KNVB answers letter AZ – Van Nistelrooij on season: ‘It’s messy’
Simons player of the month for March in premier league
Xavi Simons has been named best player of the month in the premier league for the second time this season. The PSV playmaker performed best in March based on statistics and votes from soccer fans. He also won the title in August.
PSV won in the last three rounds of play against RKC Waalwijk (0-1) and SC Cambuur (5-2) and played a draw against Vitesse (1-1). The 19-year-old Simons scored twice in those matches and provided an assist.
Simons heads many lists of statistics. For example, the shared top scorer in the premier league (13 goals), the PSV player with the most shots on goal (30), dribbles (96), successful dribbles (57), duels won (186) and blocked shots (21). Simons is also the fastest relative to his teammates so far (33.44 km/h average), walked the most kilometers (268 km), played the most minutes (2157) and was the only PSV player to start all 26 games in the starting lineup.
Manfred Ugalde of FC Twente has been chosen as the greatest talent of the month of March.
Recovered Bergwijn trains again with Ajax
Steven Bergwijn seems ready for Ajax’s away game Sunday against Go Ahead Eagles. Images on the website of the club from Amsterdam show that the striker is back in full training. Bergwijn cancelled with a knee injury for the Dutch national team’s international matches against France and Gibraltar.
Go Ahead Eagles has been a difficult opponent for Ajax in recent years. The club from Deventer stunted last season with a home win (2-1) and took a point in the last two away games in Amsterdam (0-0, 1-1). Ajax came to 67 goal attempts in those three games, compared to ten from Go Ahead Eagles.
Vitesse does not light option for captain Bero
Vitesse will not light the option in the contract of captain Matus Bero. The Slovak international has played at the Arnhem club since mid-2018. Vitesse does say they want to remain in talks with Bero about a joint future.
Vitesse is currently in a troubled situation. The club is involved in a takeover and has to look for a new main sponsor. However, clubs in professional soccer must give players with expiring contracts clarity about their future before April 1.
‘Ooijer will leave as assistant at PSV after this season’
PSV and assistant coach André Ooijer are parting ways after this season, Eindhovens Dagblad reports. The former international worked with the first team since the summer of 2020.
According to the newspaper, the 48-year-old Ooijer is leaving “for personal reasons” and to free up time for other matters.
The ED adds that PSV and Ooijer “haven’t seen the last of each other yet” and are still looking at how the club and coach want to move forward with each other.
AZ responds to letter from KNVB
AZ announces in an official response that it has received the letter from the KNVB.
“AZ has received the KNVB’s response to our letter. We are going to study the responses and will respond after that. One thing that stands out is that there has been no response to our request for an (independent) factual investigation. AZ has still followed up on that with the KNVB.”
KNVB answers letter AZ and wants ‘air cleared as soon as possible’
The KNVB has sent AZ a response to the letter in which the Alkmaar club accused the soccer association of “favoritism,” among other things. That letter to the KNVB leadership leaked last week.
“We have also invited AZ for a meeting, because we would like to clear the air as quickly as possible,” a KNVB spokesman told news agency ANP.
The league said early this week it was already going to submit the letter to the other clubs in professional soccer. The KNVB has put it on the agenda for the upcoming General Meeting of Professional Football, to be held on June 27.
“We think that the members of the professional soccer section of the KNVB should be able to have their say on this,” a spokesman said.
AZ sent a six A4 letter to the KNVB a few weeks ago. In it, the club from Alkmaar expressed the feeling that Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord have preferential treatment.
AZ wants the KNVB to commission an independent (factual) investigation into the actions of various KNVB officials, including Supervisory Board chairman Jan Albers.
The league sent a response to AZ late this week. The KNVB does not want to say anything about the content.
KNVB: AZ writes things that are ‘incorrect’
“In principle, we do not respond substantively through the media to correspondence with our members, so we are not doing that now either. We have received and discussed the letter from AZ. AZ has asked us to respond in writing and we have since done so,” the spokesman said, saying that AZ’s letter contains things that are “incorrect.”
Asked whether the KNVB is complying with AZ’s request for an independent fact-finding investigation, the league replied, “As previously reported, we believe that the other members of the professional soccer section of the KNVB should also be able to comment on AZ’s letter. We have therefore put it on the agenda for the next General Meeting of Professional Football on June 27.”
‘PSV’er’ Van Nistelrooij has tough season: ‘Had moments when I needed rest’
“I think we are playing a very messy season,” PSV coach Ruud van Nistelrooij said at the press conference ahead of the game with NEC. “That also has to do with the consequences of the policy that had to be made. We knew that too. But you know you come from two very unsettled transfer windows, injuries, suspensions, the sad case with Thijs (Slegers, ed.). But every time, this team straightens its back. And I hold on to that. The team deserves that credit.”
Van Nistelrooij cannot deny that it has been a difficult season. “I have had some moments this season that I needed my rest. You cannot hide the fact that it is a very tough year. And on top of that, I feel like PSV’er. But I also cling to reality. The ambitions remain, but you also know that you are less likely to become champion if players leave.”
“You can’t hide the unrest within the club either. The beginning of the season with the rvc, the technical director leaving, you notice that. You notice now what a difference it makes that Earnest Stewart is there,” Van Nistelrooij said.
“An interesting year for everyone. And certainly also for me.”
‘PSV’er’ Van Nistelrooij on tough season: ‘Number of moments I had that I needed rest’
Coach Newcastle United: ‘Botman fit after food poisoning’
Sven Botman will most likely return to Newcastle United this weekend. The 23-year-old central defender fell ill during the past international period. According to the KNVB, it was a stomach flu, where previously there was talk of food poisoning.
“Sven suffered a nasty bout of food poisoning,” coach Eddie Howe claimed at a press conference, however. “I don’t think he was the only one in the Dutch camp, so he left early to get back up to speed. He’s been training with us since he got back, so he should be fine.”
Newcastle United will play Sunday at home against Manchester United. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m.
FC Twente misses Pröpper against Excelsior due to pneumonia
FC Twente will have to do without Robin Pröpper in Saturday’s away match against Excelsior. The 29-year-old defender is suffering from a slight pneumonia.
Mathias Kjølø, Mees Hilgers, Manfred Ugalde and Michal Sadilek are also not yet fit, while Wout Brama, Denilho Cleonise and Daan Rots return to coach Ron Jans’ selection.
After a lesser phase, FC Twente managed to win the last two duels. Fortuna Sittard was beaten 3-0 in Limburg and AZ 2-1 in Enschede. “In those games we took a first step to set a series,” Jans said.
“As long as fourth place is in the picture, you definitely have to believe in it. Out of the last eight games of this season, you may lose points in one or two. It’s a pretty tough assignment, but we shouldn’t run away from that.”
FC Twente is currently fifth and trailing number four AZ by five points.
‘Normally we have Geertruida back within a few weeks’
Feyenoord coach Arne Slot does not expect to lose Lutsharel Geertruida for at least six weeks. The defender suffered a hamstring injury in the Dutch national team’s match against France last week.
It is unclear exactly how long Geertruida will be out. It was suggested that the footballer would be sidelined for almost two months, but Slot rejects that. He thinks he can still call on his player this season.
“We normally think of a few weeks in Geertruida’s recovery, if he doesn’t suffer a setback. But we are certainly not waiting a recovery time of six weeks,” Slot said ahead of next Sunday’s derby against city rival Sparta (kickoff 14.30).
The Feyenoord coach does expect to call on Gernot Trauner. The Austrian defender suffered a minor injury during the international period last week, but it does not appear to be too serious.
“We have to wait and see how he reacts to this training,” Slot said. “But the fact that he has joined in now is a positive sign.” The longtime injured Justin Bijlow and Quinten Timber are missing from the squad.
Van Nistelrooij: ‘Thijs had a good and spirited character’
Ruud van Nistelrooij paused at his press conference this afternoon to reflect on the death of press secretary Thijs Slegers, who died last Monday from leukemia.
“It came in hard. It is a hard truth that he is no longer here now,” Van Nistelrooij said. “I worked with him for a long time. He put together great as a person. He had a good and feisty character.”
PSV will play with mourning bands against NEC on Saturday and there will be a minute’s silence before kickoff of the match. On Sunday, people can say goodbye in person at the Philips Stadium between 18.30 and 20.30.
Van Nistelrooij on blow of Slegers’ death: ‘A hard truth’
Branthwaite and Obispo missing at PSV
PSV will be without defenders Jarrad Branthwaite, Armando Obispo, Mauro Junior and goalkeeper Walter Benítez for Saturday night’s away match against NEC (kickoff 8 p.m.). The foursome is struggling with injuries.
Coach Ruud van Nistelrooij says that Anwar El Ghazi, Thorgan Hazard and Joey Veerman, among others, are available. The latter dropped out of the Dutch national team last week due to a stomach flu virus.
With the absence of Branthwaite and Obispo, Frenchman Olivier Boscagli could get his first starting place at PSV since tearing a cruciate ligament almost a year ago. The defender made his comeback in February and has three brief substitutions behind his name since then.
A question mark remains behind the inclusion of Ibrahim Sangaré. The Ivorian midfielder only returned from international duty on Friday morning.
El Yaakoubi after criticism of refusing OneLove tie: ‘Apparently not everyone is as free’
“The conclusion is that not everyone is equally free.” Footballer Redouan El Yaakoubi comes to that conclusion after a week in which he lost his captain’s armband at Excelsior because he refused to participate in the KNVB’s OneLove campaign.
“We advocate (in that campaign) that everyone can be there and make choices the way they want, but if I want to make use of those freedoms, then you don’t fit in, then those freedoms no longer apply.”
El Yaakoubi gives that explanation to Salaheddine Benchikhi’s YouTube channel. In a 20-minute conversation, he shares the necessary snark.
Hard-driving professional footballer flies with car into sports hall in Belgium
It looks like a scene from GTA, but it’s not a video game. Moroccan-Belgian footballer Sofian Kiyine (25) flew his car at full speed through the wall of a sports hall yesterday. The accident happened in Flémalle, near Liège. The professional footballer is out of danger, reports his club Oud-Heverlee Leuven.
No one else was involved in the accident, but that may be called a miracle. Shortly before the accident, there were still children in the hall. They had just gone to the dressing rooms, says a local administrator, according to the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.
Car flies into sports hall near Liege
‘Ajax goes for German technical director after Ward drops out’
The soap opera surrounding Amsterdam’s new technical director continues. Ajax was fully focused on Julian Ward, the ‘td’ of Liverpool, where he is leaving after this season, in the search for a new technical man, according to various media. But the 41-year-old English top candidate informed director Edwin van der Sar last week that he will not come to Amsterdam, according to De Telegraaf.
Ajax would now concentrate on Sven Mislintat, the 50-year-old German who was employed by VfB Stuttgart until last year. He previously worked as a scout for Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal.