Koeman's Feyenoord Close Gap on Eredivisie Title Rivals

Liam NewmanContributor IFebruary 10, 2014

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - JANUARY 30:  Feyenoord Manager / Coach, Ronald Koeman looks on during the KNVB Dutch Cup match between PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord Rotterdam at Philips Stadion on January 30, 2013 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The Eredivisie roller coaster ride continued this weekend with several twists and turns. When all was said and done, it was Ronald Koeman's Feyenoord who were the big winners as they find themselves back in what is becoming an intensely exciting race.

This time last week, Feyenoord were fourth in the table and were realistically looking at Europa League qualification. However, back-to-back wins—supported by dropped points from each of their three rivals—have helped the Rotterdam giants reignite their Champions League aspirations.

After drawing 1-1 at home to Vitesse on Jan. 31, De Stadionclub trailed their fellow Champions League hopefuls by five points. With FC Twente also three points clear with a game in hand, Feyenoord's chances of claiming that runners-up spot looked almost impossible.

What difference a week makes.

Whilst Feyenoord recorded comfortable wins by following Tuesday's 2-1 away win against Roda with the emphatic 5-1 demolition of NEC, their rivals have all dropped points over the last seven days to breathe new life into the Rotterdam club's campaign.

Most notably, Vitesse continued their poor form by picking up just a single point from two home games. Those five dropped points at the GelreDome saw them surrender their title challenge, and perhaps more tellingly, it also allowed Feyenoord to complete an incredible turnaround by leapfrogging the Arnhem-based club.

Meanwhile, FC Twente's 3-2 loss to PSV on Saturday also sees them joined by Feyenoord on 43 points—although the 2010 Eredivisie champions do still hold that one-game advantage. The fact Ajax also dropped points, courtesy of a surprising 1-1 stalemate at PEC Zwolle, simply threw another spanner into the works of what could still be a very close-run race to the title.

Incredibly, Feyenoord still seek a first championship of this century. Having last lifted the Eredivisie title in 1999, the Rotterdam club have been stuck on 14 wins for a decade and a half; should Koeman end Ajax's dominance, then it would be one of the club's greatest-ever achievements.

The likelihood of that happening is still slim, but Feyenoord won't be throwing the towel in just yet. After a trip to NAC Breda this weekend, the Rotterdam side then face back-to-back challenges of Twente and Ajax.

If Koeman can mastermind six points from those key encounters then maybe, just maybe, the Eredivisie title will be heading to De Kuip for the first time this millennium.