The Eredivisie has lost it’s edge, and the gap between The Dutch top league, and the Dutch national team is too great, according to Netherlands boss Guus Hiddink.

  • By Spencer Steevensz
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hiddinkdjnbdThe new Netherlands boss fears the Eredivisie no longer provides the development it used to, and players must leave the league if they want to continue they’re growth and become world-class players. Citing Stefan De Vrij, who just moved from Feyenoord to Serie A’s Napoli, as an example of a player who will gain more out of the more intense competition in Italy than Holland can provide.

The Netherlands survived for a long time on their famous youth academies, especially Ajax, which consistently produces top talents. However, other big clubs in Europe have adopted the same system, taking away that edge. Eredivisie clubs have gotten into a pattern where teams like Utrecht and Groningen promote teenagers to their first team, sell them to Eredivisie giants like Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV, who then sell them to major European clubs in England, Spain, Italy and Germany.

While this has been extremely financially beneficial to the clubs, it has made the league a selling league, not a buying league. And, not a league that challenges in the Champions League like it used to.

KNVB director Bert Van Oosteren agrees saying, “We have to be innovative… Big money has become increasingly important in European Football, where we previously made the difference in knowledge, that’s no longer sufficient.”

Hiddink gave a subtle nod to previous coach Louis Van Gaal, hailing his decision to stir the pot. He said, “We must be very critical of ourselves… we must not lose sight of our knowledge and principles, but realism can be a very beautiful thing.” Dutch football has been consistent for too long, with the staple 4-3-3 attacking formation. Van Gaal changed to a more defensive 5-3-2 system for the World Cup, focusing on counter attacks. This proved vital in winning tough games against Chile and Mexico. However, he could switch back to a 4-3-3 with one substitute, giving the team the versatility it required to win against a surprisingly tough Australia.

Spencer Steevensz (104 Posts)

I'm a digital/social marketer out of Chicago. I grew up loving Dutch football - total football is the only way to play. I support PSV in the Eredivisie, and whatever team has the most Dutch guys on it in any other league. Hup Holland Hup!