PSV needs to renovate

The season has started in Holland. Belgium was even earlier and the qualification games for the European competitions is upon us too, while Spanish and English clubs still have weeks of prep ahead of them. Weird.

The issues have been widely discussed already. Ajax is playing their CL qualification game tomorrow, while David Neres only returned to the club some days ago. And with the transfer window still open, Ajax might well end up having to deal with the exit of players like Ziyech, Neres and Van de Beek while Lasse Schone already took the bus to Genoa earlier last week. Strange times.

In England they will close the transfer window in the coming week! Well done Poms. Why can’t we do this in Holland too? It’s frantic for the clubs and highly annoying for the supporters. And it’s competition fraude too, in a way!

It really annoys me, every year again.

And thus, Ajax and PSV dropped points already in their first match of the competition while PSV couldn’t get past Basel and will have to forget playing Champions League football this season.

In a way, I don’t think it should be considered to be too negative for PSV though. They do seem a tad light this season and might do much better in the Europa League.

After all the news from Amsterdam in the past months, it’s time to focus a bit on that other big club in Holland. Mark van Bommel’s PSV.

Guti is in charge

PSV over the past seasons (5 under Cocu) used different midfield players and different midfield systems to find the ideal structure. In Cocu’s title winning last season he used 7 players for the 3 spots: Siem de Jong, Pereiro, Van Ginkel, Hendrix, Ramselaar, Propper and Guardado.

Van Bommel directly went for a 4-2-3-1 system with two defensive / holding mids. Pablo Rosario and Jorrit Hendrix were Van Bommel’s go to guys, but they copped a lot of criticism for not offering up enough creativity. Rosario seems to be above criticism with the former Bayern midfielder as he is made one of the captains (with Afellay Van Bommel’s first choice, but the former Barca man is still not 100% fit). Hendrix might be on his way out (with Bologna from the Serie A close to a deal) and it seems Erick Gutierrez (Guti) will claim his spot, finally. The Mexican midfielder needed a full season in Holland to adapt to Van Bommel’s style of play but he’s with the pace now it seems and was one of the more positive players in the past weeks.

Gutierrez and Rosario have developed a good understanding while his passing capabilities work well with the dynamic trio / quartet up front. The question is: will his old friend Lozano be part of that? Luuk de Jong made a move to Spain and Lozano would love to follow him to either Spain or Italy. Rumours abound that the Mexican forward will move to Napoli soon.

Skipper Pablo Rosario against his old club

The PSV fans won’t be too disappointed as the Mexican winger has agitated most of them with his petty behaviour at times, his egotistical performances and his spoilt brat behaviour and ridiculous red cards.

And with Portuguese rocket Bruma in the team, Lozano might not be needed anymore. The left winger demonstrated his skills in the pre-season and does seem to be more lethal in front of goal than – for instance – Malen who does miss more chances than needed.

The analyses and passing maps show clearly that with Guti in midfield, PSV does get to play more football. The forward pass is coming quicker and more precise and with Malen on the #9 position, PSV aims to have 3 quick artists up front with Sam Lammers in the false striker role behind Malen, that used to be Luuk de Jong’s.

Lammers is sadly injured for a while (operated on his knee already) but Malen will stay in the 9 spot with Pereiro coming in as the #10 shadow striker.

Michal Sadilek normally is also a contender for a midfield spot. The young Czech international is seen as a carbon copy of Mark van Bommel and not coincidentally, Van Bommel is a fan of the terrier. With Angelino back to Man City and no real replacement for him at left back, Sadilek is currently a place holder on that position but probably not for long. Van Bommel will be making some tough decisions soon but it seems Guti / Rosario will form the engine room with young Ihattaren a potential dark horse even.

Michal Sadilek – Mark van Bommel Mark 2

Van Bommel will be headstrong in his vision. This much we know. “Football is a game of space. We need to have dominance in the key spaces. I don’t care who takes the space. As long as it’s one of my players.”

Van Bommel wants to see less predictability and he wants to see a mentality of unperturbedness (if that is English). He wants his team to stick to the fundaments and work from that perspective, while at the same time being able to add some variance to the team. “Gakpo can play left wing, but also #10. Bergwijn can play #10 and winger, but also out and out striker, like Malen.”

With the transfer market still open, Mark van Bommel will not sleep too well. The former AC Milan midfielder knows that scouts are still keen to check out Bergwijn and Dumfries, while Jeroen Zoet has announced he will be ready to leave PSV at some stage. The latter doesn’t seem to be in top form by the way, so an exit might not even be that bad (with Unerstahl now as second goalie).

PSV wanted to lure Steven Berghuis from Feyenoord to Eindhoven (as they did successfully in the past with Ruud Gullit and Gini Wijnaldum) but the Feyenoord star has signed a new deal in Rotterdam this weekend and was never seriously considering a move to Eindhoven.

Donyell Malen

Toni Lato is the new left back who will replace Sadilek at some stage, while Derrick Luckassen gets the chance to prove his worth as centre back. Obviously, Van Bommel does have a spot in mind for Ibi Afellay too, once he’s fit. We might see Guti move a spot up to the #10 role potentially, with Rosario and Afellay taking the engine room. Lots of options for PSV but they might still want to make a move or two on the transfer market. A central defender would not be an overly luxurious thought, while an extra striker is definitely needed, even if just as a pinch hitter.


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  1. Losing out on the CL was a huge disappointment. Very sad.

    I’m reading about Van de Beek heading to Real. I don’t know how credible or likely that’s going to be. Zidane has had his heart set of plucking Pogba from United. Real will keep trying until the very end. I doubt he will be happy with settling for VdB. His job is on the line and Real is not in great form heading into the season.

    VdB is a really promising player but I feel he may find opportunities hard to come by. He would be expected to perform from the start. He is not yet the finished product.

    I know it is very hard for players to pass on an opportunity playing for the big clubs like Real, Barca etc but it would be better to move to Valencia or Sevilla where he would definitely get more opportunities and less pressure to perform. I hope he makes it if he indeed goes to Real but it will be very tough.

    1. Real needs midfielders who can score. Kroos and Modric and Casimero hardly score goals and there is too much pressure on Benzema now C Ronaldo is gone. Van de Beek is perfect for Real.

      It seems Zidane wants Pogba but the English window closes Thursday. If Man U doesn’t let him go, Real will sign vd Beek. He has agreed to terms and Ajax and Real have agreed too. It’s now a matter of waiting for Plan A or Plan B to go ahead.

    1. What strikes me most his how come the PSV management never came down to the table to discuss the key areas left void after the depatures.thisis where van bommel should have had his say.

      They need to splash like what ajax did with blind and tadic to reinforce the midfield and backline.they should have leart from ajax, at European level, you need depth in all department.

  2. Ajax looked very poor today. The biggest flaw is that there is so much space in the middle of the park, very noticeable on PAOK’s first goal, when the player receives it nearly at the half-line with no one within 20 yards of him.

    de Jong is greatly missed, he’s been replaced by Blind in the system, and Marin taking Schone’s role, but neither of them have the attributes de Jong had.

    Also they’re lining up with Dolberg through the middle, pushing Tadic out wide, where I feel he’s less effective. I know Ajax have both Huntelaar and Dolberg as strikers, but truthfully I think it would be best to keep Tadic in that role of a false 9. Play Neres or Promes as the left winger

    1. Well said. Blind in midfield is just another waste of time. At eredivisie level he may make a difference but european level he doesnt stand a chance. Plus other potentials likes gravenberch and eiting will go back in pecking order which will be tragic in terms of their developmemt.

  3. Feyenoord have put st juste for sale. Not sure how come PSV were going after berghuis when they should have gone for him. Maniz in bundasliga is most likely be his next destination. He is a very versatile player and would have fit in psv perfectly either in midfield or CB.

  4. Groeneveld made his debut for Bournemouth against Lyon. Was in the thick of things and definitely showed his worth and what to expect from him in future. Looked fit and hungry as well and looks like he has already laid his stake in the team in his first outings.

    Depay also started on the wing for Lyon. Comparing both Danjuma looked more fluent and faster if the two as depay slowed the attack alot when in possession but was instrumental in servicing dembele. Bournmouth ended up wining 3-0.

    The big talk though is that of myron boadu. Once again he is grabbing headlines like last season. He is looking sharp once again and if he remains injury free, I dont see any reason why koeman should call him up.he maybe young and inexperience but if he continues in the form he is in, there is no stopping this kid.

    Groeneveld-Boadu- Stengs

    With Depay at 10.

    1. Ths Boadu and stengs are cut above berjwin and Promes…i would say more precise than Depay as well.
      We have a nice team with
      on bench
      De vrij

        1. That one position is evading NT imo. Frenkie’s partner? And im leaning towards van ginkel when he is back to full fitness.the epl transfer market closes on thursday and it remains to seen if van ginkel will be included in the chelsea squad or will go out on loan. I think he is coming towards the end of his rehabilitation program and could be up and running come september. His last season with PSV, he was playing with persistent knee pain and still managed to be PSV’s key player. A 100% fit van ginkel could be useful in the midfield and for koeman.

          1. i think We are loosing on Van ginkel like Romeo castelen…Sad injury victims…
            i really wanted that time with
            Instead we had kuyt all the time..That cost us in some important game when we faced tougher team..i feel we are loosing him like kevin strootman,Castelen etc…

        2. oops ..i forget by silly mistake…i should not have …Gravenberch,kuipmeirs,Eiting has quality..i prefer quality over average experience..ATM..
          Redan is good as well,Idrissi is pretty good as well..
          Dejong is super quality only Eiting and Gravenberch is close to him…others are too below to repalce Dejong..

          1. brobbery is a striker and Gravenberch primarily plays the position of frenkie.eiting and Reis are two players to look out for in coming years.

  5. I’m thinking that this year’s race could be between AZ and Ajax. PSV and Feyenoord looked thoroughly unimpressive in their openers, and PSV in the CL qualifier.

    I’m hoping these teams can do SOMETHING in the Europa League, so it’s not just Ajax carrying the coefficient. Even if one of them made R16 of EL, that would be huge for us.

    1. I rate the vitesse team highly as well. Leonid Slutsky is a modern day coach and doesnt follow the typical dutch style football. They have a good pack and depth as well this time around.

      For Utrecht, I think you have to agree with what AZ Forever said about Van den Brom. He is a average coach.

  6. EPL starts this week and one team im really looking forward for is Aston Villa who were promoted last season through playoffs. they spent a staggering 130 million pounds in the transfer window to bolster their squad.El ghazi off course will be of interest there as well.he was in a good form last season and looked good in pre season as well. he will also be starter vs Spur this weekend.

  7. Calvin Stengs looks sharp. Hope he gets called up to NT for upcoming games.
    I am also hoping to see Hoever in the senior NT soon. He looks a real deal.

    1. The more he plays with boadu, the better. Should build a good partnership at bpth club level and for NT.

      Philippe sandler played full 90 for anderlecht along side vincent company. They are still waiting for they first win after the game vs Mechelen ended in 0-0 draw.

      Depay was on the score sheet as well as lyon beat Moanco 3-0.

      Van dijk also scored for liverpool in ther 4-1 over Norwich city.

  8. Sane is out for at least 6 months.

    personally I think he is one of Germany’s biggest threat (like Oranje’s Arjen robben in the past).

    we do not have any excuses for the german game next month. A win is needed, but a draw is acceptable. otherwise we’ll be on the edge out of a third consecutive major tournament.

  9. as with regards to Daley Blind playing in De jOngs position, I think its a waste also.

    Don’t we have Carel Eiting? I thought he could place in that position in Midfield, where is he now?

    1. Sandler is getting good minutes at anderlecht. He also didnt disappoint guardiola when he deployed him at CM. He is very compose with the ball like frenkie as well. Experiment worth trying I reckon. Him as more a DM releasing frienkie up front.

      Ajax for me has become crowded especially in the midfield. Im not sure players like eiting and Gravenberch will get plenty minutes.

  10. My prediction for malen is taking its course and l like what Im seeing of him. I see him scoring alot of goals this season but unfortunately the CL stage has evaded him and which potentially could have settle the dust for his spot in NT, similar to danjuma last season at Brugge.

    When I look at Malen,he is more a axuillary striker and would best fit in a system like at liverpool where salah and Mane lead the line or simply playing him as a second striker 4-4-2.

    Another blow for PSV as Lozano was taken off after taking a knock. This comes after he was on the verge of completing the move to napoli. Looks like this will open the door for gakpo who also is on a rise and as well as Joe Piroe who could be called as cover up.

  11. Joel zwarts scored both goals for excelsior as they started their campagin in the eerste divisie beating utrecht ll 2-0. Feyenoord were really dump to let him go for free and now are using Berghuis up front. What a joke.

    “remember this name.”

    Its also not looking good for Kik Pierie after being relegated to Jong Ajax. Imo he should have been sent back on loan to heerenveen. As I see it he might have to wait for a season or two to break into ajax first team and like other, by that time will be shipped out.again the KNVB has to be careful here. They can loose him to USMNT

  12. Ajax looked weak again. Joel Veltman almost useless on the pitch, Perr Schuurs will need to become a top CB quickly to plug that hole.

    Razvan Marin not looking Champions League quality either. Need a better box to box midfielder. We looked a lot better when Mazrouai took Marin’s spot, and Dest filled in at RB.

  13. It does seem that they haven’t found their best team, yet. All things being equal, I would rather have Maz. at rb and Blind in the defense. But without both Schone and Frenkie, they have to come up with a new mf, and Ten Haag is trying to figure it out. No question there are opportunities for players, just hope someone steps up.

    1. He has Eiting and Gravenberch..both are young and top notch..closer to De every other coach ..Ten haag is looking experience to avoid defeat..thats negative thinking…Ten haag must give time to Both.

  14. Ajax is really struggling at the moment. We have played 4 games this far and have conceded 6 goals. The void left by De Jong and De Ligt is huge. Overall midfield is all over the place with Marin needing more time to settle in and Blind being to slow at times to break the counters. Defense is poor as well maybe with the addition of Alvarez things will improve. I can’t understand why Ten Hag does not use Van de Beek in De Jong’s position. We have seen him play there many times under Bosz and i do believe that he is suited for that spot.

    1. The guy who was supposed to fill in frenkies shoes is Gravenberch but unfortunately Daley Blind has jumped ahead of him and most probably because of his experience. The same old story.they still think it will work out because he is good passer. It will only take them to reshuffle when they bomb out and then ten hag will start using others in eredivisie. Guys like ziyech,Van Beek,Neres, Tagliafico were initially suppose to be transfered. Its too overcrowded now.

      1. Wilson as an Ajax fan I can tell you that Gravenberch is not even close to being ready to fill in De Jongs shoes. He is only 17 and from all the pre season friendlies I watched he is not ready at all (needs to improve his first touch) Marin was the replacement for De Jong and Eiting for Schone. Marin needs time and Eiting is injured. The logical solution to fix the awful midfield that Ajax has showed so far is switching Donny at Frenkies position next to Blind. Personally I do not like to see Daley play there since even though his passing is crisp he lacks in speed which increases the chances of teams hitting Ajax on the counter. I don’t know what the plan is from Ten Hag, maybe with time Marin, Blind or Mazraoui get more familiar with the position and start playing better. Again for me switching Donny will show results right away and the void left won’t be as noticeable.

        1. There’s a terrible habit on this website of trying to get kids with no experience into Ajax’s first team.

          The pecking order for CM, assuming Blind and van de Beek have 2 spots seems to be:

          1. Marin
          2. Mazrouai
          3. Ekkelenkamp
          4. de Wit/Eiting

          Then maybe Gravenberch afterwards. But it’s crazy to think a kid who has never played 1 minute of professional football should be given a spot in a team challenging for Champions Leagues spots.

          1. Danjuma also never had any professional minutes in eredivisie but yet he went on to thrive at the CL stage. So im not in the same boat as you guys.

            I followed gravenberch very little in the pre season but since you followed them through out can you just confirm how many minutes he played. From what I saw the team was heavily rotated. One set in First half and then another set in second half.

            Marin featured heavily on the right central mid for standard liege and it is likely he will take up schone place.

  15. I am looking for our NT..Gini wijnaldum is in downward spiral..He is not the gini of last year..With him we lacks idea in midefeild..
    i am looking team with
    ————Van de Beek———–
    As starters
    —–Eiting——-De Roon——–

  16. I really depressed about this ajax. No new dutch player in their starting line up also eitnig is not even on the bench. Very dissapoint about ten hag. A romanian player a mexician player in their line up. What the fu*k happenwd with ten hag??

    1. Players come in waves. Ajax has made it clear they want to be Champions League contenders for the next few years, and not just be a feeder team. If there aren’t any talents coming through that have the right quality then of course the team is going to look elsewhere.

  17. I think Ajax needs to line-up like so:


    ———–van de Beek———-




    Ideally we can find a better midfielder and then Mazrouai can slide back into RB. Then we’ll be able to use Promes, Huntelaar, Pierie, Eiting/Ekkelenkamp/de Wit off the bench or in cup games.

    1. Derek with the current situation in midfield and from what we’ve seen from Blind and Mazraoui playing that position I doubt anyone wants to see them play next to each other. Mazraoui lacks the proper touch and pass to play there while Blind has a crisp pass but lacks in speed. The right choice would be Donny next to Blind. He has the whole package, passing, touch, vision, anticipation, stamina, can defend, can score everything you need from a box to box midfielder. If that happens you shift Ziyech behind Tadic and have Neres on the right and Promes (too much money was spend to have him sit on the bench) on the left. Defense with the arrival of Alvarez I think the duo in CB would be him and Martinez with Nico on the left and Mazraoui on the right. Dest is a good prospect who impressed me in the friendlies and against PSV but against PAOK he showed that he is not there yet. Next year will definitely be his year though. The game against Venlo is a perfect chance for Ten Hag to try this before the UCL game against Apoel.

      1. I thought about Donny back there, but if you have a front 4, you need the 2 midfielders to be more defensive. Can you imagine if Donny makes a run forward, loses possession, and all we have left behind the ball is Blind and the defense?

        1. Can you imagine what will happen if blind is benched. Daddy will start banging ten hag. Everybody on earth knows whats blinds weakness but they still persist with him.intelligence,exprerience, dutch player of the year but at the end of the day its the same old story and the same outcome. Maybe not in eredivisie but at top level. There is no way blind can bench tagliafico at LB and Martinez looks to be more robust then him. Mildfield is the only place left and until and unless it becomes apparent that he is leak then ten hag might think otherwise. CB is an option through rotation but then you dont wanna do that at CL level. Ajax will qualify for CL but nothing much there for dutch players.

          1. For Football Sake Wilson, stop your Blind bashing! It is based on nothing but your brain farts.

          2. Thats you words but I see football from the perspective it should be looked at. Not matter whats happens he will never be complete player. Pure fact.

        2. Derek playing Van de Beek there will automatically make him focus more on defense than attack. He has done it before under Bosz and he was great at it. He has done it in a few occasions under Koeman and he did well also. Donny is meant to play that position.

          1. I know he can, I just like him as a CAM. Every time I think of sliding him back I think about his performance against Juventus. Great in the attacking third.

    1. A lot of people would have said the same about Roysten Drenthe back in 2006. Remember how that worked out?

      Do you remember when Daley Blind played as a left winger and lit up the U17 European Championships, and everyone was saying he was going to be our next Robben?

      Ibrahim Affelay, Ryan Babel?
      Hedwiges Maduro 2005
      Maceo Rigters 2006
      Geoffrey Castillion 2008
      Luc Castaignos 2009
      Tonny Vilhena 2011
      Kyle Ebecilio 2011
      Anass Achabar 2013

      We’ve had so many talents that so many people on here have touted as the next big thing, and then have ended up in mediocrity.

      I’m not saying that Gravenberch won’t be a superstar, I’ve just been burned by putting my faith in a 17 year old before.

      1. Most of those you have mentioned made the wrong choices imo. You can say gravenberch could go another season with jong ajax but it would have been in the best interest if he would have loaned out to a bottom feeder club in eredivisie. With the current situation if he gets a good offer he might knock back on jong ajax.

          1. Do you mean the 2016-2017 season, when De ligt was promoted to the Senior team during the season, and played well enough to become a regular by the end of the season and start in the Europa League final? Or do you mean the following season when he started as a regular?

        1. I say let him dominate the Eerste Divisie. Let him impress at the U17 World Cup. He’ll get some cup games with Ajax’s first team, and maybe can make his way to the bench by the end of the season if Ajax continues to have their problems in the middle of the park.

          Kaj Sierhuis was loaned out, because he was competing with Dolberg, Huntelaar and Tadic for the striker spot AND already too good for the Eerste Divisie. When Dolberg leaves Sierhuis will come back to the squad.

          1. Exactly. We don’t know what is going on in training, what Ten Haag is seeing, day in/day. There are big opportunities in the MF right now, so my assumption is that he, or anyone else who shows, will get the time they earn.

          2. Re De ligt.

            When he was first prompted to ajax first team. Remember this was when veltman got injured if im not wrong. The doors opened up for him. That is not the case of others now to the likes of lang, Gravenberch, De Wit and few others.

            On the other hand if you look at gakpo and Ihattaren I dont see any reason why blind has to shifted to midfield and not Gravenberch. Just like de ligt in his first season, Gravenberch could have settled his nervous with more game time.

            But like l said, ajax is overcrowded and anybody can tell ten hag going with experience.
            I mean he did elect to rotate in ereivisie when compared to CL.

          3. Correction. Veltman was shifted to RB to accommodate de ligt at that time but still it took de ligt some time to acclimatizate to eredivisie level. He shifted a gear up as he played more. In his case it was more about his potential rather than experience and thats the same for gravenberch but in his case ten hag is singing other tune at the moment.

      2. Babel and Drenthe were talents…they had bad approach..they spoiled their career.they can blame themselves only..Rest of them were just over-hyped El gahzis except Vilhena..Vilhena contributes better to NT than klassen..He is doing well at his club..He was star of feynoord..the key player..

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