This last title won by PSV appeared to be the closure of a era for PSV. Phillip Cocu decided to move on. He probably felt there wasn’t any more room for him to grow at the level of the Eredivisie, working with the confines the Dutch league brings. He wanted something bigger and Fenerbahce would be a logical next step for him. But the change in Eindhoven wasn’t limited to the coach, as the Technical Director was also lured away. Marcel Brands, serially successful, couldn’t withstand the opportunity to work in the Premier League. Everton had an interesting challenge in store for him. A bigger club on a bigger stage. Bigger budgets to work with. A rare opportunity for a technical director and Brands – former playmaker of RKC Waalwijk and Feyenoord – who had success in the managerial job with his old club RKC, AZ Alkmaar and now consistently with PSV also felt he was ready for a big step up.
These two exits forced PSV to make a big shift. Former PSV player John de Jong will take on the Marcel Brands role and another former PSV player has been prepped for the coach job. When Mark van Bommel made it clear during his playing career that coaching would be his next logical career move, PSV knew they wanted the former captain on the bench at some stage.
General Manager Toon Gerbrands, Technical Manager John de Jong and head coach Mark van Bommel
The ex Bayern Munich, Barca and AC Milan player was prepped in the youth academy for this role and last World Cup he assisted his father in law Bert van Marwijk with Australia.
Is he ready already? Is he forced into the job too soon with Cocu leaving?
Who knows, but I think not. Mark van Bommel was already a coach as a player and the first signs are positive for PSV.
At his introduction press conference, Van Bommel was clear in his football vision. “I want to be in control, of the game and of the ball. We want to be the boss on the pitch. preferably with ball but if need be without the ball. We want to play further up the pitch and taking advantage of the weaknesses of the opponent.”
Where Cocu was criticized for playing a bit passive, a bit counter-attacking style, Van Bommel wants to impose the Barcelona / Bayern Munich philosophy onto his team.
PSV’s pre-season was quite a success. The hand of Van Bommel was visible in the first games already and Gaston Pereiro in particular was the most remarkable player (Hirving Lozano returned late to PSV due to his contributions to Mexico’s World Cup campaign).
Van Bommel: “Every one can see Pereiro is a special player. Even non-PSV fans will like to see him play. I use him in the #10 role. He’s not a winger for me. Yes, he still has his moments where he seems to be dreaming a bit, we’ll work on that.”
Luuk de Jong decided to stay in Eindhoven and said no to several offers from Mexico, France and other competitions. The striker is scoring prolifically and is currently PSV’s captain. Van Bommel will select his skipper for the season in the coming week.
Steven Bergwijn is already high on the hitlist of many big clubs in Europe, but Van Bommel is adamant. “I want to keep Steven at the club. There is still a lot to learn for him and I believe he can make a big move if he stays a bit longer here.”
Marco van Ginkel is not going to be part of the plans for now. PSV would have loved to have signed him but the poor bastard’s knees are giving him a lot of grieve again and he’s out for another 8 to 9 months most likely. Sad story. Will he ever get back to 100% fitness?
Van Bommel is building his foundation at PSV and it seems he’s doing good business. Jeroen Zoet is the number 1 goalkeeper of course. Nick Viergever seems to be the left central defender, with either Schwaab or Luckassen as his partner on the right. Denzel Dumfries came from Heerenveen and the assist king will take the spot on the right, with Arias most likely moving up to Atletico Madrid. Angelino, the former Man City man, will take the left spot at the back.
Ramselaar and Hendrix will be the two holding mids in the middle of the park with Pereiro the playmaker, attacking mid. Van Bommel has a couple of tremendous talents available to him as alternatives of course, such as Mauro Junior and Pablo Rosario.
Mark van Bommel is still looking for a replacement for Van Ginkel though and is also still a bit concerned that there will be a mega offer for Lozano or Bergwijn. But otherwise, these two with Luuk de Jong will be the front men. Sam Lammers is off to Heerenveen to get some playing time there, will young talents like Romer0, Gudmundsson and Malen are chomping at the bits for playing time as well.
In the pre season, PSV beat three serious opponents and seems to be ready for the season opening vs Feyenoord for the Johan Cruyff shield. PSV beat Galatasaray, Panathinaikos and Valencia (the latter finishing third in La Liga last season!).