Ajax were relegated to the Rangers soccer team this week and salt has been sprayed into a deep wound along the way. PSV Eindhoven missed the Champions League against the same opponent two weeks ago.
Thus Ajax added another 2.9 million euros to the already guaranteed 40-45 million euros in European prize money this season, while PSV Eindhoven had to make do with just 210,000 euros to draw with Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League. Feyenoord returned home from Rome with absolutely nothing.
This European week also raises the question more and more if Ajax is no different from Feyenoord and PSV. The hero position is currently similar to that of a Monopoly player who controls most streets and has hotels built on them. PSV Eindhoven coach John de Jong was brave this summer and said “PSV do not want to narrow the gap with Ajax”. The club wanted to “bypass Ajax”.
Coach Ruud van Nistelrooy was more conservative on Friday and said PSV Eindhoven should have the ambition to compete for the title. “It must be a strange concept in sports,” says van Nistelrooy. “You have to have the goal, the ambition and the will. That is what it is about for me. Our fans should be able to be proud of their club. At the end of the season we evaluate.”
Both PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord have to deal with a huge financial gap with Ajax, something that coach Roger Schmidt repeatedly pointed out at PSV last year. Feyenoord coach Arne Slot admitted that the differences between Ajax and Feyenoord are huge off the field. The team from Amsterdam fishes in a different pool and if there are players in the interests of both clubs, Ajax ignores and sets an annual salary that Feyenoord cannot or does not want to meet, as is the case with Austrian Florian Grealish this summer.
However, Sloot said: “We are in a different stage than the stage of Ajax and PSV Eindhoven. But it was no different last season and then we stayed close for a long time.”
Feyenoord rarely beats Ajax and that is partly why the number of delays in the Eredivisie is so high. “We have turned an experienced team into a team with boys with a lot of potential,” says General Manager Dennis T. Kloese. The Rotterdam team got their finances back in order after millions of remittances returned and they are now looking to the future.
To be able to get to know Ajax, the Rotterdam youth academy has to operate in a more modern way, something Eindhoven has adhered to for years. Under coach Frank Arnesen who left Feyenoord, the start was in Rotterdam. “But you won’t see the effects until in a few years,” says T. Close.
What could have an effect sooner is allowing the survey device to run at full speed. “The scouts could see inside Sloat’s head and know what kind of players to bring for the kind of football Feyenoord plays,” Arnesen said.
TClosey saw that scouts were constantly coming up with candidates to strengthen the team. From all over the world, as until recently the people of Rotterdam preferred to look for opportunities only in the Eredivisie and Scandinavia. “Now that the transfer window is over, we’ll immediately start exploring again. Looking for new players to make us stronger,” says T. Kloese.
In Eindhoven this season, for example, Xavi Simmons and goalkeeper Walter Benitez made sure of the poll. Guus Til’s arrival was essentially the wish of the technical staff themselves, but it has had little effect so far.
The coach and his philosophy
The third and most important pillar of Ajax’s pursuit, which is inaccessible here and there, is the coach and his philosophy. Finally, Feyenoord can play football better and the players see that too, Van Nistelrooy has only been working at Eindhoven for a short time and he still has a lot to prove.
“If you get to the congress league final, this is a calling card. Now the players want to go to Feyenoord. For the boys from South America or Mexico, the Eredivisie is a nice intermediate step in their career,” says T. Kloese. “They feel they can improve at Feyenoord. And the fact that we have sold players to clubs like Manchester United, Leeds United and Benfica helps too. If they immediately put in a good performance at Leeds United in the Premier League, like striker Luis Sinistera, it will again increase their appeal. Feyenoord”.
PSV did not have the highest sales this summer and kept the best players after Ritsu Doan.
The search for Ajax is no less difficult for a club that has a good youth academy, sharp scouts, a clear and above all attractive style of play and a widely acclaimed coach. For example, due to restrictions on an old stadium such as De Kuip in Rotterdam. But Te Kloese recently closed the door to new construction.
“Football is central to us,” says T. Kloese. “We have now sold half of our squad, but with a new team it should be the case that we still sell two or three starting players every summer. Then build a team that will compete in the Eredivisie.”
Evaluation in May
PSV still think they are ahead of Feyenoord, but after some early disappointments this season, they are basically occupied with themselves. As a coach, Van Nistelrooij really needs to get a profile. Meanwhile, PSV Eindhoven are hoping Ajax will fall into a deep sleep behind the Monopoly board. Van Nistelrooy: “We will be staying in May.”
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