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Date posted: 09-05-2023 20:05:00
The mission failed. ADO Den Haag had to and would be promoted to the premier league this season, but the club has not claimed that for a moment. Six reasons why things went terribly wrong at ADO this year.
Unrest and ambiguity
From the start of the season until the dismissal of Dirk Kuyt, ADO seemed like a washing machine of unrest that never stopped. Only part of all the turmoil: technical manager Daryl Janmaat resigned, Thomas Verheydt and Ricardo Kishna came up with a transfer request and a statement to their own general manager and trainer Dirk Kuyt on November 24, a few hours after a game of padel with the selection , dismissed.
At ADO in that period it was more about peripheral matters than about football, which meant that the players from The Hague certainly did not play better football. Reijntjes and the invisible owner Bolt failed to maintain or create peace within the club during that period. There was peace in the first few months after the arrival of Advocaat, although there has been some noise on the line in recent weeks. After all, there is uncertainty within ADO about the filling of the crucial positions for next season.
There is still no general manager, technical director and trainer appointed. It is now clear that there must be clarity on May 19, but all that time the lingering owner Bolt kept silent and no one at ADO knew where he stood. It caused frustration for Dick Advocaat, among others, who spoke out strongly about it.
The lack of clarity also affected the group of players and therefore the performance, said an irritated Lawyer after the duel with Jong Ajax. “I can’t use it as an excuse, but you can sense that players want to know where they stand.” The question then remains whether ADO should not have performed after all.A season earlier, with the imminent bankruptcy, it was not quiet either and good results were achieved.
The role of the trainer
Nevertheless, a trainer is ultimately responsible for performance. It was never possible under Kuyt. There were weekly system changes, it was often open house in the defense of The Hague and the tactics devised by the Katwijker turned out to be ‘too difficult’ for the ADO players, something that Kuyt later also commented on. Under his leadership, the club took only sixteen points in sixteen games, so that he was in seventeenth place at ADO when he was dismissed.
A mitigating circumstance for Kuyt was the long lasting blow of the dramatic match against Excelsior. ADO had to play with a smaller audience due to the riots. And after the biggest disappointment of their career, the players had to get up again for duels with TOP Oss and Helmond Sport instead of Ajax or Feyenoord. No player reached his level of a season earlier. That does not alter the fact that Kuyt failed and the weak start of the season hung like a millstone around ADO’s neck for the rest of the season.
This makes it clear that Lawyer has gotten more out of the group and the failure of this season can be blamed on him to a lesser extent. At the same time, ‘De Kleine Generaal’ recently said that he would also blame himself if ADO did not reach the play-offs. Because the fact is that Advocaat was also unable to make a play-off worthy formation from the errant ADO.
Failed selection composition
Denzel Hall, Titouan Thomas and Mario Bilate. Of the thirteen acquisitions this season, only three could be labeled ‘successful’ in the most favorable case. In the preparation, ADO made every effort to have all positions occupied twice, but as a result, more was thought in terms of quantity than quality. And that while several basic players left The Hague after last season. A simple conclusion: then your quality deteriorates considerably.
For example, there was no successor for Sem Steijn and ADO had many of the same type of midfielders, without much depth. The most striking example of the failing purchasing policy is the recruited central defenders. Three players were brought in to replace the Herve Matthys-Jamal Amofa duo, but only one of them – Daryl Werker – makes sporadically minutes. Of the other two players, one has left (Dirk Carlson) and the other plays in ADO under 21 (Gylermo Siereveld).
Everyone at the club from The Hague has their own truth about who has been responsible for the selection composition. The fact is that it completely failed this season.
Not a fighting machine
This season, the team from The Hague was nothing like last season’s successful fighting machine under trainer Giovanni Franken, in which the players fought for every metre. The over-my-corpse mentality and doggedness was missing. What was especially striking: there was no one at ADO who seemed to be able to say ‘this far and no further’ in difficult matches. There was no lower limit.
Boy Kemper drew a rock-hard conclusion after the duel with Almere City: ADO failed this season in terms of sharpness and lethality at the crucial moments. It is not for nothing that the team from The Hague gave away 22 points this season after a lead, even in matches in which a victory was vital. That reneging at crucial moments is something that sounded more often after duels from the team from The Hague. It was regularly about an inexplicable ‘lack of sharpness’. ADO was never able to maintain a certain (basic) level for ninety minutes.
In addition, the team did not have the mental toughness to overcome any setback, incomparable to last season’s mentally strong team. In any case, this season did not fan the fire at ADO that burned so fervently in the past year. If that doesn’t burn, you’ll fall through the ice in a competition like the Kitchen Champion Division.
Insufficiently relying on strong holders
Players like Gregor Breinburg, Boy Kemper, Thomas Verheydt, Dhoraso Klas and Ricardo Kishna, all strongholds last season, will be self-critical enough to realize that they have not shown it enough this season. There was nothing left of the super couple Breinburg-Klas. Kemper sprinkled with assists last season, but only succeeded twice this season.
Kishna later joined, but was unable to make his mark, failed to score and provided only one assist. And Verheydt, although he must rely on a good supply and performed well in the last weeks of the season, did not come close to his monster number of 37 hits last season. The players that are important on paper have not been able to carry ADO this season, so there is never a stable basis
used to be.
Last season, ADO scored 76 goals, this year only 47 so far. It says everything about another major problem for the team this season: the lack of goals. For example, the Advocaat team is only slightly better than number 17 FC Den Bosch (44 goals) in terms of the number of goals. ADO didn’t get enough chances and when the team got the chances, the low shot conversion of 10.1 percent (only five teams are doing worse this season) broke the team.
There were also few patterns in the team from The Hague that it could fall back on in terms of attacking play. For example, Verheydt (twelve goals) was not achieved enough this entire season. Joey Sleegers (one goal) barely got into scoring positions and only sporadically midfielders punched dangerously
by entering the enemy’s penalty area. In the end, ADO was seriously short of goals at the end of the stage.
The only thing left for the team from The Hague this season is to make the best of the last two matches for the supporters, to then cry and start again. And that to a season for which nothing – from contract extensions to a general manager, technical director or trainer – is yet clear.