Plenty of permutations for Van Bronckhorst against Vitesse
With Eljero Elia now available for selection Feyenoord’s squad is starting to look ready for what is sure to be another gruelling Eredivisie season. The winger played for the reserves this week and is now ready to make his first-team bow should Giovanni van Bronckhorst choose to give him it. It means that the coach has even more alternatives across the park as he prepares to take on Vitesse at De Kuip on Sunday. ‘As coach I cannot be anything but happy with so much competition.’
Van Bronckhorst is certainly not afraid that the battle for a starting berth, which means that some players will inevitably lose out, will lead to frustration in the squad. ‘This is a new situation for some players,’ admitted the coach on Friday at De Kuip. ‘The important thing is that everyone wants to play and is prepared to fight for his position. As such they can make things even tougher for me.’
The value of a big squad has clearly been shown in the first two matches of the season. Jan-Arie van der Heijden and goal scorer Tonny Vilhena made a difference when they came off the bench against FC Utrecht in the opener. And last week in Leeuwarden Michiel Kramer also netted a vital goal after coming on a substitute. ‘It’s very nice to see our subs can also bring something extra,’ said Van Bronckhorst on Friday. ‘It means that we can mix things up during matches if the situation demands it.’
The coach was not ready to name his starting eleven against Vitesse on Friday. ‘I haven’t decided yet,’ said a smiling Van Bronckhorst, who is happy to wait until after the final closed training session on Saturday before settling on his line-up.
Van Bronckhorst feels the match in front of a sell-out crowd at De Kuip will be a good test for his team. ‘Because Vitesse, along with a number of teams, are one of the stronger opponents in this league,’ said the coach. ‘We deserved to lose to them at home last season, but it’s up to us to take three points on Sunday.’