Wonderful week for Ajax with balls! ( Pt 1?)

On the day before the biggest Classic in the country (Feyenoord-Ajax), we can look back at a great week for Ajax.

And typically for Ajax, it has everything to do with balls. Big balls.

The difference between Ajax and Feyenoord, PSV, Twente and all the other teams in Holland is basically that. Bravado. Balls. Arrogance. Self-consciousness. This is what made/makes Ajax extraordinary.

Yes, good football. Yes, results. Yes, a good venue. Yes a good jersey. Yes, a strong supporters following. All of that. But it’s Ajax gogme ( jiddish word for street smartness) that sets them apart.

And it was demonstrated by Frank de Boer ( and his staff) in the tactics against Manchester City.

The Oranje1974/Barca style of playing with a loose striker ( ™ Carlos) worked wonders. Roberto Mancini didn’t get it. Lescot and Kompany didn’t have a clue. Ajax ruled the game.

And it was demonstrated by Cristian Eriksen, Siem de Jong, Ricardo van Rhijn, Daley Blind and even Paulsen. On the pitch. In amongst big name players like Toure, Nasri, Aguero, Barry, Milner.

Ajax deserved the lead in the first half already, but over enthusiasm by the team (and Van Rhijn) allowed Nasri to score (was Vermeer indeed pulling his hand?). But Man of the Match Siem de Jong set up the equaliser in brilliant style, after a one-two combination with Van Rhijn.

In the second half, Ajax put the foot firmer on the pedal and won the game highly justified with 3-1.

Dennis having a good time while Roberto is not happy….

And sadly, one wonders…what would have happened if the lot would have found their cojones earlier on in the competition? Sure, they played well against Dortmund in Germany, but forgot to kill the game. The home game against Real Madrid (with yours truly in the stands) gave us another Ajax, however. Frank de Boer said “It was as if I was watching Martin Jol’s Ajax…”…

But he got them to play exciting, adventurous and ballsy again. According to the Dutch school, but arguably in a 4-4-2 formation. So what?

So, there are many different scenarios out there, but in my book, Ajax needs to win away against City (Boerrigter and Babel up front, no Sana and 4 men in midfield) and at home against Dortmund and Real will do the rest :-). If Ajax goes up to the second spot, Dortmund and Man City will go after spot 3 and Man City will definitely win a game (after they get their arse whooped by Ajax again 🙂 ).

Former Ajax chair and FFP advocate Michael van Praag

So, there you go people: Ajax to go through.

Also, on another level, in the board room, former Ajax executives Michael van Praag and Maarten Fonteijn have pushed for (and received) agreements on Financial Fair Play. To be introduced next season ( 2013-2014)!

Like Frank de Boer on the bench, Michael van Praag does not take prisoners. Asked if he would have the cojones to have a go at Manchester City and Real Madrid, he said (with a smile): “You betcha!”.

So clubs like Ajax will have a real chance to win the CL again.

Van Praag: “If Real Madrid doesn’t want to play according to the new rules, they are out. Simple as that.”

Any club competing in a European competition will have to have his financial household in order by running the operation break even. Making a loss is not on.

“The revenue streams will have to come from ticket sale, sponsoring, tv rights and merchandising. It is not longer an option for the owner of Man City to say “what do we need to balance the books? 100 million? Here you go…”.”

Debt needs to be repaid in three years. In the first year, 45 mio is allowed, but in year three only 5 mio. After that, it is zero! The only investments that are allowed is the youth academy. The only option left for them is to sell shares in the clubs. But they won’t…”

Fascinating developments in Amsterdam.

Sadly for them, they’re now on their way to Rotterdam where Feyenoord will put their feet firmly back onto the ground :-).

Man of the Match

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  1. Feet firmly on the ground eh… we’ll see Jan. Game on!

    Can’t wait for Ajax – Feyenoord – it’s crazy early for me, but I’ll be watching.

    Question for everyone: as is usual I could not watch the CL match between Ajax and Manchester City – does anyone have a link to a download of the game?

    Cheers everyone – and great stuff Jan – the news is looking positive and results are slowly beginning to show. (Even if its only an improvement of attitude.)Am looking forward to more Eredivisie fun and future CL adventures!

    (Now if only the youngsters would listen to all of us and stay to complete their development before running off after fame, fortune, money, and a place on some foreign bench…)


  2. In a huge match at first place Chelsea in Stamford Bridge van Persie first hit the woodwork with a terrific shot that bounced of the post, then off a Chelsea player and than into the net. Next he scored a terrific poacher’s goal. He then made a beautiful through ball which got the chelsea player sent off. To cap it off so nearly scored the third, only for the ball to just stay out. Hernandez scored of the scramble seconds later. MOM and a great performance.

  3. @Sonneveld

    If van Gaal can find that combination of players, or even a single player who can work with v Persie (like Rijkaard & van Basten possibly…) – Oranje will be so much the better team.

    I don’t know if he can do this while keeping the team focused on “The Team” and all of the ego’s balanced – or even if the player/players exist. But if he can – Oranje could become almost unstoppable.

    I am so impressed with van Persie (yes Tiju he’s great) over the past couple of years, I’d love to see him win a fist full of trophies and of course – the big prize too.

    What is so exciting at the moment is that LvG is just crazy enough, creative enough, intuitive enough, and most importantly – stubborn enough, that – well if any manager can solve this problem – he’s the one person on this planet who may be able to do it.


  4. Ajax:

    It is not as easy now. There was a time a few years back when Ajax would go into European competition – knowing that they had little chance of anything.

    Slowly F.de Boer, D. Bergkamp, the coaching staff and Johan Cruijff are erasing any tendencies to think this way. Ajax will be a force to be reckoned with, and this starts now!

    The players know it, and now every game is potentially winnable – trouble is it is more difficult to play this way. It is not so easy to rise to the occasion against Manchester City and a few days later play in the Eredivisie. In the league in the Netherlands – every team wants to “knock-off” the champions.

    Ajax needs to grow now – to develop the attitude that every game is winnable, and that they can through superior tactics and talent manage the work-load that this now brings.

    Today’s Classic was a hard fought game, Feyenoord pushed Ajax off of their game time and time again. As the yellow cards piled up I really felt that the game would be decided with one team a man short. I didn’t think that it would be Ajax though! Up to the 75th minute – it really looked like Feyenoord was going loose someone.

    Hard fought match – a draw – you “win” this time Jan!
    Cheers mate.

    🙂 🙂 🙂


  5. In Rotterdam, we don’t celebrate a draw against Ajax as a win 😉

    Hahaha…. But Ajax impresses me. After the mid week game, they were all business again.

    Don’t like Immers too much and Clasie was off his game. Like Janmaat though. And the new kid is impressive too. Nephew of Urby Emanuelson, by the way.

    Dutch and German competition are nice.

    I don’t like Van Persie. I hate it how he doesn’t obey Louis van Gaal. LVG said Robin is a real number 9 and nothing more. So he should stop all those assists and all the drifting!

    1. Actually Jan i can’t see Robin only as a no.9 player . this may be Huntelaar but not Persie .

      I do think Persie can play as he played in 2006 , as a right winger who drifts to the center and build-up the game from the midfeild .

      As verbeek said , you can’t have both Huntelaar and Persie and bench one of them .
      ________ Krul ________
      ____ Douglas _ Indi____
      Rijn____________ Willems
      _____ strootman_____
      Vdv ___________ Sneijder
      Persie _ Hunter _ robben

      Sounds incredible against germany , honstly i don’t think they will hava a chance against us with this line-up:D !

    2. Agree with you wrt Immers – he’s kinda like Ola Toivonen – sneaky at times and rough when he thinks no one is looking…

      WRT RvP – nope – I won’t get into any of the dynamics between players or between coach and players on Oranje because these only highlight the fact that there is a problem begging for some solution which no one yet has found… – so I will just repeat my point:

      Someone has got to figure this one out – ! Without a solution … well its just a very very sad waste of talent…

      PS: Ajax!!! the only undefeated team in the Eredivisie!
      Tongue firmly in cheek!

  6. Good news abut Ajax. I still fondly remember 1995-96 when ajax gave football lessons to all superpowers. I find it very difficult for that to repeat again. Money will always lure the best players away.
    RVP is mesmerizing. What a great all around player. Every move of his is calculated. His playing skills have reached a higher level at MU. A real pity that he hasn’t won a big trophy yet.
    Krul also played like a superman. Vorm got injured and will be out for 4-6 weeks.

  7. How did BMI play and what about Van Rhijn, Blind, Siem and Babel?…and Clasie was off? well if he’s off in these games perhaps he is still not Oranje material? I haven’t watched him much.

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