PSV fail dramatically in Rotterdam, FC Twente first ‘Super February’ opponent

PSV and FC Twente club logos. Credit: PSV and FC Twente

PSV lost against Feyenoord and are now trailing seven points behind Ajax. Roger Schmidt has six days to prepare his squad for Super February, and FC Twente is the first possibility to set things straight in another month with ‘English weeks’.

Roger Schmidt was back on the bench, after his suspension of last week. Cody Gakpo and Mario Götze were still unfit to play. His starting eleven were as follows: Mvogo; Dumfries, Teze, Boscagli, Max; Rosario, Sangaré; Mauro Júnior, Thomas; Malen and Zahavi.

Dick Advocaat sent the opposing eleven to the pitch: Marsman; Geertruida, Botteghín, Senesi, Malacia; Toornstra, Fer, Diemers; Berghuis, Linssen and Haps. They would start in the usual 4-3-3 system.

The sun was shining in Rotterdam Zuid, and it was a day of great opportunity for PSV: if they would beat Feyenoord and AZ would beat Ajax, the backlog on the number one would be reduced to one point, and the gap with Vitesse increase. But things turned out the exactly the other way round…

First Half

PSV started in the Philips-blue jerseys, heads against the wind, and got their first corner in the first minute. They dominated the first five minutes but failed to convert an impressive pass because the strikers weren’t in position.

Assistant coach Lars Kornetka was just discussing some tactical insights with Roger Schmidt when Feyenoord capitalized their first chance with a shot through Yvon Mvogo’s legs. Right after that, PSV took over ball possession again.

Feyenoord and PSV club logos, De Kuip background. Credit: Sport in Groningen

With nine minutes on the clock, the blues kept creating chances, but the last touch remained an issue. This continued for minutes, and then Bryan Linssen was put free in front of Mvogo. This time the Suisse goalie kept it out well. PSV countered and soon deserved another corner kick, but Olivier Boscagli headed it over.

After 20 minutes Feyenoord started playing their own game a bit more. Sloppy play by Ibrahim Sangaré led to a chance for Steven Berghuis. His shot got blocked by Jordan Teze, but a minute later he took his chance and hit home from just outside the penalty box: 2-0.

One minute later Donyell Malen also shot on target, but Nick Marsman hadn’t much trouble stopping it. Ryan Thomas was close with a header but aimed wide. With 61% ball possession and numerous chances, PSV were trailing simply because Feyenoord was more efficient.

Eran Zahavi’s chance in the 34th minute was the best so far, but his shot was another easy prey for Marsman. Philip Maxx’s free- and corner kicks didn’t cause much danger either. Five minutes before half time Linssen was set free in front of Mvogo again, and he finished the chance easily: 3-0.

This was also the last feat of the first half. PSV had entered the penalty box 22 times, Feyenoord had only 34% ball possession but was leading 3-0. Could have Schmidt told his squad during teatime to turn this match around in the second half?

Second half

Both teams started with the same eleven, and the first nine minutes looked much like the first half start: PSV was dominant, but couldn’t reach their strikers, and Feyenoord limited themselves to simple defending.

A spark of hope ignited when Sangaré headed a corner kick into the far corner and set the score to 3-1. The Ivorian also took the first yellow card of the match, when he took Ridgeciano Haps down to keep Feyenoord from becoming dangerous with another hattrick.

In the 63rd minute, Malen let a huge chance to score the connection? goal unused, when he fired an assist from Max straight on Marsman. At this point, Feyenoord wasn’t able to create anything anymore, but they still defended well.

Ihattaren’s shot in the 77th minute was turned into a corner kick, and the story repeated itself again. Many times PSV found themselves in the opponent’s penalty box, but they just couldn’t shoot sharp enough.

When Jorbe Vertessen replaced Max, Schmidt showed his intentions to bring this game to a good end. But why so late, with two goals difference? The game could have been a lot more intense, especially towards the Feyenoord goal, but instead faded out with less than before.

Several half-chances, a couple of yellow cards and substitutions from Dick Advocaat’s side to get the rhythm even further out were the last facts of a disappointing day for the fans from Eindhoven.

Watch the full resume right here.

Next opponent: FC Twente

FC Twente logo. Credit: FC Twente

FC Twente is the main football club from the northeastern region of Twente. They play their home matches at the Grolsch Veste stadium in the city of Enschede. This stadium has a capacity of 30.205 visitors and is the fourth biggest of the Eredivisie, after the Philips Stadium in Eindhoven.

FC Twente plays their home matches in all red jerseys, and their away matches in dark blue or white kits. Their regional rivals are Heracles, the black-and-whites from Almelo, the current number 10 of the Dutch first league.

The head coach is Ron Jans, who signed in June 2020 and has since turned the sporty situation completely around and made the fans ‘Proud to be a Tukker’ again. With €23 million the reds have the sixth biggest budget of all Dutch teams, keeping FC Groningen, FC Utrecht and SC Heerenveen behind them.

History

For a summary of the history, facts and figures and familiar faces of FC Twente, please read my article from November last year.

Current situation

Since the away match of PSV in Enschede, FC Twente managed to stay in the sub-top of the Eredivisie. Head coach Ron Jans simply knows how to shape a team and get the best out of a financially affordable selection. The ‘Tukkers’ play good football for a club that comes around with only €23 million and none really talk about the terrible state they were before Jans was appointed, anymore.

Two weeks after they kept PSV on 1-1, the beat Ajax in Amsterdam. They lost against AZ and Sparta, and then also the rebound against Ajax two weeks ago. The draws against FC Groningen and Sparta Rotterdam were not too bad, but the home loss against VVV-Venlo came as a surprise.

Their last home match, against Heerenveen, resulted in a goalless draw. This kept them on the seventh position of the ranking, which means qualification for European football – next season – is still a reasonable possibility.

Strengths and weaknesses

The main difference between the away match and Saturday is the absence of Václav Černý, who got heavily injured. Former PSV winger Luciano Narsingh was attracted from Feyenoord as his direct replacement. He worked under Jans at SC Heerenveen, where he had his best-ever season, giving 20 assists on Bas Dost and others in the season of 2011/12.

Striker Queensy Menig is also performing well under Jans, with six goals in 18 matches. Danilo is still the most valuable striker, with five assists and 11 goals in 20 matches. Midfielders Jesse Bosch, Godfried Roemeratoe, Ramiz Zerroeki and Thijs van Leeuwen offer different skills and are all exponents of the Youth Academy. Wout Brama is the man with the most experience and a true club icon.

Looking at the defence, you can see that they don’t give away that much. With 25 goals conceded in 20 matches, there’s only a difference of three compared to PSV. Goalkeeper Joël Drommel already made his debut in the Dutch national selection, so we shouldn’t expect a walk-over on Saturday.

Situation PSV

More and more players are getting fitter and fitter, so it shouldn’t take long until Roger Schmidt finally has a luxury problem again. Cody Gakpo and Mario Götze have been dearly missed, and it’s a shame Noni Madueke also dropped out because he was the best alternative to their positions.

Philips Stadion. Photo Credit: Joey van der Hart

Érick Gutiérrez and Marco van Ginkel are working on becoming match fit, Armando Obispo is finally becoming a serious group member again, Jorbe Vertessen already made some more minutes and Nick Viergever should be back soon too.

The question is whether Roger Schmidt has learnt from the match in Rotterdam such as playing under high pressure after the opposition has accumulated goals, and the glitches in both offence and defence: a lack of efficiency with the last touches and so much space for the opponent to create counter-attacks. You

don’t solve that with a couple of better players, but with clear rules and communication.

We’ll learn more about what the German head coach has to say about that during the pre-match conference on Friday via PSV’s own YouTube channel.

Match information

Match:                                               PSV – FC Twente

Date:                                                 Saturday 6 February 2021

Time:                                                 14:30 (2:30 PM)

Location:                                            Philips Stadion, Eindhoven

Referee:                                             Siemen Mulder

VAR:                                                  Sander van der Eijck

Broadcast:                                          ESPN

 

Article by Joey van der Hart for Eindhoven News

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