Meanwhile, coach Fred Grimm sharply entered the danger zone. Who would have thought that when Willem II, who played safely on the last day of play last season, started this season in style. After seven games, Tricolores finished well in third place behind Ajax and Feyenoord and it looked like Willem II was heading towards a carefree season. But to the 16 points Grim had collected at the time, only two more points were added in the twelve subsequent duels.
At first glance, the first leg against PEC Zwolle looked like an excellent opportunity for Willem II to turn around after the disaster streak ahead of the winter break. Until last night, the last player had won only once this season and was also suffering from the necessary injury and Corona issues, which made a poor rinse for coach Dick Schroeder.
PEC Zwolle attempted to get the match postponed, but the KNVB did not go along with this, disappointing the residents of Zwolle. When the squad form was submitted, it turned out not to be wrong, because PEC Zwolle turned out to be able to make a perfectly acceptable team with all the players who were a lot at the base in the first half of the season as well as possession Osama Derflo, the contracted striker of Speed. The pain was also mainly in the small occupation of the benches, where, in addition to the young players, it mainly happened to players who were not normally available because they had just recovered from an injury or Corona.
Willem II may have already considered himself a bit wealthy because of all the wreath letters from Zwolle, but that turned out to be completely wrong. Tillberger made a sad appearance in Zwolle and the way he prevented the home team 1-0 was remarkable. Left-back Derek Cohn suffered a stinging defeat in the 16-meter area by BEC Rotten Zwolle’s Bram Van Boelen, who sent a fine pass to Thomas van den Pelt. He put the ball behind goalkeeper Timon Willenrother (1-0).
A huge blast for Willem II, who has had to deal several blows lately. The atmosphere in Tilburg sank below zero with a field occupation by angry fans during the training camp in Ostervik, the departure of goalkeeper coach Harald Wabeinar, who could not get along with coach Grimm, and a fight in the group of players, with goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther getting into a fight With Kwasi Wriedt, Derrick Köhn and John Yeboah, the German-Ghanaian squadron of choice.
With Vincent Schippers and Elton Kabango replacing Max Svensson and Kohn, Willem II continued to hunt for an equaliser after the break, but the team didn’t radiate any urgency whatsoever. A shot from Ché Nunnely was the greatest achievement, while PEC Zwolle put in a good defensive performance with Schreuder’s 5-3-2. PEC Zwolle’s compensating goal followed after good prep work by Darfalou and again Van den Belt was Goldcrest (2-0).
The first victory in the competition led by Dick Schroeder, who took over from Art Langeler this season, was no longer at risk at the time. Once upon a time Willem II was still threatening via alternate Gorkim Saglam, but the PEC did not flinch. Building on the strong group, PEC took a deserved second place of the season, which means the Zwolle people now have nine points. It’s still nine points short of Willem 2, but if the two teams can continue last night’s streak, it won’t be long before they come close to each other in the standings.
See results, location and program in the Eredivisie here