Tag Archives: PSV Eindhoven

The greats of the PSV forward line

At PSV’s Philips Stadion, two prominent statues guard the main entrance. In glorious bronze, the contributions made by two Eindhoven greats is preserved forever. Coen Dillen and Willy van der Kuijlen were that influential.

The former played in excess of 400 games for PSV and, in scoring 288 goals, became a standard-bearer for a future procession of lethal strikers. The latter, known affectionately as Mr. PSV due to eighteen years of loyal service, scored an untouchable 311 goals for the club whilst eclipsing many of Dillen’s records. The rich lineage of prolific PSV goalscorers started with two legends; with Dillen in the 40s and 50s, and van der Kuijlen in the 60s and 70s. Now, as PSV search for the next great forward capable of earning a Stadion statue, it’s fitting that we explore a city and it’s enduring love of goals.

The succession of legendary PSV forwards extended from Dillen and van der Kuijlen and encompassed some of the games greatest-ever players. It’s a legacy of goalscorers which includes Romário, one of the few known men to score 1,000 career goals and to be branded a “genius” by Johan Cruyff. The vaunted Brazilian spent five years in Eindhoven, winning the affection of fans who were thrilled by his mercurial brilliance around the penalty-area. When Romário moved to Barcelona in 1993, many worried about PSV.

However, management created a new striking tandem: Ronaldo and Luc Nilis. In time, Ronaldo would play for the likes of Real Madrid and Internazionale, and win two World Cups with Brazil. However, from 1994-96, he was a raw phenom who illuminated the Eredivisie with a wide array of silky skills and incredible goals. He was lauded in Eindhoven. Nilis stayed around for six years, demonstrating himself as a complete player capable of scoring all manner of goals. In later years, he was paired with another PSV prodigy, Ruud van Nistelrooy, who wooed Lighttown with a similar variety of skill and predatory instinct. I grew-up watching Mateja Kežman. He is a player all-too-frequently derided for a difficult spell in England with Chelsea. I’ve watched a lot of football, however, and I’m still yet to see any goalscorer as good as Kežman in the early Millennium. He was untouchable in front of goal, earning the moniker Doelpuntenmachine from the adoring PSV masses. It was a privilege to watch.

The seven players mentioned combined to score 1085 goals for PSV Eindhoven. Just four of the players, namely Romário, Ronaldo, van Nistelrooy and Kežman, earned the club £55 million in transfer fees. It’s those goals, and that income, which has kept PSV relevant throughout the decades; allowed it to become a club capable of renewing itself as with more modern eras. The goals also brought trophies: PSV has twenty-one Eredivisie titles, one European Cup, and a UEFA Cup triumph. In Eindhoven, great weight is given to the currency of goals.

However, PSV is enduring its longest drought in twenty years. The club is without an Eredivisie championship since 2008; without full-time Champions League football since a similar mark. A solitary KNVB Beker and Johan Cruyff Shield is all they have won in five years. During this stretch, PSV have been noticeably devoid of that one predatory striker which once so signified their style. Sure, they have never struggled to score goals, with impressive totals in all those seasons. However, in the past half-decade, PSV have been more reliant on wide players and midfielders to score their goals; players like Jefferson Farfán, Balázs Dzsudzsák, and Dries Mertens finishing as top-scorers. What is the problem, I hear you ask, so long as PSV win?

The defence is surely more of problem, you may argue? Nevertheless, there is a fine difference between a goal-scorer and a scorer-of-goals. In order to win an Eredivisie championship, a poacher is required to rescue three points at difficult away games, to feed off scraps and earn a victory even without playing well, to breed confidence into fans and teammates alike that they always have hope. Every elite team needs a Kežman, a van Nistelrooy, a Nilis.

Do PSV currently have one? It’s difficult to assess. In 19-year old Jürgen Locadia, they have a player with potential to become such a predator. The Emmen-born forward has already demonstrated his clinical ability in the penalty area, entering PSV folklore with a 22-minute hat-trick in his Eredivisie debut last season. As reward, he was given a five-year professional contract and, with an increased role in First Team affairs, scored a further hat-trick in the KNVB Beker semi-final, in addition to netting in the final. He currently has a record of 12 goals in 26 PSV appearances, which is a tremendous return. Locadia is sensational in front of goal. He is also young. These ingredients unfortunately make him a convenient late-game substitute for Phillip Cocu at present, with the forward being used either when PSV desperately need a goal or when they’re comfortably ahead. Accordingly, until Locadia begins to play ever week, it’s difficult to furnish him with the teams main goal-scoring burden.

The player he is attempting to oust in the PSV forward line is the enigmatic Tim Matavž. When the 24-year old Slovenian arrived from Groningen on Deadline Day 2011, there was tremendous expectation; many feeling that Matavž was at the right club to really develop his game and become a force in front of goal. In a purely statistical sense, Matavž has done just that, reaching the 20-goal plateau in his first two PSV seasons, and thus far holding a record of 42 goals from 86 appearances. However, many are still skeptical as to whether Matavž is the arch-poacher who can really drive PSV to an Eredivisie crown. It’s difficult to watch Matavž at times; he seems to score wonderful, unexpected goals, yet struggle with the ‘easier’ chances. Despite his first leg goal against Milan, I’m still not entirely certain that Matavž is the man who is going to score when PSV need it the most. The fact that Cocu regularly replaces the Slovenian with Locadia late in close games substantiates this point. Matavž will likely score twenty goals per season, but the debate persists as to whether he can add his name to the list of great PSV strikers.

It’s vitally-important that PSV find a reliable source of goals this season. If they have serious Title aspirations, somebody will have to step-up and provide regular punctuation to their often-exquisite approach play. In such a demanding football city, the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’ is eminently clear. Matavž has a long way to go before he is cast in bronze beside Dillen and van der Kuijlen. Locadia might just get there before him.

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFYING: AC MILAN 3-0 PSV

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WEDNESDAY 28TH AUGUST – PLAYOFF – SECOND LEG

AC MILAN 3-0 PSV

Goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Mario Balotelli ensured Serie A giants AC Milan disposed of PSV Eindhoven to reach the Champions League group stages with a 4-1 aggregate win on Wednesday evening.

Philip Cocu’s men had their fair share of chances inside the packed San Siro but the Italian’s goalkeeper Christian Abbiati made a string of good saves before and after Boateng’s opener. Balotelli extended the Rossoneri’s lead early in the second period and any hopes of a comeback disappeared for the young Dutch side, when Boateng added another with only 13 minutes remaining to seal a 3-0 win on the night.

Both sides began the contest with 4-3-3 formations and spaces were hard to find in the early stages of the game. The Eredivisie side created the first opportunity when Slovenian striker Tim Matavž forced Abbiati into an early diving save with a precise header after eight minutes. Just moments later Milan went a goal ahead when Boateng found the bottom corner of Jeroen Zoet’s goal with a powerful right-foot shot from outside the area.

PSV should have been level but another sprawling save by Abbiati denied the Eindhoven side an equaliser, after the goalkeeper palmed away a superb Adam Maher volley which seemed destined to score and steal the show.

The hosts continued to threaten a second goal with Riccardo Montolivo and Stephen El Shaarawy especially going close, with a powerful shot that cannoned off the crossbar.

Milan were saved by the woodwork also after 41 minutes with a cross-cum-shot by left-abck Jetro Willems. PSV had another glorious opening to equalise immediately after the interval as a low cross from the left eluded everybody to reach the unmarked Georginio Wijnaldum at the far post but Abbiati somehow blocked the PSV captain’s close-range effort.

In the 55th minute, Milan made that Abbiati save count as the Italians went further ahead to concrete their victory. French defender Philippe Mexès headed an El Shaarawy’s corner across the goal for Balotelli to volley home.

Abbiati’s night finished with a fine save from a Stijn Schaars’s dangerous shot, and Boateng finalised the result with a precise low shot at the far post following a fine counterattack involving Balotelli and Andrea Poli.

PSV now drop into Friday’s Europa League draw as a consolation, a trophy they must be in a great chance of winning with this young powerful outfit.

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PSV vs. AC MILAN: A rivarly

It’s an unlikely rivalry, that between PSV and AC Milan. It’s born of neither geography, with the seats of Eindhoven and Milan situated nearly six-hundred miles apart, nor of over-familiarity, with the clubs competing on just five occasions all-time. However, when the two stalwarts of European football met last week, it was clear to see that this is no ordinary fixture. In actuality, it was the latest renewal of a footballing epic.

The roots of this contemporary feud can be traced to the Spring of 2005. In a lucrative Champions League semi-final, the two clubs, enjoying relative glory periods, would meet. The first leg, played at a packed San Siro, saw PSV control vast portions of the play but succumb to incisive Rossoneri breaks in the dying embers of each half. A goal from Andriy Shevchenko on the stroke of half-time, and a late strike from Jon-Dahl Tomasson left Guus Hiddink and his side starring up at an undeserved mountain.

In a throbbing second leg encounter, they began to climb. The Phillips Stadion, bedecked with colour and ferocious with noise, experienced a night quite unlike any other in its considerable history. After ten minutes, Ji-Sung Park ran on to a loose ball and opportunistically thumped it high into the net. Liftoff!

When Phillip Cocu, former midfield maestro and current PSV manager, rose to nod home a Lee-Young Pyo cross in the second half, Eindhoven rejoiced. It was a moment, an achievement, which encapsulated an entire era of PSV glory; this team of heroes fighting back to earn parity with one of European football’s defining powerhouses. In a surreal, dreamlike state, PSV had Milan on the ropes.

A cruel, 89th minute twist was the seminal moment in this heartfelt rivalry. As PSV looked for the knockout punch, a crowning moment to cap a performance of raw ambition, it came at the other end. A sluggish Milan kept the ball so as to insure extra-time. However, when Mauro Ambrosini ghosted in to flick a hopeful cross past the despairing dive of Heurelho Gomes, PSV hearts were broken. The pivotal away goal earned Milan a date with Liverpool in Istanbul, and rendered Phillip Cocu’s late acrobatic half-volley a mere consolation. In the gloom of crushing defeat, Eindhoven had a new nemesis.

I remember only select vignettes from that fateful night; it came in the embryonic stages of my PSV fandom. For instance, I vividly recall Cocu’s towering leap to plunge home the equaliser. I also remember Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink flicking a Van Bommel free-kick against the bar. These memories have become bittersweet in recent years. The frenzied atmosphere and the exceptional display from Hiddink’s team are still sources of pride, but the images of Ambrosini collapsed in celebration provide a chilling reminder of the end result. In whatever manner you look at that fixture, it pulls on the heartstrings.

Even though the two clubs would meet again in the 2005/06 group stages, where a sweet 1-0 victory for PSV in Eindhoven was coupled with a credible 0-0 draw in Italy, last Tuesday saw the most meaningful renewal in the conflict. A place in the Champions League Group Stages lay as the reward. In Eindhoven, talk of “revenge” was fresh in the air; fans taking great confidence in this young team and its sensational start to the season. Whilst PSV were seen by many as the “underdogs,” an undercurrent of belief manifested itself in a fantastic atmosphere for the first leg. Eindhoven was ready for another big European night.

The performance of PSV was admirable. In the glare of a large television audience right across the continent, the youngsters represented the club with true pride; a display of explosive excitement rekindling all those memories from eight years ago. A rip-roaring start saw Adam Maher, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Jetro Willems test the reflexes of Milan ‘keeper Abbiati. Cocu’s men were playing lively, attacking football with intricate passing combinations and raw pace. They were dominating.

In these games, it seems obligatory for a brutal twist of fate. Just as you begin to rise from your seat with greater regularity, expecting wave-after-wave of PSV pressure to result in a goal, Milan punch you in the gut. A shrewd breakaway, one of Milan’s very first of the tie, saw full-back Ignazio Abate exploit the defensive naivety of Memphis Depay before crossing for Stephan El Shaarawy to nod home into the far corner. Another Milan away goal in front of the Phillips Stadion Oost Staan.

If anybody thought that this team of energetic youngsters was about to lie down and give-up, they were sorely mistaken. Even after Mario Balotelli crashed a shot against the bar, PSV regained a measure of composure and began pressing for an equaliser. Adam Maher, ubiquitous in a play-making role, again worked Abbiati, before crunching his own shot off the woodwork. In a breathless and thoroughly-entertaining first-half, Cocu’s men did everything except score.

After so much exquisite football, unpicking the Milan defence with deft passing and movement, PSV’s eventual equaliser was drenched in irony. As Milan became more compact in midfield, space was at a premium. Thus, when found open some forty yards from goal, Jeffrey Bruma decided to just thumpn the ball. It swerved in the air, causing Abbiati to fumble. Tim Matavz arrived to prod home a richly-deserved equaliser, sending the PSV masses into delirium. The game trickled to a fairly calm end, with the tie balanced precariously at 1-1 heading to Italy.

At this stage of the season, we continue to learn a lot about this new-look PSV. In matching, and even dominating, Milan for periods during the first leg, a major milestone in the Cocu Revolution was achieved. The manager was using this tie to measure the progress of his developing squad, stating that “it give us a chance to compare ourselves to a great team.” The players came-of-age, a rock-solid bond between Bruma and Karim Rekik emblematic of a maturing PSV rising to a daunting challenge. On PSV’s biggest European night for five years, a sense of pride was restored.

The experts are wrong to dismiss PSV’s chances in the second leg. This is a tie which can change entirely with just one goal, and PSV have scored in thirty-four consecutive games. Furthermore, the Dutch giants dominated the first leg in periods, showcasing football which had Milan hanging by a thread. Nobody should underestimate the potential of this PSV side.

As the excitement builds ahead of Wednesday’s clash, PSV fans are in buoyant mood; they believe in another European fairytale. After all, anything can happen when rivals meet.

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PSV pair picked by Van Gaal

Header-Oranje

PSV Eindhoven’s young centre back duo, Jeffrey Bruma and Karim Rekik, have been called up by Louis van Gaal for the Oranje’s two World Cup qualifiers next month. The pair featured in Tuesday’s Champions League’s 1-1 draw with PSV and AC Milan.

It is the first time that Rekik has received a call up, joining PSV on loan from Manchester City. while Bruma, who already has four international caps, has been selected for the first time under Van Gaal’s leadership.

Eighteen-year-old Rekik and the 21-year-old Bruma are part of Philip Cocu’s youthful PSV side who have took the Eredivisie by storm this season, winning all three games of the year so far.

However, the 22-man squad for the two away World Cup qualifiers against Estonia in Tallinn on September 6th and Andorra on September 10th, announced by the KNVB on Wednesday, is again without Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who was surprisingly dropped for friendly against Portugal earlier this month.

Van Gaal stated then that he felt that Sneijder was not fit enough. Schalke striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Swansea City’s Jonathan de Guzman and AS Roma’s Kevin Strootman all miss out of the squad selection with injuries.

The Dutch are seven points clear in Group D and will qualify for Brazil if they win these next two games.

Oranje squad to play Estonia & Andorra in World Cup Qualifiers

Goalkeepers: Kenneth Vermeer (Ajax), Michel Vorm (Swansea City)

Defenders: Ricardo van Rhijn (Ajax), Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa), Daley Blind (Ajax), Jeffrey Bruma (PSV), Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Joris Mathijsen (Feyenoord), Karim Rekik (PSV), Paul Verhaegh (FC Augsburg), Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord)

Midfielders: Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Marco van Ginkel (Chelsea), Rafael van der Vaart (HSV), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV), Stijn Schaars (PSV).

Forwards: Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Jeremain Lens (Dynamo Kiev), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Ruben Schaken (Feyenoord), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City).

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFYING: PSV 1-1 AC MILAN

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TUESDAY 20TH AUGUST – PLAYOFF – FIRST LEG

PSV 1-1 AC MILAN

Once again the all-new Phillip Cocu PSV team showed great maturity and went onto record a more than well-deserved draw against Serie A giants AC Milan in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.

The Eredivisie side dominated throughout the first-half, hitting the woodwork and forcing Milan ‘keeper Christian Abbiati into several vital stops. Yet against the run of play, the only goal of the half came courtesy of a Stephan El Shaarawy header. Slovenian striker Tim Matavž restored parity on the hour mark to leave the contest wide open ahead of the second-leg battle at the San Siro next Wednesday.

The Eindhoven side nearly went 1-0 up in the opening minutes when Adam Maher touched Matavž’s shot a fraction wide of the Milan goal. Abbiati was kept busy as the Milan keeper saved from Georginio Wijnaldum before Cristián Zapata deflected young left-back Jetro Willems’ strong on-target drive behind.

Unfortunately for Cocu’s men, Milan took the lead with their first attack. Ignazio Abate overpowered Memphis Depay and crossed for the unmarked El Shaarawy to head home leaving goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet helpless. Moments after, Zoet was called into action again as he tipped Mario Balotelli’s effort onto the bar.

However, it was still Abbiati who was the busier between the sticks, the 36-year-old making two great saves from Maher as Phillip Cocu’s side pressed for an equaliser. The lively PSV playmaker then crashed a shot against the crossbar from just inside the area after outmuscling the bigger frame of Zapata.

The midfielder trio of Stijn Schaars, Park Ji-Sung and Wijnaldum held the AC Milan midfield at bay and the latter getting forward at every opportunity and stringing some tremendous passing around. Linking up well with wingers Depay and Maher and later, Florian Jozefzoon.

PSV - AC Milan

Milan emerged for the second-half looking stronger and only a superb interception by Willems at the back post prevented El Shaarawy from doubling the score. The young lions of PSV responded by giving the Rossoneri a taste of their own medicine and scoring on the counter attack. Abbiati could not hold central defender Jeffrey Bruma’s 35-yard swerving shot and the previously quiet Matavž happily nodded in the rebound.

Milan almost forced a winner in the closing stages, but Zoet made a fine save from substitute Andrea Poli to keep the level. PSV will be the unhappier of the two sides, as the chances missed inside the first period could have seen them home and dry.

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A VERY DIFFERENT PSV

We’ve already learnt a great deal about the new-look PSV. After a summer of change in Eindhoven, Phillip Cocu looks to have assembled a young squad capable of competing for all domestic honours. As the club attempts to distance itself from a boom-and-bust transfer culture to one of organic development, fans are already beginning to see a very different PSV Eindhoven.

In the first instance, we’ve learnt that PSV will play some brilliant football and score some wonderful goals. The Champions League qualifier against Zulte Waregem proved as much; the youthful side producing some irresistible passing football en route to an impressive 5-0 aggregate victory, whilst capturing the attention of fans throughout Europe with a pair of memorable goals. In Eindhoven, Memphis Depay produced another twenty-five yard firecracker to give PSV the lead, before live-wire starlet Zakaria Bakkali sealed progression with an exquisite volley in Brussels. As Cocu’s side secured a playoff rendezvous with AC Milan, the spotlight began to shine brighter than ever on the prodigious talent of his young players. Even Zulte head coach Francky Dury couldn’t contain his admiration for PSV’s offensive style, stating that they “have a great team,” which plays “football of a very high level, the like of which we hardly know in Belgium.” Thus, PSV fans will be treated to a highly-entertaining brand of football in the season ahead, as played by a cast of extremely-talented youngsters.

FBL-BEL-C1-ZULTE WAREGEM-PSV EINDHOVEN

The opportunity to watch this talent grow and develop will be an even greater privilege. In Jeroen Zoet (22 years old), Jurgen Locadia (19), and Memphis Depay (19), to name but three, they possess some of the finest Dutch prospects in the Eredivisie. However, the majority of column inches thus far have been devoted to the aforementioned Bakkali. At the tender age of 17 years and 196 days, the Belgian winger became the youngest ever player to score an Eredivisie hat-trick; his arrival on the senior stage announced with a trio of superb strikes against NEC Nijmegen on 10 August. As if such an astonishing feat didn’t lend itself enough to hyperbole, Bakkali was also selected for the Belgian National Team ahead of their friendly against France. When you’re seventeen years of age, weeks don’t get much better than the one Zakaria Bakkali has just experienced.

He was the youngest of a very young bunch during the NEC game. In their illustrious one-hundred year history, PSV Eindhoven have never fielded a younger starting eleven than the one which took the field that night. A team with an average age of 19.9 made captain Georginio Wijnaldum (22), and playmaker Adam Maher (20), seem like elder statesmen! After years of assembling teams with costly veterans and expensive gambles, it makes for a refreshing change to see such a homegrown PSV side.

It’s a conscious change. When unveiled as Head Coach in May, Cocu promised to “build a new PSV,” which will “invest more to help smooth the path for youngsters to the first team.” In hiring PEC Zwolle miracle-worker Art Langeler to oversee a philosophical change at youth level, and in promoting prospects like Bakkali and Depay to prominent roles, the club has acted swiftly to substantiate these promises. However, the project is still very much a work-in-progress. It’s only natural that PSV will encounter difficulty at points, with such an all-encompassing trust in youth. As the players acclimatise to the rigorous fixture schedule and become aware of the growing responsibility placed upon them, frustrations are sure to be felt. There will be periods of inconsistency. There will be over-exuberance and even indiscipline. There will be defeats. In the wider scheme, however, these growing pains will be worthwhile, as PSV attempt to change the culture by giving greater freedom to their players. The young prospects will develop and grow after learning from the inevitable mistakes. So will the club.

The opening Eredivisie game at Den Haag was perhaps the most honest reflection of what we can expect from PSV. In a pulsating first half, goals from Wijnaldum and Jetro Willems were sandwiched between a bizarre own goal, as PSV raced into a 3-0 lead. However, a hint of defensive naivety set in, with Den Haag pulling a goal back from a set piece shortly before half-time. After the break, the tempo was rather flat and PSV became a little sloppy in possession. When Den Haag capitalised on a lapse in concentration to make the game closer than it ever should have been, it was clear that the youngsters on whom Cocu will rely are still to master the nuanced art of closing-out victories. They still won the game, 3-2, but stoppage time was nervy when it needn’t have been.

In teaching the more gritty aspects of winning games and championships, the more experienced players will be vital to PSV. The return of Park Ji-Sung is a smart acquisition; the former Eindhoven favourite has abundant experience, and will be well-positioned to school the younger players in what is required when representing PSV. Cocu admits that overwhelming experience was a motivating factor in Park’s return, stating that younger members of the team will “gain from someone who has already played at the top level for so many years.”

Similarly, experienced midfielder Stijn Schaars will be a major cog in the PSV machine. A veteran of nearly 250 career appearances, Schaars is viewed as the reliable anchor of an otherwise mercurial midfield, chiefly responsible for maintaining concentration levels, closing-out tight games, and finding ways to win when the skills and tricks aren’t quite working. In finding a correct balance between this kind of experience and the dynamism of younger players, the essence of Cocu’s project becomes visible.

It’s a project which has the passionate support of PSV fans. The games thus far have been played in fantastic atmospheres; the Philips Stadion faithful understanding the need for change. At present, they are enjoying the thrilling emergence of a new generation, roaring and cheering louder with each step-over, each wondergoal, each victory. Along the way, there’s sure to be setbacks and growing pains, but the journey on which this enthralling team promises to take the fans of Eindhoven will rarely fail to fascinate.

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Park Ji-Sung returns to PSV

Park Ji-Sung has made a return to PSV Eindhoven on loan from English Championship side Queens Park Rangers, they are still awaiting a work permit to be issued.

Voetbal International reported on Tuesday that although PSV wanted to acquire the Korean midfielder on a full transfer, they had to opt for a loan as the Eindhoven side is unable to afford Park’s high salary.

The 32-year-old had previously spent three seasons with PSV Eindhoven from January 2003 under the leadership of Guus Hiddink. The legendary coach signed him after both played crucial roles in taking South Korea on their exceptional run to the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup. In Eindhoven, Park won two Eredivisie titles and reached the Champions League semi-finals. He then transferred to England with Manchester United in July 2005.

PSV coach Phillip Cocu, 43, who played for PSV with Park during the team’s golden age and in an interview with local media, he expressed high hopes for Park. Cocu described him as a versatile player who can slot into numerous positions from midfield to attack, and whose vast experience will be of much use to PSV’s cache of young players.

Back in England, he will pleased to leave the London club after having initially been named as QPR captain, he was then stripped of the armband after a series of niggling injuries and the appointment of Harry Redknapp as manager.

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PSV announces double signing

PSV Eindhoven have presented the signing of Dutch central midfielder Stijn Schaars to the press today. He joins from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, in what could be the replacement for Kevin Strootman.

Copyright 2013 PSV Media

Schaars, 29, signs on a three-year contract, previously won the Eredivisie championship with AZ Alkmaar in 2009 and will look to bring that title back to the Phillips Stadion after a six-year wait for the Eindhoven side.

Schaars is new head coach Philip Cocu’s fifth signing of the summer in the major rebuild of the PSV side. With captain Kevin Strootman set to complete a €20million move to Serie A club Roma in Italy, Schaars will wear the number 8 shirt in his absence.

The Dutchman has made 18 appearances internationally for Oranje and has spent the last two season in Lisbon with Sporting and scored six goals in 66 games in all competitions.

The Cocu Revolution continued later tonight with the announcement of the sixth signing. 21-year-old Colombian right-back Santiago Arias also joins from Lisbon and signed a four-year contract.

Copyright 2013 PSV Media

Arias,  can either operate as a right defender or right midfielder and is a product of Liga Postobon’s side La Equidad’s youth academy. Like Schaars, he spent two years in Lisbon. Both Schaars and the Colombian were transfered for a reported €1.6million. PSV are set to make great profit this year after the sales of half the first team squad that finished second in the Eredivisie last year.

The Eindhoven side also presented Jeffrey Bruma to the press today, signing a four-year contract after the doctors assessed a heart complaint from Bruma’s past, but cleared the player of all problems.

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Strootman to Roma can wait

Although it is far from complete, the transfer of PSV’s Kevin Strootman to AS Roma is still on but the Eindhoven club are still not financially satisfied by the deal as of yet.

KevinStrootman

It is reported that PSV wants at least €18 million for the tenacious midfielder but the Serie A club has yet to match an offer for near that amount. Technical director, Marcel Brands has stated that the player will stay with PSV unless the money is right: “The money for the transfer has not been decided yet, and it is important that we get the right amount for a player we think very highly of.”

According to Brands, it may be some time before the deal is complete: “We are in no rush to broker this deal and AS Roma understands that. When Dries Mertens left, Napoli took five or six days to arrange it. In the meantime, Strootman will train and play with us in Germany.”

One team that will be hoping the transfer is complete soon is Strootman’s former club, Sparta Rotterdam.

Strootman came through the youth ranks at Sparta and when the player transferred to FC Utrecht in 2011 for €750,000 they left a clause in the contract to receive some part of any transfer fee received in sales of the midfielder. When Strootman moved to PSV from Utrecht, Sparta reportedly received around €335,000 from the deal, as they are set to receive 4% of any transfer fee.

Sparta’s general manager Wiljan Vloet spoke to AD Sportwereld and stated that money could help the cash-strapped club: “We want to put the money in the day-to-day running of the club. We are dealing with deficits in the budget and, with this windfall, we can partly cover the amount.”

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PSV loan Man City starlet

Local Eindhoven newspaper Omroep Brabant are reporting that Philip Cocu has clinched his fourth reinforcement for the PSV squad of the transfer window, with Karim Rekik joining on a season-long loan from English Premier League side Manchester City.

20130706 - Karim Rekik

The highly-rated Rekik, an 18-year-old Dutch/Tunisian central defender, will be unveiled and will join up with his new side on Monday.

Rekik signed for Manchester City from Feyenoord in the summer of 2011, and made his debut appearance for the first team in the Dublin Super Cup in pre-season. He made his official first team debut for Manchester City on 21 September 2011 against Birmingham City in the third round of the League Cup, making a substitute appearance. In 2011/12 he was loaned to Portsmouth making eight starts and last season he spent it in the English second tier, The Championship, with Blackburn Rovers, but unfortunately only made five appearances for the Lancashire club.

This is the first deal between the Eindhoven club and Manchester City since beginning a partnership back in May.

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The Cocu Revolution begins…

In the past two weeks PSV Eindhoven have secured over €14 million in transfer fees, and new manager Philip Cocu has started pumping the funds back into the team, a team that he is building for success.

Belgian left-winger Dries Mertens was shipped off to the Serie A on Monday, where he signed for Napoli for a rumoured €9 million. While Jeremain Lens is off to Ukraine, signing for Dynamo Kiev last week for a reported €5 million. Former PSV player, Cocu who took over from Dick Advocaat as the team’s head coach in May, now has the money to splash to work on his project.

The pressure is on the new manager to build a team to try and stop Frank de Boer’s Ajax run of Eredivisie championships, and today he added his first two recruits to the Eindhoven squad.

Central defender Jeffrey Bruma signs from Chelsea

PSV technical director Marcel Brands confirmed that the club reached an agreement with Chelsea for the transfer of 21-year-old central defender Jeffrey Bruma. Bruma, who joins PSV from the Europa League champions after being borrowed to Hamburg of the Bundesliga for the past two seasons, will sign a four-year contract. The Rotterdam-born defender made his full Netherlands debut in August 2010. Chelsea have agreed that the contract includes a buy-back clause.

Winger Florian Jozefzoon arrives from RKC Waalwijk

Also, arriving on Monday will be Florian Jozefzoon from RKC Waalwijk. The winger will sign a three-year contract with an option of a further year. Jozefzoon recently made appearances for the Jong Oranje at the Under-21 European Championships in Israel. Jozefzoon, who was born in French Guiana, will report for duty on Monday, 8 July, along with the other international players who have competed over the summer.

With both these players arriving on Monday, subject to medicials, it is a hotly rumoured that AZ Alkmaar wonderkid Adam Maher is next on Cocu’s shopping list, which would be a major coup for the Eindhoven club.

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FEATURE: PSV to finally strengthen their defence?

With another season over and yet another season without trophies, PSV have gotten a lot of criticism lately. They spent loads of money on new players (mostly midfielders and attackers) over the last few seasons, which made them big favourites at the start of the season. Having scored an astonishing 103 goals in 34 matches, the attacking strikeforce seems very good, but due to 43 goals conceded, they eventually lost the title to Ajax, who claimed their third consecutive title. Fans have voiced their concerns about the transfer policy of the club. PSV should invest more in their leaky defense and give youth more chance in their opinion.

So, after head coach Advocaat announced that he would leave the club at the end of the season, PSV promoted assistant manager Phillip Cocu to the head coach role. In the presentation of their long-term plans, Cocu and Brands mentioned both investing in defense and youth as the new priorities for next season.

Over the last weeks, many articles about possible transfer targets for PSV popped up in Dutch media, with most of them confirmed by PSV staff. We made a list of potential signings and also included a list of players that will or might leave the club during the next transfer window.

Leaving – Mark van Bommel retired this weekend

Outgoing

Boy Waterman: Has been PSV’s first choice goalkeeper for most of the season, but was criticised by many fans. Contract expires this summer and according to VI, Cocu wants to let him go in order to give youth goalkeepers Jeroen Zoet and Nigel Bertrams a chance to compete with Tyton.

Wilfred Bouma: Senior defender in his second term for PSV. Played a few matches last year but was considered to slow for PSV’s defence. Today, new head coach Cocu has told Bouma that there will be no space for him in next year’s squad, so Bouma will have to make place when his contract expires this summer.

Marcelo: If anything has been made clear this season once more, it is the fact that PSV’s defence was once more incapable of making a strong impression. Among fans, Marcelo is the main victim of criticism. Made some fatal mistakes. Thijs Slegers, Voetbal International’s PSV watcher, announced a few days ago that Bundesliga side Werder Bremen appear to be interested in buying the 25-year old Brazilian defender. No formal approach has come in though, according to PSV technical director Marcel Brands.

Stanislav Manolev: Was loaned out to Fulham in January, and has told Dutch media that he is hoping for Fulham to activate the buyout clause in his contract.

Atiba Hutchinson: Player with the most appearances for PSV this season. Naturally a central midfielder, but switched to right back after Stanislav Manolev went on loan to Fulham in January. Earlier (in December 2012), 30-year old Hutchinson announced that he would not renew his expiring contract in order to be able to have one last adventure.

Orlando Engelaar: PSV already tried to get rid of him at the beginning of this season. Very expensive player wage-wise and mostly benched or in the reserves. His contract expires this seasons and PSV have announced not to renew his deal.

Mark van Bommel: Played a key role in PSV’s season. The 36-year old legend returned at the beginning of the season to play for PSV one last time. Despite recent attempts by PSV fans to get him to stay he announced his retirement at the end of the season.

Kevin Strootman: This 23-year old midfielder has once more had a very strong season alongside Van Bommel. With his performance, loads of clubs, including Manchester United, are interested in aquiring the services of the Dutchman.

Jeremain Lens: Had a good season as he scored 15 and gave 10 assists, but has been very open about his ambitions. He has already expressed his desire to play in the Bundesliga or Premier League several times.

Incoming

Jeroen Zoet (RKC Waalwijk): This young goalkeeper will return from two seasons on loan at RKC and is looking to compete for first goalkeeper with Tyton, after having had a good season in Waalwijk.

Mike van der Hoorn (FC Utrecht): 20-year old defender who has impressed this season for his current club FC Utrecht, with his team conceding 41 goals (less than PSV!). According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, PSV technical director Marcel Brands has already approached Mike informally if he would be interested in joining PSV.

Virgil van Dijk (FC Groningen): Another defender who has played a very solid season for his club, leading to interest from clubs in- and outside of the Netherlands. Marcel Brands was spotted in Groningen on the last day of the season as Groningen lost 0-2 to Ajax to check out the young defender.

Santiago Arias (Sporting Lisbon): Highly-rated young right-back from Sporting Lisbon. Has been a transfer target this whole season, but with both Manolev and Hutchinson expected to leave, a right back is now top priority.

Karim Rekik (Manchester City, loan): Dutch central defender currently playing for Manchester City. Played only one match for City this season, and isn’t expected to play much next season either. As reported by Thijs Slegers (Voetbal International), PSV might try to bring him to Eindhoven on a temporary deal.

Luis Felipe Ramos (Ituano): This young (16-year old!) Brazilian defender is currently on trial with PSV. If he turns out to be good enough for PSV, he can be brought in instantly as he appears to be able to get a European passport.

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NEWS: Cocu to be named new PSV coach

CocuVanDerWeerdenFaber
Cocu, Van Der Weerden & Faber – the management team in Eindhoven

Voetbal International state that Phillip Cocu will sign a four-year contract early next week to become the new head coach of PSV.

Cocu, currently coach of the PSV A1 youth team replaces Dick Advocaat in the manager’s hotseat after just one season.

Former FC Eindhoven coach Ernest Faber and Chris van der Weerden be his assistants and the trio will be presented on Monday or Tuesday in a press conference.

Advocaat, had already decided in December already that he did not wish to stay beyond this season: “I think it’s too much at the moment. As I feel now, I will not go to another club to manage.”

“We all know what the problem is with PSV,” said Advocaat after the 2-1 defeat to AZ in the KNVB Beker final on Ascension Day. “There will be a number of players leave and therefore this makes money available to strengthen the squad. I think Cocu, Faber and Van der Weerden know what they want for next season.”

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