Bruma and Rekik: new Oranje center backs?

New PSV trainer Phillip Cocu talks as the Barca or Ajax coach. “Play dominant football, forward pressure and take the initiative.” He needed different center backs in his team to play this way. Jeffrey Bruma (21) and Karim Rekik (18) have settled in nicely. Bruma was bought from Chelsea (but the London club negotiated the right of first refusal) and Rekik is on loan from Man City. They are young. Very young. But very confident: “It’s not about age, but about quality.”

It seems as if all the new players have settled in nicely at PSV?

Bruma: “I think so. The people here at PSV have done an awesome job. The lads that were here helped us a lot too. It makes all the difference.”
Rekik: “The fun thing is, most lads I know from the youth games with Feyenoord. And Gini Wijnaldum played higher than me at Feyenoord of course but we knew each other. Some lads, I have known for years and are good mates, like Depay, Willems and Brenet. That made it easier for me to settle in.”
Bruma: “Same for me. I played with Zoet, Maher, Narsingh, Locadia and Wijnaldum in the Oranje selections and with Schaars I played too, in the big Oranje and I also know Cocu and Faber from those days. And Karim and I know each other for years too.”


Rekik: “I played for years with Kyle Ebicilio, who is now at FC Twente. He is a very good mate. And he is Jeffrey’s cousin. Our families know each other really well and we even went on holidays together. I remember you left for Chelsea that particular summer.”
Bruma: “It’s quite special to be playing with Karim now, thinking about that particular summer. We couldn’t have made that up back then, hahaha.”
Rekik: “We do share the same management (Rodger Linse) and through them I heard pretty early on that PSV wanted us both.”

There is quite some good football in your families…

Bruma: “My dad was a good athlete. A long distance runner. My mum played different sports. Fabian Wilnis is my uncle, who played for NAC and Ipswich Town. My brother Marciano played for Sparta, Barnsley and Lech Poznan. He is now my manager. And Kyle Ebicilio is my cousin. We all love sports.”
Rekik: “My little brother Omar, 11 years old, plays for Man City as well. He is regarded to be one of the biggest talents they have. He is in the elite group, for whom special arrangements for school are made. They attend this very expensive school and the club pays for it all. I’m so proud of him. I think we have the talent from my dad. He played pro football in Tunesia. My dad didn’t have long career as a knee injury made him stop. He studied hard instead and came to Holland to pursue a career. But from the day we could walk, he was always playing football with us.”

Karim Rekik got introduced to the Islam via his dad, but his little brother inspired him to practice the faith. “Our dad leaves us free in this, but my kid brother got interested in it and we went and checked this mosque out and it did something to me. I do it my way though. I don’t get involved in ramadan as I don’t believe I can combine it with my football. But I do it on days off. I do pray 5 times a day and on Friday’s I go to the mosque. And I want to visit Mekka one day.

rekik signs psv

You both went to England when you were 16 years old. And now you are playing for PSV. Criticasters will say: see, you made a bad decision.

Bruma: “I don’t think you can make general comments like that. Every player is different. I totally believe I made the right decision. I have played and trained with some of the best in the game. I have played in England and Germany and I’m only 21 years old.”

But you could have played in the Feyenoord first team for 4 seasons?

Bruma: “Yeah but who knows. You don’t know this for sure.”
Rekik: “It’s really not relevant to talk about this, is it? It is all “I could have or should have…” You make a decision and you go with it. I think I have not made a bad decision.”

And the money?

Rekik: “I have not made my decision to leave for Man City on the basis of money. I could actually go to different clubs, one Italian club in particular, was offering me much more. My first contract with Man City was an apprentice contract. I was paid 570 euro per month and they gave us a rental house. I now have a real contract of course, but you do have to earn that.”
Bruma: “I did it for the challenge. I wanted to know if I was going to be good enough for Chelsea. I have not been paid to well either, in the beginning. After two years in London, I played 10 games in Chelsea 1. I played Champions League. I am proud of that.”

Is it hard to leave a top club?

Bruma: “For sure. Every day you become better, when you train with the likes of Terry and Lampard. When you play with only top players, you are lifted up and get into this flow. If players like Terry, or Kompany in Karim’s case, help you and guide you, you feel special. It does something….”

Man City has a lot of faith in Rekik. The youngster will be scouted every match. “I know they will come and watch me play all the time. This is how they work. They prepare reports and keep track. There is a whole department for this. And they do evaluations periodically. I like it. It is clear that they take me and the others seriously.

But young players in England do not have any say in where they play, right?

Bruma: “Wrong. I have played on loan at Leicester and HSV Hamburg and this has always been after consultation with me. Chelsea wouldn’t force a player.”
Rekik: “Same here. Everytime I got loaned out, it was either because I took the initiative or because we both decided it was best. PSV is my third club. I played eight games for Portsmouth and later on I went to Blackburn Rovers.”

How did the PSV deal go?

Rekik: “Manager Marcel Brands first checked with Rodger Linse whether I would be interested. Rodger talked to my parents and and me. I was very happy to give it a go. So Rodger talked to Man City we all felt it was a good move for me. I spoke to Nigel de Jong about it too. He has become a dear friend and I talk to him a lot about these things. He’s my mentor. And he thought it would be very good for me.”

And you decided to leave Chelsea, Jeffrey?

Bruma: “Well, there was a new deal for me, at Chelsea. They didn’t want to see me go and I could be part of the squad now. But I wouldn’t be playing a lot. I would be a player for the future and I would get time in the Carling Cup or something…. I did think about it but I decided I am beyond a player for the future. I am a player for now. I am young, fit and I have learned a lot at Chelsea and HSV. I want to play every week. I had more options, but PSV was the right club for me.”

bruma lampard

Lampard opposed to the tongue


But it didn’t work out really well at Hamburger SV?

Bruma: “I played a lot in my first season. It was a season of ups and downs, I have to say. We played relegation football almost. Very challenging. The second season, I became victim of a new policy at HSV. They wanted to use players with long-term contracts. The coach even told me I was his preferred option for center back, but the board wanted to use players who would be loyal to the club. I did understand their point, but it was disappointing for me of course. They wanted to sign me and make me one of their own, but they couldn’t get it together, financially. I still played 20 games last season. I wasn’t used to playing under that kind of pressure, to be honest. Relegation football… Also, HSV has never been relegated so playing with that potential outcome put extra pressure on. It was not easy.”

So returning to Chelsea was not what you were looking out for?

Bruma: “No, I didn’t want spend time on the bench there, with all due respect. I didn’t want to be in a situation where Chelsea would again loan me out to a relegation candidate. I wanted to take my career in my own hands.”

Jeffrey Bruma and Christianity: the former Chelsea man – son of a Dutch father and a Suriname mother – is a very religious young man. It was key in his upbringing and still is a factor. “I can go to church once a week again, in Rotterdam. I missed that a bit. In England and Germany I prayed with my mum and we watched services on telly or we read the Bible together. It’s a very cool congretation. Lots of music and singing. It takes 2,5 hours and then the cooks prepare food. It relaxes me. The older I get, the more important my faith becomes. My mum took me when I was young, but now I can determine myself whether I embrace it or not. And I do….

The Eredivisie has become a popular destination for young players. Look at Ajax, Feyenoord, AZ, Twente… Age is not a factor, it seems.

Rekik: “The meetings I had with PSV management were key for me. Marcel Brands and Phillip Cocu gave me a very warm feeling. I was on holiday in Holland and Cocu dropped in and we talked about me, my style of play, my career and his analysis of me told me he had really spent time on me. He gave me tremendous confidence and it was clear that he really wanted me in his team. I could also go to another club in England and a club in Spain. But I did want to play in the Eredivisie. I believe in Cocu as coach and the football played in Holland is befitting of my style.”
Bruma: “For me, it was important to play in Holland. Young players get more chances here. And the play is more open. Like Karim says, Brands and Cocu knew everything about me and my background. I did my homework too and when I learned about the signings and the ambitions here, I didn’t need much time to decide.”

You are both young, but play with the confidence of experienced players.

Rekik: “I hear that comment already a long time. I have always been skipper of teams and I always here that I resonate authority and confidence. And I worked on that with a vengeance. When I first played at City, I thought I couldn’t play football anymore. Every ball was taken away from me. I lost every challenge. And a loose ball, man…you’d see Kompany running towards me and I would simply pull back. I needed to work out. Get stronger. I got this personal program and started to work in the gym, to gain strength.”

What does Cocu, your coach, expect from you?

Rekik: “He wants us to be fearless. In defensive sense and in offensive sense. He wants the team to dominate, to control the pitch and the ball. We can do this.”
Bruma: “He wants us to play our own game. Karim and I have a click together, that always helps. I trust Karim, so I can take a bit more initiative and vice versa. He basically wins all his duels, did you see that?”
Rekik: “And when Jeff commits to a duel, I back him up. We are both pretty content with how we are doing and that is not something I easily am.”

You are relatively inexperienced, but you both ooze confidence.

Rekik: “There is no need to be anxious or nervous on the ball. You have to have faith in your skills. We both always were confident on the ball, which doesn’t mean we never make a stupid mistake, hahaha.”

Jeffrey Bruma’s transfer to PSV was a bit delayed due to alleged heart issues. “I wasn’t surprised,” Bruma says. “I have a thick heart muscle. What they call a sports heart. Chelsea knew this too, they found out when I was 16 years old. It is not a problem. PSV knew this too. For my medical though, they wanted to use the same doctor I have consulted for years in London and the good man was on a summer break, hence the delay. If he wasn’t away, it would have been settled on that same day and no one would have cared.”

Has England changed you or are you still typical Dutch defenders: good in build up, trying to take initiative?

Rekik: “That will always be part of our game of course. But the time in England has taught us to be killers too. As a defender, your first task is to defend.”
Bruma: “True. My development at Feyenoord as a defender was great, but always aimed at ball possession. In England I have learned what it is to battle. Practice in England and Germany were normally tougher than the games. Flying tackles like razorblades man.”
Rekik: “Coach Cocu demands this from us on practice too. He wants to see 100% commitment.”
Bruma: “He always says “being a nice guy won’t win you titles”….

bruma signs PSV

The football world is taking notice of this PSV. With lots of scouts on the stands, as a result.

Bruma: “Cool. But, we played only 4 or 5 games. Too early to pass judgement. We should not think we are “there”. Because then it will go south really quickly.”
Rekik: “We do notice the response from the crowd. That always helps us improve too. So there is that interaction.”

You were the youngest PSV ever in the Zulte Waregem games.

Rekik: “It’s pretty cool to be part of that. Some people believe young people can’t be consistent. I don’t buy it.”

Jeffrey, Chelsea has negotiated a buy back option for 5 Mio Euros. Does that go through your mind?

Bruma: “I know they demanded that. But it’s not a topic for me.”

Karim, how is that for you?

Rekik: “I am now focusing on PSV. My deal with Man City is till 2017. They have faith in me, but this season it’s all PSV for me. As a player in a top club you need to live day by day. I don’t want to think about next season.”

What are your personal goals?

Bruma: “I want to play as many games as possible and play well. The coach wants me to take charge and lead. And that is what I want to do. I want to win silverware. We want to have a serious go at the title.”
Rekik: “Me too.”
Bruma: “And stay realistic. Keep our feet firmly on the ground.”

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  1. Wonderful interview Jan. Thank you.
    It’s amazing how Oranje suffered for years due to lack of talents in the CB position “since 2004” , and now have top 4 CB talents with Indi , de Vrij , Rekik and Bruma.
    Best of luck to them and to the whole young dutch psv team. I have a good feeling for tonight’s game.
    Cocu said , “We are ready for anything. We will sell our lives dearly and do everything against AC Milan.” Great spirit 🙂 .
    Bommel went with the players to support them. Bakkali will probably play in the 2nd half , Wijnaldum is likely to start as he tweeted his ankle is fine and can play against Milan.
    Anyone knows about Narsingh ? Can he play tonight ? Even if for few minutes ?

  2. Great story Jan, it’s very refreshing to hear the opinions of young players with regard to their career pathways, we tend to have a view that moving overseas to young is detrimental,to player development, howev
    Er these two would not change a thing and believe in their own decisions.
    Further, I also really liked what Cocu’s instructions are ” be fearless”‘, in both defence and attack. What a great way to be able to play flowing football, surely their self confidence would be sky high with the freedom to play their natural game.
    Looking forward to watching these two closely over the coming season!

  3. Great article Jan…
    If injury doesnt happens i can see both in brazil.Good bye to Joris,Vlaar? and Johny.
    De vrij-BMI-Reikik-Bruma
    Janmaat-Van Rhijn-Williams-Peiters..that is cool
    on stand by

  4. Cool interview Jan! It’s great to have the best Dutch talents concentrated in a few teams so we can watch them play regularly. I can’t be bothered to follow HSV and the like.

    In other news, Studio Voetbal mentioned Lerin Duarte as a candidate to be bought before the transfer deadline Sept 2, specifically as a replacement for Eriksen should he be bought.

  5. dutch talents need to stay in holland. because in the end other teams only job is to win, (i dont blame them for this) and if you don’t help them win or they think someone else is more experienced they will play over you. the bruma at psv is looking like some sort of superstar while the bruma i watched at hamburg was garbage.while rekik was always a superstar in the making, except i hated when they played him out of position and then he was average at best.

    these talents need experience, i realize now that a lot of people speak about theory, and what they hope to see using projection without any reality about why would player x be best used in position y, experience matters more than any of us can anticipate or appreciate because most of us haven’t played professional soccer, let alone international soccer.

    So i like the idea of the younger players staying in holland, it’s actually the more selfish thing to do. these players need to be more selfish and think about maximizing their potential because a good team is a team with all individual players maximizing their potential. think about the world cup 2010 ok we didn’t play so attractive but we maximized the individual talents of the each individual player.

    it’s my theory that this is what wins international football tournaments. because in all honesty, i’m bias toward a 3-4-3 4-3-3 like ajax, barcelona, borussia dortmund tend to execute and play. but thats club football. lets be more realistic about what it takes to win international football which is generally low scoring, very boring, defensive tactical encounters

  6. just for fun while we wait for psv to beat ac milan or lose by some sort of penalty kick dive!

    from the previous about brazilian football and what a dutch team using a brazilian/south american 4-2-2-2 would look like
    ————–strootman———nigel de jong——–
    emanuelson——-rekik———de vrij——–lens

    1. Playing Vaart,persie,Roben and wesly together will reduce workrate and hence it will affect flow and fluidity of game and no chance winnign against a competent team.i mean balance and lungs wont be there.Apart from that Devrij is slow and Lenz is not experinced in new position.

  7. Apparently AJax’s Eriksen has been given “permission” to talk to the Spurs.

    That seems like a bad move at the moment, if it happens. Spurs have lots of midfielders now, and Eriksen could find himself in a Van Ginkel situation. Plus, it seems odd trading in CL football with Ajax for a team not currently in the CL. Perhaps this is just more of opening up communication channels for later possibilities?

  8. maybe these will teach us the important that is to have a MIX of player, sure we can have Rekik and Bruma but also we need sneijder, van persie, robben, etc. The mix of age is very important. If no watch the play, boys vs men

  9. Boring PSV.

    Bruma is just another Vlaar, really slow building, slow reactions…Brenet is making many mistakes but I like his passes beetween lines and his strenght in 1vs1. Rekik and Willems are Ok for me.

    Schaars gives good balls forward but struggles in challenges, Maher did 2/3 good things but still not enough to impress me, Wijnaldum as always seems to be lost in that position, he should change with Park who is always coming inside instead to go in 1vs1, seems like he has no speed for that.

    Depay doing nothing against Abate, Matavz is doing good with the few balls he gets.

  10. i like this PSV, they can attack and also they can defend. their biggest problem is Willems and Brenet, they r out of match, and both don’t know whay PSV play against Milan

  11. It seems to me that Park has been largely peripheral (much more so than last game) and another weak link has been DePay, although he’s improved over last game. Park doesn’t have a good rapport with Wijnaldum, and when Park dribbles inside Wijnaldum seems to miss the space opening up on the wing.

    In any case, many small mistakes on the field today due to youth and inexperience, which collectively add up to Milan getting and taking their chances and PSV missing theirs.

    I think Cocu should have made changes at halftime, especially on the right wing, either moving Park or substituting.

    I am not sure why there’s criticism of Brenet. He’s played fine in my book. First goal came from a midfield dispossession of Park, and failure of the center backs or defensive midfielder to pressure Boetang. And despite what Cocu asked, Rekik didn’t put his life on the line against that shot.

    1. He makes positionning mistakes, gives risky balls behind etc. typical mistakes of young defenders. Otherwise, have you seen El Shaarawy getting past him every time he tried ? Brenet is fast and strong, it’s a bit another Willems on the other side.

      In 1vs1 situation he is better than Van Rhijn, Janmaat and Van der Wiel. Also offensivly he got quality.Needs to improve but can be a Oranje material.

  12. I really hope not to read such comments about how weak PSV is , How average the dutch talents are, how far better Ajax 95 was , how bad Oranje will do in the WC .. Etc
    Hardluck to young PSV , It was a difficult game for the young lads , all good for thier learning process .
    It has nothing to do with their talent , It was all about experience.
    Brenet is too young for such games , hope he doesn’t lose his self-confidence.

    Good game imo for both Rekik and Bruma , willems wasn’t bad , but could have done better.

  13. Wijnaldum ball could have changed the whole game. You can’t miss such opportunities in top games.
    Depay played as a team player , but he needs to be more effective. I think he was ok.

  14. Guys its no use blaming the players. Milan is always a class of its own when they are playing at San Siro. Either way I think they deserve to be in the Champions League. AS for PSV, it was just experience vs Amateur and in the end it was experience which rose supreme,But on the other hand I dont know how much Bakkali would have influenced the game if he would have played.

    Cocu Lineup was bit skeptical to me especially with De Sciglio and Ali Muntari returning from injury. Maybe he underestimated Milan by underminding the scores of the 1st leg and using the same formation and same lineup . May be?????

  15. Young coach, young team…. what did you expect?

    Milan may not be European Elite at the moment, but they did give Barcelona a game last UCL and they do possess high caliber players such as Balotelli, Boateng and De Jong.

  16. It’s almost official. Eriksen to Spurs for 11 million £.
    It’s rediculous. I think if Eriksen was a porto player , for example , he would been sold with 30 million £ at least. I konw only one year left in hos contract , but i’d rather keep him this year, play good in CL , get good money from qualifuing to the 2nd round or may be even the quarter-finals.

  17. OK my conclusión:

    1) PSV was unlucky to face Milan.
    2) Cocu is a new coach.
    3) Many new players in PSV or players didn’t use to start last season (Rekik, Bruma, Schaars, Maher, Depay, Brenet, Park)
    4) PSV was also unlucky because Abbiati was great he stopped everything. Maher and Schaars tried good long distance shots but Abbiati was simply great.

  18. Oke I feel grumpy.

    Can’t be really mad as the final scoreline was 3-0 and PSV’s weaknesses that I already knew about, got exposed.

    Brenet and defense. His learning curve will be even bigger than that of Willems. The chance he gave away for SES, his painful awareness, his inability to stick his foot out with Milan’s third goal. He is a person that teams should go after to expose by overloading his side time and again as he will make mistakes. This game he did that and last game as well. That being said. He is an interesting right back. His on ball ability is interesting. His crossing ability is interesting. His speed as well. The tuition money for PSV will be high for this kid, but if they want to pay it, then we as Dutch NT fans should be happy about it. I hope Faber is going to make him his personal project as he needs all the help he can get to become defensively reliable.

    Another one is Wijnaldum’s finishing. I noticed recently that people say he is good at it. I have always kind of disagreed with that. Despite good absolute numbers both at PSV and Oranje (U21), I have seen him miss many gigantic chances. He just keeps on going and maneuvers himself in scoring positions again which pays off in the end. There is also an important nuance to make. He finishes better if it is the closing statement of a personal action, rather than a tap in/pure finish situation. I think he uses the time on ball before finishing to calibrate himself and then scoring becomes easier for him. Pure finishing I find him not that strong and that chance of him could have tilted the outcome of the match maybe. Goals chance matches in more ways than only the scoreline. Was a very big moment.

    Also Maher insists taking corners he can’t take. Is there somebody better in taking them in the team? Yes there is. Actually one of the best of the Eredivisie going by the name Depay. That stuff is on Cocu. If he refuses to intervene there or prefers a Depay deployed as second line shot taker in situations of a second ball from a corner clearance, then that’s a choice. he sees the same if not better, what we see. If it does not work, then he can look in the mirror. With Maher taking corners PSV was not going to score from those situations (Schaars luckily took them from the right).

    Moving on from weaknesses to some of the other goals:

    For me, Rekik showed his first real weak spots or rather undeveloped ones. He was not ruthless in blocking the shot that resulted in the first goal. Maybe Schaars also should have communicated better that he let loose of Boateng and that Rekik should take over. Schaars did not make the proper run that blocked a pass to Boateng while he could have done so. It was a bit wild from him. At least I think it was Schaars who decided to take on the incoming midfielder.

    The second goal was iffy. Not clear to me what the agreements where. Rekik again did not free of blame, but I have to see that goal again to be sure what was going on. Ballo being all free on his won was a really bad thing. Not even dis-balanced by somebody and before that Bruma also gave him a fee header from a cross.

    The third goal I have already shortly (not fully) touched on.

    So yeah. The defensive mistakes were too big on the international stage for us to expect that nice attacking play would make up for it.

    However I do feel that PSV played ball over 180 minutes. I think Milan gives you that typical feeling they where beatable which brings us to that Cruyff phrase about Italian teams: They can’t win from you, but you can lose from them.

    Maybe selling Milan a bit short to go by the Cruyff quote. Certain spells in the game rather looked like Milan giving PSV controlled possession, just leaving the ball to them knowing they can’t punch through the Milan wall.

    Could Bakkali have altered the outcome of the game? I think Park struggled this time and I missed somebody who had a solution in the small spaces and against their backs. Depay looked silent against Abate and when finally Jozefzoon came in he brought a sense of wing play that could result in something. Wonder what Bakkali could have done then as I do not really rate Jozefzoon.

    Ballotelli is a prick. The way he is falling and constantly enjoying to tease people with his stupid smile. Goal or no goal after a small fire, Willems gave me a good feeling just setting him straight one time, a player I like.

    Many (not all) Ajax fans will be happy now all the money will go their way. Eriksen is about to be sold and Ajax will make big profit ones again. Not sure the quality dip of losing Alderweireld and Eriksen can be solved with what they have or with putting in a small transfer in for Duarte. However this is another discussion.

    Still have the feeling I want to say things about the match, but maybe later things start popping up again. Just disappointed PSV could not stunt in San Siro.


    1. Very good analysis

      I just watched the first half and I think PSV is too relunctant to clear the ball from box. Even when they are in a mess which they should kick the ball to the moon they still play it softly to 25 yards area hoping a Maher or Wijnaldum will pick up. Unfortunately 9 out of 10 times it is Milan who pick up the ball.

    2. Wijlanuldum is not a typical Tap in scorer ,it happend with players hasnt u seen coocu hits the bar against portugal.i think wijnaludm shot well.but could hve done little better.

  19. The only good news of the day is that Ajax got 7M euros without doing anything and that hopefully PSV will be better suited to go far in the Europa League. But frankly, the rest is depressing: 1. the loss by 3-0, 2. the fact our league is no longer much better than the Swiss, Austrian or Belgium league, 3. the fact that other countries do their shopping in Holland at bargain basement prices -I mean can anyone imagine Porto or Benfica selling Eriksen for 13M euros or V Ginkel for less than 8?. As much as I support Ajax, I find the leadership absolutely spineless and devoid of any ambition. We keep hearing Ajax will compete in the CL, but how exactly? With Serero, Sana and Poulsen? Please give me a break. Yes it may and probably will be enough to win the league one more time but somehow I don’t get it. Where is the pride? Where is the leadership? We have Overmars, VD Sar, Stam, Jonk, Bergkamp and Frankie and that’s all we can come up with; 4 days before the end of the transfer window we sell our best player for a pittance? Really I am mad.
    On a slightly different topic, what do you guys think about the scandal of Bale going to Real? The Dutch government (among a few others) is bailing the Spanish banks (that are bankrupted) which then turn around and loan the money they just received to Real so Real can buy Bale for 100M? Somehow I don’t get it.

    1. i think Ajax has no choice.
      You either sell him now for some 1x Million or get nothing next year. The players dont plan to develop with the club it is the problem

      And I got a feeling that Dutch clubs(or players) diminish themselves automatically in Euro cups. They have no courage, no passion, no winning mentality, not eager to try. Only thing in their mind is to get back to eredivisie and win against a smaller team and then feel good.
      Just like Utrecht, how on earth can you lose against a team from Luxemburg???!?!?! Yes Ajax and PSV did try, but who else? Every year some dutch clubs lose against some unknown teams from a country with population smaller than Amsterdam. I realy dont think money talks in this case.

  20. no way a player should cost 100M, especially someone who doing well only 1 season. EPL young player of the year and player of the year which I dont think he deserve more than RVP, and suddently he cost 100M?
    my Q: to whom will he pay his tax? to spain or britain?

  21. I don’t know, I really liked what I saw from PSV. Am I crazy? They played with gusto, they pressured, they attacked…. they just didn’t score.

    I feel like sometimes we’re too harsh here. We criticize dutch teams for getting results but playing “ugly”, but then when a team says “screw it” and goes for an attractive style and loses we rake them over the coals as well.

    I get it, it’s easy to criticize.. but geez let’s take it easy and try to look at the positive. I mean, PSV started FOUR teenagers and still held their own with one of the most decorated teams in European history.

    I don’t think the 3-0 scoreline is an accurate indication for how the game really went.

    I hope Cocu is proud of his team and the way they played.

    1. What’s the aim to start with really young players if you lose 3-0 ? What’s the pride there ? Maribor can also start with 17 years old squad, lose 6-0, will the fans have to be proud of their club ?

      And I think the 3-0 is a reflect of the game, I never felt PSV being able to score, guys like Maher, Depay…PSV had chances ok, so had Ajax every time against Real, Dortmund etc. you have to understand that a team like Milan lets PSV to play and stay behind in order to counter attack, look at the third goal, perfect demonstration, needed three passes for Milan…

      The best way to play against dutch clubs is to let them the ball and let the fans dreaming they’ll score, and kill them in 2/3 chances, no need to play 100 %, I saw a Milan team playing really relaxed, not a lot of engagement compared to PSV players.

      It’s always the same story which is repeating every year and you can still find fans here asking to be positive.

      + what’s the advantage to see a young team playing when you know that most of them will leave in one/two years, so no project to build something in long term…Next year it will just be the same story with Hendrix in place of Willems etc. only names change.

      Dutch football is just an industry, there is no sense in the projects of the club.

      1. Thanks for the response Laurent, some interesting points!

        First I would say that inches decided this game. If Maher’s, or Depay’s or Wijnaldum’s shots are placed just inches differently they might have been goals. On the other side, if Boatengs shot is a little more to the outside it may have missed entirely. If Milan doesn’t score in the 1st ten minutes this game is dramatically different.

        I do agree that Milan allows teams like PSV to play a possession style game… to some extent. I would argue, however, that the 1st 10 minutes of the second half was not Milan allowing PSV to play, it was PSV taking the game to Milan.

        As to your point about players leaving you are absolutely correct. No dutch coach really has a chance to build a team from the ground up if players keep leaving earlier and earlier. But shouldn’t Cocu try? Isn’t in his best interest to create a team that maybe has a chance of enticing his young players to stick around longer by playing football that players love to play and experiencing success at the same time?

        Just because it is probably inevitable that many of Cocu’s young players are not around next year, does not mean that Cocu shouldn’t attempt to change the status quo.

        1. Yeah Donkersloot, on Wijnaldum’s and Maher’s chances, that’s only a question of centimeters. But that’s what make the difference between Milan and PSV, between a top and sub team as said Schaars. Scoring the chances you get, and defending better. Look how many saves Abbiati did on the two games, and look how bad Zoet was…

          I don’t feel Depay or Maher or Wijnaldum being able to kill like Boateng, Balotelli and El Shaarawy can do. There is 1,5 class of difference between those players and everyone here knows it. And it’s not necessarly a question of age, Balotelli isn’t older than Wijnaldum and only few months of difference separate El Sharaawy and Maher.

          Just a question of individual quality in players.

          1. Fair enough. Despite the fact Balotelli is a tool, he is a world class player and as much as I enjoy watching Wijnaldum he is not at Balotellis level.

            However I would rather have Maher than El Sharaawy. More potential footballing upside in my opinion.

  22. I liked Schaars I think he was a good lader, he tried toy score, he distributed the ball really well and had a good attitude. His experience will be very important although I feel Maher and Wijnaldum didn’t help him much with defensive tasks.

  23. there is no reason to be panic for PSv they played well.its true that some their stars are not Genius like Bergkamp,etc.i mean players like Williams ,brenet,Jozefooen,Matavez,wijnaldum,Maher,epay,locadia etc.some how they didnt score and absence of bakali was huge.i dont know milan had betetr muscle and they woould have out muscled bakali too.
    Kariem Reikik is exceptional talent.does he have a fearless mind????????????????thats the question.
    Zoet could have done better for first goal.hence the total outcome would have gone different.

  24. The english comentator praise this psv, they said milan scored against 2 teenagers and 3 U21 players, incl GK.
    PSV, winaldum should have scored if not abbiati under the goal. He knows where and when to dive blocking and stopping wijnaldum’s kind of situation, I remember Arsenal RVP’s close range also blocked sending out of CL.

  25. agree, i dont really like zoet, he is leaking goal when not in top form, so don’t expect he saves the day when opponent have few good shoots. If we switch him and abbiati, result could be different.

  26. I think Ajax should get back Anita “3 million” + MVG on a season loan “1.5-2 million” , and this may save Ajax season .
    Anyway , Ajax will not qualify to the 2nd round in a tough group. I ensure you this. I hope we will be lucky in the draw and avoid the group of death.
    Rumors : Sneijder is linked to Milan , man utd .. not sure how serious the rumors are.

  27. For orange for me Vaart is the best corner taker,freekick taker,and penalty taker.i am not forgetting RVP and Wesly.In earlier days RVP had the most accurate foot,he used to take frrekick like billiards players thats the accuracy he had.cannot forget his goal vs Ivorycoast 200WC.i saw that he is goin to take freekick i bet with friend taht he will put that in and he did.such was inaccuracy.but that is long gone now.i think it has something to with ur shoes(how fit and flexible they to ur foot)and wind/air dynamics at that stadium.

  28. Disappointing about PSV thought they played well but didn’t have that player to put the ball in the back of the net.

    Is there a reason why we always get a bad draw… How does PSV play Milan but then teams like Maribor play Victor Plzen & Steaua Bucresti v Legia Warsaw I just don’t get it! I’m praying Ajax get a good draw

  29. dutch clubfootball is ridiculous,not much better than hungarian clubfootball. what the clubs do is totally disrespectful toward their fans. mickey mouse league.

  30. Now that PSV are out of the UCL, it’ll be interesting which big clubs will end up in the same group as Ajax. I hope Ajax gets a break this season and end up in a weaker group!

  31. On second thought it’s Matavz and Brenet who where to blame for the second goal. I will post 2 Gifs under this post.

    The first Gif shows that Brenet should have taken care of teh incoming Mario, but as the ball chances direction Brent is unable to compensate while Mario just walks towards the goal for a simple tap in.

    The first Gif makes clear that Brenet is ball watching again. Sure these are split second change but why is Ballo counting on a change of direction, while Brent is totally caught out of position by it?

    Matavz loses his header and is to blame as well. Rekik was more positioned as a general clearance defender in case the ball would come somewhere first pole.

  32. Also, for people blaming Depay doing nothing offensively, I would like to ask them who they thought the guy was that delivered Wijnaldum a golden opportunity to score.

    1. Don’t wanna be superstitious but I start to doubt more and more about that champion’s league draw. Groups look always like each other.

      Arsenal-Marseille-Dortmund together, just like two years ago, how many probability there were to have three identitcal teams together again?

      Now Ajax just got Barca instead of Real. Milan again like three years ago, will fight against Celtic for Europa league place…

  33. Hey, what’s Cruyff doing now? Nothing official? A part of me really wants to see what could happen if he was given full control of a club in the Eredivisie. Any Club.

    1. Well, officially JC won’t get involved. He does have a heart condition and he has the JC Foundation and the Academy etc.

      At Ajax, he is pretty influential these days.

  34. Curios to see Ajax vs Milan. It’s a pity Siem De Jong won’t play, but we have a midfield more capable of regaining possession, while Psv lacked that in Maher and Wijnaldum.

    1. oh come on, games have to be played. We’ll get a goal shower from the catalans (ouch) but we’ll play even against Milan! Big improvement respect to last year 😀

    1. Will be very hard, the choice about players going there will be crucial.

      Honestly, we were all saying that we have a better defense now, who are those defenders ? De Vrij, BMI, Janmaat…Playing with Feyenoord and unable to qualify for europa league group stages two consecutive years -dissmissed by Sparta Prague and Kuban…

      I can’t believe we’ll go to the World cup with majority of guys playing in Feyenoord, Ajax, PSV…

        1. we hav goods talents , u19 and u21 and in in the next four they will mature into fine footballers. The only area we will be sought of handicap, will be the central strikers position. No major talent has imaged recently who will be able to fill RVP shoes in four years time.

    1. No, at least, I have seen no indication so far he is going to overshadow Depay, despite the nice goal he scored against Heereneveen the season before this last one. I have seen some Feyenoord fans raving about him, but he was loaned to Excelsior in Jupiler League last season and has not had a Clasie impact there, who was also loaned out one time to that club. I also heard he ran in some trouble that costed him games. Overall, he collected 3 red cards last season. Bit weird, which might say something about his character.

      That being said, he had a goal involvement (scored goal/assist) every 134 minute overall. Maybe he can build on that. I have not seen it in this game of tonight. Boëtius shows far more class for me. More technical.

      I think for now we should focus more on Depay, Boëtius and Narsingh concerning these 2 clubs (PSV/Feyenoord). Manu first has everything to prove that he even is Feyenoord 1 material.

  35. I guess in long run the Milan loss will enhance the development of the young guys . To get a taste of different level of soccer (out of the box – Eredivise) and with a team of distict calibre.
    I think Player like Rekik , Bruma, Wijnaldum, Maher who are all in contention for world Cup, will Psychology and physically develop from the exposure to high level of soccer in Europa League and from the the qualifers(just finished) going into the world Cup. I think in way its good for NT. I hope Feyenoord qualifes for Europa league too.

      1. sad news, especially for NT Guys, Classie, De Vrij, Jammant, BMI. All will miss competitive level soccer, would have been great exposure for them going in the world cup. I guess we can put pen to paper now, PSV is a better side then them this year.

          1. Janmaat actually .. Totally responsible about 1st goal imo ,
            Partially responsible about 2nd aside with De vrij ..

        1. I really hope that Feyenoord receive offers for Clasie, De Vrij and Martins Indi. They need to go to foreign clubs to play Europa League, develop their skills and got experience to play next World Cup.

          1. I totally agree. Just playing in the Eredivise is not good for their development. They need tougher opponents

  36. CL Draws

    Group A: MANCHESTER UNITED, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad

    Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, Copenhagen

    Group C: Benfica, Paris St Germain, Olympiakos, Anderlecht

    Group D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, MANCHESTER CITY, Viktoria Plzen

    Group E: CHELSEA, Schalke, Basel, Steaua Bucharest

    Group F: ARSENAL, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli

    Group G: Porto, Atletico Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg,
    Austria Vienna

    Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax, CELTIC

    1. I reckon they should go for Anita and Afellay when he comes back from injury. I still remember Man united waited for months before signing Run Van Nistelrooy who was injured at that time.

  37. People, enough whining about certain PSV players. It’s not fair or reasonable to compare the players when there is such a huge disparity in experience and ability. In the end it boils down to this:

    AC Milan
    Age starting 11: 26,6 Years / MV starting11: 10.960.000 £

    Age starting 11: 22,3 Years / MV starting11: 3.396.000 £

    1. Nothing against players for sure. They do what they can do.

      PSV can’t spend too much cause they don’t have money, they can’t attract quality players cause it’s the dutch league, and they don’t produce quality players like they did before.

      Dutch clubs are just acting like belgian,danish or weak english teams currently, do you have plenty examples of good clubs who would loan a player and making him a first choice on the pitch when they have almost no chance to buy it after ?

      That’s what PSV is doing with Rekik, they just help City to make a right opinion on the player. Blackburn used him 5 times and PSV will probably use him 35 games…And next year ? the better case would be to keep it one year more, otherwise they’ll have to start again from 0 and go for someone else. No long term project.

      Same for Ajax with Bojan.

      So yeah to sum up, the comparison you give just reflects the mentality of both clubs. As long as dutch clubs will have no notoriety and will work for bigger ones, as long as De Boer will say that it’s a fantastic draw cause the Arena will be full of fans to watch Barca, there will be nothing illogical that dutch clubs get such results.

    1. Hmm. Personal terms. Still not clear if United agrees right? Not sure if this is such a good move. Turkish league is not that much better than Eredivisie.

      Oh well good luck to him.

  38. If Alderweireld is sold we get to see Denswil’s ability to stand up if he has to. This is his chance. Veltman is injured. Van der Hoorn can’t play football. Moisander can play right center back. 18 year old Rekik is beasting at PSV and getting a call up from van Gaal soon. 20 year old Denswil has an opportunity to answer. Go get them boy.

    1. Also DRB who do you think will be Eriksen replacement?? Any dutch talent?? Klassen? Bazoer is veeery young for now, any other player we might be interested?

      1. Ajax will probably either give Lucas Andersen a shot there, or buy Duarte. Klassen is pretty unlikely. It seems he usually plays as the most advanced midfielder, meaning he would be more likely to replace de Jong than Eriksen. Serero is another possibility, or even play Blind as the left mid since Boilesen looks to have retaken the LB spot.

      2. * Bazoer is more DM orientated I think. Or it’s better to say that he is trying that position. I think he should go back to right center back and become world class there. Netherlands has an overload of good options on left center back. Not so much on the right center back position.

        * Klaassen is not good enough. Simple as that. Not saying he will never be, but I have not been impressed with him. Much too pale.

        * Schöne is an option, but is for me more a stop gap solution than a permanent one. Schöne is good for low/mid table Eredivisie teams. Maybe sub top as well. Then against the top (PSV) or in CL, it would become a bit mediocre. His ceiling is not exciting as well. His advantage is his age in this young team and looks like a sure bet.

        * I see Blind often mentioned as DM, but I think he can play further up in midfield as well. Now that Boilesen is pushing for LB playing time and the bigger talent of the two on that position, trying Blind as an half player would be an elegant solution for me. Yes Blind loses his spot and probably also for the NT, but filling in the void Eriksen left is not something to look down on. Quickly we will realize that Blind does not have a knack for scoring goals. Then what?

        * Andersen. Another Dane. Bit pale when he came, but making steps recently. Good technique and vision. Should be tried there.

        * Moving Fischer down and Sana to the left wing is another option. I think Fischer is better in either midfield or striker position than on the wing or I like to think that he is.

        * Long term: Nouri is his successor of course.

        Ajax has actually quite some options. Not sure any can bring to the table what Eriksen does or even half for that matter. Eriksen had magic. Selling him and also Alderweireld is basically giving up CL advancement, maybe even the title.

        However selling all table silver and being so reluctant to buy top players for big money is only adding to the rumor that Ajax is on it’s way to buy the stadium they play in. Some think they want to take the club from the stock market, but buying the Arena makes more sense. They really are adding to their financial health. Keep in mind that both Eriksen and Alderweireld came for cheap and that they did not receive that high salary’s. Contrary to the Strootman and Mertens sale of PSV, most money Ajax receives is pure profit.

        I have often put forward the idea that Dutch clubs must start owning their stadium and I am really happy Ajax is (probably) working towards reaching this giant goal that will give them a huge advantage in the Netherlands over time. It is also a serious step forward to compete in Europe again. Ajax fans should be exited if this is the idea behind the scenes. I would not even be blown away if Frank somehow pulls another title out of his sleeve. However overcoming PSV looks like a daunting task without the two of them.


        1. As TFC Ajax says, Serero and Duarte are two other options.

          Serero is actually pretty good in position games. i have seen analyses on video where he looked better in that aspect of the game than Eriksen who ran out of position too often. However I do not like Serero that much. Not bringing enough attacking quality’s for me.

          Duarte is interesting for Dutch NT purposes. I would have preferred him at Feyenoord though for Immers. That would solve so much problems for Feyenoord. Or put him next to Clasie and move Vilhena up. Anyway, Immers would be gone and that is a win for the football community in general.

          On a side note. I wonder if Eghan from FC Twente was ever on the radar of Ajax. Boy do I like that player and I also consider him as a real Ajax player. However my question is if he develops from now on (this only being his basis level) or is drying up and just had a good start. Will follow him.

          FC Twente is really a team people should pay attention to. Very interesting project on it’s way there.

  39. I’m probably the only one here who happy with Eriksen and Alderweireld moving out from Ajax.
    Ajax with or without them will still struggle in CL with that draw, Ajax need more than Eriksen and more mature team to pass group stage, which is not the case with any of eredivisie teams. The 12m tag probably represents the true value of him in the eyes of top teams.

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