Want to write for our blog? Get in touch about becoming a sortitoutsi writer.
I decided to set of on a journey of bringing the infamous Champions League Title back to Eindhoven for the first time since 1988.
The first and to this day only CL Title for the ´Boeren´ came after a hard fought game against SL Benfica in Stuttgart, Germany.
The first 90 minutes ended with the result still at 0-0. Extra time was also a goalless half hour and the game went onto penalties.
A then 24-year old Ronal Koemann stepped up and burried the first penalty for PSV.
When it came to sudden death, it was Antonio Veloso of Benfica who hadn´t managed to score, which in turn gave PSV Eindhoven their first and only Champions League title.
My aim of this journey was also recreating the campaing of manager Guus Hiddink in which he managed to do the triple.
The goals were set, my mind was ready and it was finally time to start this save.
Pre-Season and the first transfers
Starting the pre-season I was confident.
Looking at the squad showed me that this PSV team is full of untapped potential and the one or another already stand-out player,
One of my first concerns after seeing the squad was our striking department.
Whilst at 31 / 32 Luuk de Jong is by any means a striker with who you can still work with, I wanted to get a young set of legs to double down up front.
Therefor I looked over to Germany. More specifically to Mainz.
There I found the young Jonathan Burkardt and snapped him up for a total of 8.75 Million €.
Also still a bit unhappy about our midfield situation, I decided to sign young English wonderkid Alex Scott from Bristol City for 11.75 Million € ( 14.25 with Addons ).
The rest of the transfer window was pretty much boring. Only bringing in Jordan Lukaku as a back-up left-/rightback.
On the selling front we only got rid of 2 players on loan and Erick Gutierrez went to Chivas on loan with a optional buy option of around 2.9 Million.
The 3 games which we had played in preseason showed me that there maybe is more work to be done in Eindhoven.
Although we won 2 and only lost 1 game I was not confident going into our SuperCup matchup against Ajax.
After conceding a penalty after only 4 minutes and being behind we gave our best to pull back into this match.
Getting our first goal in the 35th minute through new summer signing Burkardt we starting to get more confident.
All our hard work over the next 50 minutes was all for nought as Mohammed Kudus gave Ajax a 2-1 lead in the 85th minute.
This game would fire up our engines for the start of the Eredivisie season as we won all of our league games up until November of the same year.
We we´re unbeaten in the league and sitting in first place.
The Tactic I used was an attacking 4-2-3-1 with one IW on support, one winger on attack, a roaming playmaker and a BWM on defend sitting in the center of the park.
Although things we´re going great in the Eredivisie, things we´re not looking so pretty in the Champions League.
After passing the Playoff Path we were drawn into a group with AC Milan, RB Salzburg and Sevilla.
We won our first games against Salzburg and Sevilla but after that good form in the Champions League went downhill, losing to AC Milan 0-3 at home was followed by a close defeat against Sevilla and a 2-3 defeat against Salzburg.
Following this came our first defeat in the league, and you might have guessed who it was?
Of course it would be Ajax…
After the Ajax game we were back to wining right before the World Cup break.
Coming back from the World Club the boys were on fire.
We also bought a couple of players to the club in the winter transfer window.
After letting go of one of our CB in Armando Obispo for 6 Mil€ to Lyon , we brought in Italian CB Diego Coppola for 12M€ to sure up our back line.
In order to be able to rotate the side and prevent serious injuries we also loaned in Mattia Viti from OGC Nice with a 43M€ buy option which I decided not to trigger as it far too much money which we do not have.
Also to back up our GK Walter Benitez we brought in transfer listed Sven Ulreich from Bayern for 400K€.
After that we started a run of 4 months with only 5 defeats.
FC Twente kicked us out of the Cup in the third round.
The defeat which hurt most was the one against Monaco in the Europa League Knockout Play Off, which meant that there would be no European glory for PSV this year.
Dropping points to Feyenoord and strangely SC Cambur would prove to become crucial at the end of the league campaign.
In the meantime my star AM in Alex Scott started moaning about not playing in his promised role and was considering leaving.
By that point his value was already at around 70-100M€ at 19 years old.
I guess the price tag kept anyone away and after some time he dropped his concerns and stated he was happy to stay.
End of the season
After the Ajax defeat at home we had the last 4 games of the season ahead of us.
I liked my chances but Ajax also had a favourable game plan for the last part of the season.
I won my first game against Sparta Rotterdam 4-0 and thought that we would clinch the Title easily if things go to plan.
And go to plan they didn´t…
Drawing against 15th placed Fortuna Sittard and having my own loaned out youngster scoring against me put me in the spot of either having to win the other 2 games , or for Ajax to screw up big time..
The 1-1 draw against Sittard was followed up by another 4-0 win over Heerenven.
The win was crucial for us, as Ajax won all three of the games they played.
This left my ´Boeren´ hoping for a screw up from the team from Amsterdam…
It came down to the last game of the season.
Ajax was in 1st place with 84 Points whilst I was sitting second with 83 Points but a GD of over 20+ more goals compared to Ajax.
PSV faced 5th placed AZ whilst Ajax played away against Twente.
The final team talk was held, the last tactical changes we´re made an d it was time to see, who will come out on top.
We started of the match really bad…
We were down by 2-0 after the first 45 minutes.
I was sure, that our title chances were over.
After a serious half time talk, it was time to go out there again.
During half time I saw that Ajax were down 1-0 to Twente and that there was still some hope.
After a second half full of missed and wasted chances, loanee Fabio Silva who was subbed on in the last 30 minutes put one behind AZ´s keeper in the 88th minute.
At this point in time PSV would once again become champions of the Netherlands.
We only needed for Twente to hold out until the end..
AND HOLD OUT THEY DID!
Twente scored their second goal just 5 minutes before we did and Ajax lost 2-0.
PSV Eindhoven was crowned Eredivisie champions on goal difference!!
It was a nerveracking end to the season in which youngster Jonathan Burkardt netted 21 times in the league.
Alex Scott and loanee Thorgan Hazard set up a total of 26 goals in between them and made it possible for us to win our first league title since the 2017/18 season.
Also not to forget, Walter Benitez broke a club clean sheet record by keeping the opponents goalless for 19 games in the league and 2 more for a total of 21 clean sheets over a complete season.
Now, it is time to celebrate the league title but it is also time to prepare for the oncoming season, as we still need to win the Champions League and the Dutch Cup.
Come on you ´Boeren´!
You'll need to Login to comment