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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Eredivisie - NAC Breda vs Ajax / First Victory in 2012!

Yes! They won! It's the first victory in 2012!

Ajax played without Boilesen, Janssen, Van der Wiel, Boerigter and others, and Enoh was substituted by Aissati in the first 45 minutes. Besides, the atmosphere around the club was not very good after the resignation of the supervisory board last week.

It seemed that the players on the starting line-up were not in their best form. Eriksen and Siem de Jong lost their scoring opportunities over and over again and Sulejmani couldn't participate effectively in their attacks. However, Bulykin and Ozblitz showed good performance, and substitute Aissati quickly became a key player at midfield after coming in the pitch as a substitute.

Of course I have to mention Lodeiro's goal as well. Lodeiro has been spending a little unfortunate season. He has been in food form and when he played on the pitch he always did something special. But his goals have been rejected, due mainly to mistakes by referees. (Remember the match against Real Madrid...) And even when he could play better than the players on the starting line-up, coach De Boer didn't use him as a start member. However, he scored his second goal in the last match and proved his excellent technique once again. I myself have been a big fan of him, so I'm satisfied and relieved now.

So there is a question: who should be playing in the starting line-up?

In the beginning of the season, Janssen played a more defensive role. Recently Enoh has played at the anchor position, but this is manly because Sigthorsson has been out of action for a long time and Siem de Jong, originally a midfielder, has to complement Sigthorsson's absence. Many commentators and fans has said that placing Enoh in front of the defense line is a good solution because he is far better than Janssen at defense. However, this is not what De Boer has intended, because as I said they are forced to play in this formation due to the injury of the reliable center forward. We don't know how long Enoh has to take a rest or whether he will be absent in the first place. But what's going to happen when all the players recover from their injury? Should the coach continue to use Enoh, or should Janssen play as anchor? Is there room to use Aissati or Lodeiro as a start member? Who is the best center forward, Sigthorsson, De Jong, or Lodeiro?

De Boer tends to use the same players no matter what kind of tactics the opponents adopt. So I guess he still wishes to place Janssen at anchor. But if he doesn't require the anchor to play a defensive role, Aissati will be a good option, and considering that Janssen has not been in good form this season, I prefer to see other players, such as Lodeiro and Aissati, in the starting line up.

Of course, there are many other options. For example, placing two central midfielders side by side and one offensive midfielder in front of the two is one option (4-2-1-3 formation). With this formation, I think the burden of defense can be shared by the midfielders, so if De Boer prefer to use players with offensive rather than defensive skills, this will be a possible solution. But I don't think this is going to happen because De Boer is a little bit too stubborn, I would say...

Anyway, in the last match we saw a different combination of midfielders and attackers, even if this was just accidental. I just wanted to say this was interesting. Let's hope they will play a good game against Manchester United this Thursday!

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