by Stefan Coerts
Twente would have secured their second consecutive Eredivisie title on Sunday if other results had gone their way on matchday 33. The Tukkers not only needed to beat minnows Willem II to retain their Eredivisie crown, but they also required Ajax to lose against Heerenveen, and PSV to spill points in the home match against Vitesse.
The table toppers themselves did what they had to do by recording a 4-0 win over the Tilburg side, but Twente were made to wait for the Eredivisie title as both Ajax and PSV picked up the full three points. The title race will now be decided on May 15 in the Amsterdam ArenA instead. Despite the disappointment of not securing the title yet, the Twente fans have every reason to be positive in the wake of Sunday's game as tricky attacker Bryan Ruiz put in an outstanding display.
Date of Birth: 18 Aug 1985 (25)
Place of Birth: San Jose, Costa Rica
Nationality: Costa Rican
The Costa Rica international joined Twente from AA Gent in the summer of 2009 and immediately made a huge impact for the club. Ruiz played a big role in the Tukkers' Eredivisie title last year by netting 24 goals in 34 games and a big money transfer appeared to be on the horizon. But the 25-year-old eventually stayed with the Grolsch Veste, and could earn a second winner's medal as a result.
Ruiz has been struggling to find his best form in his second season at the Eredivisie champions though. The tricky attacker has scored 'only' nine goals in 26 league appearances for the Tukkers this campaign and has given significantly less assists than in 2009-10 as well. His personal struggle was best illustrated by his missed penalty in the 1-1 draw against Roda on April 10 when he attempted to trick the goalkeeper with a chip through the middle.
However, the former Alajuelense star was sublime in Sunday's game against Willem II as he was Twente's main attacking threat and showed several flashes of brilliance. Ruiz came close to breaking the deadlock on the half-hour mark when he hit the upright after a superb first touch, before setting up Luuk de Jong for the opener following an absolutely brilliant piece of individual play.
The forward also played a big role in Twente's fourth goal as head coach Michel Preud'homme was watching from the bench with a satisfied grin on his face. Other attackers such as De Jong and Nacer Chadli might be showing signs of fatigue in the closing stages of the season, but it seems as if Ruiz has saved his best for last. The Eredivisie title race will be decided when Ajax host Twente on May 15 and Ruiz will be determined to put in a stellar performance to help the Tukkers to another league title.
Meanwhile, this weekend's results mean that PSV are out of the title race, despite their win over Vitesse. Victory over Groningen in two weeks' time will secure second spot and thus Champions League qualification for the Eindhoven side, but this will hardly be seen as a big achievement.
PSV dominated the Eredivisie in the noughties, but they haven't lifted a single trophy since their Johan Cruyff-schaal win in 2008. Their demise has happened for several reasons, but the presence of head coach Fred Rutten in Eindhoven is one of the key factors behind their disappointing results in the past two seasons.
The club's fans were confident that Rutten was the right man for PSV when he was appointed as head coach ahead of the 2009-10 campaign, however, the former Twente and Schalke tactician is being heavily criticised in Eindhoven and its surroundings these days.
Fred Rutten| losing it at PSV
The biggest complaint that the PSV faithful have is that Rutten's tactics are too defensive and they're screaming for a more offensive style of play. In theory, Rutten is not a defensive coach as he prefers a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation and always fields at least four attack-minded players. However, he doesn't allow his creative players much freedom and the players are slowly starting to get frustrated with Rutten's defensive tactics.
Versatile attacker Jeremain Lens recently publicly voiced his frustration with the way things are going at PSV, while players such as Ola Toivonen, Marcus Berg and Danny Koevermans are all far from pleased with Rutten's tactics, too.
Even though Rutten still seems to have the support of PSV's board at the moment, the recent events won't do the beleaguered coach's situation any good. Missing out on the Eredivisie title is a huge blow for PSV and it is unclear whether the Eindhoven giants will keep faith in Rutten after yet another disappointing season, especially now he's losing the backing of his players.
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