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...says Wesley Sonck. Dunno if you read his comments but he also said it's almost impossible for any striker to get used to the system unless you're a super striker like Zlatan and it took him some time too and he also said that it was pointless to play with 2 wingers the whole time even if they never went past a player once as hardly any other sides does that in todays football.

He also added that he found the atmosphere to be cold at Ajax as the grondsmen funnily enough were surprised that someone said good morning to them and was bubbly like him.

So what do you think? does Wesley have a point that perhaps Ajax should play with another system or is it sour grapes from the man who failed to make his mark in Dutch club football?

We mustn't forget that AZ have had sucess in Europe playing 4-3-3 either though so maybe it's in the interest of Ajax and other Dutch clubs who want to keep on playing 4-3-3 to use more Dutch players who are used to the system.
 

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It is true that even good strikers have problems in adapting to the 4-3-3 system, but I think a consistent use of the system is the only way for Dutch teams to keep their own identity and it has succes as AZ (and others in the HCE) are proving.
 

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Its partially true, and partially sour grapes. Sonck has a point about the cold atmosphere at Ajax. The pressure is much higher at Ajax then at for example PSV. The media leaves PSV more alone and expects less from them, but from Ajax they expect football that they have seen before from Ajax. The class of football players like sonck just never will be able to deliver. As if thats not worse enough, even worse than that are the critical Ajax fans, who expect a lot also and expect it also fast.

But Sonck has no right to blame Ajax for not succeeding. He is also himself responsible for the high expectations of him, since in the media he always spoke high words about his future at Ajax, he put the bar high himself.

Ajax should never rule out a system, we also should always look for a coack who has that wish too play like that. Koeman clearly didn`t have that and always played with a brake on it. Look at the home match against Auxerre, where we were much better, but we defended our lead, instead of extending it. Look at the QF of the CL, when we got knocked out by Milan, how his mole tactics cost us deeply. And ofcourse the players Ajax recently are signing, do not bring what we need. Everybody warned Koeman that Charisteas is not a 4-3-3 striker, but he went for him anyway....

Not only superstrikers can succeed in 4-3-3, Arveladze wasn`t worldclass, but he definetly got the job done well, while he now his wasting time on the bench in Scotland. Maybe we should instead of change our tactics, change our scouting team and as we already have too, people responsible for signing them. (coach and technical director)

I don`t understand nayways where sonck gets the nerve to suggest Ajax about the future. We gave him a fair chance and he failed. Koeman also left Ajax in a somewhat painfull way, but he atleast has the decensy to go seperate ways as adults. Maybe players like Sonck are also responsible for the bad atmosphere at Ajax.Or maybe sonck just hasn`t got a clue how a topclub works. It aint a pubteam.

I`m new here btw. :)
 

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Depends on the opponent. For example, unless Ajax matches up to AC Milan in strength and quality, then they should never play in an attack-minded formation such as 4-3-3. That would be suicidal.
However, in the eredivisie I see no problem with that. Even PSV and AZ have trouble with Ajax when they play 4-3-3.

I also think you have to look at what players you have at your disposal. If you have rather hopeless wingers, then it's pointless playing 4-3-3. Boukhari and Rosales aren't too bad in the competition. At international level they fall way short however. So in other words, if Ajax were still in the CL, then they shouldn't be playing 4-3-3.
 

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Thats not true. Even with less players you can make 4-3-3 football beat defensive football or regular 4-4-2. Its a matter of how you play it. 4-3-3 is just a numbe,r you can still shift a lot in that system. If you play 4-3-3 with pressure on your opponent you can tackle every team. I is like Rinus Michels himself said, it is key that players fullfill their duties. 4-3-3 does work, but players have to be mentally and physically fit. Its a tactic that recquires a lot of discipline but done correctly, can overcome any team. When you play 4-3-3 without believe and discipline then you get crushed. Thats whats Ajax is doing in recent years. There is no belief, no discipline, no team and not the experience to mend it together.

Ajax can definetly play 4-3-3 all the time, and in possession with a xentral defender who goes to midfield, but for that you need a coach who can make it work, who udnerstands the system. I think Blind understands it, and Ten Cate also, but Jol doesn`t. Still though, Jol can make it work by not playing with deep wingers i feel, and he is good in team management, discpline and spotting transfer targets.

AZ is proof that 4-3-3 can beat bigger team even by wide margine. AZ played Auxerre, Shaktar and Glasgow completely of the field. I think although AZ has a lot of quality, they can`t compete in class with bigspenders like Shaktar and Rangers.

I think Ajax should always aim to play attractive dominant football. not just cause thats why Ajax had succes in the past, why we raise good talents or because that is what the fans want, but most of all, it is what makes ajax for me the best club in the world. We are Ajax and no one is like us. Its something I am proud of, i can see PSV reaching QF with like 8 defensive players on the field, while Ajax is battlnig for UEFA Cup football, but still i would never trade. Its what gave us a name, and that name we should always carry out with pride. We may get slumps, but we will always recover.
 

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What has always surprised me is why Dutch teams, the NT included, insist on playing 4-3-3, even when they don't have the players for it. Why? It completely eludes me. The system should be adapted to the available players, not the other way around. 4-3-3 can be an excellent system, but only when the players are able to play it. Otherwise there's no point to it. When you listen to Cruijff, the 4-3-3 advocate in chief, he'll say it stands for attractive football, but how often is that actually the case? Most of the time it stands for chaos and blundering, because the players can't play it. So in that respect Sonck is right. It's time for the Dutch to get over their 4-3-3 fetish and instead play whichever system works best.
 

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firstly welcome Sfertje! I do feel btw that Ajax could have done better in the CL, had they used the current Milan system where you have a very compact midfield and let your full-backs have free reign on the wings instead of guys like Mitea and de Mul like in the game vs Juventus at home. But firstly like we said a few times, Ajax needs a lot more physique in its midfield. Midgets like Sneyder etc will never win any 50/50 fight for the ball and a guy like Papa Bouba Diop would have been an awesome signing for Ajax but alas he's now at Fulham. Ajax imo can suceed with 4-3-3 with the right players but currently they don't have that and lets not forget, when Ajax reached the 1/4s a few years ago, they more or less played even more than PSV have like in that game against Valencia away with more or less 4-5-1 in practice.

As for Oranje, I definitely think we have the players to play 4-3-3 when in full strength. However in practive when Robbens injured, we have no-one for the left since van Persie doesn't want to play there :rollani: and on the right, Castelen is a little too inconsistant for my liking while vd Meyde is simply a drama. Hopefully guys like de Ridder and Owusu Abeye (the Arsenal kid) will reach Dutch NT level by 2006, then we'll have some team to compete in Germany if we qualify. :cool:
 

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I think under Advocaat we didn`t insist on playing 4-3-3 all the time, although he did receive criticism for that. Under Van Gaal we did play it as our style, but also cause most players in our NT at that time were good in it. (Davids, Seedorf, Kluivert, Overmars etc)

Under Van Basten it seems it is always 4-3-3 again, and this time it is mroe questionable. We don`t really have a good right winger, on the left wing we ofcourse got Robben who is already one of the best Dutch wingers ever. You could play Kuyt there, he didn`t do that bad on the right. When Robben is out and lets be honest he will be often as it seems, we should go to 4-4-2, especially if you know how many good central striekrs we got. Makaay deserves a chance to show how holland could do under Van Basten in a 4-4-2 formation. Robben could always play from midfield as well.

I think also could have done better in CL, but lets face it, how many really good matches did Ajax play under koeman? I must say BTW I thought Ajax played very good against juve in the Arena. Nedved scored a magnificent goal which he only can make 1 out of 10 times he would try, but we dominated the match for the biggest part. Match against Maccabi has no excuses, that was incredibly poor.

I very much agree for the claim that Ajax needs body. When Galasek is out we always get in a lot of trouble. Maduro also has body and looks really good, but he is to young to carry the team. Charisteas got body but is too limited on all other football areas.We need a Van Bommel style player. Davids or Landzaat would be great, but probably impossible.

Another thing we as Ajax got to worry about is why we can`t get Ajax raised players to end their carreer here. Players like Bergkamp, Davids and Overmars for example could have done Ajax a lot of good, they would both be accomplished players concerning the system and bring a huge load of experience with them. Look at the influence Cocu brought too the PSV team. We should try harder to get our stars back in amsterdam for one or two years. Would be perfect solution to the problem we have had for a very long time, lack of experience and authority from within the players group.Davids would be a good start, ok a midget, but i don`t think anybody would be troubled by that. He won a heading match with Koller once.
 

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With no suitable right-winger I think it's foolish to keep playing 4-3-3 in the national team. On the other hand, what ain't broke, shouldn't be fixed. Wev'e had the results so far, even with players being played out of position.
However, because we don't have a really good right-winger, and because we do have so many good strikers, I think we should play 4-4-2 with van Nistelrooij and Makaay as strikers, Robben as left-winger, and sort of a right-half man similar to R. de Boer in the 1998 World Cup. That player could be anyone from a number of players really - Sneijder, Landzaat, van Bommel to name a few.

With all due respect, but I think Dennis Bergkamp for example would see a lot more benefits in staying with Arsenal if he compared it with a return to Ajax.
I'm not implying that he's a geldwolf by any means, but his salary for one is much more attractive in England than in Amsterdam. Also, I think he just likes to play with Henry too much. But who wouldn't?

I think it's no unthinkable to get Davids back. Davids is clearly past his best and is overlooked in a team with mediocre to average midfielders like Cristiano Zanetti, Stankovic and Cambiasso. There WON'T be any big European team next season who will inquire about Davids and will probably face the same fate as vdMeyde. The coach will give him some sweet talk and he'll stay at Inter another season only to realise more false promises. Davids should go back to Ajax. It will also be good for his chances in the national side. He should do what vHooijdonk is gonna do.
I don't see vdMeyde returning to Ajax (yet)though. There are probably be a host of English sub-toppers to mid-tablers interested his signature.
I don't know why you mentioned Overmars. Unless he's returned to playing football and I am un-aware of it.

Finally, you should also look at what use the player has to the team apart from experience. I mean, Litmanen offered experience right?, but hardly ever played. Even in the 2002-03 season when he was regularly fit, he still warmed the bench a lot.
Bergkamp for example, couldn't possibly fit in that congested Ajax midfield. And as striker he'll put Babel at least 2 steps backwards in his career. And it will establish Charisteas' purchase a complete waste of money. Which I personally think it is nevertheless.
 

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Bazman said:
With all due respect, but I think Dennis Bergkamp for example would see a lot more benefits in staying with Arsenal if he compared it with a return to Ajax.
I'm not implying that he's a geldwolf by any means, but his salary for one is much more attractive in England than in Amsterdam. Also, I think he just likes to play with Henry too much. But who wouldn't?
How about Van Hooijdonk who rejects bigger teams to go back to NAC? Or how about Cocu who moved back to PSV, while i`m sure he has had better offers as well?

Bergkamp is indeed not a player purely after money, not at all, but maybe it is ajax fault, that players don`t really fall in love with the team enough to come back at the end of their career. God knows Ajax players leave at such young age they are financially set for the rest of their lives anyways. If we could get those players back, then our level of play would grow fast and then we would swiftly move up to a higher level.

I think it's no unthinkable to get Davids back. Davids is clearly past his best and is overlooked in a team with mediocre to average midfielders like Cristiano Zanetti, Stankovic and Cambiasso. There WON'T be any big European team next season who will inquire about Davids and will probably face the same fate as vdMeyde. The coach will give him some sweet talk and he'll stay at Inter another season only to realise more false promises. Davids should go back to Ajax. It will also be good for his chances in the national side. He should do what vHooijdonk is gonna do.
I don't see vdMeyde returning to Ajax (yet)though. There are probably be a host of English sub-toppers to mid-tablers interested his signature.
I don't know why you mentioned Overmars. Unless he's returned to playing football and I am un-aware of it.
Youre right about Davids, he is indeed passed his prime, but like Cocu still a very good player who can lead a team to a higher level. I`ve never been a huge Van der Meyde fan, so i don`t really want him back, sicne we at Ajax got in rosales and De Mul two right wingers for now.

Overmars was just an example of players Ajax could have used if we could persuade former Ajax players better to return home. I figured to proof my point it was best I picked the ajax players that played important Ajax roles in the past.

Finally, you should also look at what use the player has to the team apart from experience. I mean, Litmanen offered experience right?, but hardly ever played. Even in the 2002-03 season when he was regularly fit, he still warmed the bench a lot.
Bergkamp for example, couldn't possibly fit in that congested Ajax midfield. And as striker he'll put Babel at least 2 steps backwards in his career. And it will establish Charisteas' purchase a complete waste of money. Which I personally think it is nevertheless.
You appearently think Charisteas will spend a few years at Ajax, I don`t have that illusion, he will be gone fast. I also think Dennis isn`t/wouldn`t be a real threat for Babel since he plays behind him as a number 10. Even at Arsenal he normally doesn`t play deep but much more from midfield. I think if anything Bergkamp could have improved Babels development since Bergkamp can teach him things, unlike Charisteas who can be teached by Babel. Under Koeman the purchase of Dennis would have been less needed than under our new coach Blind, if Blind plays the football he played with the A1. I was very happy with the return of Litmanen but sadly and partially expected injuries came as a dark clowd over his arrival. If he had a mroe fortunate year like he is having in Germany i heard with less injuries, he could have been very important. But ofcourse under koeman every sense of smart coaching and scouting would be completely pointless since it doesn`t integrate with Koemans policies. So you can`t say these things I said wouldn`t work at ajax and then aim your arguments on Koemans work, since Koeman was a mistake to begin with. Although I respect the way he left and how he treated the club.
 

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vHooijdonk warms the bench at Fenerbahce(sorry for the spelling), while Cocu sadly couldn't come to terms with a re-newel of his contract when he was with Barcelona. Bergkamp is still a basis player at one of the leading English clubs and plays with some of the best players in the world, including perhaps, the best striker. Again with all due respect, Ajax could be 10 points clear at the top of the table, I still think Bergkamp would stay in England as long as Wenger wants him in the team. If Bergkamp wasn't wanted by Arsenal anymore after this season, I'm sure he'd consider settling down at Ajax quite seriously. We must also remember that he's older than vHooijdonk and Cocu. So ending his footballing career entirely after this season, for example, wouldn't be too unthinkable either.

Davids neem het sleeptouw over, you're right about that. If he would have the same sort of influence on Ajax like Cocu had on PSV this season, I'm not so sure about. Cocu and Davids have very different personalities.

Rosales is a decent right-winger, but de Mul isn't ready for Ajax 1. That's why he was rightfully moved back to the jonkies. I think de Ridder should be 2nd in line for that position. But he could be gone by next season.

I don't think Charisteas will spend many years at Ajax. I think he'll go through a phase that Sonck went through. Only more quicker.
But the fact is, Begkamp isn't coming next season, and I think the Ajax aanhang isn't exactly waiting on another unknown foreign import that'll finally be the number 9 that can hit at least 15 league per season. So in that aspect, Charisteas may well hang around a bit longer. He'll probably start as 2nd choice next season.

So you think Litmanen wouldv'e always played in the 2002-2003 season when fit, had Koemand not been coach? vdVaart(yes him) and Pienaar played dazzling football almost through-out that whole season, while Galasek was un-missable. I doubt that any coach wouldv'e played Litmanen much that season. A bit part was always reserved for him.
Finally, Koeman was a mistake to begin with?
I'm sure you said the exact same thing when Ajax won the double in 01-02, reached the quaters of the CL in 02-03, and won the title in 03-04. :rolleyes:
 

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Bazman said:
vHooijdonk warms the bench at Fenerbahce(sorry for the spelling), while Cocu sadly couldn't come to terms with a re-newel of his contract when he was with Barcelona. Bergkamp is still a basis player at one of the leading English clubs and plays with some of the best players in the world, including perhaps, the best striker. Again with all due respect, Ajax could be 10 points clear at the top of the table, I still think Bergkamp would stay in England as long as Wenger wants him in the team. If Bergkamp wasn't wanted by Arsenal anymore after this season, I'm sure he'd consider settling down at Ajax quite seriously. We must also remember that he's older than vHooijdonk and Cocu. So ending his footballing career entirely after this season, for example, wouldn't be too unthinkable either.
There was a period when Bergkamp was at the end of his contract in London, that Bergkamp wasn`t first choice anymore. He often was on the bench and there were trouble over the possible new deal. I think at that time, there were possibilities.

Hooijdonk is now warming the bench due to mroe reasons than for example signing of Anelka, also cause he had an injury. But that isn`t even the point, in the media it was said Van Hooijdonk had more options to choose from ten NAC, financially better options. So it is to easy to say that a player who has two choices between a former club and a current club, which might be higher quality and better pay, that it always means that they will choose the current club. Cocu also got a new offer, significantly lower, but likely still more than what he now earns at PSV. Cocu is justm ore a clubman, and PSV is more a team where players happily return too. Look at what Kuyt did, signnig a new deal, Zlatan or VDV would never do that. There might be a buy out clause in it, but it still isn`t as profitable for Kuyt as walking out over an extra year on a free transfer.

Davids neem het sleeptouw over, you're right about that. If he would have the same sort of influence on Ajax like Cocu had on PSV this season, I'm not so sure about. Cocu and Davids have very different personalities.

Rosales is a decent right-winger, but de Mul isn't ready for Ajax 1. That's why he was rightfully moved back to the jonkies. I think de Ridder should be 2nd in line for that position. But he could be gone by next season.
In the media he is less professional, but on the field he sets a sure example. I btw think Davids is much more matching to Ajax than Cocu would be. Davids is more flamboyant, Cocu is a stability factor. So I think the role of Davids would be a key one.

De Mul isn`t ready indeed, but for 2nd option he is still good enough, or for some league matches. Youthfull players only get better by playing. I think De Ridder ahould aim more for right midfielder, he has the talent to play a bigger role for ajax, i always am very impressed how he plays when he was subbed in. Maybe Blind does things different.

I don't think Charisteas will spend many years at Ajax. I think he'll go through a phase that Sonck went through. Only more quicker.
But the fact is, Begkamp isn't coming next season, and I think the Ajax aanhang isn't exactly waiting on another unknown foreign import that'll finally be the number 9 that can hit at least 15 league per season. So in that aspect, Charisteas may well hang around a bit longer. He'll probably start as 2nd choice next season.
Well i don`t want Bergkamp now anymore ofcourse.
I think Charisteas is here probably on high wage, so if Ajax gets a chance to sell him, they will. Nut I think the way Chari plays now, who on earth would buy him? Advocaat maybe? :D
We don`t need a new unknown foreigner, we can play with Babel for now, and coming sumemr we can get some scout reports on players who play central upfront already in a 4-3-3 system, like that Rosenberg guy.

So you think Litmanen wouldv'e always played in the 2002-2003 season when fit, had Koemand not been coach? vdVaart(yes him) and Pienaar played dazzling football almost through-out that whole season, while Galasek was un-missable. I doubt that any coach wouldv'e played Litmanen much that season. A bit part was always reserved for him.
Finally, Koeman was a mistake to begin with?
I'm sure you said the exact same thing when Ajax won the double in 01-02, reached the quaters of the CL in 02-03, and won the title in 03-04. :rolleyes:
I definetly think he would play his matches. Cause LItmanen is still a player you can built a team around, something which you can`t do with any other player at Ajax, not even VDV. He could have put VDV on left midfield where he appearently likes to play and play LItmanen in front of him. Not to mention Litmane is also valuable on training. I don`t know if you heard what Sturing said about the importance of having a good high level of play on training for the development of players, that is what Ajax also misses. VDV got nothing more to learn at Ajax, cause the entire Ajax selection has been stripped from his talent. PLayers who do have talent in our squad now are either stuck in development or are in a way to lnog lasting formcrisis. Maybe playing Ajax football under Blind gets them back.

Yeah i was always against Koeman. We had a lot of luck in the CL that year, and our football wasn`t great at all. We depended for a huge part on the brilliance of VDV, that same VDV he eventually killed off in development. He killed all our talents, partially by constantly treating them bad, by not holding them under any discipline and by letting key players leave which made the Ajax team so weak it forms no longer a challenge to play for. I blame Koeman for the mess we are in, and from the start i had little confidence, i saw what he did at vitesse. Look at in what condition he has left Ajax. Our team selection is very poor, our best players are gone, most want to leave desperately and we are stuck with typical Koeman signings. How can anyone say different than that Koeman failed? So he won Dutch league titles....a monkey can win league titles with Ajax.
 

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Koeman failed? Ever since Van Gaal left Ajax has been a mess. Managers came and went and none of them actually was in a position to create a stable and succesful Ajax. So maybe Ajax failed under Koeman, but I doubt it will be any different under Blind or whoever will succeed Blind in two years time...
 

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Sfertje said:
Yeah i was always against Koeman. We had a lot of luck in the CL that year, and our football wasn`t great at all. We depended for a huge part on the brilliance of VDV, that same VDV he eventually killed off in development. He killed all our talents, partially by constantly treating them bad, by not holding them under any discipline and by letting key players leave which made the Ajax team so weak it forms no longer a challenge to play for. I blame Koeman for the mess we are in, and from the start i had little confidence, i saw what he did at vitesse. Look at in what condition he has left Ajax. Our team selection is very poor, our best players are gone, most want to leave desperately and we are stuck with typical Koeman signings. How can anyone say different than that Koeman failed? So he won Dutch league titles....a monkey can win league titles with Ajax.
An Ajax fan who finally agrees with me that it merely a doze of luck that go them so far in the CL two years ago, I thought I'd never see the day. :proud:
The team did play a whole lot better than they do now. vdVaart, Pienaart, Galasek et al played way better. And then there was Chivu, Witschge, Litmanen(apparently), players that Ajax misses and could need now.
But there only really good matches were against Arsenal away, Lyon home and Roma home. And they gave it a good shot away to Milan.

A monkey could win the league title with Ajax? say that to Jan Wouters :howler:

Krijn said:
Koeman failed? Ever since Van Gaal left Ajax has been a mess. Managers came and went and none of them actually was in a position to create a stable and succesful Ajax. So maybe Ajax failed under Koeman, but I doubt it will be any different under Blind or whoever will succeed Blind in two years time...
I think I'm gonna have to agree here. As long as that utter moron vEijden still has such a big influence on the club, then I wouldn't count myself rich yet. On the other hand, he's finally listing to what Cruyff has to say. But still, there's always that chance of a complete screw up, as long as he's still there. And we all know he's capable of it.
 

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Bazman said:
An Ajax fan who finally agrees with me that it merely a doze of luck that go them so far in the CL two years ago, I thought I'd never see the day. :proud:
The team did play a whole lot better than they do now. vdVaart, Pienaart, Galasek et al played way better. And then there was Chivu, Witschge, Litmanen(apparently), players that Ajax misses and could need now.
But there only really good matches were against Arsenal away, Lyon home and Roma home. And they gave it a good shot away to Milan.
Well it doesn`t mean I wasn`t happy with it ofcourse, but if you saw how Ajax played at Valencia, you can`t call that holding on to a draw. ;) I think that Ajax should hold itself in Europe on tactics and talent, and not on luck and pure fighting spirit. although i have nothing against that last thing ofocurse, but it has to go hand in hand (I got Feyenoord issues I think :D) with good football.

And we did have a lot of tough opponents in CL that year. Well with what you say is what I mean. VDV indeed was good back then. But if you saw what happened to him in the koeman era, like being named captain, being benched, comnig back in the team, being asked to play left winger and then getting his captaincy stripped away from him, I mean ,who can blame VDV for getting out of shape.Not to mention koemans questionable substitution policy. I remember well that in the home match against Juve he substituted the very good playing Sneijder, and after the match he said on a question why it was Wesley that was substituted and not VDV: "Well it could have been either one of the two, this time it is Wesley, next time it is Rafael." I couldn`t believe it, here was I thinknig you make substitutions to make your team perform better, but it is jsut random I guess. We BTW played our best match that year in my humble opinion against Valencia in Amsterdam.

A monkey could win the league title with Ajax? say that to Jan Wouters :howler:
Well thats naming a coach. :D
But if Wouters would have been coach 5 years he would have won a title too. He didn`t have the squad of Koeman either.

I think I'm gonna have to agree here. As long as that utter moron vEijden still has such a big influence on the club, then I wouldn't count myself rich yet. On the other hand, he's finally listing to what Cruyff has to say. But still, there's always that chance of a complete screw up, as long as he's still there. And we all know he's capable of it.
When you hear him say how it is best for the club if he stays, cause he "guards" the longterm, that really makes me sick, he is the reason we got no longterm policy.

Oh and Krijn, you are right ever since Van Gaal we never really had a very good coach anymore who gave us the Ajax football, although Morten Olsen didn`t do bad at all. But for the rest it was lousy. I think Co Adriaanse got fired way to early, Arie should have ignored the fans pressure. The mass isn`t always right. The mass also likes TV crap like Idols for example. :D

I thought when Koeman left this time Van Eijden would go for a mroe experienced man than Blind, seeing what inexperienced coaches did for us, but I guess he decided otherwise. I`m happy to Gerard van der Lem will be an assistant, he has experience and is not afraid to speak his mind to Blind, and that is what good assistants do.
 

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Ajax played one season of great football under Olsen, then a half season of very poor football. I found that kind of strange, because the majority of the squad of 97-98 was still in the squad in 98-99. However, M. Laudrup, Oliseh among others did add extra strength to the team in 98-99. Especially Laudrup. Also, the de Boer brothers played excellent throughout 97-98, but were not a shadow of their former selves a season later. Probably coz of the dispute with the Ajax board. When they came back, I don't think they were mentally still able to play for Ajax like they did before.

I think there comes a stage where the general director has to give in to fan demands. I mean, if Koeman wasn't gonna re-sign, vdEijden would have fired him anyway. I think there were few fans who still believed in Adriaanse in 2001-2002. Ajax finished 3rd in 00-01 with very average football, and halfway through the next season, things weren't going that much better either. Ajax kept being in-consistent with un-necessary losses.
And I believe Adriaanse never played 4-3-3. I think we'd always be talking about 3-5-2 or whatever, if Adriaanse was still coach of Ajax.

I think what Koeman had, wasn't that much better as what Wouters had. For example, Gronkjaer - Machlas - Laudrup, is right up there with Boukhari - Charisteas - Rosales, if not better.
Two decent wingers and an utterly crap striker. Though Laudrup is/was world-class compared to Rosales, and I would prefer Gronkjaer anyday over Boukhari too.

vdEijden didn't go for Blind. vdEijden did what Cruyff advised(told) him to go for Blind. I mean Cruyff is on a bit of a high at the moment isn't he? the KNVB, Barcelona et al. So vdEijden thought he'd be fool not to listen to the great man himself this time.
 

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You are right about Olsen, but I think he isn`t completely to blame for the downfall of Ajax under his reign. I mean, the affair around the De Boertjes doesn`t exactly help a teams morale. Stil lthe downfall was a bit to big. But although also likely if you see how much Ajax scored and won during that season, I am not sure, but I thought Ajax only lost to Vitesse that season, but i could be wrong. Maybe some players lost a bit of the motivation after that year, then when that whole De Boertjes thing happened, then it was another hit, plus the fans got angry quick, like always, it all doesn`t help.

On Van Eijden I again agree, but I do`nt think Arie does, I think ajax can only get rid of him if we get out the pitchforks. :D
I think Co just deserved more time, cause he was still in a work in progress, he got a very low quality team to work in and brought in some really good players to build a new team on, like Galasek, Zlatan I think, Maxwell and Trabelsi. Those players gave koeman the title a few years later. In the end maybe Co ruined his own chances in the media, where he wasn`t exactly doing well. Maybe if he behaved better there, pressure wouldn`t have gotten so high, I still was upset though when he left. When I see what he has done to AZ in such a short period of time, from relegation bound to a good performing 4th team of Holland, thats more than impressive. AZ plays from mediocre few years ago, to mature, attractive and attacking now, how many managers can do that to a team? He didn`t do everything right on the football area, like that Celtic match at home, but he was making slow progress.

Well Wouters didn`t have greta players like VDV, Sneijder, Maxwell, Heitnga and De Jong for example. The fact that koeman never harvested from the potential these players had, is what makes him such a lousy coach. The attack you BTW name are all players I think koeman brought in. although I`m not sure about Boukhari. Koeman could have decided not to kick Mido out, not to agree to let Zlatan go this year and ofcourse could have decided to buy a good striker like Maxi Lopez. He also could have dealt better with Mitea, in which case mitea might not be in this huge identity or form crisis he is having now. Koeman surely purchased Soetaers and Yannis I think.

Well listened to Cruijff....I dunno.
Fact is getting Jol to Amsterdam would have costed a fortune, same story with Ten Cate. Also rumour has it that Blind had some sort of deal worked out with van Gaal about succeeding Koeman when he would leave. Question is in how far Van Eijden followed up the advice of Johan and in how far he let his decision be made by the financial advantages of hiring Blind.

I wouldn`t call Machlas a crap striker BTW, just badly scouted, Sharisteas seems more and more to be both crappy scouted and a crappy player in general, but I do like Charisteas, he seems a nice guy. Worst thing about Machlas is the price we paid. He did scorel ike 1 goal every two matches, not bad for a player who didn`t even start all his matches. Laudrup is awesome indeed, but at thend of his career, and Gronkjaer had many of his moments and I was fond of him, but he was also very inconsistent. And his crossing............
 

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They may well have lost a bit of motivation for the 98-99 season. I mean, in 97-98 Ajax was already champion with something like 7-8 matches to go and scored well over a 100 goals I believe. They also started the next season off quite well, so maybe they thought it would be that simple again. On the other hand, in that season, they also played CL football, which they didn't the season before. So the players may have been more fatigued than before. I think Ajax also lost their last home match of the 97-98 season. It was against Utrecht I believe. And they also lost 4-3 to PSV in the ArenA as well in a very good game :)

I too think it is very impressive what Adriaanse has turned AZ into. Being herst kampioen was probably the most impressive of all. Unfortunately, un-like most cases, this time the herfst kampioen won't be the real kampioen in the end. Well, it's very un-likely I think.
However, I personally think, had Feyenoord and Ajax played better this season, like we thought they would, then I think AZ would merely have been a Vitesse of 99/00. A very steady number 4 that is, but just too small for the top 3.

I think Koeman did personally recruit Boukhari. That was in the summer of 2002 I think.
As far as I'm aware, Zlatan one day came up to Koeman and said something about that he wanted to leave Ajax. I believe Zlatan and vdVaart had a fierce internal rivalry as to who was the boss. I think Zlatan felt he was losing it, or just had enough, so mentally it would have been really good for him to give him a fresh start somewhere else. I think Koeman understood that, and let him go. Letting him go was the best thing. Koeman however did want a suitable replacement for Zlatan. We all know how that ended.

Iv'e read things about vGaal having promised Blind to make him headcoach and everything. Maybe vGaal and Cruyff for once had the same idea. Who knows.
But me and you can only guess as to what sort of influence Cruyff had on the decision of headcoach, did Jol really cost too much?, or did he actually reject the offer?, or was it both etc etc

Machlas actually didn't do bad if you look at his stats. But he still didn't score enough goals. But if you compare him to Charisteas, then yeah, I think Machlas was/is a better goalscorer.
 

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Well i can check that season of 97/98, I got it on CDRom, I guess I only checked the good matches. ;)

Fatigue could be reason, but it is still hard to believe for me a pro football player can have trouble playing two matches in a week. Except for VDV and Theo Janssen. :D

What do you mean unfortunately AZ wont make it, youre a PSV fan right? Shouldn`t you be happy with that? Well I think seeing the matches Ajax still has it will be a hell of a job to get 3rd spot for CL football. Ajax really needs that, but fair is fair, until now AZ is the team who deserves it most, the football they play is very impressive. If Ajax beats PSV you never know, maybe AZ can still make it. A few seasons back PSV also lost a lot of points in the closing stages of the season, but I don`t see that happening this season, not with the experience they now have in the team.

I think Feyenoord at their best is not better than this Feyenoord, this isn`t said to offend the Feyenoord fans (although nice bonus) but lets face it, except their UEFA Cup title, what did they do in recent years? Still a big name with huge history, but a topteam? No, not anymore. If AZ can keep this up and built from the foundation they now got with an excellent squad, a new stadium, good coach (also when Van Gaal comes) than they might grow out to more than a once every decade team. ;) Future does look bright. Scheringa isn`t an idiot like Arie who sells out all his quality for the early bid, he gets in good players who are not as young, unproven, misplaced and unexperienced as the ones Ajax seem to prefer and Martin van Geel is a very good technical director. Up there with Arnesen.

Letting Zlatan go was the best thing? Because Koeman can`t handle him? Come on, he is a young guy and VDV also, Koeman should have made clear that this isn`t highschool but professional football, but the wanker too the easy way out, like he did with Mido. Isn`t it a bit to strange that all the young players behaved bad to Koeman? Sonck (not that young), VDV, Sneijder, Zllatan and Mido? And probably more I forgot. Koeman can`t handle the type of coaching required at Ajax, he can`t handle the youth and help them in their maturing process by keeping them under some form of discipline. All the crap that happened would have never happened under a coach like Ten Cate or Van Gaal.

I think weird things happened in that period Ajax was looknig for a coach. Especially when you hear the media reports who sort of collide with eachother. (tegenstrijdige berichtgeving)
I don`t imply to know how Arie thinks, I think not even Arie himself knows that, but I feel he lsitened to Cruijff not for the reason he takes him all that serious. I think he did it more not to loose the connection between Ajax and Cruijff, and between Arie and the fans. Last thing Arie wants now is to make Ajax fans even more angry with him, this is a time he can better keep a low profile. Although it wont help him survive the fan pressure I think, and hope. We can only guess if Jol rejected it fiercly, it is ofocurse what he said, but if he said differently he would create a living hell for himself in London. I think he did consider it, seeing his first reactions in the press, if you really don`t want it, you can completely disregard it in the press inmediately.
 
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