Ruud van Nistelrooy quits PSV in strange circumstances despite KNVB Cup success

Ex-Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has stepped down as head coach of PSV Eindhoven after deciding he did not have enough support from within the club to continue following a series of ‘internal affairs’ in the past few weeks. It’s understood a number of PSV’s players complained to the board about Van Nistelrooy’s methods and bubbling tension behind the scenes has now reached boiling point at the Philips Stadion where change is imminent.

Van Nistelrooy returned to his former club, where he spent three years as a player between 1998 and 2001 before signing for Manchester United, in 2018 when he began coaching PSV’s U19 side.

After a spell as the assistant manager of the Netherlands, he returned to Eindhoven to coach PSV’s reserve side last season before replacing Benfica-bound Roger Schmidt last July.

Although there was widespread disappointment at PSV’s failure to apply serious pressure on champions Feyenoord, who are 10 points clear at the summit with one match left to play, Van Nistelrooy did deliver the Johan Cruyff Shield and KNVB Cup.

PSV ran out 3-2 winners over Ajax on penalties in late April following a 1-1 draw at De Kuip and Van Nistelrooy appeared to cut a popular figure in the dressing room after the contest when he danced joyfully with his players.

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It has all rapidly gone downhill since PSV’s triumph in Rotterdam, however and there have been indications that Van Nistelrooy has been on the brink due to internal complaints from his players.

Those claims have been continually dismissed by PSV club sources within the Dutch press but now the 46-year-old has taken matters into his own hands, walking away from his position.

A club statement read: “Head coach Ruud van Nistelrooy announced on Wednesday morning that he would leave PSV. After several discussions about internal affairs that have taken place in recent weeks, a meeting took place on Tuesday evening between the Board of Directors and Van Nistelrooy.

“It was decided to keep the focus on next Sunday’s match against AZ and to continue talking after the season.

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“Van Nistelrooy reported this morning that in his opinion there was not enough support within the club to continue longer. He immediately explained this to the players and staff.

Van Nistelrooy is believed to have taken particular offence to the fact conversations between players and management were leaked in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

He considered his position to be borderline unworkable because of the breakdown of trust within the club.

He now considered his position to be borderline unworkable because of the breakdown of trust within the club.

While Van Nistelrooy’s tenure has ended on an undeniably sour note, it must be remembered that he lost two star players in Cody Gakpo and Noni Madueke mid-season to Liverpool and Chelsea in big-money transfers in January.

Despite a spirited attempt at a comeback, PSV were dumped out of the Europa League in February when they lost 3-2 on aggregate to finalists Sevilla.

The Eredivisie giants lost just once during their Group A campaign and beat Arsenal 2-0 on home soil in late October to book their place in the knockout stages.

It could be a big summer of change in Holland before the start of the 2023/24 season with PSV, Feyenoord and Ajax all on course to appoint new managers.

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