Monday, August 09, 2010

Eredivisie contest 2010-11


Last year marked the debut of the Out of touch Eredivisie contest, my attempt to turn my singular obsession with Dutch football (which I come by honestly, I promise) into something with a broader following among the rather narrow readership of this blog. For 2010-11, there is already added interest, with arguably Canada's best midfielder, Atiba Hutchinson, signing with PSV Eindhoven, one of Holland's top teams.

I wouldn't say last year's contest was a smashing success (there were only 4 entries), but it did cause some to pay attention to a league they wouldn't have given a second glance. In the end, I claimed a narrow win.

To my mind, at least, that gives the contest enough momentum to try it again. It's really quite simple:
  • You select 2 teams and 2 top goal scorers.
  • You collect 1 point for each point gained by your teams in the league table
  • You collect 2 points for each goal scored by your selected scorer.
Entries can be submitted by email or in the comments. There will be a prize!

The deadline will be Labour Day, which falls on September 6th, which gives you some time to do your research and examine the early returns from the first month of league play.

I am prepared, though, to offer some help.

For picking teams, the bookmakers usually have a pretty good idea of things. This table gives a pretty good idea of which teams are expected to finish near the top. With few exceptions, the order of the top 5 is given as 1) Ajax; 2) PSV; 3) FC Twente; 4) AZ; 5) Feyenoord.

I haven't yet found odds for Eredivisie top scorers (let me know if you've seen this anywhere), but you could do worse than to look at last year's top strikers:

Pos. Player Club Goals
1 Luis Suárez Ajax 35
2 Bryan Ruiz Twente 24
3 Mads Junker Roda JC 21
4 Mounir El Hamdaoui AZ 20
5 Marko Pantelić Ajax 16
6 Bas Dost Heracles 14
Everton Heracles
Balázs Dzsudzsák PSV
9 Tim Matavž Groningen 13
Ola Toivonen PSV

A few notes on the players in this list, starting from the top:
  • Luis Suarez, who you might now have heard of after a certain high-profile incident, may not remain with Ajax for long. He is the rumoured target of several different EPL teams, and could move in winter if he doesn't in August.
  • Costa Rican Bryan Ruiz will remain at Twente, and is a good bet to have a good year.
  • There's nothing sexy about Mads Junker, but he will be staying put.
  • Mounir el Hamdaoui has made the move to Ajax, a team that scored over 100 goals last season. He'll get his share, especially if Suarez moves on to greener pastures.
  • Marko Pantelic is currently un-signed by any team.
  • Bas Dost is only 21, which makes his 16-goal performance of last season remarkable. We'll see if he can repeat that performance.
  • Everton is one of those relatively anonymous Brazilians you see in 2nd tier leagues around the world, but last season was his best ever for Heracles.
  • Balázs Dzsudzsák is hard to spell, but if PSV have a strong season, he and Toivonen will be responsible for much of the scoring load (with support from our man Hutch?)
  • Tim Matavž is a 21-year old Slovenian who plays for Groningen and despite the fact he finished in the top 10 scorers last season I don't remember seeing his name before.
As always, the risk in this part of the contest is selecting someone who transfers out at the Christmas window, like the unfortunate Lord Bob's selection last season of Keisuke Honda.

Choose wisely, my friends.

ENTRIES TO DATE: 2

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