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6 minute read Published January 23, 2024

This weekend the longest winning streak in Europe ended. Philips Sport Vereniging, or PSV as you’re more likely to know them, won an astonishing 17 in a row. 17! In the end it was the mighty Utrecht that got the better of the Eindhoven club, by drawing them 1-1.

Team Goals Scored Goals Conceded Points
PSV Eindhoven 60 8 52
Feyenoord 52 17 42
Twente 36 21 37
AZ Alkmaar 38 18 34
Ajax 42 33 31

While this is an impressive feat, the draw unfortunately means that PSV were unable to improve on the record they themselves set back in 1987/88. Coincidentally, that’s also the year they last won the Champions League, and the club is in the Champions League. At that time a young Ronald Koeman was the star of the team and left the following season to join Barcelona, this time around, their star is Luuk de Jong.

It’s not all for nought however because despite losing their winning streak, the team is still on an unbeaten run. An unbeaten season is a feat only accomplished in the Eredivisie has had twice before, 1918/19 and 1994/95, both by Ajax. it would be an incredible accomplishment.

Main competition

Last season Feyenoord won the league, losing just two games. While an unbeaten season has only been accomplished twice, losing just two or three games in a season is not uncommon in the Eredivisie. They’ve already lost two this season and they currently sit ten points behind PSV.

Then there’s another little gap down to Twente, AZ Alkmaar and Ajax who are each separated by three points. This means that, despite an abysmal start to the season, Ajax are now just six points off third, which is the last Champions League spot. It does seem like the club after two managerial changes already, have finally gotten it together.

If there’s any team that might be able to push PSV at all, it looks like it’ll have to be Feyenoord but ten points is a massive head start this early in the season.

How did they get here

At the end of last season, Peter Bosz took over as the manager of PSV after Ruud van Nistelrooy left the club. Van Nistelrooy had a pretty successful spell at PSV, winning the Dutch Cup and taking them to second place in the league but reportedly had a hard time getting along with both management at the club and the players.

Bosz is probably most known for leading Borussia Dortmund and before getting the PSV job he coached Lyon. Like many Dutch coaches, he’s a disciple of Johann Cruiff and wants to play a version of total football and as many top coaches these days he likes pressing high. What sets Bosz apart, though, is his emphasis on young players and attacking football. Very attacking.

Peter Bosz. Photo: Светлана Бекетова,

PSV have scored a whopping 60 goals this season, while only conceding 8. For reference, last year's winning side Feyenoord scored 81 goals all season. Extrapolating goals doesn’t mean that much, but just to show you how insane their goal production has been so far, 60 goals in 18 games would put PSV at 119 goals for the season. The all time record for goals in a season was set by Ajax in the 1965/66 season at 122.

So, PSV are scoring for fun but the goals are spread throughout the team. Luuk de Jong is the team's top scorer, he’s got 15 goals and seven assists for the season. For the top scorer in a team that is on a path that could get close to an almost 60 year old goal scoring record, you’d expect him to be the leagues top scorer too – not in this case. De Jong is only third top goal scorer and PSV have another three players in the top 20 of goalscorers.

Transfer dealings

For the past three seasons, PSV have been able to sell quite a few players for big fees. After a breakthrough and very successful World Cup, Cody Gakpo garnered interest from international clubs. Manchester United were allegedly snubbed in the last season by Liverpool, who signed the young Dutchman for a reported €42 million in January of last season.

To a lot less fanfare but also for a big fee, Chelsea bought Noni Madueke for €35 million. And the sales kept coming this summer, when Nottingham Forest bought Ibrahim Sangare for another €35 million. So in two transfer windows the Dutch club made more than €120 million off just three players. 

Last season, the brightest shining star of the team was Xavi Simons, who got 19 goals and nine assists in the Eredivisie. He joined from PSG for free after his contract was up. One of the conditions for his contract was that he would be able to go back to PSG if he wanted to, so a clause of €4 million was added to the contract, a clause PSG, obviously, opted to activate this summer.


So a lot of talent has left the club. But the players they’ve brought in and promoted have worked wonders. The biggest single contributor to their success this season has been Luuk de Jong. The tall 33-year old came in from Sevilla before last season for a measly €3.5 million and is the teams top scorer this season. Being 188cm tall, he’s very good in the air. For example Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest aerial players of all time has 116 headed goals in 1200 matches – Luuk de Jong has 102 headed goals in a little over 500.

Luuk de Jong. Photo: Orange Pictures via Shutterstock

Before this season the club also brought in Hirving Lozano from Napoli for €15 million as well as Sergino Dest on loan from Barcelona. Both have featured in every game.

In addition to these more renowned players, PSV are leaning heavily on players from their own academy such as Johan Bakayoko.

Can it keep going

PSV now has to deal with the disappointment of losing the winning streak and try to move on, let’s hope it doesn’t affect morale within the team too much. What’s more troubling is the way they played. The entire team looked lacklustre and there was barely any fight and there are concerns of complacency but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. They’ve still won 17 and drawn one, the best record of any league in Europe and the best start to an Eredivisie season ever.

PSV are also still in the Champions League and will have to fight on multiple fronts this season. As it goes on, fatigue might become a factor. Luckily, Dutch teams get a pretty generous break over Christmas, some time to rest and regain their energy.

In the Champions League, PSV will take on Borussia Dortmund after finishing second in their group, behind Arsenal. This may sound like a tough draw but, alongside Real Sociedad, it was arguably the easiest team they could have gotten as their pot included Bayern, Real Madrid and Manchester City.

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