AZ players long for Champions League football
I love this pic. The story attached to it is so Van Gaal…
AZ is the top club in Holland this season. Defined as such in points in the tables, but also in terms of the number of foreign scouts and coaches visiting. Almost every home game, chairman Scheringa receives a list of scouts from all the big clubs from Spain, Germany, England, Scotland and Italy.
Still, the management in Alkmaar hopes and thinks that the number of players leaving will be limited.
Most players feel their adventure isn’t over yet. Next year, they get to play Champions League football under CL-winner Louis van Gaal.
Technical director Marcel Brands follows the proceedings around his players closely. ” I doesn’t just apply to the first team players,” he says “Some clubs are also after our talents. But none of the clubs announced their interests formally. And let’s face it, the players know what they have here. It’s always a big question mark whether they will get to play at that illustrious big club. See Drenthe, or De Ridder or Van der Vaart…”
Van Gaal didn’t have to deal with an European campaign this season. Next season, the width of the group will be an important factor. After the summer, AZ’s players (most are internationals as well) will have a full program.
Maarten Martens, AZ’s creative brain…
AZ is currently working hard in the background to renew a lot of contracts with one or two years. The idea is to increase the deals, making it more interesting for the players to stay and making the eventual transfer sweeter for the club. Argentine goalie Sergio Romero is one of the first to sign.
It’s remarkable how most players claim to be fit for the last games leading to the title. Defender Moreno (broken bone in foot) is fit again, goalie Romero wants back into the team and Moisander claims to be ready for his position in defense.
It will be busy for Van Gaal on the bench. AZ could win the title tomorrow against NAC, against Vitesse next week or against Ajax on April 26.
Van Gaal thinks it’s most important to keep his players happy where they are. “Money isn’t everything for them, and they know it. Maarten Martens is our creative force on midfield. He’s one of our leaders. But at the Belgium national team, he is totally ignored. Spent two games on the stands, last week. He was devastated but happily drove back to Alkmaar, because he knows how we think about him. But…whenever that big opportunity presents itself and one or two players can not only make a move to a really big club, but also make much more money…what can you say, you know? We really want all these guys to have a great career.”
The success of AZ this year is a wonderful story. Alkmaar is a neat and interesting city, and I am pleased for the success their team has enjoyed. van Gaal continues to prove that he is a highly gifted manager, continuing to be successful at different teams, with different players and strategies. A temperamental “genius”, to be sure!
Posted from United States
I hope AZ can really impress in CL. they have good enough players, better defenders than PSV and Ajax: Moisander, Klavan, Luirink, Moreno, Pocognoli, Swerts and Donk, Koenders out on loan.
Read that about V.d.Wiel too, it’s really a shame people who comment there have such a bad view about dutch defenders , someone said no world class except Jaap Stam, that’s nonsence, what about Ronald Koeman, Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Krol, Frank de Boer, Wim Suurbier. No matter, in a few years we’ll be laughing with the talent coming up.
BTW, apparently the new Real preses want to sell just about every dutchie except Huntelaar, it would mean bye bye to Robben, Sneijder, V.Nistelrooij, V.d.Vaart and Drenthe, i could see why the last two would leave, but getting rid of you’re only very experienced “natural” deep striker, you’re best player on the wings and one of the best midfielders in europe is pretty stupid if you’re going for C.Ronaldo and Kaka as replacements, that won’t do them any good, i have yet to see Ronaldo excell in really important games, and Kaka is a good player but hey, Sneijder is just as good only a different type of player.
Posted from Netherlands
but it came from Marca so not to be taken seriously
Posted from Netherlands
marca is like a gossip magazine. they speculate a lot but no one knows what perez wants. their problem is that there are too many dutch players at real like 5-6 years ago at barca. 2 or 3 would be enough. and they could say as well. “hey,we are the european champions and we have only 2 spanish international at real and even liverpool have more. why?” the problem with real is not the results but their style,the way they are playing.
sorry guys because i don’t comment too much az alkmaar – i’m happy for them,but the simple reason is that i don’t see them (and this year my main football focus is on barca). i follow oranje but the preliminary games are never interesting,i’m not too excited to watch b-class teams. it’s obvious that oranje will qualify for the wc and things start to be interesting after the qualification. international football is less exciting in the years when there are no european and world championships. the usual suspects always qualify for the big tournaments. more interesting is to test some talents. for ex. i really would like to see van der wiel. unfortunately i saw ajax versus marseille but he didn’t play. or schaars.
Posted from Hungary
AZ has a very good team with a lot of leaders in it so hopefully we’ll see them having success in the UCL next year.
Marca wants Huntelaar and Van Nistelrooy but they don’t want Sneijder, Van der Vaar and of course they don’t want Drenthe. About Robben they say that he is not a profitable player because he is always injured although I know Real won’t sell Robben.
Why doesn’t anyone ask me about the story about Van Gaal and his plaster & wheelchair???
Jan ? What’s the story about Van Gaal and his plaster & wheelchair???
Posted from Singapore
Ah…what a great question!!
Well, if you’ve watched the 1995 CL finals against AC Milan, you’ll remember how the big French bloke – Desailly – tried to kick the ball off an Ajax player’s head (can’t remember who, Kluivert, Rijkaard maybe…). Van Gaal thought it was dangerous play and in an effort to attract the attention of the fourth official and probably also to spice his team up, he copied Desailly’s move along the touch line. It was captured by the cameras and replayed many times. I’ll try to find it on YouTube. This huge, lunging, Bruce Lee Style massive flying karate kick!
Anyway, the ref ignored it totally, both Desailly’s as Louis’. But in Holland, people thought Louis was quite the hero to be able to pull something like that off.
So, some years back, Louis was doing a public speaking stint somewhere and some dude asked him about it. And basically said, could you do it again and teach us how to do it . So Louis, always in for a challenge, in his suit and tie started to explain what happened and what motivated him and blablabla and then he proceeded to demonstrate his kick again on that stage! But the bloody stage was slippery and Louis was 12 years older and he was wearing slick Italian leather shoes and WHAM!!! He fell – in front of all these people – and broke his leg, hahahahahaaaaaaa….
He had a bit of a laugh about it too, of course.
Oh… how embarrassing the man can be
Here it is
At the 0.42 mark you’ll see Desailly and then Van Gaal, also in slomo… Classic stuff. And watch how Van Gaal talks to Kluivert before he brings him on…
In 1995, I was impressed with 4-3-3. Ajax had the real wingers: Overmars and Finidi George. They also had Jari Litmanen. They still had Rijkaard. Perfect! But, what AZ have now? I hope that they can do what Ajax did in 1995. Explosive! People in the world still talked about AC Milan at that time…..
Posted from Indonesia
Well, AZ does have Dembele… In the Litmanen role. A tad. They have Schaars/De Zeeuw… El Hamdaoui can score a goal. Martens is the playmaker. Romero a very exciting goalie. And they have Louis!!
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