‘Already went wrong at PSV with Van Nistelrooij appointment, Ajax rudderless ship’
Understanding for Van Nistelrooij stepping down: ‘Questionable role of Brands and Stewart’
Regardless, last soccer season caused a stir. “We crossed a lot of boundaries, from all sides,” said analyst Leonne Stentler.
Much was made of the behavior of supporters. Rules were tightened and many games were stopped. But Steven Berghuis also misbehaved, punching a bystander as he walked back to the Ajax player bus.
Feyenoord big winner
And what to think from a sports perspective. Feyenoord started with nothing and ended up standing with the bowl on Coolsingel. PSV and Ajax were seen beforehand as the teams playing for the title, but ended the year in a minor way.
The results at PSV were still fine, according to Ibrahim Afellay, winning the Johan Cruijff Schaal, the KNVB cup and second place in the premier league. But the loss of coach and clubman Ruud van Nistelrooij, who resigned Wednesday, was extremely painful.
See the best players and the best goals of the season here:
“I can understand that, with the info that has come out in the media,” Afellay said of Van Nistelrooij’s choice to keep the honor to himself. “Then there is a breach of trust, that you are talked about like that through all channels.”
“It has already gone wrong with the appointment,” Pierre van Hooijdonk looks back on the moment Van Nistelrooij was passed on to the main squad as trainer of Jong PSV. And was left to his own devices.
With Fred Rutten on the bench, at least second place and thus the preliminary round for the Champions League was secured Sunday. “PSV played that match maturely,” Afellay believes. You didn’t see the AZ you’re used to either. But I thought PSV played well.”
Ajax, on the other hand, according to Van Hooijdonk, did not radiate for a moment that there was something to be gained during the final matchday. Things went wrong from the kickoff.
Van Hooijdonk saw Twente win ‘richly deserved’ against ‘unimaginable’ Ajax
“Unimaginable. You have to win this match to still have a chance at spot two,” Van Hooijdonk marveled. “Álvarez was under power, Rulli was a lump of unrest. And Twente was super aggressive. It was super sloppy from Ajax. And again thick and thick deservedly lost.”
“Heitinga loses five crucial matches with Ajax and draws two. Then you just haven’t done well,” concluded Arno Vermeulen after the change of coach at the Amsterdammers, who replaced Alfred Schreuder for John Heitinga midway through the season.
Mismanagement at Ajax
“It’s yet another mistake Ajax has made. This was doomed to fail,” Afellay reflected on the decline at last year’s champion, who sold his best players ben brought in replacements who did not live up to expectations. “It’s mismanagement. A rudderless ship.”
Was nothing good at all, then? Still, Van Hooijdonk believes so. “The Ajax women became champions…”
Watch the regular columns The Wall Layer (by Hugo Borst) and Final Signal (by Frank Heinen) here.