It’s Willem van Hanegem’s birthday! Today (Wednesday) he celebrates reaching the magnificent age of 75. Management, sup...
Feyenoord have never come away from the Gelredome with all three points since the Arnhem’s roofed-in stadium opened nine years ago. But while Vitesse have hit the ground running at the start of the new season, the Rotterdammers will be confident they can get the win this time round when the sides meet Sunday lunchtime. For coach Gullit, whatever the history the latest fixture is simply another must-win clash. ‘It is vital we get all three points, whoever we’re playing.
The home side’s perfect start to the campaign and almost a decade of failure in the Gelredome would suggest that Feyenoord will be put to the test in Arnhem after comfortable wins against De Graafschap and Willem II. But Gullit isn’t buying it. ‘I don’t believe in tests. Willem II was also a test and we won that game easily. When do the tests end? What do you want to test? We have to win our matches, against Vitesse too.
‘That’s the only important thing. And that’s why we need the European Cup approach I’ve been emphasising since I arrived.’
The coach is confident that his players share that mindset. ‘I notice it in the little things. On the pitch when I sometimes have to calm the players down. And off the pitch. The lads want to do extras; they don’t want to go home immediately. They are very willing, I’ve noticed. We all have the same goal, it comes through in everything.’
Gullit will have a strong first eleven to choose from in Arnhem. Of the four Feyenoorders in the treatment room only Romeo Castelen could reasonably have expected to get some pitch time if he’d been fit. But even the absence of the rookie international shouldn’t give the coach any headaches. Feyenoord appeared to do alright without Castelen in last week’s win in Tilburg.
Holland Casino Eredivisie
VITESSE – FEYENOORD
Date: Sunday 29 August 2004
Time: 12.30 pm
Feyenoord: Babos; Song, Saidi, Paauwe, Mtiliga; Ono, Ghaly, Bosschaart, Goor; Kuyt, Kalou.
Vitesse: Jevric; Vreven, Knol, Dingsdag, Fränkel; Knopper, Yakubu, Janssen; Hofs, Gluscevic, Amoah.
THE FORM BOOK
8/2/2004 Vitesse – Feyenoord 0-0
19/10/2002 Vitesse – Feyenoord 1-1
17/2/2002 Vitesse – Feyenoord 2-1
4/3/2001 Vitesse – Feyenoord 0-0
13/2/2000 Vitesse – Feyenoord 3-3
17/12/2003 Feyenoord – Vitesse 1-0 (Amstel Cup)
22/11/2003 Feyenoord – Vitesse 3-0
12/4/2003 Feyenoord – Vitesse 2-1
5/3/2003 Feyenoord – Vitesse 3-1 (Amstel Cup)
17/11/2001 Feyenoord – Vitesse 3-2