PSV Eindhoven finally wins a game after losing seven games in a row over the past two months. The embarrassment of the last two months has come to an end with its 5 to 1 win over FC Utrecht. The losing streak suggests a bigger problem which is how did the team reach such depths and the fact is that the players had to adapt to the fact that other teams no longer fear them as they once did in years past.
The 2013-14 team is languishing in the bottom half of the Dutch league, they have been knocked out of the Dutch Cup and they have recently been removed from the Europa League competition by a club from the Ukraine, the Chornomorets, which when compared to PSV Eindhoven would be considered a minnow. In what was the epitome of ignominy, the Ukraine side was down to ten men for the final minutes of the match but PSV Eindhoven was unable to tie the game which would have allowed them to move to the next round.
This is a football franchise that has gained renown for developing great European footballers such as Ruud Gullit and Ruud van Nistelrooy but now the team is suffering from a stretch of horrible play. The question for many observers is why is PSV Eindhoven playing so poorly? Is it a question of coaching, money or both?
The problem is not the coaching of Phillip Cocu but is more a reality of professional football in today’s market. For years PSV Eindhoven had access to the best talent in the Netherlands. Now, with the reduced budget of the team other teams in the Netherlands and throughout Europe are able to compete for the best young players and as such, the playing field is more level. The best talent in the Netherlands is now spread more evenly throughout the other teams in the league and thus when a player is transferred to a larger budget team there is not always the talent to replace the player. The challenge for PSV Eindhoven will be to develop their players into professionals who understand that they cannot live off the glory of their predecessors but must make their own success. The players of PSV Eindhoven are learning this lesson in the harshest way possible for a footballer team which is through the losing of games but they will become stronger for it. Sometimes in life people, especially young footballers, have to learn that things will not be given to you based on your name but instead you must earn your accomplishments and the footballers of PSV Eindhoven have been taught this lesson repeatedly over the past two months.