“Schmidt only squats Nijhuis and Ihattaren, 40 million probably to Ajax”

Ajax is four points clear with six rounds to go due to the victory over FC Groningen (1-3) and the spectacular draw of PSV against FC Twente (3-3). Feyenoord won 2-0 against Willem II. This is what the newspapers write about the Eredivisie weekend of the top three.

‘Ajax intensely sad to at least resilient’
Ajax lost the last two seasons in Groningen and on Saturday evening it went the wrong way again, until the ‘three crazy minutes’ before half-time, according to De Telegraaf. ‘As a financial top woman at the Bijenkorf, Susan Lenderink was familiar with the Drie Dwaze Dagen. Three crazy minutes against FC Groningen – in combination with PSV’s loss of points at FC Twente – ensure that the Ajax director will most likely be able to add 40 million euros at the beginning of next season.’

Davy Klaassen and Dusan Tadic gave Ajax the lead in the injury time of the first half. ‘In the team bus, the Ajax players saw that PSV fought back from a 3-0 deficit at FC Twente to a point. However, the loss of points of the Eindhoven team was very welcome from an Ajax perspective. With six games to go, the team from Amsterdam – assuming that the competitor will win everything from now on – can draw twice because of the much better goal difference.’

De Volkskrant does not spare Ajax. ‘Ajax’ football on Saturday varied from intensely sad to decent and in any case resilient’, it sounds. ‘For a moment it seemed that on this crucial Saturday, with FC Twente – PSV later in the day, Ajax would voluntarily relinquish its claims to the national title, the game was so disfigured in a phase of the first half. After a phase of about twenty minutes that defied all description, Ajax was almost lying as bad and uninterested as football looked.’

‘Ajax is still too vulnerable for The Great Countdown’, headlines Algemeen Dagblad. ‘Because PSV did not get further than the 3-3 in the Grolsch Veste, Ajax is four points ahead. Moreover, the goal difference is much better. Ajax owes this generous starting position to the fourth successive difficult victory. The leader struck in the final phase against RKC, Cambuur and Feyenoord. Ten Hag does not want to know anything about bad football and mentioned the resilience, strong phases and three goals that Ajax always made in that series.’

‘But you can also turn that around. The ease with which RKC was able to cross the road in Amsterdam, the weak half hour in Leeuwarden, how the team let itself be outclassed by Feyenoord and the shameful first half in Groningen: the supreme has already been lost at Ajax for a month.’

‘Don’t be the most talked about PSV player for the first time’
PSV lost two points in Enschede, where FC Twente still led 3-0 after 25 minutes. “PSV fell behind in the title race with Ajax on Saturday and not for the first time this season the goalkeeper played a negative leading role,” the Eindhovens Dagblad points its arrows at Joël Drommel. ‘At the moment, the people of Eindhoven have no serious alternatives to Drommel, but that should be different after the summer.’

“The club is expected to attract at least two new goalkeepers next summer, which should bring more competition and peace of mind to the goalkeeper fleet,” it sounds. ‘The man under the bar was again the most discussed PSV player on Saturday. (…) In a normal situation, the second keeper would have come into the picture again, but Mvogo no longer seems an option for Schmidt.’

“The chance that Roger Schmidt will leave PSV with the title and his successor Ruud van Nistelrooy a group stage ticket for the Champions League has shrunk drastically,” reports De Telegraaf. ‘And so PSV threatens to seize again next to the direct ticket for the Champions League, good for 40 million euros. An amount that would be very welcome to provide the selection with a quality boost, so that the new head coach Van Nistelrooy can make a good start.’

Schmidt was remarkably mild for his team after the loss of points. “The PSV coach talked about how it was already the 49th game of the season, that his players are ‘not machines’ and ‘that things like this just happen in football’. Cracking hard nuts is not really his thing – with the exception of Bas Nijhuis and Mohamed Ihattaren – and so the PSV coach emphatically kept his players out of the wind, let alone put his hand into his own bosom.’

De Volkskrant also translates to Van Nistelrooy, who will succeed Schmidt after this season. ‘If Van Nistelrooy leafs through his notes again this week, there is a good chance that he will encounter Joey Veerman’s name in bold letters. His goal was beautiful, with which he somewhat brought PSV back into the game after a dramatic start. The midfielder who came over from Heerenveen this winter blew some air into the lungs of his team on his own and must become one of the supporting players of the new PSV.’

‘No grim lyrics from Linssen’
In Algemeen Dagblad, after the well-deserved victory over Willem II, it is mainly about Bryan Linssen, who came in and determined the final score at 2-0. ‘His dip is over, the striker is again emphatically a candidate for a base place. But don’t expect grim texts from his mouth. On the contrary. The fact that the Limburger ended up on the bench after a dazzling start to the season is of course a disappointment. But it doesn’t cause venom, resentment, frustration or outbursts of anger.’

According to De Telegraaf, Saturday evening was a match that typifies Feyenoord this season. ‘Trainer Arne Slot saw his team dominate against Willem II for almost ninety minutes, but at the same time squander many opportunities in De Kuip. Luis Sinisterra – who else – broke the spell in the 67th minute and who else but Feyenoord’s substitute striker – this time Bryan Linssen instead of base customer Cyriel Dessers – made it 2-0 in injury time.’

“To the outside world, they do not suffer from their mutual struggle for a place in the tip of the Feyenoord attack,” according to de Volkskrant. Strikers Cyriel Dessers and Bryan Linssen are always in a good mood to talk to the press, although that is also because they usually do so after they have scored. Feyenoord may not have an absolute top striker like Ajax has in Sébastien Haller, Slot is satisfied with the two-stage rocket Dessers-Linssen.’

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