Eredivisie week 3: Five things we haven’t learned this week
Can Twente win the Eredivisie?
FC Zwolle are top of the table and PSV have been the talk of the town, but arguably the most impressive team so far have been FC Twente. Starting the season with a 0-0 draw against RKC Waalwijk in a match they should have won, Twente have gone on to demolish Feyenoord 1-4 and FC Utrecht 6-0.
Dusan Tadic in particular has been briljant. In just two matches he has registered four assists and 3 goals. Furthermore he set up a staggering 18 chances in the same period. This is an unsustainable level of play for Twente and Tadic, but it does show that when they’re firing on all cylinders, Twente look exceptional. The big question is how far the level will drop when it invariably does. As it stands now, however, Twente are looking a lot better than many predicted they would.
Has Finnbogason outgrown the Eredivisie?
At BeNeFoot, we always liked ‘Bogie’. Hence why we call him ‘Bogie’ too. Alfred Finnbogason has been an instant hit ever since joining the Eredivisie and, as Peter McVitie pointed out earlier this year, he might well become the next super-striker who learned their trade at SC Heerenveen. Finnbogason’s scoring record for Heerenveen has been remarkable. Apart from the 28 goals (and 7 assists) from 34 Eredivisie appearances, which in itself is a great record, especially considering that Heerenveen scored 58 goals in that period, he also never scored a hattrick. Even though hattricks are awesome, it means that he is mainly a very consistent striker. Jozy ‘Three Hattricks‘ Altidore managed to score less in Eredivisie last season and wasn’t as instrumental as the Heerenveen striker, but did earn a transfer. Finnbogason has shown this season he doesn’t need players around him to provide him in order to score goals. Last season, he played with the immensely talented Filip Djuricic, who featured in our Eredivisie Top 25, and people were giving the Serbian a lot of credit for Finnbogason’s performances. This season, with Djuricic at Benfica, he has to sort himself and judging by the 4 goals from 3 games he’s coping just fine. Why is he still in the Eredivisie? Why? WHYYYYYYYYYY! We’re happy though.
Why is Lex Immers still starting for Feyenoord?
Lex Immers has been an automatic starter for Feyenoord for over a season now. Ronald Koeman has complete trust in the attacking midfielder and Immers has been close to ever-present since his arrival in Rotterdam. To date he has not repaid that confidence at all, however. Immers’ goalscoring record last season was somewhat inflated by his taking of Feyenoord’s penalties. A tally of twelve goals isn’t bad, but five of them were from the spot. Furthermore, Immers provided just two assists last season. Pellè finished 2012-13 with 27 goals, but Immers’ contribution to those goals was very limited. Samuel Armenteros has now arrived at De Kuip and Immers should be fearing for his spot. Feyenoord badly needs more creativity in central positions and Immers won’t ever provide that.
Should PSV look at Matavz or Locadia to lead the line?
Matavz: Accomplished goalscorer, all-round good striker. But he seems to be missing quite a lot of chances too lately. Locadia, prolific finisher if he comes off the bench. No Eredivisie goals as a starter yet. After starting Locadia in the first two games, Matavz got the nod again versus Go Ahead Eagles. He didn’t score either. He did add an assist, but that is something Locadia did earlier on as well. Both strikers look like quality players, but in reality, none of the 11 goals have been scored by a striker yet. While both have their clear strengths and weaknesses, Cocu still struggles to find out who is most suitable in the system he looks to play. Matavz seems more agile and a better footballer in the most literal sense, while Locadia’s timing and finishing is, from the looks of it, a bit better. Nor Matavz nor Locadia have sufficiently impressed yet, so it’s up to Cocu to install confidence in either one of them and hope for the best. It’ll be a tough task, probably the hardest one he has had to make yet in his (young) career as a manager.
N.E.C. Nijmegen 1 – 5 PEC Zwolle: Weakness of the former or strength of the latter?
We’re not going to sugarcoat it: N.E.C. looked terrible against PEC. At half-time, N.E.C. were 0-4 down against the Zwollenaren, not exactly the best team in the Eredivisie. PEC Zwolle have looked tremendous until now though, racking up 3 wins from 3, their best ever start to the season in the Eredivisie. N.E.C. have lost all first three and have the worst defensive record after three games since MVV in 1999/2000 . Last season, PEC ended on 39 points and N.E.C. on 37. The exact three fixtures PEC played got them 5 points more than they gained from these last season, so it looks like they have improved. N.E.C. however have only won one of the three games they’ve played so far this season. So this means N.E.C are three points worse than last season over the same games and PEC Zwolle five points better. Not such a big difference as the earlier stated 9 points and 0 points eh? In all fairness, Zwolle couldn’t have done better and N.E.C. couldn’t have done worse. But it’s not a given that Zwolle will continue their fine start and it’s not a given either that N.E.C. will be doing this bad for the whole season. Something about regression to the mean. Everything will flatten out in the end. These thoughts aren’t ours, by the way. Simon Gleave has implemented them into the BeNeFoot set-up.