Tag Archives: Philip Cocu

Hector Moreno on Luke Shaw: “I am so sorry”

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal confirmed that Luke Shaw has suffered a double leg fracture in tonight’s 2-1 Champions League defeat to PSV in Eindhoven. PSV defender Hector Moreno has expressed his sorrow on causing the injury writes Will Burns.

The perpetrator of the tackle, Mexican central defender Hector Moreno was interviewed by Dutch TV channel SBS6 after the game and discussed the situation. Immediately after the challenge, Moreno was visibly shocked.

“I wanted to play the ball” said the PSV defender. “Initially, I hoped it was not serious, but I was afraid that it was”.

Moreno, himself fractured his tibia in a World Cup game for Mexico against Holland in the Brazil last summer: “I know how it feels, I know how difficult such a thing is. I feel very bad about it, I am so sorry. I wish him and his family the best.”

Philip Cocu took to defending Moreno in his post-match interview:“He is a player who never enters into a challenge with the intent to injure anyone. Afterwards he focused on the match, but it does something to you, when you see something like that. I hope it’s not too bad.”

Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal also expressed his opinion on the injury of Shaw and was obviously upset: “He came as an 18-year-old boy to Manchester United and had a very difficult first season. Just now, he has made an excellent start to his second season and this happens. When he came into the dressing room, he had an oxygen mask on and he was crying. I hope he returns this season.”


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The underdogs of Zwolle have bitten another big dog and sent them away with their tails between their legs. This time it was the turn of Philip Cocu’s PSV to take home a 3-1 defeat to the hands of Ron Jans’ men after they lost superstar Memphis Depay to an early injury writes Will Burns.

Zwolle started debutant Warner Hahn in goal after the sale of Diederik Boer to Ajax on deadline day but it was his opposite number Jeroen Zoet was called into action first pulling off a save from the lively Jody Lukoki. Hahn’s gloves were warmed up minutes later as Depay fired a trademark free-kick at the young stopper. Depay, scorer of five goals in his last four Eredivisie games, did not last on the pitch much longer as he was struggling with a thigh problem and was replaced by striker Jurgen Locadia.

PSV were stupidly given a penalty kick by Joost Broerse after clearly handballing in the area from a corner kick. Luuk de Jong fired the ball straight down the middle to give PSV the lead and score his second goal of the campaign.

However, just before half-time the home side were given an equaliser by Zoet as Jesper Drost’s drive from the edge of the area was palmed in by the keeper. A shocking error that lifted the IJsseldelta Stadion as Zwolle surged on for a second, Cocu was desperate to hear Danny Makkelie’s half-time whistle.

Just after the hour-mark, tricky winger Ryan Thomas earned a free-kick after half-time substitute Oskar Hiljemark bundled him over around 30 yards out. The home fans clapped in unison as Broerse set-up the free-kick like a pole-vaulter at the Olympic Games. The 34-year-old defender smashed home a beauty to make it 2-1 and to earn redemption off the delighted Zwolle supporters for his earlier handball.

Ben Rienstra capped the night off after surging into the area, overpowering Hiljemark and chipping a wonderful effort over Zoet to cement the points late on.

Zwolle once again show tremendous character to win an important game inside a big atmosphere as PSV will now worry how long Depay will be missing from this team who are ready to mount a serious challenge for the league championship.


ZWOLLE: Hahn, Van Polen, Sainsbury, Broerse, Van Hintum, Rienstra, Lam (Van der Werff 90), Lukoki (Saymak 75), Drost, Thomas (Nijland 69), Necid.

SUBS NOT USED: De Jong, Ioannidis, Dekker, Moro.

GOALS: Drost 41, Broerse 65, Rienstra 87.

BOOKINGS: Broerse 32, Lam 62.

PSV: Zoet, Brenet, Rekik, Bruma, Willems (Jozefzoon 86), Guardado, Wijnaldum, Maher (Hiljemark 46), Narsingh, De Jong, Depay (Locadia 18).

SUBS NOT USED: Pasveer, Isimat-Mirin, Brenet, Hendrix.

GOALS: De Jong 32P.

BOOKINGS: Hiljemark 64, Bruma 90.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Joost Broerse (PEC Zwolle)


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Spurs and Man Utd miss out as Depay signs new PSV deal

Lawk Raoof discusses the new and highly improved contract signed by World Cup star Memphis Depay, which looks like the end of the road for Tottenham and Manchester United’s chances of signing the Dutchman.


PSV’s Technical Director Marcel Brands announced this evening that Memphis Depay has signed a new contract binding him till the summer of 2018. After Vloet, Locadia and the team’s captain Georginio Wijnaldum, Depay is the fourth crucial player which signed a new and highly improved contract. Makes him and Wijnaldum PSV’s most paid player with a net yearly salary of approximately €1m and a signing bonus. However, signing an improved contract does not guarantee anything for a club. That’s why Left Forward Depay promised to stay at least one more season with PSV. A great step forward for PSV who will be vying to be this year’s Eredivisie champions. Now with midfielder Wijnaldum and Depay, two of the best and most important players in the Eredivisie are staying in Eindhoven.

Is it all good news then? Not quite. Brands stated that this means there is no longer room for a new player on the attacking front. The budget has been spent to persuade Depay to sign a new contract. Which means that PSV can ask a higher price for him when a big club such as Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur come to buy him. Still, Brands has done the impossible because nobody was expecting Depay to stay after a fabulous World Cup and PSV has got him signed for 4 more years.


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At the start of every season in Holland, Ajax enter as favourites and that isn’t surprising at all given their history and recent success in the Eredivisie, but this season they will have serious competition in PSV Eindhoven writes Jacob Jakeman.

The club have won the league 21 times, most recently during the 2007-8 campaign, while they are best known for allowing names such as Romario, Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy to make their name on the big stage. Many would consider them as the second biggest club in Holland, but they have slipped in recent years. Now they look to be making moves in the direction under Phillip Cocu, who will be leading the side for a second season. There were promising signs last campaign, finishing fourth, however they will be looking to qualify for the Champions League this season.

Although Ajax will still be considered as major favourites, they have lost their influential captain in Siem de Jong and they haven’t brought anybody in. While Frank de Boer is a manager who will interest a lot of clubs around Europe and if he leaves mid season, it could have damaging repercussions for Ajax. PSV are undergoing a transitional phase under Cocu, however they will be a lot more dangerous this season as their young players will be more experienced.

They have been active in the transfer market, securing the permanent transfer of very talented striker Luuk de Jong. Although he may have had a couple of poor seasons, he will be returning to a league which he has had a lot of success in. Plus he will be first choice, allowing him to feel less pressure and play his natural game. He scored 25 goals in his last season in the Eredivisie, if he repeats that for PSV, then they will certainly be pushing Ajax at the top of the table. It is believed PSV still want to add this summer, with Steven Defour a key target. Another one or two quality additions will really put PSV next to Ajax as favourites for the upcoming season.

Defensively, PSV have some decent players and could add at least one more before the closing of the window. Their goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet is one of the best young shot stoppers in Europe, having already attracted interest from bigger leagues, while he has been in and out of the Dutch squad for the past two years, despite not actually winning his first cap yet. Last season was his first as PSV’s number one and he was impressive, especially when it came to shot stopping, but he will be keen to enhance his reputation further this year. Meanwhile Jeffrey Bruma and Jetro Willems are both good young talents, who will go onto bigger things in the game. If PSV manage to re-sign Karim Rekik on loan, they will have a back five capable of keeping clean sheets, a rarity in the Eredivisie.

In the final third, the Eindhoven outfit have a number of talented forwards who will all make big contributions this coming season. The talented midfield trio of Luciano Narsingh, Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Maher will provide PSV with a talented core to the side, all of whom have been capped by Holland showing their talent. They are all players who will attract interest over the next year and could be the next to move to a bigger league if their impressive performances continue. Meanwhile Stijn Schaars provides experience to the midfield and gives more protection to the back four. His partnership with Wijnaldum will be critical this season.

Although Luuk de Jong will be looked upon as the main attacker in the side, they also have Memphis Depay and Jurgen Locadia, who can both score crucial goals in the Eredivisie. PSV will see keeping Depay as the key to their hopes of challenging Ajax. He is without doubt one of the most talented players in the division and looked at home among the best players in the world at the World Cup. Although there is interest from the Premier League, he could stay in Holland for one more season, which would prove to be beneficial to both PSV and Depay, who may not get first team football if he moves this summer.

It will be fascinating to watch PSV this season as it’s clear they have a very talented squad led by an exciting young coach in Cocu, they will certainly be favourites to qualify for the Champions League alongside Ajax after the departures at Feyenoord, but could they have enough to stop Ajax winning another title? On paper, it appears they have a good chance with another one or two quality signings, as well as keeping Memphis Depay.


IN: Andrija Lukovic (FK Rad), Luuk de Jong (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Remko Pasveer (Heracles).

OUT: Benjamin van Leer (Roda JC), Bryan Ruiz (Fulham), Karim Rekik (Manchester City), Matthias Zanka Jørgensen (FC Kobenhavn), Peter van Ooijen (Go Ahead Eagles), Tim Matavz (FC Augsburg).


More than ever, PSV need an Eredivisie championship and if Cocu can’t win it this year he may be dismissed in what will be only his second season in management. A legend at the club, this could be the season he reaches ‘hall of fame’ status.


Flamboyant left-winger Depay, still only 20, had a breakthrough season last campaign. After Dries Mertens’ departure to Napoli, Depay made himself a regular name on Philip Cocu’s team-sheet, with the PSV legend having complete faith in the youngster. Appearing in four World Cup matches this past summer, while notching twice, Depay looks to go from strength to strength in what has to be his last season in Eindhoven.





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PSV Eindhoven – Eredivisie champions 2014/2015?

When watching yesterday’s Johan Cruijff Schaal final between former champions Ajax Amsterdam and newbies PEC Zwolle, I could not help think about this year’s exciting Eredivisie campaign. When a small club like Zwolle with a budget of €9 million euros can humiliatingly defeat four-time Eredivisie champions Ajax with a budget of €65 million 1-0, it seems to give a promising insights about the distribution of chance for this year’s contender. Yes I spelled it correct, contender. Because this season will be the year of PSV Eindhoven as league title winners of the Eredivisie 2014/2015 by Lawk Raoof.

While watching the Johan Cruijff Schaal final between Ajax and PEC I was fueled with hope, excitement, relieve and comfort. PEC embarrassed Ajax today with a goal of Ex-PSV player Stef Nijland and a great assist of ‘man of the match’ Kamohelo Mokotjo. The motor and leader of PEC Zwolle. He personally removed every single existing doubt from Ajax to sign him. He was the personification of PEC Zwolle’s dominance and power today. While the Amsterdammers, deemed as many to be this year’s top-favourite contender, looked unmotivated, uninspired and playing boring football. They missed the one thing that Mokotjo had plenty of: heart and passion. However, buying him may not solve their problem.

While Ajax has experienced a huge blow in this game, it does not mean much. The Johan Cruijff Schaal is not an important prize to win for many of the top-teams such as: Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord or Twente. However, when taking into account that every team takes it seriously, it can only mean that I am right. Ajax sold Siem de Jong to Newcastle United and this will result to be a great mistake to do so. He was the leader of Ajax for many years and now there is a gap, which even recent and upcoming transfers will not fill.

While Frank de Boer’s side stutters and proves not to cope with pressure, Feyenoord sells their World Cup star-players and Twente the single most important player of previous season, PSV thrives and buys Luuk de Jong (scored the crucial goal against St. Polten) and highly likely future top-transfer Steven Defour from Porto. Not only that, the World Cup star-players: Georginio Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay and Santiago Arias return to fill the PSV squad with loads of talent and quality. It can be said that PSV has without a doubt the single most talented Dutch squad of this season and is indeed top-contender for the title. And that is not all, the technical manager Marcel Brands is set to buy/loan 3 more players to strengthen the squad.

Yes, it seems that PSV has the upper-hand this season as top-contender for the title. However, is it all good news for PSV? The answer is no. Far from it. Losing the previous six Eredivisie championships, PSV is near the brick of declining into the category of sub top teams where AZ, Heerenveen and Twente are right now. With a budget of €62million it is a shame that PSV was incapable of winning the league title. Every year there were excuses but this is the last year that PSV fans will not accept anything less than first place. I will guarantee that if losing this year’s league title, the whole board, technical director Marcel Brands, coach Philip Cocu and his colleagues will be pressured to resign. And I predict that will not be all, key-players such as Depay, Wijnaldum, Arias and more will not be able to be convinced to stay to play only in the Europa League and they will leave the club. Creating an exodus comparable with the loss PSV had in 2013/2014 when losing Kevin Strootman, Jeremain Lens and Dries Mertens.

More than ever, it seems that PSV need a league championship this season and more than ever, it seems that it is possible this season with a great team like this. However, if Cocu can’t win it this year, PSV has to officially resign there top-team status. We came far from the glory days of Guus Hiddink in 2004/2005. If PSV wants to be league favorite among Ajax and Feyenoord, they need this season’s league title. They don’t have a choice no more.


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Cocu’s tactical masterclass

The scene was one of unbridled joy; with fans bouncing on the terraces and raising the Philips Stadion roof. After years of frustration at the hands of their greatest enemy, PSV had finally beaten Ajax in the league, the first time they had managed to do so since 2009. In emphatic style, the Eindhoven side demonstrated their true potential with a comprehensive 4-0 rout. It was a euphoric result. It was a warning signal to the Eredivisie. It was the greatest achievement of Phillip Cocu’s burgeoning managerial career.

In recent encounters with Ajax, PSV have let emotion destroy rationality. The magnitude of fixtures against de Amsterdammers seemed to bring about a cavalier attitude, with PSV overly-eager to earn bragging rights. When the two clubs met last season, Dick Advocaat employed a typically-offensive style which led to high-scoring affairs won by the more composed Ajax. It felt like PSV were lacking a solid foundation from which to attack, rushing forward with reckless abandon. In many ways, they were victims of their own desire.

However, the more pragmatic approach of Phillip Cocu proved to be a perfect antidote for PSV this time. Cocu is of a similar ilk to Ajax head coach Frank de Boer; the two sharing a similar career trajectory culminating in a coaching partnership with Holland at the 2010 World Cup. The dividing lines between PSV and Ajax are well-documented, but Cocu and de Boer have a lot in common. They are from the intellectual breed of coaches, who take an almost scientific approach to analysis and game preparation. Therefore, it was tremendously-exciting to see this subplot develop over the weekend.

In all honesty, Cocu outmaneuvered de Boer from a strategical standpoint, which is fine praise for even the greatest managers. The highly-successful de Boer is amongst the sharpest coaches in the game today, as illustrated by the succession of Eredivisie championships which he has masterminded. In recent times, PSV have lacked a manager to compete with de Boer’s new-wave ideas and philosophies. Fred Rutten wasn’t favoured. Advocaat was consumed by a love of goals. However, now it appears that, in Phillip Cocu, they’ve finally found a manager to compete with de Boer on every level. PSV’s 4-0 victory was the biggest league defeat inflicted upon Ajax in the de Boer reign, and may prove to be a portent of greater competition to come. It shows that PSV are serious again. It shows that Cocu, viewed as a figurehead of change, also has the tactical acumen which could lead to great things. It shows that de Boer may be facing his stiffest test yet.

For the first time in four years, PSV entered a heated game against Ajax with a discernible game-plan. It’s no coincidence that they won for the first time in that duration. As a spectator, it was clear to see that Cocu, along with impressive coaches Ernest Faber and Chris van der Weerden, had plotted a comprehensive plan as to how his side should deal with Ajax and win the game. It worked to perfection.

The first part of PSV’s plan relied on greater discipline than they’ve shown for a number of years against Ajax. It revolved around pressurising in sensible, important areas of the pitch and earning a right to play. Ajax are renowned for a slick-passing style, often beginning with goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer and his ball-playing centre-halves. Thus, PSV directed a majority of their defensive energies to this portion of the field, closing down quickly and restricting any Ajax rhythm. The high-octane industry of Park Ji-Sung was instrumental in setting this standard, which is surely the type of impact Cocu envisioned when bringing the South Korean back to Eindhoven. Ajax were stifled by PSV in the areas of maximum importance around each penalty area, with only long-distance shots from Bojan and Ricardo van Rhijn really troubling Jeroen Zoet during a controlled first half.

20131001 - PSV 4-0 Ajax

Now, PSV had earned a measure of control, in much the same way we’ve become so accustomed to Ajax doing. After the break, Cocu saw the second part of his plan come to fruition. In a more prudent manner than recent years, the teams offensive spontaneity was unleashed. Memphis Depay broke into intelligent positions. Oscar Hiljemark began to probe forward from a central midfield berth. Even Jetro Willems broke into advanced positions when sensible to do so. In essence, PSV were using energy where it was needed, rather than wasting it in the all-out, gung-ho style of previous regimens. It gave them a more sustainable footing within the game. Eventually, Ajax were on the ropes.

The eventual flurry of goals even took Cocu by surprise; the manager fist-pumping in giddy excitement at the success of his plan. PSV went wild, scoring four goals in fifteen mesmeric minutes. When Ajax ‘keeper Kenneth Vermeer spilled an innocuous cross, allowing Tim Matavž to poke home the opener, it was symptomatic of that self-same pressing which so restricted the Amsterdam side earlier in the game; first Joritt Hendrix and then Memphis Depay working hard to force Ajax into uncompromising positions. The latter eventually wrestled back possession, whipped over a cross, and watched as Vermeer’s howler let Matavž in. Whilst the goal was somewhat suicidal from Ajax, PSV forced the issue so as to create such openings.

A scintillating breakaway saw Jetro Willems dance inside before bending a shot around Vermeer on the hour mark, before Oscar Hiljemark rapped one into the top corner and Ji-Sung Park completed the rout when through on goal. The blind fact of Ajax’s 4-0 thrashing was that they weren’t accustomed to seeing such a balanced, all-encompassing PSV. In many respects, PSV played like Ajax have for many years, taking an even-keeled, controlling approach with resourceful counter-attacks and searing breakaway goals. It could be said that PSV out-Ajax’d Ajax.

If you’re a PSV fan, this is a great sign. The future certainly looks bright under Phillip Cocu. After a disappointing performance and result in the Europa League against Ludogorets, it was especially pleasing to see such a rebound. When PSV most needed a strong performance, they were able to find one, helped by a mightily-impressive tactical plan from their exciting young coach. Now, as PSV look to drive towards the winter break as Eredivisie pace-setters, and as Cocu continues to gain deserved notoriety, the exciting times are back in Eindhoven. If a celebration is to be held in May, we may look back at this weekend, the 22nd September, as a seminal moment. It was when Phillip Cocu came of age as PSV manager.


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Cocu Revolution continues – enter Adam Maher

PSV technical manager Marcel Brands announced on Sunday evening that AZ Alkmaar and the Eindhoven club have reached an financial agreement for Jong Oranje midfielder Adam Maher. This is third signing of new head coach Philip Cocu.

The 19-year-old will undergo a medical on Monday will discuss personal terms before signing a five-year contract. If the deal is completed he will join up with his new team-mates at pre-season training on Monday July 8th.

Philip Cocu and Brands are working day and night trying to compile a team to challenge for the Eredivisie championship next season. Maher joins signings Florian Jozefzoon and Jeffrey Bruma, alongside the returning goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet, as the fourth new face for the PSV squad for next season.

Brands stated that he is very happy with the transfer of Maher. “It is a long-cherished desire to get Adam. With him arriving, we have a very talented player that fits into the philosophy of PSV Eindhoven. We are very happy with this deal, because we really think he can contribute massively to the future success of this club.”

Maher tortured his new club PSV in the KNVB Beker final on 9th May this year, and AZ Alkmaar ended running out 2-1 winners that day.



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