It might seem that this Oranje blog is on its way to become an Ajax blog, with all the Ajax focus of the last weeks. But not to worry. It’s not so. Ajax has done pretty good though, to be still “in it” in Europe and taking 4 points against the England champs, right?
But Holland – Germany is on its way and I will be publishing a cool article on PSV soon too.
But, with Edwin van der Sar in the lead to land the Ajax general manager’s job, it’s probably timely to look at this piece of news. Because it begs the question: Does the former goalie have what it takes to lead Ajax? What if Ajax cops a 15 mio euro loss and hooded fans assemble with rocks in the main building to ask for an explanation?
Former Ajax goalie Piet Schrijvers: “Sar’s candidacy fits with Johan Cruyff’s plans. Ex-players in the club management. I like it. Edwin has always remained cool and collected. Never had much bravado. He always analysed situations before he acted. He has most likely learned a lot about club management in England, with Man United and Alex Ferguson. He might have exactly what it takes.”
Former IBM manager and ex Ajax general manager Frank Kales. “It’s very original to make Sar general manager so quickly. Very original and remarkable. But not a good idea. He is a well balanced guy but you will only find out if he’s strong enough in a crisis. And that is quite a risk. What if Ajax ends number 8 and Frank de Boer’s position is at stake?”
Arie van Eijden served his club in that role for 6 years and was board member for 10 years. “There is no education where you can learn to be Ajax general manager. There is only the real thing. It’s not a bad plan to give Edwin the job but the practice will have to teach us if he’s ready for it. One of the hardest things in this role is to deal with all the different blood-types within Ajax. That is a tough job. It’s not something you can do from one day to another. It takes time. Some groups in Ajax have a more “hidden” agenda or are not that easy to approach. I know the man Edwin van der Sar. As a goalie, he was the best but as a man he’s quite a good bloke too.”
Joost de Wit is general manager at RKC and was Van der Sar’s teacher at the Cruyff University. “Edwin was a very good student. He saw the links. And he’s got all the experience in football as a player of course. That is a good foundation. The past has shown us that a long experience in business or an academic background does not serve as a guarantee for success. I do hope Edwin will appoint experts in specific fields to support him. In Cruyff’s philosophy, it all starts with passion. That is more important that a certificate or diploma. Edwin has that passion and he understands football. On top of that, he’s a very nice and open guy. I think he’ll make it.”