‘The Cruyff Philosphy’ Ajax Season 3 Part 2 Winter Break

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Eredivisie 2017-2018 Winter Break Update

Eredivisie Table December 2017

We have had a superb first half of the season going undefeated and extending our Eredivisie unbeaten run to 29 games. We won our opening 10 games and only conceded 3 goals. With only 8 goals conceded in our 18 games we have opened up a 12 point gap at the top. 

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Eredivisie Results 2017-2018 

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Feyenoord Result

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Champions League Group Stage 2017-2018

Group Results

Matchday 1

We opened our European campaign at home in the Amsterdam Arena with a 2-1 victory over Valencia with goals from Lincoln and Milik. We controlled the game well with Left Back Mitchell Dijks putting in a superb display. A good start to our European adventure and a solid platform to build on. 

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Matchday 2

Next up and a visit to Lech Poznan in Poland and a return to Arkadiusz Miliks homeland and what a return he silenced the home crowd with a 4 goal display in a 5-0 victory along with a Mitchell Dijks goal. Maximum points and a trip to Munich around the corner we are playing good football and looking confident.

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Matchday 3

Japanese star Yoshinori Muto scored the only goal of a poor game in Munich giving Bayern a 1-0 victory in a game of few chances. Serbian midfielder Nemanja Gudhelj put in a very good performance in the centre breaking up Bayern’s midfield play. 

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Matchday 4

A good team performance gave us a 2-1 win in the return against Bayern. Thomas Muller had put Bayern 1-0 up after the restart which seemed to spark us in to life, both full backs Tete and Dijks constantly raided the wings and both Gudhelj and Klaassen controlled the centre of the pitch and it was club captain Davy Klaassen who put us on level terms with 16 minutes to go. Just 2 minutes later Arkadiusz Milik put us in front with a thunderous drive which took the roof off the Amsterdam Arena sending our tifosi in to a frenzy. I myself was clinched fisted this is what we deserved after a superb performance. I had a feeling that we had arrived on the European scene. 

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Matchday 5

Another solid performance from the boys this time in the Mestalla in the return against Valencia and it was that man Milik with his 7th Champions League goal this term that gave us a 1-0 win and ensured qualification in top spot.

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Matchday 6

We rounded the group stage off with another 5-0 hammering of Lech Poznan in the Arena. We scored all our goals in the first period and then cruised through the 2nd period finishing our group experience 5 points in front of Valencia with Bayern Munich subjected to the Europa League Football.  

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Group Table

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Knockout Round Draw

We have been drawn against Danish Champions FC Kobenhavn in the last 16 with the first leg away in Copenhagen.

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Dutch Cup

We have still not conceded a goal in the Dutch Cup in 15 games has we cruised in to the Quarter Final with wins against Helmand Sport, SC Cambuur and our big rival’s PSV Eindoven who we beat 1-0 in Eindoven thanks to a Davy Klaassen strike.

Results

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Head Of Youth Development Berhnard Peters Signings

Since joining us Bernhard Peters has brought in to the club some promising talents, below are a few screenshots of some of the players that hopefully will go on to represent us in the future.

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Ajax Under 19’s Table

The Under 19’s have got off to a good start this season opening up a 7 point lead at the top.

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The Netherlands

Well we just missed out on qualifying for the World Cup I can’t help feel that I took over a game too late, however I enjoyed the short term challenge but have decided to resign and concentrate on club management. I have stepped down undefeated in my 5 games in charge. A bonus for Ajax came in the shape of Riechedly Bazoer triggering a clause in his contract that seen FC Barcelona pay us £7m that was part of the deal.

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Next Post The Cruyff Philosophy Season 3 Part 3 End Of Season Update

‘The Cruyff Philosophy’ Season 3 Part 1 #FM16 #wearethecommunity

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Ajax Pre Season 2017-2018

Well a lot as happened since we rounded last season off, has you may have already read my last post you will know that I have also taken on the managers job with the Dutch National Team more on that later. So whats happened in Amsterdam during the close season. First of all I sat down and looked at what we did well over the last 2 seasons and how we can improve by looking at what we have not done well. Head Of Youth Development Mr Peters has brought some promising youngsters in to the club after I appointed him last season these youngsters are now a part of our training system that hopefully will mould them in to players who one day will represent the club in our first team. I have decided that a large number of players who have been part of our system for the last two years will be sent out on loan to further develop by playing competitive football. I have identified who will go out on loan and who will continue their development at the club. I have also identified players who as a club don’t think will make the grade. Looking at what we have done over the last two seasons we have cemented our selves domestically as the top team in Holland without doubt, we have swept up the silverware at home winning 6 trophies in 2 seasons at home. Now Europe is another proposition we struggled in season one in the group stage and finished bottom of our group but last season saw us reach the quarter final stage before being knocked out in the 2nd leg in Paris to PSG who overturned our slender first leg advantage. Looking back at that game in Paris we played the match with a very tired and injury hit side with the fringe players not being able to pull us through. That may seem harsh on the side but it is something I feel I need to manage better going forward with how I plan to rotate the side this coming season in a way that will hopefully keep us competitive on all fronts. I have decided to add depth to our squad by bringing in a couple of players who I think will strengthen a very talented squad. So let’s look at our business in the transfer window. The board made available a transfer budget of around £30m plus we brought in a big profit in selling a few players. I spent most of the summer fending off the big club vultures looking to take away our prised possessions. 

Transfers In

The first player we purchased was 19 year old Midfielder Kristoffer Ajer for £6m from Celtic, Ajer has been loaned back to Celtic for the rest of the season to get game time and will join up with us for next season. Ajer the Norwegian midfielder has qualities to break in to our Midfield over the next few seasons. I definitely had the next few seasons in mind with this transfer, I keep fending off the big clubs for our talented Midfield players and wanted to make sure we are prepared for when the time comes that we have to let players go.  Next in to the club was Mahmmoud Dahoud from Borussia Monchengladbach for £15m I see him playing a big part in rotation of our midfield this season. I then went out and purchased Brazilian Forward Gabriel Jesus the 20 year old had just broken in to the Palmeiras side, I have had him scouted for the last 6 months and decided to make our move this summer, he will bolster or attacking options alongside Milik and the injured Zivkovic. Head of Youth Development Bernhard Peters has also brought  youngster Tamer Orenc in to the club from Trabzonspor. With the outgoing transfers it equates to us has having a net transfer spend of -£4.7m meaning we have only used money received for the players who have departed.

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Transfers Out

So with a host of clubs lining up our players we sold Rodrigo Caio to PSG after he made it clear he wanted to move, we sold him for £22m rising to £26m with add ons giving us a healthy profit, I didn’t want to lose him but he asked for the move so we cashed in. Geronimo Rulli was the next big money move, we picked him up on a free transfer at the end of last season. Rulli had a good season with us and had a lot of interest in him. Pep Guardiola’s Liverpool came knocking and again he wanted the move so we didn’t step in his way and sold him for a £15m profit. Mike Van Der Hoorn has joined Besiktas, he wanted more games and to get that he needed to move on, he played his part for us over the last 2 years so I agreed to let him speak with the Turkish club. Amin Younes has moved to Montpellier again he was not in our plans so he will look to get a starter place in France. 

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Pre Season Friendlies 

We used our games to try and develop a good rotation strategy and it worked very well, we cruised through our games and had a terrific game against a strong Barcelona team eventually drawing 2-2 after a pulsating end to end game against Unai Emery’s 4-4-1-1 formation. Most of the squad got good game time to set us up for the season ahead.

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Board Expectations

The board have expressed that they want us to retain the Eredivisie title and reach the Champions League knockout stage. They don’t see the Dutch Cup as important however I want us to retain the cup for a third season, If  we are in it I want us to win it and will look to retain it.

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Dutch Super Cup Final 2017

Another clash against our big rival’s from Eindoven PSV, we couldn’t have wished for a better start with Milik netting a brace inside the first 17 minutes of the game which knocked PSV off their game plan and encouraged us to go for the jugular but PSV weathered the storm and held out until half time. Going in 2-0 up at half time I told the side to keep going and guard against complacency. PSV started to play after the restart and was rewarded when wonderkid Luis Henrique  (who we had been tracking) breached our defence and put PSV back in the game. Daley Sinkgraven restored our 2 goal lead just 3 minutes after PSV’s goal. We then looked comfortable until Guardado scored a 2nd for PSV in time added on. We triumphed again against our rivals giving us our 6th trophy in my 2 years in charge. 

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Eredivisie 2017-2018 (August 2017)

Week 1

Willem II Away Won 4-1

We got the season underway on the road with a 4-1 victory at Willem II , our hosts took a 24th minute lead against the run of play before Lucas Andersen and Davy Klaassen sent us in at the break with a 2-1 lead. The second half was much like the first period with us dominating the game. We were rewarded late on in the game with Zivkovic and substitute Van Rhijn adding 2 late goals that got our season  off to a resounding 4-1 win. 

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Week 2

AZ Home Won 6-0

I picked a rotated team for our opening home game of the campaign against AZ and we got off to a flyer with 5 first half goals courtesy of Veltman,Lozano x 2, Milik and Lincoln. This was a night to remember at The Amsterdam Arena. We took our foot off the gas in the second half scoring just once more via Lozano his hat-trick which capped a super night for the Mexican inside forward . Two wins out of two and 10 goals from our 2 opening games and a very pleased manager.

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Week 3

FC Twente Away Won 3-0

A trip to FC Twente and a reunion with one of our former coach’s Jaap Stam  (now manager of today’s host) and another first half performance that took the game away from FC Twente . We went in at half time with a  3-0 lead thanks to goals from  Klaassen, Fisher and El Gazzi . Over 30’000 fans witnessed us get all 3 points in a game that saw Daley Sinkgraven run the show from start to finish with a sublime performance 

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Week 4

NAC Breda Away Won 1-0 

We put in a hardworking performance to beat NAC Breda by 1-0  courtesy of a Lucas Andersen second half  close range finish.  The side did not get out of  2nd gear on the night and needed a harsh talking  to at half time, I told them to go  out after the break and show me something different. 3 points  in the bag, but a below par  performance .

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Week 5

FC Groningen Home Won 5-0

A better performance from the boys and a fantastic Hat-trick from Milik who is looking sharp again this season. Lincoln and El Gazzi grabbed a goal each in a game that was marred by an injury to Richairo Zivkovic. Maximum points in the opening month of the season gives us a 4 point lead at the top from PSV.

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Ajax 2017-2018 First Team Squad

17 first team members of our 25 man squad have been with me since day 1 two years ago and have formed the backbone of our team building concept .

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Champions League Draw

We have been drawn with Bayern Munich, Valencia,and Lech Poznan. We were seeded in pot 3 of the draw and will need to be on our game to navigate through the group….

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Netherlands National Team

I have picked my first squad for the upcoming games the first a tough tie against group leaders France. Already the squad has been hit by injuries to Strootman and Van Dijk before I named it then a further three drop outs since the squad was named. I am looking forward to the upcoming games and the challenge of trying to qualify from a difficult situation. 

Squad To Play France World Cup Qualifier Group 1

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Thanks For Reading 

Next Post ‘The Cruyff Philosophy’ Season 3 Part 2 Coming Soon

‘The Cruyff Philosophy’ Breaking News #FM16 #wearethecommunity

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The Dutch FA Have Confirmed The Sacking Of National Team Manager Henk Ten Cate with Immediate effect, Ten Cate has been in the position for 328 days. The Dutch are languishing in 4th place in their World Cup qualifying group with just 4 games left to play with it looking increasingly likely that The Oranje will be missing from a second International competition after missing out on Euro 2016 after a dismal qualifying campaign.

The Dutch FA have appointed Ajax manager Michael Skidmore for the remaining 4 qualifying games. Skidmore will continue his work at Ajax in a duel role with the Dutch National Team.

World Cup 2018 Qualifying Group 1 Table

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World Cup 2018 Remaining Qualifying Fixtures

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I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to take control of ‘The Oranje’ and will attempt to meet the Dutch FA’s expectations of reaching the 2018 World Cup. I will continue my work at Ajax and will be posting our Pre Season Update later tonight.

Next Post

‘The Cruyff Philosophy’ Season 3 Part 1 (Pre Season)

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Ajax ‘The Cruyff Philosophy’ (Season 2 Part 3) End Of Season Report #FM16

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We are at the seasons end again and I feel that we have had a very good season with the club moving in the right direction. If you have been following this blog you will know that we sold Bazoer to Barcelona at the beginning of this season for £31m rising to £38m with add ons. I made a decision that we would reinvest the money in the squad. We are fully behind developing players but I felt that we needed to boost the squad with some talented players from around the globe. The reason for this was I think we need to give our youngsters time to develop within our system and whilst we have a lot of talent here I don’t think they are ready yet to take the club to the next level, by next level I want us to be challenging in the later stages of European competition. So how did the season go? 

Eredivisie

We picked up were we left off our first game back was away at NEC were we picked up a point thanks to the impressive Hirving Lozano who as taken the 2nd half of our season by storm with his attacking abilities. We suffered just 1 defeat in the league after the winter break which gave us the title by a massive 18 points clear of PSV Eindoven in second place.,which enabled us to concentrate on our European fixtures with wrapping the title up early. We got good wins against sides nearest to us in the table including a ding done battle against PSV Eindoven our nearest rivals in Eindoven winning 3-2 with goals from Lozano,Klaassen and Sinkgraven. Brazilian wonderkid Lincoln joined up with us at the end of January, I didn’t rush him in to the side I gave him some game time from the bench to ease him in to the system. Geronimo Rulli who we picked up on a free transfer played the bulk of our games in goal after Jasper Cillessen picked up a an injury. 

Eredivisie Results  January – May 16-17

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League Table 

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Dutch Cup

We retained the Dutch Cup without conceding a goal for the 2nd year running setting a 12 game record without conceding. This win gave us our third trophy this season and our 5th in my two years at the club. FC Twente were our opponents in the Semi Final, by half time goals from Gudhelj, Tete and Van de Beek put the tie out of our guests reach giving us a 3-0 lead making the 2nd half a formality. In the Final held at Feyenoord’s De’Kuip stadium we played PSV Eindoven and won by a single goal scored by Victor Fisher in a fairly uneventful 1st half. The second half was end to end with Man of the Match Lincoln looking like a very good buy playing in a wide left position cutting in centrally causing mayhem in the PSV defence. I am pleased we have retained the Cup and look forward to defending it again next season.

Dutch Cup Results

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The Treble

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Record Breaking Ajax

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Champions League

After qualifying for the knockout round we had got a tough draw against last year’s runners up Bayern Munich to contend with which was never going to be easy. Already knowing a lot about Bayern’s squad @Rovazzz (The American Guardiola) aka my bro from over the pond and current manager in his world of Bayern gave me a few vital bits of info about how Bayern would come at me. With this in mind I decided to man mark Alaba who would start in Bayern’s left back position but who @Rovazzz said would look to attack us inside. However I didn’t man mark him with the obvious player, I put Davy Klaassen on him to occupy him whilst our left sided Inside Forward Hirving Lozano was given the licence to roam. So to the first leg in Amsterdam, I was both ready and feeling nervous about the game which I was to watch in full. What a game end to end and a game of two polish Forwards our very own Arkadiusz Milik and Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski. Milik would come out on top with a goal in each half for us giving us a fantastic 2-0 win with Hirving Lozano picking up the man of the Match award for his tireless performance. We had managed to not only nullify Bayern’s attacking intent but to give there Defenders a night to forget. We took a 2-0 first leg lead to Germany and ground out a defensive performance going  down 1-0 to a Lewandowski goal. We went through to the Quarter Final 2-1 on aggregate. Up next was French money men Paris St. Germain with the first leg in Amsterdam were we came out 2-1 winners with goals from Victor Fisher and Hirving Lozano. The second leg was a disappointment with us losing 2-0 in the Parc de Princes to a rampant Paris side. A big improvement though after last year’s disappointment in the competition.

Champions League Results

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Squad Statistics 16-17

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Season End 

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1944562610_1999999626_Gudelj_220X240  Fans Player Of The Year

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Board Set Initial Budgets For 2017-2018 Season

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My Thoughts

A very good season in my opinion achieving the treble domestically and reaching the Quarter Final of the Champions League. We are now approaching the transfer window for the forthcoming season which means the big clubs will come knocking for our players. Already Geronimo Rulli as expressed his desire to speak to Pep Guardiola’s Liverpool who have expressed an interest in him. I have told Rulli if a bid comes in meeting our valuation he can speak to them. We picked Rulli up on a free at the start of the season, so any sale will be a profit for the club. Rulli is valued at £11.5m. Kenny Tete is being touted by FC Barcelona. I think a few more players may have bids made for them when the window opens this week. I think the next few weeks at the club will be very interesting with coming and goings in the window.

Thanks for reading, my next post will be looking at our pre season plans and our incoming and outgoing transfer news.

 

 

 

 

‘A Touch Of Klass’ (Spotlight On Davy Klaassen) ‘The Cruyff Philosophy’ #FM16

Spotlight On Ajax Captain Davy Klaassen 

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Klaassen began his football career in the youth ranks of local amateur side HVV de Zebra’s, where he played until 2003, when he transferred to HSV Wasmeer. A year later he was recruited into the famed Ajax Youth Academy. While playing for the Ajax A1 youth squad in 2011–12, Klaassen helped his side to win the Nike Eredivisie league title, as well as finishing as runners-up to Inter Milan in the NextGen Series(the Champions League equivalent for under-19 teams) after losing on penalties (5–3) following a 1–1 deadlock after extra time.

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 He made his debut for the first team in the UEFA Champions League group stage away draw (0–0) againstOlympique Lyonnais on 22 November 2011 by replacing Lorenzo Ebecilio in the 85th minute. While still competing in the A-Juniors Nike Eredivisie league competing for the Ajax A1 under-19 squad, he made his Eredivisie debut on November 27 as a substitute against N.E.C. and scored only 42 seconds after having been subbed on. He made his debut in the starting XI of the Ajax first team on 11 December 2011, due to starting center midfielder Theo Janssen catching the flu. Klaassen played the entire match which ended in a 0–1 away win for Ajax against RKC Waalwijk.

On 5 August 2013 Klaassen made his debut in the Dutch Eerste Divisie in the 2–0 win against Telstar while playing for the newly promoted reserves team Jong Ajax, in what would be the first match in the 2nd tier of professional football ever for the reserves.  He scored his first goal for Jong Ajax on 20 September 2013 in the 1–2 away victory against FC Eindhoven. On 6 October 2013 while playing for the Ajax first team he scored his teams second goal in the 59th minute in the 3–0 home win against FC Utrecht.On 7 December 2013 Klaassen scored his first hat-trick while playing for the first team, in a 4–0 victory at home over NAC Breda, taking home the match ball and earning himself the Man of the Match award. Following the departure of Ajax captain Siem de Jong, Klaassen switched to the vacant number 10 shirt for the upcoming season.

For the 2015–16 season, Klaassen was named Ajax’ captain, replacing the departed Niklas Moisander Klassen had a superb season for me and led by example he lifted both the Dutch Eredivisie and the Dutch Cup in my first season at the club. Klaassen went on to lift the Dutch Super Cup at the start of this season. Klaassen is the first name on the team sheet for me.  I have turned down a number of bids for him from the likes of Roma,Napoli and Tottenham. If ever I manage elsewhere Klaassen will be the first target for me. He can play in a number of positions from Midfield Centre, Attacking Midfield Centre and Shadow Striker I have used him in all 3 positions and he just produces game after game….Mr Reliable and a touch of Klass. If you want a consistent performer in your Midfield Davy Klaassen is your man….

Klaassen named in World Team Of The Year 2016

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Klaassen will no doubt be the subject of a few bids when the season ends, I will do all that I can to keep him in Amsterdam for my 3rd season at the club.

Klaassen Profile

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Klaassen Form 16-17

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Next Post End Of Season Review…….

 

 

Ajax ‘The Cruyff Philosophy’ (Season 2 Part 2) Winter Break 16-17 #FM16

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Welcome…..so here we are at the winter break again, it only feels like yesterday that I was posting last seasons winter break update.  We have 3 trophies behind us this time and a squad of players who are playing with confidence within our system. Lets get down to how we are doing on the pitch.

Expectations Reminder

Win the Eredivisie 

Win the Dutch Cup

Not expected to go beyond the group stage Of the Champions League

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Eredivisie 16-17

A solid first half of the season 13 wins 4 draws and 1 defeat gives us a 6 point lead at the top of the table at the winter break. Only our rivals PSV have managed to inflict defeat on us after we opened the season up going 12 games undefeated. We suffered a few injuries in September which seemed to knock us out of our stride but the squad responded and made my team selection very difficult with players coming in and performing well. New signing’s  Thiago Maia and Hirving Lozano have looked quality additions whilst Mohammed Elyounoussi and Jerry St.Juste have suffered injuries limiting their game time, however when fit they have looked at home in our system. Overall our title defence is on course. 

Eredivisie Results

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League Table

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Dutch Cup 

We have had a pretty easy run to the Quarter Final stage over powering all that we have come up against.

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Champions League

Now this is were I wanted us to improve, last season we finished bottom of our group and went out with a whimper so this time we worked hard and focussed our attention on each of our group games. Last season we played well but lacked something in the way of getting results. If you have read my last post you will have noticed that I changed our formation, the main reason was for this competition. Last season I felt that we got exploited by using a back 3 with wing backs. So with a back 4 in place we started off with a trip away to Shahktar, captain Davy Klaassen gave us a first half lead which we managed to hang on too despite going down to 10 men after we got left back Dykes sent off. Pleased with the opening day win we looked forward to the visit of Jose Mourinho and Manchester United to the Arena. United came with the big guns Higuin,Luan,Martial,Mata and Rooney, but we had the outstanding midfield trio of Sinkgraven,Klaassen and Maia who on the night gave Utd the runaround with both Fisher and Lozano pushing Utd back with attacking runs time after time. Daley Sinkgraven netted what was to be the only goal of the game after a stunning move initiated by the majestic captain Davey Klaassen. A 1-0 win and maximum points with a double header against Sparta Prague next we felt like we could advance to the knockout round before we played the return games against Shahktar and United. Football can be a funny game and the visit of Sparta Prague to Amsterdam was a lesson for us. Last season we beat Sparta here 3-0 in the qualifying rounds but this time Sparta outplayed us and were just 7 minutes away from inflicting a well deserved job on us to then be denied by substitute Zivkovic giving us a point. We then went to Prague and ground out a goalless draw meaning a point against Shahktar would put us through. We entertained Shahktar and threw everything at them and desreved a first half lead via Millik. Shahktar were improved in the 2nd half and grabbed an equalizer giving me a very nervy end to the game which ended 1-1 sending us in to the knockout round with a visit to Manchester still to come. Mourinho played mind games in the build up to the clash at Old Trafford but I wasnt fazed and decided that Utd would throw everything at us but I was to fight fire with fire with nothing to lose I set us up to have a go at them. We gave away a penalty early on which Mata dispatched but were nullifying Utds attack and missing our chances up front. It looked like Utd would old on until Davy Klaassen whipped a ball in to the United box for the oncoming Jairo Riedewald to thunder an 88th minute header in to the goal in front of a stunned Stretford End that gave us a fully deserved 1-1 draw. 

Results

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Table

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Knockout Round Draw

We watched the draw in Zurich with excitement hoping for a favourable draw then we were pulled out of the hat…well bowl, Ajax will play Bayern Munich. A tough draw against last years finalist Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munchen. Two big European nights for us to prepare for and a trip to the tailors for me has I want to look the part alongside the well groomed Italian. 

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Squad Statistics

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““It’s better to go down with your own vision than with someone else’s.”

“The Cruyff Philosophy”

 

 

Ajax ‘The Cruyff Philosophy’ (Season 2 Part 1) 2016-2017 Pre Season #FM16

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With the players back off a well earned holiday, we set about preparing for the season ahead. A lot as happened during pre season so further a do here is the Pre Season News……

The Backroom Staff

Outgoing

My assistant manager  Hennie Spijkerman announced his retirement and left the club on the back of our double winning season. Coach  Dennis Bergkamp as left the club to take the reins at relegated Southampton. Also leaving the club is our Head Of Youth Development Phil Cannon. We wish them all the best and thank them for their efforts during their time in Amsterdam. 

Incoming

I have appointed well respected Head Of Youth Development Bernhard Peters from Bundesliga club Hamburg. Peters has signed a 3 year deal with us and will take up the role of bringing youth players in to the club.

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I am also pleased to announce that my new Assistant Manager is Marco Van Basten, Van Basten is no stranger to the club and as put pen to paper with a deal that will keep him at the club until 2020.

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Manager’s Office

I was pleased to receive the Manager Of The Year award during the close season. I was also offered the vacant managers job at Arsenal after Arsene Wenger stepped down after winning the Champions League with a 1-0 win at the San Siro in Milan over Bayern Munich. I have no intention of leaving the Amsterdam club.

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Boardroom Meeting

I was called in to our pre season board meeting were I was told that the club was now clear of any debt and that they have agreed to upgrade or training facilities to keep the club on par with the worlds best. The board also told me what their expectations are for the season ahead, they are as follows:

Eredivisie:  Win The Title

Champs Lge: Group Stage 

Dutch Cup: Winners

Super Cup: Not Important

The board have made available a £26m Transfer Budget for the Season Ahead.

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Transfer Business 

Outgoing

Outgoing Riechedly Bazoer dominated the headlines with his £31m rising to £38m with add ons move to FC Barcelona. Believe me I did all I could to try and hold on to him but he wanted the big club move. He is a top talent and I am sure will go on to have a superb career. We also said goodbye to Lasse Schone who as joined Anderlecht, Thulani Serero who as joined PSV Eindoven and a few more fringe players.

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Incoming

I decided that whilst I am fully behind developing our own players that we would invest in a number of talented players that I hope will go on to be a big part of Ajax in the future. I gave our Director Of Football Marc Overmars a list of potential targets and he did well in negotiating the deals that brought the following players in to the club:

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Marc Overmars 

Mohammed Elyounousi £2.6m

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Hirving Lozano £4.9m

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Thiago Maia £20m 

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Jerry St. Juste £10.5m

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Lincoln £5m : Joining in January 2017

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Head Of Youth Development Bernhard Peters has brought the following players to the club:

Sven de Boer 250k from Sparta Rotterdam and Hans Pijnenburg from AZ for 400k

I myself went out a brought Argentine Goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli to the club on a free transfer after Real Sociedad failed to offer him a contract.

Geronimo Rulli

transfers

 

Player Promoted To The First Team Squad 

We are very much behind the Team Building and want to see 2 players per season break in to our 1st team squad from our development squads, this season Vaclav Cerny and Lucas Anderson will get their chance. 

Vaclav Cerny

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Lucas Andersen

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Pre Season Gets Underway

With a few players away on International duty we started our 6 week pre season with some Fitness and Tactical training.

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The players looked fresh and ready for some game time as we approached our first pre season game :

FC Midtjyland Home Won 5-0 

I fielded a strong starting XI for this game and we ran out easy winners with goals from Millik 2 Sinkgraven, Gudhelj and Zivkovic. I gave a first start to Geronimo Rulli before he jetted off to join the Argentine national team.

Sloven Liberec Home Won 2-1

A good run out for the boys both Millik and Zivkovic scoring again in a 2-1 win in the Arena.

Newcastle Utd Home Lost 0-2 

I gave a run out to a mixture of B Team and Youth players and to be honest they played well and did not deserve to lose, I have seen our first team play a lot worse and win games, we just failed to take our chances and tired at the back late on but plenty of positives.

Volendam Away Won 5-0 

A good performance from new boy Elyounoussi in his first start grabbing a goal and assisting 3 others. Vaclav Cerny played in a Inside Forward position and grabbed himself a brace. Zivkovic and Reidewald got our other goals.

FC Eindoven Away Won 3-0 

Milik, El Ghazi and Elyounoussi getting the goals in a below par performance.

FC Utrecht Away Won 1-0

The new boy from Molde Mohammed Elyounoussi scoring in his 3rd consecutive game is giving me something to think about as the season approaches.

Noordwiljk Home Won 4-1

That man again Elyounoussi rounds pre season off with a sizzler of a goal, his 4th in 4 games along with strikes from Milik 2 and Nouri giving us a 4-1 win as we prepare for the Super Cup game against PSV.

freindly results

Super Cup Final  v PSV Eindoven

The seasons curtain raiser at the Amsterdam Arena against our big rivals PSV Eindoven started with PSV manager Phillip Cocu playing mind games but I was not drawn in to a war of words instead I concentrated on getting my team in the right shape to bring home our third trophy during my leadership. A couple of things to mention before the game is that I have changed our shape to a 4-1-2-3 and wanted to start with the players that gave us the double last season with the exception of Vaclav Cerny who I figured would be more than an handful for the PSV defence. What happened in the first half was nothing short of total domination from our boys. We went in at half time 4-0 up against a shell shocked PSV.  Captain Davy Klaassen led by example putting us 2-0 up after just 12 minutes with a brace and truly outstanding matchday performance. Arak Milik picked up were he left off last season netting our other 2 goals. It felt right getting our hands on the Super Cup that is the Johan Cruyff sheild a fitting tribute to the man that as inspired ‘The Cruyff Philosophy’. 

4-3-3

v psv

super cup

cruyff sheild

The Cruyff Sheild will sit nicely in the Amsterdam Arena, We dedicate this victory to to the legend of Ajax

I am hoping and striving for a better performance in Europe this season that is one of the reasons we have dipped in to the transfer market to bolster the squad with options in all positions. Lets also hope for a kinder draw than last seasons group of death.

We are all set for the season ahead, I will be back in a few days with our Winter Break Update. Thanks for taking the time to follow The Cruyff Philosophy I have had loads of messages from the community about the save and have enjoyed hearing the feedback and conversations about the players and save.