Former FC Barcelona and Netherlands national midfielder Phillip Cocu (41) has been appointed as the coach at Dutch club PSV Eindhoven for the remainder of the season. He succeeds Fred Rutten, who was sacked following a string of poor performances.
PSV lost 3-1 to struggling NAC Breda on Sunday, which left them four points behind Eredivisie leaders AZ Alkmaar. This loss followed humbling defeats to rivals FC Twente (2-6) in the Eredivisie and then to Valencia CF (4-2) in the UEFA Europa League. Sunday’s loss and the following protests by supporters of the club prompted PSV Eindhoven to end Rutten’s reign, though he had already confirmed his departure in the summer. “PSV regret the inevitable departure of Rutten and [assistant coach Erik] Ten Hag and appreciate their huge effort and commitment over their tenure,” read a statement on PSV’s official site.
Cocu, Rutten’s successor, has been appointed interim coach for the remainder of the campaign. The midfielder arrived at FC Barcelona after a superb 3 seasons at PSV Eindhoven following the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He played a major role in the club’s success under Louis van Gaal. Cocu was at Barcelona from 1998 till 2004 and holds the record for the most appearances for the club by a foreign player. After his retirement at Al-Jazeera in 2008, he coached the youth teams at the PSV since February 2009.
In his new role as the first team coach, he will be assisted by former PSV defender Ernest Faber formerly of FC Eindhoven. On Thursday, Cocu and Faber will face an uphill task facing Valencia in the round of 16 second leg of the Europa League, where they will attempt to overcome the 4-2 defeat.