Tuesday’s 3-1 win against Sturm Graz left coach Van Marwijk smiling. One of the brightest spots was the performance of Jorge Acuña in his first game for the club. After a shaky start, the Chilean put in a good second-half performance and showed his true potential a couple of times. ‘It’s early days and you have to watch out for premature conclusions, but I feel now that Acuña can achieve the standards we set.’

Acuña’s arrival at Feyenoord didn’t exactly start with a big bang, but the Chilean has shown himself more and more to be the player that Bert van Marwijk hoped he would be. ‘You could see initially that he was afraid he might injure his teammates in training. That didn’t help his game, because he’s typically a lad who lives off hard tackles. Today he was a little ill at ease, but in the second half he shook off most of his reservations and got stuck in. When I see how many tackles he won, I cannot be anything but pleased.’ Indeed, Van Marwijk was pleased with the performances of a number of players. Especially Robin van Persie, who came on late to score his first ever goal in the first-team. ‘Robin did well. His performance reflected the impression I’ve gained of him these past few days. Van Persie has made a good impression since we started training.’ Bonaventure Kalou also got a compliment from the coach. ‘Bona did well this evening, and I thought Pardo played well. And also Brett Emerton showed that he still knows what’s expected of him.’ Van Marwijk was relatively forthcoming about why he kept American keeper Joe Cannon on the bench, instead of testing him out against good opposition. ‘No, I wasn’t prepared to go that far. We only have a couple of friendlies before the league starts up again. So I don’t want to chop and change the team every time. If we had led 3-0 or 4-0 at the break I might have considered letting Joe keep goal for half an hour. I didn’t. I don’t need to, because you get a good impression of a goalie in training sessions.’ Besides, as the coach pointed out, Patrick Lodewijks earned his place. ‘He saved us a couple of times in the first half,’ Van Marwijk stated.
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