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AFC Ajax - Total Football, Total Control, Total Domination

A new era begins for AFC Ajax
Started on 31 March 2018 by kdavva
Latest Reply on 8 April 2018 by kdavva
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Dortmund Appoint Bosz

Borussia Dortmund have unveiled their new first team manager in Dutch boss Peter Bosz.

The 53 year old spent just a season at the helm of AFC Ajax in his first major managerial role and will now take the helm of the second largest club in Germany.

Bosz fills the shoes of outgoing manager Thomas Tuchel, who had a 63% winning percentage at the club but fell out repeatedly with the club's board of directors and CEO. Bosz is reportedly seen as a 'company man', someone who will be more conducive to the club's direction, and that's thought to be a major factor in his appointment.

Dortmund finished 3rd last season, behind perennial heavyweights Bayern Munich and upstarts RB Leipzig, and were weakened by the transfers of Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Now, BVB boasts up and coming stars such as Julian Weigl, Christian Pulisic and Alexander Isak, and Bosz will hope he can hold on to as many players of his very talented squad as possible.

Ajax To Appoint A Clubman

Ajax CEO Edwin van der Saar has announced that the club's next manager will be someone that is familiar with the culture of the club, suggesting that the new boss will be a former player or manager - or both.

The announcement has seen Frank De Boer, who won 4 Eredivisie titles with the club between 2010 and 2016, become the short-price favourite after losing his job at Internazionale last year. De Boer has spent over 25 years in total at the club, from his time as a junior through to his playing and managerial career, and certainly fits the bill as a man ingrained into the Ajax culture.

Another name which has now come to the fray is ex-Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, who was last at Ajax in 1997 but crucially delivered the club it's most recent European Cup triumph in 1995. The 66 year old wasn't expected to take up another role after his ill-fated spell in England, but the lure of home could tempt him to throw his hat in the ring.

Danny Blind played over 400 times for the Dutch giants and has been heavily involved in the club since then, with stints as manager, assistant manager, director of football and technical director. Blind was sacked from his job as Netherlands manager after failing to secure World Cup qualification but will hope this failure does not rule him out of a return to Amsterdam.

Although de Boer, van Gaal and Blind are looming as favourites, there are a number of candidates thought to be in contention.

Possible Ajax Managers
Dennis Bergkamp*, 1986-93 (player), 2011- (assistant manager)
Danny Blind, 1986-99 (player), 2005-06 (manager)
Frank De Boer, 1988-99 (player), 2010-16 (manager)
John Heitinga*, 2001-08, 2015-16 (player), 2017- (youth manager)
Patrick Kluivert, 1994-97 (player), 2016 (youth manager)
Marc Overmars*, 1992-97 (player), 2012- (director of football)
Frank Rijkaard, 1980-87, 1993-95 (player)
Clarence Seedorf, 1992-95 (player)
Marco van Basten, 1981-87 (player), 2008-09 (manager)
Louis van Gaal, 1978-80 (player), 1991-97 (manager)

* denotes current Ajax staff member

Huntelaar Returns To Amsterdam

Ajax Amsterdam have today unveiled their newest signing, with experienced striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar rejoining the Dutch heavyweights.

Huntelaar, 33, has joined Ajax on the conclusion of his Schalke 04 contract and will be looking to build on the 76 goals he scored for the club between 2006 and 2008.

His most recent spell at Schalke 04 in Germany saw him net 82 times in 175 appearances, and he ranks as the second highest scorer for the Dutch national team with 42 goals, eight behind leader Robin van Persie.

Marc Overmars, Ajax director of football, was pleased to secure the deal of such a prolific striker.

"We're delighted to welcome Klaas-Jan to the club. He's proven himself to be an excellent striker at the top level of club and international football, and already endeared himself to our fans in his earlier spell here. Now we hope he can continue to perform in the twilight of his career."

'The Hunter', as he is known, does not appear likely to instantly slot into the first team, with the striker position currently held by wonderkid Kasper Dolberg, who topped the Ajax scoring charts with 22 last season. The 19 year old could potentially form a two-man striker partnership with Huntelaar, or else the 33 year old may find his impact limited as a substitute.

Rijkaard: Ajax Should Be Better

Frank Rijkaard, a leading candidate for the vacant Ajax job, has today written an editorial for a Dutch newspaper claiming that the club is massively underachieving both financially and competitively.

The 55 year old stated that Ajax's youth academy was the best in the world, better than Barcelona, and with the high volume of quality youngsters at the club, winning the Eredivisie should not be an issue.

"Ajax youngsters are some of the best in the world. They develop world beaters; Luis Suarez, Christian Eriksen, Wesley Sneijder, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen in recent seasons, and of course the Golden Generation of the 80s and 90s. There's a number of very promising players coming through now, with the likes of de Ligt, Kluivert and van de Beek. This much talent has to lead to two different scenarios. 1, the prodigious talent developed at the club leads to success on a domestic and continental stage; 2, the talents outgrow the club and are sold for a large profit, which boosts the club's finances and allows greater investment in facilities or even players. Neither of these are being achieved at the level they should be."

Rijkaard was a member of the Golden Generation of Ajax that lifted the 1995 Champions League trophy and went unbeaten in the 1994/95 Eredivisie season, alongside hallowed names such as Patrick Kluivert, Clarence Seedorf and Frank De Boer. However, he has never managed the club, and until recently, was retired from football management altogether.

Ajax 'Not In Hurry' To Appoint Manager

With pre-season set to commence in three weeks, some Ajax fans have grown frustrated over the lack of news surrounding the vacant managerial position at the club.

Those fans will be further incensed by Ajax's latest announcement on the issue, with CEO Edwin van der Saar stating that the club was in no rush to find a replacement for Peter Bosz.

Pre-season for the Dutch giants is scheduled to begin on the 29th of June, with the first competitive fixture expected to come in late July when the club begins their Champions League campaign. With around three weeks until players return from their breaks, van der Saar insisted the proper recruitment process would be adhered to.

"We're not in any hurry to make an appointment nor is there any need to be. There's plenty of time to make an informed and intelligent decision as to who will be the next first team manager. In the mean time, Marc Overmars, our director of football, will oversee transfers and player movement.".

Frank De Boer remains favourite to take over the role, whilst Louis van Gaal, Frank Rijkaard and Danny Blind remain popular choices for the job.

Like Father, Like Son

Quality father-son combinations are hard to come by, with many 'sons-of' failing to reach the lofty heights of their talented dads.

Jordi Cruyff, son of Johan, and Diego Poyet, son of Gus, are two such examples of players who haven't come close to their father's exploits but one Ajax youngster who could potentially go past his famous dad's achievements is 18 year old winger Justin Kluivert, son of Patrick.

Kluivert came through the youth system of Ajax, like his father, and made his debut for Jong Ajax in September 2016. After a few months in the reserves, Justin was given his first opportunity for the senior squad, coming off the bench in a 3-1 win over PEC Zwolle in January 2017. He scored his first goal in March, and is expected to become a valuable first team player over the next couple of seasons.

Unlike his father, who was a tall, imposing striker, Justin Kluivert is most suited on a wing where he can utilise his agility, pace and diminutive frame to its fullest extent. The 18 year old will be hoping he can emulate Patrick's achievements at the club or even emulate his eventual move to Barcelona.

Serero Exits

Thulani Serero has been released by Ajax after the club elected not to renew his contract for the 2017/18 season.

The 27 year old never managed to truly realise his potential at Ajax and has been linked with a move to Vitesse after 6 seasons and 88 games at Johan Cruyff Arena.

Serero was one of the most talented players to come from Ajax's feeder side, Ajax Cape Town, but unfortunately never seized his opportunity despite the sale of Christian Eriksen in 2013 which could have opened up a position in Ajax's first XI.

Everton Swoop For Klaassen

Everton have secured the signing of Ajax's Davy Klaassen for an estimated fee of £27,000,000.

Klaassen has spent his entire professional career at Ajax prior to this move, casting doubts over his ability to adapt to the Premier League, and will have the added pressure of being one of the most expensive Dutch players in history.

The 24 year old was also Ajax's captain, replacing Niklas Moisander, and will hopefully add a lot to the squad at Goodison Park.

De Boer To Manage Palace

Crystal Palace have unveiled Frank De Boer as the club's new manager as they look to survive another season in the Premier League.

The Dutch manager, who lasted just 85 days in his last role at Internazionale, comes in as the permanent replacement for Sam Allardyce after his resignation at the end of the 2016/17 season.

Crystal Palace finished 14th last season despite spending large volumes of money on a number of signings including Andros Townsend, Patrick van Aanholt, James Tomkins and eventual top scorer Christian Benteke. De Boer, who is Palace's first continental manager since Italian Attilo Lombardo, has vowed to take a youthful approach to the side and will hope to replicate his success at Ajax, where he won four Eredivisie titles in a six-year spell.

Blind Favourite For Ajax Role

With the announcement of Frank de Boer as Crystal Palace manager, former Holland boss Danny Blind has become favourite to take over the role at Ajax.

Blind was spotted at the club's headquarters in Amsterdam and is the third confirmed candidate to be seen there, presumably for an interview, after Patrick Kluivert and Marco van Basten. However, Blind's reputation and standing in the game are thought to make him the leading candidate for the job vacated by Peter Bosz.

Other candidates yet to be spotted attending an interview including Frank Rijkaard, Louis van Gaal and Dennis Bergkamp.

Oostende Sign Zivkovic

Belgian outfit KV Oostende have announced the signing of Ajax forward Richairo Zivkovic for an undisclosed fee.

Once one of the most promising players in the Ajax youth system, Zivkovic was never able to capitalise on his large potential and has a chance to kickstart his career in Belgium.

Neither club disclosed the fee but it is thought to be around £3 million for the 20 year old. Zivkovic made just seven first team appearances for Ajax, despite playing very well for Jong Ajax and holding his own at Eredivisie club FC Utrecht on loan. Despite his age, Oostende are reportedly set to use him as their focal point and at just 20 he has plenty of time to turn his career around.
Plenty of movements involving Ajax, I wonder who will come in to replace this departing talent.

Pre-Season Begins At Ajax

Managerless Ajax have begun pre-season training today at Johan Cruyff Arena with less than two months until the start of the Eredivise season.

Players reported back to the club headquarters this morning, with training to be taken by the Ajax coaching staff including Aron Winter and John Heitinga.

Ajax's first friendly is scheduled against Werder Bremen on the 8th of July, just 9 days away, and the club staff will be hoping for a managerial appointment by then.

BREAKING: Ajax To Appoint Van Gaal

Reports coming out of Ajax have suggested that Louis van Gaal will be revealed as the next Ajax manager within the next hour.

The 66 year old was at the helm of the club in the mid-90s and is expected to make a long awaited return to Amsterdam after an illustrious management career including Barcelona, Manchester United and the Dutch national team.

Van Gaal was spotted at Ajax's headquarters this morning and just ten minutes ago the club announced they would reveal the new manager within the hour.

Early reactions to the reports are mixed, with some keen to welcome the club legend back whilst some pundits are calling it a step backwards.

More to come.

Official: Van Gaal Takes Over At Ajax

AFC Ajax have revealed their new manager, with club icon Louis van Gaal to take over the job one month after the departure of Peter Bosz.

The Dutch heavyweights left nothing to chance, with the interview period taking over four weeks and involving a number of highly experienced candidates including Danny Blind, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten. However, there's no more experienced name in management circles than Louis van Gaal.

Long-time Ajax fans will of course remember the 66 year old's tme at the club in the 1990s when he took the club's Golden Generation to the 1995 Champions League title. From there, the master tactician enjoyed success at Barcelona (two league titles), AZ Alkmaar (one league title), Bayern Munich (one league title), Manchester United (FA Cup) and the Dutch national team, where he achieved a third-placed finish in the 2014 World Cup. Van Gaal's CV speaks for itself, and the Ajax board should be rapt to have lured such a manager back to the club.

Van Gaal had previously announced his retirement from management earlier this season but relabelled it as a 'sabbatical', hinting towards a return to the game. He's now had a year out of the game since being sacked at Manchester United and Ajax will hope the year out of the game served him well.

With 20 years between stints at the club, Van Gaal will have his work cut out for him to readjust - it's also been eight years since he managed in the Dutch league. However, his familiarity with the culture and direction of the club should help him settle back into life at Johan Cruyff Arena.

Van Gaal takes over an underperforming Ajax side who, under Frank de Boer, experienced sustained success with 4 Eredivisie titles earlier in the decade. Last season, they lost to Manchester United in the Europa League final and with no silverware since 2014, LVG will be under pressure to deliver success to the Ajax faithful like he did back in the 90s.

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