Marco van Basten criticises lack of defensive effort to Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord

Dutch legend Marco van Basten did not hold back on his criticism on the state of Dutch football when he sat on the Rondo table on Ziggo Sport.

The former Ballon d’Or winners concerns came after watching PSV Eindhoven beat arch-rivals Ajax at the weekend 5-2 to keep Peter Bosz’s side top of the Eredivisie table.

But despite the goal-fest win at the Philips Stadion, the former striker has been particularly critical of the defensive he saw in that match and highlighted the issue is throughout Dutch football too.

He said: “I saw a spectacular match but the level was questionable on both sides. The goals come so easily. I saw PSV against Lens last week. Then they get to 1-0 and have to defend that lead. Within ten minutes it will be equal again. That breaks you up.”

According to Van Basten, that is where the achilles heel of the Dutch clubs lies.

“Defending well is something we are really bad at in the Netherlands. That applies to Ajax, that applies to PSV, that also applies to Feyenoord. The Portuguese top teams are only better because they can.”

Van Basten, 58, has often been critical of Ajax in recent weeks, but this time he mainly pointed out PSV’s defensive shortcomings.

“A defensive pairing with Andre Ramalho Silva and Olivier Boscagli is extremely dangerous. Your back two are very important, but I don’t think they say anything to their teammates. That’s just deadly.”

Further comments still went towards Ajax who have been falling far below the mark they are typically used to or expected so far this season.

Ajax have been woeful this season and find themselves bottom of the Eredivisie table and have now appointed their fourth manager since Erik ten Hag left to join Manchester United in June 2022.

They have appointed John van ‘t Schip on an interim basis until the end of the season and has the mammoth task of turning their domestic season around as well as searching for their first win in their Europa League group stage campaign – starting with a home match against Brighton & Hove Albion.

GBeNeFN Tom Phillips

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