The 29 year old multi functional player is in his best season ever. Every week he takes Ajax by the hand and has them on course for another Eredivisie title.
He has the most minutes of them all and he scores the highest rates. In terms of quality and quantity, Daley is riding high. And off the pitch, lady Fortuna is smiling down on him too, with the birth of his son Lowen. These days, a player could easily get onto Cloud #9, but not Blind. He is too down-to-Earth for this and he has seen more than enough in football.
Blind was the Man of the Match vs Feyenoord, yet again. He ruled on the ball from his defensive position, was always an peaceful island in a sea of turmoil around him and was able to find the solutions moving forward. And defensively, he never got in trouble. Joel Veltman: “His interceptions, his choices with the ball, I can really enjoy watching him play. He dribbles as easy as Frenkie does and he always finds the footballing solution. Trust me, playing next to him makes it look really easy for me, you know. He is always relaxed and that radiates into the whole team.”
Blind is Ajax’ leader, exactly like he was planned to be when Ajax lured him back to Amsterdam. A silent leader, as Blind is not like Memphis playing loud rap music in the dressing room, or sporting huge lion tattoos on his back. Tadic is the leader up front, and the captain. Blind is vice captain and he lets his feet do the talking. When Blind left for Man United, Ajax just won 4 titles in a row. With Blind away, Ajax didn’t win anything. And once Blind was back at the club, the trophies came back as well.
“It feels amazing to get all this praise and to important for the team,” says Blind humbly. “I try to play a 6,5 every game, at least! I don’t want to go below that. I need to reach my base level, do my tasks well and then see if I can add to my game. I am here for the team, not for Daley Blind. And as a central defender you need to ooze calm, you know. Even when you’re not, or even when you get under pressure. Never panic.”
Those moments are rare though. Since last weekend, Ajax is on the throne. PSV is put on 6 points, as is the gap with AZ and Vitesse. And Ajax has a far better goal tally so it’s actually 7 points.
“I mentioned it to Siem after the Feyenoord game. This is the first time we have a gap with the number 2 before the xmas break. I’m not used to that. In the previous title races we had to come back from trailing. And this means, that we’re not there yet. I have played in teams that had to cover 10 points, and did! Even once 13 points and in those seasons, PSV wasn’t too shabby either. So, we shouldn’t relax and sit back!”
He was hunter and becomes prey. Blind will be on the look out for complacency. The difficult match vs RKC fresh in his memory. “This 4-0 win was nice, but we don’t win the title by beating Feyenoord. We need to win all the games vs the so-called smaller clubs. We know we can play well in big games, but we also need to bring it in the more difficult matches away vs VVV and PEC Zwolle. We can be our own biggest opponent in those matches. The away game vs PEC Zwolle is actually next weekend. “That’s what I mean! I compare that with Heracles away. We lost that one, 0-1 last season. So we need to be vigilant, even if we are 6 points loose.”