Eredivisie: El Hamdaoui compared to Dennis Bergkamp
Signed by Martin Jol whilst he was manager of Tottenham Hotspur, Mounir El Hamdaoui failed to make a single appearance in the Premier League. His only game for Spurs of note was in the Peace Cup in 2005. This season though he is leading the goal-scoring charts.
Ajax striker El Hamdaoui opened the scoring this weekend in the away game at Heracles as his side picked up an easy 4-1 victory to take his goal tally to 11 in 12 league games. He also scored a vital goal in the crucial Champions League second-leg play-off against Dynamo Kiev.
His playing style has drawn comparisons to Dennis Bergkamp and this season the nature of some of his goals have been reminiscent of the Ajax and Arsenal great.
El Hamdaoui scored two great goals in one game – an audacious chip and a brilliant volley helped his side to a home victory against Heerenveen last week – to add to another fine effort against NAC Breda earlier this season.
The Moroccan international was born in Rotterdam – he grew up with Arsenal striker Robin van Persie – and started his career at local club Excelsior, scoring 32 league goals in 74 games. This form gained him a move to England with Spurs.
El Hamdaoui left White Hart Lane after injuries and a lack of opportunities to return to the Eredivisie with Willem II once he completed a loan spell at Derby County.
Despite scoring freely for an AZ side managed by Louis van Gaal, which won the championship in 2009 thanks in part to his goals – only their second title in their history – the striker remained relatively unknown outside the Netherlands.
Martin Jol continued to admire the talent of El Hamdaoui and subsequently signed him for Ajax this season from cash-strapped AZ to replace the departed Serbian striker Marko Pantelic.
The win on Saturday keeps Ajax in third place in the league which will provide a boost for the Godenzonen ahead of the Champions League tie at Auxerre. Mark Clattenburg, the referee at the centre of the controversy at Old Trafford this weekend, will officiate the game.
* Reigning champions FC Twente lead the standings after 12 rounds, this time beating PSV. The Tukkers remain unbeaten in the league, with their 1-0 win in Eindhoven courtesy of a Nacer Chadli goal. PSV were reduced to 10 men late in the game following Jagos Vukovic’s appalling tackle. PSV remain in second place ahead of Ajax on goal difference.
* Groningen enjoyed a 5-3 success at strugglers VVV. The win moves Pieter Huistra’s side into fourth place.
* Roda JC were deprived of fourth place in the standings after a late equaliser by relegation favourites Willem II. The 2-2 draw has given Willem II only their second point of this season.
* Feyenoord remain close to the relegation zone after a 2-1 defeat to AZ in Alkmaar left the De club van Zuid in 15th place.
Picture:EPATagged in: Ajax, AZ, Feyenoord, football, Groningen, Mounir El Hamdaoui, Roda, Tottenham Hotspur, Twente, Willem II
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