The 2017/18 Eredivisie season kicked off this weekend and gave us our first glimpse of what to expect from all eighteen sides. Michael Bell takes you through some of the talking points from matchday one. 

Still plenty of Goals

The one thing you can rely on from the Eredivisie is that there is always goals and this season looks to be no different. Over the first weekend’s action there were 37 with no game finishing with less than three. ADO Den Haag and Sparta were the only teams to fail to register with Vitesse and PEC Zwolle the most prolific so far with four goals each.

Feyenoord’s front three are creating a deadly partnership

Last week in the Johan Cruyff Schaal, Jean-Paul Boetius set up Nicolai Jorgensen to net the opener and the two combined again to break the deadlock against FC Twente on Sunday. The duo already look to have a good understanding along with Steven Berghuis, who headed in the winning goal. I predicted Jorgensen to be top scorer this season and although its only been one week, I am feeling pretty confident that the Dane will keep netting with the service he is getting from the wings.

Brandley Kuwas should be at a top three club

Kuwas impressed last season for Heracles and was on the cusp of a call-up to the Dutch national team under Danny Blind. That never materialised as he switched to Curacao and so far to my surprise, he has remained in Almelo this summer. Other club’s loss is so far Heracles gain with Kuwas outstanding in the win over Ajax on Saturday. He not only set up Paul Gladon for the equaliser but then curled in an excellent winner to seal Heracles first victory over Ajax in 52 years. With three weeks still left in the transfer window, will Heracles still be able to keep hold of their star man?

Sanchez will be a big loss for Ajax

Ajax fans will have been devastated by the news that Davinson Sanchez wasn’t included in the squad for Saturday’s match with Heracles as rumours of a move to Tottenham increase. They will have been even more distraught after watching their side lose 2-1 in Almelo, their first defeat to Heracles in 52 years. De Ligt and Viergever never looked comfortable in the centre of defence and its a big worry for Marcel Keizer with a Europa League qualifier with Rosenborg later this week. Should Sanchez seal a move to England, then new defensive recruits will be a must for Ajax.

Lozano looks an exciting prospect

PSV’s start to the season has been far from convincing but in Hirving Lozano the club have a huge talent that looks set to be one of the most exciting players in the league. He scored an excellent equaliser on Saturday before going on to hit the crossbar and have a shot cleared off the line as he tormented AZ’s defence in the first half. He was quiet after the break, but PSV fans will be happy with what they saw from Chucky and with his unpredictability and erratic finishing he will be a fun watch in the Philips Stadion.

Football can be a horribly cruel game. Just ask Calvin Stengs

He is only 17 but Calvin Stengs came into the season with such excitement surrounding him after his performances in the European play-offs at the end of the last campaign. He tore PSV apart in the opening stages of their match on Saturday before suffering a horrible knee injury which looks set to rule him out for months if not the whole season. A cruel moment for Stengs, who is a huge prospect. We can only wish him well as he recovers.

Vitesse and Utrecht look strong

The fight for fourth spot is already looking a good battle this season with Utrecht and Vitesse starting with two strong performances, while AZ looked decent at PSV. Vitesse hammered NAC 4-1 with new signings Tom Matavz, Thomas Bruns and Bryan Linssen all scoring. The Arnhem side looks much stronger than last season and with plenty of options on the bench such as Luc Castaignos and Mason Mount they will be aiming high.

Utrecht also looked strong as they dismantled ADO Den Haag 3-0 with new striker Cyriel Dessers already looking a good replacement for Sebastien Haller with a double. Erik ten Hag’s side have a strong core with Janssen, Ayoub and Dessers, while the unpredictability of Zakaria Labyad make them a match for anyone in the league.

VVV Venlo are ready for the Eredivisie

After a four year absence, VVV Venlo returned to the Eredivisie on Saturday evening and swept Sparta Rotterdam aside 3-0. Maurice Steijn’s side looked electric going forward with Vito van Crooij adapting perfectly to top flight football as expected. The winger not only scored, he got an assist and hit the woodwork in his first Eredivisie appearance. VVV look strong all over the pitch and if they keep up this standard they will finish the season well above the drop zone.

Never underestimate Excelsior

I found myself once again tipping Excelsior for trouble this season but the tiny Rotterdam club got off to a winning start with a 2-1 win at Willem II. The smallest stadium, budget and squad in the Eredivisie, but Excelsior always seem to find a way to surprise, even with crucial players such as Nigel Hasselbaink leaving.  Zakaria El Azzouzi and Wout Faes look like very decent signings for Mitchell van der Gaag’s side.

Dumfries a big asset for Heerenveen

A signing which may have escaped under the radar, Denzel Dumfries left Sparta for Heerenveen and the young right-back couldn’t have had a more impressive debut. Solid at the back, Dumfries contributed two assists to put his side 2-0 up at the break. In the second half he was let down by his defensive teammates who conceded two penalties in a 3-3 draw. A promising start in the Frisian line up for Dumfries, who has the ability to be one of the countries finest full-backs.

Michael Bell (59 Posts)