad is bigger than last year and as long Landzaat doesn't get injured, I think they'll continue to do well.
 

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I watched PSV-Roda last night and all I can say is: great!

This way the titlerace is open again and I'm also one of the people who hope AZ grabs it. I still believe Hiddink's a better coach than Adriaanse, but Co could just as easily deserve the title 'sly fox'.

In the end I still think PSV takes it.
 

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Bazman said:
I doubt Charisteas will bring Ajax many goals, and I think Ajax would agree with me on that one. Anyway, I still think PSV will return to their "usual" form when the competition resumes. I also think AZ will be worn out much more by their European endeavours, compared to PSV and their endeavours.
Yes, but don't forget that the AZ squad holds a great deal of depth. They can almost fill in each position twice. PSV on the other hand does not have great back-ups for all positions.

I think Ajax will come back. We've overcome our terrible period and I think we'll come back strong after the winter-break. I'd say that either Ajax or AZ will win the title.
 

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May I add btw that the the league table looks like the right half of a Christmas three now that AZ is top of the league, PSV is second and Ajax is third, just have a look at page 667 of teletext :D
 

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I hope AZ will win it, but it´s almost impossible. If they don´t win it, it would be a small disappointment. But then again, if Co will extend his contract, they might win it next season.
 

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UtregBear said:
May I add btw that the the league table looks like the right half of a Christmas three now that AZ is top of the league, PSV is second and Ajax is third, just have a look at page 667 of teletext :D
Bwahahahaa, you really have too much time on your hands man. :D :howler:

Anyway, so do I because I checked it. ;)


 

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Hm, I didn't see AZ play so far, but I don't think they can conserve their form over the winterbreak. I guess they'll experience a period of bad results, just like Utrecht does/did, so one of the big three will end as champions (as usual) - myself preferring Ajax of course. ;)
 

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Ajax will take it, but not necessarily because of a new striker. Babel is doing fine and at the moment I don't see a reason to buy Charisteas (a swap for Sonck would be great tough :))
 

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It's amazing how a decent victory breathes new confidence into the camp. But Ajax struggled for a good hour with Groningen, and the last 3 goals probably wouldn't have been scored had the score been 1-1, since Groningen was giving oceans of room away at the back. I also believe buying Charisteas would be another Koeman mis-buy, so lets hope it doesn't happen and Babel is definitely developing along quite well. But with the UEFA Cup matches to come and everything, there's still a lot to be expected from him this season if he's gonna be the main striker, let's see if he can deal with it all.
I think with Venegoor back, we'll get back on track, as Farfan is rather hopeless as our main striker.
 

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I hope so! It's refreshing to see a new team on the top. Here's a great article on them and other dutch clubs:

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/feature?id=320078&cc=5901

Hazy shade of winter

Ernst Bouwes

If five Dutch clubs hibernating in European competitions is not exciting enough, the last league weekend before Christmas flabbergasted most if not all as AZ were crowned Winter Champions.

With PSV losing their first game of the season, the Alkmaar club needed a two-goal win at RBC, currently at the bottom.


Just as they have been doing for some months, they made no mistake and pushed the Champions League survivors into second place on merit of their higher goal total.

Goal difference between them is equal. It is only the third time since 1963 that none of the famous three top the table halfway through the Eredivisie season.

Only ADO in 1970 and again AZ'67 in 1980 managed to keep the others at bay, with only AZ'67 being able to hold that position until the season's end.

Saturday was a particularly enjoyable day for the club as chairman Dirk Scheringa could celebrate the start of the construction of Kooimeer Plaza, a new ground with a capacity of 14,000.

It won't be ready before the 2006-07 season, which is a pity. At the current Alkmaarderhout, a relic from the early seventies, less than 8,000 are allowed to watch. It is below the necessary Champions League standards, so there might be a location problem when AZ should qualify for the elite this summer.

It was Roda JC who inflicted on PSV their first defeat, which may be less surprising than it seems. Roda did win there last year and have lost only once this millenium in Eindhoven.

PSV missed a couple of big chances in the first half, then saw defensive giant Alex kick Koné to the ground and leave the field red-carded. Within a few minutes the visitors were in front with a beautiful Bodnar free-kick and saw their decimated opponents fade in the second half.

Sergio added a second goal ten minutes from time, securing a well-deserved victory.

Despite this magnificent result Roda JC have been under-performing for several years now. Their last European night was in February 2002, when they beat AC Milan in the Guiseppe Meazza Stadium only to bow out on penalties.

Their spectacular European run however could only partly cover up the internal strife between some of the players which cost them a decent league position. That summer the board let go some of the troublemakers and hired upcoming coach Wiljam Vloet to headmaster the squad.

Although he did manage to reach some mid-table respectability and his team play the odd good game, like against PSV this weekend, the attacking talents of several of his players suggest a regular place in Europe should be within their reach.

Apparently the rot still has not been driven away completely. This lack of succes makes the announced exit of Vloet at the end of the season unsurprising.

Someone who even did not make it until Christmas this year is Johan Neeskens. The former Ajax and Barcelona star amazed everyone when he signed for the insignificant NEC Nijmegen on the back of a dramatic semi-final at Euro 2000 as assistant-coach of Frank Rijkaard.

Neeskens took the team spectacularly to their first UEFA Cup ticket three years later, based on a tight defence and the solid goalkeeping of local hero Dennis Gentenaar.

The following season, injuries and complacency within the ranks halted the progress the team was making. Neeskens could not turn it around, although investors generously bought two international players with Polish Andrzej Niedzielan and midfielder Edgar Barreto, silver-medal winner for Paraguay at the Olympics last summer and dubbed 'the Latin Beckham', to take the club to a higher level.

For this season NEC were looking for a new coach, but did offer Neeskens a cut-rate contract for another year as a gesture.

To everyone's astonisment he signed it. Although there were several decent arrivals the club has gone downhill since. Kicked out of the Intertoto Cup at the first time of asking against Cork City, a cup run ending at the second hurdle and ten games without a win made a premature exit last week almost inevitable.

Legendary club man Cees Lok could well be his successor although the investors may opt for another big name, possibly Willem van Hanegem. Lok interim-managed the team to a 3-2 victory this weekend over Heerenveen.

Below NEC, four clubs are struggling for a place in the top flight next season. For reasons explained last month, ADO Den Haag cannot lift themselves from the lower regions in the table. However, they currently have a six-point advantage over the trouble zone, where three clubs will probably scramble into the closing days of the seasons to avoid bottom place.

Only the number eighteen faces the relentless immediate drop to the dark regions of the first division with several semi-professional opponents and grounds without stands behind the goal.

FC Den Bosch and De Graafschap just escaped this quagmire last summer, while RBC Roosendaal were a habitué down there until two years ago.

With only one point between them at Christmas and ADO Den Haag already miles away, there is little doubt that out of these three one will go down at once, while the other two get an afterlife in the play-offs with six first division teams.

RBC Roosendaal are quite a small club who did wonders with free transfer players and the inspirational coaching of Robert Maaskant over the last two seasons.

Maaskant is a champion for a positive mental approach. He's not one to let a reserve do a warm-up without informing him about his chances of coming on, which is rather uncommon.

Dubbed as the crown prince of Dutch coaches, Maaskant signed at Willem II in the close season and was replaced by Jan van Dijk, who was succesful at FC Groningen and Helmond Sport. He could not help seeing his squad decimated in the autumn by a long injury list and no money for replacements, leaving the team struggling for points.

FC Den Bosch were champions of the first division for the third time in six seasons and are no strangers to the relegation play-offs.

They are well aware of their limited financial options and keep their future within perspective. Hoping to stay up, they won't despair when they don't.

De Graafschap have more difficulties to accept their role as the whipping boys of the league. Aiming for a mid-table position with a squad that finished sixth in the second division last season, having gone up via the play-offs, was asking for trouble.

Leo Beenhakker was called in as advisor when the club entered December without a win.

Some new blood may have strengthened the team, but years of mismanagement cannot be erased by the acquisition of one free transfer striker and a midfielder who has played five league games in about three years.

With only one point between them, these three clubs face a relegation battle until deep into the spring in which their mutual games may prove decisive.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Seems like my kiss of death to AZ is already working :rolleyes: :pp

anyone see it btw? I missed it but NEC aren't that bad on paper either so it's no shame. Mindboggling how the players didn't want to play for Neeskens
 

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Well, NEC almost get some decent results too under the Nees in the big games, so I'm not so sure if Lok has turned things round already. Although it was perfectly clear that Neeskens was too long at NEC. He could have used some wisdom of Co in that case. Anyways back to AZ.

I saw the highlights of the game and it didn't look that fluently anymore as the run they had before the winterbreak. Also in that run they had luck on their side a few times, now that wasn[t the case. Although to be honest 1-1 was a fair result.
According to Co they played well though.
 

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Wally said:
anyone see it btw? I missed it but NEC aren't that bad on paper either so it's no shame. Mindboggling how the players didn't want to play for Neeskens
Oh really? Would you think? Why the hell do you think I rated them highly in my pre-season prediction?! :frustrat: :scream:

;)
 

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I hope that AZ will take the title, because it's always good to see that football is often unpredictable. But I doubt it will happen. Probably it's PSV who takes it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
PSV - NAC 4-0 2 point lead now :groan: but...



2 top class goals from my man, one coming from a real tight angle. :star:

Call him up San Marco :fero:

With RVN injured he surely deserves a chance. PVH is on Fenerbahce's bench as well and has done nothing much while Vennegoor has been inspirational for PSV also in the CL.

For his :ass: haters :ass:, it'll be good for him to be called up since if he fails, we'll know he isn't good enough but he surely deserves a chance now :fero:
 
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