In this article, we will be analysing the top five contenders for the Eredivisie championship in the season 2018/19. The top five contenders are PSV, Feyenoord, Ajax, Vitesse and AZ. All teams have used there transfer budget to the maximum leading to the teams having a whole new squads and possibly tactical systems. £76.6 million has been spent in total this transfer window with all teams striving to capture the Eredivisie title. This season looks to be the most competitive, most challenging, most unpredictable season to date.
PSV have a quality squad with a new manager Peter Bosz, who was appointed half-way during the last season due to Philip Cocu leaving to join Manchester City. There is a lot of pressure under Peter Bosz's shoulders, however he looks to be the manager that thrives on that pressure. Peter Bosz actually left Vitesse during last season to join PSV, and he was very successful with them. A particular highlight was winning the Dutch Cup in 2017. PSV have a balanced squad with plenty of squad depth and the betting sites are putting PSV to regain there title in the next season.
Ajax are a side that has fallen greatly in the last two years, they were dominant in 2010-2014 however they have got complacent. They lost that winning edge, that bite that they normally have. They finished 10th last season due to the manager retiring half way through the season. Mario Been, the new manager who joined the club in December looked promising however his squad depth let him down. During the transfer market, he has brought in some quality first-team players in order to ensure they finish in the top 4. The signings include, Gokhan Inter, Almedia, Agostino Floridia, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Musa Nhleko, Phillip Foose, Anthony Berenstein and Renato Ibarra. Spending a total of £31 million in the transfer window, they are taking the upcoming season very, very seriously. Pundits suggest they won't get first, but they will be in the top three.
Feyenoord were phenomenal last season, no question about it. But how long can they keep it up? They must lose and they must get complacent at some point, pundits believe it's going to be this season, they will lose there clinical way and movement about them, just coast this season, leading them into a secure third-place position. Reasons for this suggest is the inexperience of the manager Darius Xavier, he hasn't really been in such a competitive league before twice in a row, he must collapse under the pressure due to how young he is. The transfers were not promising, letting there best player Geraldo , the second top goal scorer of the league slip away to Vitesse who now has 2 clinical strikers. There intake consists of some average defenders while letting there main commander go - Keziah Veendorp to Tottenham. Many believe this is the season that Darius Xavier will be tested.
Vitesse were great last season, they scored the most amount of goals at a huge 102 goals! They were 8 goals ahead of champions Feyenoord. The thing that let them down ultimately was there defensive record, conceding a massive 67 goals, the next highest was 16th place VVV-Venlo (at 67 goals conceded) who was relegated. That is a massive problem for this squad, they need to sort it out however they haven't. They have purchased more attacking players and it's not looking promising. The manager is new which he has to become familiar to the squad. Pundits are suggesting that it isn't Vitesse's year, they could have won the league last year if they hadn't have conceded so many goals.
AZ had a great season last time, finishing 4th place. Which is the highest they've achieved in the last 3 years, this should be taken with respect. AZ are quite a financially deprived club and finishing in the top four against the best clubs in Holland is a spectacular achievement. However, all the other clubs are only going to get better. Ajax has money being pumped into the club, Vitesse going to be scoring more goals and PSV looking for vengeance. Many are suggesting AZ don't have anything to better themselves with. They didn't have the money to buy new first-team players, they didn't have money to hire new coaches or new scouts, they are left with vanilla players. The main reasons why people are suggesting they will finish one below there previous accomplishment is because of the deprived financial issues.
"PSV will be in the top three for sure, but I'm not quite sure if we will be first and it adds much more pressure onto my shoulders as a manager. This is what's predicted of me, I am expected to get first place, and it's daunting. I've looked at the other teams and I wouldn't say we were the favourites, unfortunately."
-Peter Bosz (Manager of PSV)
"Everything in this article is correct, I have been blessed with a lot of financial control regarding the spending in the summer. I have bought the players I thought we needed, we needed squad depth and much more first-time players. I feel we will reach second place by the end of the season. I believe we have the quality, the backroom staff is incredible and I have faith in my self that I can live up to the requirements."
-Mario Been (Manager of Ajax)
"Last season, I was predicted to guide my team to 6th place by this article. Wanna know what I did? I finished first place and remained undefeated throughout the entire season. These pundits suggest that I don't have what it takes to do it again, I say they are wrong and I will prove them wrong this season. I will raise the bar next season."
-Darius Xavier (Manager of Feyenoord)
"Being a new manager at club that focuses on scoring goals is exceptional and I believe we can finish higher then what is expected here. I mean we have a 40 goal striker, alongside the new 30 goal striker is 70 goals in total. With the other squad contributing from set-pieces or any type of play got a total of 50-60 goals last season. Add the new striker and we have 130 goals, that is by far, superior to fourth place."
-Jos Luhukay (Manager of Vitesse)
"Last season was magical, we had this particular flair to us, we played as a team instead of individuals, it was entertaining to watch. I have no intentions of going higher than fifth unless the board requests that I do so. I would be very happy with fifth place."
-Jan Vreman (Manager of AZ)