CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Preview Ajax-Celtic
Ajax in need of more experience
Dutch correspondent Berend Scholten explains that not too much should be expected of a youthful AFC Ajax side, though all hope of progressing is not yet lost. AFC Ajax’s 2-1 defeat at Celtic FC on matchday three has led to some serious questions being asked at the Amsterdam ArenA.
Ajax are bottom of UEFA Champions League Group H and could be all but out of contention should they lose to Neil Lennon’s side on home soil on Wednesday. However, should they win themselves and FC Barcelona defeat AC Milan, the situation would suddenly look a great deal rosier for the Eredivisie title holders. Maybe, just maybe, ‘Overwinteren in Champions League’ – translated as ‘UEFA Champions League football after winter’ – is not yet out of the question after all.
The Dutch press, though, made a pertinent point after that loss in Glasgow. Though it is Celtic who are nicknamed the Bhoys, it is a moniker that could equally apply to Ajax. Indeed Frank de Boer’s starting lineup included two 19-year-olds (Viktor Fischer and Lucas Andersen) and, in total, ten of the starting XI were aged 24 or under. Only Christian Poulsen, 33, broke the mould.
Ajax are suffering a problem common to Dutch sides, who are often forced to cash in on their most talented players before they have had the chance to mature fully at their home clubs. Not since PSV Eindhoven in 2006/07 have an Eredivisie side been involved in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase.
De Boer described qualifying from the group stage as “possible with this squad”, but that was before the departure of Christian Eriksen for Tottenham Hotspur FC. It is a void that De Boer is yet to fill. However, there can be little doubt that playing in Europe’s premier club competition is teaching these young players some invaluable lessons … and fast.
For De Boer there was plenty of pride to be found from that defeat by Celtic: “If we play like that again in two weeks, then we will beat them in the Amsterdam ArenA. I really believe in that.” Transmitting that faith to the players could just be the key to victory on Wednesday and – who knows? – maybe even ‘Overwinteren in Champions League’.
Geplaatst op november 4, 2013, in Champions League, Seizoen 2013/2014 en getagd als ac milan, ajax, ajax amsterdam, ajax fans, ajax fc, ajax nl, ajax tv, ajax vrouwen, Ajax-filosofie, alderweireld, amateur, amateurvoetbal, amsterdam, amsterdam arena, andersen, Anouk Hoogendijk, arena, arena ajax, az, babel, Babiche Roof, barcelona, beker, beloften, bene league, bergkamp, best team, Blind, blog, boerrigter, bojan, bojan krkic, Bonevacia, brasil, brazil, c milan, camp nou, Carmen Manduapessy, celtic, champions, champions league, champions league group, christian poulsen, club, cocu, competitie, contract, cruijff, daley blind, dames, damesvoetbal, danny blind, Danny Hoesen, Daphne Koster, David Endt, de boer, de Sa, de wedstrijden, dennis bergkamp, Denswil, Desiree van Lunteren, Dijks, Donna van Rossum, draw, duarte, duels, dutch, dutch champions, Ed Engelkes, edouard duplan, edwin van der sar, ek kwalificatie, eredivisie, eredivisielive, erelid, eriksen, eufa, eufa europa league, europa, europa league, europe, excelsior, facebook, fútbol, fc, fc barcelona, fc eindhoven, fc oss, fc twente, fc utrecht, fc volendam, feyenoord, fifa, Fischer, fodbold, football, football club, fortuna sittard, fotbal, fourfourtwo, fox, fox eredivisie, fox sports, fox voetbal, foxtv, frank de boer, free, friendly, Fußball, futebol, Gerrie Mühren, go ahead eagles, godendochters, gratis, group stage, heerenveen, highlights, hoesen, holland, iMagazine, in memoriam, infographic, interland, jari litmanen, johan cruijf schaal, johan cruijff, johan cruijff schaal, jong ajax, jong oranje, jupiler league, kampioen, keeper, klaassen, klassieker, knvb, knvb beker, koploper, krant, kranten, krkic, kunstgras, Laura du Ry, lazic, Ligeon, Linda Bakker, lineup, lionel messi, live, live stream, louis van gaal, Lucas Andersen, Lukoki, Mandy Versteegt, marc overmars, marco van basten, Marieke Ubachs, middenveld, moisander, mvv, nederland, nederlands elftal, nederlands voetbal, Niklas Moisander, oefenwedstrijd, olympisch stadion, open dag, opstelling, oranje, Pascalle Tang, Petra Hogewoning, piłka nożna, poku, poulsen, Preview, psv, qualifier, rinus michels, rio de janeiro, roda jc, rtl, rtl7, Ruben Ligeon, ruud geels, ryan babel, Sabine Becx, samenvatting, sc heerenveen, schaal, schone, season, seizoen, Seizoen 2013/2014, seizoenen, selectie, Serero, siem de jong, Sigthorsson, sjaak swart, soccer, sports, stadion, stadium, statistieken, strafschoppen, stream, supercup, team, telesport, telstar, tenue, twitter, uefa, uefa champions league, uit shirt, uitshirt, van der Hart, van der sar, van der wiel, van hoesen, van praag, van Rhijn, Veltman, vermeer, Vesna Veltrop, vitesse, voetbal, voetbal international, volendam, vrouwen, vrouwenvoetbal, wartburgia, wedstrijd, wij zijn ajax, wim jonk, wim schoevaart, winst, winterstop, wk, wk kwalificatie, wordpress, world cup, youth league, youtube. Markeer de permalink als favoriet. Een reactie plaatsen.