The madness of Feyenoord: What’s happened to the Eredivisie giants?
Dave Burin | 8 February 2019
Rotterdam club having a tumultuous season
After winning the Eredivisie in 2016-17, the future looked bright for Dutch giants Feyenoord. But fast forward to early 2019, and things are looking far less rosy.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men have lost three of their last five league games, with humbling defeats coming either side of a stunning 6-2 victory over Ajax. The battle now is to hang onto third place, with AZ Alkmaar gaining ground.
And right now, things are as unpredictable off the pitch as on it at De Kuip. So what’s it all about?
Boss Van Bronckhorst dropped the bombshell a few weeks back that he’ll be leaving the club after almost four years in charge.
The revelation came after a 2-2 draw at ADO Den Haag – one of several recent games where Feyenoord have dropped points from winning positions.
Things have deteriorated from there. Current FC Utrecht boss Dick Advocaat has publicly rebuffed Feyenoord’s advances. Safe to say there’s some wounded pride right now at the club nicknamed De Trots van Zuid (or ‘The Pride of the South’).
There have also been suspicions that the decision could have seen his players take their eye off the ball. The three games since have included a 3-1 loss to PEC Zwolle and a 2-1 defeat at relegation-threatened Excelsior.
The Indian Summer of RvP
Another who’ll be leaving the club this summer is Robin van Persie. The 35-year-old has seen his career go full-circle, having made his debut for Feyenoord in 2001.
Despite being in the twilight of his career, the club captain has been undoubtedly their best performer this season. He’s netted 11 times in 16 Eredivisie games, including a brace in the 6-2 mauling of Ajax.
But his all-round game has been superb. RvP was involved in the build-up for each of those first two goals against their fierce rivals. And three assists – including an ice-cool pass in the 3-0 win at Excelsior again proves he’s more than just a finisher.
However, there are big questions over who will fill his shoes. 19-year-old striker Dylan Vente has scored just once in his nine league outings, while Nicolas Jorgensen has been no more impressive in the same role.
Home comforts and away-day woes
While the cauldron atmosphere of De Kuip is bound to motivate Van Bronckhorst’s side, the contrast between their home and away form remains pretty baffling.
At home, they’ve won nine of their 10 games and kept four clean sheets. On their travels, they’ve picked up a measly 12 points. That’s fewer than FC Emmen, who are currently sat in the relegation zone.
Location seems more important than opposition when it comes to results. They’ve won convincingly at home to PSV Eindhoven and Ajax, but lost to three bottom-half sides on their travels – including second-bottom De Graafschap.
Next up is a chance for revenge against De Graafschap, who make the six-mile trip to De Kuip.
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