Dutch Courage - Ajax Amsterdam
Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:50 PM
After recovering I never felt the same as a player, I had lost that burst of pace that once terrorised opponents, I was only 28 at the time. I was always told that my leadership qualities would help me in later years as a boss but it wasnt what I wanted to hear. I was released from my contract from Spurs my boyhood heroes as younger players had taken my spot and i was unable to get a look in. I was handed a free transfer to Marsielles where I found myself again, scored 17 goals from midfield in a blistering first season, this was the return I wanted at Spurs but i was so glad to have hit the ground running. The season ended on a high, but a new manager came in and didn't fancy me, he said he wanted to bring through some players from the youth squad and my wages were a problem. I had a move to Ajax where i became a hero once again. This was where i really began to realise my coaching instincts where i was helping and tutoring many of our young prospects. It was only once season yet again as that old knee injury began to cause me problems. It was the best of times in Amsterdam, injury forced me to think about retiring. I was offered a coaching spot on the team but i thought I had more years in me. A disastrous 6 months out in portugal and France and decided to hang my boots up once and for all....
Frank de Boer had been sacked as manager of Ajax just before season 2012/2013 and I was offered the job which I didnt hesitate to accept...
Arriving in Amsterdam once again was glorious. The weather was fine, I was greeted by chairman Hans Wiyers and Jeroen Slop the managing director at the airport. We were whisked to the training ground where we had our first meeting. They told me they wanted me to mount a challenge for the Dutch title, I told them I only intended on winning the league. We agreed on a budget of £1million. It was fair as the players we had I was satisfied with. I let them know I was more interested in bringing in young players around 20 and younger and improving them to build an absolute powerhouse in european football by 2015.
MY FIRST DAYS
I has my first press conference where I let everyone know that I has big plans for Ajax and that i wanted to rebuild the club from top to bottom and win the title again.
I spent some time talking to my assistant Hennie Spijkerman, who though a nice guy we didn't agree on a few things from the offset. I wasnt happy with the coaching crew as i knew they were very loyal to Frank de Boer, including his brother Ronald and also Dennis bergkamp who I had battled during some fierce London derbies. I thought it be best I bring in my own crew. gone they were. The first person i contacted was a good and trusty defensive specialist in Massimo Bonini from San Marino. I then decided I needed someone who knew the dutch league as i had been away for a while and approached Johan Cruyff to become my assistant and he said he would love to. I further bought in Bonaccorso, Talan and Tortelli to complete my initial coaching team.
Looking at my players I was fairly pleased. My budget was not astronomical so I decided to hold off from purchases. I had the likes of Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and captain Siem de Jong to build on but felt a bit naked with my full backs, thats the first thing I'll try to resolve.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:04 PM
Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:24 PM
We now have a solid backroom team with the additions of my trusty fitness coaches William Tillson and Paul Winsper who were out of contract. Unable to secure any of my original full back targets I have put a loan offer in for Tottenhams Adam Smith. I have been trailing AZ's Mattias Johansson who is a great looking prospect at 20 years old, we cannot seem to agree a fee, i have only 7M to spend and my bid of 3M has been refused, I'm going to go in at the same but with bonuses and add on and I have successfully managed to turn his head with my range of compliments to the press.
We've had a series of friendly matches where I have left Cruyff in charge. We managed to beat Real Madrid 2-1 with a brace from Sigborsson. We also defeated Santander 1-0 but got well beaten 2-0 by Stade Rennais. I've got a couple of young Swedish attacking midfielders I'm scouting at the moment in Thomas Drage and Oskar Hiljemark, if i can bag the pair for under 2M I'd be delighted though we are pretty loaded with attacking midfielders at the moment. I've also just had a cheeky loan offer for Jermaine Jenas accepted just in case we cant get anyone in cheap as a sitting midfielder. I'm trying this approach of loaning older players or getting older players in on free transfers and only paying for young players who I can build up with the assistance of my coaching setup. i have signed polish left back Sebastian Boernisch on a free and he is slotting in as first choice left back.
i am pondering on whether or not to appoint a head of youth development as this is new to me, I'm wondering whether it makes any difference on what nationality he is as all the perfect candidates are non-Dutch and I'm trying to get in a good chief scout of Dutch origin to acquire a good bunch of kids come end of season.
On a good last note I have just had one of my junior prospects turn pro, a defensive midfielder who looks absolute dynamite at only 17 by the name of Branco van den Boomen.
Branco van den Boomen_ Overview Profile-2.png 637.43KB 25 downloads
Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:40 PM
Follow me on Twitter - @danwright1999
Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:46 PM
Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:24 PM
Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:28 PM
Man, that is a tasty name, isn't it?
Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:33 PM
Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:37 PM
We've just played the Dutch Super Cup today, with a win over PSV with a stunning debut goal from new loan signing Jermaine Jenas. It was a great debut from the boy. Also we managed to sign young Swede Oskar Hiljemark for 2.8M who appeared as a sub. We didn't play the type of football i'd have liked us to play, we played very attacking but didn't stroke the ball around that much but overall a good victory in my first competitive match so I'm very happy.
PSV Eindhoven 0-2 AFC Ajax (Bouma o.g. 30, Jenas 79)
Man of The Match - Niklas Moisander.
The only sour note is we had knocks to Erikson and Sigborsson and worst of all Miralem Sulejmani will be out for 5 months. This means we will have to utilize South African Thulani Serero in that right attacking position and if he gets a knock it will mean a premature introduction for Denmark U21 star Lucas Andersen (who was always a target in older fm games) sooner than we need to.
Cheers for the nice comments guys. I am expecting great regen prospects through the youth system but I'm very excited about the challenge of blooding them early and creating a constant conveyor belt of talent. my aim is to keep my books clean, and run the club very clean rather than spend spend spend like i have in the past. I've never done any sort of blog before so its been an enjoyable start and I'm going to check out your blogs too. Thanks.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:38 PM
Man of the Match - Sebastian Boernisch
Our first league match. Started the same team as against PSV but with Serero in for Sulejmani. I played my usual tactics with high pressing and short passing. Eriksen and Babel looked very dangerous, Babel hitting the woodwork twice. Eriksen hit the bar with a long range effort. We struggled to break them down. As the game wore on a draw looked inevitable until I bought on de Jong late just to keep things fresh. Eriksen was bought down in the box. De Jong slotted the penalty home.
After two competitive matches I'm really thinking i need a right winger. I've managed to bring in another young anchorman from Norway for 250K in Stefan Strandberg whom I'll groom over the season.
I'm really wanting to win this league in style, lets see how things pan out.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:59 PM
NEC 0 - 2 AFC AJAX (Babel 20,24)
Man of the match - Babel
This was the performance I'd been waiting for. We played very well today. Babel scoring two scorchers, both pretty identical cutting in from the inside left position and letting fly from the edge of the area. Our passing has improved which was pleasing to see. Gave Strandberg a debut too. Watching the game I was extremely impressed with Sigborssons link-up play. As he was our lone man up from he insisted on dropping deep but his hold up play was exceptional, I'm seeing a great relationship on the field building between him and Eriksen.
Were needing some funds as I want to out more of a stamp on this team. Looking at the player values I thought it a good idea to put young Dane Lasse Schone on the list and within days Liverpool has won a 12 team battle to sign him for 6M. In anticipation of this deal I requested from our board than they give me 100% of future transfer fees which they agreed to. We've been trailing young Serb U21 internaational Darko Lazovic for weeks now but am running out of patience to up a bid of 3.5M. i'm going to amble to 4M to hopefully push through a deal. One good thing with this Dutch league, because it kicks off so early you are given plenty of time to evaluate your squad through competitive games before the transfer window closes.
Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:03 AM
Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:59 AM
Adam Smith came knocking on my door asking me to terminate his loan contract as he had not played, I thought to myself were only a few games in so i told him I pick the team so tough. He took it well to his credit but he got his sub feature in the next game as or regular RB was exhausting himself up and down that flank.
Sat 18 August
AFC AJAX 3 - 1 RODA JC (Sigborsson 11, Eriksen 46, Ebecilio 90+1)
Man of the Match - Ryan Babel
This was a great first half performance from the boys. 2-0 up, they pulled one back. They decided to throw everything at us with 10 mins left. To be honest we lost our focus for the last quarter and began to get a bit sloppy. I thought it was gonna be one of those out of the blue equalizers coming when you've taken off your key men to rest them and bought on a few of the younger players but we went defensive for the last 5, played them on the counter attack and the boy Ebecilio made a buccaneering off the ball run in the during the final moments and finished off a fine move at the death. As mentioned before I only found him by fluke, when evaluating my reserve side pre-season i must have totally overlooked him. It was only a couple of days before the match we had a loan offer on the boy and i thought hang on I think i'll make use of him thank you.
Sun 26 August
PSV EINDHOVEN 0 - 3 AFC AJAX (Babel pen 7, Sigborsson 37, Moisander 64)
Man of the Match - Moisander
Half of this game had been played out in the press for the whole week. Myself and PSV boss Dick Advocaat had an absolute war of words. I put everything on the line pre-match insisting we will severely dent their title hopes on the day. We hit the ground running from the first whistle, crowded out Strootman and van Bommel and put them to the sword. It was a great pressing team performance, they failed to live with our energy. The boys did very well. Eriksen played a blinder but it was Moisander who took man of the match for a colossal gama in defence.
We're sitting proud at the top of the league, I'm struggling to upload screens and images into my blog as I've never done this before but I'll try and make it a bit more interesting to look at. This is a great way to stay doing your game rather than quitting half way through a season as you know you've got people following your progress. Lot of fun, certainly cheered up my flu-ridden week.
Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:06 AM
The fans are very happy with the way things are going. We've hit £7M profit for the month, mainly in prize money for the Champions League in which I've been drawn in with AC Milan, Malaga and Dynamo Kyiv. Squad harmony is good so I'm pleased with the start.
Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:33 PM
AFC AJAX 0-0 AZ
This was a dour draw, neither team able to break the other down. They couldn't even get much for TV highlights.
After the game Cristian Eriksen asked for a meeting regarding his contract, he was only 2K a week and the thought of a Tottenham in particular who in this game are trying to buy everyone on good form and Barcelona whom I'm aware he'd like to play for at some point cpming in for him frightens me I offered him 20K a week. He happily signed just in time for our Champions League fixture with Dyanamo Kiev.
Wed 19 Sept
AFC AJAX 3-1 DYNAMO KIEV (Eriksen 39, Evans 45+1, 65)
Man of the Match - Jonny Evans
The game started quite well. Our full backs seemed to be pretty error prone and nervous. the game was very sticky in midfield until the bubbling Eriksen went on a great run throught the centre and finished superbly to celebrate his new contract. A bit more pressure end of the first half and Jonny Evans was the most alive after a goalmouth scramble to make it 2-0 going into half time. I've been very complimentary to Ryan Babel over the past few weeks and he had performed very complaicent in this match, very in and out much like his Liverpool days. Ebecilio on the other flank has gone quite as well, since we've signed Enzo Perez he's gone abit within himself though he played the full 90 against AZ. Perez indeed made a late cameo along with de Jong and Fischer who has been showing much hunger in the reserves. The midfield is looking much better now I have dropped Jenas for Hiljemark alongside Poulsen. Jonny Evans came up for a corner during the second half and scored another so things are looking well. The loanees are settling in, my new young signings are doing well to. 3 points in what will be a difficult Champions League group so picking up points against Kiev and Malaga are key.
Just been asked to give my opinion on Steve McLaren for our upcoming fixture, he has a poor opinion of me so i have a poor opinion of his accent. I think he was upset that in my initial press conference I made a remark about whether I'd follow McLaren and Joey Barton down the toad of adopting different accents. I though goof old Steve would have had a better sense of humour.
Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:52 PM
Man United <3
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