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Opposition scout report
Jan - Feb 2015 Prepared by Peter Chulkov
PSV realizes play-making strategy using circulation football
with aim to create 1-vs-1 situation on flank for wide forwards.
Players are good at positional game.
PSV is proactive in defense (meet opponent’s attacks with high
pressing <-> or in medium block with transition to high
The team starts game cautiously gradually increasing intensity,
especially with the beginning of the 2nd half
Will to win – players struggle till last minutes (won 5 games in
which the team conceded first goal)
The first XI is stable, no rotation. Changes are done mainly due
In all games PSV uses typical Dutch system 4-3-3 with one holding midfielder
Substitutions don’t change the system of play
- input of «fresher» holding midfielder (Hiljemark (strong skill – interception) comes in for Guardado or
- change right forward Narsingh – Locadia comes in for him in final 10-15 minutes. He is pacey forward
and can change the game - left defender is to be ready.
System of play
* If Guardado will not be recovered till the
game possible change Hiljemark (#27)
* Isimat Mirin (#2) may replace Bruma
L. de Jong
• The attacks starts from the triangular formed from central backs and
Guardado. Bruma often defines the direction or Guardado does - if the
former is absent in first XI.
• Typical pattern in 2nd phase of build-up is pass to the fullbacks who take
positions near the central line on flank. The fullback aims on getting ball
to wide forward in shortest time, often after run with the ball along
- Guardado plays diagonal ball towards Depay
- Central defender (Bruma, Rekik) plays long ball to L. de Jong, who look
for space in the zone between the lines (creating alternative way for
- Central defenders (Bruma, Rekik) run with into the midfield and play
towards L. de Jong. Isimat-Mirin doesn’t start attacks with long ball and
avoid progressing with the ball.
• Maher and Wijnaldum mostly provide flank players with support in the
build-up, struggle for 2nd ball.
In offense the team is aimed on getting the ball to wide forwards - Depay and Narsingh are both pacey dribblers and
prefer situations “1-vs-1” vs fullback of the opponent.
Offensive organization (1/2)
Patterns in short build-up
• Maher, Wijnaldum provide support when
ball is on flank
• Guardado – field vision, play deep
• Fullback are vulnerable under pressing
• The fullbacks are vulnerable under the pressing of the opponent (especially left back Willems). Isimat-Mirin commits
mistakes in passing.
• PSV plays circulation football strategy and often change side
of the attacks. The opponent’s players are to be alert all the
game and shift positions in defense timely. Most share of
goals (43%) the team scored in last 15 minutes of each half
when opponent’s attention was exhausted.
• Change of the angle of attacks if performed via central
midfielders or Guardado with usage of diagonals balls
• Depay is inclined to move centrally when the ball is on right
flank. Willems moves up taking position of wide midfielder
on left flank. In case of transfer the ball from right to left
flank – the ball is sent to Willems. Another option is Depay’s
movement behind the defender – always attention if the ball
is received by Guardado. (A)
• Narsingh is pure winger and he always looks for space on
flank. L. de Jong also moves closer to flank if the rival gets
numbers when wide forwards gets ball on the flank and gives
additional support in possession (B)
The core in offensive organization of the team is to creating the situation 1-vs-1 on flanks.
Offensive organization (2/2)
Patterns in change side of the attacks
• Narsingh tries to reach the flank zone for performing cross to
the penalty box. He also actively combines with right fullback
• When the cross is performed – 3 players attacks in the box:
Depay (far post), de Jong (center), central midfielder far related
to the ball (near post ). Second central midfielder (often
Wijnaldum) is responsible for 2nd ball. (A)
• When wide forward with ball is on flank – fullback moves
inside. Fullback makes cross or shot from distance (A)
• If Narsingh can’t progress along the flank – he cut in, plays
one-two with central midfielder and run into the box. Another
way – pass to central midf / Guardado (!) and through ball to
• When wide forwards run into the center de Jong moves down
trying to drag central defender (!)
• Depay tries to come into the box diagonally from flank or cut in
and shots from distance or play through balls (attention to runs
of Maher / Wijnaldum) (C)
Pattern in final stage of attacks is depended on the individual decisions of wide forwards
Final stage of attacks
• The main threat is Depay’s movement into free space on left
flank. Central midfielders move up quickly in support through
• Also when the attack starts from own half de Jong moves down
and the attack can be developed using the “play on third” (pass to
de Jong – flick-on - pass towards flank)
• If central midfielder win 2nd ball on own half they speed up the
attack with individual dribbling and play towards wide forward
from opponent’s half
• When the team win the ball on opponent’s half – Depay’s
movement behind opponent’s fullback is main threat
• In final stage of fast attacks wide forwards tries to finish himself
coming into the penalty box or play pass from the flank. The wide
forwards of another flank (center) and central midfielder or
forward (far or near post) attack the ball in the box
• The goalkeeper Zoet is delayed in fast attack start
The team shows quick change of attitude in transition from defense to attack (43% of goals scored from
fast attacks). The aim is to deliver the ball to wide forwards, preferably behind opponent’s fullback
Offensive transition – fast attacks
• The high pressing is started on the level of central defenders – L. de Jong
chases defender who get the ball. The team uses man marking
• In medium block the team mixes man marking and zonal defense. The
central midfielders often follow the opponents who start movement from
player’s zone. They are non-aggressive and try to press opponent on the
moment of receiving the ball. The midfielder can be drawn with back
pass to central defender. There are gaps between the lines which can be
used for offensive organization (right side is preferable - Maher loses
player). The defense is positioned too up in the field - space behind the
defense can be used in dynamic combination. (A)
• Defense also uses mix of marking and zonal - central defenders follow
opponent’s striker too deep, fullback may come to closer to flank. It
leaves gaps in defenders’ line - after through-balls PSV conceded 4 goals
from 10 in last 10 games (another 4 was conceded from set-pieces).
Rekik, Williams, Isimat Mirin commits positional errors – don’t narrow
timely. It is preferably to draw out Rekik (B).
• Fullbacks often are stayed in situation 1vs1 on flank – lack of covering
PSV uses high pressing on opponent’s half or meets attacks of opponent in medium block in formation 4-
1-4-1 with transition to high pressing.
and help on flanks from central midfielder and wide forwards. Narsingh is less disciplined in defensive actions. It is
recommended to put more pressure on right flank in flank attacks.
Defense – key points & gaps
• Covering defense when the team attacks is consist of
central defenders + on higher line Guardado and fullback
of far side related to ball
• In the transition to defense the team is broken and the
favorable way for opponent to counterattack is through the
central zone, with pass behind Guardado. Central defender
follow striker, but doesn’t tackle – quick support is
• Central midfielder Wijnaldum (right) and wide forwards
(especially right Narsingh) are delay in recovering the
defensive position. The players of the left side – Maher &
Depay – are more disciplined in recovering. It is preferable
use right side of defense.
After losing the possession of the ball near player initiate pressing but there is not organized team pressing.
Others related to defensive actions
• Williams is non-tempered and often commits fouls
• Central midfielders are not good at wining the 2nd ball on own half – the team lost in most cases
Transition to defense
In transition to defense
• Guardado – only block to stop transition;
he prefers to move up to the opponent
with ball. Hiljemark (possible change in
fist XI) prefers to anticipate pass – good
• Defender follows striker and fast support
• Wijnaldum and Narsingh are delay in
Lateral free-kicks are taken by Maher or Guardado. The ball
is sent mostly in the direction to the far post. 3 players make
diagonal run into the zone of the cross. One player (Rekik or
Willams) run on the nearest post.
From the left flank the kicks are taken by Maher (inswing to
near post) or Guardado (outswing to central zone or far post).
From right – Willems (inswing to central zone). 5 players in the
box: Narsinhg blocks the goalkeeper, 4 makes mostly diagonals
runs (normally 2 of them run into the destination of cross). The
main threats are Rekik, de Jong. Depay sometimes anticipates
on near post from the keeper box.
Maher can initiate short corner with pass to the corner of
the penalty box. The player who are responsible for 2nd ball
runs for the ball. Getting the ball he looks for pass into the box.
Direct free-kick is taken by Depay. The ball is sent above
the wall to furthest away post from goalkeeper.
3 59 10
In lateral free-kicks one player (Narsingh) is in the wall,
Guardado control possible wide run into the box, 2 players
(Arias / Maher) control possible late penetration and play
for 2nd ball, 5 players mark man-to-man in the penalty box.
The players who marking in the box follow the opponents
and it can be used. The players in the box can be drawn
from central zone where player from zone of Depay
make run freely.
In corner-kicks Maher is positioned on the goal line
(centrally), 1-2 player in the zone of the near post
(Guardado / Arias / Willems), 5 players mark man-to-man
in the penalty box. 2 players (Narsingh and Depay) are
positioned outside the box (ready for fast transition to
Frequent mistake – losing the player’s rival run from
the keeper box toward near post.
Feb. 5, 2020
Sep. 14, 2019
Nov. 6, 2017
Jun. 20, 2017
May. 9, 2017
Jun. 30, 2016
Jun. 23, 2016
Jun. 22, 2016
Dec. 24, 2015
Dec. 7, 2015
Jul. 22, 2015
Jun. 25, 2015
May. 21, 2015
Apr. 27, 2015
Mar. 8, 2015
Mar. 8, 2015
Mar. 1, 2015
Analysis of opposition's tactics - FC PSV Eindhoven (based on the games of Jan - Feb, 2015)