Ruud van Nistelrooy : tel joueur, tel entraîneur

Ruud van Nistelrooy : tel joueur, tel entraîneur

Ruud van Nistelrooy, who was quietly making his mark at the helm of PSV’s Under-21s, did not expect to be propelled as head coach of the Boeren this season. By his own account, the former striker wasn’t ready yet, but his first competitive match under his new cap went through this. By knocking out Ajax (5-3) and winning their first title, “RVN” cleared up some doubts. Above all, he showed that he had already (re)built PSV in his image: a team serene, lucid and terribly inventive in finding the net. AS Monaco, who host the great Dutchman and his flock during the third preliminary round of the Champions League this Tuesday night, have been warned.

Ruud van Nistelrooy was a forward like no other. He is not the most technical, nor the fastest, but he is the most diabolical when it comes to planting it deep. An ingenuity that earned him countless admirers, saddened by the master’s retirement in 2012. But don’t worry: the great Ruud is back on stage! And with his appointment to PSV to start this season, a certain idea of ​​football is kept alive. And this has already produced some initial devastation, as Ajax can attest.

PSV played as Van Nistelrooy scored

Dušan Tadić’s partners had planned a rough rookie for the former Manchester United striker, but it was the senior rookie manager who taught the capital giant a lesson. Without panicking after the opening of the opposing scoreboard, PSV regained control of the match to dance the waltz of the Lancers (5-3). It was enough to distinguish the first phalanges of Van Nistelrooy’s paw.
Unlike his predecessor Roger Schmidt, who is fond of counter-pressing and quick offenses, the former Real Madrid striker prefers a more “calm” possession game. Van Nistelrooy’s obsession is to put his attackers in the best position to score, through building phases that must disorganize the opponent and make him vulnerable. And for that, all means are good. Rutgerus Johannes Martinus van Nistelrooij (real name) is not a dogmatic coach who imposes his preferred way of playing in all circumstances. Last season, his PSV U21 was one of the teams in the Dutch D2 that crossed the least. Against Ajax, it was during this phase of the match that the first two goals of the Boeren (two headers by attacking midfielder Guus Til on two crosses by winger Cody Gakpo).

A lucidity that was also felt in the management of the match. While Roger Schmidt’s PSV could explode at any moment, Van Nistelrooy passed on his legendary composure to his players to keep Ajax in check. ” After the first match, we pulled ourselves together and continued our game. Following our plan, we moved the game to the left. There we found the free men and thanks to some good centers we returned to the game and the gameThe happy coach explained after the match.

Will more Ruud be the downfall?

But will Ruud van Nistelrooy be able to confirm the promises made? In the “path“The career he had hatched, the 46-year-old player would have preferred to tan his teeth for one more season with PSV U21 because he still didn’t feel like it.”cleverto take the step, as he admitted in an interview with ESPN last December. We will therefore have to wait for a Van Nistelrooy who is still perfectible tactically and in his management, in particular that of the confirmed players after having spent the last six years with PSV’s bottle classes. For Philippe Clement and AS Monaco, it is now or never to choose this “RVN” in the clash for the third preliminary round of the Champions League.
For the great Ruud, the challenge is all the greater as the past does not speak for him. Few have become Dutch managers to do well at the highest level, and their best-known representatives are former defensive midfielders (Erik ten Hag, Peter Bosz, Mark van Bommel, Arne Slot, Phillip Cocu, etc.) or defenders (Ronald Koeman , Frank de Boer, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Jaap Stam…). The old attackers? A field in ruins or nearly so (so ask a PSG fan what he thought of Patrick Kluivert’s later career).

Waiting for the possible appearance of Robin van Persie (who is trying his luck at Feyenoord) or Dirk Kuyt (appointed coach of ADO Den Haag in D2 this season), Ruud van Nistelrooy has the heavy task of proving that a former Dutch striker has future as a top-level coach. PSV are already rubbing their hands thinking about the last time they handed over the reins to a former member of the house, Phillip Cocu, who won them three Eredivisie championship titles between 2015 and 2018. If Van Nistelrooy has the shoulders to dream with a destiny crowned with national success, he will also have to find the recipe to export himself so as not to live the same way out of the road as his former partner in theOrangewho hasn’t found a club since November 2020…

By Douglas de Graaf


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