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de Rood-Witten

A PSV Eindhoven Story
Started on 19 February 2019 by OohAhCantona
Latest Reply on 9 July 2019 by ScottT
OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona
5 yearsEdited


Today Mark van Bommel was presented as the new manager of PSV Eindhoven, flanked by his GM Toon Gerbrands and Chairman Jan Albers he must have been experiencing a bit of déjà vu. Van Bommel spent a healthy chunk of his early career (1999-2005) at PSV after a six year run at Fortuna Sittard, after which he moved on to Barcelona. He spent time at Bayern Munich and AC Milan before returning to PSV for one last season after which he retired.

A year after ending his days as a player he was on the bench as Maarten Stekelenburg’s assistant manager for the Netherlands U17 squad, his first foray into coaching. He immediately moved on to join Bert van Marwijk’s staff in Saudi Arabia, which was not surprising considering how interconnected the two are. Van Marwijk was van Bommel’s coach at Fortuna Sittard for a year, the Dutch national team for four years, and van Bommel married his daughter in 2001. He followed him to Australia next and pulled double duty that year by returning to PSV as their U19 manager, his first managerial post. Being promoted from U19 to the senior squad shows the club’s faith in his ability, and he will likely begin working with a number of his former players as they graduate to the senior squad.


After a number of stints as an assistant manager under two Dutchmen, and a long career playing for club and country, nobody will be surprised to see that van Bommel looks to set up his team in a 4-3-3. The shape that 4-3-3 will take is the well known 4-2-3-1, a formation that will help him create a more defensive side by taking advantage of two defensive midfielders.

Offensively PSV will rely heavily on the outside backs for width in the opposition third, forming overlaps with the attacking wingers who will play as inside forwards. Crosses inside from the backs, the wingers cutting in to attack, and the deep midfielders arriving late to the box will be van Bommel’s primary approach to breaking down defenses. Things shouldn’t be so difficult in the Eredivisie, but PSV will be tested by league rivals Ajax and international competition. A solid defense will go a long way to keeping PSV active in Europe.
OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona
5 yearsEdited
I'm going to take another shot at this with a side save, this time I won't blow past all my games and find myself seasons behind. Plus, using a club that is a little more strapped for cash will make it harder than my ill-fated Dortmund save (FFP glitch killed it) and help create some drama.
PSV will make for an interesting save, especially with the managerial choice. Looking forward to your posts, as I thoroughly enjoyed the Dortmund story/save.
OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona
5 yearsEdited

2018-19 ROSTER

While van Bommel has a way to go before winning the Champions League is a reality, he certainly has the ability to win the Eredivisie and extend PSV’s streak to two. While there have been some departures only one, Santiago Arias (Atlético Madrid), can really be considered a serious loss. Most of the players added through transfers don’t figure to be starters, but all the pieces are there for a repeat.

A shallow group, though it has one of the best players on the team topping it in Joroen Zoet. Zoet is a bit of an elder statesman here, having come over from RKC Waalwijk in 2013 and at 28 he provides a solid blend of youth and experience. Zoet will be backed up by Eloy Room (30) and relative youngster Yanick van Osch (21), an injury to Zoet would prove to be a serious issue.

Best Player : Jeroen Zoet

Probably the most interesting group mostly because management made a concerted effort to rebuild this group after last season. Of the eight players on the roster five of them are new to the squad through transfers. There is also some interesting flexibility with the chance that a DM will be more connected to this group. The blend of youth and experience here also makes it interesting, with half of them 27 or older and the other half 22 or younger. The flashy name is probably LB Angeliño who joined from Manchester City’s U23 squad for £4.5M, but he’s more likely to start off as a backup to Nick Viergever who is a more experienced player. With his talents he could end the season as the starter, but van Bommel is going to make him work for it. The RB position is locked down by Denzel Dumfries (22) who came over from SC Heerenveen, he will be backed up by a much older player in Daniel Schwaab (29). Based on van Bommel’s system, the outside backs are going to be important and as of now they appear to be up to the challenge.

The CB position has decent depth but few stars, the investments made were small but added some experienced players to anchor the back line. Nick Viergever (29) comes over from Ajax on a Free, and Trent Sainsbury (27) comes from Jiangsu Suning on a Free as well. A player with English and Australian nationality coming over from the Chinese Super League is interesting if not just for the rarity, but he could be worth the gamble since he cost nothing to bring in. Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (26) looks set to be the starting CB, more on his partner in the next section.

Best Player : Nicolas Isimat-Mirin

Definitely the deepest group of players, so deep that they are invading the defenders. There are three starting slots in van Bommels formation, two DM’s and a CAM, but there are four players who really should be getting into the starting lineup. For the DM position it gets crowded with Jorrit Hendrix, Pablo Rosario, and Érick Gutiérrez (transfer from CF Pachuca) all capable starters. This is where the invasion comes in as early indications are that van Bommel will move Hendrix back to pair with Isimat-Mirin at CB so Rosario (BBM) and Gutiérrez (DLP) can team up in the deeper midfield roles. The CAM is where van Bommel is little to work with aside from the unquestioned starter Gastón Pereiro. Bart Ramselaar is the obvious second choice, but at 22-years old he barely has more experience than Mauro Júnior (19) and Bart Ramselaar (21). This group has a lot of bodies and some good starting depth, but injuries could see that change quickly.

Best Player : Gastón Pereiro

Probably the most promising segment of the roster, with World Cup darling LW Hirving Lozano the headliner. Lozano has the LW spot locked down, but he might not even be on the squad when the season opens as big money clubs come calling, van Bommel will do well to keep him in the fold. Steven Bergwijn, who is primarily a LW, is projected to start at RW across from Lozano. He may struggle as an inside forward, as he is right footed, but he’s first in line to take Lozano’s place if he is sold and won’t have issues as an inside forward on the left.

Team Captain Luuk de Jong is firmly the best striker available with the 19-year olds Maximiliano Romero and Donyell Malen backing him up. This is definitely an area where an injury could be very problematic, van Bommel will need to get familiar with the U21 & U19 rosters quickly.

Best Player : Hirving Lozano

Lozano will likely be the target of transfers PSV may not be able to resist.


Thanks to vacations, mainly Hirving Lozano, it was obvious it would take a while for the starting roster to gel together. Things would get worse as Nick Viergever would suffer a groin pull in training, leaving van Bommel even more short handed. A warm up friendly against Jong PSV (an easy 3-0 win) would help get everyone ready for a gauntlet of friendlies, but it always looked to be a tough task to get everyone match ready.

PSV’s friendly schedule was aggressive at the very least, with eight games scheduled (nine if you count Jong PSV) van Bommel’s roster depth would be tested also immediately. With two games a week, many only a day apart, everyone would need get in shape as quickly as possible.

“I’m going to need to take a two-team approach, I have this planned for later in the season, but I think it will be necessary now.” said van Bommel in his opening press conference to address concerns about preseason scheduling.

The “two-team” approach he mentioned became obvious quickly, with the roster split into first and second team lineups that were started in alternate fixtures. Starters from the previous match would be bench subs for the next, and players were expected to play at least 60 minutes a game if not the entire game instead of swapping out at the half. Based on the results, van Bommel doesn’t have much to worry about.

Putting aside the Jong PSV game, or even if you include it the results still shine, van Bommel squad cruised through their schedule with great ease and scored significantly more goals than expected from a “defensive” approach. Nobody is handing PSV any silverware for friendlies, but the results certainly have fans in Eindhoven buzzing. FC Den Bosch (6-0), VVV-Venlo (7-2), IJsselmeervogels (4-0), EA Guingamp (7-0), Cottbus (3-2), and Palermo (5-0) were all easily beaten with both first and second team lineups looking well prepared. The one outlier, Cottbus, was a team of all Jong PSV and U-19 players as van Bommel lined up his first team squad to face Benfica in their last friendly before the Dutch Super Cup against Feyenoord. They went up 3-0 before showing their youth and giving up two late goals.

Friendly (H) : Benfica 1 - PSV 3

This game had been scheduled as a bit of a litmus test, going up against a slightly bigger foreign club to see where the team was heading into the season, and van Bommel passed it easily.

Erick Gutiérrez started the scoring early, and Hirivng Lozano followed up with his first of the game to put PSV up 2-0. Benfica’s scored before the half to make it 2-1, proving the threat of a comeback, but in reality it wasn’t much of a contest. PSV strangled Benfica at every turn and they never really looked like a threat for much of the game. Lozano added a second near the end and sent Benfica packing.

Dutch Supercup (H) : Feyenoord 3 - PSV 1 (P)

After beating Benfica it would seem like PSV would not have much trouble dealing with Feyenoord

Things don’t always go as planned, and things can spiral out of control very quickly. Feyenoord looked to be on their heels for the entire first half as PSV were merciless but could not break the draw. They managed a series of corners that were either blocked by Kenneth Vermeer or headed clear by defenders. Van Bommel went into the half wondering how they were still deadlocked at 0-0.

Things collapsed just a few minutes after the second half started when a Gastón Pereiro red card (49’) put PSV down a man. Feyenoord would manage to hold out for a penalty shoot out as PSV missed numerous chances to win despite being short handed. The final humiliation came when Lozano blow an easy chance to put them up 1-0, but instead they went to penalties where Antonio Marin, Lozano, and Jorrit Hendrix missed the mark to give Feyenoord the win.

Friendly (A) : PSV 4 - Valladolid 0

After the disappointment of the Super Cup, van Bommel was rather vocal about his displeasure with the team. Reports floated out that the team took the hairdryer treatment well, and that their next opponent would face their wrath. Unfortunately for Valladolid, they were the next team to step on the field.

This was about as one-sided as PSV could have hoped for, and definitely showed van Bommel that they can do better when prodded. PSV had the ball for 59% of the game and racked up 38 shots with 15 on target while holding Valladolid to 4 and 2 on target. This was all with the second team squad, Eloy Room could have slept through this game. This turned out to be the moral boost everyone needed before the Eredivisie opener against FC Utrecht.
I have really wanted to use Hirving Lozano in FM, looking forward to seeing how he performs
Some good results for PSV in pre-season hopefully you can carry that form into the Eredivisie


PSV headed into the summer with most of their spending done and a full roster set so there was no pressure to sign anyone. The use of free transfers to fill out the roster left some cash available, but they wouldn’t be able to afford a flashy signing. By the end of the summer they would have the opportunity to make a significant signing, but in the end van Bommel decided he would rather not sell and the player agreed.

Final Transfer List (Impact Signings)
Antonio Marin (LW, Dinamo) £1.4M
Léo Dubois (RB, OL) Loan

With very little transfer funds to work with, just over £2.5M, PSV landed a player that could be a future superstar and provide insurance if Lozano leaves at some point during the season. Marin is a natural on the left but could see some time at RW. They also added some talent at the RB position with the loan signing of Léo Dubois, while expensive he should prove valuable if injuries or schedule force van Bommel to dip into the youth squad.

Luckily for PSV the drama surrounding Hirving Lozano was more of a wimper. Toon Gerbrands and Mark van Bommel received a number of offers that were exceedingly easy to turn down, there was no chance they were going to sell for less than £4M. It wasn’t until late in the summer that they received an offer even remotely close to their valuation as AS Monaco submitted a £20.5M bid. Reports suggest there was some consideration, but ultimately the bid was rejected in favor of keeping the team competitive and Lozano seemed to agree with the decisions. Other reports suggest that Lozano’s agent, Mino Raiola, is waiting for a big-money move to a Premier League club like Arsenal.

Chucky is going to have to wait a little longer for a London address.
I like your writing style here, Marin will obviously be a great signing for you, best of luck!


The middle of August would prove to be an exciting time for PSV, some of it was welcomed while some of it was not. PSV would be sitting patiently for the results of the Malmö FF and APOEL games before knowing who they would meet in their Champions League qualifier.

Malmö FF would draw first blood in their away tie at APOEL after falling behind 1-0 after 19’, but they would come back to take the game 2-1 before the decider at home. A tough draw, 1-1, would suit the hosts nicely as they would advance to the next round. The first game would be at PSV, giving van Bommel the chance to set the tone.

Eredivisie (H) : PSV 4 - FC Utrecht 1
Van Bommel would open the league with an easy win, which was important to get out of the way with one of their best players out injured. Gastón Pereiro would be suspended after his Supercup ejection, so the task of manning CAM would fall to Mauro Júnior who impressed van Bommel during the preseason. While not much was expected of FC Utrecht, it was encouraging to see PSV roll right over them like most of the teams they faced prior to the season.

Nicolas Isimat-Mirin would be the first PSV player to score on the season, heading in a corner from Érick Gutiérrez that would glance off Júnior to put the Rood-Witten up for good. Hirving Lozano, who had a dull preseason even when you take his lengthy absence into account, would score at 33’ to a great collective sigh of relief from fans. Lozano would seem to be just fine, he finished the game with an 8.2 rating and led the team with two key passes along with his goal. Júnior would make it 3-0 after 49’, essentially putting the game well out of reach for FC Utrecht.

The only negative came as the game wound down and a stretch of lax defending gave FC Utrecht’s Simon Gustafson an opening to score at 81’ and he did not miss. A short series of passes put the ball around a tired and uninterested central defense that would let Gustafson walk right in. You would think PSV were down 3-1 based on van Bommel’s reaction. Even Steven Bergwijn making it 4-1 three minutes later, with FC Utrecht looking worn out this time, did little to calm van Bommel’s mood.

Lazy defending will not be tolerated.

With the Champions League matchup set van Bommel would turn his attention to the Eredivisie game against Fortuna Sittard, his first professional club, but as things tend to work out there were other issues to deal with. The day before the opener, completely without warning, Roma would launch a £7.25M bid for Jorrit Hendrix. On the surface it would seem like a decent offer, but Hendrix is set to start in central defense and figures to be an important part of the team. Reports are that van Bommel and Toon Gerbrands declined the offer rather quickly, but that would not be the end of it. Hendrix was informed of the bid and became exceedingly upset that it was not accepted, and a training ground bust up between him and van Bommel ensued later in the day. If that would have been the end of it PSV would have gotten away cleanly, but Roma seemed to smell blood and came back with a loan offer for Hendrix which was also rejected. Roma once again lodged a £7.25M bid, no doubt smelling blood, and when that was also rejected they came back with a £200,000 a month loan fee with the option to make the move permanent at £8M. This was also rejected, Hendrix was just too important to lose this close to the start of the season.

Mercifully, the day would end and the team could move on to more pressing matters.
That stare is bruuuutall
2019-03-07 20:50#255221 Griffo : That stare is bruuuutall

I can't find a more appropriate one for what happens later in the season. Spoiler Alert : That face will be back.
A thumpign 4-1 win to start the Eredivisie campaign, keep it going!


Eredivisie (A) : Fortuna Sittard 0 - PSV 4

With an important Champions League qualification game just a few days away the second team would get their first chance to show they can handle van Bommel’s rotation. It didn’t take long for van Bommel and Toon Gerbrands market acumen to make they look like savvy buyers. Marlon Frey would look excellent manning the DLP role, scoring first at 28’, but then Antonio Marin would explode on the opposition. The 17-year old would score his first PSV league goal at 40’ and continue on to notch his first hat trick and PoM award with a staggering 9.6 rating.

Marin has proven to be an excellent purchase.

All of this was great news as the team had struggled with injuries outside of the first team, but things would only get worse with Angeliño going down after 68’ minutes. After the game the injury would be revealed as a torn thigh muscle that would keep him out at least two months, terrible news for a team that is already thin at LB. Aziz Behich, who came on for Angeliño, will now find himself the second choice LB.

As van Bommel turned his attention to their first Champions League qualifier, he was hit with more unwelcome drama surrounding the Roma-Hendrix situation. Unnamed sources report that a number of players approached van Bommel to voice their displeasure with Jorrit Hendrix not being allowed to leave. Rumors point to Eloy Room, Maximiliano Romero, Mauro Júnior, Steven Bergwijn, and Donyell Malen as the group of players that were unhappy. This resulted in a team meeting as van Bommel was eager to keep any unhappiness from spreading, and it did not go how Hendrix would have hoped. His importance to the roster, and how much weaker they would be as a team, were talking points that changed the agitators opinion on the transfer saga and reportedly ended up in an all around increase in team morale. With that finally out of the way, the narrative could be steered toward the Champions League.

Champions League - Playoff (H) : PSV 5 - Malmö FF 0

After the off-field drama and injury to Angeliño, this game couldn’t have gone much better for PSV. The team still hadn’t qualified, but the result practically finished Malmö’s chances of advancing.

Just 14’ in the home fans were treated to a great opening goal to put PSV up 1-0. Léo Dubois would take on Malmö’s Owen Lewicki, racing around him toward the right corner of the penalty area to launch a cross to the far side of the goal. Lozano came streaking in an hit the ball in stride, pounding it in past Johan Dahlin who didn’t have a chance at stopping it. Malmö would do their best after that goal, but PSV were relentless and would head into the half up 1-0 feeling like they should have been up 5-0 already.

Things really fell apart for Malmö late in the game, after holding out for so long they gave up another goal after 54’ on a corner (Dubois’ second assist) to go down 2-0. They were clearly getting tired, and after holding out again the 74’ must have felt like a gut punch. What must have been the most bizarre own goal ever seen at the Philips Stadion would be a breaking point for Malmö’s hopes to advance. Franz Brorsson would take a pass from Dahlin out of goal, out wide well beyond the penalty area, and when faced with PSV’s aggressive press would send it back to Dahlin to start over. The problem was that the whole exchange happened so quickly that Dahlin was still wide of the goal and Brorsson’s pass was to the far side of the net, Dahlin didn’t even see the pass coming until it was too late.

Érick Gutiérrez made it 4-0 in the 83’ and Gastón Pereiro poured salt in the wound with a penalty in stoppage time. Malmö’s players walked off with their heads down, facing a massive deficit to make up in the second leg.

While PSV had much to celebrate, they paid a heavy price. Lozano, who left the game after 60’, would be diagnosed with a heel injury that would keep him out at least a week. More distressing would be Pablo Rosario suffering a torn thigh muscle that would keep him out at least two months. Angeliño would have some company in the medical facility. Two important players were now out long term, and the next game against Malmö FF would be in just six days. An away game against PEC Zwolle in just three days would suddenly become rather dangerous, a weakened second squad would need to handle that one without much room for error.


Champions League - Playoff (A) : Malmö FF 3 - PSV 2
With the second team sneaking past PEC Zwolle with a 1-0 earlier in the week, and a 5-0 lead on Malmö FF coming into the game, things would seem to be going PSV’s way. Despite their advantage, van Bommel would not take anything for granted and would send out his first choice team. Despite all of his preparation, it looked like the 5-0 lead and the media coverage got to PSV.

Things started to go wrong almost immediately with Malmö FF going up 1-0 after 6’ when Egzon Binaku would head in a Fouad Bachirou free kick. Four PSV players were around Binaku, and all four of them looked confused. It wouldn’t be the last time, and it set van Bommel in a bad mood right away. PSV would be dominant statistically, but they were constantly wasting chances and allowing Malmö FF to drive them back. A heated half time pep talk didn’t do much good as lazy defending bit PSV again. Andreas Vindheim received a well place through ball to the corner and ran down the ball to launch a hopeful cross to the far side of goal. Three PSV defenders watched the ball float over their heads and find Carlos Strandberg nearly standing on the goal line to head it back across goal and into the far side netting at an almost impossible angle. Again, standing around looking confused was the theme.

Things started to turn against the hosts as tired legs gave way to PSV’s offense onslaught. Luuk de Jong would be robbed of a goal at 71’ when a headed shot would ricochet off Johan Dahlin and find the back of the net, it would go down as an own goal but it would still count. Five minutes later de Jong would get another, this time attributed to him, and suddenly the momentum was heavily in PSV’s favor. A 2-2 draw would send PSV through, by a wide margin, but anything other than a win would feel like a massive disappointment.

Only two minutes later, the bottom fell out and PSV managed to complete their humiliation. Malmö FF worked the ball around the outside of the box, finding the PSV defense to be too solid and too aggressive to get closer in. Eventually a hopeful cross into the far left side of the area didn’t have any Malmö players nearby and Denzel Dumfries backed up and headed it down for Jeroen Zoet to collect. In a move fitting for the bungling defensive displays this series has seen, Zoet decided to receive the pass with his foot while drifting out of play to the right of goal. Instead of having the ball in his hands, the ball was now sitting just in front of goal with Marcus Antonsson and Carlos Strandberg racing for it. Antonsson won the race, and now PSV’s momentum evaporated in a 3-2 deficit.

Malmö FF would hold out despite a few more PSV opportunities and walk away with a win. While ultimately pointless, van Bommel was not at all happy with the loss.

“While we are happy to advance, I am not pleased with the way we handled this game” said a perturbed van Bommel after the game “we have some things to discuss in training.”

Van Bommel has some lingering issues to deal with.

Despite the unsatisfactory performance PSV would easily advance to the Champions League group stage. They would only need to wait a few days to get a dose of humor, maybe a little dark humor, as the draw unfolded. PSV would land in Group C with Celtic, Lokomotiv Moscow, and Roma… the team aggressively trying to pry away one of their best players. The narrative is only going to add spice to what turns out to be one of the weakest, if not the weakest, group in the tournament. PSV not only has a solid chance of advancing, they could actually win the group with a good performance (or two) against Roma.

No other group has such a weak favorite to win the group, and the other groups with mostly weak teams have a dominant favorite (Group F : Barcelona, AS Monaco, Shakhtar, Young Boys). There are also two groups of death in D (Atlético Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Inter, and CSKA) and G (Real Madrid, Manchester United, Olympique Lyon, and Galatasaray). The draw could not have been better for PSV, or the Dutch media.

PSV would also draw VV Dongen in the KVVB Cup, another bit of good news after an unpleasant result.

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