It’s Willem van Hanegem’s birthday! Today (Wednesday) he celebrates reaching the magnificent age of 75. Management, sup...
Feyenoord are likely to be without Patrick Paawue in Sunday’s match against FC Groningen, although Hossam Ghaly appears to have shaken off a knock to make the squad. The Egyptian hobbled out of Friday training, but a day of rest has helped speed up the international’s recovery. Great news for Bert van Marwijk, as Feyenoord look to keep the pressure on PSV in the race for second spot in the Eredivisie. The Rotterdammers have not lost a match since Ghaly started his run in the team.
That’s not only down to one player of course. The team is performing well throughout the pitch, and it’s arguably in defence that Feyenoord have shone brightest. Five clean sheets in the last six encounters show how well Paauwe and Van den Berg are performing together. All the more reason to lament the likely loss of captain Paauwe, who picked up an ankle knock in training. His participation will remain undecided until the last moment. If Paauwe is unable to play he could well be replaced by Alfred Schreuder, who played well in the centre of defence against Volendam.
Otherwise it’s as you were in terms of personnel and tactics. Van Marwijk may be concerned about the frequent flyer miles his internationals Ono, Song, Smolarek and Buffel picked up during the week though. The most credits went to Chong-Gug, who travelled to the other side of the world to help South Korea eek out a 0-0 draw in his homeland against Paraguay.
He’ll be glad he’s not set to face the most fearsome of Eredivisie strike-forces. The northerners tend to play 4-4-2 away from home with more emphasis on containment than entertainment. It’ll put Feyenoord’s proficiency at breaking open a defensive-minded team under the spotlight.
HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE, SUNDAY 2 MAY 2004
Kick-off: 2.30 pm
Venue: De Kuip
Zoetebier; Song, Van den Berg, Paauwe (Schreuder), Mtiliga; Smolarek, Ono, Ghaly, Lurling; Buffel, Kuyt.
Beukenkamp; Elshot, Schoenmakers, Kruiswijk, Florén; Smit, Van Gessel, Matthijs, De Witte; Drent, Salmon