After ten matches in the 2013-2014 season, there is no team with more than five wins in the Dutch Eredivisie. While there shouldn’t be any clear champion at this point, having only six points separate the top team (Twente) and the 11th place club (Go Ahead Eagles) does make for a very exciting league, which we usually do have in the Netherlands.
More than anything, this suggests the continuing escape of top talent from the big clubs, as Ajax and PSV fail to hold on to their best players each summer. There’s not enough money to keep players from joining the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A or the German Bundesliga, which means building new squads from scratch every two years, as Ajax are trying to figure out something new after winning three consecutive titles.
It is worth mentioning that Ajax have already played the whole of the top 10 so far, which means their schedule has been tougher than anyone’s else. But in any case, there’s been a lot of ups & downs in their matches, including a 4-0 defeat in Eindhoven to PSV, while beating Go Ahead Eagles 6-0 only six days later.
Twente, the “best” team in the Netherlands, aren’t the poster child for stability, beating Feyenoord 4-1 on the road but drawing at home 1-1 with Ajax and losing at Vitesse, among other results. They’ve yet to play PSV, in any case.
The Dutch league losing talent usually affects the big clubs more than anything, which does help Twente and AZ (who have been experiencing a decline in recent years) get closer to title contention and European spots, but it’s obviously a sign of this league simply not being able to present itself as a strong one in terms of having teams good enough to compete in the Champions League. Due to the economic differences from other big leagues in Europe, the Dutch league is nothing but a feeder division for those who are truly strong, even when it comes to former European champions like Feyenoord, Ajax and PSV.