FC Groningen

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Eredivisie

Round 15

2021-12-03 20:00:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2021/2022

FC Groningen

In


Cyril Ngonge (att) RKC Waalwijk, Radinio Balker (def) Almere City, Peter Leeuwenburgh (gk) Cape Town City FC, Jan Hoekstra (gk) Roda back from loan, Marin Sverko (def) Saarbrücken, Neraysho Kasanwirjo (def) Ajax U21, Michael de Leeuw (att) Emmen

Out


Arjen Robben (k)(att) retired, Sam Schreck (sp)(mid) Erzgebirge Aue on loan, Sergio Padt (r)(gk) Ludogorets

All in all Groningen had a positive 2020-21 season having finished the regular season in 7th position and therefore having reached the qualification for the playoffs. A calculated risk was signing Arjien Robben one year after his official retirement, however, as feared, the former Bayern champion was unable to contribute much due to constant injuries and he has now retired permanently. Coach Danny Buijs in three years has given a clear and defined identity to the team, a solid defense, but in attack relies too much on the search for the opponents' mistakes. The statistics tell the story. They had one of the best defenses, but the worst attack with only 40 goals scored. With Buijs retained as coach, a utilitarian and cynical game is expected for this season too, a tight defense and long throws to the attackers. The coach's defensive philosophy also influenced the summer transfer campaign, as they bought three new central defenders. There were two signings in attack, Michael de Leeuw, who had done well last year with Emmen, and right winger Cyril Ngonge from RKC Waalwijk. The main change took place between the posts as the trusted goalkeeper Sergio Padt was sold to Ludogorets and was replaced by former Ajax U21 Peter Leeuwenburgh.

Target


The goal will be to maintain a position just below the top teams, it is difficult to think that Groningen can do better than last season, in fact they are more likely to navigate in the middle of the table.

Season Review
2020/2021

№7: FC Groningen

All in all the season of Groningen was positive, they finished the regular one in 7th position and were eliminated in the playoff semi-final from Utrecht. They had a steady performance, alternating almost regularly wins (noteworthy the one with Ajax), defeats and draws, and fought for fifth place until March, then the performance dropped sharply and scrapped only 8 points from their last 10 games. Coach Danny Buijs in three years on the Groningen bench has given a clear and defined identity to the team, a solid defense, but also an unspectacular play that in attack relies too much on the search for the opponents' mistakes. Their strengths and weaknesses immediately leap out from the main statistics, Trots van het Noorden conceded only 37 goals making them Eredivisie's fourth best defense. However, they only scored 40 goals, making them the third worst attack along with Emmen and Willem II. The difficulty in finding the way of the goal is evidenced by the fact that no player reached double figures, Strand Larsen with 9 goals and El Messaoudi with 8 were Groningen's top scorers. Groningen in the summer transfer market had made the most bombastic purchase of the whole Eredivisie signing Arjen Robben. However, the contribution of former Bayern Munich was very limited, due to continuous muscle injuries, he played only 173 minutes in the regular season. Striker Alessio Da Cruz's season was positive, while two important midfielders like Matusiwa and Lundqvist were slightly below expectations. However, as mentioned, the defensive department was the one that showed the best things, above all goalkeeper Sergio Padt, who unfortunately will play for Ludogorets next season, and Japanese centre-back Ko Itakura.


Player of the Season: Ko Itakura

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