It’s Willem van Hanegem’s birthday! Today (Wednesday) he celebrates reaching the magnificent age of 75. Management, sup...
Mariano Fernandez came off the bench to make his first appearance for Feyenoord Thursday, as the Rotterdammers hit the net five times without reply in the latest warm-up in Katwijk. The defender replaced club captain Patrick Paauwe in the second half and put in an assured display. Dirk Kuyt grabbed a hat-trick in his home village, while Danko Lazovic and Romeo Castelen knocked in the other two. The game was never going to be a cracker so early into preseason, but coach Gullit was happy with his team’s performance.
‘We’ve been training hard and up to now we’ve only been working on fitness. When you see how we won 5-0 here this evening without sweating it and didn’t give away any chances at the back, I cannot be anything but satisfied.’
The lack of penetration in the home attack did leave the coach with no more insight into the talents of Fernandez than he already had from training however. ‘He didn’t have too much to do today. That makes it impossible to judge him fully yet. We’ll have to have a stronger opponent for that.’ Words that would appear to anticipate a longer stay in the Feyenoord camp for the player; one that may take him all the way to Germany, where Feyenoord are headed Saturday ahead of the Alpen Cup.
Fernandez had certainly put his thing down in training and Gullit was intrigued enough to give the Argentinean a run out. The trialist was certainly eager to make an impression on the training pitch, although, unfortunately for Thomas Buffel, he also made an impression on the Belgian’s instep, keeping the striker out of the starting line-up for the Katwijk clash.
Buffel was not the only absentee, as Acuña (ankle), Lurling (knee), Goor (calf), Song (calf), Smolarek (heel bone) and Ono (stomach) all had sick notes. That forced Gullit to bring in some fresh faces, with Mtiliga given the left-back remit and Bosschaart a free hand in midfield. The forward line included Danko Lazovic, who looked hungry despite just getting back from spree in Japan competing for the Kirin Cup with Serbia and Montenegro.
Lazovic actually pinched the game’s opening goal, latching on to a thrilling through-ball from Bosschaart, rounding the keeper and netting on twenty. Dirk Kuyt proved that one plus one is two eight minutes later, when he got the second.
After the turnaround, with Fernandez joined on the pitch by Lodewijks, Kalou and Pardo, Feyenoord open up a sizable gap, through Castelen and another couple from Kuyt, who celebrated a happy homecoming.
Feyenoord: Babos (46’ Lodewijks); Gyan, Van den Berg (70’ Loovens), Paauwe (46’ Fernandez), Mtiliga; Castelen, Ghaly, Bosschaart, Magrão (46’ Pardo); Kuyt, Lazovic (46’ Kalou).