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  • Writer's pictureOscar Schulze Casademunt

Questions Mount as FC Groningen Lose Ground in Eerste Divisie

FC Groningen’s fans voice frustration after last week's loss to FC Den Bosch.

Euroborg stadium from outside © Oscar Schulze

Last week’s clash between the Pride of the North and FC Den Bosch ended in bitter defeat for the home side, who dominated possession but conceded three without response.

Tom Vetger (31) is a fan and the content manager of FC Groningen and he admits that the match made for grim viewing, disappointing those who attended the highly anticipated match.

“I was really excited,” he begins, explaining that the long gap between the last fixture – a hectic match won in the last minute by FC Groningen against Helmond – and Friday’s match led to big expectations.

“There was hype and fun around the stadium,” he says and, despite the Groninger tradition of pessimism, home fans felt confident.

The Martin Koeman statue outside Euroborg © Oscar Schulze

This optimism was eventually dashed, however, with FC Den Bosch netting two goals in a fifteen-minute spell in the second half and rubbing salt in the wounds with a third in added time.

“It breaks my heart,” Tom says, “we didn’t show what we were capable of.”

Tom described the atmosphere as “miserable,” conceding that “lots of people left the stadium.”

An unknown FC Groningen fan channeled his frustration into abuse, wishing a miscarriage upon FC Groningen forward Kevin van Veen and his pregnant girlfriend.

Van Veen shared a screenshot of the message on X but has now deleted the post amid backlash at posting the identity of the abuser.

While clearly very few fans go to these lengths, Tom says that the mood around the club is a little uncertain, following big expectations.

Future expectations

“We, as a club, stated quickly that we have to be promoted,” he explains, an ambition backed up by heavy investment in the summer.

FC Groningen’s net spend during the summer window sits at around €686,000, the second highest in the league.

Given the financial leap of faith to get back into the first division, Tom is concerned about FC Groningen’s chances this season. “We have to do a better job,” he admits, recognising the difficulty of escaping the Eerstedivisie. “It’s like a swamp, like a trap,” he says.

Despite Tom’s worries, the Pride of the North find themselves in a stable position. The club have dropped from third to eighth, but are two points away from second-placed Den Haag, an indication of the fierce competition among the top half of the table.

FC Groningen will be bolstered by the return of defender Marco Rente, who comes back into the side after serving a one-match suspension.

They will hope that the German, who has played every match this season, can shore up a defence reeling from the battering against FC Den Bosch.

The team hopes to close this small gap with tomorrow’s visit to NAC Breda, who are sitting just above the relegation zone in sixteenth.

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