Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 06:00• Daniel Cabot Kerkdijk

PSV has one leg in the next qualifying round of the Champions League. Thanks in part to a hat-trick by Eran Zahavi, the team of trainer Roger Schmidt won on Wednesday evening under the watchful eye of 23,500 fans with no less than 5-1 against Galatasaray from Turkey. Due to the resounding victory, PSV will go to Istanbul next week with an excellent starting position, where the return is on the program. The Dutch newspapers are very enthusiastic on Thursday about the impression left by the people of Eindhoven.

The Telegraph praises Zahavi’s performance in PSV’s first official game of the season. For the Israeli, it was already his twentieth game in the preliminary round of the European ball of millions. “You can send Zahavi a message in qualifying for the Champions League. He was the spearhead of a PSV that operated very well. ( . . . ) After the 2-1 Galatasaray revived for a moment. But PSV had nothing to fear from Ryan Babel, who was constantly being whistled at. The Turks had that of Zahavi all the more.” With a sense of understatement, the newspaper points to the three goals and the wonderful assist of the PSV player.

Also in the match report of the General Newspaper Zahavi logically plays a leading role. “Not only because of his assist and three goals, Zahavi became the man of the match at PSV, but also because he constantly pushed the defense of Galatasaray,” writes journalist Rik Elfrink. “Last year sometimes everything seemed to be against the PSV striker, but the start of his new season was fine yesterday. In his last three European matches for PSV, Zahavi has scored seven times. Next week PSV must prevent that it is not good enough to continue again.”

De Volkskrant on the other hand, reflects more on the start of ‘part two of Project-Schmidt’ in Eindhoven and writes about ‘a pimped PSV’, which has switched from the much-discussed 4-2-2-2 system to a 4-2-3 1 formation. The newspaper refers, among other things, to the important role that 28-year-old Marco van Ginkel fulfills next to Ibrahim Sangaré. but also on defenders André Ramalho (29), Phillip Mwene (27) and substitute midfielder Davy Pröpper (29). The newcomers are living proof of what PSV lacked last season: experience and leadership.

“It has to be the right mix with the talent of Noni Madueke, Cody Gakpo, Yorbe Vertessen and Mohamed Ihattaren, although the latter still doesn’t seem to be in Schmidt’s plans.” Loyalty talks about ‘an old-fashioned festive European cup atmosphere in the Philips Stadium’ and emphasizes that ‘this PSV has been shaped much more than last season according to Schmidt’s ideas’. “One man does not fit in there for the time being, a player who was considered a great promise a year and a half ago,” one refers to Ihattaren.

After all, Schmidt insists on discipline, work ethic and thinking in the collective. “He realizes that after a season without prizes, it will be a crucial year for PSV. In recent years, a financial and sporting gap has grown with rival Ajax. The Champions League has been missed for several years, so that the difference in the annual budget with the team from Amsterdam is now 31.5 million euros. In order not to let that gap get even bigger, participation in the European Championship Ball is now a must. After all, the starting premium is already 35 million.”