Steven Berghuis prepared to wait to earn his spurs

If things had worked out differently the Berghuis brothers could have been playing against each other this afternoon.

Tristan Berghuis, the younger of the two, apparently turned down a contract offer from Tottenham Hotspur in 2011 after impressing during a trial. His father, Frank, felt staying at Vitesse Arnhem was best for the development of the then 15-year-old midfielder.

Tristan, left, during his trial at Spurs

Now with the Under-21 side of top-flight Dutch side PEC Zwolle, Tristan is enjoying a winter break and is staying with his older brother in Hadley Wood for the festive period. He will be at Vicarage Road this afternoon to see just how well this Watford side are playing and what a job Steven has on his hands to claim a place in the starting XI.

Picture (plus main) by Paul Dawson

“Everyone is looking at Watford, I want to be part of it,” Steven Berghuis said in an interview with Hornets Player. “That’s normal. You have to wait and work hard in training. Sometimes it’s difficult, sometimes it’s frustrating.”

Quique Sanchez Flores is pleased with Berghuis’ attitude and sees him, one day, playing much more of a role than, say, Victor Ibarbo, another winger. Berghuis will have received a huge mental tick against his name when he asked Dean Austin if he could play for the U21s last week.

Picture by Paul Dawson

“He came to me before the game against Liverpool and said, ‘You are not in the squad, can I do something for you?’ I told him I wanted to play in the second-team game. I just want to play a game and get some confidence back, score a goal and get some confidence back.”

Berghuis mentioned confidence several times during the short interview. He wouldn’t be human if his esteem had not been hit in going from the star turn at AZ Alkmaar and a national team call-up to not even making the squad for half of Watford’s games this season.


“The team is doing well and the players in my position are also doing really well,” he said. “I have to play different to how I played in Holland. Here I am an outside midfielder, not a winger.

“[The U21 game was] good for your strength. For me it was like a bit of extra training, to get the ball and get confidence back. It was important. If I’m needed I’ll be ready.”