Feb 06 2011

PSV Eindhoven 0-1 ADO Den Haag: The Den Haag dream continues!

Published by at 2:25 pm under Uncategorized

I’m going to deviate from the usual Slovak theme on the blog with a post on what, to me, was the most amazing result in European football yesterday.   Cologne’s win over Bayern Munich, Wolves beating Man Utd, Newcastle and Stuttgart’s comebacks, there are numerous big stories from yesterday’s action, but in my opinion, none can match ADO Den Haag defeating PSV Eindhoven in the Philips Stadium for the first time in 40 years.  October 1971 was the last time this result was achieved which makes this feat even more impressive than the 1-0 victory against Ajax in the Amsterdam Arena earlier in the season.  The celebrations after the Ajax victory were sensational, obviously due to the nature of the result, but also largely motivated by dislike of the Amsterdammers.  There is nowhere near as much animosity towards PSV, but this is a victory which must be celebrated out of purely on-the-field matters.  The fans here are as passionate as any I’ve come across and realised the extent of their team’s achievement, once again meeting at the training ground late last night to welcome the players bus home in a repeat of the post-Ajax scenes.

I did get rather excited on twitter last night, and suggested that any podcast which mentions this match, and in the context of ADO’s success rather than just the shortcomings of PSV will seriously rise in my estimation.  I stand by that because as I mentioned above, I think this result punches well above it’s weight on a number of levels.   Some of the podcasts out there do offer excellent coverage of the European game, but it does grate somewhat when Spain gets such regular coverage even when nothing is happening, and mentions of the Eredivisie are few and far between and largely restricted to Ajax and how they will miss Luis Suarez.

This result has thrown the Eredivisie wide open.  FC Twente move into the box seat ahead of their match at Utrecht this afternoon, but Ajax, and even Groningen are now very much back in the mix.  Below Groningen?  ADO Den Haag!  The list of records being beaten by ADO this season continues to grow and this is becoming the best season in recent memory with the realistic dream of European football very much alive.  Teams placed 4th-7th in Holland play off for a Europa League place, and from this position, ADO will be disappointed if they aren’t one of the 4.

I was going to write something on ADO’s Slovak player Frantisek Kubik’s performance ahead of his international call-up for next week’s match in Luxembourg, but Kubik was fairly quiet and one can’t possibly write about this match without full discussion of ADO Den Haag’s performance.

For those interested, I’ll direct you to 11tegen11′s tactical analysis when it’s up but I’d just like to mention a few things about the game that were the subject of our discussions last night:

PSV started as much the stronger team and dominated possession especially during the first half an hour.  With Balazs Dszudszak on the field, you feel that PSV have the creativity to conjure a goal up from nowhere.   In spite of this, John van den Brom had his ADO team together, sharp, motivated and very well organised.  ADO just soaked up the pressure, and never looked uncomfortable at the back.  With Wesley Verhoek and Kubik on the wings as well as Russian striker Dmitry Bulykin up front, ADO always posed a threat on the counter attack, although chances for both sides were few and far between.

Against Ajax, ADO’s goalkeeper Coutinho had to make a number of sensational saves, but that just wasn’t the case here. As the match wore on, ADO realised that they were very much in with a shout of claiming the point which would, at that stage, been seen as a victory.  As ADO’s confidence grew, PSV’s withered and, as they do here in Holland, the crowd started to get on the home team’s back.  PSV’s tactics became limited to long balls up to the highly ineffective Ola Toivonen and supposed international class midfielder Orlando Engelaar’s passing went from bad to worse.

ADO managed to keep Dszudszak out of the game and the defensive partnership of Timothy Derijk and Ramon Leeuwin had things under control.  With defensive midfielder Alexander Radosavljevic, full backs Ammi & Pique, the defensive base was as solid as we’ve seen it for ADO and is a vindication of the mastery of van der Brom’s tactics.  As you move up the field you’re talking about players who are all on top form at the moment, especially Jens Toornstra who we believe is ADO’s best player.  Toornstra is a young midfielder who is a pleasure to watch, excellent work rate, passing and running second to none on the park yesterday and we’re seeing an improvement in his decision making.  He took one shot from distance yesterday which on another day might have flown in and it would have been Toornstra taking all the accolades.  If he can start adding goalscoring to his list of attributes, what a player he will become.

As mentioned before, this wasn’t really Kubik’s game, although I do believe his presence on the field always gives opposition fullbacks reason to hesitate before springing forward.  The same can be said for Wesley Verhoek and with him alongside Lex Immers, it’s like watching two mates play the game they love and very refreshing.  These guys are all working so hard for ADO this season, and again, the credit must go to van den Brom.

As if there were any question marks left over how van den Brom had this match planned to a tee, he replaced Kubik with another pacy attacker Carlton Vincento when the temptation could have been there to go more defensive and see out the 0-0.  As the match moved into injury time, another wayward pass from the PSV midfield was intercepted by Pique, directed onto Vincento who broke down the wing with real pace and put a dangerous ball across the edge of the PSV box. The PSV defence was nowhere and it appeared to be a 50/50 ball between Isaksson and Bulykin, however both missed it and it ran free to Verhoek on the corner of the 6-yard box.  His first touch was awful and almost took the ball over the by-line but somehow he squeezed it in and pure unbridled joy for the whole ADO bench and fans as they’d secured the 3 points in the 92nd minute!

Sensational stuff from ADO.  Massive credit to John van den Brom and the whole squad, once again.  Next up, VVV Venlo at home, a match they will surely be big favourites to win.  What you just love about this season is that you know van den Brom will have let the players celebrate and enjoy this moment, but you also know they will be back fully focussed and with a totally new tactical game tailored to the next task at hand.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “PSV Eindhoven 0-1 ADO Den Haag: The Den Haag dream continues!”

  1.   James Baxteron 06 Feb 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I watched this game on Sport 1 here in Slovakia. If you can get connected to that when you move back here, you’ll be able to keep up with the Dutch league and it sometimes has live games from the Championship (Burnley v Norwich yesterday). Back to ADO, well, as a pure neutral, I found it a classic away performance, couldn’t have been better tactically, as you say. I was looking out for Kubik, his pace was evident and he worked hard. Nothing spectacular but fitted into the game plan. The pass played by the guy who replaced him to set up the goal was beautifully weighted. When he first got the ball, I thought he’d just run for the corner.

    Just one question – don’t you think Bulykin should have been sent-off with about 15 mins left? Looked like a clear elbow to me.

  2.   britskibelasion 06 Feb 2011 at 10:00 pm

    thanks James, conveniently enough, that Bulykin incident must have been during one of the service interruptions courtesy of my €70/month cable TV provider who give me the platform to pay an extra €7 to Eredivisie Live per match. As you know I can’t wait to get to Slovakia and knowing I can continue to watch [uninterrupted] Eredivisie football over there is just great!

    If you say Bulykin should have gone, I won’t argue, but as you can imagine, I’m not too bothered either!

    Slovan v ADO in July .. oh how the mind boggles!

  3.   James Baxteron 06 Feb 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Why not? Zilina played Ajax a couple of years back.

  4.   britskibelasion 10 Feb 2011 at 10:01 pm

    as did Slovan; we were there!

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