Dirk Kuyt will officially end his professional playing career on Sunday 27 May 2018. Twelve months after the 37-year-old ne...
Feyenoord take on PSV in Eindhoven Sunday in the knowledge that they would have knocked their opponents out of the Amstel Cup a few weeks ago if the game had ended a minute earlier. Ruud Gullit feels his side go into the game in a good frame of mind after a week of free speaking at De Kuip. ‘It encourages discussion, which is always good. I hope that there will be players who show that they want to play for Feyenoord next season,’ says the coach.
Gullit still dwells on the week that Feyenoord threw it all away when they went down to FC Den Bosch, Ajax and PSV in the space of eight days. The coach has dubbed it ‘that famous week’, not least because the team’s performances in those three games are still having an effect now. In terms of the table Feyenoord have nothing to play for and that has found expression in the recent matches against Heerenveen and NEC. ‘Games that had really nothing to them, lame ducks,’ is how Gullit describes them. ‘There were players who didn’t have the energy to do their utmost again. You see that with AZ too; the tank is empty now. As a coach you hope that the pleasure in playing is still there. But that’s tough. I don’t think you can judge us on those games. So it’s nonsense to slate us for being useless’.
Gullit has already turned his attentions to next season, but with prestige at stake in Eindhoven he’ll be targeting a good performance and a tangible return from the trip east and the final league match against ADO Den Haag. ‘We cannot always play well, but we always have to work. I saw too little of that against NEC and Heerenveen. I hope the players show that they want to play for Feyenoord next season against PSV and ADO. That’s why I felt it was good that we were correcting each other this week and expressing our dissatisfaction with each other.’
The team Gullit names to take on the champions will be different to the one that crashed to NEC last weekend. The coach had to do without Cory Gibbs, Shinji Ono and Romeo Castelen in Nijmegen, but the trio are now back in the frame.
Every silver lining has a cloud however and Feyenoord will be without two first-team regulars. Salomon Kalou is unavailable for the second week in succession, while Bart Goor also looks like missing the match. The same goes for Sebastián Pardo and Edwin de Graaf. It all means that the coach has yet to confirm the final eleven in his own mind. ‘I hope to have a better idea of who is unavailable and who isn’t on Saturday,’ admitted Gullit.
HOLLAND CASINO EREDIVISIE
Sunday 15 May, 14:30 at the Philips Stadium
PSV: Gomes; Ooijer (Lucius), Alex, Bouma, Lee; Van Bommel, Vogel, Cocu; Park, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Farfán.
Feyenoord: Babos; Östlund, Saidi, Gibbs, Bosschaart; Castelen, Ono, Hofs, Goor (Magrão); Kuyt, Kalou (Leonardo).
LAST TEN MATCHES
14/3/2004 PSV – Feyenoord 0-1
17/11/2002 PSV – Feyenoord 1-2
14/4/2002 PSV – Feyenoord 2-0
14/3/2002 PSV – Feyenoord 1-1 (UEFA Cup)
30/1/2002 PSV – Feyenoord 1-1 (Amstel Cup)
20/04/2005 Feyenoord – PSV 1-1 (Amstel Cup)
12/12/2004 Feyenoord – PSV 3-3
21/9/2003 Feyenoord – PSV 1-3
18/5/2003 Feyenoord – PSV 3-1
21/3/2002 Feyenoord – PSV 1-1 (UEFA Cup)