Monday, June 20, 2011

Was Dutch football continuing to develop or was it declining already? Depends on the point of view: neither Ajax, nor Feyenoord won a trophy in 1975. Let’s say, the coming of age of PSV Eindhoven supports the ‘progressive’ view. The Cup was won by FC Den Haag, however. May be continuing of development? Another great team in the making? Or decline? Consider that none of the big three reached the final. Consider that Twente were the losing finalists. Twente was to be the ‘forth’ great Dutch team just a year ago… and they still looked quite impressive:
Here they are: van Jerssel, Pahlplatz, Thijssen (who will be major part of successful Ipswich Town a few years later), Drost, Achtenberg, Jeuring… all played for Holland. Rene Notten and Piet Schrijvers too, and also they were soon to be snatch by Ajax. Mighty squad when compared to the boys from the capital of Holland.
Top, left to right: Rinus Loof (ass.trainer), Rob Ouwehand, Simon van Vliet, Martin Jol, Woody Louwerens, Ton Thie, Joop Koorevaar, Aad Mansveld, Lex Schoenmaker, Clemens Schrover (fysiotherapeut) en Vujadin Boskov (trainer)
Bottom: Leo de Caluwé, Aad Kila, Henk van Leeuwen, Roger Albertsen, Leen Swanenburg, Hans Bres en Dojcin Perazic.
Well… hardly great. Aad Mansveld is the greatest club legend, but never really established himself as a big Dutch name. Ton Thie is known, but hardly a star. Martin Jol was a nobody – he got his reputation much later, when playing in England. Dojcin Perazic should be noticed just because he is a foreign import – Yugoslavian star he was not; reliable professional at best. By far the best FC Den Haag had was their coach – the Yugoslav Vujadin Boskov was already highly respected, although his massive fame came later too. So far – good enough coach to make his rather ordinary team win a cup. Good for them, but hardly an improvement of Dutch football. Especially when the club itself was changed – because of the usual finacial difficulties the original ADO merged with Holland Sport into FC Den Haag (later the merger was dissolved and today it is again ADO – an abbreviation of Alles Door Oefening, which means Everything Through Practice. Fitting name for this club… takes a lot of practice in suffering to support a team winning virtually nothing for the most of its history.)
But let’s not be so tough on the winners – it was rare and well deserved victory of a small club. Something to remember and cherish.