Ajax Amsterdam v Feyenoord - Eredivisie

The Lead

So as Manchester United are 12 points clear, and in doing so bending predictive statistics on Total Shots Ration and Shots on Target PDO in the process (something that may have to do with both luck and Man United’s considerable dominance when level with the opposition).

That means the Premier League is over. You can throw in for the relegation battle if you must, but that’s football’s sloppy seconds, a mess of club schadenfreude masquerading as footballing excitement and Big Four glory-hunter tourism (i.e., don’t watch Villa please).

So what to do? The Champions League is back this week, but then you need something to watch on Saturdays because you’re a glutton. You want reasonably attractive football from teams you know a little about, in a language kind of phonetically similar to English.

Yep, the Eredivisie.

There are so many reasons to enjoy the Dutch league, it’s hard to know where to begin. The league’s trust in—or reliance on— its youth academy product, for one. Also, the Netherlands is a hotbed for advanced statistics in football, for some reason, including a recent initiative to start an analytics blog on a mainstream newspaper site.

But mostly for the fact that, as of writing, there are four teams in contention for the title, with PSV on top with 47 points and Ajax and Feyenoord tied for second on 44, with Twente a point behind those two.

Moreover, you can watch the Eredivisie, for about $10 a month, on your computer. And if you’re worried about being a hipster, just support Ajax. Seriously, throw-in now.

Canada

Toronto FC makes its first preseason cuts.

England

Mancini will shake up City lineup ahead of the FA Cup tie.

Neville says Ronaldo will exploit weakest United defender.

Southampton’s Puncheon explains ‘bum-wipe’ celebration.

Adebayor punished for late return to Spurs.

Italy

Sampdoria manager Delio Rossi won’t challenge fine he received for vulgar-hand gesture.

Moratti apologizes over racist chants aimed at Balotelli.

La Liga

Ramos says his team won’t underestimate United.

Deportivo coach steps down after only six games in charge.

Germany

Jens Keller told his managing job safe till the end of the season despite Schalke’s poor form.

Bit and Bobs

Tackling racism in England.

Nigerian fans celebrate Africa Cup of Nations victory.

Thanks to Alima Hotakie for compiling today’s links.

Comments (8)

  1. I support AZ (lived a 25 minute bike ride from there for 6 months in the mid aughts) and now, to a lesser extent, PSV (Atiba Hutchinson, but only until the end of the season). PSV play the best football in the Eredivisie; Ajax have the most talent you are likely to see in a big 4 league in the next few years. Feyenoord are total scum.

  2. IT HAS TO BE SAID. epl LEAGUE IS 1-2 TWO HORSE RACE JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER MAJOR LEAGUE.

    GERMANY – BAYERN MUNICH + DORTMUND (15 POINTS CLEAR)

    ITALY – JUVENTUS + NAPOLI (5 POINTS CLEAR)

    SPAIN – BARCELONA + ATLETICO MADRID (12 POINTS CLEAR)

    england – man utd. + Man City (12 POINTS CLEAR)

    All of you epl fan girls parading around saying stupid things like “OH WELL AT LEAST EPL IS COMPETITIVE”. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH SERIOUS?!?!?!?

    YOUR BEST TEAM WILL GET DESTROYED IN TWO LEGS VS THIRD PLACE TEAM IN LA LIGA.

    man utd have been having A LAUGH in this league. HOWEVER, THEY WOULDN’T EVEN BE IN TOP 2 IN ANY OTHER LEAGUE I’M SURE. Man City have been absolutely pathetic. I think Mancini has lost some of his game coming to a poorer quality league.

    ALSO IT HAS TO BE SAID.

    INIESTA > ZIDANE.

    IT IS DONE. YES, ZIDANE IS LEGEND BUT HE WON FCK ALL WITH A STACKED
    MADRID TEAM. ONLY THAT ONE PERFORMANCE IN WC FINAL GOT HIM LEGEND STATUS BUT HE WAS ON A BEAST FRANCE TEAM ANY WAYS.

    INIESTA’S FIRST TOUCH > ZIDANE’S FIRST TOUCH

    INIESTA’S CONTROL OF MATCHES FROM MINUTE 1 TO MINUTE 90 > ZIDANE

    INIESTA’S CONSISTENCY > ZIDANE

    INIESTA’S ACCOLADES > ZIDANE

    ZIDANE WOULDN’T HAVE WON $HIT IF HE PLAYED IN THIS ERA.

    DESPITE THE FACT INIESTA LACKS PACE AND STRENGTH!!!!!!!!! AT THIS MOMENT INIESTA IS BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD. HE’S ON FIRE.

    For the good of football, lets all hope madrid put man utd out of their misery early.

    • Zidane vs. Iniesta is actually pretty competitive. I’d still have to take Zizou. Starred on multiple teams in multiple leagues, and single-handedly carried France to the WC final in 06 despite being coached by that crazy bastard Domenech.

      • Dayuuum, I can’t argue with that lol.

        If anything, Zizou definitely has better stage presence in commercials and a MUCH better finishing move in his head butt technique. Zidane also has a proven track record when it comes to scouting…something Iniesta lacks.

        But yea, Zizou was King in his time. That one volley for Juventus tho…god damn.

        -(O_o)-

    • lets hope someone puts you out of your misery early

      • lol…I see what you did there ;)

        Clever <3

        But alas, Nigeria put me out of my misery weeks ago =(

  3. My family’s hometown team is FC Groningen and they play in a cool intimate stadium called the Euroborg which seats about 30,000. I’ve seen a match there and the atmosphere is fantastic and so is the play. All the Eredivisie teams adhere to an attacking style which makes the experience very easy on the eye.

    As a teenager growing up in the early to mid 90′s, it was common to see Ajax making deep runs in the Champions League/European Cup. Since they were one of the few Dutch teams to get exposure over here, it was easy to fall in love with them (don’t tell anybody in my family). It would be amazing to see what Ajax could do in the Champions League if they were able to keep their players together, rather than having to sell off 2-3 key members per season. If TFC could reap the rewards of their academy like these clubs do, all our struggles and pain would be well worth it in the end, not to mention put our CMNT on the right foot.

    I keep hearing Feyenoord is going to build a 100,000 seat monster stadium to replace the De Kuip? They definitely have the support since their fan club is the biggest in Holland and they attract many fans from the southern towns below the Rhine. They constantly sell out and a ticket is not easy to come by. But yes, I agree, they are total scum.

    Cheers!

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