BERG WILL NOT SIGN

Johann Berg joined AZ Alkmaar in 2009 but the club has announced that the 23 years old midfielder will be leaving at the end of the season during the summer. The Eredivisie club was planning on extending the contract of the young player but Berg will not be penning a new deal.

Berg has spent time playing in the Premier League with Fulham and it is expected that he will be joining the English club on a free transfer. Erik Falkenburg, Raymond Gyasi, Erik Heilblok and Paul Kok are other players of AZ Alkmaar that will be also be seeing their way out of the club in the summer.

AZ Alkmaar is one of the remaining clubs battling it out in the Europa League but they suffered a 0-1 loss against Benfica and have to face off against the Portuguese club on March 10 in order to play the 2nd leg but only this time it will be played on the home turf of Benfica.

The Portuguese side are favorites on winning the match and advancing into the next stages of the Europa League but the head coach of the squad, Jorge Luis stated that even though his team are clear favorites on marching their way past AZ Alkmaar, it will still be a big accomplishment if they do manage on getting into the semifinals of the Europa League.

AZ Alkmaar’s Dick Advocaat considers Benfica to be a powerhouse of a team as he praised his opponents.

‘’Last season Benfica went into the finals of the Europa League as well as their league and right now they are at the top of the Primeira League ( Portuguese league) which shows just how well they have been and still are performing throughout the past few years’’. Advocaat said.

REINA LINKED TO AZ

Napoli manager Rafa Benitez has not ruled out the possibility of the club making an offer to Liverpool for the permanent transfer of goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who is on loan at the club till the end of the season. After falling out of favour following the arrival of Simon Mignolet, Reina joined Napoli in the summer on a season-long loan deal. He has performed exceptionally well during this period. It has prompted rumours that he may stay at the Italian club on a permanent basis. Meanwhile, the have been rumours about Reina becoming a transfer target for Barcelona, who were searching for a replacement for Victor Valdes.

After they have decided to bring in Marc-Andre ter Stegen for around £ 10 million, their interest in Reina has come to an end. The presence of Mignolet as the number one at Liverpool also makes a return to Anfield impossible for the Spaniard. As a result, it is quite conceivable that he may stay at Napoli provided the club makes a € 6 million offer for the 31-year-old. Benitez was the manager responsible for bringing Reina to Liverpool. However, after his exit, the performances of the Spaniard have dropped considerably, but it has improved once again after being reunited with Benitez.

“He reads the game very well and is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Will he stay at Napoli? He has a clause and we know it – meanwhile he should continue to do well until the end of the season,” said Benitez after a recent match. It is also understood that in recent weeks that Reina has a release clause that allows him to join other clubs provided they pay a fee of around £ 4 million. It is highly likely that Napoli will not think twice about paying this fee.

HIGHS AND LOWS

Az Alkmaar is going through some highs and lows in the current season of the Eridivisie but more recently it is becoming evident the lack of consistency which the team of Martin Haar and Dick Advocaat are going through. The latest 7 matches has seen them claiming 3 triumphs as they are starting to fall behind in the league due to the number of points being dropped.

In one week, Alkmaar managed to overcome a club located at the top of the league (Vitesse) but the next match saw them suffering a 2-1 defeat against a team which is struggling on the bottom section of the league (Go Ahead Eagles)

The surprising victory against Vitesse has now put in danger the chances of them securing the league title of this season and allowed Ajax on clearing the way at the top of the league with 54 points with their nearest rivals, FX Twente having only 48 points.

Even with the recent number of negative results, Alkmaar still are enjoying a fairly better season than the previous one which saw them ending the last campaign at the 10th spot while now they are located at the 7th position.

Ajax got their way to the top of the Eridivisie league after scoring 4 goals past Alkmaar in a match that saw both teams going head to head at the Amsterdam Arena and Ajax got ahead in the scoreboard since the 4th minute of the game when Siem de Jong gave his team the early lead.

Goals from Lerin Duarte and Ricardo Kishna extended the lead of Ajax to 4 goals on an encounter that the home home side had dominated since the opening few matches of the encounter and Alkmaar Zaanstreek could do little to deny them the victory.

ARSHAVIN BACKS ARSENAL

Former Arsenal striker Andrei Arshavin, who was once the club’s record signing, has stated that he feels confident that Arsenal will finally be able to end their trophy drought and even win the Premier league title this season. After struggling with consistency for most of the last decade, Arsenal have finally been able to put together a run of form that has seen them go top of the table just a month before Christmas. Arshavin was one of the important players of the team only a few years ago, but his poor performances led to the club allowing him leave on a free transfer to Zenit St Petersburg. Continue reading

MARTENS MOVES

Maarten Martens will not be playing for AZ Alkmaar from July onwards. He has made an away move. After the ongoing season, he will be a part of PAOK Salonika which is a Greek club.

The attacking midfielder who belongs to Belgium had been at Alkmaar since the last 7 years. He had signed for the club in 2006 after leaving RKC Waalwijk.

Martens played a total of 164 league games during his tenure at AFAS Stadion and found the net 34 times.

PAOK confirmed the signing of Martens by releasing a statement yesterday. That statement says, “The club has reached an agreement with Maarten Martens. The experienced player from Belgium who is currently playing in Netherlands for AZ Alkmaar will join the club at the start of July. He has been signed for a couple of years which means he will remain at Toumba Stadium till the middle of 2016.”

It’s hard to say whether Alkmaar’s decision to sell Martens at this point of time is right or wrong. They have clearly not secured as many points as they would have liked to in the Eredivisie this season and perhaps, most of the teams would not have let an experienced player go in such a situation, but, they reckoned that this was the right time for them to off load the Belgian player.

The Alkmaar fans would certainly not be pleased with the current position of their team in the Eredivisie points table. The Cheese Farmers have won just 7 out of the 18 matches that they have played in the Dutch top flight this season and they are slotted at no. 8 in the table at the moment. They will face NAC Breda in their next game on 18th of January.

Johannsson impresses Klinsmann and Altidore

Juergen Klinsmann, the manager of the United States football team and forward Jozy Altidore have praised Aron Johannsson,  the twenty three year old AZ Alkmaar striker who made a stunning thirty minutes cameo in Friday’s goalless match against Scotland. Most of the time, he played up front along with Altidore of Sunderland.

After the game, Juergen Klinsmann stated that the couple could now guide the attacking players together from the beginning of the match, suggesting that this could happen in Vienna on Tuesday against Austria.

Former German footballer Juergen Klinsmann told that this is something that they have been working on. Even from the start, when they have been introducing as a substitute player. He added that Aron Johannsson is fresh to their team and he is getting comfy in the group. And he assumes that everyone sees these traits of him. Therefore, it is good to see this development process. If they want to field him with Jozy from the start, that is an option. He has the confidence to carry out that role if they ask him to.

Jozy also felt that he could connect with Aron who is in a very good form in Holland. Till now, in this season, Aron had scored fourteen goals for his club AZ Alkmaar. Speaking to reporters, Altidore told that it is almost two years that he has told people about his quality. One could see from his touch that he is very comfortable in tight places.