Posts Tagged ‘Ajax’
I’ve been fortunate to report on some fantastic games of football since starting my new role at AFP in London four weeks ago. Here are some of the match reports from my first month in the job:
“Rarely can a team have hit such scintillating form with such perfect timing. Since a shock 2-0 loss at home to FC Utrecht on February 5, Ajax’s record reads: played 10, won 10, scored 35, conceded four. The high point of that sequence was Wednesday’s 5-0 rout of 10-man Heerenveen, which saw Siem de Jong run in a hat-trick after Heerenveen goalkeeper Brian Vandenbussche was sent off in the third minute.”
This week’s Pitchside Europe blog for Eurosport, on how Ajax have turned a crisis season into a successful title defence in the space of just two months, can be found here.
“On Thursday, Ajax announced that their five-man supervisory board would step down after club icon Johan Cruyff succeeded in a legal battle to prevent the four other members of the board — of which he is a member — from appointing former coach Louis van Gaal as chief executive. Van Gaal’s nomination had been announced in November, prompting Cruyff to proclaim that his fellow board members had “gone mad” after they convened to finalise van Gaal’s appointment while Cruyff was away in Barcelona.”
This week’s Pitchside Europe blog for Eurosport, on the back-stage turmoil at Ajax that has plunged Manchester United’s Europa League opponents into civil war, can be read here.
“As the major continental leagues resume following the winter break – Serie A and La Liga returned to action over the weekend, with Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga set to follow suit in the next fortnight – Pitchside Europe looks at 10 issues that will help determine the balance of power across the European mainland in the 12 months ahead.”
This week’s Pitchside Europe column for Eurosport, which looks at Real Madrid’s quest to topple Barcelona, Juventus’ bid to prolong their unbeaten run and Borussia Dortmund’s emergence as enduring rivals to Bayern Munich, can be found here.
As a people, the Dutch are renowned for being laid-back but Ajax right-back Gregory van der Wiel shows more appetite than most to live up to his national stereotype.
FourFourTwo magazine reported that, after making his third appearance for his country in the 4-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Macedonia in April, he was spotted at a snack bar outside the Amsterdam ArenA, eating a hot dog with some old school friends while still carrying his official Dutch team bag.
The 21-year-old landed himself in hot water in October, meanwhile, when he was ruled out of the Netherlands’ friendly game in Australia with concussion but felt well enough to attend a Lil’ Wayne concert and then posted a photo of himself with the American rapper on Twitter.
The incident drew a rebuke from Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk, but while van der Wiel’s off-pitch antics have not always delighted his coaches – his attitude prompted Ajax to farm him out to satellite club Haarlem when he was 14 – his on-pitch performances certainly have.