Spitsenland par excellence? Things are not getting along with the Dutch goalkeeper

Myron Boadu controls the ball, Perr Schuurs covers briefly during a match between AZ and Ajax in December 2019.Image GuusDubbelman / de Volkskrant

Naoufal Bannis himself thought that he was ready for a basic place, after the 18-year-old Feyenoord striker had experienced a dream of a raid on 1 November when visiting FC Emmen. He scored a penalty kick and scored the winning goal.

The basic place was not there. In the winter break, Feyenoord brought in a 32-year-old Argentinian reserve striker, Lucas Pratto, as a competitor for the 30-year-old Dane Nicolai Jørgensen. Bannis will likely be hired, as will another Dutch Feyenoord striker Dylan Vente.

Things are not getting along with the Dutch center forward. Only six have a basic place in the premier league, most of them are tried and tested. While the Netherlands is called a peak country par excellence. Johan Cruijff, Marco van Basten, Patrick Kluivert, Ruud van Nistelrooij, Roy Makaay, Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar blossomed here.

Makaay: ‘The pressure is particularly high at the top clubs. Van Nistelrooij and I started at a lower level. Bannis simply hasn’t shown it during his raidings yet. In a top club you actually have to make 20 to 25, whether you are 18 or not. ‘

AZ, the opponent of next Sunday, has succeeded in recent years as one of the few premier division clubs in each time to bring a Dutch striker to the kick-off. After Vincent Janssen, Wout Weghorst and Mats Seuntjes, the young Myron Boadu now has the confidence.

Great for development

A big advantage for AZ is that it has had a high-level U23 team for years, unlike Feyenoord. “Myron already played against executioners of guys at the age of sixteen”, outlines former professional and AZ youth coach Martin Haar. ‘He had to avoid them, but sometimes also compete, that was great for his development.’

AZ would prefer to train strikers themselves. Ferdy Druijf pedaled behind Boadu. After his departure, the rented Jelle Duin was brought back, there are also high expectations of Mexx Meerdink, but perhaps even more of the 17-year-old Yusuf Barasi, who already made his debut against Napoli. Her: ‘Yusuf is incredibly skilled at the ball. And a real goalscorer. ‘

The latter is difficult to learn. Her lists a whole list of skills that they try to teach in the youth academy of AZ (touch on the ball, diagonal runs, coming to the first post, heading, training the lesser leg), but ‘scoring goals, you have or do you have that not ‘, he says.

Makaay agrees: ‘Otherwise you can pick everyone off the street and make it a top striker.’

Van Basten

AZ benefits from the lessons of former strikers who were in the technical staff in the past, such as Piet Keur, Shota Arveladze and Marco van Basten at the strikers and taught the youth trainers, says Haar. ‘Marco was really busy with the youth.’

Feyenoord appointed Makaay as striker coach and then Van Persie. Makaay: ‘As a former striker you know what is being asked, what is coming your way. I think it is very valuable. ‘

Haar lacks the sheer urge to survive in Dutch youth. ‘You have to get them behind, while Graziano Pellé (Italian striker, ed.) was working on his own every moment of the day to get better. ‘

More and more speed and agility are required from strikers. The classic striker who merely speculates on crosses dies out.

No hierarchy

Haar: ‘There is no hierarchy anymore. If in my playing time at Go Ahead that cross did not come on striker Cees van Kooten, then that winger got incredibly on his falie from Cees. Will not happen anymore. ‘

Makaay: ‘Outside players have become goal scorers themselves. They come in a lot to shoot themselves, that started with Robben and Berghuis often does that too. ‘

At AZ, the advancement of the backs has been optimized so that the passes now come from them. Yet Boadu, who has just turned 20, is 13 goals behind his production of last season (17 to 4). Her: ‘That’s difficult. “Yes, Myron you only made four, how is that possible?” He keeps hearing. That gets into a young guy’s mind. ”

Makaay: ‘When I didn’t score for Bayern for a while Bild how many minutes I had already been dry. You don’t see that happening easily with a midfielder. You have to be able to handle that, especially at a top club, striker is really an experience. ‘

Patience is not only lacking with the clubs, but more often with the strikers themselves. A striking example is Kaj Sierhuis, trained by Ajax. This has raised the bar in recent years and recently even bought a striker for 22.5 million euros (Haller).

Wide field of view

Sierhuis went to FC Groningen, but eventually opted for the French Stade Reims where he often sits on the bench. ‘Then we are forced to look further’, says the technical director of FC Groningen, Mark-Jan Fledderus. The ease with which nowadays players can be analyzed all over the world via specialized websites has expanded the scope. This is how Fledderus ended up with the Norwegian Jörgen Strand Larsen, who had not yet scored much for his club Sarpsborg, but on the basis of data Fledderus recognized his talent.

Beach Larsen is well on the way with 7 goals, just as the Greek VVV striker Giakoumakis (16 goals) and the Brazilian Twente striker Danilo (11 goals) are doing very well. Fledderus: ‘You have to be lucky. That first goal should not be delayed for too long. Then fans and trainers get impatient. ‘

Bannis already scored that first goal, but dropped in the pecking order at Feyenoord, although Jørgensen and Pratto also cannot break pots. Makaay: ‘He has to be patient. The Dutch competition remains the best platform for those guests. ‘

6 Dutch strikers

Myron Boadu (AZ, 20 years old), Donyell Malen (PSV, 22), Finn Stokkers (RKC, 24), Henk Veerman (Heerenveen, 29), Michael de Leeuw (FC Emmen, 34), Michiel Kramer (ADO The Hague, 32).

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