33 points from the last thirteen league matches. Feyenoord were in top form before the corona crisis halted the competition at the beginning of March. With Dick Advocaat at the helm, the swing and positivity returned to the team.
After six months without a serious match Feyenoord hope to continue the line that was started then. Technical director Frank Arnesen, together with Bryan Linssen (Vitesse), Mark Diemers (Fortuna Sittard) and Portuguese João Carlos Teixeira (Vitória Guimarães), brought players with the necessary experience to De Kuip.
Talents were also attracted, from whom Christian Conteh (St. Pauli) seems to have the most chance of playing time.
Opposite the acquisitions is the loss of Rick Karsdorp (AS Roma, was rented), Oguzhan Özyakup (Besiktas, was rented), Edgar Ié (Trabzonspor, was rented), Renato Tapia (Celta de Vigo) and Jan-Arie van der Heijden (transfer free).
For Advocaat it was a matter of searching for the right composition during the preparations. This resulted in variable performance during the practice matches. The Rotterdammers won handsomely from Borussia Dortmund (3-1), but lost to Hamburger SV (1-0) and the team played a disappointing match against FC Twente (0-0).
However, CCeit-commentator and Feyenoord follower Arman Avsaroglu think Feyenoord have improved this transfer period. “They have certainly become stronger. Though you have to keep your arm on the line because they haven’t played for months, of course”
“But before the coronastop they were very strong. That was no luck. In addition, they attracted smart players and lost little”, says Avsaroglu.
Former player Regi Blinker also thinks Advocaat has a stronger team than last year. “They have gained more experience in attracting Linssen and Diemers anyway. In addition, Eric Botteghin and Leroy Fer were not fit at the beginning of last season. Now they are starting the season fit. That also makes a difference“
Martijn Krabbendam, Feyenoord watcher for Football International, is slightly less positive. “They’ve really gotten less in width. Players such as Tapia, Özyakup and Karsdorp may not always have been basic players, but when they competed it didn’t get less in quality”
“We are simply talking about a Peruvian international and an AS Roma player. So we really need something across the board. You also saw that in the preparations. Lawyer does not ask for extra players for nothing, but Feyenoord has little money to get something”
The question in Rotterdam-Zuid every year is whether Feyenoord can really compete for the title. Last season the Rotterdammers finished third in the broken-off league, behind AZ and Ajax. Avsaroglu thinks that Lawyer AZ’s team has now passed.
“Lawyer knows how to make every team a stable team and I think it’s going to be difficult to win from Feyenoord. For me they are the biggest challenger of Ajax. Even more so than AZ. Although the difference in quality with Ajax is considerable, we saw last year that such a team can also collapse. They can really compete for the title and I really see them grabbing that scale. Although that would really be a stunt
Krabbendam agrees with the opinion of Avsaroglu. “PSV, AZ and Feyenoord do not evade each other much. If everyone is fit, they are really hard to beat. Though you have no guarantee that everyone will stay fit”
“The spirit is present in the team. This is not a team that lets itself dry 4-0 in the Johan Cruijff Arena. The goal of the club is to achieve European football. That is really essential for the club”
For Blinker, Feyenoord should always compete for the title. “Although if you look at the last few years that’s not realistic The former international also has the feeling that everyone is sharp around the team.
“I think Advocaat is having a good time. I also find it surprising that Steven Berghuis is still there. I really hope he stays, because he can really make a difference. I am also really looking forward to Orkun Kökçü. He will really have to provide more goals and assists this year. He can no longer be satisfied with figures of a talent”