Power changing hands in Holland?

...Fading powers?

Over the past decade, PSV Eindohoven and Ajax Amsterdam have dominated the dutch league and won the Eredivisie title with PSV winning six times to Ajax’s two. Only former champions Feyenoord tried to break the duo-poly.

So, it was an extraordinary feat performed by Alkmaar Zaanstrek in the 2008-09 season. Louis Van Gaal led the Alkmaar based club to Eredivisie glory. It was AZ’s first league success in 28 years and it was a different feel of a new champion in a league that had been dominated by AFC Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord in almost three decades.

AZ started the season with two losses but after that the Alkmaar-based club remained unbeaten for 28 games, leading the chasing pack of FC Twente and Ajax for the entire season. AZ had the best defensive record in the Eredivisie however, Van Gaal’s departure for Bayern Munich was a big loss – AZ struggled the following season. Their league success appeared to have ignited confidence in other smaller teams.

FC Twente who finished runners up to AZ in the 08/09 season, went a step further in 2009/10 season. after missing out on the qualifying rounds of the lucrative UEFA Champions league, the Enschede based club took the Eredivisie challenge up. The Steve McLaren led side went from strength to strength as they finally clinched the league title on the last day of the season and won its first ever league title in its 45 years of existence. The victorious McClaren decided to go for a new challenge in Germany but his exit hasn’t been catastrophic to the Enschede club. They appointed Belgian coach, Michel Preud’homme for the 2010/11 season. They competed in the group stages of the UCL and finished third behind fellow debutant Tottenham Hotspur and defending champions Inter. Their European adventure continued in the Europa league until they were eliminated by Spanish side Villarreal in the quarter finals. Despite European distractions, the Reds are in pole position to win retain the Eredivisie title. With one game to go, the Tukkers are a single point ahead of closest rival Ajax and will need a victory to win the league title back to back.

Are we already seeing the new forces in the Dutch football?

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