PSV Eindhoven and the great football of Peter Bosz
Peter Bosz’s PSV Eindhoven is perfect. Complete win in Eredivisie after 9 matches played. Scored 30 goals and conceded only 3 times. Bosz’s return home is succeeding as he had hoped.
Recently, last Saturday, with speed and an attractive playing style, PSV’s sublime days in the Dutch National Championship continued with another overwhelming victory, this time against Opponent Fortuna Sittard. Now, Bosz’s team not only occupies the top position with a gap of 2 points compared to second place team AZ, but also performs some of the best football in Europe.
But can it be sustained in the long term? As always in the case of Bosz, this is a difficult question to answer.
The origin of this coach’s coaching career is a story with strong Dutch characteristics. Bosz used to be a good enough defensive midfielder to play for the national team, and the 59-year-old strategist said that back then after training sessions with Rinus Michels he often rushed back to his room to take notes about them. He also extremely worshiped Johan Cruyff – not only because of this legend’s football philosophy, but also because of Cruyff’s iron faith and steadfastness.
Besides Cruyff, the most famous “disciple” of this “saint” is Pep Guardiola, who gave Bosz an additional source of contemporary inspiration. He often studied Barcelona’s matches under Guardiola with his coaching staff. Therefore, it is not strange that he also considers Pep Confidential, a work written by Marti Perarnau about Guardiola’s time leading Bayern Munich, as one of his favorite books.
The influence of those great people on Bosz was extremely strong and profound, even to the point of danger. The 59-year-old military leader is so fascinated that he is fanatical about attacking football, pressing according to the 4-3-3 system and formation. It can be said that nothing can shake the loyalty he has for his football vision.
Bosz had many quotes describing that vision. He believes that the ball should be brought forward continuously. He thought that the king’s sport should be played in a way that stirred every soul. He once self-deprecatingly admitted that the player version of Peter Bosz was not good enough to play the type of football that the coach version of Peter Bosz wanted to see. But perhaps the clearest proof of this coach’s romantic football soul and shortcomings is the end of the 2016-17 season. Bosz’s Ajax have attracted worldwide attention and conquered the hearts of countless football fans, but that’s about all their achievements. In the Dutch National Championship, they lost to AZ in the championship race, and in the Europa League, they were defeated by Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United in the final in Stockholm.
Bosz despises practicality.
“Tacadada, passing back, aiming for long balls – those things don’t belong to the football I love,” he told Deutsche Welle in 2019. “I want to feel excited when watching football. For me, football is supposed to be fun. This is also the reason I always want my teams to play in a way that fans enjoy.”
He is the type of coach that Mourinho would surely call “a poet” with disdain. A man who always lives and works according to idealism. And the steadfastness that Bosz had for his football ideology, often criticized by public opinion as “too naive”, made his coaching career very difficult.
First was at Borussia Dortmund, where Bosz was in power for only 7 months. He has been criticized for being too conservative with the 4-3-3 formation and unable to overcome the team’s “fragility” against counterattacks. In a match against Schalke, the Dutch coach Dortmund led 4-0, but then let the opponent equalize 4-4 in the second half. For a long time, that draw was associated with Bosz’s identity.
Bosz’s predecessor, Ruud van Nistelrooy, helped PSV win the KNVB Cup, finish second in the Eredivisie and become the league’s top scorer in his only season in charge. Van Nistelrooy suddenly resigned in May 2023 because of conflicts arising within the club, but he left behind a great legacy as a team that mastered attacking, pressing football and was familiar with it. belongs to the 4-3-3 system. Instead of having to carry out a complete revolution at PSV, Bosz just needs to step up their playing style even more.
Sergino Dest has also been revived. Taking advantage of the full-backs is one of Bosz’s fortes and Dest, still only 22 years old, is playing in an “inverted full-back” style on the left wing, often moving inside the field. to perform breakthroughs and creativity. The Dutch coach believes that Dest can completely play as a midfielder. Whether he can turn the American star into a “new Philip Lahm” is another matter, but that intention shows the remarkable boldness and optimism of the 59-year-old strategist.
Why not? Nothing is completely impossible – this is what makes football great. Although De Jong is the focal point of the attack, he is surrounded by many movements, variable combinations as well as support from the midfielders or full-backs behind him, which makes him For defense opponents often face an attack with at least 5 strikers. They also had to deal with the terrifying speed of PSV’s extremely precise vertical ball attacks. Bosz’s team played with a “rhythm” like ballet, but with the efficiency of a destructive machine, as evidenced by their average goal-scoring performance of more than 3 goals per match. is being achieved.
This is certainly the type of football that Bosz loves and longs to witness.