Here is the translated text from the Dutch article in De Telegraaf for those who can't translate in google !!
Back in the soccer world. And also in the mecca, which always attracted him as a player but never became a reality for him. Eight months after his forced departure from Istanbul, Phillip Cocu (48) feels like a fish in the water at Derby County. "Three times as a player I had to refuse a transfer to England or my club did not work it out, now I have ended up here. Awesome."
Occasionally he takes the car and drives - very skilfully left - through the picturesque landscape of Derbyshire. A bit of a spin to see where he and his family will soon have a nice spot. Infinite green hills, villages such as postcards with country pubs and cricket fields around the schools. "This is really England, the surroundings are beautiful," says Phillip Cocu.
Derbyshire is in the heart of England. Derby County is one of the oldest football clubs (started 135 years ago) and one of the twelve founders of the English Football League as well. The club of legendary manager Brian Clough, who handed Derby the national title against all laws in the early 1970s and guided him to the European Cup semi-final.
A large bronze statue of Clough stands in front of the Pride Park stadium, the new home of Cocu. It is a tribute from the city to the man who achieved the greatest successes. Cocu has its classics. "I know what Clough has meant here." His son Nigel was also Derby County's trainer from 2009 to 2013. Cocu: "I immersed myself in the club before I made a decision to get started here."
He won't shout it yet, but the former player of Vitesse, PSV and Barcelona already feels at home. Outside, the rain is pouring down and that is just a bit different than the beaches of Barcelona, which used to beckon when it was played in Nou Camp. But Cocu enjoys his new club. He shows what Derby County has to offer. A short tour of the training complex makes a person bounce.
Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord do not have the accommodation of the Rams together , the nickname of Derby County. Cocu even has to count a little before he has listed all the fields. "Seventeen fields in all, in all shapes and sizes. A field is exactly a copy of the field in our stadium. Oh, and a field is completely covered in a hall. Furthermore, a large restaurant, hydrotherapy swimming pools with jet streams, school rooms for the young talents so that they can go to school here too. ”
The Dutchman shakes his head. "And they have more plans! Because everything is aimed at bringing the entire Academy and the under-23 team in line with what we do with the first team. The total organization in which I can work with the rest of the staff is comparable to how I functioned at PSV. I have short lines with the director and the owner, we have a lot of contact. And we want to further perfect the physical, medical and tactical throughout the club. ”
Due to damage and shame (for the first time at Fenerbahçe), Cocu knows that the long term has few certainties. On Monday the violence breaks loose in the English Championship, where the competition counts twelve more games than the Eredivisie and where the average dismissal of a trainer follows after ten months.
Cocu points to the huge plan board on the wall of his trainer's room. The entire season has already been completed with a black marker. People are dizzy by the look at so many competitions. On top of the packed agenda are also the two cup tournaments. Cocu and his team have already played three games in the first eight days and that hardly changes anymore. On Champions League evenings, the teams in the Championship simply take action. And the stadiums are full too. He grins: "There will be a few hours on the bus to all those stadiums in England."
If it had turned out differently in his career, he would have known the English football world like the back of his hand. Three times Cocu was close to a transfer to a major English club in the Premier League. "I was still playing soccer at Vitesse when Arsenal came forward. Halfway through my career, just before I extended my contract with Barcelona, another chance came. In both cases they did not manage financially. The third time the Premier League was ogling was when I left Barcelona. I then had to choose between a club in England that couldn't really play for the national title and PSV. That club was Tottenham Hotspur. A nice club, but the hunger to win more prizes predominated with me. ”
"Trainer does not want to make Derby County into a Dutch enclave"
And yet, he says, England has always been drawn. "Of course I have had a great career as a player. But when I look back, I catch myself regretting that I didn't play in the Premier League. Not because I missed something sporty, but simply because I like how the English experience football. Well, now I'm in the middle of it. And I think it's wonderful to experience. "
Last Sunday, Cocu coached his team at Ibrox Park against Glasgow Rangers. Steven Gerrard was sitting in the other dug-out, right next to him. Cocu lost 1-0, but the game was 'very interesting' for both the former Liverpool player and the Dutchman. They both enjoyed it, says Cocu. "It is nice to meet now in this capacity."
Twan Scheepers comes to the training complex. In Derby County training suit, but with a large umbrella in the right hand. He has just viewed the team under 23 against Norwich City on one of the fields. Scheepers is one of the two Dutch people who came with Cocu. Chris van der Weerden, previously also assistant at PSV and Fenerahçe, is the other.
Cocu does not want to make an enclave of Dutch people in Derby. Ronald Koeman included a seasoned English former pro (Sammy Lee) as an assistant to his staff at Southampton, and that was one of the best moves. "I brought in Liam Rosenior. He played alternately in the Championship and Premier League for sixteen years. He knows all players and all clubs. He already had a passion for coaching in his last season at Brighton. We met during the training camp in Florida and when it clicked he was immediately added to the staff. I especially want to stay close to the culture of the club and the country. This also applies to the possible reinforcements. Not every Dutch player is capable of playing football in England. "