Spyin' Kop - PSV v Liverpool - CL Quarter Final (1)

Posted by Henry Chinaski on April 1, 2007, 11:41:50 PM

After 3 weeks without a goal and a heart-crushing defeat to our horrible rivals at home, a good result against Arsenal seemed imminent. Easier said than done obviously, and I didn't believe very much in our chances, but our boys did us proud. We were magnificent and a 4-1-win is in no way exaggerated.

And then there's that league among the elite of Europe (soon to be joined by more Eastern European 'elitists' if Platini gets it his way). We've already played our next opponents in the group stage, and we've beaten them, but underestimation and undervaluation of this team should be in no way allowed (the man now managing them knocked us out of the Cup with a comparable team, a stage earlier, only last season).
They're the biggest team in Holland at the moment and they have been the best representatives on a European stage for them for a while now, but are their fans still as confident facing us as they would be if they still had their talismanic leader in defence, 'Alex the Tank'?

I've asked them a few questions in Dutch and translated them, and seeing as this is my first Spyin Kop, please be kind-hearted with the criticism. ;) Thanks a lot to the guys at the forum.psv.nl!

PSV EINDHOVEN v LIVERPOOL
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER FINAL - LEG 1
Tuesday 3 April 2007
Philips Stadium, Eindhoven
Kick-off: 19:45

What do you expect of the game(s)? Could you understand Koeman’s negative reaction when the draw was announced?

Tjeerd09: I expect this to be the end of our Champions League-involvement. I thought the same as Koeman, because Liverpool plainly is a very difficult opponent for us.

Henkietankie: I’m expecting a really close tie, not many goals and tension till the last minute of the return. Individually, you lot are a bit better, but PSV has always played from a good defensive organisation. I can understand Koeman’s reaction, it’s logical, because I think it’s probably too early for us to meet again.

DikkeDuitser: 2 very tactical games, not many goals, big battle on the midfield. And Liverpool winning.
I understand Koeman’s reaction. He’d rather go somewhere else this time, because Liverpool have already been our opponents in the CL.
I’m a frequent visitor of European away games, I was at Anfield already in November. It’s nicer to draw a club, in a place where you’ve never been (Valencia would’ve been nice for example).
Besides all that, Liverpool’s football isn’t the best for us.

Rudolphius: It’s gonna be a real tough game, mostly because Liverpool plays a bit like us, the same brand of effectieve football without a lot of fantasy. Besides that, the injuries of Alex and Koné are extremely worrying for us as well.
It’s also a bit of a pity we already met you guys, Liverpool is a really beautiful club, but I had hoped for some variation, that’s the way Koeman sees it all IMO.

Jeffreymen: It’s gonna be really difficult, but I don’t think we’re goin’ in the tie without any chances at all. Especially away though, it’s gonna be tough. I fully understand Koeman’s reaction, although I still think Manchester United is the better English side.

Who’s gonna be your most important player in the two legs, now that both Alex and Koné are gonna be out?

Tjeerd09: Simons & Gomes.

Henkietankie: Philip Cocu, Carlos Salcido & Jefferson Farfán.

riotex: Cocu or Gomes.

DikkeDuitser: Gomes, Cocu, Simons, Farfán.

Rudolphius: Gomes, Cocu and Simons … They really are the heart of the team, without Alex. Farfán’s gonna have a real tough game on his own up front.

Jeffreymen: I’m backing Da Costa, Simons & Cocu to play a real important role. Da Costa to hold off Kuijt, Simons to do the same with Gerrard and Cocu to function as playmaker.

Is Alex definitely gonna leave after this season?

Kris040: I’m obviously hopin’ that won’t happen. Hopefully, Mourinho really sees him as an ‘enrichment’ of his squad, so he can stay yet another season (and goes to England after that one).

Rudolphius: It would be unrealistic to deny that. Against Arsenal he showed again something we already knew (for a long time): he’s definitely in the top 5 of best central defenders in the world. I’m still hopin’ for a miracle though.

Henkietankie: Yep, we can’t hold on for him any longer. He’s the best goddamn defender in the world.

What has been Kluivert’s contribution to the team? How do you rate Koeman’s other transfers?

Tjeerd09: He’s extremely important to have, because of the influence he has on the younger players, but a few nice moves aside, he hasn’t really shown much. About the other purchases with the exception of Tardelli, I’m really satisfied.

Henkietankie: Kluivert hasn’t set the world alight … yet. But he has won us 3 goals against ADO Den Haag.
The other players: Salcido is one of our best transfer in the last couple of years. Da Costa (bought him last season, now growin’ into the first team) is showin’ a lot of promise, Mendez is inconsistent but obviously has a lot of talent. Chinese full-back Sun is good attacking-wise, but is still a bit suspect at times defensively. Tardelli has been a bit of a let-down.

DikkeDuitser: Apparentely, Kluivert is really important outside the pitch, he’s a popular guy in the team. Football-wise we haven’t seen enough yet though.
Salcido has been an incredible purchase, but I bet you already knew that.
Kromkamp is not yet as consistent as he was for AZ, but it’s developin’ the right way.
Tardelli isn’t good enough for this club.
Mendez started brightly, but has been out of form the last weeks. When in good form, he’s definitely good enough.
I haven’t seen enough yet to judge of Alcides and Sun.

Kris040: He appears to be too inury-prone. In the games he played though, you can definitely see he adds something to the team. With the other purchases I’m very pleased. Especially Salcido and Da Costa are really good players. It’s a pity though we don’t buy too many Dutch players, only Kluivert and Kromkamp this season, but still that’s been a step in the right direction. Koeman seems to think about that the same way.

What players would you rather be without? Whom would you swap them for from Liverpool?

Kris040: Tardelli could take the next plane to Brazil, I wouldn’t miss him. But from the Liverpool-team I’d obviously like to see Gerrard play here. Every club in the world would want that guy. I also rate Gonzalez, Garcia and Pennant. But most of all, I’m really hopeful Zenden will join us again next season.

Timmy Simons: Obviously I’d like to see Gerrard and Kuijt play here. That’s only a bit unrealistic. ;) But I am expecting Zenden to arrive again next season though.

Rudolphius: I could live with a swap Reiziger-Lamey-Feher for Riise, Gerrard and Kuyt. ;)

Riotex: Lamey in exchange for Riise? Haha, Steven Gerrard would be magnificent as well obviously. Kuijt for Tardelli?

Are you suffering from the small depth of your squad these days? You’re also out of the Dutch Cup now … Which positions have room for improvement?

Rudolphius: Obviously, we have way less forwards than the other top teams in Holland (AZ and Ajax) and Koeman has been really stupid to send Roy Beerens on loan to NEC, even if he’s not genuine quality for the Champions League. The fact we’re out of the Cup because of a 3-0-defeat hasn’t got a lot to do with that, that’s just a matter of mentality. Besides, the Cup doesn’t mean a lot in Holland.

Timmy Simons: Yes, we’re starting to suffer from that alright. Especially in the attack we need more players.

Davitamonnetje: Definitely. I still don’t get why Aisatti and Beerens were loaned out when there weren’t (and still aren’t) any back-ups for the positions they play in.

Jeffreymen: We have no genuine strikers bar Kluivert. Farfán and Koné’s natural position are on the flanks or just behind the strikers.

How are the feelings towards PSV in the Dutch media these days? Still the same ‘catenaccio’-shit you get? What are their predictions for the rest of the PSV CL-campaign?

Rudolphius: The media has started to realize that we get magnificent results with this style of play, in opposite to the other Dutch teams currently. It’s gettin’ recognized more and more as our class and quality rather than the catenaccio-label it used to get. And I think all that criticism was a bit overblown as well as we still have scored shitloads of goals this and last season and played some amazing football in the CL (remember Milan 2 years ago).

DikkeDuitser: PSV gets branded as playin’ effective/efficient and cool football and ever since the period after the winter-break, I’m ashamed to say I can’t deny that.
I see it as ‘realistic’ football. The English newspapers and tabloids were a little bit venomous about our style of play, seeing as it isn’t ‘Totaalvoetbal’. But PSV has never played this, this was Cruyff’s philosophy, not ours. And besides, if we had played like that against Arsenal we would have been fucked.
Besides all that, I have seen some good football by PSV this season in the league, against opposition like Sparta (7-0) and FC Utrecht (5-0). But the media tends to forget all that obviously. The best football we have played in the last couple of seasons by the way, was against Milan, at home, in the semi-final of the CL (3-1). We were out of the Cup after that and I was absolutely delighted with your come-back against them (and, obviously, goin’ on and winning the goddamn thing), cause I didn’t grant those fuckers anything after that.

What’s your opinion on Koeman so far? Is he the worthy successor of Hiddink?

Rudolphius: Guus is still a class above Koeman in my opinion, but he’s doin’ alright of course. Still though, I think the team plays a little bit sloppier at times than under Hiddink.

HoogendroogopTT: Above expectations, if you ask me. The defeat against Ajax was really sad, but we’re gonna be league-champions again and we’re still exceptional in Europe!

What has been the dissapointment of the season so far?

Kris040: The way Ooijer left. Players not givin’ everything. The injury to Alex obviously.

vandijk: Alex out injured.

HoogendroogopTT: PSV – Ajax 1-5. Absolute tragedy.

Rudolphius: Alex’ injury against Excelsior.

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