Monday, May 03, 2010

Bryan Ruiz for FC Twente (v NAC Breda), 2 May 2010

The Dutch Eredivisie Review on ESPN has become one of the 'must watch' TV programmes in my household on a weekly basis. I don't know quite what it is that endears me to Dutch football ahead of watching, say, the Bundesliga or La Liga, but watching promising players on the way up (and some geniuses on the way down) is somehow more interesting that watching household names at the peak of their powers.

This season has been terrific, and it culminated yesterday in a deserved first ever league triumph for little FC Twente, under the stewardship of Steve McLaren. It's difficult to oversell the job that McLaren has done at Twente, guiding one of the league's smallest sides (their Grolsch Veste stadium holds just 24,000) to the title. Twente were broke as recently as a decade ago, and even last season after their record second place finish they still had to sell their best stars to keep afloat.

Twente's 2-0 win at NAC Breda is their first ever league title and guarantees the club a spot in the Champions League group stage. I suppose a comparison would be St Johnstone winning the SPL title, or perhaps Fulham winning the Premier League.

A word of praise also for Martin Jol's Ajax who ended up just a point behind Twente with an astonishing goal difference of +86. I fully expected PSV to be Dutch champions this season, and so for both sides to eclipse Fred Rutten's side is a great achievement.


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Anyway, nice for Schteve. They were what we call the underdogsh.....