The year is always split in two for a footballer, six months before summer and six months after summer. No wonder then that Paul Bosvelt has mixed memories of 2002. ‘In the first half of the year we achieved a high point when we won the UEFA Cup. And yet we still ended the season a little contrary to expectations. We started well, but we had too many bad patches when we lost games we didn’t need to lose. I wouldn’t call it a low. The lack of European football is the biggest disappointment. Ultimately, it’s the poor run that overshadows everything else when I look back on 2002. It is disappointing that things are going less well, even frustrating. But we are working hard to turn the tide,’ says Bosvelt.
‘I don’t think so much about the UEFA Cup. Okay, you see the TV pictures regularly, at sports galas and end-of-year reviews on TV for example. But we never got to go the Coolsingel to celebrate with the fans. That meant we fell back into our normal rhythm pretty fast. It’s a pity. And if I have to summarise 2002, I keep coming back to the inconstancy. Four, five months ago I had the UEFA Cup in my hands, now things are going less well.’
Going into 2003, Bosvelt has a goal. ‘I would like to see the whole team hit some form and retain it for a protracted period. We have to be more resilient. That’s possible with this group of players. There is enough quality, but quality also means ‘stability’. It’s good that we have a two-week winter break, so we can relax and recharge our batteries. I’m off to Paris for a few days and otherwise I’ll be resting up. I’d like to wish everyone a great Christmas and New Year!’