With my preseason finished and a good showing in the transfer market I am really looking forward to how this season goes as I expect us to do quite a lot this year even though we have practically a new team. We may not start amazingly but I hope after a few games we gel and become unstoppable.
There is one game from July in this group of games because I thought it would be a bit easier just to include it as an August fixture.
My debut as PSV boss would be against a little known team in the the Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round called Ventspils and I decided to play mainly my back up players with my first team strikers due to the fact we were playing FC Utrecht a few days later and we actually went down to a very embarrassing defeat as Wuytens gave away a penalty in the 66th minute and they scored it leaving us in disbelief.
We quickly moved on from this game though and with a full strength team we slaughtered FC Utrecht 4-0 at home. We got off to the perfect start as Bernardo scored his first goal for the club and it was a stunner as he curled it in from 25 yards. After that we controlled the game and looking at the stats we really could’ve beat them by more.
The second game against Ventspils was much more successful even though I put out the exact same team as I did in the first leg. I think the home advantage really swung the game in our favour and we ran out deserved winners with Marcelo my centre back getting a hat trick. I’m not quite sure why we didn’t really play that well against Feyenoord but it might just have been one of them days where stuff doesn’t quite go your way but I was still quite happy with a draw against them. The game against SC Herenveen was a good win with two players getting their first goals for the club in Araujo and Manga. In the final qualifying round for the Europa League we were up against Maccabi Tel-Aviv who are from Israel and I decied to play my full strength team as I wanted to get this tie won in the first game so i could safely rest players in the second leg but my plan didn’t quite work as we played out a very dull game and it ended 0-0 which is a decent result but I was hoping for a win. This meant that a tired first team had to go to FC Groningen and get a win and they delivered despite us being extremely lucky with both of our goals being own goals. I do believe we deserved to win this game as we created 3 clear cut chances to their 0.
The final game of the month saw us welcome Macabbi Tel-Aviv to thie Philips Stadion where I decided to risk it and play a team with mainly all back ups apart from Araujo and Bernardo and it paid off as we ran out 4-0 winners with both Falk and Araujo getting braces. This is the game where I am hoping Araujo will push on and begin scoring more regularly in the league.
Transfers + Injuries
In the game against Feyenoord Jelle Vossen broke his wrist and will be out for around 3 to 4 weeks so I decided to bring in two strikers on loan as without Vossen we only had Araujo as a recognised striker due to Banguras injury.
I also made one further signing and he was a young goalkeeper from Colo Colo and he cost me £1.6M.
The month started with speculation about a possible takeover lead by a local business man and I have to admit I am a little bit sceptical about it at the minute as I think the current chairman has done well with keeping the money in the club.
Back to the footballing side of the game and we began september with an away trip to Roda JC where we won quite comfortably through a header by Manga. We then welcome Dnipro to Eindhoven for our first game in Group H and we played really well grabbing a 2-0 win with teh goal coming from Falk and Araujo. I was really happy with this result as it was a mix of first and second team players. We then lost our first game of the year however and it was complete rubbish as there was a clear foul in the lead up to their goal and when I blasted the referee in the press conference after the game the FA didn’t even say a word to me because everybody who saw the incident knew it was a foul. This had left me in a bad mood after what was actually a good performance we just failed to score the goal we needed. Our first game in the Dutch Cup was against FC Emmen, who were doing well in the Jupiler League at the time, and I played a full team of back ups and we we absolutely brilliant dominating the game from start to finish and ending up with 63% possession and18 shots compared to their 3. The last game of the month was against Ajax and I wasn’t really expecting to much if I’m honest as they were a very strong side with good attackers. We played okay and managed to scrape a scrappy 1-1 draw where we probably deserved to lose in all fairness.
The takeover has been completed now but the new chairman has already told me that he doesn’t plan to invest in the club at the minute but it always seems to say this so hopefully he will next season.
A few days after the Ajax game we had the task of an away game in Moscow and new it wasn’t going to be easy as they were the best team in my group so I had to play my first team to make sure we didn’t lose by a large margin. We actually did better than I was expecting with a tired team and managed to get the draw. We dominated them in the first half but found ourselves a goal down at half time but we regrouped and nicked a equaliser late on. Another big game followed meaning we had to play three very good teams in a week and this meant my players would play their third game of the week as I couldn’t afford to rotate. We played really well again and managed to get a 2-0 win after Araujo pounced on a mistake by the goalie and Marcelo scored from a corner. Next up were VVV-Venlo where we won 4-0 with ease as we were expected to but the best thing about this game was that Jelle Vossen finally scored his first goal under my management.
He followed that goal up with a goal against Aris in Europe but the standout player in this game was definitely Bernardo as he scored a fantastic hat trick. As you can see by the statistics we were amazing playing with real style and creating lots of chances and we were unfortunate to concede in my opinion.
We then played relegation candidates Excelsior and Bernardo was still on a high from his exploits in Greece as he scored both of our goals in the 2-0 win. The easiest game of the month was the last game and it was in the Dutch Cup 3rd Round where we played another Jupiler League team and although it was only 1-0 we played quite well with me resting a lot of first team players to give some of the back ups a run out.
The first game of the month was against NAC Breda and I was expecting an easy win an they just didn’t play very well and we came away with a disappointing draw. Aris were up next and after my 1-5 win against them I played my second team as I thought it would be another easy game and it was if I’m honest, even if it did end 2-1, we dominated and deserved to score any more. Vittesse were up next and they were having a poor season and were in 7th but they still managed to beat us and this sparked me to make changes to my tactics as we were not playing well enough against the bigger sides in the league so I changed a counter attacking direct play style which used three very defensive midfielders and wing backs and it worked as you can see in my next results. The game against De Graafschap was my tester for the new tactic and it worked a treat as we ended up deserved 4-0 winners.
The real test for the tactic would be against FC Twente however as they were above me in the league and playing very well. The new tactic seemed to work really well as we looked dangerous on the break and we found ourselves 2-1 up for most of the match before they scored with second to go to equalise but straight from kick off we attacked and scored the winning goal with the last kick of the game.
The last game of the month was a routine win but I was disappointed with how we conceded two late goals to nearly throw it away.
Nearly a perfect month in December but we blew it in the last game against FC Utrecht. We started really well getting a 0-4 win away in Ukraine and then followed it up with two 3-1 victories over bottom half teams as you would expect. Bernardo really shone in this new formation and was scoring tons of goals and finally making him worth my high layout of money on him. Although we had already qualified through the Europa League group I still decide to play my best team winning 2-1 against CSKA Moscow but it would cost us as my player were tired for the game against FC Utrecht resulting in a loss.
Good to know I am still remembered In Greece as I came second in manager of the year in even though I only spent half a season there during this year. But next up is the league table and will we find ourselves top?
Unfortunately we didn’t find our self top of the league but we were second which is one better than the media prediction so I can’t really be to upset. We have had a good first half season and now that we have a more consistent formation with more goals being scored as a result I believe we could really push on and take top spot of Ajax. We were only second on goal difference as well so if I would have beaten FC Utrecht we would have been top by three points which is a bit annoying but I’ll learn from my mistake.