It’s Willem van Hanegem’s birthday! Today (Wednesday) he celebrates reaching the magnificent age of 75. Management, sup...
Feyenoord will be looking to put the record straight after least week’s home loss when the Rotterdammers take on RBC Roosendaal in the club’s first Saturday evening fixture of the season. They’ll have to do it with a makeshift eleven however. Shinji Ono and Hossam Ghaly are both ruled out, which sets coach Ruud Gullit with quite a conundrum to solve in midfield. ‘Sometimes you have to mix things up,’ philosophised Gullit.
A few weeks ago Gullit was talking about the opulence of having three midfielders playing for two starting places, but Gullit was robbed of that particular luxury in a double whammy. First Hossam Ghaly was hit with a three-match ban for allegedly using an elbow in the match against Willem II. And that was compounded by the loss of Shinji Ono, who limped out of last week’s home game against FC Utrecht at the break with an ankle injury.
The Feyenoord coach moved right-back Chong-Gug Song into midfield, a position the Korea often fills at international level. It cannot be expected that the player will be given another run-out in the middle of the park however, due to a lack of creativity or as Gullit puts it: ‘He is much more of a controlling player, like Bosschaart and Pardo. We are hard at work on a solution for tomorrow.’
Gullit is most likely to hand Thomas Buffel responsibility for the role, although he was saying little at the Friday press conference. Otherwise Brazilian Gerson Magrão could step in. One person who it won’t be is Bart Goor. ‘We tried it during preseason, but he cannot so it and doesn’t want to do it.’
Reflecting on last week’s home defeat to FC Utrecht, Gullit couldn’t hide his frustration, although the coach doesn’t want to make a drama out of it. ‘Looking back you have to say that the second goal came on 88 minutes and that we fought for the equaliser up until then. The disappointment had disappeared after 36 hours. The players have taken the blame. But I am responsible.’
Holland Casio Eredivisie
Time: 6.30 pm
Date: 25 September 2004
Place: Vast&Goed Stadium
Likely Feyenoord line-up
Babos; Song, Saidi, Paauwe, Basto; Castelen, Buffel, Bosschaart, Goor; Kuyt, Kalou.