While the preparation is over halfway, good results and the dominant game that trainer Roger Schmidt wants to sharpen in his team are still waiting. Still, PSV attacker Cody Gakpo feels that things are going in the right direction.
"I think I speak for the whole team when I say that this playing style suits us very well," said Gakpo on Saturday evening after the 1-2 defeat in a friendly match with Eintracht Frankfurt. "Of course it takes some time to get used to it."
Under Schmidt, PSV plays in a 4-2-4 line-up, where the four attackers are expected to put constant pressure in the event of loss of the ball and to give the opponent no time and space to build up.
That requires hard work without a ball. Since the first training on July 20, there has been heavy training on this. Gakpo: "We have started well with the preparation. The intensity of training is high and we are working together to master the playing style."
PSV line-up against Frankfurt
- Unnerstall; Dumfries (39 'Baumgartl), Teze, Boscagli (64' Obispo), Mauro (64 'Sadílek); Rosario (64 'Gutierrez), Thomas (64' Rigo); Ihattaren (84 'Ledezma), Malen (46' Hendrix), Lammers (84 'Piroe), Gakpo
'Still have to learn to choose the right moments'
PSV's first three serious exhibition matches did not result in a victory yet. The Eindhoven team previously played with a 1-1 draw against both Vitesse and Willem II. And although Schmidt said on Saturday that he was very satisfied with the progress his team is making, PSV did not make a great impression against Eintracht Frankfurt in the empty Philips Stadium.
"We have yet to learn to choose the right time to put pressure," Gakpo said. "It takes some getting used to, but I think we can adapt quickly. We all have mature players who can think clearly."
From time to time there were flashy combinations, with which PSV could break through the German defense at lightning speed. Also a day earlier against Willem II, the Eindhoven team came a few times quickly for the goal.
"At times you see really neat and good football," said Gakpo. "That way we can create opportunities."
See also: All exhibition matches of Eredivisie clubs in preparation for the new season
About seven players seem certain of starting place
The 21-year-old attacker made his third goal of the preparation, in which he plays as a left winger and as a central striker. The attacker has no preference for either of the two positions.
Under Schmidt, Gakpo is one of approximately seven players who seems certain of a starting place. The same can be said of Mohamed Ihattaren, Donyell Malen, Denzel Dumfries and the revived Pablo Rosario. The currently slightly injured Nick Viergever also seems certain of his place, while the young defender Jordan Teze is emphatically a candidate for a place in the first eleven with good performances.
The remaining four positions are still in full swing. Schmidt expressed the hope on Saturday that he would be able to welcome new players "within days or weeks", although the coach also said that the transfer market opened until the beginning of October is complicated by the corona crisis.
Schmidt can hone in on PSV's way of playing in two friendly duels with Hertha BSC and one with VfL Bochum, before the Eredivisie starts on September 13 with an away match against FC Groningen.
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