RKC, FC Groningen and Xavi Simons: the best and worst of the first half of the season

After fourteen games, league 1 has already started an extraordinarily long winter break. De Kuip and De Oude Meerdijk will be empty for the next two months as international players head to one of the craziest World Cups ever.

Before we focus fully on the World Cup, let’s take a look at the first half of the league. Who was the biggest surprise, who disappointed the most, and who was the best player? NOS football experts Pierre van Hooijdonk, Arno Vermeulen, Arman Avşaroğlu and Joep Schreuder explain their views.

Biggest surprise: RKC

Arno Vermeulen and Pierre van Hooijdonk describe RKC as the biggest upset of the first half of the season, despite Waalwijk’s defeat by the NEC in their last ten-man Eredivisie match and still falling from the left-bank side. According to Vermeulen, they will “remain in the premier league” this season.

In the first half of the season, RKC stood out with extremely attractive football.

“I didn’t expect the RKC to be a stable subclass,” says Van Hooijdonk. “But the biggest surprise is the fun football they play, last season I found them more on the opposite end.”

Vermeulen enthusiastically agrees: “This is mine. confused through their football. I’ve seen a lot of RKC games, even unwinnable games, but they play really good football with absolutely zero budget. Pick up from behind, make combinations, there is no team playing football like this in this category.”

Hats off to Sparta and FC Twente

Arman Avşaroğlu gives his winter break to Sparta, who entered the winter in sixth place with 24 points, just 6 points behind Ajax and PSV.

Sparta Coach Maurice Steijn is pleased

“Excellent work by Maurice Steijn and Gerard Nijkamp that makes sure no one talks about the two Henke anymore: Fraser and Van Stee. There is a good selection and Sparta plays offensively. Thanks!” he said to Avşaroğlu.

One row above Sparta, we see Ron Jans’ team FC Twente, described by reporter Joep Schreuder as the biggest surprise.

“Not really a surprise, but a surprise nonetheless: Good politics earns points. The club has been through a lot in the past but now they have the right people in the right place. There are no outliers, but everything fits.” Coach too. It’s a structural sub club and a surprise in this crazy opportunistic football world.”

Biggest disappointment: FC Groningen

According to Arman Avşaroğlu and Pierre van Hooijdonk, the biggest disappointment of the first part of the Eredivisie is FC Groningen. And FC Groningen itself: the club sent manager Frank Wormuth on Monday morning.

Depressed faces at Mike Te Wierik and trainer Frank Wormuth

Avşaroğlu said, “Groningen has been a club that has never been able to use its full potential for years, and the selection of Frank Wormuth as the coach was not successful either,” Avşaroğlu says about the number 15 in the 1st league. The club finished 12th last season. “Wormuth saw Groningen fall even further as the new manager,” says Van Hooijdonk.

“There was a complete mismatch between the coach and the club, and the first half of the season was marked by side problems and bad football,” continues Avşaroğlu. “From a press boycott to a manager opening a book about the club on a podcast, things don’t calm down there.”

Also not good: FC Volendam and PSV

Arno Vermeulen is very disappointed with FC Volendam at the end of the Eredivisie. I expected a lot from Volendam, they usually play the best football in the major leagues and Wim Jonk is a football coach. But before they have a chance, they lose all their games. Emmen and Fortuna make it difficult for the opponent, at least sometimes. close.”

FC Volendam, a desolate bottom of the table after the first half of the season

Vermeulen says there is no longer any talk of “getting used to part one”. “There is no growth. Their only win against FC Twente was almost three months ago. They make too many mistakes on defense and misjudged their forwards. They’re at the bottom and will stay that way.”

Joep Schreuder makes a surprising choice: PSV. Schreuder’s disappointment stems from that bleak evening on August 24, when PSV later turned into a mediocre play-off match against FC Rangers and failed to qualify for the Champions League.

“What a chance to achieve the goal they have been working towards for years: to be in the top 32 in Europe. You play an away game, at home you can finish a 30-million game in a full stadium.” .. … and then the cautious tactics of the coaching team kill the team. And the people.”

“Even when things are going well in the Premier League, they should feel the shame of being eliminated.”

Best actor: Xavi Simons

We stay in Eindhoven for the best player. Arno Vermeulen and Pierre van Hooijdonk agree that the star of the first half of the season is Xavi Simons.

“This is out of the question. Strange. total surprise. He’s very young and very good already,” Vermeulen happily says of the 19-year-old World Cup visitor. “His game has dynamics combined with technique, overview and driving,” Van Hooijdonk analyzes.

Stars of the first half of the season: Cody Gakpo and Xavi Simons

“Simons plays attractive but also effective football,” Vermeulen continued. “Physically it’s a six-door but looks like it’s two yards off the field. And it never plays anonymously. He’s a young player, but he’s not hiding. When there’s a fight, it’s actually ahead.”

Greetings from Gakpo

Arman Avşaroğlu is also looking for the best player in PSV, but he chooses someone else: Cody Gakpo. “After his transfer failed, he took away PSV and impressed everyone with his great stats.”

“He is focused, he is really one of the leaders of the team and it will not take long for this mega transfer to England to happen,” said Avşaroğlu.

Joep Schreuder has to think for a long time, but in the end he can’t name an outlier. “This could be a symptom of episode one. No Antony, no crazy desserts. No one shines every week.”

“Collectiveness is very important, it’s about the right team. And this is Feyenoord, who entered the winter as a leader with a lot of new players. That promises something.”

Source: NOS