It’s mission accomplished for PSV Eindhoven as they defeated Belguim’s SV Zulte-Waregem 5-0 on aggregate. They now await Friday’s Champions League playoff draw to see who stands in their way of a place in the group stages of the competition. It will be no easy task as the Eindhoven club will have to deal with either Arsenal, Lyon, AC Milan, Schalke or Zenit St. Petersburg if they are to reach groups.
Throughout the first-half, as excepted, looking to reduce their 2-0 deficit, the Belgians were on the attack but PSV held strong and kept another clean sheet.
In fifteenth minute, Philip Cocu’s side had a glorious chance to take the lead. Slovenian striker Tim Matavz, in a good position, tried to round goalkeeper Sammy Bossut and the ball dropped perfectly for Memphis Depay but he dragged the effort wide with the goal gaping.
Matavz, who had a terrible night in front of goal in the first leg, had his own chance to put PSV in the lead, but like last week, fluffed at the opportunity. With the ball played through by Depay, the Slovenian was through on goal with the onrushing Bossut trying to close him down. With time, the striker blasted the shot straight at the keeper’s chest much to the delight of the home supporters.
The teams went down the tunnel for half-time, goal-less but ten minutes into the second-half the game finally started to come together for the Eindhoven side.
Bossut again did well to thwart Depay early in the second period after he was played through by central midfielder Stijn Schaars, but the keeper was finally beaten on 56 minutes.
A scramble occurred inside the penalty area and Depay fired a shot at goal, and with the Bossut stranded out of the goal, Zulte’s Steve Colpaert saved on the line with his hand. German referee Felix Zwayer pointed to the spot and gave the defender his marching orders with a straight red. Matavz slotted the penalty home to give PSV the lead and with Zulte needing four goals with only ten-men on the pitch, the Belgians were heading out of the tournament. The goal was PSV’s 200th in the Champions Cup and their first goal in Belgium after four previous outings without scoring.
The lead was doubled with a beautiful goal from 17-year-old Zakaria Bakkali. The lively Depay whipped in a cross from the left to the back post where the Belgian winger was arriving and volleyed the ball home giving Bossut no chance of saving. The technique was sublime to keep the ball down with such power to make it 2-0.
The final nail was slammed into the Zulte coffin in the dying seconds, when the Dutch side went three up. Adam Maher broke free from his marker and Bruno Godeau aiming the tackle the attacking midfielder ended up sending the ball past his own keeper.
Five goals to nil on aggregate but it will not be this easy in the next round, the youngsters of Eindhoven will have to work hard to clinch that Champions’ League group spot.
As usual in the Dutch top flight, it’s a case of goals, goals, goals on Saturday evening. Two games had five goals exchanged and Heerenveen vs. AZ Alkmaar had six, but as one extreme to the other, FC Twente and RKC Waalwijk failed to find a goal in their match.
ADO DEN HAAG 2-3 PSV
The Cocu Revolution made a great start to their title challenge with a 3-2 away victory over ADO Den Haag. PSV took a 3-0 lead thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum, a Danny Holla own goal and Jetro Willems within the opening 35 minutes. However Holla pulled one back on the stroke of half-time for the home side and young striker Mike Van Duinen reduced the deficit deep into injury time.
Nineteen-year-old forward Jurgen Locadia had an excellent chance to score in the opening minute but was thwarted by goalkeeper Gino Coutinho. PSV ‘keeper Jeroen Zoet was called into action for the first time in the 11th minute as he palmed away a long-range effort from Jerson Cabral.
A minute later and the visitors took the lead, new signing Stijn Schaars played in Wijnaldum and the captain slotted home at the far post.
Wijnaldum came very close to doubling the lead on 17 minutes with young prodigy Memphis Depay setting up Wijnaldum, he first touch was sublime, but his shot was subpar as the ball crept agonisingly wide of the post.
ADO had their chances too, as Cabral fired an effort on target but had his shot nodded away by Jeffrey Bruma.
PSV extended their lead in the 27th minute through an unlucky own goal by Holla. The defender tried to clear a long ball from Wijnaldum, but his looping header beat Coutinho.
Cocu’s young side, with five teenagers in the starting eleven, looked to have settled the match six minutes later. Left-back Willems wrong footed three defenders before blasting home.
PSV did not let up, and a minute later, looked for a fourth and the left-wing menace Depay looked likely to score, as he cut into the box and rounded two defenders but he sent his shot wide.
PSV sat back to protect the third goal lead but as it invited ADO on to the attack, they found a goal before half-time. Danny Holla making amends for his mistake by firing Ninos Gouriye’s dangerous cross past Zoet.
Diciating the tempo, PSV slowed down the pace of the game, with the home side enjoying the bulk of possession. Chances went begging when Wijnaldum headed Zakaria Bakkali’s free-kick over the bar and Locadia just could not connect with Depay´s cross. While ADO striker Van Duinen headed well wide over the bar in the 68th minute.
Van Duinen handed Den Haag a lifeline in second-half stoppage time, capitalising on a defensive slip but PSV held on to take all three points.
NEC 1-4 FC GRONINGEN
FC Groningen also made a winning start to their campaign defeating NEC by four goals to one at the Goffertstadion on Saturday evening, a margin of goals that makes them top the table as of time of writing.
Both NEC and Groningen were quite active this summer in the transfer market, capturing six new players. As Groningen signed known Eredivisie experience in Tjaronn Chery, Eric Botteghin and Nick van der Velden, NEC mostly signed players without Dutch top flight familiarity.
It was obvious last season that NEC could use some fresh blood in as coach Alex Pastoor stated at the start of the campaign that him aim was to guide the team the Europa League playoffs but in the last twelve games were only four points were collected, three of them against the relegated Willem II.
Groningen came flying out of the blocks and one of the new boys, Chery scored the opening goal after just ten minutes of play. Kalle Johnson, last season’s NEC third choice goalkeeper, was responsible for the goal. Filip Kostic’s shot from the edge of the area, changed direction, but the weak save from Johnson led Chery to grab his first goal for the club on his debut.
It was 2-0 on 27 minutes and again Chery was involved. He placed a through ball to Andraz Kirm and the Slovenian outwitted Johnson to double the lead.
The two goal advantage put the visitors in the driving seat with Navarone Foor replying for the hosts before the half-time whistle.
Howver, second-half strikes from David Texeira, on 54 minutes and a late Richairo Zivkovic goal put the result beyond doubt.
FC TWENTE 0-0 RKC WAALWIJK
After losing top stars, Nader Chadli and Leroy Fer, FC Twente looked toothless and clueless in their opener against a RKC Waalwijk side which they should be quite capable of defeating. Instead it was a poor game and neither side could find a goal.
Even RKC has made some major changes in their playing staff, coach Erwin Koeman had to say goodbye to Jeroen Zoet, Cuco Martina, Henrico Drost, Guy Ramos and Ard van Peppen. Hardly any replacements of the calibre of the players that have departed have came in, and even after the Florian Jozefzoon’s transfer to PSV, there was not much money for new players.
The hosts did have their chances to win the match, especially through Willem Janssen and Luc Castaignos but the new RKC goalkeeper Jan Seda, had an excellent game and kept their best efforts out.
HEERENVEEN 4-2 AZ ALKMAAR
Heerenveen and AZ shared six goals in a high tempo match at a packed Abe Lenstra Stadion. Marco van Basten’s side showed that the administrative problems at the club have no impact on the performance on the field.
AZ had the best chance inside the first ten minutes when Swedish midfielder Viktor Elm found himself unmarked in the area and fired from close range straight at his compatriot Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
Heerenveen looked a different side to last year, with the high pressure and tenacity winning balls back deep into the opposition half. They grabbed the lead after 22 minutes when a penalty was awarded after a handball from Jan Wuytens inside the box. Icelandic hot shot Alfred Finnbogason made no mistake with the spot-kick, powering the shot into the right corner past Esteban Alvarado.
AZ were close to equalising minutes later but Nemanja Gudelj’s header from a corner clipped the crossbar and went over.
The visitors did grab the leveller, five minutes after the internal, with a tremendous solo effort from right-back Mattias Johansson. The Swede surged up the pitch with the ball stuck to his feet, played a lovely one-two inside the area with Aron Jóhannsson, and smashed it home.
The teams were only level pegging for just less than four minutes as Finnbogason clinched his second of the game. It was a poacher’s goal by the Iceland international, tapping home from a save from a lashing shot from Pele van Anholt.
Two minutes later, Van Anholt also got on the scoresheet as Heerenveen extended their lead to 3-1. The defender, who loves to get forward, arrived into the box as Finnbogason was doing some great play on the left of the area. The Icelandic squared the ball for Van Anholt to side-foot home with a neat finish.
The goals quietened down but the action did not, the hosts were reduced to ten-men after on-loan defender Mitchell Dijks was shown his marching orders for a strong but late challenge on Steven Berghuis. Luckily the striker was not seriously injured and continued the match.
AZ were given a chance to get back into the game when Rajiv van La Parra was deemed to have handle the ball in the area. The newly stated American international Jóhannsson converted perfectly hitting the inside of the left post on the way in.
The scoring had not been completed with the Van Basten’s boys when Van La Parra hit a superb curling effort from just outside the area to complete a 4-2 victory for Heerenveen.
There are rumours of Manchester City being interested in signing a centre-back (Pepe to be precise) as Joleon Lescott seeks more playing time before the World Cup which may not be possible at City due to the meteoric emergence of Mataja Nastasic. But there’s one player who may well compete for the starting spot in the central defence in the upcoming years, Karim Rekik. Rekik is well known in the youth circuit and is rated as one of the most promising player from City.
Karim Rekik,18, (Left Foot) plays for the Netherlands youth and is of Tunisian descent. Rekik spent 9 years at the Feyenoord academy before moving to Manchester at a very young age. He made his City debut at the age of 16 when he came on from the bench as a substitute for Wayne Bridge against Birmingham City in a League Cup tie. He was latter loaned to Portsmouth where he was a regular player on the team list having started 8 matches, usually occupying the Left back position for the
Pompeys. The next loan spell to Blackburn was a frustrating one as he started in only 4 matches and
being named on the bench in 8 matches. He made his Premier League debut in December when he started against Reading in a 1-0 victory, again occupying the Left back spot. Currently he is at PSV Eindhoven on loan and produced a match winning performance against Fenerbahce in 2-0 in the recent friendly, starting at his natural centre-back position. Rekik is a regular member for the Netherlands Youth national team. Infact, Rekik captains the Netherlands U19 squad. He had to withdraw from the U19 Euros because of his loan spell at PSV.
In his own words,Rekik’s natural position is centre-back but he can cover up the left-back spot whenever needed. Rekik has been/is the captain of Feyenoord youth, City reserves and the Netherlands youth national team. Despite his young age, he has already acquired some handy experience. Standing 6 foot 1 inch tall, Rekik uses his height to good use. He is very strong in the air and we can expect some power headers from him in set piece situations. Being robust, he is very difficult to push off the ball. Rekik is extremely confident possession and he showed his rich variety of passes in the recent friendly against Fenerbahce. He can read the game very well and has brilliant anticipation and intercepting skills to handle any Strikers next move. Rekik is well composed in any situations but at the same time does not shy away from sliding in a tackle. He is always there to challenge for ground or aerial 50/50 and his leadership qualities can be seen in the way he conducts himself on the pitch. He positions himself well and it won’t be surprising to see him in the City squad by next season itself. Rekik is the only left footed centre-back at PSV and with the highly rated Jetro Willems at left-back, Rekik will get to play at his preferred position more often.
The loan spell at PSV is a very good platform for Rekik to announce himself and to gain more experience from playing at the top level. There’s no doubt Rekik will come out as a more developed player at the end of this loan spell. Rekik said he wants to represent Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup, It maybe a too high target to achieve in such less time but no denying this young lad will be the first choice centre back for Netherlands and City very soon.
Kevin Strootman is relishing the chance to have a crack at Serie A after joining Roma from PSV Eindhoven. The Holland midfielder has signed a five-year-deal with the Giallorossi after the two clubs agreed a fee reported to be €20million.
Strootman wrote on his personal website: ”I am very excited to be able to play for this great club. ”It is the next stage in my career development after being at Sparta, FC Utrecht and PSV, a club at which I had a lot of fun.
The 23-year-old admitted that he had sought the advice of PSV teammate and former Milan midfielder, Mark Van Bommel before opting to move to Italy.
Strootman told De Telegraaf: ”He was the man with experience of Italy. ”Mark said how great the passion of the fans was, how special the atmoshpere in the stadiums was and and how there was a totally different football culture.
”What counts for me is the number if big games I am going to play here. ”I will train everyday with top players and get to play with the likes of Inter, Juventus and Napoli.”
The excepted transfer of Kevin Strootman to Serie A side AS Roma is close to completion. His current club, PSV confirmed on their official website this morning that they have reached a financial agreement with the Italian club for the Oranje international. The fee has reportedly been agreed at up to €19 million.
Tonight, the 23-year-old is in Rome to negotiate personal terms before undergoing a medical check tomorrow morning and join up with his new team-mates for pre-season training.
Strootman spent two seasons with the Eindhoven club since moving from FC Utrecht in June 2011. He collected some silverware within the two years, having won the KNVB Beker and the Super Cup in 2012, and also Oranje vice-captain.
PSV’s sporting director Marcel Brands stated that this was an offer the club could not refuse: “This was a transfer we could not refuse, the money is one of the biggest amounts in the club’s history but it’s a great loss to the squad.”
It is yet another case of a big star of the Eredivisie leaving to progress their career elsewhere, this is a player that should take the Serie A by storm with his tough-tackling and tempo controlling play.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In December 2012, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) granted Fox International Channels’ (FIC) an acquisition of a 51% stake in the Eredivisie Media and Marketing (EMM), the media and commercial arm of the country’s top league. Today, the amount of money that is to be shared out to all 18 teams was revealed.
The initial deal between EMM and the broadcast subsidiary of News Corporation was struck last August for a reported €1 billion. EMM owns media rights to the Eredivisie and controls the Eredivisie Live pay-per-view television channel. Fox will pay the €1 billion over the 12 years encompassing the 2013-14 to 2024-25 Dutch football seasons, with NMa board member Henk Don stating the deal guarantees a payment of €80 million a year to clubs in the Eredivisie through 2025. EMM was established in 2008 through a partnership between the Eredivisie clubs and media and production company Endemol.
The agreement saw Raymond van der Vliet, managing director of FIC in the Benelux region, join the management of EMM. Speaking in December he stated: “Together we will first examine the optimal exploitation of all possible media rights of Eredivisie clubs to give football fans an even better experience. We have a healthy ambition and will also explore the creation of an additional TV channel. We are looking forward to making a positive contribution to the exciting and attractive Eredivisie in the Netherlands.”
Now due to this new investment in the league, the Dutch media had wondered how this new wealth would be divided between the 18 clubs of the Dutch top flight. A decision was made by the investors that the money to shared out on average positions in the league for the last ten years. Whoever finished highest on average would be awarded the biggest fee. The chart below shows the figures for the upcoming 2013/14 season with champions Ajax receiving the most funds topping nearly €8 million.
Last seasons Eredivisie runners-up PSV Eindhoven are set to gain just over €7 million. Around €1.5 million is set to be received at the inexperienced newly promoted teams like Cambuur, Go Ahead Eagles and PEC Zwolle.
As you can see in the table below this deal seems to be a case of making the rich, richer and the poor, poorer.
Three clubs in Dutch football are in poor financial shape, the KNVB announced on Wednesday morning. Based on their interim results, ADO Den Haag, Fortuna Sittard and FC Emmen are listed in Category 1.
Clubs listed in Category 1 must work on their financial recovery and gain Category 2 status within three years. The KNVB will investigate each case and set-up a plan to clean up each club’s financial difficulties.
The report, compared with earlier this year, is a vast improvement. In January, five clubs were listed in Category 1 and were put under scrutiny by the organisation. Helmond Sport and FC Dordrecht were then also listed as being in financial danger but the clubs reported last month to now being classed in the second category. The now-defunct SC Veendam, who went bankrupt last month, is removed from the list, while FC Emmen have dropped into Category 1 from the last report.
Mark Boetekees, who is responsible for the KNVB report is pleased with the progress. “It’s good to see that clubs now realise that a good and consistent financial policy is important. They must continue to work on financial recovery to ensure that their future is secure.”
In total they are 23 of the 34 professional clubs in the safe category 2. These are: AZ, FC Den Bosch, SC Cambuur, FC Dordrecht FC Eindhoven, Excelsior, Feyenoord, De Graafschap, Helmond Sport Heracles Almelo, MVV Maastricht, NAC Breda, NEC, RKC Waalwijk Roda JC, Sparta Rotterdam, Telstar, FC Twente, FC Utrecht, Vitesse, VVV-Venlo, Willem II and PEC Zwolle.
Eight clubs are in excellent financial condition and are listed in Category 3: Ajax, Almere City FC, Go Ahead Eagles, FC Groningen, Heerenveen, FC Oss, PSV and FC Volendam.
All clubs have to submit their figures to the federation for the year 2013/14 by the next financial assessment, which will be on June 15.
On Monday morning, Phillip Cocu was appointed new PSV Eindhoven head coach on a four-year deal.
Cocu replaces Dick Advocaat, who had previously stated his intention to step down at the end of the season if PSV Eindhoven failed to win the Eredivisie title. With the club finishing as runners-up and seven points adrift of Ajax in the standings, the former Holland coach is stepping aside to give Cocu the chance to lead the club.
42-year-old Cocu, who enjoyed two spells at the Eindhoven club as a player and six years at La Liga giants Barcelona, spent three months as PSV’s interim coach at the end of last season following the dismissal of Fred Rutten, before Advocaat then came in to take over the reins.
At a press conference on Monday morning, general manager Tiny Sanders said the appointment of Cocu will signal a shift in focus from instant success to bringing through young players and building a team for the future.
“PSV and Phillip Cocu have agreed a four-year contract as head coach,” Sanders said. “This expresses the intention to build a new PSV with the involvement and appearance that characterises the club.
“Both parties see the selection of Phillip Cocu, after a good debut as interim coach, as the right choice.
“After focusing on the championship in 2013, partly fuelled by the return of Dick Advocaat, we are now aiming to implement a long-term vision.
“Extra attention and investment will be made in our youth system. While individual training and guidance and a recognisable style of play at all levels are important examples of our priorities.
“Qualification for the Champions League this year is a great windfall but is secondary to the priorities previously mentioned.
“PSV would like to thank Dick Advocaat for his hard work in the 2012/13 season and wish him every success in his future challenges.
“He was willing to show his loyalty and was the same passionate man with a warm heart as he was during his first spell in charge, so we are very grateful.”
Cocu will be joined by assistants Chris van der Weerden and Ernest Faber.
The former Oranje international said: “We are all eager to start. This is a challenging job with an ambitious new staff.
“We are going to build a new team. There will be changes in the squad. PSV will always go for the title but there is time enough.
“I am someone who likes to learn step by step and don’t want to go too fast. I also think you’re never too old to learn.
“I’m ready to take this step. It is a long-term thing but I am someone who, if he start something, wants to do well.”
It is rumoured that Ruud van Nistelrooy and recently retired Mark van Bommel will join the coaching staff in Eindhoven in the next few weeks.
It went all wrong on Thursday night for PSV. The Eindhoven club knew they could end the season on a real high by clinching the KNVB Beker but they failed at the hands of AZ Alkmaar.
“This was the chance to finish the season in a dignified way”, said PSV midfielder Kevin Strootman after the game. “We had the chance to still give the supporters something, the atmosphere they created was fantastic, but we have let them down.”
“We have to make a stand and we did not succeed, due to our own mistakes and for that we need to look in the mirror. Me too.”
PSV found themselves 2-0 down at De Kuip after just fifteen minutes through goals from Adam Maher and Jozy Altidore.
Strootman: “We gave away too much space and AZ scored from their first two chances and when they both go in, it then becomes difficult…”
After half an hour of play, Jürgen Locadia grabbed an goal, but then PSV failed to produce any chances. Until, Jeremain Lens was close to equalizing as he smashed his shot against the post late in the game.
Although PSV had three penalty claims turned down in the game, Strootman refuses to use that as an excuse: “Let’s not talk about it, otherwise I’ll be accused of complaining.”
AZ Alkmaar hit a quickfire double to defeat favourites PSV Eindhoven two goals to one in De Kuip, Rotterdam to win their fourth KNVB Beker. The goals came from American international Jozy Altidore and Adam Maher. 19-year-old Maher showed the veterans of PSV how it’s done with an excellent opening goal and overall majestic performance.
In a dream start, Gertjan Verbeek’s side went a goal ahead from some magic from the young attacking maestro. Recieving the ball on the edge of the area, Maher ghosted past several PSV defenders and slotted the ball past Boy Waterman in the PSV goal after only 11 minutes. It was horrendous defending by Dick Advocaat’s team but a sublime piece of skill and the finish to match from Maher.
PSV needed to re-group and quickly, but unfortunately for De Boeren, it was not quick enough and they were hit with a sucker punch, two minutes later. The powerful Altidore scored his 32nd goal in all competitions this season on 13 minutes. A long ball through from Viktor Elm set-up the big strong American who ventured into the box, and forced a strong shot underneath Waterman. It was poor goalkeeping and poor defending all around from PSV again.
AZ were in full control is respect of the scoreboard but they were lucky to escape a good penalty shout against them. A Jurgen Locadia strike appeared to hit the arm of defender Nick Viergever, but referee Bjorn Kuiper waved play on.
It took some excellent work from Dries Mertens to create the PSV goal. Mertens sped past two defenders and crossed towards the back post where the ball met Wilfried Bouma’s head. Bouma’s header zipped across the goal for youngster Locadia, picked ahead of Tim Matavz for today’s game, to finish to give PSV some faith. This goal was PSV’s 144th goal in just 49 games this season and this equals a club record they set back in the 1987/88 season.
After the break, PSV came out looking likely that the Eindhoven side would reel in AZ during the second half, but chances for Mertens, Locadia and Strootman went begging and Jermain Lens missed a glorious opporuntity ten minutes from time, crashing the post with his close range shot.
AZ now enter Europe next season without having the worry of the playoffs, they will begin in the fourth qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League. It is their first silverware since their 2009 Eredivisie title.
After the match, Jozy Altidore stated that this season ‘boys became men’ in this AZ side and on this performance, we can see that statement is accurate. What the future holds for this team is set to be seen with Maher almost certain to move on and Altidore, on this form, will be a wanted man throughout Europe.
Some major changes will happen this summer for PSV and on this display, they are well needed, whether or not Marcel Brands will be given the chance to spend money will need to be seen.
As expected, Ajax Amsterdam won their 32nd Eredivisie title, and third in a row today as they put five past Willem II, which condemned the Tilburg club to the Jupiler League next season.
For the third season in a row, Ajax Amsterdam are the Eredivisie champions.
Manager Frank de Boer stated to Eredivisie Live after today’s game: “We have been the most consistent. This year, we were able to finish our games in the first half of the season and then we have had a nice 5-0 championship winning game today. You should reward yourself and the public like we did today. With maybe a little luck, we feel we could have won by a bigger margin but nevertheless, we are proud of this title.”
“Were we the rightful champions? Yes, I think so. We have been the most consistent and I think we have played the best football.” he added. De Boer now joins Ronald Koeman as only men to have won at least three league titles in the Netherlands as player and a coach. In another interesting record, De Boer joins former Barcelona team-mate Pep Guardiola as a player and coach to three-peat with the same club.
An amazing 38 goals were scored on the penultimate round of fixtures of the Eredivisie season, full report tonight!
Ajax 5 (Sigthórsson 12, Eriksen 25, Fischer 68, de Jong 82, Hoesen 89)
Willem II 0
The champions went out and got the job done in style with a 5-0 demolition of Willem II Tilburg which sent the visitors back down into the Jupiler League. The party got underway after just 12 minutes when Kolbeinn Sigthórsson delivered a well-executed diving header following a great cross from Ryan Babel. The lead was extended thanks to an error from Tilburg keeper David Meul, who let a long drive from Christian Eriksen slip through his hands after 25 minutes.
After Danish 18-year-old winger Viktor Fischer had added a third, the fans in the F-Side of the Arena unveiled the flag in the picture above and started the celebrations. Within ten minutes to Siem de Jong added a fourth before substitute Danny Hoesen got in on the act minutes later.
After a third straight title, the Amsterdammers will now want to focus on competing in the UEFA Champions League, but fear they could lose players like Fischer, De Jong, Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld to foreign clubs.
“This feels great but it would be perfect if this team sticks together for another year so we can try to survive the Champions League group stage,” said left back Daley Blind, who signed a new three-year contract last month.
On the other end of the spectrum, Willem II now face at least another season in the Eerste Divisie, and will hope to hang onto young stars like Genaro Snijders, Virgil Misidjan and Niek Vossebelt to try and come back up to the top level as soon as possible.
ADO Den Haag 2 (van Duinen 10, Holla 37P)
It was a bad day all around for Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord as they day ended with top scorer Graziano Pelle missing a last minute penalty, as well as losing defender Stefan de Vrij with a broken nose, which could have been his last game for the club.
Den Haag prodigy Mike van Duinen continued his great goal scoring form putting ADO ahead after 10 minutes of play. Feyenoord failed to get a grip on the match and after 37 minutes they found themselves 2-0 down. Danny Holla placed home a spot-kick awarded to the hosts after Daryl Janmaat fouled Tjaronn Chery in the area.
Feyenoord will play in the Europa League next year after PSV’s victory today made them out of reach in the last round of fixtures due to the Eindhoven club’s superior goal difference.
PSV Eindhoven will join the UEFA Champions League qualifying campaign in the summer after clinching second place in the standings but it was not all plain sailing in their 4-2 victory over NEC Nijmegen on Sunday afternoon.
PSV gained a stroke of luck to get the day going in the right direction after Daan Bovenberg’s own goal gave the hosts a 1-0 lead after 9 minutes. A long throw was zipped in from the left and the NEC defender flicked it over goalkeeper Gabor Babos’ head, much to the Hungarian’s displeasure. It was 2-0 before half-time with a superb goal from Swedish striker Ola Toivonen which was PSV’s 100th goal of the season.
PSV’s jubilation then turned to panic in the second half, when the visitors grabbed two goals back and levelled the game. Nick van der Velden and Frenchman Remy Amieux, both notched after fumblings in the Eindhoven defence, and the Phillips Stadion spectators were not happy.
Up stepped Jermain Lens just two minutes after Amieux’s goal to regain the lead and send the crowd in raptures. A powerful driving free-kick from Mark van Bommel was plamed away by Babos and the return came in from young left-back Jetro Willems but again the goalkeeper could not hold. Lens anticipated this and pounced on the scraps to put PSV 3-2 ahead. Young substitute striker Jurgen Locadia put the final nail in NEC’s coffin five minutes into injury time after a scrappy ending to the match.
After the game head coach, Dick Advocaat confirmed that he will leave at the end of the season, his replacement is rumoured to be former club favourite Philip Cocu.
RKC Waalwijk 3 (Braber 3, Lieder 40, Duits 69P)
Vitesse Arnhem 2 (van der Heijden 47, Havenaar 68)
Vitesse crashed to a 3-2 away defeat to ten-man RKC Waalwijk which has pulled the hosts of relegation trouble. The visitors were shocked after just three minutes when they fell behind to Robert Braber goal after some terrible defending from Guram Kashia.
It did not look to be RKC’s day after 28 minutes when forward Nourdin Boukhari stupidly was shown two yellow cards for arguing with the officials. After a terrible miss from Vitesse’s Mike Havenaar just before the break, the home side found themselves two goals in-front. Mart Lieder showing Havenaar how to head a ball straight from a corner after the Arnhem striker had hit the post from five yards out moments earlier.
It looked like Fred Rutten had whipped his boys into shape at half-time as Jan-Arie van der Heijden slid home Wilfried Bony’s header to grab a goal back just two minutes into the second half. The forward line of Marco van Ginkel, Bony and Havenaar were looking bright and got on level terms on 68 minutes. Again, Bony with the assisting header onto Havenaar to finish.
Everyone watching would not have predicted what happened next, as Vitesse had the momentatum, RKC got the ball from the kick-off and attacked again. Florian Jozefzoon ran at the poor Kashia and the defender brought the attacker down to give RKC a spot kick. Sander Duits hit the penalty home and Fred Rutten substituted Kashia minutes later.
The game petered out and RKC are safe from the relegation playoffs as Vitesse will start next season playing UEFA Europa League football.
AZ warmed up for Thursday, KNVB Beker final against PSV in style with a 4-0 home win over PEC Zwolle.
Alkmaar started well and took the lead on 20 minutes, when Adam Maher whipped in a corner was headed home by Swedish midfielder Viktor Elm. It was 2-0 in the 39th minute with a Roy Beerens close range volley giving goalkeeper Diederik Boer no chance.
AZ continued to press after the break and added a third just past the hour with substitute Aron Johannsson netting and Adam Maher grabbed the final goal 77 minutes with Elm crossing to repay Maher for his earlier assist.
Despite the defeat, Zwolle will be happy with the season so far, sitting in 14th and they have survived their first year back in the Eredivisie. AZ now sit in the tenth and will hope that Heerenveen are defeated next weekend away to Roda, so they can qualify for the European playoffs. Alkmaar will need a win when they play away to relegated Willem II.
VVV Venlo 0
FC Groningen 0
A scoreless and toothless draw in Venlo as VVV enter the relegation playoffs with FC Groningen qualifying for the Europe League playoffs later this month. The Limburgers enter the relegation survival playoffs for the third season in a row as Groningen seemed to be already on their post season holidays.
Heerenveen 2 (El Ghanassy 30, 80)
FC Utrecht 4 (Toornstra 34, Mulenga 61, Wuytens 67, van der Hoorn 86)
Utrecht defeated Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen side 4-2 to leave the visitors lingering in the uncertainty of reaching the UEFA Europa League next season. A win or a draw today would have confirmed the playoff place for the home side not even two goals from Yassine El Ghanassy could lead to the win they so desperately needed.
El Ghanassy put Heerenveen ahead after half an hour but Jens Toornstra equalised just four minutes later. On-fire Icelandic striker Alfred Finnbogason smashed a header off the crossbar before the break as Heerenveen pressed for the second goal. Utrecht then had a fire lit under them on the second-half and a quick-fire double in six minutes after the hour gave them a 3-1 advantage. Jacob Mulenga and Jan Wuytens with the Utrecht goals but El Ghannasy hit a second for the hosts to give them hope of a comeback.
But with just four minutes to go, Utrecht finished the game off with defender Mike van der Hoorn’s diving header sealing the win.
Heracles 1 (Bruns 7)
FC Twente 1 (Fer 27)
Fifth-placed FC Twente came from behind to grab a point against Heracles in the ‘Derby of the East’ which spoiled the home side’s chances of European football next term.
Heracles started well and were ahead after 7 minutes gone, Thomas Bruns capitalised on poor defending from a Dragan Paljic through ball. Twente went in search of a goal, and after Luc Castaignos missing a good chance they finally did score, as creative midfielder Leroy Fer (rumoured to joining Everton in England’s Premier League) equalising on 27 minutes.
Both teams attacked looking the second goal in the second half with Everton coming the closest smashing an effort against the post and failing with the rebound. At the end of the game, the Brazilian striker was in tears as he left the pitch, as rumour has it that could be on his way in the summer after seven years at the club.
Heracles Almelo slip down to 11th with their chances of reaching the European play-offs slim, while FC Twente are overtaken in fifth by FC Utrecht.
Roda joins VVV in the relegation playoffs after losing an eight-goal thriller away in Breda five goals to three. The visitors took a 3-1 lead with first-half goals from Frank Demouge and midfielder Roly Bonevacia (on-loan from Ajax) with former Ajax player Mitchell Donald netting a third just after half-time. NAC’s Brazilian defender Eric Botteghin scored in the 18th minute to level the scores at 1-1 but Breda were overwhelmed by Roda JC, then came the outstanding comeback orchestrated by the sensational Anthony Lurling.
Rick ten Voorde got the result back to 3-2 with a good effort just before the hour and Lurling grabbing his first of two beautiful goals minutes later with a wonderful strike. A 75th minute Elson Hooi goal put NAC in front before Lurling smashed home a spectacular long-range hit to claim all three points.
NAC Breda now are placed in mid-table obscurity with nothing to play for heading into the last week of fixtures with Roda having the worry of the relegation playoffs.