Ajax Formation

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-- Anonymous, October 24, 1999



-- Anonymous, December 18, 2002

A 'team news' report just appeared on Ajax.nl, in which coach Ronald Koeman prtty much reveals tonight's line-up.

Let's start with the most important things: Cristian Chivu and Jari Litmanen are fit and ready to play. In fact, this is what Koeman said about Litmanen: "The trouble he had, is now gone. Jari is fitter than he was when he left for those Finland games." (Litmanen played two full games for Finland last week).

Koeman did not announce whether Litmanen will be in the team tonight. He did announce, however, that Cris Chivu will play. The b#llsh#t stories about surgery for the Ajax captain can now stop, thank you very much.

There is defensive trouble though, especially at left back. John O'Brien's injury is more serious than it seemed. He is not ready yet. The American said that the Inter game (12 Nov) is his goal. His possible replacements on the left back position are not in mint condition, either. Maxwell's injury will keep him sidelined for at least a few more weeks and Jelle Van Damme is a so- called "question mark" for Koeman. He was seriously hit against the knee in training and there is a chance that he can't play. In that case, there is no left back. Koeman's comment: "Well, I suppose Ruud Krol will have to play at his old spot then...". Seriously: if Van Damme can not play, André Bergdĝlmo will move to the left.

Because Van Damme is not sure to be fit, Koeman has added Young Ajax' Stefano Seedorf to the squad for the AZ game.

Also fit: ourrecently out-of-form wingers Victor Sikora and Andy van der Meyde. Koeman: "They have trained on Saturday, when the rest of the group had the day off. They're better now than they were."

Finally, the coach announced that Mido will be the central forward against AZ, because the coach wants to give Zlatan a game's rest after his "knock-out" blow on the head while playing for Sweden. Koeman wants Zlatan to be fit for Tuesday's Rosenborg game.

Alright - so let's try to compose the starting line-up... I think Koeman will go for a 4-3-3, like he always does in Eredivisie home games. Let's count Van Damme out and assume that Litmanen will play (if he doesn't it's gonna be Pienaar, obviously).

Stekelenburg; Trabelsi, Chivu, Yakubu (possibly Van Damme), Bergdĝlmo; Galásek, Litmanen (possibly Pienaar), Witschge; Van der Meyde, Mido, Sikora.

This must be it.

-- Anonymous, October 19, 2002

A 'team news' report just appeared on Ajax.nl, in which coach Ronald Koeman prtty much reveals tonight's line-up.

Let's start with the most important things: Cristian Chivu and Jari Litmanen are fit and ready to play. In fact, this is what Koeman said about Litmanen: "The trouble he had, is now gone. Jari is fitter than he was when he left for those Finland games." (Litmanen played two full games for Finland last week).

Koeman did not announce whether Litmanen will be in the team tonight. He did announce, however, that Cris Chivu will play. The b#llsh#t stories about surgery for the Ajax captain can now stop, thank you very much.

There is defensive trouble though, especially at left back. John O'Brien's injury is more serious than it seemed. He is not ready yet. The American said that the Inter game (12 Nov) is his goal. His possible replacements on the left back position are not in mint condition, either. Maxwell's injury will keep him sidelined for at least a few more weeks and Jelle Van Damme is a so- called "question mark" for Koeman. He was seriously hit against the knee in training and there is a chance that he can't play. In that case, there is no left back. Koeman's comment: "Well, I suppose Ruud Krol will have to play at his old spot then...". Seriously: if Van Damme can not play, André Bergdĝlmo will move to the left.

Because Van Damme is not sure to be fit, Koeman has added Young Ajax' Stefano Seedorf to the squad for the AZ game.

Also fit: ourrecently out-of-form wingers Victor Sikora and . Koeman: "They have trained on Saturday, when the rest of the group had the day off. They're better now than they were."

Finally, the coach announced that Mido will be the central forward against AZ, because the coach wants to give Zlatan a game's rest after his "knock-out" blow on the head while playing for Sweden. Koeman wants Zlatan to be fit for Tuesday's Rosenborg game.

Alright - so let's try to compose the starting line-up... I think Koeman will go for a 4-3-3, like he always does in Eredivisie home games. Let's count Van Damme out and assume that Litmanen will play (if he doesn't it's gonna be Pienaar, obviously).

Stekelenburg; Trabelsi, Chivu, Yakubu (possibly Van Damme), Bergdĝlmo; Galásek, Litmanen (possibly Pienaar), Witschge; Van der Meyde, Mido, Sikora.

This must be it.

-- Anonymous, October 19, 2002

Zlatan is in a great shape right now and Mido is not.But still Mido gets some time to play and prove that he can offer some things.Maybe it's his chance to prove that HE has to be in the starting 11.He just has to be effective.

I think that Mido should be happy with the fact that Koeman gives him 20-30 minutes of play in many games,even though he isn't performing well.Cause i haven't seen our "third" striker play more than 5 minutes for at least 4 months now...

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2002

Well said, Alistair. Thumbs up!

You're right: Van der Meyde and Sikora stayed in Amsterdam for the feyenoord game. Andy van der Meyde reported sick that morning (flu). Sikora and Maxwell were injured.

Also: I'd like to point out that the starting line-up is not the only thing that counts. It's not as simple as "Zlatan's playing" and "Mido isn't". Against feyenoord, Zlatan played 72 minutes and Mido 28. Against NAC, Zlatan played the full 90, Mido almost a full hour. It's not that one is the man - and the other isn't.

But who will explain that to the lunatics living in the Mido and Zlatan threads...?

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2002

I cannot understand certain comments about Koeman's decisions (apart from the Rosenborg game in which the approach I agree was wrong).

First of all he has not dumped Sikora and Van der Meyde. They were injured or ill for the game against Feyenoord; but obviously they are the first choice wingers for Koeman as he has stated repeatedly and acted accordingly in many matches.

As for Mido and Ibrahimovic, the latter is performing better at this time; therefore it is logical and right that Koeman starts with Ibrahimovic. Against Feyenoord he didn't score but was very good in assisting his team mates and defending the ball. This means that gradually he is improving his 'other' skills as a forward. Definitely at the moment he should play not Mido. Having said this I would like to see Mido play for 20 / 30 mins each game to see how he is developing as well. There are no coach preferences here. The solution is very simple. Since only one of them should play in this formation, then go for the most in form who right now is the Swede.

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2002

Couldn't really decide in which thread to post this. It's about the whole Ajax team in general, so I figured the 'Ajax Formation' thread was okay... :-)

So, two weeks coming up without an Ajax game. The first game is Ajax vs AZ on 19 October. This is a good thing. Not only because the fine result against feyenoord will now be on the Ajax USA homepage for two weeks, but also because the team can use a few weeks to recover from the heavy schedule we've had in the past two months.

I'm not even talking about physical rest. Some guys can use that (Chivu and Litmanen, mainly), but they'll be playing for Romania and Finland next weekend. But then again: no midweek games for them in the next two weeks, which is good.

More important is the mental rest. The past few weeks have been tough, with three Champions League games, the usual Eredivisie games, plus one Classic. All in all, we have done very well. Ajax is growing as a team. Yesterday's game was their best of the season. The only real disappointment (to me, anyway) was the draw in Norway, against an opponent that should easily have been beaten.

But there's hardly been time to reflect, or to let the Champions League situation really sink in. This next two weeks will give the guys a chance to get away from Ajax for a few days (to play with their national teams), to take some time off and to - kind of - come to terms with everything. They will return (hopefully injury-free) with fresh minds, ready to get going again against AZ and to qualify for the next round of the Champions League.

The two 'Ajax-free' weeks ahead feel like a short winter break type thing. I enter it with a very positive feeling.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2002

Any idea about what system will Ajax play in the first game in the CL,and which players will start?Just make some predictions.

Thanx in advance...

-- Anonymous, September 15, 2002

Koeman's recent decisions gave Ajax some victories so i suggest we should give the guy a credit...getting 3 points away at Arnhem is not that easy! I agree with you that we should not play "defensive football" but playing the 4-4-2 system suits Mido and Zlatan well. We can use the 4-3-3 anytime cos it is Ajax's style while playing the 4- 4-2 can bring surprises to our rivals and its a good thing that we can play both systems well! the current Ajax squad is really that good for they know how to play different tactics and even shifting from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 and beat their opponent in the game.

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

I hope Koeman is not losing it, and by not playing Van Der Meyde from the start of every match makes me wonder what is he thinking? I am referring to the League game against Vitesse.

Andy is certainly one of the top players in the team, and to have him ride the bench is stupid. I hope he (Koeman that is) does not coach scared, and plays a so-called defensive side, especially in the European games.

Does anyone have any insight to this?



-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

1. Home: 4-3-3, 4-4-2 Away: 4-3-3, 4-4-2 2a. Counter Attacking: No 2b. Attacking: Patient 2c. Defence: Pressing 2d. Focus: Attack 2e. Passing: Short 2f. Distribution: Wing 3. Cristian Chivu 4. Van der Vaart and Chivu 5. uhm... Van der Meyde and Maxwell I think? 6. Andre Bergdolmo 7. none

-- Anonymous, August 12, 2002

hey folks: I've been contacted by a video game company, looking for some specific info about Ajax for an upcoming game they are creating. Anyone care to have a crack at answering the following survey?

1. What is Ajax' current formations (4-4-2, 3-4-4 etc) when playing at home and away? If using more than one, list multiples, in order of prevalence (e.g. Home: 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-5-2; Away: 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-5- 2 etc).

2. How would you define the club's tactics from the following list: 2a. Counter Attacking: Yes/No 2b. Attacking: Patient/Mixed/Direct 2c. Defence: Deep/Normal/Pressing 2d. Focus: Defence/Normal/Attack 2e. Passing: Short/Mixed/Long 2f. Distribution: Central/Mixed/Wing

3. Who is the current team captain? 4. Who is the current free-kick taker(s)? 5. Who is the current corner takers (right and left)? 6. Who is the current penalty taker(s)? 7. Who is the current long throw specialist, if any?

It should actually be quite fun to see the comparative results coming in... :-)

-- Anonymous, August 12, 2002

The Ajax defence really sucked in the first 45 last night. Chivu and Bergdölmo had absolutely no controll, and Saviola and Kluivert could do whatever they wanted. It kind of looked like Chivu was feeling that he was already one of the greatest defenders in the world, as he was a bit too nonchalant. His first half was not impressive.

The second half was better, but it was not Chivu or Bergdölmo who was Ajax' best defender tonight. Trabelsi solved the situations excellently and saved the other player's asses several times. He looked really good last night.

The defence must be quite a lot better if Ajax is surposed to get really far in the CL.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2002

How great it will be for Koeman to have the luxary of 3 top strikers to pick from. However, the old Ajax philosphy and Dutch total football means that the goals should and donot just come from the number 9. The largest input should of course come from this player, but he must also be judged by his overall contribution by bringing other players into the game, making space for people to come through from midfield and defending from the front. All the great teams of old started defending by the striker putting pressure on the opponents back four. This will be of particular importance in the CL campaign.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2002

Hey folks, our honourable webmaster has created the new Ajax USA Players page! Check out the full roster, including jersey number and personal data of each player. Starting today, you can reach the new players page by clicking the 'PLAYERS' link on the Ajax USA homepage. If you want to check out last year's squad: there's a link to last year's players page at the bottom of the new one.

Note, by the way, that this is the squad coach Ronald Koeman is working with right now, at this point in pre-season. HE keeps repeating that he wants to bring the number of players down to 22. Right now there's 27 of them, after Ikedia's departure to FC Groningen. Which means, up to five players will drop out of the squad before season's kick-off.

Tim de Cler and Cedric van der Gun were left behind in Amsterdam during the U.K. tour, so they're almost certainly screwed. A third candidate is Aron Winter (good, cos he's old). Also, I fear (cos I think he's great) that Koeman will dump Yakubu (he should get rid of Van Halst instead, but he won't). And what about Wamberto, now no less than two new left wingers have been signed?

The future will tell...

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2002

In my opinion, Ajax should play in the 4-4-2 / 4-2-4 formation.

1. Lobont

2. Trabelsi 4. Chivu 5. Heitinga 3. O Brien

7. Van d Meyde 6. Seedorf 8. Van d Vaart 11. Sikora

9. Zlatan 10. Mido

What do you think ?

-- Anonymous, July 26, 2002

Well interesting formation or not it was very effective, especially in the first half. However there appears to be a divergence of views on the formation. I thought we were playing a 4-4-2 (but I could easily be wrong as I was watching through an alcoholic haze), Menno described it as a 5-3-2 and the report on www.footballnl.com described it as a 3-3-2-2. No wonder Celtic were confused. The 3-3-2-2 apparently is the formation which will be favoured by Koeman for the CL games.

-- Anonymous, July 25, 2002

I wonder what formation Koeman will play tonight. As against Celtic last year we fell apart with a 4-3-3. Will he revert to 4-4-2 which served him well last year and one that he may well adopt for European games?

-- Anonymous, July 24, 2002

Confused from Bocking Writes:

(1)I thought Seedorf had been added to the first team squad - if so what has happened to his squad number ?

(2)What role is Winter supposed to play in the upcoming campaign ?. I was always a big fan of his but surely he is past his best by now. He certainly didnot seem to be the type of player we need from the home game versus Sparta last year. Maybe we will be looking at a midfield of Witschge, Van Haalst, and Winter next season - one that will certainly strike fear into the Ajax fans !!!!

(3) Interesting that Zlatan has kept his number 9 - can we read anything into this or was it that the club shop still has a large stock of number 9 Zlatan shirts?

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002

I agree 100% with Menno. To lose Zlatan is a damn shame. It should not be allowed to happen. To lose Yakubu , keep van Halst instead, and then pencil him in right mid-field? The breezes blowing the herbal essence of the local RLD Coffeeshops must be stalling over the ArenA area again.Van Halst anywhere but on the inside of a 4-4-2 midfield is a liability.He is bulldog tough but bull@#$% skilled. Landzaat showed me he can play defense when I saw him in the Netherland's team vs. the USA. Landzaat also scored 16 times this season. Yes, 10 were from the spot.But,putting the biscuit in the basket is important if you wish to do anything in any league;especially in the CL.And, as I said, he can defend. Heck, I think he may also have CL experience; playing CL matches several years ago with coach Adriaanse's Willem II side if I am not mistaken.

Yakubu may not have the offensive skills of Denny Landzaat. But, he is a versatile player who can play on the backline or in midfield. He is also about 8 years or so younger than Jan van Halst. I am in no way bashing van Halst.I like his tenacity and heart. But, there are more talented athletes who should fill the slot which the AT5 report says is allocated to him.

If AT5 is correct, Victor Sikora will be signed. If Ajax don't feel he is a better left-wing than Wamberto ,they should :a.) find someone who is and who would be worth the $$ being discussed or b.)pay him and start him.

Also, signing a left-wing speaks to a 4-3-3 more than a 4-4-2. jan van Halst, I feel, is not well suited to this formation. I would rather see Stefano Seedorf or even Stephen Pienaar in the right midfield in such a set-up; if the Denny Landzaat deal is deader than Belgian or Costa Rican hopes for WC glory.

I do like the inclusion of Nando Rafael as one of the strikers. In my honest opinion, I would prefer to see Nikos move on than Zlatan. Personal preference . I think Zlatan has more skills and the goal scoring will come with time.Losing him after just one year has me, like the Swedish football authorities, wondering what the *^$#!!

Just a few observations.

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2002

A very remarkable report on AT5 Text this evening...

According to the Amsterdam news network, Ronald Koeman's plans and views for next season's Ajax-1 selection and starting line-up have "leaked out" of the ArenA. AT5 states explicitly that this is "not official yet" and they do not name a source. But they seem to be pretty sure, I must say.

Here goes... This is the starting line-up Koeman has in mind for next season: Lobont; Trabelsi, Chivu, Bergdĝlmo, O'Brien; Van Halst, Van der Vaart, Maxwell; Van der Meyde, Mido, Wamberto.

Koeman wants to have at least one replacement for each position. Here's the substitutes, the rest of the Ajax-1 squad:

GOALKEEPERS: Didulica, Stekelenburg. DEFENDERS: Heitinga, Pasanen, Van Damme, De Cler. MIDFIELD: Galásek, Pienaar, Witschge. FORWARDS: Machlas, Rafaël, Sikora.

Finally, the following players will be put on the transfer list and can go: Knopper, Zlatan, Ikedia, Yakubu, Van der Gun, Cruz and Vierklau.


My comments: first of all, I don't know whether I should believe this. I'm not too sure, I must say.

But let's assume AT5's source is reliable and that this information is correct. In that case, there's a few things I don't understand: first of all, why on earth would you buy Victor Sikora (not cheap!) just to put him on the bench?

Secondly, why the f#ck would any coach in the world keep De Cler and Pasanen, but dump Yakubu, who is in my opinion a great talent. I think he ought to be in the team anyway, instead of Jan van Halst.

I think Ajax is absolutely right to give up on Knopper. He just doesn't 'have it' anymore. Vierklau and Van der Gun have been injured all season. It's time to take a decision about their future and I can understand that Ajax's patience in running out. Same goes, in a way, for Daniël Cruz (although you can hardly blame him for recovering slowly after he'd broken his ankle...). But I really don't agree on selling Zlatan and Yakubu. A damn' shame, I say, especially Yakubu. Why choosing for Van Halst (who's over 30) and dumping Yakubu?? Think about he future (the near future, in this case!). Yakubu is a far better footballer than Van Halst!

Why is Sikora in the squad, and not Denny Landzaat? Is that transfer off or something?

Questions, questions...

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2002

LOL...Pretty interesting story Bill...You see,even in a 4-4-2,the strikers depend on the wingers(or we should say,midfielders that turn into wingers)...Not only in a 4-3-3...But the diference is that in a 4-4-2,the strikers have someone close to them and they can create things together.Especially if those strikers are of the level of Mido and Nikos.You see,the point of having two strikers together in the same system,is having two players with a completely different style of play,but being able to cooperate and create constant danger together.Having two strikers of the same kind,has little chances to work.In our case Mido and Machlas can become the pair that i am talking about(if they aren't already).We all know the strong points of each one...For example,we can look at Mido's absolutely beautiful goal against Utrecht.We can see,that while Mido had the ball(and O'Brien that kicked ass some seconds before),Machlas was moving like crazy,to find the best position inside the box.He was always one step ahead of the defender.And that's what he always do.Well,this time Mido decided to make a fool of the defender and not pass,but use his skills in dribbling.So he offered us a fantastic goal.But generally,when Mido has the ball,and Machlas starts to move around the defenders,we can see the fear in the defenders' eyes.Cause they don't know what to do.Being close to Mido that can dribble among them anytime,or being close to Nikos,that can receive the ball and score leaving them wondering how the hell he was there again??? (Hehehehe)...I believe u got my point... :-)

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2002

Many moons ago, Crystal Palace had a deadly striking duo called Wright and Bright who really were very goal hungry. To satisfy their hunger they used to offer inducements to the 2 wingers to provide goal scoring opportunities ie designer range suits, shirts, shoes etc etc. Having watched the dreadful crossing yesterday, maybe Mido and Machlas should implement this system as it certainly seemed to work at The Palace as John Salako, aka Salad Bowl, certainly ended up the snappiest dresser and Wright & Bright ended very high up the goalscoring charts. Do not think they patented this system so over to you Mido & Nikos.

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2002

Yeah Rich i agree...the important thing is winning.And when this result comes with goals from Nikos,it's even better(for some people)... :-D

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2002

Great to have this site working properly again. I thought it was my computer. Anyway, I know the formation is an important topic for us all, but I think the players should be able to adapt to any changes of system that is needed. This goes for all teams and all professional players for that matter. Of course when the team wins it (almost) always looks like a success, but the worst thing anyone can do is pigeon-hole any player into a certain role. However, there are exceptions to the rule.

For Ajax I always want to see an attacking, exciting team that wins so if its a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 it means little.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2002

LOL...Well,i must admit that i shut my mouth BIG TIME for Mido! Because i-like 99% of Ajax fans-thought Mido was the THIRD striker of the team.But he proved we were all idiots. :-) Now about Nikos,well u can say i always believed in him,even in the hard times,without claiming he is something more than he really is... :-) And i must say that he didn't make me sound like an idiot(with his very very crucial goals this season)... PS:Mr.Koeman PLEASE stick to the 4-4-2 system.I'M BEGGING YOU!!!! Thanx...;-)

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2002

Though I suspect that you, Geo, are not one of them. ;-)

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2002

3-0!It was about time!Taken from Ajaxmania.com:"With only two strikers, Mido and Machlas and four midfielders there seemed to be a balance in Ronald Koeman's team. "...Really???Imagine that!Nobody could tell that a 4-4-2 system is great for the the team,if we think about the players available and their skills(sarcasm :-D).Well,at least some people understood that,even NOW.Better late than ever...You can say that i always talk about the midfield and offence,and never for the defence.Believe it or not,i think that good defence,is mostly a MIDFIELD issue.If the middle line is weak,then the defence can do little about it.Maybe someone agrees with me in this one.And i don't think that our defenders are not skilled.About midfield.Many great offensive midfielders.They should defend and press more though.Offence.The system with two strikers,is great for Machlas AND Mido.If they play more games together,many people will finally shut their mouths about Ajax's strikers.

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2002

If Chivu leaves Ajax, the coach has quite some thinking to do about the defense. As for the midfield and attack we have a nice pack of talent for next season, especially if we manage to get Sikora and Hoogstrate or Landzaat.

For the defense I would go for a couple of promising Dutch defenders such as Ruud Knol, or Mendes da Silva. Heitinga will be part of the squad as well as Trabelsi, but we must find a replacement for Chivu and eventually for Bergdolmo. Bringing on Dutch players will increase the Dutch contingent in the Ajax squad which is always a welcome move, because lately we are having very few Dutch players in the team.

Look at PSV. They acquired Van Nistelrooy, Robben and now are trying for Hoogstrate. Why are Ajax not trying for such Dutch stars ?

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2002

I personally thought Zlatan did OK last night, but appeared to be afraid to try anything different in case he messed-up and got the crowd on his back. Thought that he has cured the early season problem of under-hitting balls to his colleagues, with a very high percentage of passes being completed last night.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Rudy Having seen Notts County play in all 3 "lower" divisions over the last 40 years, you have my admiration for supporting such a team. How long you will be able to do so is a great concern of mine at the present time due to the extremely poor finances of both of the Nottingham clubs. It would be a shame for a grand old club to either merge or go completely. If you want heartache than look no further than being a Crystal Palace season ticket holder and watching one of your sons fighting back the tears on what seemed to be their last game in existence.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Have not seen last night's gqme cuz most of the sport channels accessable here in egypt we showing either a local league game or the barcelona-panathinaikos game. Great to see 2 more goals bagged in by mido and another 2 by machlas. Koeman deserves alot of credit for his substitutions but most of my credits go to Geo for his desperate plea of playing mido and machlas together upfront.... it actually worked! 4 more games... not including the amstel cup semi-finals.... what a great season this would be to bag in the 2 main trophies together!

ps: curious to know why zlatan was pulled out so early. please advise.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Bill Bryden wrote:

"I have been supporting/following the club there has been far more lows than highs"

Pahhh! My "other" team is Notts County (relegation candidates in the English 2nd Division this season). If you want "more lows than highs" try that for thrills (in the top 3 English teams for most relegated and promoted ever)! Ajax is my security blanket for watching decent / successful football.


Come on AJAX just DO IT!!!

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

Supporting/following Ajax is all about the highs and lows, and in the time I have been supporting/following the club there has been far more lows than highs. Rome was not built in a day, and nor were great Ajax's teams. Everybody must keep the faith. I think everybody realises that this team is not yet the finished article, but that they are not that far away from becoming one. With the players coming through I believe that Ajax will be a major power in the years to come. I also believe that allied to this, Ajax are well positioned to take advantage of the financial mess which is looming in European football when the television companies realise that they can get a better return on their money than continually sinking umpteen millions into what is becoming a saturated market. The future is bright, the future is AJAX !!!!!

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

REALLY sorry for the long post.I had A LOT to say :-)

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

All opinions accepted guys.I am a Greek,and naturally i like Democracy...If you tolerated my MANY offending and overreacting posts,then i'm sure i can handle some posts that state a different opinion...I like seeing different opinions...Now let's start...Anyone that has played football,knows that 34 goals in a season are NEVER lucky...You need skills to do this...Next season,he scored 18,which is not bad either.In Ajax he isn't scoring that much,i know that,but he is always among the top scorers of the club,and-cmon we all know that-he doesn't play much(check his stats to see how many FULL games he played in these 3 years,and how many goals he scored)...As u know,if a team isn't that strong,the strikers can't score...They are not Supermen...This year that Ajax has the best team in Holland,since the players got rid of the asshole(Adriaanse),Nikos started scoring like crazy,and offered crucial points(without those points the situation would be different,and we all know that)...Furhter more,everyone knows that the 4-3-3 system doesn't fit Nikos.To anyone i've ever talked,they say he is great in a 4-4-2,cuz he needs another SMART attacker next to him...He is slow WITH the ball i know that.But he is fast,and very smart in his movement without it.He is very strong in the air.He has GREAT passing(rare to find in a striker),anyone that knows about football can see how smart he is in this.He doesn't dribble,BUT he doesn't lose the ball easily either...What i find in him???Hmmmmmm...Maybe u can say i like him because i am Greek...Who knows???The problem is that i know MANY non Greeks that like him too...Like some English Journalists wrote last year,Machlas is a "fox-in-the-box"(this phrase fits him PERFECTLY),and that the coach must know how to use him...Anyway,our point isn't Machlas here,but we are making a discussion about how Ajax could be more effective(without pretending we are coaches of course)...And my opinion is that in a 4-4-2 system with Machlas and Mido,we would score A LOT(u can't say this won't work,cuz we never try it.Of course this doesn't mean it will work out.But because we all know how the one of our two strikers perform in this system,i thought it was good to suggest this) and have more powerfull midfield...Just my opinion...Anyway,losing tommorow is suicide,no matter the system or the players that are chosen to play...Thanx PS:U always keep talking about Nikos speed...It is important,but not the main thing for a football player.The main skill is BRAIN...And u know that...If u want speed then take me to Ajax(i do track n field and run the 100m. in 10.70 ;-))...I would love some transfer money!!! :-)...Am i a good footballer?Who gives a shit???I can run faster than the 99% of the players...

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

No real answer to why Ajax couldn't use a 4-4-2 formation. I haven't seen much of the Ajax games lately (only Eurogoals) but in what I've seen Mido has been good. Machlas I haven't seen a lot from, but Zlatan's entry in the Sweden- Switzerland game last week was very good. Certainly good enough to play at least one half for Ajax. I think it's a waste of talent to have two good strikers sitting on the bench.

From what I've heard Wamberto hasn't played good either the last games. That could be another reason to try something else.

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

A very fair response, I must say. Being critical, but also willing to listen and even appreciate criticism from others - that's the attitude of a gentleman (Mr Van Gaal, do you copy??) ;-)

Don't stop sharing your views with us - negative or positive.

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

Menno, No offence taken with your commentary. I value your views and critique. To answer you, I am certainly aware that I can be quite negative at times, but I think I have also sung the praises of Van Der Meyde, (Dick give him a shot for Oranje please!) Yakubu, (Where are you?) Heitinga, and recently the central defensive pairing of Chivu and Begdolmo, among others.

I am also painfully aware of the Ajax methods, payroll, etc., and I certainly do not expect to see any of the world's stars making the move Amsterdam anytime soon. Too bad but that is life at Ajax.

I also have to make the point that comments regarding Zlatan's poor play are not off the mark, and they are mainly made to get all of his supporters back into the real world. You should know that way too much is made of his great move in one Friendly match against Liverpool, his magic in training, etc. These comments are not needed either, but I guess it's a free world so people could put whatever they want out on the forums. It just get's a little ridiculous don't you think? Same goes with the Mido Love letters. Just kidding about that, but aren't they funny.

I have been spoiled as a fan of Ajax in the past I admit, and I have said this before, just as I am more than aware of the current restrictions within Europe with money, the Bosman Ruling, how hard it is to unearth talent, and build a team.

With that said, I think things are turning around. I like Koeman's hiring, I have mentioned this too, the team is in first, (Great, that is what we all want) but its not too much to ask for better play is it? Or succeed in Europe?

Well once again no offence taken, your views are always well put. I will try to tone it down I suppose.

By the way, there is one thing you should be happy about in Holland. No Christian Miles on Fox Sports World to listen to! Now anyone here has to admit this is a joke! No more Miles, I would rather have just the crowd noise.

As always keep up the good work. I hope the 15 year time table comes around agin too. Love that section. Well done!

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

I know that finding the appropriate substitute to the absent player is a big dilemma. Anyway, I just want to let Ajax fans that Hatem trabelsi was formed as a midfielder. Ok he is excellent in right back. But in the Tunisian National Team's game last week, he played an excellent game as a miedfielder. He took a lot of balls and provided his teammates with excellent passes!

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

Rich, this time I hope I am not offending *you*...

You've made your point about Zlatan, Machlas, Galasek, Van Halst and many many others about a hundred times now. I don't wanna say you're wrong (although I definitely don't fully agree with you either), but I do wonder why your posts are always negative. It's always "please stop the hype", "he's not a quality player", "this was poor quality football" etcetera.

A critical attitude is okay, but why don't you ever discuss things/actions/players/goals that you did like? Can you never be happy about a win? We can use a scoring striker, that's for sure, but Batistuta, Van Nistelrooy or Vieri will not be in the Ajax line- up tomorrow, nor in the remainder of this season (nor next season).

Given that, there's two things you can do. You can either continuously stress the fact that our strikers are not as good, or you can support the strikers that we do have. Or suggest a formation that might work. Or whatever. You literally *never* seem to choose the latter options. Your posts are always destructive; never constructive. Always about the things you did not like.

We're discussing the best formation for the Groningen game in this thread. Chivu and Wamberto are suspended. Our strikers are Zlatan, Mido and Machlas. Those are the facts. So, what's do you suggest? Which team will win this game for us? Is burning down Zlatan once again really all you've got to say, as an Ajax fan?

Was there really not one single enthusiastic post-game comment to make about the game against Heerenveen, for example? I've come to find it a bit typical that you didn't show up after that game to chat with us. But now that a negative point can be made...

Once again: I hope I'm not offending you. Your posts are of high quality - and I appreciate your contributions because of that. But sometimes it's good to just accept that this team is what we have. This is Ajax. Try to see the good things. And you know what? We're actually running for the title, leaving behind a European semi-finalist (Feyenoord) and a European quarter-finalist (PSV). We must have done something right...

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

I have to be honest about our stikers. In one word they as a group are poor. They do not score enough and Ajax has certainly had better players in the past.

When will we all accept this?

Geo I have to wonder what you see in Nikos? His 34 goals for Vitesse years ago were a miracle I think. I do not see much of a player here. He is slow and not very skilled plain and simple.

Also the Zlatan talk must cease until he does something. Is everyome dilusional with all of this unjustifed hype?

Mido is the best of the "lousy" group.

I am sorry to anyone offended, but I am not happy with the progress of Ajax. We must win for a change against a decent side. I guess the Celtic and Feyenoord matches earlier in the season are not enough.

I pray for better play and some "real" progress in Europe next season.

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

Or maybe a 4-4-2 with VD Meyde as a midfielder(with often runs forward),and Mido-Machlas(or Zlatan...even though i prefer Nikos) as a striking duo(which means about 3 goals by our attack,if they can cooperate well...never tried it...maybe it's time)...Sorry that i insist on this Menno...I can't help it.Having three strikers that worth A LOT OF MONEY,and using only one,drives me crazy!!! :-)

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

Ronald Koeman has told Ajax.nl that John O'Brien is fit again, and ready to play in tomorrow's game against FC Groningen. Which means he'll probably play at left back again, so Maxwell can be used elsewhere, maybe replacing Wamberto (suspended) as a left forward.

Koeman also announced that Fredi Vierklau has "dropped out" of the squad. I'm not sure what he means: is Vierklau injured (AGAIN???) or is he simply left out of the squad after he was replaced after onlu 55 minutes against Vitesse? I *think* the latter is the case. In other words: he's screwed.

In default of Cris Chivu (suspended for one game), Petri Pasanen returns to Ajax-1 based on his excellent game for Young Ajax against FC Utrecht. It's Pasanen's return to the Ajax-1 squad after a long period of injuries. Koeman on Ajax.nl: "Pasanen is definitely an option to replace Chivu. There's a fair chance he will play. John O'Brien is also available and Stephano Seedorf is in the squad again."

Hatem Trabelsi is back and will probably return at right back. Assuming that Pasanen will replace Chivu and O'Brien will play at left back, the defense will look like this: Trabelsi - Pasanen - Bergdolmo - O'Brien.

But how will Koeman deal with Wamberto's absence? (I'm glad he's not there, by the way, since he's been crap for several weeks now). In my opinion, we have two options:

1) Van Halst, Pienaar, Maxwell; Ikedia, Mido, Van der Meyde. (with Van der Meyde playing on the left flank, which he usually does in regular games as well, swapping positions with Wamberto).

2) Van Halst, Pienaar, Seedorf; Van der Meyde, Mido, Maxwell. (with Maxwell playing as a left winger).

Personally, I expect the first option (and I would prefer it, too). One thing's for sure: Mido moving to the left and Zlatan or Machlas playing from the start, seems out of the question.

-- Anonymous, April 02, 2002

Can't Koeman at least TRY the 4-4-2 for once???The defence is the same,and the midfield more powerfull...Further more in this system,the Vitesse attacking couple scored 50 goals in one year!!! (and one of the two attackers was CUROVIC for God's sake!!!Not even close to Mido!!!)...Can't Machlas and Mido score a lot together???YES THEY CAN!!!Is it so fucking difficult to understand???You have an attacker that it is proven he can kick ass in a 4-4-2 formation,another MAJOR talent that can adjust to this system perfectly(plus another talent that can replace any of the other two),MANY great midfielders that can create a very powerfull middle line,and you don't try it???I hope he tried it in training and it didn't work(anyone that attends the trainings can tell me),or there is another GOOD reason why he doesn't try this system,and he keeps on wasting one of the three good strikers,and one midfielder...I am not a coach,and i don't try to pretend i am one...But i just don't get it...Any information here would be usefull,to stop my curiosity... (sorry for the language and attitude of this post.I couldn't help it..;-))

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2002

With three good strikers, isn't it a wast always having two of them on the bench? Not possible with a 4-4-2 lineup? In my opinion Zlatan, Machlas and Mido are all good enough to play from start in Ajax.

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2002

The line-up for Wednesday is gonna be a bit of a problem, now that Chivu and Wamberto are suspended. I hope John O'Brien will be ready to rock again... In that case:

Grim; Trabelsi, Yakubu, Bergdĝlmo, O'Brien; Van Halst, Pienaar, Seedorf; Van der Meyde, Mido, Maxwell.

If John O'Brien won't make it, I suppose all we can do is hoping that Tim de Cler can still kick some ball. Pasanen (good game with Young Ajax against Utrecht!) could also be an option, playing in central defense with Bergdĝlmo. In that case, Yakubu could play in midfield, probably instead of Seedorf, but hopefully instead of Van Halst.

Man, do I hate that guy... Especially if Galásek's in the team as well... What a disaster that was. We need football players in midfield, who look forward!

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2002

je suis un garçon de 18 ans et je suis passionné par le foot que je pratique depuis très longtemps. je souhaiterai rentrè dans votre club de formation afin de mettre en valeur mes conpétences. en éspérent une réponse favorable de votre part

veuillez agrée, messieurs, mes salutations distingué

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2002

You are right.But let's not forget,that ALL the great clubs in Europe,quite often fuck up BIG time in their national leagues.Even Real,ManUTD e.t.c. lose from very weak teams in the league.It is something natural.But they do well in Europe.I think Ajax can be on top of the Eredivisie.The important thing like u said though,is to do well in the Champions' League.And for this,the team needs improvement.And i don't think that this will come with transfers e.t.c.(Xcept for 2 positions in my opinion.The goalkeeper,and a very good midfielder.A number "10").Improvement will come as time goes by,when the players start to cooperate better,under the coaching of Koeman. PS:My point in the previous post,was that we don't have to overanalyse simple things.It is well known,that the center-forward plays well,when the WHOLE team plays well.A center-forward becomes great,ONLY with the help of his teammates.There's no other way.So let's not talk about this position,because in my opinion there's no problem.EVERY striker in this team has skills,and we all know that.It's time to start talking about positions in the team,that have a REAL problem.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002


You have hit the nail exactly on the head - this team has to improve, (in my mind it will improve under the stewardship of Koeman), to be able to complete in Europe against the best. Displays like yesterday they can get away with against the likes of RKC but against the other top sides in the Eredivisie and in Europe they would have been beaten ala PSV, Celtic & Copenhagen this season. All the great Ajax teams of the past have had great movement and pace that is all too often missing in this team. Make no mistake it is a young, learning team that is going places, but is still in need of tuning in a few positions to be able to realise our dreams.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002

Do you remember some months back,that we were talking about the lack of goals from the strikers?We didn't care that the team was winning,or that the strikers created many chances for the midfielders or "shadow" strikers to score.Many times Ajax scored 3-4 goals,and the only thing we were talking about was why Mido,or Machlas,or Zlatan didn't score AGAIN,no matter how good they played.We wanted goals from the strikers?Ok,now we have them(from the one that was more likely to start scoring much.),but we keep on finding other things to talk about.That's good,cuz maybe that's the only way for the team to improve more.But let's not overanalyze everything.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002

Some thoughts on the match against RKC:

It was like the team had a hangover from Thursday night - often the case in football. They seemed to think that this game could be won at anytime and as such were very lazy with little running off the ball to create space for the ball to be received. This was until the introduction of Mido and Ikedia which certainly livened up the proceedings. Up until this point there had been little pace to Ajax's game apart from Chivu's run to create the first goal. I thought that John O'Brien had an excellant game throughout but Galasek was again poor. Until the midfield positions are sorted then I think the forwards will always struggle as they will only have scraps to feed off. Again Wamberto looked a better player when playing in the middle of the park than when sidelined out on the wing and as such would like him to remain there in place of Galasek. Having watched Mido again yesterday, I believe that the current discussion about who should play up front should be expanded to include Mido who seems to have pace and a physical presence to be able to create space for himself and others. This type of player is extremely important to a team and its art was beautifully enacted by a Liverpool and England world cup winner in the 60's called Roger Hunt. Yes he weighed in with a fair number of goals, but his main contribution to a team was his running off the ball creating space for the other forwards/mid-fielders to fill and score many a goal. On Thursday night and again yesterday intelligent runs into space were made by Zlatan (Thursday night) and by Nikos (Sunday) which were not picked-up by the people on the ball and also when their runs off the ball created a space, nobody again took advantage. Having said all that, we won 3 - 1 and pocketed another 3 points

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2002

The most important thing,was that Koeman decided to make some changes in the team pretty early.He didn't wait till the last ten minutes for example.And thank God he did that,cuz today we would be talking about what went wrong in the team again...

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2002

This will almost surely be the line-up, tomorrow in Tilburg:

Grim; Vierklau, Chivu, Bergdĝlmo, De Cler; Galásek, Knopper, O'Brien; Van der Meyde, Zlatan, Wamberto.

The three most important things:

1) Fred Grim's back, which means Joey Didulica returns to the bench (for now).

2) Ferdi Vierklau is fully fit again. In Friday's training game between the starting eleven and the reserves, Vierklau was playing with the starters. Johnny Heitinga will be benched.

3) John O'Brien will reaplace Rafaël van der Vaart, who is suspended for one game after he received his fourth yellow card of the season, last week at FC Den Bosch.

-- Anonymous, February 02, 2002

Maybe it's time for Koeman to put in the squad someone that can make a descent pass to the attackers...Don't u think?

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2002

OK I know I shouldnt be worried, but hell I am, and those of you who have seen me know I can ill-afford to lose anymore hair. The reason for this worry is that Van Der Vaart is missing for the next game. What formation will Koeman put out as from the experience from earlier in the season, Ajax struggle to replace his talent.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2002

ROTFL, Pleitkosa goalkeeper :), you play too much of CM, whoever you are ;). Realisticly, Ajax may play 3-5-2 and its not too risky, comparing to 3-1-2-1-3. Lets say like this: ---GK--- DL-DC-DR --DMC--- ML-MC-MR --AMC--- --FC-FC- So that would be a great option for both defence and ofence... My other though is about attacking 4-4-2, like... -----GK------ -DL-DC-DC-DR- AML-MC-MC-AMR ----FC-FC---- and in midfield i mean like... DL AML-----> G DC MC FC K DC MC FC DR AMR-----> so, you see, what am I talking about ;)

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2002

Yeah, especially Pletikosa... Great goalkeeper :-D

-- Anonymous, December 17, 2001

The Ajax team and formation that I use is -------Pletikosa------- Yakubu-----Emerson-----Chivu-------O'Brien ----------Galasek-------Cruz------------ Van Der Meyde---Van Der Vaart--------Mido ---------------Machlas-------------------

-- Anonymous, December 17, 2001

They are going to play 4-3-3 like they should. When it comes to the players I think you have to see for yourself, you can not expect that Koeman already made up his mind, that needs time. But I think he will stick to the same players,maybe one or two changes. What I do no is that Koeman said he was not going to buy any players for the next coming six months but there was a rumour going that he would maybe give Brian Roy, old Ajax player who practices with Ajax 2, a chance and as he is a left wing that's not a bad idea to me but I haven't seen him play for a long time.

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2001

First of all, Allback won´t be realistic. Heerenveen won´t let him go. Second of all, an attacking 3-5-2 formation is way too risky. Ajax isn´t that good with counter-attacks already and now only 3 defenders must do the job? Sorry, can´t do that. The way they played last night (Twente 3 - 2 ) was ok. The idea of the old left and rightwinger is good. Van de Meyde is a young gun who surely can pass his man. Mido I don´t know, but ofcourse Wamberto can be stationed on the left side as well.

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2001

I think an attacking version of 3-5-2 would be the best. It brings structure, isn't to super-attacking but though gives us something nice to look at. I'd do it like this: Grim Bergdolmo, Chivu, Pasanen/Heitinga Maxwell, O'Brien, Van der Vaart, Knopper, Trabelsi Mido, Allback (buy him plz plz plz)

-- Anonymous, November 26, 2001

I more or less have full confidence in Co Adriaanse. He's trying out a couple of systems which are leading to some strange reactions and results. There's a lot of talent in the team but the interaction(?) is not what it should be just yet. Machlas is a wonderful player but he's not showing it. Wamberto behind the strikers is a revelation. O'Brian has been out a while. Ikedia is magic, he's injured. Trabelsi is more a midfield player than a defender. Vierklau is overestimated. It's difficult.

Grim Vierklau Galasek Chivu Bergdolmo v/d Meyde O'Brian V/d Vaart Ibrahimovic Wamberto Arveladze

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2001

I would like Ajax to play the "good old" system (3-1-2-1-3). Idon't like to hear that Ajax are playing with five defenders... I'm sure Co is a competent coach but I like Luis van Gaal and Morten Olsen's system better!

----1---- 2---3---5 ----4---- --6---8-- ----10--- 7---9---11

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2001

I suppose this has already been discussed but not quite directly: Can Ajax still be Ajax and not play The System(tm)? I personally feel, especially after the game at Feyenoord, that the team should play a system that works best with the players they have. However, I don't have an Ajax lineage (e.g., not from Amsterdam family who's been a fan for 6 generations, etc).

So does Ajax have an obligation to play the system and just suck up the punishment when it's not working?

-- Anonymous, September 04, 2001

I suggest 4-1-2-1-2 goalie : anyone but Grim defenders : Chivu(L), Pesanen (C), Bergdĝlmo(C), Vierklau(R) defensive midfielder : Galásek/O'Brien midfielders : van der Vaart/O'Brien, Yakubu/Wamberto/Ikedia second striker : Knopper/van der Gun striker : Arveladze/Machlas, Ibrahimovic

or 4-1-2-2-1

midfielders : van der Vaart/O'Brien (L), Yakubu/Wamberto/Ikedia (R) second strikers : Knopper, van der Gun striker : Ibrahimovic

-- Anonymous, September 01, 2001

My favorite 11 at the moment are: (In the traditional 1-3-4-3 Ajax system) 1: Lobont 2: Pasanen 3: Yakubu 4: Galasek 5: Chivu 6: Cruz 7: Ikedia 8: Van der Vaart 9: Arveladze 10: Knopper 11: Mido

This only when the opponent plays with 2 forwards. When they play with 3, I would replace Cruz with Trabelsi, the line-up in that case would be: (System 1-4-3-3) 1: Lobont 2: Trabelsi 3: Pasanen 4: Yakubu 5: Chivu 6: Galasek 7: Ikedia 8: Van der Vaart 9: Arveladze 10: Knopper 11: Mido

-- Anonymous, August 15, 2001

The real AJAX-system remains undoubtfully: 1-3-4-3 1 2 5 3 4 6 8 10 7 11 9 The numbers are: 1-van der Sar 2-Reiziger 3-F.de Boer 4-Rijkaard 5-Blind 6-Seedorf 7-Finidi 8-Davids 9-R. de Boer (Kanu) 10-Litmanen 11-Overmars(van Vossen) Unfortunately the actual players do not allow us to be so open in play. So I think there must be some kind of 1-4-3-3: 1 2 4 5 3 6 8 11 10 7 9

The numbers are: 1-Lobont (even if there 2-Daniel Cruz are not all real)3-Chivu 4-Pasanen 5-Yakubu 6-Galasek 7-Machlas (Arveladze) 8-van der Meyde(Wamberto) 9-Zlatan 10-van der Vaart (Knopper) 11-Mido

I think we don't really have left/right midfielders they are rather preapared to play as wings and do NOT participate to the defense at all! Anyhow... FORZA AJAX tonight against Celtic!

-- Anonymous, August 08, 2001

Yeah, that's kinda what I was trying for!!! So it is the good old "Ajax sytem" is it?

Now all I need to know is who plays in which spot...

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2001

..er, well, it didin't quite print out the way I intended...

----- 1 ----(gk)

-- 2 -- 3 --- 5 -- (def.)

------ 4 -------- (def./sweepr)

-- 6 - 10 --- 8 -- (mf)

-- 7 -- 9 -- 11 -- (att)

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

Tom, More like this:

----- 1 ------ - 2 -- 3 --- 5 - ----- 4 ------ - 6 - 10 --- 8 - - 7 -- 9 -- 11 -

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

Sorry all but I'm coming in late on this conversation. What formation is Co ACTUALLY using - is it the genuine Ajax system??

Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that went like this:



-------5------ 6-----8-----7

------10------ --9-------11-

Hmm sorry that looks crap but you get the idea... is that right or wrong?


-- Anonymous, July 31, 2001

Have to agree with Mennos second choice as although Van der Meyde had a better game on Saturday and supplied a beautiful cross for Machlas's goal, I still donnot think that offensively he has got the speed and cutting edge to get past players and give Machlas and Zlatan the supply they would thrive on. Totally agree over Machlas but was worried by the Sky Sports commentators stating that he is off to Spain !!!! Can anyone confirm this rumour ?

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2001

Actually, no...

If Van der Meyde screws up on the right, his replacement would of course be Ikedia. Maybe he's even my first choice, actually...

Lobont; Cruz, Pasanen, Yakubu, Chivu; Galásek, Machlas, Van der Vaart; Ikedia, Zlatan, Mido.

Yes. That's it.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2001

'Bert van Marwijk' is the name of Feyenoord's coach. This guy is one more Feyenoord fan visiting Ajax USA just to be negative. What a shame. We've had many Feyenoord fans visiting our forum. None of them have even *tried* to have a real discussion, or even post under their real names... Well, yeah, if I were a Feyenerd, I wouldn't admit it in public, either :-)

Anyways - the pre-season campaign is almost over. I've seen highlights of most games against amateurs, I've attended a few training sessions as well as the games against Theole (amateur side, 0-9 win), AC Milan (Amsterdam Tournament, 0-1 defeat) and Liverpool (AT, 3-1 win). I think I know what my favorite line-up for the start of the season would be...

Lobont; Cruz, Pasanen, Yakubu, Chivu; Galásek, Machlas, Van der Vaart; Van der Meyde, Zlatan, Mido.

Some additional comments:

1) LOBONT: Personally, I think it doesn't make sense to keep playing with Fred Grim. He's old, it's probably gonna be his last year. If he quits, we would have to put Lobont in the team with exactly 73 minutes of experience in Ajax-1... That would be a bad idea, so put him in the team right NOW. Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure Co will go for Grim (again...).

2) CRUZ: I'm so sorry for John O'Brien, but Daniel Cruz has played better as a right back...

3) MACHLAS: The combination of Machlas and Zlatan seems to work better than Zlatan and Arveladze. Besides, playing directly behind Zlatan, you're factually a midfielder. Which means you'll need to have to defend as well, and go back if the opponents have possession. Otherwise, Van der Vaart and Galásek are on their own at midfield. Machlas is more of a worker and has more defensive qualities tyhan Arveladze. Richard Knopper would be my second option for this position. I think Arveladze is more of a stand-in for Zlatan (a real centre-forward).

4) VAN DER MEYDE: He gets the benefit of the doubt for a few more weeks. He scored quite a bunch of goals against amateur sides, and played a fine game against Liverpool. But mist of the time, I'm not fond of Van der Meyde. He often annoys me by playing like a girlie. If he screws up during the first weeks, it's Van der Gun time on the right wing.

All in all, I think we have a strong squad. Much stronger than last year. If my favorite line-up above *is* the starting line-up, that would mean we have Knopper, Arveladze and Wamberto as offensive subs, and Heitinga, Bergdĝlmo, De Cler and O'Brien as defensive subs. That's a pretty good bench, I think.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2001

Grow up and stop knocking Ajax's new signings. You say that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ahmed Hossam are bad signings but i would say what do you know about these players anyway, have you ever seen them play? Both Ibrahimovic and Hossam have good technique, a lot of intelligence for tactical understanding and speed of thought in body and mind. Ibrahimovic seems to have problems with his personality but under Co Adriaanse that will be sorted out quickly. Don't bother with comments you are out of your depth with. Thankyou.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2001

In order for Ajax to make a chance in next year's league they would have to lose some of their footballers and replace them with players who do have enough potential. Grim should be better off in "de lange leegte" in Veendam he really is the worst keeper Ajax ever had. De cler and Vierklauw haven't got enough defensive quality, Van de Meyde, Wamberto and Arveladze don't bring enough offensive power. And Adriaanse let his team be leaded completely by players who are too young like Van der Vaart and Van der Gun. If Adriaanse really wants to become a treath to PSV and Feyenoord he should really come with some big singings and not B-class players like Ibrahimovidz and Hossam (trust me they are really bad!!).

-- Anonymous, June 28, 2001

Using the computer program 'Championship Manager 00-01', I have just won the Dutch Premier division.

If Ajax would like to contact me, I am available for a reasonable fee.

The formation I used was:


Etien Clint Hill Pasanen Chivu

O Brien

Ikedia Gronkjaer


Ibrahimovic Hossam (Or Gomez)

Substitutes: Didulica, Yakubu, Cruz, Birciogliu, van der Vaart & van der Gun.

Mind you my mate G-Man has just won the Champions League with RKC Waalwijk, so perhaps Ajax should speak to him!

-- Anonymous, May 31, 2001

My ajax formation should be daimond attacking formation... With these players: Machlas V. De Gun

Knopper V. Der Vaart Van. De Meyde/ Ikedia Galasek

O'Brien Chivu Pasanen Bergdolmo Lobont

It's time for Grim to lose his place!!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2001

Hi All, from what I can gather by your contributions, the basic Ajax formation is a 3-1-2-1-3 (with the players in the "1-line" being in a free-role capacity. But how about the central defender, is he a sweeper or a "normal" defender. And, if he's a sweeper - how does the System cover the big hole behind the anchorman (the number 4)?

And by the way - does anyone know, how Ole Tobiasen is doing (injury- wise) - Danish television doesn't mention him at all, although he's the best right-back that we have around i Denmark...

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2001

If u think Arveladje is better than Machlas,then u have a fuckin problem...I love Ajax...But he will remain in shit if Machlas says out of the team...He just wanted to play in a friendly game with his national team,and Ajax didn't allow him to do so...That's why they don't let him play...But do u think he gives a fuck????He will play somewhere else,while Ajax will have all the Shitty Forwards in the team...

-- Anonymous, May 11, 2001

this would be my ideal ajax team grim chivu,winter,bergdolmo,pasanen witschge,van der vaart,de cler arveladze,machlas,wamberto

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2001

I believe Ajax are currently playing 433. My personal choice would be 343 and if i was Ajax-1 coach this would be my strongest team:







-- Anonymous, March 12, 2001

At this moment, this would be my favorite Ajax line-up:

Grim; Bergdĝlmo, Chivu, Pasanen, De Cler; Galásek, Arveladze, Van der Vaart; Van der Gun, Machlas, Wamberto.

The weakest position right now is - without a doubt - the right back position. André Bergdĝlmo didn't do too well, but you can hardly blame him for it: he's a central defender or a left back. Christopher Kanu is just not good enough (for *any* position in Ajax-1; I don't like him at all) and Ferdi Vierklau had a really hard time against RBC today. All in all, I still think André Bergdĝlmo is the best option at right back (for now). But Co Adriaanse does not seem to agree...

Apart from that: if Nikos Machlas plays one more shit game, Adriaanse should leave him out, put Richard Witschge on central midfield (behind central forward, Shota Arveladze).

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2001

Funny if you look at my comments about the line-up at the beginning of this season and Menno's line-up on August 5th. Funny to see how things can turn completely different. Actually only Chivu and Galasek play regularly. So: no WiWi's, no Vierklau and Knopper (both injured of course), no Gronkjaer (sold). At the moment also no Bergdolmo, no Van der Meyde (both not good enough) and no Lobont!

Fun to see that no one mentions Van der Vaart, Van der Gun, Wamberto, Grim. Or what about De Cler! Well, hey, that's soccer. One minute you're the man, the other minute you're forgotten.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2001

Adriaanse has definitely been playing a lot of different people, but the formation has been pretty consistent -- 3-4-3 at the beginning of the season, then he tried 4-4-2 for the game away to Vitesse, then it looks like it's been 4-3-3 ever since. My question is, as Pasanen and Chivu get better and more experienced, will he try to go back to a 3-4-3 formation?

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2001

this season ajax plays almost every match in a different formation I think that trainer Adriaanse used something like 20 or 25 players He is now playing with a lot of young players like v/d Vaart,Kanu ( the little brother of the famous Nwanko From arsenal)De Clerc,v/d Meyde and ofcourse defender Chivu

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2001

In my eyes, AJAX is the best soccerclub of the whole world. That's why i'm witnessing every match of Ajax in The famous F-Side.

Ajax Will be the Dutch Champion Ajax will be the european Champion And Ajax will defete F***noord (sorry I can't write this word in public because there are little children on this site.)

Greetings from one of the biggest AJAX fans; Robster

-- Anonymous, October 17, 2000

True enough, but I haven't seen Galasek actually play, so I stuck to what I saw. Of course Galasek will play there, but he's got a lot of competition... :)

Ajax joden, super joden :)

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2000

Hmmm... My message above did not (graphically) work out as I had intended. It looks as if I've placed Tomas Galasek on right-midfield. He will play just central, somewhere before the defense line, bur just behind the midfield. The actual midfield will consist of Winter (right), Knopper (central) and Witschge (left).

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2000

I think Bastiaan is right. Co Adriaanse will go for this team, I expect:


Vierklau Chivu Bergdxlmo

Galasek Winter Witschge Knopper

Van der Meyde Arveladze Grxnkjfr

I'm not sure what will happen if Nikos Machlas returns to the team. It will depend on how Shota Arveladze is doing by that time. If Arveladze will have scored a reasonable number of goals by that time, I don't expect Adriaanse to provide Nikos Machlas an opportunity in the starting line-up. He'll have to be patient.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2000

What about Galasek, Frank? I think he'll play the 'number 4-position' when he is fit again. Witschge will then move to his left-winged spot and sadly O'Brien has to leave the field and move to the bench (although he played a pretty good match today!). That's what I think that will happen.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2000

Hiyas eavryone,

Another Dutchie reacting on this board... :)

New formation under Co Andriaanse: 3-4-3

Either Bogdan Lobont or Fred Grim on goal (hope for Lobont) Defense: left defender: Bergdolmo, central defender: Chivu, right defender: Vierklauw Midfield: left midfield: van der Gun or O'Brian, 2 central midfielders: Witsche and Knopper, right midfield: Aaron Winter Offense: left winger: Gronkjaer, striker: Machlas, right winger: van der Meyde.

Hope I satisfied everyone. This formation can change, but the general setup is complete... :)

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2000

hey everybody! litmanen has heard he has to leave barcelona. why doesn't ajax buy him!!! also finidi will be a good choice. adriaanse should have taken Danny Landzaat with him! he should put Quansah, v.d. Vaart and Dani in the selection. v.d. vaart is the new de boer i think and quansah is somebody who scores easily. formation when everybody is available: Lobont (GK), Tobiasen (RB), v.d. Vaart (CB), Chivu (CB/LB), Nieuwenburg (CB/LB), Witschge (LM), Knopper (AM), Dani (because of witschge RM), Gronkjaer (LW), Machlas (CA), FINIDI GEORGE MAN!!! (no good players for RW so they should buy finidi back. i didn't mention Litmanen but y'all know he should play CM/AM if ajax would buy him (i said IF) and IF it happens knopper should play on the right. quansah should be number one substitute for Nikos... 17 years and already scored many goals for ajax (youth). last year he scored 26 goals til i didn't watch that competition anymore (bad weather and the forgot to watch it. peace y'all now you know the best line-up. "deetch"

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2000

what players ajax needs in season 2000/2001??????

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2000

Yeah, but then we'll play really long passes and not collective enough. As you said, our midfield is our strongest weapon, so, take advantage of it. This is our traditional formation. Play with a sweeper, a right and left back, an anchor (that's someone who plays just in front of the defense, but not quite midfield), a right and left midfielder, an offensive midfielder, and then a stricker with two wingers. That should do the job, because, as you said midfield is our weapon so use it!!! If you play 4-5-1 the sricker will not have enough help (he'll constantly be surounded by 4 defenders) and he'll get tired to easilly. Then four defenders is normal, but if you play with 5 midfielders, they'll be forced to play it long to the stricker (machlas) who is not gonna be good enough to handle things on his own. The ajax traditional formation has done us so much good, and with a good coach (Co), it well be like '95, or the seventies again. It's the only way to win, because if you have a good defence (the sweeper and the wing backs), then a good tackler and passer as the anchor, we would have one of the best defences of holland. The offensive midfielder has to provide (and help) the three attackers. And the two right and left midfielders have two eather play the ball in or do combinations with the winger on his side or the offensive midfielder. It would be simply the best way to play, both traditional and affective. Anyway new formations isn't the solution,it's coaching, motivation, training and the board that needs to be changed.

AJAX 4 EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, July 04, 2000

excuse me... Are we talking about Language here or Discuss about Ajax's football. Has Ajax play better under Co Andriaanse? I think 5-4-1 is a very good formation. 3 central defenders, 2 wings defenders. 2 wingers, 1 central midfield, 1 supporting striker and 1 striker They win alot in my Championship Manager 99-00

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2000

Hear hear Menno!

This is an international football forum, a little tolerance on varying levels of English liguistic skills would be appreciated.

For what it's worth, the English used is perfectly understandable to an Anglophone. Fonz is English your first lanuage?

-- Anonymous, May 25, 2000

Well, let's have a look then, Fonzy. Keep in mind that I'm a Dutchman, like you and Dirk-Jan. Our English will never be as good as our Dutch. That's a biological fact, which has to do with the decreasing capability of your brain to pick up the structure of a new language you didn't learn to speak as your native language. So, against native speakers of English, we just don't stand a chance. Simple as that. My English can never be perfect, either. But it is 'O.K.', and probably even 'good', compared to a lot of Dutchies.

So let's do a quick analysis of those terrible linguistic mistakes Dirk-Jan is making, according to you. For starters, his posting starts with "Y'all wanna know". That's an abbreviation of 'do you all want to know'. Slang, but pretty common. The same goes for 'sux' instead of 'sucks', and 'cuz' instead of 'because'. You could compare it to Dutch kids writing 'ff' instead of 'effe', or 'even'.

The only mistakes I can find are 'explane' (should be 'explain') and 'greatings' instead of 'greetings'. And maybe "the best right- back IN the world' would be better than 'OF the world', but I'm not sure. Two insignificant mistakes... that would be a 9 or 8 score at school (probably a B in the US). Pretty good score, I'd say.

Does this all sound cheesy and stupid? I know. That was what I intended: a stupid, cheesy posting about linguistics. Just to show how cheesy and stupid it is to start correcting each other's mistakes on an online discussion forum for Ajax fans from all over the planet. So let's knock that off, please.

Thank you.

-- Anonymous, May 24, 2000

I agree, Jim. It wasn't the comments that disturbed me the most, but the use of the English language. Special greeting to the real and Dutch Ajax-fan: Dirk-Jan!

-- Anonymous, May 09, 2000

His English is better than my Dutch, so I appreciate his comments anyway...

-- Anonymous, May 06, 2000

Please Dirk-Jan, work on your English if you want to contribute more words here on this page, thank you. GreEtings, Fonz

-- Anonymous, May 06, 2000

y'all wanna know my favorite ajax formation? well here it is: grim (only for now), tobiasen (one of the best rb's of the world only very unlucky, vierklau, nieuwenburg (verlaat sux and john is very good), chivu (ajax' future), midfield: dani, witschge and knopper (do i have to explane that, nah do think so), gronkjaer, arveladze (probably has more ajax fans than machlas) and last one of the best: laudrup. players i think they should buy: danny landzaat, bike oliseh, and at least one top defender like de boer was, cuz vd vaert is too young. greatings from a real and dutch ajax fan

-- Anonymous, May 01, 2000

The formation AFC AJAX Amsterdam should be playing is 4-3-3. With the results they had this year, they used to play 4-4-2 because few people in the team fully understood the system, and adding the fact that there were a lot of injured players all the time, there sometimes were no other options at hand, then playing 4-4-2.

The most effective way of playing an attractive game, and being able to win it, one should be playing in a 4-3-3 formation. 2 wingers are essential for AJAX' game. Ofcourse you'll need a very good striker, in which AJAX is not very lucky this year. Machlas, fails too many times in front of the goalkeeper. Is it pressure, and is he choaking... we don't know.

Anyway, 4-3-3- it is.


-- Anonymous, April 06, 2000

ajax SHOULD play 4-5-1 or 3-5-2 any season,not only this one,because that's the way ajax does play.the midfield is their strongest weapon.greetings from macedonia.ajax is the best,whatever they say!!!

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2000

just one question: exactly WHAT has Wouters done for Ajax over the years? Michael

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2000

I always thought ajax played a somewhat 3-5-2 or 4-5-1 system... but one thing for sure, if the ajax midfield doesnt tick, they aren't going anywhere.

-- Anonymous, March 22, 2000

Excuse me, but 3-3-4 would only do AJAX badly, the midfielders would have to run too much, we woulde be absent in defense, and the forwards would constantly be at the risk of injury and be tired out by halftime!!!

-- Anonymous, March 22, 2000

Best way Ajax should play 3-3-4 with the fullback and the midfielder play a defensive game while the forward play the attacking game. Should our forward in attacking mode, the midfielder should back them up. This will make our defense more stronger with the 6 players and our 4 forwards always ready to counter attack. Also we should play long ball.

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2000

Ideally he'd accept reality and resign. He's done a lot for Ajax over the years, but he's just not up to the job.

4-4-2 is sacrilege, it's not Ajax.

Resources/talent might be the issue, but then you go out and find/buy it.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2000

I do NOT want Wouters to get sacked. Ajax can play some good football (soccer) with him. But, I agree, 4-4-2 does suck ass, I like 4-3-3

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2000

I do hope Ajax will fire Jan Wouters soon, because I think it's a real shame what he's done to the formation (this is the 'Ajax Formation' thread, right?). Ajax has always played in a 4-3-3 or even 3-4-3 formation, with two backs, one central defender, a free defender who was actually playing on the midfield, two midfielders at the sides, a center-forward with a forward-midfielder right behind him and two authentic wingers. Now, Ajax is playing in some 4-4-2 system, with four defenders, four midfielders, no wingers and two centre-forwards kind of circling around each other. This is an Italian or German system. It's boring and misses exactly these things that made Ajax' play so different from all other teams in the world. The last Ajax coach who tried to kill the traditional 4-3-3 Ajax system, was Austrian Kurt Linder. He was fired after ten games, or so. I think nobody should fuck around with the Ajax system. We've won all our international prices with the Ajax system. Not only in the seventies, but in '92 and '95 as well, so the 4-3-3 with wingers can't be called old-fashioned or something. Ajax should play like Ajax.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2000

Hopelijk zonder Jan Wouters, Frank Kales en met een nieuw bestuur! Hopefully without Jan Wouters, Frank Kales en with a new board!

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2000

People dont worry, AJAX will be champion this year. Next game is PSV- AJAX and then we can see who's the best. But at the end of this season Co Adriaanse will be the new AJAX coach. And then we will win everything. Dus AJAX wordt gewoon kampioen!!!!!!!

Greetings from Amsterdam, Holland.

-- Anonymous, February 04, 2000

That's right. Things change, you know. In the cup game against Roda JC, kan Wouters introduced a new tactical system. The line-up in that game was. GOAL: Grim. DEFENSE: Nieuwenburg, Chivu, Vierklau, De Cler. MIDFIELD: Winter, Dani, O'Brien. FORWARDS: Laudrup, Machlas, Grxnkjfr. Witschge was still injured. When he returns, it's gonna be hard for John O'Brien to stay in the team. If Nikos Machlas doesn't start scoring soon, the technical staff might offer Shota Arveladze a chance. Jan van Halst, Frank Verlaat and Richard Knopper were available, but have apparently lost their spot...

This seems to be where we're at, right now. If Jan Wouters gets sacked (we're getting closer and closer to that day), things will probably change drastically again under the new coach...

-- Anonymous, February 01, 2000

actually Van Halste also plays reguarly, and so does Vierklau.

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2000

According to Rob Klooster, De Cler wears number 15 and Verlaat number 5. He's probably right - sorry. I should also mention Christian Chivu, our new Romanian defender, who is number 17. He's a great player, who seems to have convinced Jan Wouters of his capacities. In that case, De Cler might lose his spot. We'll see.

-- Anonymous, October 31, 1999

Thanks. I didn't know because in England, Ajax matches are only shown at 3.00am on the worst channel!

-- Anonymous, October 26, 1999

This question sounds pretty simple - unfortunately, the answer is not. Especially in defense, Ajax is dealing with a lot of injuries. Here's the line-up of the past couple of weeks: 1. Grim (goalkeeper), 16. Nieuwenburg (right back), 6. Winter (central defender), 4. Verlaat (central defender), 5. De Cler (left back), 18. O'Brien (right midfielder), 13. Knopper (centre-forward midfielder), 8. Witschge (left midfielder), 10. Laudrup (right winger), 9. Machlas (centre forward), 7. Wamberto (left winger).

Here are the complications: Winter has been playing in defense so far, but he is actually a midfielder. Coach Wouters placed him there, because the Ajax defense was weak in the beginning of the season - so he figured Ajax might need some experience back there. The central defense is still a problem (because, frankly: it's still weak). John O'Brien was in the line-up this week and the week before, but as soon as Dani (nr. 14) is recovered from his injuries, O'Brien might lose his position again. And, finally, Wamberto is actually a right winger. He's been playing on the left side, because our Danish super talent Gronkjaer (nr. 11) is injured. He'll definitely get his spot back when he returns. If the left winger position is vacant, Wouters usually chooses for Wamberto or Arveladze (nr. 24), who is in fact a centre forward. I hope this message is clear - it might be a mess, though.

-- Anonymous, October 26, 1999

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