Due articoli per celebrare la squadra rilevazione della Eredivisie 2010/2011.
Negli ultimi vent’anni l’ADO Den Haag ha rappresentato il lato più oscuro del calcio olandese. Tifoseria violenta, partite sospese per cori antisemiti, ammutinamenti nello spogliatoio, la fuga di uno sponsor per timore di ricevere un danno alla propria immagine. Ulteriore problema: l’Ajax. Una rivalità ferocissima con il club di Amsterdam, soprattutto per i tifosi dell’ADO, la cui sfida con gli ajacidi è spesso diventata un semplice pretesto per sfogare mesi di frustrazioni. Quest’anno non sarà così.
ADO Den Haag-Ajax, in programma domenica al Kyocera Stadion, sarà soprattutto una sfida sportiva. La quinta forza della Eredivisie contro la terza. Un incontro ad armi pressoché pari, come non accadeva da tempo immemore. Perché i brutti, sporchi e cattivi d’Olanda si sono di colpo riscoperti bravi e belli. Hanno già vinto in casa di Ajax e Psv Eindhoven; il primo evento non si verificava dal 1986, il secondo addirittura dal 1971. Partito per salvarsi, l’ADO si è ritrovato in piena zona Europa League. Dalla frustrazione all’ambizione in pochi mesi.
Nei pronostici di inizio anno l’ADO era atteso da un’altra stagione all’insegna di sangue, sudore e lacrime. Del resto la squadra guidata da John van den Brom era stata costruita a costo zero tra prestiti (il rottame Dmitri Bulykin, in disgrazia nell’Anderlecht, e il carneade slovacco Frantisek Kubik), pallide promesse da cinque partite belle l’anno (Wesley Verhoek, prodotto del vivaio) e ragazzi provenienti da squadre dilettanti (Lex Immers e Jens Toornstra). Oggi tutti questi giocatori sono rivelazioni. Il russo Bulykin è vice-capocannoniere della Eredivise con 17 gol; Verhoek è il terzo miglior assist-man del campionato; Immers non fa più notizia solo per il logo dell’ADO tatuato dietro la schiena, ma perché primeggia nelle classifiche di rendimento. Ma la favola nella favola è rappresentata da Toornstra, diciotto mesi fa in Tweede Klasse (la quarta divisione olandese), oggi in odor di nazionale dopo essere diventato uno dei cardini dell’under 21. Il brutto anatroccolo ADO è diventato un cigno.
Fonte: La Gazzetta dello Sport - Extra Time
In Den Haag the world is upside down. Up until last summer, the city’s main club side, ADO (short for Alles Door Oefeningen – ‘Everything Through Practice’) was considered the very example of everything a football club should not be. Hooliganism, dressing room bust-ups, racist abuse from supporters and financial decline. For the last few seasons, ADO have hit the headlines in Holland for all the wrong reasons and, despite being considered a sleeping giant of the Dutch game, have never advanced further than repeated Eredivisie relegation battles.
This season though ADO look to have rediscovered their pride and the word frustration, too often associated with their progress – or lack of – by the club’s fans, has been replaced with ambition. The Den Haag outfit look set for a spot in Europe and, along with Groningen, the Yellow-Green are the Eredivisie’s “best of the rest” behind title contenders PSV Eindhoven, FC Twente and Ajax.
With 45 points from 26 games at the time of writing, ADO sit fourth in the league. And the side coached by John van den Brom are close to setting a new club record, with 52 goals scored so far. With eight games left, ADO need just another 13 to equal the record number they achieved in the 1975/76 season. ADO are a competitive team, built with little money lavished on transfers. All their key performers either arrived on loan, were bought from an amateur club, or developed by their own youth system. But amidst all the superb displays, it is the heroics of a quartet of stars, who could well be known as the fantastic four, that have formed the basis for the side’s success:
Bulykin has been reborn at ADO after two unimpressive and unlucky seasons with Anderlecht and Fortuna Dusseldorf. “I seriously thought about hanging up my boots”, admitted the Russian striker. Now, he is glad he didn’t. Last August, Bulykin joined ADO on a one-year loan from Anderlecht after a successful trial. It was not easy for the Russian at first however, with not all at ADO agreeing that he could reach the level of fitness required to play in the Eredivisie. “You are too fat”, the striker was told after just one training session. “Here you can see only muscles”, said Bulykin defiantly after tearing off his jersey and pointing to his chest. The Russian quickly became a regular in ADO’s 4-3-3 system, developing a good understanding with his team-mates, Wesley Verhoek, Frantisek Kubik and Charlton Vicento. 17 goals and six assists in 26 games has made Bulykin a firm fan favourite at the Kyocera Stadion, with supports singing the Russian song “Kalinka” every time he finds the back of the net.
A hometown hero, Immers is Den Haag born and bred, as the ADO badge tattooed on his back would suggest. “One thing is certain”, said Immers after his Eredivisie debut on 24th August, 2007, “I will never play for Ajax”. The Den Haag native is an attacking midfielder, but can also operate effectively up front, as has been the case this season when Bulykin was sidelined with injury. A player who runs for the whole 90 minutes, the 24-year-old’s vitality and endurance are vital for ADO. Last summer, Immers was close to moving to Italy where his parents live. “Without a serious offer, none of our talent will leave ADO”, said chairman Mark van der Kallen. ADO fan number one Immers (six goals and three assists so far this season) agrees: “Only a bid bigger than the distance from Den Haag to Tokyo will make me move from here.” The ADO faithful hope even that would not be enough.
ADO’s brains and heart, at the beginning of 2009 this left sided midfielder still turned out for amateur side Alphense Boys in the Tweede Klasse C – Dutch football’s fourth tier. Less than two years later however, and Jens Toornstra is one of the Eredivisie’s finest young talents, making his debut with Holland’s Under-21 side and scoring his first goals with both ADO and the “little Oranje”. Spotted by Holland’s press officer Kees Jansma, who was impressed by his qualities, a suggestion to the Den Haag-based side that they snap up Toornstra did not go unheeded. Following the youngster’s first few accomplished displays in the Eredivisie, Holland was gripped by the “Toornstra case”, as a nation asked how good scouts in the top flight really are if they could let Jens Toornstra’s talent go unnoticed. Since his debut on 4th December, 2009, the 22-year-old midfielder has missed just one game. This season Toornstra has three goals and three assists to his name for ADO.
Wesley Verhoek made his ADO debut in the 2004/05 season, however until 2010 the winger was considered a typical inconsistent, if talented, player. This season though Verhoek’s career has skyrocketed, with Eredivisie giants Ajax and PSV Eindhoven knocking loudly on ADO’s door. The 24-year-old is currently ranked the fifth best performer in the league and third best passer, with eleven assists to his name so far. Scoring has been on the agenda too, with seven goals scored, the most important of those being at the Philips Stadion against PSV, a strike which was crucial in securing ADO a famous 1-0 win, their first in Eindhoven since 1971. Verhoek also bagged the winner against Ajax at the Amsterdam ArenA. “The last time ADO won in Amsterdam was in 1986”, said Verhoek, “just five weeks before I was born.”
Fonte: Inside Futbol