The story of New Liverpool Caoch ‘Peter Bosz’s’ title-winning campaign with PSV Eindhoven

It’s been a big year for Dutch football. Ajax are a mess on and off the pitch, Feyenoord’s Arne Slot seems destined to take over at Liverpool, replacing Jürgen Klopp, and PSV have just won their first Eredivisie title in six years.

While much of the media focus has been on the other two clubs, at least outside of the Netherlands, Peter Bosz has been quietly doing a fantastic job since taking over at the Eindhoven giants.

In the end, the league title race wasn’t even close. At the time of writing, PSV are seven points above Feyenoord in second place, with one weekend of the season remaining. 

Bosz rose to prominence during his time with Ajax, replacing club legend Frank de Boer in the summer of 2016. On all fronts his Ajax side impressed, despite the fact they didn’t win any silverware. 

Reverting back to Ajax’s free flowing ‘Total Football’, they narrowly missed out on the league title by two points to rivals Feyenoord.

On the continent was where they shined brightest. After a disappointing Champions League campaign, Bosz and Ajax found themselves dropping down to the Europa league, before making it all the way to the final where they were eventually beaten, 2-0 by José Mourinho’s Manchester United. 

With Thomas Tuchel leaving Borussia Dortmund for Paris Saint Germain in 2017, the German club were looking for a new manager.

Bosz’s impressive spell with Ajax made him their prime target and he was given the job that summer. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for Bosz in Dortmund, and he was sacked a few months later in December. A manager can’t be judged by one bad spell, and in January 2018 he was appointed Bayer Leverkusen manager. 

Leverkusen offered Bosz stability for the first time since a three year stint at Vitesse Arnhem and he very nearly matched that at the Bundesliga club, before being sacked in March 2021 after a disappointing season. He can at least be credited with turning Kai Havertz into the player he is today. 

In 2021 he took over at Lyon, but the fans never truly took to him. An eighth-place finish in 2021/22 left him on thin ice going into the 2022/23 season. And inevitably, just ten games into his second season that ice cracked, and he was sent packing. 

Under appreciation is a running theme throughout Bosz’s career. When he replaced Ruud van Nistelrooy at the start of this season, his appointment was meant with shrugs from PSV fans. That’s no longer the case, now he has them cheering. 

It was something of a surprise when Van Nistelrooy decided to leave the club. He’s arguably PSV’s greatest ever player and had won two trophies and led them to a second placed finish during his single season at the helm. 

2022/23 Eredivisie top goalscorer, Xavi Simons left the club and returned to PSG for €6 million.

Midfield general Ibrahim Sangaré also parted ways with the club, joining Nottingham Forest for a whopping €30 million. 

Reinforcements were needed, and PSV had one of the best transfer windows in Europe.

American duo, Malik Tillman and Sergiño Dest, joined on loan, becoming integral cogs of the title winning machine.

Armel Bella-Kotchap was another temporary addition, but his season was ended early due to injury. 

Forwards Ricardo Pepi, Noa Lang, and midfielder Jerdy Schouten all joined the club permanently, but it was the re-signing of Mexican winger Hirving Lozano on transfer deadline day that had the fan’s hearts fluttering. 

Bosz recognised he had to get the fans on side quickly, as it turns out, the best way to do so is to win football games. Who’d have thunk it. 

His first game in the dugout was a 2-0 home win against FC Uterecht, a result that was relatively flattering for the away side.

PSV dominated them in every aspect, playing them off the park with Bosz’s trademark dynamic, possession-based style. 

Lang scored their first goal of the season right before half-time before Yorbe Vertessen doubled their lead and secured the win, not that it was in any doubt. From then on, PSV’s run was nothing short of remarkable. 

They were scoring goals for fun, scoring three or more in each of their next 12 league games.

This included a 5-2 battering of Ajax at the Philips Stadion. The Amsterdam club scored first through Branco van den Boomen on the tenth minute before Lozano levelled things up in the 20th

Ajax then took the lead for a second time thanks to Brian Brobbey’s deflected goal and went into half-time ahead.

Whatever Bosz said in his team talk worked because PSV blew them out of the water. 

Luuk de Jong was in the right place at the right time to score an easy goal after Lozano’s curling effort smacked the crossbar.

VAR couldn’t find anything wrong with Ismael Saibari’s first and PSV’s third, and the home side took the lead for the first time. 

Ajax’s defence couldn’t deal with the pace of PSV’s wingers. Johan Bakayoko played a lovely ball across the heart of their defence to Lozano who expertly finished for his second goal.

The little Mexican then bagged his hattrick, taking advantage of more poor defending. 

By this point it was only October but PSV were already starting to look like champions.

It wouldn’t be until the new year that they dropped points.

Before their 1-1 draw with Utrecht, PSV had won 51 points from a possible 51, scoring 59 goals in the process. 

They finally suffered their first domestic defeat in late January, a 1-0 away loss to Feyenoord in the KNVB Cup, courtesy of Quentin Timber’s lovely 31st minute turn and strike. 

It was important for Bosz and his side to put cup disappointment behind them.

They did drop more points in the subsequent games, a 1-1 draw at Ajax, and a 2-2 league draw at home to Feyenoord, but it wasn’t enough to stop the free scoring Boeren. 

In March, PSV’s first Eredivisie defeat of the season came at the hands of an unlikely foe.

Neither Ajax nor Feyenoord had it in them to stop this runaway freight train, but NEC Nijmegen did! 

When Bakayoko scored the opener for PSV, it looked like it would be nothing but a routine win for the would-be champions.

Lasse Schone then threw a spanner in the works with a penalty goal just before half-time. 

The game was a story of two goalkeepers. Jasper Cillessen in the NEC net was having the match of his life, no matter what PSV tried, they couldn’t beat him.

As for Walter Benitez in the opposite goal, it wasn’t his best game. 

The big Argentine shot stopper could only parry Mees Hoedemakers’ shot into the path of Japanese midfielder Kodai Sano, who finished from close range.

Benitez couldn’t do anything to stop the third. Forward Sylla Sow lifted it over him from inside the six-yard box to secure the points. 

Being disappointed about losing your first game in March is a problem football fans across the globe would love to have.

PSV fans had to get over it, winning the league title certainly did the job. 

PSV were officially named champions after their 4-2 win over Sparta Rotterdam. Flares were lit, flags were flying, and Bosz has finally found a home.

Not only has he led them to the Eredivisie title, but he’s also done what only a select few managers are capable of, improved the players under him.

Bakayoko has become one of the most sought-after young wingers in Europe, Joey Veerman has been running the show from central midfield, amassing an impressive five goals and 15 assists, and 33-year-old Luuk de Jong is a new man with 27 goals and 15 assists in the league alone. 

Bosz has the opportunity to build something special at PSV, but if he continues on this path, he may not be there for much longer.

Don’t be surprised if at some point soon you see him join fellow shiny headed countrymen Slot and Erik ten Hag in the Premier League. 

Peter Bosz was appointed manager of PSV in July 2023 and led the club to win the league title in his first season.

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