Rutten did not see Van Nistelrooij’s departure coming: ‘Shit like a bomb’

Fred Rutten must lead PSV to second place on Sunday. After Ruud van Nistelrooij left this week, the assistant has been moved forward for the last game. Despite the fact that he mainly wanted to talk about the game, he also discussed the entire unrest within the club.

Fred Rutten started the press moment on Friday afternoon with a speech in which he said that the focus is entirely on AZ. “There is only one thing that counts at the moment and that is PSV. We have to get results on Sunday. That is the most important thing for the players, the staff and the fans and therefore the whole club.”

But the interim trainer could not escape the fact that questions were asked about this week’s situation. Ruud van Nistelrooij left with one game to go. Stories had been brought out that the atmosphere within the group and staff was not good.

“It is now irrelevant whether there has been a hitch.”

“I had a great relationship with Ruud,” says Rutten. But has there been a hitch in the cable? “That is not relevant now,” responds Van Nistelrooij’s former assistant.

The interim trainer only spoke to the former striker via apps afterwards, because he knows that a recently departed trainer does not like to talk to people. The news was hard on Rutten himself. “It hit like a bomb.”

Rutten has not had any doubts about entering the last game as a trainer. In fact, he looks forward to it. “I like such a situation. Not after the story with Ruud, but I enjoy these kinds of competitions.”

“I have not detected any discord.”

There was a lot of division in the group of players. That was of course already around the departure of Van Nistelrooij. One half wanted to continue with the trainer, the other did not. But in the end, one team must achieve a result in Alkmaar on Sunday. “You have to take your responsibility now. Everyone should be aware of the importance of Sunday. But the news has of course also hit hard for some. They then need an arm around them for five minutes.”

According to the interim trainer, the departure has not caused more unrest within the selection. “I have not detected any discord.”

“As PSV, we don’t celebrate a party at second place anyway.”

A completely different team will not be there against AZ on Sunday because Rutten says he wants to stick to the same names. “Only if I notice that someone has not processed the whole situation properly, will I intervene.”

Because in the end, the match against AZ is crucial for the club. Many millions are at stake. But is it proper to celebrate a good result? “As PSV, we don’t celebrate a second place anyway. PSV is a big club. We celebrate when we win prizes,” says Rutten firmly.

And what if it all goes wrong? “Then it is a big disappointment. For everyone in the club. PSV just has to play Champions League. If that doesn’t work, it’s a big disappointment.”


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