‘Harsh attack on Van Nistelrooij from PSV player group? That surprises me’

‘Harsh attack on Van Nistelrooij from PSV player group? That surprises me’
André Ooijer, Fred Rutten and Ruud van Nistelrooij

NOS Football

On Friday, De Telegraaf reported on strained relations within PSV’s technical staff. Coach Ruud van Nistelrooij is said to be having trouble getting along with his assistants Fred Rutten and André Ooijer. The atmosphere within the coaching staff would even be “below freezing”.

“An inflated story,” the coach called it to NOS on Sunday. “We are working very well as trainers, as a staff, as a group. Of course you have discussions and disagreements to get everything out. Is that a story? The fact is that Ooijer is quitting. We knew that and you knew that. I think it’s fuss about nothing.”

Van Nistelrooij on alleged unrest in staff: ‘Inflated story’

“Something has been going on for some time,” says NOS reporter Jeroen Stekelenburg in Studio Football. “They have appointed with Van Nistelrooij a young trainer, along with an experienced assistant, Rutten, a club man, Ooijer, and furthermore Tim Wolf and a Spaniard Javier Rabanal, who is head of methodology. With the latter it seems to rub off.”

Ooijer announced in late March that he would quit as assistant after this season for personal reasons and was ready for a new challenge. Van Nistelrooij indicated earlier that he was counting on continued cooperation with Rutten, but according to De Telegraaf, renewal of that cooperation is not so certain yet.

‘Not a good trainer yet’

For Pierre van Hooijdonk, the reports about Van Nistelrooij are confirmation that the coach was not yet ready for the big time. “You knew this before you appointed him,” stated Van Hooijdonk. “When you appoint an inexperienced coach, you take a gamble. I think Van Nistelrooij can become a really good trainer, but if you train PSV, you have to be a good trainer. This is proof that he is not that yet.”

‘Harsh attack on Van Nistelrooij from PSV player group? That surprises me’

Van Hooijdonk sees no clear plan in PSV’s play. “I don’t see what they want. They don’t defend massively, nor do they put massive pressure. It’s a bit of everything. It’s hoping for whims from Xavi Simons and Joey Veerman and otherwise a lot of running without creativity.”

“In terms of results, he has done well,” states former PSV player Ibrahim Afellay. “But the soccer has to be a lot better next season.”

Van Nistelrooij led PSV to wins in the Johan Cruijff Schaal and the KNVB Cup in his debut season as head coach. Sunday’s 3-3 draw against sc Heerenveen means second place is not yet in.

‘Thought he just had good connection with players’

On Sunday, De Telegraaf came out with another report that certain PSV players are dissatisfied with Van Nistelrooij’s approach. They are said to have complained to management about tactical choices and poor communication. “That is certainly a harsh attack,” Van Hooijdonk said.

“That would surprise me,” Rafael van der Vaart responded. “I thought he had a good connection precisely with the players.”

The report that players have complained about the coach was denied by PSV Sunday night to the Eindhovens Dagblad. That newspaper further reported that players have urged the management to keep Rutten on.

Watch other excerpts below. About a call from Tottenham Hotspur to Rafael van der Vaart about Arne Slot and Pierre van Hooijdonk about the class of Milan van Ewijk. Also watch the regular sections: Final Signal about Hans Kraay jr. (by Frank Heinen) and The Wall Layer about Dick Advocaat (by Hugo Borst).

Kayleigh Williams