This early-round scoreless draw was a bitty, bitey affair that failed to reflect the enjoyable attack-friendly mantra of Holland’s highest-tier.
Roda’s minuscule Limburg Stadion hosted this Eredivisie 2010/11 curtain-raiser in a Friday evening kick-off, but if followers of the two clubs or casual fan anticipated goals, they went hungry.
Under Michel Preud’homme, Twente look to be continuing in the same unspectacular vein ingrained by the Belgian’s predecessor, Steve McClaren.
2009/10s champions showed their superiority in spells, but Roda’s dogged determination and impatience at the away side’s cynical melina succeeded in its discomfort-inducing mission.
Both sides were guilty of littering this contest with fouls, and although Twente’s midfield trio all invaded the ref’s book, they brutally impeded any swashbuckling counters from the hosts.
Roda could only attack sporadically as deep-lying playmaker Willem Janssen was unable to find a chink in the disciplined walls, and often passed backwards in order to try the direct route.
Alas, this fared little better. Morten Skoubo tried flicking on to the ghosting presence of either Anouar Hadouir or Mads Junker, but Douglas commanded the Dane in particular with unnerving ease.
Junker grew frustrated at Roda’s lack of final-third time, and resultantly, he and Delorge hovelled too deeply to link with Skoubo, or engineer an individual path through Twente’s hungry pressing game.
With Bryan Ruiz frustratingly subdued, Twente’s attempts came via three players. Firstly, Cheick Tioté played the dual enforcer-cum-driver centre-midfield role with gusto, but little end product.
Alongside him was Twente’s own Janssen, Theo, who was also his side’s go-to guy. The all-round midfield man is capable of the delicate or direct, but his shots, crosses and passes were fruitless on Friday night.
Although lone-striker Luuk de Jong showed several neat touches and defence-dragging drops, Przemysław Tytoń’s goal received little attention from Blaise N’Kufo’s successor.
Twente’s third, final, and most enterprising means of attack was Bajrami. His runs beyond Addo were incisive and sharp, dragging Pa Modou Kah across.
The Norweigan centre-back hurried the Swede’s distribution though, and Roda’s midfield were quick to flood the box, clear their lines, and render second-ball shots wayward.
Roda combined patience and frenzy, and although their passing was often slick and calming, it was in areas that caused The Tukkers little bother – their disciplined units weren’t lured into headless-chicken, space-creating chasing.
Roda occasionally tried to increase the tempo by pressing high up the pitch. This forced Nikolay Mihaylov and Carney into sloppy passes, granting the Kerkrade outfit territory, and dragging Twente’s dangermen back.
The visitors perked up in the second half, however, and began to boss proceedings. Their momentum coincided with Ruiz waking up, but the Costa Rican and his teammates were guilty of too many needlessly-intricate through-balls.
Preud’homme’s troops kept probing though, winning a surplus of corner-kicks. Each one saw Janssen target the back-across-goal header-placing decoy with Twente storming Tytoń’s six-yard box.
Unfortunately for the away side, the Pole got his hands to most crosses and corners. He performed well, but had De Jong proved more responsive to parries, that clean-sheet cheque would have been in the secretary’s shredder.
De Jong paid for his profligacy, as Austrian international Marc Janko replaced him in the closing stages. The towering summer acquisition offered Twente a new aerial and physical threat, one they weren’t shy about utilising.
Intriguingly, however, Preud’homme’s first substitution had been to remove the highly potent Bajrami. Oddity aside, his Belgian replacement Nacer Chadli played a similarly direct winger’s game, and maintained the left-flank’s efficiency.
A 0-0 draw suits Roda far more than Twente, and it’s pats-on-the-back to them for a job well done. Twente will no doubt be querying what might have been, wastefulness and impoverished imagination costing them two extra points.
Great to see you commenting on Roda – Twente too…
Not that there were many other options to choose from on that friday anyway. Thought it worth mentioning that keeping Twente from scoring was definitely a job well done from Roda, much credit to their smart high-pressure 4-4-2 diamond-esque formation for that!
Be interesting to see if more team will follow that path in order to disrupt Twente’s strong central midfield triangle!
much appriciated analysis! thanks