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de Rood-Witten

A PSV Eindhoven Story
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OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona 2019-03-20 01:38
00 60 posts 8 likes joined Sep 20, 2018


The Football Gods be cruel, and there is only so much Eva Carneiro and the rest of the medical staff can do. Almost as soon as he arrived in Eindhoven Willian Arão came down with an injury during training, later announced as a pulled hamstring that would keep him out for two weeks. The very next day PSV would be without the services of Marlon Frey for two to five weeks after pulling a calf muscle in training. The extra depth that was added to the midfield suddenly evaporated, Mark van Bommel would need to dip into the Jong PSV squad yet again.

If the injuries weren’t bad enough, the Lozano transfer saga would sprout a branch of discord between van Bommel and President Toon Gerbrands. The accepted £24.5M offer for Lozano was leaked and the sharks continued to circle with Bayern Munich sweeping in late along with a surprise approach from Ajax. Van Bommel had no problem accepting the Bayern Munich bid as Lozano would express interest in joining them, but he was exceedingly opposed to sending him to Ajax. Gerbrands, feeling the bid was too good to pass up, would go over van Bommel and accept the offer. Inside sources report that van Bommel and Gerbrands had the first break in their relationship over this, van Bommel is well known for his feelings on Ajax so it was a shock to have Gerbrands go over him like that.

The conflict was short lived, and probably had more legs in the media than it did in the head office, apparently Lozano was headed for an agreement with Bayern Munich so van Bommel was able to move on. The two have had such a positive working relationship so far, it’s hard to see this one incident ruining everything.

Eredivisie (H) : PSV 4 - FC Groningen 0

PSV would open the second half with a big 5-0 on the road at FC Emmen before welcoming a team van Bommel had not forgotten about. Despite FC Groningen struggling to avoid relegation, this game would feel rather important for a number of reasons. The first reason was rather simple; revenge. After handing PSV their first league loss of the season it wouldn’t take much to motivate the team to win this one, and there would be a little pressure from the fans to win big. The second reason would be Hirving Lozano departing for Munich the day before the game after agreeing to a deal with Bayern Munich. With Lozano gone it would open up the LW for Bruno Henrique who would make his first start today, a bit of an easier fixture to step into the team.

The team that shocked PSV at home must have stayed back, and FC Groningen seemed to resort to fouls to slow down their hosts. It looked like it was working for most of the first half until it finally backfired 25’ minutes in. A rough challenge on Bruno Henrique as he made his way into the box put Antonio Marin on the penalty spot for a 1-0 lead. After 37’ it was a bit of shoving on a corner that put Marin back on the spot for a 2-0 lead, a score that was quickly looking to be insurmountable. Heading into the second half it was obvious FC Groningen were cutting their losses and trying to park the bus, they didn’t take a single shot the entire half. Pablo Rosario came alive in this environment, coming into the box late with the entire FC Groningen defense looking elsewhere. Rosario would score twice in this manner, barely facing a challenge on his shots, and finish the game with a 9.4 rating and the Player of the Match award.

While everyone could feel good about getting revenge, the mood quickly soured after the game. Marin, who left after 72’ with a light knock, would be diagnosed with a pulled knee ligament and would miss almost two weeks. There would be some time to get him back before the Atlético Madrid game, but any setback would leave them without one of their best players. Perhaps more concerning would be all of the games between now and then, losing Marin would mean that Jong PSV player Sékou Sidibé would move from emergency fill in to second team starter.
When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT 2019-03-20 11:50
gb 1779 posts 283 likes joined Apr 04, 2016
I'm glad to see you extracted revenge on Groningen. However, the loss of Lozano will surely be felt, given he is a player of real quality. Thankfully he opted for Bayern over Ajax, otherwise that would have significantly strengthened your main rivals, indeed.
Griffo's avatar Group Griffo 2019-03-21 22:22
au 1702 posts 188 likes joined May 20, 2014
Marin just doing Marin things...
OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona 2019-03-22 04:22
00 60 posts 8 likes joined Sep 20, 2018


The stress of the transfer window seemed to have passed, with van Bommel turning his attention to the KNVB Cup game against Heracles Almelo, when it bubbled up again the day before the game. In what would seem like a random offer, one that PSV would not sanction during the season, Leicester City stumped up a £9.25M offer (£12.75M with incentives) for team captain Luuk de Jong. Inside sources report that this offer was not even discussed, nor were the follow up offers of £12.5M (£17.25M) and £16.75M. Apparently Leicester City were so enamoured with de Jong, confirmed by SkySports via Leicester City, that they went all the way up to a £23.5M bid for him. This was also rejected.

“I will not be discussing transfer rumors” responded van Bommel when asked about de Jong during the KNVB Cup press conference. An icy stare was all anyone could muster on that subject after his statement.

KNVB Cup (H) : PSV 3 - Heracles Almelo 1

This game was not looking like van Bommel would be happy afterwards in the first half. Yes, PSV was dominating possession but Heracles Almelo was keeping them contained with a defensive approach. They were getting some shots, but not much more than the visitors. Things were not looking good for PSV, the hairdryer treatment was in store, and then Steven Bergwijn broke the game open in stoppage time. Luuk de Jong, fresh off trying to be prised away by Leicester City, took a cross from Nick Viergever and put it on goal from just a few yards out. Heracles Almelo’s Janis Blaswich managed to pull of an amazing save and knock the ball wide… right to Bergwijn who didn’t miss with the keeper on the ground.

van Bommel is not happy heading into the half.

The goal energized PSV coming out of the half, they started pouring in shots and making Heracles Almelo sweat. A second goal was not far off, but the surprise was it came for the visitors. At the 67’ mark Vincent Vermeij took a pass on the penalty spot and easily brought the score to 1-1, with all the traffic in the middle Jeroen Zoet didn’t have much chance to see it coming. Now van Bommel had some harsh words for his defense, letting the ball get passed in so close was not acceptable. The goal must have been a wake up call, or at least their luck broke, and PSV ran roughshod over the visitors. Heracles Almelo couldn’t get out of their own end, even cleared balls were headed back in, and three minutes after drawing even Robert Arboleda kicked in a Gastón Pereiro free kick to take the lead.

Heracles Almelo sat back and absorbed the PSV attack for the next 20 minutes, seemingly fine with being down 2-1. With stoppage time starting de Jong finally put one in to lock down a 3-1 win. The victory, coming harder than they would have liked, would pit them against FC Utrecht in the semi-final with Vitesse and sc Heerenveen playing in the other game.

Eredivisie (H) : PSV 6 - Fortuna Sittard 0

With the first team sitting back, the second team would put on a real show for the home crowd. This would quickly turn into an outright evisceration of Fortuna Sittard with the score rocketing to 6-0 after 24’, a score line even more impressive considering they managed to do that with only (8) shots on target. Mervielle Goblet had an absolute nightmare in goal, anyone could see he would be more than happy for this game to end.

The fact that van Bommel had selected two Jong PSV players to start, Maxime Soulas and Sékou Sidibé, made the 6-0 halftime lead even more surprising. There are some conspiracy theories that say van Bommel asked the team to go easy in the second half, taking pity on his first professional team, but in reality Fortuna Sittard did a better job of keeping PSV out of the box and PSV obliged by taken long aimless shots that didn’t make Goblet work. While nobody thought PSV would lose this game, it was good to see a weakened second squad dominate so thoroughly.


The best bit of news to come out of this recent stretch of games, even better than keeping Luuk de Jong, is PSV’s capture of Dutch Wonderkid Ryan Gravenberch from Ajax. The 16-year-old central midfielder represents a rather expensive signing for PSV at £8.5M, a signing made possible by the sales of Hirving Lozano and Jorrit Hendrix, but team management feel Gravenberch will be a future star.

Will this young Dutch star rise at PSV?

“We saw an opportunity to strengthen our team, and on some level weaken a rival” said PSV Head of Youth Development Ernest Faber. “This is part of building a team for the future, and we believe Ajax will rue the day they let him go.”

There is some buzz around the organization that Gravenberch may move directly to the senior squad when he joins the team at the end of the season. We have already seen that van Bommel is willing to give promising teenagers, like Antonio Marin, a real shot at serious playing time.
When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.
OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona 2019-03-23 03:01
00 60 posts 8 likes joined Sep 20, 2018


Two identical 2-1 wins on the road, against FC Utrecht and sc Heerenveen, would mark an impressive (12) game unbeaten streak in the Eredivisie going all the way back to the FC Groningen loss. Antonio Marin, out with a knee injury, would make his return and score in both games to continue making PSV fans forget about Hirving Lozano. His return couldn’t have come at a better time with Atlético Madrid up next, and his agent Antun Vrgoc saw this as an opportunity to get his client paid. PSV also saw this as an opportunity to lock up Marin on a longer deal and they agreed on a 4-year deal giving him a raise to £460,000 a year. There is still a risk that a Premier League club, or really a club from a number of other leagues, can swoop in and offer him more. That danger is slightly mitigated by the extra years, but only the most innocent of fans think Marin will play out the full length of that contract in Eindhoven.

The return of Marin was dampened by the loss of Robert Arboleda for 2-3 weeks after injuring his calf in training. This suddenly opened up a big problem on defense, there is no doubt Antoine Griezmann was drooling about the news. This was not what van Bommel needed heading into one of the biggest games of the season, but that would not alter his approach.

Philips Stadion could use some upgrades.

Toon Gerbrands did have a positive announcement, something much needed after the Arboleda injury, PSV would be expanding Philips Stadion by 8,500 seats. While 43,500 is still short of Ajax (54,990) and Feyenoord (51,100) it’s the first step toward pulling even and eventually passing them. Gerbrands deflected questions about rebuilding the stadium in the near future, which of course was taken as proof that PSV were working on it.

Champions League (H) : PSV 1 - Atlético Madrid 2

The atmosphere at Philips Stadion was easily on par with Der Topper Derby as the fans waited for the teams to make their way onto the field. The matchup would be a chance for PSV to exorcise the demons of the 2015-2016 Champions League when they were eliminated by Atlético Madrid 8-7 on penalties after two 0-0 draws. This was not something van Bommel was particularly concerned with, but the fans were definitely hoping for revenge.

“We play to win, no matter who we play, we are here to win.” replied van Bommel when pressed on the revenge storyline. As massive underdogs the team likely didn’t need additional pressure.

Make no mistake, PSV came to play and basically outplayed Atlético Madrid. It was hard to tell that one of these teams had a shot at winning the tournament and one of them wasn’t picked to get out of their group. Atlético Madrid played a 4-4-2 and clearly sat back waiting for a counter attack, presenting an eight-man brick wall for PSV to crash against again and again. Antonio Marin and Bruno Henrique were terrors on the outside, making great passes and pulling wide defenders inside on runs. All of this made it look like PSV was going to take this game, until the 23’ minute played out a nightmare for van Bommel. PSV won a corner and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin headed an in swinging kick toward a well prepared Jan Oblak. PSV began to retreat, but not fast enough for a lurking Antoine Griezmann enjoying PSV’s half with just Angeliño to keep him company. Oblak smartly identified the mismatch and punted the ball to Griezmann, rapidly creating a one-on-one with a player that didn’t know it. Angeliño drifted away, heading back toward the LB position, but quickly noticed he was the only defender in position. It was too late, Griezmann took the moment of indecision to make his way beyond Angeliño and rifle a shot past Jeroen Zoet to open the scoring. Zoet barely made an attempt to stop the shot, appearing to be sleeping like the rest of the defense.

A view to a kill.

PSV went into the tunnel down 1-0, and van Bommel was clearly waiting for Zoet to make his way in. Zoet made the way into the locker room with slumped shoulders, van Bommel and Goalkeeping Coach Ruud Hesp on either side of him. Whatever was said in the locker room, PSV came out with as much fight as they had started with. Nothing changed in the second half, PSV were dominant and continued to press Atlético Madrid who were more than happy to sit on their 1-0 lead. Oblak had quite the game, despite facing (13) shots he seemed very comfortable dealing with them. PSV had a few opportunities, mostly fluffed by Luuk de Jong, but Atlético Madrid continued to weather the assault. Things turned hopeless at 77’ when Atlético Madrid used a short corner to catch PSV with their pants down. Thomas Lemar hit a hard pass to Juanfran lurking unmarked beyond the left hand side of the box, Gastón Pereiro was the closest man but he failed to close down Juanfran and let him run free. Juanfran would fire the ball not that far from Zoet, sending the ball between his outstretched arms for a 2-0 lead.

PSV fans were starting to whistle, seeing their players stand around with their hands on their hips staring off into the middle distance was not something they wanted to see. With the game seemingly decided, literally just off PSV’s kickoff, budding PSV legend Marin headed in a cross from Aziz Behich to send the home fans into a frenzy. The whistling would quickly be exchanged for singing about Marin, but it wouldn’t cover up the 2-1 deficit.

The hosts would continue appearing to outplay Atlético Madrid, but they wouldn’t even really come close to scoring again. Diego Simeone had put together a master class in counter-attacking, something van Bommel would need to study up on if they were going to reverse the result in Madrid. His body language was clear, the effort just want there on PSV’s side and Atlético Madrid were hardly troubled to take this one.
When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.
OohAhCantona's avatar Group OohAhCantona 2019-03-23 21:26
00 60 posts 8 likes joined Sep 20, 2018


Eredivisie (H) : PSV 2 - Feyenoord 1

After blasting Feyenoord 5-0 at De Kuip earlier in the season PSV would head into this game with some confidence, not nearly as much confidence as a win against Atlético Madrid would have created, but still enough to send out the second team. Only 4’ in and everyone knew what kind of game this would be as Daniel Schwaab grabbed a yellow for a hard challenge on Robin van Persie.

Apparently Feyenoord was game, and the two teams exchanged unsavory challenges and a few choice words here and there. Both teams started collecting yellow card with Feyenoord’s Steven Berghuis joining Willian Arão in the book. A few minutes after Arão cynically tripped Jefferson, Ryan Thomas tried to get in on it and chose the worse place on the field to do it. Jefferson would curl a free kick into the box toward van Persie who would find himself falling to the ground after Thomas kneed him in the thigh. He didn’t get booked, but he did send van Persie to the penalty spot. The former Arsenal star, despite being in the last year of his career, would not miss.

A sense of “Oh no…” fell over the fans, but it wouldn’t last long as Steven Bergwijn would equalize off an Angeliño cross and put PSV right back on track. The goal must have taken the fight out of Feyenoord, or at least the desire to kick the tar out of PSV, unfortunately for them it did nothing to halt PSV. Two more yellows later, Thomas finally making his way into the book, and Maximiliano Romero would score with a heartbreaking goal for the visitors. Donyell Malen would boot the ball from almost the half way line and drop the ball right in the middle of three defenders onto Romero’s foot, he controlled it quickly and shot from just outside the box to make it 2-1. At this point Feyenoord seemed resigned to losing, no matter how much Giovanni van Bronckhorst gestured angrily at his players, and after Angeliño was booked Arão opened the door for Feyenoord.

In what would amount to a bad day for Jefferson, Arão would clatter into him and quickly draw the attention of the ref who didn’t hesitate to give him a second yellow. Feyenoord now had at least eight minutes to score an equalizer, and they did their best to do it but instead found out how well van Bommel’s 4-2-3 worked. When the dust settled PSV would have (6) yellow cards and an astounding (23) fouls to Feyenoord’s (6). PSV has tried to develop a reputation as defensive stalwarts, but this was not what van Bommel had envisioned. His own history as a bit of a hard man didn’t help the reaction to this game, van Bommel refused to engage in that line of conversation.


Move over Roberto Loor, PSV has signed a new “crown jewel” player thanks to the Hirving Lozano transfer fee. While it isn’t even close to their record youth signing (Maximiliano Romero, £10.4M in 2017) the fee doled out for Guillermo Garcia is a hefty chunk of the available transfer funds. Based on what they paid for Romero at 18, snagging Garcia at 16 might prove to be a wise move.

Guillermo Garcia (ST, Club Atlético Brown de Adrogué - Argentina) £1.8M
Anatolie Ţugui (CB, Unsigned - Moldova) Free

Ţugui is definitely an odd signing as he was not playing at a club already, but he is 16 so the signing will not be official until 2020. Because he isn’t currently at a club he has been allowed to join PSV on trial, but will not be able to play in competitive matches until he turns 18. Head of Youth Development Ernest Faber is very positive about Ţugui and everyone wanted him to be able to use the practice facilities and become familiar with the club prior to officially joining.

KNVB Cup (H) : PSV 4 - FC Utrecht 0

While van Bommel would never put a single player over the team, a dark cloud has descended upon de Rood-Witten in the past week. The 6-0 win over SBV Excelsior seemed to fade into the background, at least with the media, as Antonio Marin would be lost for almost the remainder of the season a few days before the game. A sports hernia suffered during training would sideline the budding star for 4-5 weeks, completely ruling him out for the upcoming game against Atlético Madrid and the Ajax game a few weeks later.

“It’s unfortunate” said van Bommel during the semi-final media conference “what’s more important is that Antonio [Marin] get healthy, we won’t bring him back until he’s fully fit. It isn’t worth risking further injury.”

Even without Marin, van Bommel would be focused on winning the KNVB cup semi-final. With the Champions League fading in priority, the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup would loom large as attainable goals. A double was still in reach, and losing Marin wasn’t going to prevent PSV from taking another step toward achieving it.

This game had a familiar pattern, but on the surface it was an outright demolition waiting to happen. FC Utrecht were practically played off the pitch, managing only (3) shots to PSV’s (23), and only managed to stay in the game because PSV just couldn’t score. It looked like FC Utrecht were playing for penalties, and then the wheels fell off that idea in the 64’ when Robert Arboleda scored on a corner. Erick Gutiérrez made it 2-0 just two minutes later and FC Utrecht were dead in the water, PSV fans were already singing and booking their tickets to Feyenoord. Not to be forgotten, and possible a little harshly considering the circumstances, Luuk de Jong would score at 85’ to really slam the door shut. Kicking the ball around to run out the clock took over the game as it went deep into stoppage time, and de Jong couldn’t help himself. PSV broke forward and Léo Dubois would cross a ball in from the wing, finding de Jong in a crowd of defenders in front of goal that was headed in much to the displeasure of Utrecht’s David Jensen. The yelling and anger started out being aimed at his back four, but a jubilant de Jong was standing near by and became the target of a few unkind words. The final whistle did little to break up the shouting match that broke out, and both sides needed to pull the two apart.

With a ticket to the final in hand the team would watch the other semi-final together, a 1-0 win over sc Heerenveen sends Vitesse to Feyenoord as well for the final. De Kuip will be red, white, black, and yellow for a final where PSV is likely to be heavy favorites. The two teams have already played to a draw earlier, and the two will play again just a few weeks before the final.
When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.

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