Berghuis is willing, but he shares in the Rotterdam malaise



Lovro Majer (10) has scored for Dinamo Zagbreb, 2-0. Feyenoord is defeated.EPA image

It’s not like he’s hiding. Steven Berghuis keeps asking for the ball on the right side, in the center circle, sometimes even on the left. But the magic seems to have become hidden in the left leg for a moment. And then the captain of Feyenoord is just an average football player instead of a gifted pioneer with a superior kick. Sometimes he even becomes a danger to his own team if he suddenly slides in with two legs on an opponent with the risk of a red card. His shoulders start to slump, his head drops down and no one pulls him out of the pit, because only coach Dick Advocaat roars a bit along the side.

The dependence of Feyenoord van Berghuis has been mentioned before and also made a difference at home against Dinamo Zagreb last night. Feyenoord lost 0-2, but because Wolfsberger won at CSKA Moscow, a victory at Wolfsberger’s visit next week is enough to hibernate in a not too tough group.

Not an impossible task, the Austrian provincial club won well in the Kuip (1-4) but with a bizarre amount of arbitral help, in that respect, the Feyenoord against the Croatian opponent was not really that easy last night. But it could not do anything in an offensive sense. “It does not happen automatically with us,” said Lawyer coach, biting his tongue to avoid burning his team.

That was certainly not only due to Berghuis. He had unimaginably little support from the men around him, one of whom is still a boy and others seem eternally boyish. Because striker Jørgensen was suspended, winger Linssen had to play in the striker again, but he retired after a fruitless half hour with muscle complaints. In front of him came the still frail 18-year-old Bannis, while left winger Narsingh again did not radiate a shred of self-confidence. The midfield was too busy with themselves to support the forwards.

In fact, that is not really anything new. But Berghuis has regularly shared a lot in that malaise in recent weeks, where he showed a great form with the Dutch national team. Balls regularly jumped off his left foot against Dinamo, which must feel to the attacker as if he suddenly could no longer eat with a knife and fork. He could hardly take shots or crosses, at least not with his feet. He did once with his head in the seventieth minute when he headed the ball in front of Bannis, but he mauled it hopelessly. It turned out to be the only real opportunity for Feyenoord, Dinamo didn’t get many either, but used two of the three.

Dinamo received a penalty on dubious grounds in injury time in the first half. Afterwards, the lawyer was rude about it, as was the other decisions of the British arbitrator Kavanagh. ‘We got nothing. A Brit like that suddenly starts whistling very severely on the mainland. ‘ At the same time, he denounced his center-back Spajic who went to the side with dizzy spells and a head wound after a head duel when Lawyer should have left him in the field, because then he could have brought in Botteghin as a replacement. Dinamo took advantage of the surplus situation. Attacker Kastrati saw his shot being turned by Feyenoord goalkeeper Marsman, but just received a penalty from Kavanagh when he lay down after a duel with Kökcü. Striker Petkovic took advantage of the opportunity cold-blooded.

Spajic did not return after the break. This brings the total number of injuries to nine, while in addition to Jørgensen, back Nieuwkoop was also missing due to a suspension. Of course that does not help either.

Shortly after the break, Feyenoord immediately had to accept the next setback when the talented dribbler Majer scored the 0-2 after a decisive attack and a turn around his axis. For a moment Feyenoord seemed to escape due to possible offside, but the goal was still rightly awarded.

Feyenoord only scored the first goal attempt via a header from Senesi after almost an hour, but after that too the conviction was lacking.

The lawyer grossly overestimated Dinamo’s experience and class when he concluded afterwards: “You play against an excellent team with internationals who know what is being asked.”

He was right about the lack of cleverness and determination of his own team. ‘The only positive thing is that no one has been expelled. We need to mature. And hopefully we will have the referee with us next week. ‘

It will be just as important that Berghuis gets well again. Lawyer wisely kept silent about this.

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