PSV starts Brabant conversion to Bosz soccer with ‘dream candidate’
The ‘Dutch school’ is coming to Eindhoven. With head coach Peter Bosz (59), PSV has brought in the “dream candidate” with experience at top clubs, also in foreign leagues, as well as a coach with a clear vision of how soccer should be played.
The ink on his signature has barely dried, but thanks to Bosz, the word “dominance” may still be buzzing around at De Herdgang somewhat uncomfortably.
Back to dominant PSV years
“PSV had periods in the past when they dominated Dutch soccer. I want to revive those times,” Bosz said upon his appointment.
Ambitious goal for a coach who, although he reached the Europa League final with Ajax in 2017, took his only prize as head coach 15 years ago: promotion to the premier league with Heracles Almelo.
Sure, as boss of Borussia Dortmund and Lyon, he often fought a pointless battle against mastodons Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. Still, back to the dominant PSV years means back to the successes of the late 1980s with Guus Hiddink in the dugout and Ruud Gullit and Ronald Koeman on the pitch.
But also back to the successes in Hiddink’s second term from 2002 with semifinals and quarterfinals in the Champions League and a string of national titles – who remembers Ibrahim Afellay’s statement “four times, Amsterdam…”? And back to the three national titles under Philip Cocu, the last of which was in 2018.
After five years without a title, Eindhoven is yearning for a scale. The craving Bosz shares with PSV. “We are both hungry to start performing again. It’s been a while since PSV became champions. Well great that they won two prizes this year, but of course the ultimate goal is to become champions. And that’s been a while for me as well. Perhaps it will come together.”
That will then have to happen with the adventurous Bosz soccer, which more often brought praise than prizes. Indeed, the Apeldoorn coach rarely deviates from his attacking philosophy, although the foreign years have made him a little more realistic. Bosz’s appointment was a conscious choice for technical director Earnest Stewart, who has already found a new head coach three weeks after Ruud van Nistelrooij suddenly quit.
“He is known for a certain style of play that is attacking, attractive and founded on entertaining,” Stewart said. “And he is chasing something we are also chasing: to become champions, playing a certain kind of soccer. We now want to develop that into our style of play. Bosz is really a dream candidate.”
Bosz thinks his style of play can bring PSV success: ‘Combination of selection, coaching staff must be right’
Remains the question of how much patience the club and especially the fans can muster while ingraining early pressure, quickly conquering the ball and playing with plenty of space in the back. Read: preaching the “Dutch school” in Brabant. Because even in the dominant years of the club from Eindhoven, the game was not primarily known for its beauty.
For now, Bosz has the blessing of Stewart and general manager Marcel Brands, both of whom Bosz still played football with. Bosz: “I understand very well that I have to adapt to the club and ultimately the player group, but I do have a certain way of playing in mind.”
Eleven men behind the ball
What PSV fans can expect from next season? As Lyon coach Bosz said in 2021: “I don’t settle for a way of playing where we wait with 11 men behind the ball. People often ask, ‘how long does that take before the players get it?’ That differs from team to team.”
Bosz: “What matters is that you think you can be successful with this selection or possibly some additions. Then that combination of selection, the way of playing and the coaching staff all have to be right.”
Ideally, ‘it’s all right’ as early as early August at the first big test: the third preliminary round of the Champions League. Placement for the group stage, something predecessor Van Nistelrooij failed to achieve, will boost Brabant’s conversion to Bosz soccer.
Peter Bosz was visited by reporter Joep Schreuder as Lyon coach in 2021 and talked about his style of play and the state of the ‘Dutch school’.
2021: Bosz in Lyon time about his playing style and state of ‘Dutch school’