Dennis van Noort is the Editor Hand in Hand for the Magazine of the official Feyenoord Supporters Club and has sent me this piece on our two new Dutch imports.
It is fair to say he will miss them and we may have gained a fan or two !
Emotions were running high, that day in De Kuip. As we just beat our “beloved” rivals Ajax –thanks to a John Guidetti hattrick- captain Ron Vlaar grabbed the microphone. And he made sure everyone who was there will never forget the afternoon.
Later on we would finish 2nd in the league, qualifying for Champions League play-offs. And that was, for a big part, thanks to Ron Vlaar and Karim El Ahmadi. Vlaar as captain took his responsibility in pre-season, informing the club that most of the players didn’t want to work with then-coach Mario Been anymore. Been left, being replaced by Ronald Koeman. Karim El Ahmadi came back from the desert. Now he was back, to show he was really one of the best midfielders in the Dutch Eredivisie.
A season later, both are now at Aston Villa. Our loss, especially as we were pretty close in securing a new long term deal for Karim El Ahmadi. Unfortunately, Villa came by, and Karim wanted to go. He will be missed here. Not only because he is a tremendous footballer, but as a person as well. Amazing technique and control, playing pure football. As one of his colleagues in the Dutch league once said: “Karim can play at Real Madrid, such is his ability.” Ron Vlaar, together with Karim and MCFC’s John Guidetti, guided Feyenoord to 2nd place last year. He got the rewards in EURO2012, where he was in the starting 11 for Holland for two of the three matches. Inspirational captain, leader in our team of really young players.
Vlaar will be a fans favourite in no-time, as he was at Feyenoord. Give both Karim and Ron some time to adapt to the Premier League, as it is a much more demanding league. And given time to adapt, I’m sure Aston Villa will have bought two bargains in Ron and Karim. And also in Brett Holman, who will be a good addition to the squad.
One question remains here in Rotterdam: could you please stop now buying our best players?