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Why I agree with Kevin Strootman on the KNVB Beker

In response to the Eindhoven municipality planning a tribute to the PSV squad for winning the Dutch cup, Kevin Strootman said he wouldn’t want to attend it and didn’t feel it was appropriate celebrating a ‘non-prize’. Not much later the world of Dutch football camd down on the young professional like a ton of bricks, scolding him for his “disrespectful” words which basically degraded the national cup to a Mickey Mouse cup. Ridiculous, I feel, for he was right. Perhaps he wasn’t the right man to say those words, looking at his trophy cabinet, but the words he spoke were honest and true.

National cups have become a back-up prize, meant to bring joy to the hearts of supporters from sides that contend for the mid table to relegation spots. That’s how I feel about it. They are consolations for missed opportunities during a season, a small cover up for a season of lowly, uninspiring performances or a rare moment of joy to those who normally sit through the hardship of seeing their side falter time upon time due to a sheer lack of quality (annex money).

It didn't quite turn out that way for PSV... not that Kevin Strootman would have been bothered.(Photo Credit: AZ/Twitter)

It didn’t quite turn out that way for PSV… not that Kevin Strootman would have been bothered.(Photo Credit: AZ/Twitter)

What they’re not is a great prize for a top club that’s in contention for the league title. Once you’re in the final, it’s a nice enough thing to win but it’s quite certainly nothing that actually warrants a big tribute.

Perhaps that’s disrespectful to the people for whom a national cup does mean something, perhaps it’s just realistic. I don’t know. What I do know is that Strootman’s words on the matter were, very much so, understandable and I am quite sure he’s not the only consummate professional thinking that way. The difference is he spoke the words, instead of just thinking them. Whilst it might not have been the best timing to say those words, it does attest to his personality and own opinion, something I appreciate in a football player these days.

Winning the national cup for a club of PSV’s size shouldn’t be celebrated in grandeur fashion. It shouldn’t be seen as a refreshing cup of kool-aid, washing away the sour taste of a missed championship. To do so would allow for the wrong-doings that have gone on this season in Eindhoven to be covered up and forgotten. After all, a trophy was won right? To do so would allow for the same errors to be made again next year, resulting in another year of disappointment.

Kevin Strootman is driven. He wants a league title with PSV. And he wants it badly. That, and that alone, is the reason he said what he said. Not out of disrespect towards the eventual winners or the fans of his club. It’s because he wants a title. And he won’t be satisfied without one. The mark of a winner. The mark of a sore loser. Not the mark of a spoiled brat whom should be scolded in the public by every part of the nation.

PSV take on FC Twente this afternoon in their final league game of the season and are virtually assured of second spot. You can read our preview of all today’s games here.




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