Up From Mediocrity: Ajax 2023-24

Discussion in 'The Netherlands' started by Orange14, May 28, 2023.

  1. aveslacker

    aveslacker Member+

    Ajax
    United States
    Apr 2, 2006
    Old Madras
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That was right when I first started following soccer - I remember watching the Milan-Marseille CL final (which turned out to be Van Basten's last game) back in 1993. What a team Milan had back then!
     
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  3. aveslacker

    aveslacker Member+

    Ajax
    United States
    Apr 2, 2006
    Old Madras
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Dutch press was reporting earlier today that it's likely to be Farioli, even though some of the old guard on the board of commissioners wanted a Dutch person (either De Boer or Schreuder).
     
  4. richsavare

    richsavare Member+

    Ajax
    Netherlands
    Jan 28, 2003
    New Jersey
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    :thumbsdown:End of the season finishes 2-2 (Again) at relegated Vitesse Arnhem.
    Late equalizer from Berghuis.
    The match shows once again how pitiful Ajax are defensively, with a severe lack of quality in its midfield.
    It’s just been absolutely horrendous this season in case anyone was wondering.:thumbsdown:
    We have no idea what direction the Club is heading still with the latest bit of drama surrounding the rumored, inexperienced Head Coach Farioli rethinking his plans as the Brighton job has opened up now with the “new” World Coaching God (What A Joke!) De Zerbi leaving his position.
    The whole season off the field and on it has been disgraceful.
    Evaluation of talent has been awful clearly, and politics inside the Board Room has really led the Club in this negative direction.
    What’s going to happen now?
    Because although the games have ended for this season much work is still badly needed to restructure the entire club.
     
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  5. Orange14

    Orange14 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    Bethesda, MD
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    With nothing to play for but the pride in the shirt, Ajax barely passed lhat low bar (maybe they really didn't!), with a last minute goal from Berghuis to gain a 2-2 draw in Arnhem. What is it with this team and being so out of position that they give up break aways in almost every match? On the 2nd Vitesse goal it seemed like nobody even got up and ran to try to get in position, assuming Vitesse would automatically score!!!.

    Some stupid actions from Ajax supporters lighting off flares, meant that much of the first half was played on a smoke filled pitch. The Dutch FA really needs to deal with this. You never see this happen at US outdoor sporting events. This season comes to an ignominious close and we can only look to the future and hope that sunshine can return to the Cruyff Arena next season. One thing is for sure, a lot of players who are on the roster will be elsewhere. Ajax will have to start training camp early as the first Europa League qualifications come up in late June. I guess we have to thank v'ant Schip for righting the ship and making up for points that were lost early in the season. That being said, his substitution patterns were just bizarre. Why bring on Tahirovic at all today when we all know he is just not good enough and Vos is more than his equal. Only two subs in this match! At any rate, I wish him well in whatever role he has with the club next year, he at least came back to do the job which is more than one can say for a number of ex-Ajax players who just sat on the sidelines and criticized. I'll have more to say about the seasons each player had in a later post but for the record here are .....drum roll please........... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] the final.....

    Player Ratings:

    Rulli (6) - had some great saves in the final 10 minutes but was he every scary playing matador with the ball or making long throws into no man's land
    Gaaei (7) - have to say he was MOTM for me, ran hard all game long and delivered wonderful crosses, if he can figure out how to defend, he is a starting RB next season
    Sutalo (6.5) - nice first goal for the club but still insecure on defense
    Kaplan (6.5) - along with Sutalo had to face a couple of dangerous breakaways with multiple attackers bearing down
    Rensch (5) - very ordinary
    Henderson (5) - hope some EPL club can be fooled into thinking he as another year or two in his legs, he is not fit for Ajax and it's a joke to make him Captain, free kicks were awful
    Mannswerk (5.5) - nothing out of the ordinary
    Taylor (6.5) - always works hard on his shift and stayed with the ball to set up the match tying goal
    Akpom (5.5) - had some chances he should have done better with
    Brobbey (6) - player real hard but didn't get an open shot
    Bergwijn (5.5) - didn't really make anything happen
    Berghuis (5.5) - right place at the right time for an easy goal to save the points
    Tahirovic (4.5) - WHY?????????????????????????????????? some poor passes
     
  6. Orange14

    Orange14 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    Bethesda, MD
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    Here is my assessment of this season's first team players who played in one or more games based on what I saw this year. There will be turnover for sure and we don't know how much money the club needs before they can make any player purchases for next season. I don't know if any of the current Jong Ajax players can break through next season. They did not have a very good year and had key injuries along the way. At the U-18 level there are some very good talents but maybe not in the de Ligt category to move right up.

    GK
    Rulli – first choice keeper who was injured in the first match of the season and only returned for a final few games. He’s no better than any of the other keepers on the team including the two Jong Ajax GKs. He probably wants to move on this summer and Ajax should accommodate him. Unfortunately, I wonder who wants a 32 year old keeper who is really no longer a first choice.

    Gorther – forced into action after Rulli went down and then he gets injured a few matches later. I’m not convinced that he is a number one keeper, he seems to be too nervous between the posts.

    Ramaj – pleasant surprise as none of us knew whether he was any good. He ended up having a pretty solid season. Obviously, he starts out as the #1 choice next year unless for some bizarre reason is sold to bring money in.

    Pasveer – said he was retiring and then said he wasn’t. Make up your mind, but if you stay you will see as much action as you did this year (don’t bother looking it up, he did not play at all)

    C. Setford & de Graaf – split the time pretty evenly for Jong Ajax. Both are good shot stoppers and promising though T. Setford may be a better long term prospect but is younger. Either one or both could make the club as 3rd choice keeper next season.

    FBs
    Rensch – had a mixed season and played on both the right and left as well as filling in at CB. He’s a solid but not exceptional player. He is not convincing going forward and sometimes is lackadaisical defending, zonng out on times and then having to make desperation plays.

    Gaaei – came back from a couple of really horrow show matches where he was subbed off before half time. He put in the work and by the end of the season had some very nice matches. He’s a converted winger and it shows with his crossing ability. He has good speed going forward but sometimes gets into trouble and turns the ball over. He needs to work on field awareness and defending in order to mover up to a higher tier. Could be the starting RB next season.

    Goojier – academy product but I question whether he is good enough. He can play CB and I think played a bit in the MF this year. I don’t think he is good enough on the ball.
    Sosa – had a couple of good performances amid a great deal of mediocrity. Pioneer of last ditch defending which sometimes works but often does not. He will likely be sold if there is a buyer out there.

    Avila – tore up his knee and unclear when he will be ready to train again. He says he is a CB but he was bought as a FB. Regardless, he was a huge waste of money!!! Likely has no resale value
    right now until his fitness is assessed. Even then, he is not a top tier player.

    Wijndal – comes back from loan where he played at Antwerp. I didn’t follow them at all but saw he played in a fair number of matches. Don’t know if anyone really wants him so he may stay at Ajax

    Martha – came up as a winger and was converted to a LB at Jong Ajax. He had a better than decent game in his first call up to the first team and then reverted to the mediocre player he is. I think he may have an expiring contract.

    CBs
    Hato – started every match except the final game when he was suspended because of YCs. Best defender on the team and he only turned 18 during the season. He is still a bit undersized for a CB and was pushed around by bigger players. Had some playing time at left FB. Clearly one of the talents who will start next year.

    Sutalo – Croatian NT defender and everyone was excited to see him coming into the team. Everyone was then surprised to see that he was just an average player who was good for one or more mistakes a game. Unfortunately, Ajax seems to have lots of left footed CBs so maybe he is a default selection though Kaplan seems to be good with both feet and one could see a partnership of Hato/Kaplan. If the club really needs money he might be sold and his value could increase depending on how Croatia do in the Euros.

    Kaplan – took a long time to recover from a knee injury a couple of seasons ago but acquitted himself quite well. He needs to add some upper body strength but his play is pretty consistent and he is good with the ball at his feet.

    Medic – had a great goal but is just too slow to be at all effective. Ajax paid little for him and he has no future here.

    MFs
    Henderson – waste of money mid-season purchase. He’s just too old for a club that needs to look to the future. I hope he makes the England team for the Euros as some EPL team will buy him to help meet the home grown roster requirements.

    Taylor – still a promise who has up and down games. He gets moved around too much for my taste but the Ajax MF had so many holes, he had to be used where ever the dike sprang a hole. Has a very solid shot and is decent on the ball. While there appears to be foreign interest, unless it’s funny money he stays with the club.

    Mannswerk – thought to be a great prospect and one of the better players to come out of Norway. I just don’t know. He missed the first part of the season with a muscle injury and while he is poised, it’s not clear if he is quick enough to play at a good Ajax level. Defensive MF is such a weak spot right now, he plays by default.

    Tahirovic – really lacking in quality and Ajax were taken to the cleaners by Roma whose management probably had a good laugh when the check cleared. I can’t see him staying with the club.

    Van den Boomen – best field awareness and passer of anyone on the roster!!!!! Unfortunately, he is so lacking in speed and quickness that he is an automatic defensive liability. It’s too bad really. He will stay with Ajax as he does not want to leave.

    Vos – got game time early in the season and then got hurt. When he was healthy he spent most of the time at Jong Ajax. V’ant Schip really did not use him much other than cameos late in games which was bizarre to me. He’s a real talent and may break through next season.

    Hlynsson – surprising breakthrough based on above average play at Jong Ajax. Scored some good goals and puts in a strong shift. He’s good pressing the ball if Ajax ever move back to that style of play. Got hurt and mist the last five games which was a shame. He needs to get stronger but will be in the first team mix next season.

    Fitz-Jim – called back from loan at mid-season and then hardly played at all. He has outgrown Jong Ajax. Second only to van den Boomen in field awareness and passing but is weak and cannot defend at all. He wants to make it at Ajax and I suspect given the lack of MF quality he will stay with the club.

    ATTACK
    Brobbey – one of the best #9s in the Eredivisie. Had a breakout season and can only get better. Sometimes he was all alone up front but still created danger. Good hold up play and makes darting runs in the box. The club has no option but to try to keep him as it’s difficult to see where goals will come from if he leaves.

    Bergwijn – had one really good game with a hat trick but was in and out of the lineup with injuries or suspension. Only 26, but not a player to build a club around. He doesn’t have really great speed and sometimes struggles to create a shot. If the money is right he is gone.

    Berghuis – other than maybe some team in the Middle East, nobody wants a player at this salary level. He may have one more season left but reports of leg and back problems concern me. Likely will be with Ajax next season.

    Akpom – scored some clutch goals for Ajax. He’s really not a wing player and the times he an Brobbey played with two up top, seemed to get in each other’s way. He is still a solid goal scorer but a better back up. The question will be whether an EPL team will come after him as he counts as a home-grown player. Right now, 50-50 that he leaves.

    Forbs – again, why did the club spend so much on a player who was no better than other youth players already in the system. This gets chalked up as one of Mislintat’s worst buys. While he seemed to be in favor early in the year, his playing time pretty much dropped to zero in the spring. Can’t see him staying

    Godts – real talent who is better than Forbs. Missed some games because of injury but he has better speed and quickness than the other wingers. He needs to work on field awareness and avoiding traps (watch tapes of David Neres!!!). Solid chance to be a starter particularly if Berwijn gets sold.

    Van Axel Dongen – constantly injured. He said earlier this week that he is now taking training seriously. We’ll see about that. He has the physical ability to play at this level but needs to stay healthy.

    Rijkoff – came back to Ajax from Dortmund where he was never going to break through. Had some cameos for the first team but mainly played at Jong Ajax. He is a 3rd choice #9 if Akpom stays.

    Banel – Played in a small number of matches and it’s hard to say from his play at Jong Ajax whether he has the talent for Ajax.
     
  7. BPBlueSox

    BPBlueSox Member

    Ajax
    Netherlands
    Aug 21, 2003
    Georgia
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Good summary there, Orange. Not even sure that I disagree with any of them.

    A few points:
    I honestly felt bad for Vitesse today. Nice support from their fans for the relegated side - and I honestly wanted them to hold on at the end to go out with a nice win over a big name like Ajax. And then a bum like Berghuis scores to even it up who basically saw it as a joke. I'd say his reaction was about the normal for the effort he puts in for Ajax. I hope he's gone, but I'm not hopeful.
    What an unbelievable disappointment Henderson has been.
    I really hope they keep Gaaei - I really have liked his attitude after those really shaky matches. He's one of the few with mentality it feels like in the side.

    Going to be an interesting few days to see if we end with up our Italian coach or if he gets hijacked off to England. My pessimistic side still is telling me we are going to end up with De Boer after all the dust settles! haha
     
  8. aveslacker

    aveslacker Member+

    Ajax
    United States
    Apr 2, 2006
    Old Madras
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thank god this pathetic season is over.
     
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