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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ajax vs Utrecht - Painful Loss

On Sunday February 5, Ajax fought against FC Utrecht in the Amsterdam ArenA.

The result was 0-2. Ajax had to play without many of the players that were usually on the starting line-up.

Utrecht did good defense. Their intention was clear; to put many players in front of their goal, and to give speedy counter attacks using long ball. This was effective against Ajax because Utrecht players were basically higher and stronger than those of Ajax.

However, in terms of body strength, Ajax have always been at best an ordinary team, even when there are no injured players. The lack of the two strong central defenders, Vertonghen and Alderweireld, was an unlucky thing, but what is unique about Ajax is that they always utilize something else to win a game, such as agility, speed and passing and dribbling technique. In this match, Ajax completely failed to show these advantages.

In the first half things went well for Ajax. They succeeded to maintain ball possession in the midfield, and there were many opportunities near the goal. However, after the first goal by Utrecht (which was mainly due to an unbelievable mistake by goalkeeper Vermeer), they lost concentration and started giving away possession.

I'm just so frustrated now, so excuse me for writing in a little aggressive way... I think that head coach De Boer is largely responsible for the recent miserable performance of the team, because considering the quality of players that Ajax currently have, even though they are still inexperienced, a loss against a team like Utrecht is simply unthinkable. Of course there are many, many problems around the team, but I still believe even though there are disadvantages, they have more powerful advantages (and I have tried to mention them on this blog time and time again). Furthermore, the fact that too many players are injured can be attributed to the mismanagement by the coaching staff. And if they were keen to remain as the Eredivisie champions, they should have worked harder on transfer negotiations in the January market. Yeah, I know that scapegoating a head coach only is a stupid thing to do in the world of  football, but...

Next time most of the injured players will make their comeback, but according to the official twitter account of Ajax, Janssen got injured during the match (that's why he only played the first half). It's just hurdle after hurdle, but I hope things will get better soon...

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