Difficult Month for de Boar this month
What a interesting month for Ajax this month. Two players impressed and one continued to struggle. Jack Grealish & Hakim Ziyach
Ajax this month struggled to score but after the 0-0 draw with Fortuna Sittard, Frank de Boar changed his formation from a 4-2-3-1 to a 5-2-2-1. It worked with Ziyach netting half of the goals scored by Ajax this month.
The month started really well with a 3-1 victory in the De Klassieker derby. Quincy Promes
had the match of his life and hit the first of two goals with finesse from 25 yards out after a cracking through ball by man of the match Jack Grealish
. Three minutes later and Dusan Tadic
delivered a low fizzed cross for Donny van de Beek
to power home from around 8 yards out. If only van de Beek could do that more often! Quincy Promes
then finished of a crazy 9 minutes by scoring a placed shot from just outside the area. The pressing issue though was the fact that Ajax had 27 shots on goal
but only scored three.
Promes was excellent against Fayenoord
Ajax continued to struggle in the Champions League however as there trip to the EM Stadion Wals-Siezeheim was a fruitless visit as goals from Masaya Okugawa & Antoine Bernede
scored in either half to give the Austrians a 2-0 victory putting Ajax in last place in Group D. There is much to do for the Dutch side if they are going to progress, making the match against Young Boys an absolutely mahoosive
Masaya Okugawa was the reason Ajax lost to Salzburg
After the disappointment of the defeat in the Champions League, Ajax had a couple of very strange games where Ajax did not get beat but dropped points allowing PSV to make up ground. Ajax flew out of the blocks and Quincy Promes & Hussaine Bande
both went close early on but again this match would show that Ajax are struggling in front of goal. Reports that de Boar
is looking at signing Erling Haaland
does not surprise me. En-Nesyri
has struggled with goal returns since coming into Ajax. In the second half Willem shocked the leaders when Dankerlui scored a free kick that he won himself. Ajax were rattled so de Boar
threw on Grealish
. He terrorised the defence for half an hour when in the 6th minute of 5 minutes added on he was bought down in the box. The referee went to the monitor and a penalty was given. Hakim Ziyach
slashed the ball home to salvage a point for Ajax.
Then came there poorest performance of the season so far and for the first time this season, did not score a goal. Ajax needed to do something different as Fortuna are second from bottom but played as if they were top and Ajax were second from bottom. Again the performances of Ziyach & Grealish
were pleasing but both Tadic and En-Nasyri
shot blanks. With Young Boys coming up, this was extremely concerning.
It might have been a blessing in disguise that Ajax travelled to the Wankdorf
stadium in Switzerland to face Young Boys. A win for the home side and they make the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time. Ajax changed there formation to a 5-2-2-1 with two CM's, 2 inside forwards and one up front. This though was the match where Grealish and Ziyech
absolutely terrorised the home side and took the game by the scruff of the neck. Grealish hit the bar after 45 seconds, Ziyech hit the post after 7 minutes and in Slobadan Rajkovic returning from injury, he was a great partner for Veltman and Pierie. In the 15th minute Ajax got the goal they deserved. Tagliafico (also back from injury) stormed down the left, lofted the ball over to the slippery Grealish who laid it off to Ziyech to smash home from just outside the box.
Ziyech then scored the second just before half time by running through (literally through the defence did not move) the defence and rounded the keeper to make it 2-0. Young Boys got one back but it wasn't enough. It lifts Ajax into 2nd in the table and now a win against Liverpool will be enough to get into the knockout round.
Cool Ziyach after scoring the first of two goals in the crunch Champions League match against Young Boys
Ajax finished the month off with a 2-0 win against FC Twente. Goals from Ziyech (another Grealish won pen) and a towering Rajkovic header kept PSV at arm length. It is definitely going to be a interesting December.
There are 5 teams unbeaten in there last 5 games this month. Ajax (W3, D2), PSV (W5), VVV-Venlo (W4, D1), Heracles (W2, D3) and Willem II (W2, D3).
PSV have halved the deficit to Ajax as when Ajax dropped points by drawing, PSV won all of there matches this month. A big shout out to VVV who are doing an absolute brilliant job but just can not keep up with the top two in the league. Vitesse continue to struggle and are now already 6 points off safety.
PSV are right back in the competition now and a victory against Juventus would give them a chance of going through but it would then depend on Red Bull Leipzig defeating Atletico Madrid, which is not out of the question.
Ajax has a simple task. Beat Liverpool to guarantee a spot in the knockout phases. I do not think de Boar will look at anything else but knowing it is in there hands is a bonus. Can they beat the powerhouse that is Liverpool though?
Player Of The Month
Hakim Ziyach has scored 4 of the 8 Ajax goals, he is a constant threat alongside Jack Grealish but if it was not for him Ajax would not have the Champions League within there control. Easy decision.