With five points from as many games, fans of Feyenoord, though disappointed, will hardly be surprised at the teams fortunes following the mass exodus that took place during the summer transfer window. The question on everyone’s minds will be ‘where do we go from here?’

  • By Adrian Bucher
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It’s May 3rd, 2014, and, for the third consecutive season, Feyenoord saw out the final match of the Eredivisie season with a points tally second only to Ajax. With a young squad at the disposal of, then head coach, Ronald Koeman, things the future looked promising for the side from Rotterdam. Fast forward a few weeks, and it is now September 13th. Five games into the new season, and things could not be more different. After dominating proceedings against Willem II at De Kuip, Feyenoord were unable to avoid defeat as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against the newly-promoted side.

Of course, following the transfer market that they did, few would have expected De club aan de Maas to mount any sort of title challenge. Following Feyenoord’s string of impressive seasons, as well as the strong showing of the Dutch national team during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the club was picked apart by Europe’s more affluent leagues. With their defensive spine having been ripped out, as well as the loss of their star striker and manager, a revolution has taken place at Feyenoord – a revolution that feels about as welcoming to Feyenoord fans as the Cuban Revolution was to Americans in the late 1950’s.

The high-profile arrivals of Kenneth Vermeer (Ajax), Luke Wilshire (Dinamo Moscow), Jens Toornstra (Utrecht), as well as the injured-upon-arrival purchase of Khalid Boulahrouz (free) have, as yet, failed to produce the results that Koeman’s Feyenoord would have wanted. But this is no longer Koeman’s Feyenoord. It is Fred Rutten’s. The appointment of the Gelderland-native undoubtedly disappointed fans, whose most high-profile managerial contributions were a mid-season sacking by Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga, and three trophy-less seasons at the helm of PSV – hardly the man to lead the campaign to bring the Eredivisie title back to Rotterdam for the first time since the 1998/99 season. However, the reality is that things could be much worse, though Saturday’s showing against Willem II may have suggested otherwise.

Feyenoord failed to carve out meaningful chances against the team that spent last season in the Eerste Divisie. With two-thirds of possession, a woeful forward line led by Ruben Schaken, Mitchell de Vrede and Jean-Paul Boëtius produced a shooting accuracy of 21%, and that would have been much lower had the latter two not been hauled off in favour of Elvis Manu and Colin Kazim-Richards, who scored Feyenoord’s only goal to give them a chance of salvaging a point. In all honesty, Feyenoord had looked largely dormant throughout the game, and did not look like threatening the Willem defense until after they went 0-2 down. Things are not all doom-and-gloom, though.

Rutten’s men did boast a passing accuracy in excess of 80%, and were able to win many of the aerial duels. New arrival Kenneth Vermeer, though sluggish from guarding against the cross that led to Willem II’s first goal, showed a marked improvement as the game went on. The defence should look tidier once Boulahrouz returns from injury – yet this Feyenoord still lack the necessary personnel in order to mount a serious title challenge to defending champions Ajax and the once again mighty PSV.

Results need to improve and fast, as Feyenoord presently find themselves closer to relegation than they do of a place in the Europa League play-offs. Of course, it is understandable that this is very much a period of transition for the Rotterdam outfit, but after having led commendable assaults on the Eredivisie crown in recent seasons, a higher standard should be demanded of the players than they one currently on display at De Kuip, with the side having failed to register a win since their opening fixture against ADO Den Haag. Patience is an understandable request by the management, but so too are results, as demanded by the fans.

Adrian Bucher (39 Posts)