Steve McClaren’s FC Twente side claimed the Eredivisie crown yesterday by winning the final game of the season.
Twente went into the game knowing only a win would guarantee them the Dutch title and as it turned out, the only result that would have with Ajax winning their final league game.
The team from Enschede faced a difficult trip to NAC Breda who themselves needed a win in their attempts to get into the Europa League playoff places.
Twente had the advantage early on when NAC midfielder Csaba Fehér was sent off for a two footed lunge.
Steve McClaren’s side took the lead two minutes after the red card when Brian Ruiz scored his 24th league goal of the season when he took advantage of a poor first touch at the back. Twente had chances to get another goal before half time but couldn’t finish any of them. With Ajax winning 3-0 at half time the Tukkers knew a drew would mean they would end up in 2nd place.
FC Twente finally got a second goal in the 74th minute when Slovakian Miroslav Stoch, on a season-long loan in the Netherlands from Chelsea, scored a classy curling effort from an acute angle. The Tukker fans finally had the tension released as they knew NAC didn’t have the ability to come back from two goals behind when down to ten men.
How the final day of the Dutch Eredivisie season unfolded
The full time whistle signalled the first Eredivisie triumph in FC Twente’s 45 year history; going back to the history of the two Enschede club’s that merged to form Twente the first since Sport Enschede’s 1926 title. FC Twente finished the season with 86 points from 34 games with 27 wins, 5 draws and only 2 losses. Multiplying those points up, if the Dutch league was a 38 game season like the Premier League the Tukkers would have finished with 96 points; the record points total in the Premier League is 95 set by Chelsea in 2004/05. That shows the amazing level of Consistency the side has had this season.
The scenes at the final whistle in Breda
In winning the league, Steve McClaren became the first English manager to win a major European League since the late Sir Bobby Robson, who encouraged McClaren to take the Twente job in 2008, won his second consecutive Portuguese Liga title with Porto in 1996 (we know you expect EFA to have a better knowledge on this area than the mainstream media, yes we remember that Roy Hodgson won the Danish Superliga with FC København in 2001 and lower down on the league standard ladder Mark Miller won the Maltese Premier League with Hibernians last season. Lets just class a ‘major European league’ to be one in the top ten of the UEFA Coefficient rankings).
Two years in the Netherlands have repaired Steve’s reputation to an even higher level than when he led Middlesbrough to the UEFA Cup final in 2006. Joining after what McClaren himself admits was ‘a failure’ with England to achieve what many fans would have said was impossible on his arrival in Enschede, to lift the Eredivisie trophy. Whatever your opinion on his as an international manager, Steve McClaren is a club manager that many fans around Europe would be proud to have as their own.
Eredivisie trophy presentation – FC Twente 2009/10 Champions
Below is a video with the Twente team coach driving back home down the A1 being cheered by thousands of supporters, reaction of the fans watching the game on a big screen in Enschede, plus interviews with Bryan Ruiz, Blaise Nkufo and Steve McClaren (there are also interviews with Dwight Tiendalli and two with Joop Munsterman in Dutch but they are not that long)
The coach trip home, fans watching the game in Enschede and interviews