Arsenal's Emirates Stadium Date: 12th December 2023 at 5:43pm
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Ahead of tonight’s Champions League tie at the Philips Stadion versus PSV Eindhoven, which will be refereed by Tobias Stieler, I spoke to one of their supporters. Thank you to Joey from PSV Eindhoven International Facebook Group. for answering the questions!

How long have you supported PSV Eindhoven?

I am born and raised in Krimpen aan den Ijssel, the birthplace of Giovanni van Bronckhorst. I played football at vv Spirit in Ouderkerk aan den Ijssel, the club where Ebi Smolarek and Stefan de Vrij started their careers, so you can imagine almost everybody supported Feyenoord. I also tried to, but I couldn’t. I didn’t have any click with the stadium, their players, songs or supporters.

The alternative would be to support Ajax, but their supporters had big mouths and always got into fights with Feyenoord fans. Luckily I knew about a club named PSV, and they appealed much more to me. It was the era right after Ruud Gullit and Ronald Koeman left, with Gica Popescu, Romario de Souza Faria, Gerald Vanenburg, Juul Ellerman and Berry van Aerle.

I enjoyed the way they played, that they regularly beat Ajax and Feyenoord and that they had supporters who were more relaxed, in my opinion. The combination of warmth and professionalism is something I have seen until this day and is something I really appreciate a lot, and it’s a rare thing to find in current-day football.

In short, you can say that I’ve been supporting the club for 35 years now.

What were and now are your hopes and expectations for the 2023/24 season?

My expectations are that PSV will become national champions and do well in Europe and the Dutch Cup competitions. My hopes are that they will break several records, like the longest Eredivisie streak – they are now at 15/15 wins and the record is 17/17 – and maybe most goals and points, clean sheets and financial profit.

Our most successful team is that of 1987/88. They won the treble (national title, national cup and European cup) as the smallest town ever and broke several records. It’s amazing that we are able to be chasing records from that team right now because football has changed drastically throughout the years, and not in advantage of the Dutch teams.

What are your views on your manager?

I was among the first to shout “HELL NO!!” when people suggested him as our new head coach. In my eyes, he had flopped basically everywhere since he left Ajax. I thought he must be a stubborn guy who just wanted to play his naive style of football: attractive, dominant, forward pressing with the doors wide open. Looking at our defence, you could easily state it wasn’t our strongest line, so how blind would our management be to attract him and not support his style with new central defenders?

I was wrong. After the 4-0 opening match at the Emirates Stadium, I thought it was going to be that kind of season again, but Peter Bosz managed to implement a system that works out amazingly well for us so far. Also, he doesn’t talk nonsense during interviews and knows which players to substitute and just deserves all the credit with his staff for our current situation.

The only thing I don’t understand is that we often don’t start well. He always rightfully praises the substitutes, but…why does he need those in almost every single match? Why not kill the game sooner, you know? But you and I never know what the starting plan is, what is being said in the dressing room and why a coach decides what he decides.

Style of play and tactics – direct/passing/hybrid?

Our style of play under Peter Bosz is forward, dominant, high pressing, and we have a lot of different weapons. Bakayoko, Veerman, Saibari, de Jong, Lang, Lozano, Pepi, Vertessen, Tillman and Til can also assist and score goals. Our team works hard, as a team, and they keep going until the end. Captain Luuk de Jong is the absolute King of the World when it comes to scoring with his head.

Unfortunately, we will start without Lang, Lozano and Teze, but most of all without Jerdy Schouten. He is maybe our best signing of the season, bringing stability on our midfield, and I think we will have a tough game against an opponent like Arsenal, even if they start with a B-team.

One(s) to watch now and in the future?

Apart from the earlier mentioned players, we also had Ronaldo de Luís Nazário and Jaap Stam, Boudewijn Zenden, Ruud van Nistelrooij, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Arjen Robben, Phillip Cocu, Ji-sung Park, Mark van Bommel, Alex, Gini Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay, Oleksandr Zinchenko and recently Denzel Dumfries, Donyell Malen, Cody Gakpo, Noni Madueke and Xavi Simons. PSV invested in the Youth Academy in recent years and it starts to pay off.

Ismael Saibari, Jonathan Bakayoko and Isaac Bababi are some of our biggest talents now. Luckily we have experienced players like Luuk de Jong, Jerdy Schouten, Patrick van Aanholt – who also is a PSV youth exponent – and André Ramalho to guide them. I think professionalism and quality is a key factor in our season’s success. That, and a very well balanced selection with a great bench and really good technical staff has brought the right focus and peace at the club.

With Joey Veerman, Serginho Dest, Noa Lang, again Jerdy Schouten, Ricardo Pepi and Olivier Boscagli we have players who have their best years still ahead of them, so I expect we can sell players for good money after we finish this season well. It’s the only way for Dutch top teams to survive in Europe.

Random fact about your Club?

There really are many beautiful things about PSV, but not too many people know them. If you look at our prize cabinet, you’ll see how succesful PSV has been. Since the turn of the new millennium alone, we became national champions 10 times, won four national cups and nine Dutch Super cups.

Also, nobody has ever – and probably will never – scored more goals than Mister PSV: 308 goals by the recently passed Willy van der Kuylen. The most goals in a season were scored by former PSV player Coen Dillen: 43. But I’d like to point out two different things about PSV.

The first is the brilliant follow-up to our head sponsor PHILIPS. PSV originally started as the football team of the coworkers of the Philips factory, hence the name Philips Sport Vereniging. You can imagine the emotions when the company announced they would quit as shirt sponsor. But after a couple of seasons, the new name became BRAINPORT EINDHOVEN: one name under which several companies can join in to support PSV as co-sponsor. This is an example of the innovative and cooperative mentality of the Eindhoven region.

The second is that PSV was the first Dutch club to implement Report App: an app to support a safer work environment. If you look at the decline of Ajax last season – which started with Marc Overmars who thought he could come away with everything, including harrassing female co-workers – you can conclude that a proper tool for coworkers to know their rights and find safe ways to communicate about (un)wanted behaviour on the work floor. I would suggest this to any football club and company: Report App – Draw a line before it’s crossed (

Which were your favourite and least favourite matches involving PSV Eindhoven?

Some of my favorite matches were:

The 10-0 at home against Feyenoord ((201) Exactly ?￰ン゚ᆲ years ago: PSV – FEYENOORD ?￰ン゚ᆲ – ? ❗? | HIGHLIGHTS #PSVFEY 2010-2011 – YouTube )

The 3-0 in 2018, beating Ajax at home and celebrate our 24th national title against them: ( (201) SAMENVATTING | PSV – Ajax – YouTube )

The 5-2 against Ajax last month, which set them to the number last of the Eredivisie ((201) ?￰゚ヌᄑ HATTRICK Hirving Lozano in KNOTSGEKKE TOPPER met 7 GOALS ? | Samenvatting PSV – Ajax – YouTube )

My least favourite matches were the ones against G.D. Estoril Praia (3-3 in 2014) and PAOK Saloniki (4-1 loss in 2020) away. The stadium, the weather, the overall quality of almost everything was embarrassing to me. And the way we presented ourselves against PAOK was so below par I really wondered if we’d ever get back to being a suitable Champions League competitor again.

It really has become a lot less fun to support PSV in the last decade and a half. The gap between the Premier League and us, financially alone, is immense. So for us to be back on this platform, it’s just a big joy.

Which sides do you think will finish in the top four of the Eredivisie and which do you think will finish in the bottom three?

PSV, Feyenoord, AZ, FC Twente, Ajax, cRKC Waalwijk, PEC Zwolle and FC Volendam.

What are your thoughts on Arsenal?

I have to be honest with you: I never cared much for the Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Ligue 1. They are all great competitions, and all have great teams, but especially since the oil sheiks and betting companies started dominating our football completely out of balance, I lost even more appetetite to watch too much foreign football.

Having that said, it’s clear that money can bring football clubs a lot. Better players, more advanced software – like StatDNA in your case, training facilities, high level coaches and so on. What’s been good about Arsenal specifically, is that they kept the faith in Mikel Arteta. As a result, you are now back in the top again, but obviously Liverpool and Manchester City are there to stay as well.

It’s very interesting to see Arsenal to do so well with Gabriel Jesus, Kai Havertz and Oleksandr Zinchenko; not good enough at their former teams, or just much better on their place in the system Arteta wants to play? My favorite guy is Bukayo Saka. I love to see players who seem to have a lot of fun on the pitch like him. And I wonder how Jurriën Timber will develop once he’s back.

If you could steal one Arsenal player for your team, who would it be and why?

We currently have no proper back-ups for our central defense and defensive midfielders. Last season we hired Jarrad Branthwaite, who became a fan favourite and developed really well. Maybe we can work something out this winter with you guys?

What is your prediction for this match?

It’s a luxury for both teams to be able to send their back-ups to the kick-off, but it’s also a bit of a shame. It would be nice for us to see how we would do against Arsenal with both sides on top strength, but actually it’s also a great possibility for our substitutes to show themselves from the start.

Our stadium will surely be electric again, because people in Eindhoven are crazy about Champions League football and are excited to see a Premier League top team at the Philips Stadium. I think PSV are more eager to win this game, but will also take in consideration we have a top match on Sunday. So I think it will be a fun game, but maybe not with 100% of risks taken on either side.


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