Van Marwijk is pleased with how Lee is settling in despite the language barrier. ‘He radiates a willingness to learn and has a good relationship with the lads. He’s already learned quite a lot of football terms. He does not creep into his shell; he also tries to speak. With Van Bronckhorst and Makaay for instance, but also with Bahia. I don’t know how they speak with each other but they manage it. He feels he’s been given a great reception. They are positive signs.’
Last week’s debut from Lee was also positive. He played for half an hour against Excelsior and looked strong. He also showed his temperament, mind. Not least by complaining to the referee on a number of occasions. ‘I saw it in Maastricht too, when he played for the reserves against MVV,’ acknowledges Van Marwijk. ‘I’ve told him that he should cut it out. On the other hand, it does say something about his character. And that’s something I’m happy with. He’s no introvert.’
Lee’s chances of playing any part in Saturday’s match depend to some degree on Nicky Hofs. The midfielder has a problem with his knee and may not travel. Van Marwijk will take a decision just before the squad departs for Enschede on Saturday. If need be the coach could also select Danny Buijs, and Van Marwijk was unwilling to express a preference for Buijs or Lee on Friday.
The question left over from last season was whether Twente’s fourth-place finish was a flash in the pan or the sign of things to come. With almost a quarter of this season already played the jury is still out. Twente certainly has quality, that is not the issue, but does coach Fred Rutten’s team have enough to get in the Champions League playoffs again?
The Enschede-based outfit have lost some good players. Kennedy Bakircioglu, Otman Bakkal and Ismail Aissati all opted to test themselves at a higher level (Aissati returned to PSV), although players of the calibre of Sharbel Touma, Niels Oude Kamphuis and Bas Sibum also departed the Arke Stadium.
In their stead came former Feyenoorders Stein Huysegems and Alfred Schreuder, as well as Romano Denneboom and Youssouf Hersi, among others. The new Twente proved it could play in the goalless draw against PSV and the 3-2 home win against Gentafe, but recent results have been patchy. Roda JC and FC Groningen both claimed all three points in the last two league games, although Twente were unlucky to lose out both times by the only goal.
Those two losses mean that Twente are back in eighth place with 12 points from eight games, which is less than hoped for, although they are still within two points of that fourth place.
FC Twente – Feyenoord
Saturday 27 October, 20:00 at Arke Stadium
Referee: Van Hulten
FC Twente: Boschker; Wielaert, Zomer, Braafheid, Heubach; Wilkshire, El Ahmadi, Engelaar; Hersi, N’Kufo, Denneboom
Feyenoord: Timmer; Lucius, Hofland, Bahia, De Cler; Sahin, Hofs (Buijs/Lee), Van Bronckhorst; De Guzman, Makaay, Bruins
26/10/2006 Feyenoord - FC Twente 2-1
02/04/2006 Feyenoord - FC Twente 4-2
12/09/2004 Feyenoord - FC Twente 3-1
01/02/2004 Feyenoord - FC Twente 3-2
02/02/2003 Feyenoord - FC Twente 4-2
11/02/2007 FC Twente - Feyenoord 3-0
25/09/2005 FC Twente - Feyenoord 1-3
29/01/2005 FC Twente - Feyenoord 0-0
13/12/2003 FC Twente - Feyenoord 4-2
14/09/2002 FC Twente - Feyenoord 1-5