European opponents for Ajax: Champions League, UEFA Cup, etc. : LUSENET : Ajax USA : One Thread

This is the place to discusss European opponents for Ajax in international competitions, such as Champions League, UEFA Cup, etc.

-- Anonymous, August 25, 2000


Jari as acenter forward? Well alright! I haven't been ableto concentrate all day and I have a one hour meeting 15 minutes after kickoff. What a waste, I should skip it. For some reason I'm feeling confident today even though the "experts" think we don't stand a chance.

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

In my Dutch newspaper, de Volkskrant, it said that Koemand would start Litmanen as centerforward! This is because Mido and Zlatan lost the ball too often in that position. Mido and Van der Meyde would be the other starting forwards.

I'm not sure about the reliability of this information, because I don't see any other sources confirming it. However, de Volskrant is a serious newspaper and doesn't just make stuff up. Either way, Jari is starting! If I'm nervous before a big game I always feel confident once I see Jari running on the pitch, it'll be the same tonight.

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Yeah Rudy, I'll be completely hopeless at work come kickoff... Funny thing, this little feeling inside of us: I too, have the same finicky feeling that a good positive result can be had today. Anyone knows of starting lineups yet ?

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

God....I can't concentrate at work!

I'm not sure I should say this, but I have a feeling we're going to cause an upset. Spanish sides attack, so we'll get a bit of space up front. I think we're going get out of Valencia with at least a point.

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Could you imagine that Ajax has the best defence! in CL? :) Look at the statistics: 1. Ajax - 44 games - 31 goals conceded - average 0.71 goal per game 2. Valencia - 40 games - 31 goals conceded - average 0.78 goal per game 3. Roma - 18 games - 14 goals conceded - average 0.78 goal per game 4. Parma 5. Milan 6. Liverpool 7. Manchester United So, our group has the most defensive teams :)

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Valencia's home record in the Champions League: 19 games in total, 15 wins, 4 draw, ZERO defeats. Pretty impressive...

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

NOS Teletekst now confirms that Kily Gonzalez is out for Wednesday's game. Ankle injury. So that's three: Aimar, Rufete, Kily Gonzalez. Next, please? :-)

-- Anonymous, November 25, 2002

Ajax Netwerk is presently running a report that says that Kily Gonzalez has sustained an ankle injury. The report indicates that he probably won't play v.Ajax.That said,I believe that Valencia has still conceded the least goals in La Liga. So, Ajax will still have their work cut out for them regardless of injuries to the home side.

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2002

My thinking about Wednesday's game is that this is one of those tough matches where coach Koeman might employ a 4-4-2. I think the first 11 should be: Didulica;Trabelsi,Bergdolmo,Chivu,Maxwell;van der Meyde, Galasek, Litmanen,van der Vaart;Mido en Zlatan.I like Didulica over Stekelenberg because Joe is 1st team, and CL,MATCH FIT. I think Trabelsi, van der Meyde, Maxwell(our most experienced HEALTHY left- back)en van der Vaart can supply balls from the wings. I think Galasek is needed to plug a middle that ,if the Inter game was any indication, will need plugging.Litmanen playing behind the front two can not only create but put himself in a position to get the ball in space.I believe our bench should include Stekelenberg, DeJong, Yakubu, Pienaar, Wamberto, Boukhari en Sikora.

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2002

Some thoughts...

Ajax has done great this far in the season, second round in the Champions League and a lead in the Eredivisie eventhough there has been plenty of injuries.

From now on it's gonna be REALLY tough. Valencia, Roma and Arsenal are no mediocre teams. The injury situation is not that bad at the moment. Only van Damme and O'brien gone, right? Too bad it's two left defenders, but that's life. What do you think of Wednesday's game in Spain? Will we see Litmanen from start? Zlatan or Mido? And the rest, what about the line-up?

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2002

In their last league matches before Tuesday's CL matches, our group opponents have had mixed results. Valencia presently lead 2:0 at home to Real Valladolid.Mista is the goal scorer of the tallies scored thus far. Carew is listed among the subs.For what it's worth, Valencia lined out thusly:Canizares;Garrido, Marchena, Pellegrino,Carboni;Albelda, Baraja,Angulo,Mista;Kily Gonzalez,Juan Sanchez.Subs are listed as Palop, Djukic, Aurelio, Curro Torres, De Los Santos,Vicente,en Carew.

Roma lost 3:0 at mid-table Parma. Arsenal also conceded three goals,losing at Southampton 3:2.Bergkamp played en scoort voor Arsenal.

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2002

Menno, Yes indeed Aimar is a big loss. Rufete and Carew will also be missed, but its Aimar who pulls the strings.

I can only hope for all of Ajax's players to be in good health. In particular Jari who is a must in these Champions League games. His experience and ability were sorely lacking against Inter. We need his clever touches and playmaking abilty always.



-- Anonymous, November 19, 2002

So bassicly this Pablo Aimar dude is like the Rafael v.d. Vaart of Valencia.. Good thing he's out then for the Ajax match.. ;)

-- Anonymous, November 19, 2002

Regarding several Valencia starters whose fitness is questionable, here is what I found out about them:

Francisco Joaquin Perez Rufete: age 25, 1.78 m, 72kg, purchased from Malaga(Kiki Musampa's club).3x capped Spanish international. Midfielder. 1 goal is listed in the CL this year.It was the winner in Valencia's 0:1 at Anfield. 0 goals listed in the domestic games click down that I saw. 1 yellow card. It appears he is one of their first 11 generally.

Juan Pablo Aimar: age 23,Argentine international.Midfielder. Was Javier Saviola's and Juan Pablo Angel's stable mate at River Plate.Saw him in El Clasico against Boca, in Estadio Monumental, Buenos Aires. Helluva talent. Very quick. Great moves and great motor.Had goal in Valencia's home demolition of Basel. Listed as a starter in games that I checked. Had 4 league goals, including a hat trick v.Athletic Bilbao.

John Alieu Carew: 1.95 meters is one stat that jumps out at me. 6'4" or so.Formerly at Rosenborg. So,if he should be fit, Andre bergdolmo might have insight into hime.Capped Norwegian international. 3 league goals listed. Most games is listed as starter. 2 goals v. Basel. 3 starts and i sub-in listed as his CL activities on the page I saw.

Valencia has an excellent english language version of their site ( It even lists tourist info for perspective Ajax travelling support to peruse.Yeah, they are the ENEMY. Just wish would take a cue from them.

-- Anonymous, November 19, 2002

Salutations Mr Liebling!

Long time no hear.

I think Arsenal are ripe for the picking! No hard feelings after the Bergkamp red card and the v.d. Vaart hat- trick eh?


-- Anonymous, November 19, 2002

Hi, Rick from Arsenal America here. Not looking to troll as those of you who know me know that I am an Ajax fan as well. I'm really looking forward to the 2nd Group Stage, but I do differ with Menno on his assessments. Valencia are very strong. They may not be looking great in Spain at the moment, but they grabbed 16 of a possible 18 points in the 1st group stage. AS Roma aren't world beaters, but overall I would say Serie A has improved greatly from where it was the last 3-4 years. All four of their teams advanced to the 2nd group stage this year.

Of course I'm partial to Arsenal who seem to be regaining form. I think this will be a tough group for Ajax who will need some help. If Arsenal can beat down Valencia (no guarantee) and Roma and Valencia can split (possible) and Ajax can get points off of Roma, then Ajax can maybe slip in. Best of luck! Hup Ajax!

-- Anonymous, November 19, 2002

I don,t much about that guy Rufete...But Pablo Aimar is a fantastic argentinian offensive middle player (the typical little but talented argentinian offensive player, like Saviola or Maradona....). He can dribble pass and score if under threat :O) ....

His absence for the next CL is a really good new I think...

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002

I really hope Carew won't play,cause he is a tall,strong,skillful-and most important- quite accurate striker...

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002

Rich wrote: "Valencia are the Champions Of Spain, and that alone speaks volumes. They have also played in the Finals of this Tournament 2 out of the last 3 seasons. Aimar is the main threat. He is a true playmaker who runs at people."

Great news for Rich and for Ajax!

On Saturday, Valencia Cf did not only lose three points against Osasuna (1-0 defeat); they also lost Pablo Aimar. VI reports that Aimar had to be subbed after only 25 minutes, due to a rather serious muscular injury. According to Valencia's medical staff, he will be out for three or four weeks and will surely miss the first Ajax game.

Same goes for a guy named Rufete, who's also sidelined for three/four weeks. He will not play against Ajax.

Valencia's Norwegian striker John Carew is doubtful for the Ajax game. He has turned down the invitation to play with Norway this week. He has good hopes to be fit in time for the Ajax game, but this is not certain.

BTW: Carew was the guy who criticized Zlatan's attitude in the press, after which Zlatan said: "What Carew can do with a ball, I can do with an orange." *LOL* Great remark :-)

To be honest, I don't know who these guys Aimar and Rufete are. But this is a major loss for Valencia - right, Rich??

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002

hey Chris, you have a realistic opinion I guess, but man, Ajax is your club! and no matter what, you always beleive that your club is the best! right?!

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002

Lots has been written about Tuesday's match. Just had to throw my 2 euros in the mix. First, DEAR AJAX:Please don't hand out white flags to wave before the CL home games again. I felt like I was surrendering before the game even started. At least make the flag Ajax Rood en Wit,or red with white letters. Okay , a red flag would make me feel like I am attending a Communist Party event.Still, NO SURRENDER PLEASE! Second,Dr. Pot, is it normal to lose and feel happy? Or is it just that I've footie-fever bad?Third, please make sure the referee has not had personal problems recently. Fourth, reserve a ticket to at least one CL match for me. The Ajax supporters I had the please of seeing again;Menno, Bastiaan,Bill and Lesley,Jim, Mark;and those I met for the first time;Ray,Steve, Michiel and others whose names my beer haze has caused me to forget;are the salt of the earth. Can't wait for the next time. Cheers All! To those who are thinking about attending a CL,League or Cup match...DO IT! Time to raise the cash for the next time.What a week. Fade to black.....

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002

i meant that we will probably get the crap kicked out of us, THIS TIME, but in a couple of years we will be on top. Honestly, they're young and good, but when they grow up they will be REALLY good.

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002

There has been a sorta mistake with the name "Chris"....I thought Menno was debating Christian Chivu's departure for Real Madrid. Sorry.

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002

Well Menno...I guess that it's indeed really cool if you didn't vote and reload 20 times :O) (I did it on another pool few years ago)

As for Chris...i'm REALLY disappointed...Maybe Ajax should think of a partnership with Auxerre and Nantes (all those teams produce the greatest talents every year and get stolen the year damn pisses me off !!!)

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002

good morning.

I am dutch real ajax supporter and i think we can go to the next round. its stroong in a pool with arseal valecia and roma but we can get it!


-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002

Good morning ladies and gentleman, and welcome to my lecture on schizophrenia and manic depression. Schizophrenia is also known as 'multiple personality syndrom'. A schizophrenic person creates in his mind several different personalities. It is hard to tell which personality the schizophrenic person 'is' (or: believes to be) on a given moment. This is a confusing situation for the people around him, as it is very well possible that the patient's points of view change very quickly, in a sometimes extreme way, depending on the person he believes to be on that moment.

On to manic depression. A person suffering from manic depression can be recognized by his or her extreme mood-swings. His or her depressions ('downs') may unexpectedly turn into a mania ('up') and back again. During a depression, the patient may well be extremely vulnerable and sometimes even suicidal. During a mania, however, he or she may feel like he or she can beat the world. Unexpected and sudden changes from extreme pessimism to extreme optimism are a common symptom.

Any questions? No? Fine, then let's move on to our case study. We would like to welcome Chris. It's very brave of him to be here and we appreciate it very much. Now, my students, here are two statements made by Chris in a stretch of time of only a few minutes. My question to you all: is Chris suffering from schizphrenia or manic depression?

Chris wrote:

"Does anyone else have the opinion that Ajax will be Euro champs again, within the next three years? I mean, our youth will get better and better each year, and the upcoming EXODUS :( will only happen AFTER we win the CL, right??? :)"

And a few minutes later, Chris wrote:

"don't get me wrong, I am Ajacied for ever, but why are so many people confident of what Ajax can do? I see them losing all 6 games as a realistic possibility, or perhaps finishing no better than 3rd. I mean, even Roma could beat our butts."

I am looking forward to your essays on Chris. Good luck!

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002

don't get me wrong, I am Ajacied for ever, but why are so many people confident of what Ajax can do? I see them losing all 6 games as a realistic possibility, or perhaps finishing no better than 3rd. I mean, even Roma could beat our butts. it's nice to see that the Londoners and the Valencians(?) think so highly of us, but is that realistic? Also our performances in Europe haven't been too hot the last couple of years, but perhaps being the first Dutch team to qualify for the 2nd stage, will change all that :)


-- Anonymous, November 16, 2002

it will be great to see van der vaart fully fit against such great opponents. these games will prove to be a test for him and his team mates. if van der vaart can rise to the occasion ajax will have a great chance of qualification

-- Anonymous, November 16, 2002

Does anyone else have the opinion that Ajax will be Euro champs again, within the next three years? I mean, our youth will get better and better each year, and the upcoming EXODUS :( will only happen AFTER we win the CL, right??? :)

-- Anonymous, November 16, 2002

Bertrand wrote: "There's also a poll on Valencia site...Can someone check it out?? My browser doesn't support the type of applications used here."

I checked and guess what: 795 votes for Ajax, 793 for Arsenal, 548 for AS Roma. It's good to see that there's apparently so much respect for Ajax in both Valencia and London. This poll on the Valencia website is very tight, tho. Why don't we all go there and tell 'em who's gonna be their toughest opponent (or 'enemy' , as their website says)?

This is the place to vote:

-- Anonymous, November 16, 2002

There's also a poll on Valencia site...Can someone check it out ?? My browser doesn't support the type of applications used here.

-- Anonymous, November 16, 2002

I just went to Arsenals website to see what they thought about their group. There was the same old blah blah blah, however they do have a voting poll on who the fans believe will be the toughest opponent for them. Ajax ranks number 1 at 46%, Valencia 42%, and then Roma 12%.

-- Anonymous, November 16, 2002

Looks like we have to play Inter style football. I'm confidence we can get good results from Roma dan Arsenal and hopefully at least 1 point from Valencia. i Think we will go through with Valencia. You'll never know. The ball is round. anything can happen

-- Anonymous, November 16, 2002

come on guys! it seems you dont have faith in our boys...i know the current squad is mainly composed of young players but always remember that Ajax is "always" composed of young and TALENTED players! Litmanen will bring experience and maturity to the team and i still believe Koeman can pull this one.

Arsenal is very dangerous...if you let them be! Ajax can BEAT them by exploiting their weak defenders like Cole. i think Chivu and Bergdolmo can keep Henry and Wiltord at bay and if only Zlatan and Mido can be sharp enough to finish their chances i think Ajax can grab 4 points over Arsenal.

Valencia is one tough nut to crack for they have strong and disciplined defenders...using the 4-3-3 would stretch them and this is probably our best way to beat them. i hope Sikora can regain his form back for he would be the key along side with Van der Meyde. Aimar is very lethal like Van der Vaart...i just cant wait for the opening game in Valencia to see them clashing and out-performing each other!

Roma...just keep Totti out of the game and we can have six points on this one and Ajax must be sharp and not lose their concentration like the way they did in the two games with Inter in order to secure the points in the bag!

remember that we are supporting Ajax and Ajax for me is the strongest club in the world. call me arrogant and naive but if only Ajax can play up to their potential we can destroy even Real Madrid hehehe

-- Anonymous, November 15, 2002

I agree with Menno's breakdown of the next rounds opponents 100%.

Arsenal started off the season on fire. In recent weeks they have dropped off, but I definitley can see them winning the competition. They have incredible strength in numbers, and they have some real quality in their squad. Should be interesting when Bergkamp returns. He really provides a spark with that extra bit of class, and cutting edge. I think he is there pivotal player.

In regards to how Arsenal play, or how Ajax will play against them, I believe that we will have some chances as Arsenal like to attack, and will leave some spaces in the back. Lauren the Cameroonian right back is a solid player, but until he came to Arsenal he played as a winger or wide midfielder. In other words he is not a true defender, and my hopes are that he can be exposed. The same goes for left back Ashley Cole. He is better going forward then he is defending. Plus he is a little nasty, and can lose his head. Anyway it is my belief that our wingers should have the best of these two guys. Still they are tough players and a strong team, and in any case I hope for two attractive matches with the Gunners.

Valencia are the Champions Of Spain, and that alone speaks volumes. They have also played in the Finals of this Tournament 2 out of the last 3 seasons. Aimar is the main threat. He is a true playmaker who runs at people. Overall they play very disciplined football from what I have seen of them in the past. They will play more cautiously then Arsenal. This is a tough team plain and simple. They do not have the real big names in their squad like Arsenal, but they are a very solid side who will be tough to breakdown.

Roma have a lot of quality in their team too. The main man is also a playmaker Totti, "The Diver"' He is a threat when he decides to stop falling down and bitching. I hope we beat them because I do not like Fabio Capello. He is very full of himself. Just ask him? An expert on everything. If anything he has been extremely fortunate to manage great sides like Ac Milan and Real Madrid. They can play attacking football if they want, but they really are a typical Italian counter- attacking side. In my opinion they are slightly better then Inter as they have a playmaker, and Inter does not. Again that is my call on that matter. Although Inter has better defenders as a whole.

I look forward to the games!

-- Anonymous, November 15, 2002

Valencia only reached the final in 2000 and 2001, it was Leverkusen last year (I remember Zidane's volley). Anyway it's a really good team (but a constructive good team) and it promises many good matches...

-- Anonymous, November 15, 2002

Normally we won't make it.And we all agree with that.But deep inside we know that we have a chance.Well,not if we don't improve some things in our play.I hope that Koeman can find the way,so we will make it.If Ajax goes through,the whole world will start talking about the red-white shirt again.It would be great...

-- Anonymous, November 15, 2002

Great, great group. This is so exciting. Reaching the second group stage was the goal for this season. We've done that, so from now on everything's a bonus. I've deleted words such as 'optimism' and 'pessimism' from my vocabulary. These are three extremely attractive opponents. Good for us.

My personal assessment?

I think we normally won't stand a chance against Arsenal. I think they at this moment they are one of the best football teams in the world. I think Arsenal and Real Madrid will play each other in the final.

Valencia is the reigning of the strongest, highest quality football league in the world and they reached the last two Champions League finals. Normally we would lose twice against them, but they're not doing too well this season in the league. They are not as good as last season. So who knows.

I am not too impressed by AS Roma. The Serie A is not remotely as good as it used to be and AS Roma is currently 6th. If the Italian league leaders (Inter) need a blind referee in order to stay out of big fat trouble against an Ajax team without Chivu and Litmanen, then why wouldn't we be able to beat Italy's number 6 with Chivu and Litmanen?

Opponents from the Inter category (defensive, destructive and lethal on counter-attack) are the very toughest for Ajax. Ajax always has problems against that kind of team (best example: FC Porto, in the late 1980s). I think Arsenal is way better than Inter, Valencia is of similar quality and AS Roma is a little weaker than Inter. But that's not too relevant. What's very important to me, is the fact that they all play more open, more attractive football than Inter. Ajax always plays better football than against such teams.

Normally we're not gonna make it - but who knows - and I'm just gonna have one hell of a fucking great time, I guarantee you that.

-- Anonymous, November 15, 2002

So it will be Valencia, Arsenal and As Roma. I am pretty satisfied with the pool....Those teams play a beautiful and offensive football, so it should produce great matches with goals and stuff...

I think that Ajax gets chances to advance to the quarters. Let's hope they won't waste too much energy in the process.

-- Anonymous, November 15, 2002

Wow... They like math at Ajax Netwerk... They calculated the exact percentages, as to the chance of bumping into a certain opponent...

Juventus 53%; FC Barcelona 33%; Valencia 33%; Bayer Leverkusen 31%; Borussia Dortmund 31%; Arsenal 25%; AC Milan 25%; AS Roma 25%; Real Madrid 19%; Manchester United 17%; Deportivo La Coruna 17%; Internazionale 0%; Lokomotiv Moskou 0%; Newcastle United 0%; FC Basel 0%.

Also, they calculated the exact chances for each of the group options I posted a few minutes ago. You know what? You should check out that report on Ajax Netwerk. It's in Dutch, but just scroll down and you'll see all the possible groups and the percentages... Interesting stuff.

Man U, Juve and Coruna is the biggest chance (17%)...

My favourite group would be Barcelona, Juventus and Leverkusen (that's 6%).

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002

This is kind of funny... These are all the possibilities. There are no other options than these fifteen...

1. Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen, Ajax 2. Real Madrid, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax

3. Real Madrid, AC Milan, Bayer Leverkusen, Ajax

4. Real Madrid, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax

5. Manchester United, Juventus, Deportivo la Coruna, Ajax

6. FC Barcelona, Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen, Ajax

7. FC Barcelona, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax

8. FC Barcelona, Arsenal, AS Roma, Ajax

9. FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Bayer Leverkusen, Ajax

10. FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax

11. Valencia, Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen, Ajax

12. Valencia, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax

13. Valencia, Arsenal, AS Roma, Ajax

14. Valencia, AC Milan, Bayer Leverkusen, Ajax

15. Valencia, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002

It sure would be interesting to see Barcelona in the group wouldn't be?

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002

Your 'draw' is one of only a few options left Bill, but you can hardly call it a draw with so many teams through to the next round from the same country. It's already for sure that Man Utd and Deportivo will be in the same group and Arsenal and Roma will be in the same group, there's no other option for those teams. So with those two groups I'm not sure which one I favour I would rather have Man Utd instead of Arsenal but I also want Roma instead of Deportivo. Well, it's gonna be hard anyway, but very nice.

Another thing, we look at the first 3 pots and can see only big opponants but I'm sure that a lot of those teams are not happy to see Ajax in pot 4 and they will all wish that they get one of the other 3 'weaker' teams. We can say that we'll make up for a group of 'death' ;)

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002

I have a feeling in my waters that the draw will come out something along these lines :

Real Madrid Juve Leverkusen Ajax

Moan U Inter Deportivo Moskva

Barca Arsenal Roma Basel

Valencia AC Milan B Dortmond Newcastle

So there we have it and if it comes out like this I reckon we will have an evens chance of qualifying for the quarter finals.

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002

The draw is also live on Eurosport.

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002


Our honourable webmaster Jim has been staying with me in Amsterdam fir the past five days. He's leaving today, but his travels are not over. He will visit a few places in the U.S. before flying back home to California on Saturday. This means that the Ajax USA homepage will not be updated immediately after the draw on Friday. Our reports will appear on the site on Saturday. However, I will write my reports immediately and post them to the 'European Opponents' thread on these discussion boards. We recommend following the draw in real- time on on Friday 15 November from 12:00 CET onwards (6:00 AM Eastern/3:00 AM Pacific).

The draw takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, and starts at 12:00 CET.

Here's the deal: the sixteen remaining clubs will be seeded into four pots, based on UEFA's ranking of clubs. You can see the qualified clubs and their ranking on this page on One team from each pot will be drawn into each group. However, there are two restrictions:

1. Clubs from the same country can not be in one group 2. Clubs that advanced from the same first round group can not be in one group.

So there's a few things we're already sure of: forget about FC Basel, Lokomotiv Moscow or Newcastle as our one 'weak' (??) opponent. They're with us in pot four, so we're gonna get the big shots. The 'weakest' (??) team we can possibly bump into is Borussia Dortmund, yes Sir.

Also: four Italian and four Spanish sides are in the second round. They can not be drawn into the same group, which means there will surely be one Italian and one Spanish side in each group. Ajax was in a group with Inter in the first round, so we're surely getting either Juventus, or AC Milan, or AS Roma. Also, we're sure to face one Spanish side (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia or Deportivo La Coruna).

The chance of meeting an English side (there's three of them, is also quite large. I personally feel that Man Utd and Arsenal are much better than the two German sides, so I hope it's going to be AS Roma (= the weakest of the three Italian sides we can draw), Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen. That would be my perfect draw.

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002


Thanks to Espn 2 I'm off to the sports book to watch the first match this season. No waiting anxiously for to refresh. By the way, the Vegas oddsmakers have Ajax as a 1/2 goal favorite.

Last thoughts... I hope we play a 4-3-3 and attack. We need a quick goal to get the party started. Stay warm boys... all of Vegas is rooting for you!

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

Well buddies, read that quote from Sidney Govou Lyon international forward taken from the french sports paper L'Equipe of tuesday morning :

" First of all my greatest fear is the cold...It's always been my problem...I'll try to use as many clothes as possible, and to warm up cautiously. My main fear is my feet and the hands. Anyway we'll have to be confident"

Sure he'll have to be....a -6C (Hey mom !!! Where's my "Farenheit for dummies" ?????) is foretold for tonight.

Mahamadou Diarra may have fully recovered from his malaria (a friend o' mine, who's from Guinea told me that you never fully recover from such a disease though)....and be on the field.

Another good one from J.M. Aulas, Lyon chairman :

"The pitch is even worse that in Moscou (Moscow, sorry :O) )...We can even say it is a dangerous field for my players"

Hope it will be enough.

So good ESPN2 for the lucky ones...and good for me and the others... Bye.

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

That's right. Jakob's right. Excusez-moi, or whatever :-)

But if both games end in a draw, we adance, so no reason to worry about that, Bill. If Lyon win, we have to win, too.

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

Menno wrote: "We will only be out if Lyon wins and we lose (a draw with Inter is always enough)."

A draw with Inter is not always enough. If Lyon wins in Norway and Ajax-Inter ends in a draw, the top two will be Lyon and Inter. Sad but true.

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

Bill wrote: "Mixed thoughts on tomorrow's game in that I feel that the two games will end in draws thus allowing Lyon and Inter through."

Correction: if both games end in a draw, Ajax and Inter advance! In fact, if Rosenborg vs Lyon ends in a draw, Ajax advance no matter what (even if they lose to Lyon). Ajax is now a point ahead of Lyon. If Ajax lose and Lyon draw, both have eight points (with Inter as the group winner). In that case, Ajax advance because of the better results in the Ajax vs Lyon games.

Bottom line: if Lyon don't win, we go to the second round. The Rosenborg away game is a must-win for Lyon. We will only be out if Lyon wins and we lose (a draw with Inter is always enough).

By the way: on André Bergdølmo has guaranteed us that Rosenborg will notch at least a point. He was very sure about this. He told that he's made a lot of phone calls to his friends Roar Strand and Erik Hoftun of 'RBK'.

Here's two great quotes: "They told me: 'relax André, that second round is yours'. They would rather see those nice Amsterdammers advance than those arrogant French or Italians. In all those years of Champions League football, Rosenborg has only lost at home to Dynamo Kiev, AC Milan and Spartak Moscow. Besides: it's the last game of the season for them and it's also the farewell game for the coach. They're determined to finish this in good fashion."

Also, he pointed out that it may be minus 12 degrees Celsius in Trondheim. Some other sites say minus 6, but anyways - it will be freezing. It's no co-incidence that only Dynamo Kiev and Spartak Moscow managed to 'beat the circumstances' in Norway.

I hope the Olympique Mayonnais ladies forgot to bring their nylon stockings... ;-)

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

Mixed thoughts on tomorrow's game in that I feel that the two games will end in draws thus allowing Lyon and Inter through.

This is where the mixed feelings come in - I dearly want Ajax to go through but feel that they are not yet up to the challenge which the second group stage will present and I can see a real tonking happening. However, in the UEFA cup they do stand a very good chance of going a long way. From the monetary aspect I want them to stay in the CL as the rewards are that much higher and also that will enable us to keep the better players into next season. On the other hand, they could fall into the trap of concentrating too much on the CL and letting the Eredivisie title drift away.

So as I said mixed thoughts, but when it comes down to it I just want them to beat the Italians tomorrow and worry about the consequences when they happen.

Forza Ajax as they say !!!!

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2002

Here's a nice little pre-game article about Inter, including quotes from their captain, Zanetti. It's from Chann el Enjoy.

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2002

An Ajax vs Inter news update...

First off: the referee will be Mr Urs Meier from Switzerland. An experienced referee, whom Ajax has met once before. In 1997, he led the first leg of the UEFA Cup tie between Ajax and Italian side Udinese, in the Amsterdam ArenA. Ajax won, 1-0, on a single goal by Dani (assist: Jari Litmanen). Ajax ended up eliminating Udinese. They went two goals down in Italy, but were saved by a late Shota Arveladze. A 2-1 defeat, but the away goal was enough to advance.

Tuesday's opponent, Internazionale FC, lost 2-1 to Udinese as well, last Saturday, making for a bad dress-rehearsal for Tuesday's game. It was Inter's first Serie A defeat of the season. City rivals AC Milan could have joined Inter at the top of the table, but failed to do so, losing 2-1 at Juventus. The Turin side is now second, while Inter stays tops. Inter's only goal against Udinese was scored after only two minutes, by Christian Vieri.

Central defender Fabio Cannavaro sustained an injury against Udinese, which will keep him sidelined on Tuesday. Inter coach Hector Cuper revealed his squad for the decisive Champions League clash on Sunday - and Cannavaro is not in it. He will stay in Italy.

The twenty players for the Ajax game are:

Goalkeepers: Toldo,Fontana

Defenders: J.Zanetti, Vivas, Cordoba, Materazzi, Gamarra, Adani, Coco, Pasquale.

Midfielders: Conceiçao, Okan, Di Biagio, Almeyda, Emre, Morfeo, Beati.

Forwards: Recoba, Crespo, Vieri.

Ajax vs Inter (kick-off 20:45 CET on Tuesday) is completely sold- out. Anyone desperate to buy a ticket will have to revert to an unofficial ticket tout/agent. As usual, Ajax USA recommends Ticket Unlimited, based in Amsterdam-East. Information about them is listed on the Ajax USA 'Tickets' page.

For anyone in possession of a ticket: note that you will have to show photo ID at the ArenA gates. Don't forget to bring your passport/driver's license. The checking of all the passports has caused significant delays at the entrance prior to recent league games. Therefore, kindly requests all Ajax fans to be present at the ArenA at least one hour before the game.

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2002

In a news tidbit dated yesterday(from's english section), Hector Cuper states" I don't think Cannavaro will manage to make the match in Amsterdam". Not sure if this is typical pre-match verbal or the truth.

-- Anonymous, November 10, 2002

As disappointing as the draw last night may have been to some Ajax supporters, it is still a better result than Inter's 1:2 defeat v. Udinese today.I imagine that the Inter faithful can't be too thrilled.AWWWWWW!! For the record, call this know thy enemy 101, Inter's line-up was as follows: Toldo;Zanetti, Cordoba, Materazzi, Coco; Conceicao,Emre,DiBiagio, Morfeo;Vieri, Recoba. Subbed in on 69' were Crespo and Almeyda.

-- Anonymous, November 09, 2002

I don't have a clue whether Rosenborg will be a challenge to Lyon on Tuesday evening but the weather may be. The daytime temp is supposed to be 0'c(33'f for celsius illiterates like me) dropping down to -4'c (24'f overnight). I hope Lyon hate the cold.

-- Anonymous, November 09, 2002

Will this guy Zlatan play against Inter? I think they'll need his talent. I saw last time they played and he made a move very few people can do in the world. Havent seen much of him but, from what I've seen, he's one of the most talented players for the last 20 years or so. You must let a guy like this play, otherwise he will lose his confidence.

Good luck, Brian Toft Football-writer London

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2002

It seems I had a 40-something moment. I said Roma has one more game than Ajax in its run up to Tuesday.That may be the case but I meant Inter of course.

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2002

A few tidbits from the english-language section of the Inter website: First, Fabio Cannavaro sustained a slight leg injury against Como at the weekend. Quoting the site"The Nerazzuro defender has sustained a slight injury to the muscular fascia at the insert of the tibia on the front part of his right leg". Cannavaro will not play away to Empoli Wednesday, the article says. Cannavaro is a warrior. It will probably take nothing short of an amputation to keep him from facing Ajax but, hey, every little bit helps. Second, Roma has one more match in the run-up to next Tuesday.They are away at Empoli Wednesday and home to a decent Udinese side on Saturday.Also, they are away to Roma only four days after they meet Ajax.

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2002

In checking ESPN.coms preview of todays AC Ajaccio v. Lyon match, I read that Sonny Anderson won't play due to a thigh strain, keeper Gregory Coupet won't line out because of what is described as a thigh problem, and Sidney Govou has a minor knee injury. There is no mention of them not being ready for Ajax but ,hey, every little bit helps.

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2002

From Ajax Netwerk:

"Rosenborg BK (Ajax' next Champions League opponent, on Tuesday at the ArenA) has won the Norwegian league championship today (Sunday), without playing themselves. The only team that still had a tiny chance to leapfrog Rosenborg, Molde, lost a Stabæk (4-2). 'RBK' itself played on Saturday: 2-2 against Sogndal. It is as yet unknown whether Rosenborg will interrupt their preparations for the Ajax game to celebrate the title."

Congrats, RBK. Now celebrate, celebrate, celebrate... Party like you've never partied before! Never mind the hangover... ;-)

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2002

I just received the following email from a new member, in Norway:

I just joined Ajax-usa, and I just wanted to give you som extra info about Rosenborg.

No 1: The official website is pure crap, the Champions League part hasn't been updated since last year!!! I reccomend you use the site made by Thomas Myhren, one of our Kjernen (RBK supporters) members. He has been in talks with Rosenborg about webmastering their site too! Put it this way...all the major newspapers use HIS site, not the official one, for news from the club!

No 2: Bergdølmo is actually NOT the only link between the two clubs! ;) Nils Arne Eggen, our coach who now is about to lead us to our 11th straight ch'ship, went on a field trip to Ajax in the 70's and fell in love with their football! Rosenborg's entire football philosophy (though when it comes to our youth system, on a much smaller level) is based on the 70's Ajax team, which shows, when you compare our style of play to the crappy kick-and-run National Team!

Oh, and I just read about the Ajax Academy focusing on Dutch boys, and I have to mention that in the XI that beat AC Milan at San Siro in december 96, fielded 9 out of 11 players from the region around the city of Trondheim. The number in the starting XI is lower now, but if you view the squad as a whole, you'll still see this. That is also one of of coach Eggen's philosophies: A team Of and BY Trøndere (our region, Trøndelag)!

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know this! Your website is great! Now let's trash Lyon and Inter and advance to the next stage together! ;)

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2002

Rosenborg BK had a significantly better 'dress-rehearsal' than Ajax for Wednesday's Champions League game. The away game in the Norwegian league at Bodo/Glimt was won in convincing style: 1-4. All goals of the game were scored in the second half. Azar Karadas scored twice for the Norwegian champions. Frode Johnsen and - of course - Harald Martin Brattbakk added one each.

'RBK' is at the top of the Norwegian league at the moment, with 49 points our of 23 games (the league is Feb-Nov in Norway; not Sep-May, like in most European countries). Rosenborg BK is three points ahead of Molde and Lyn.

Their first two Champions League games brought Rosenborg BK one point. TInter was lucky to steal a 2-2 draw from Trondheim's Lerkendal Stadium, but a demolishing by Olympique Lyon followed a week later: 5-0 to the French.

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

I think no one will blame Ajax for its defeat in away match against Inter. The guys dominated at the entire game, but wasn't lucky enough.

Ajax was absolutely unclucky, especially our poor Pasanen. Hi made only one mistake for a Crespo's good day.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

Olympiakos lost to Maccabi 3-0!!!!!The same team that humiliated Leverkusen 6-2 last week.Those Greeks are crazy indeed... :-)

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2002

This may have already been posted, but if youre looking for really good highlights of the CL match, go to, go to the AJAX page and it should be there, its about a 3 minute clip, very nice, in english. (although they dont seem to know how to pronounce all of the names very well!!)

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2002

The UEFA disciplinary court has suspended Inter central defender Fabio Cannavaro for one game, due to his red card (double yellow) at Rosenborg BK (2-2). This means he will have to miss Inter's home game against Ajax. Abubakari Yakubu (also a double yellow) will almost certainly be handed a one game suspension as well.

Sad about Yakubu, but his suspension is not nearly as bad for Ajax as Cannavaro's is for Inter. I think this is excellent. All the reports I read about Inter's current roster were of the same tenor: Cannavaro and no-one else than Cannavaro made Inter's leaky defense solid. Before that (last season) they conceded far too many goals for an Italian top-side.

Zlatan, Mido - take advantage!

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2002

Sure enough, Geo,

Shocking result indeed. The 6-2 score pipped ManYoo's 5-2 victory over M.Haifa. Another blow for German teams - Bayern lost at home to Depor, on 3 goals scored by Mackaay. Yesterday's Dortmund loss at Arsenal meant that German teams started 0-0-3 in the CL (not that I'm counting...)

On the other hand, Spanish teams have fared superbly in the 1st round. Barca also won, to join Depor today plus Real & Valencia yesterday as victors.

I'm begining to get into this CL thing...can't wait till Wed 25th, Inter vs Ajax !

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2002

I'm posting this,because those two teams are possible future opponents of Ajax(well,and because i want to show off about my country's team :-P): Olympiakos F.C.-Leverkusen 6-2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Damn,those Greeks are crazy!!! ;-)

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

I am disappointed to read that Koeman will play a more defensive system against Lyon today.

I can understand a couple of his points that Ajax are inexperienced in this competition, and that Lyon is a good team. Plus Ajax has not performed very well so farthis season, but (That but word is important) I ask aren't we (Ajax) at home, and shouldn't the coach have more faith?

Is Koeman giving Lyon too much respect? Why not impose ourselves on them? I really have a feeling (I hope so anyway) that the boys have been waiting for this moment, and are very fired up for this Champions League competition.

Finally it bothers me that in reality Ajax can play this match without its top players. Depending on the system of play, injury, and suspension Ajax can play without Van Der Meyde, Sikora, Chivu, Van Der Vaart, and Mido. Ouch!!!!! I would have liked our chances a whole lot better with them in the first 11.

I am sure it will be a great atmosphere at the Arena. Too bad for us in the US who will have to "watch", via websites like

That SUCKS!!!!

GO Ajax

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

Oh yeah, forgot to add one thing...

I should be noted that Lyon is not having such a great season's start. The team is currently 6th on the table, with 11 points out of 7 games. They did better last season.

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2002

I remember Ben Bell posting this somewhere, but I can't find the thread...

Anyway: Tuesday's opponent, Olympique Lyonnais (or simply Olympique Lyon) did not have a good dress-rehearsal for the big Champions League game. The French champions lost their away game at FC Nantes, 1-0. Lyon played with ten men fromas early as the 34th minute, because former Vitesse star Mahmadou Diarra was sent off. Actually, he got two yellow cards in less than two minutes' time.

According to some reports, former FC Barcelona player Sonny Anderson did not play in order to give him some rest for the Ajax game. Given the fact that Nantes-away is a tough away game in France, this would indicate that Lyon are completely focusing on Ajax.

Their line-up at Nantes was:

Coupet; Deflandre, Caçapa, Edmilson, Bréchet (66. Govou); Diarra, Violeau (46. Delmotte), Carrière (46. Dhorasoo), Juninho; Vairelles, Luyindula.

Lyon plays in a 4-4-2 system, with (according to Luyindula as the most dangerous striker and Dhorasoo as a fast and very inpredictable forward, expected to be brought on later in the game.

It's going to be very tough, I'm sure. French football in general has been better than Italian football in the past two, three seasons. And, as far as I can see, Olympique Lyon (not Inter) is the best team in our group. So beware, Ajax! Kicking off with a home defeat is not good!

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2002

"Ajax has also reasons to be satisfied with the geographical situation of its opponents. There are no tremendously long trips to, for example, Galatasaray (Turkey) or Maccabi Haifa (Israël, playing its home games in Cyprus). And there are no trips to countries where circumstances can be extreme (Russia, Ukraine, Greece). Milan, Lyon and Trondheim seem attractive destinations for travelling fans from The Netherlands."...Extreme circumstances?Like what?As far as distance is concerned,a trip to Milan is very close to a trip to Athens.Not to mention that probably Athens is a more attractive destination than all three you mentioned above... ;-) Anyway,no Ajax in Athens at least on the first round... :-(

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

So I see that Celtic chokes at first hurdle against Swiss side FC Basle. No suprise to me as they are not very good. I know its the past, but Ajax should never have played so poorly in that 1st Leg 3rd Round Champions League Qualifier last season.

Cannot wait for the Champions League action to begin.

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

I am pleased with the Champions League draw for Ajax. Here are some thoughts:

Inter Milan are one of the biggest names in world football, and they are a team who continues to buy, buy, buy. However, despite their deep pockets, and a who's who of world football in their squad, they have not won Serie A since Matthaeus, Klinsmann, and Brehme wore the black & blue strip.

Too bad Seedorf moved to city rivals Ac Milan or else we would have seen a homecoming of sorts.

Conclusion, we should get 4 points from these 2 games. BTW, I will say it now, I think Vieri is a slug. Terribly overated is this bulldozer of a center forward.

Lyon is a good French side, but they are nothing to be afraid of either. Another 4 points I think, while Norwegian side Rosenborg have caused trouble for some of the big sides in the past. Still maximum points should be taken from this team.

Let's here what you have to say about these picks?



-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

Interesting to note from that our friends down the road in Eindhoven have been given 2 entries in the CL draw. Their name appears in both pots two and three. Won't make any difference, as they would still go out in the first phase even if they had all 32 teams.

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

Well at least one potential banana-skin has gone in Celtic going out last night.

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

Alright... The 'Big Day'. It really feels as if some major Champions League game will be played tonight, but it's only the draw that will take place. We've a long time for this (1998 was the last time) and I can't wait...

Read this very interesting article from about the
-- Anonymous, July 11, 2002

And i forgot to tell you that in the Olympiakos-Ajax game,5 of my hardcore-Olympiakos'-fans-friends bought flowers and gave them to Jari Litmanen when he got out of the team's bus...

-- Anonymous, July 09, 2002

:-D Yeah Bill that would be great.It is better to play with Olympiakos than AEK Athens.Olympiakos is a much better team,but it would be difficult for me to get in the AEK stadium,wearing my Machlas shirt(AEK fans would kill me,because of a Vitesse-AEK game some years ago that Nikos scored 2 times in Athens and they hate him since then).For your information,Olympiakos has the biggest number of fans in Greece.Their favorite European club is Ajax,because of the Panathinaikos-Ajax game some years ago.Since then,MANY MANY Olympiakos fans wear Ajax shirts!!!(because of the red-white colour too)...So i am very curious to see if they will welcome Ajax fans in Athens,or act with their primitive insticts as always :-P

-- Anonymous, July 06, 2002

The list Ben Bell posted is incorrect. It includes many teams (from the larger football nations) that still have to play at least one preliminary round. The teams already sure to play in the first round group stage are:

Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC (England), Valencia CF, Deportivo La Coruna, Real Madrid (Spain), Olympique Lyon, RC Lens (France), Borussia Dortmund, Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Germany), Olympiakos Piraeus (Greece), Ajax, PSV (The Netherlands), Juventus, AS Roma (Italy), Spartak Moscow (Russia) and Galatasaray (Turkey).

Some of Europe's most prominent teams finished lower than second in their national leagues and will have to survive the third qualification round in order to enter the group stage: Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and AC Milan for example. They are not qualified yet.

Even some national champions from fairly respected football countries, such as Racing Genk (Belgium), Sporting Lisbon (Portugal), Sturm Graz (Austria) and Celtic FC (Scotland), are to play in the third preliminary round and are not qualified yet. Right now, only 16 teams have already qualified (directly). Ajax is one of them.

-- Anonymous, July 04, 2002

You are right might but never will. They going to be kicked out in the first round of course because the ain't s..t


-- Anonymous, July 02, 2002

Hi Ben A more comprehensive list is to be found on the UEFA web-site:

The article that you came across must have cherry-picked the teams. Still reckon we will end up in Moscow though - only hope we don't end up with the same fate as Napolean Bonaparte.

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002


Didnot notice Sporting Lisbon amoungst the list - I thought that they finished champions of Portugal and as such would have appeared on the list

Personal choice would be to be drawn with Inter, Lyon, one of the Athen's clubs (we could all meet up with Geo !!!!). Probably end up with Juve, Galatasary, and one of the Moscow clubs (probably in mid-winter)

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002

From an article by Alex Livie,, here are the four pots for the CL draw:

POT 1: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United*, Barcelona*,Valencia, Juventus, Arsenal, Internazionale*.

POT 2: Deportivo La Coru~a, Bayer Leverkusen, Liverpool, Galatasaray, Roma,Olympique Lyon,Borussia Dortmund, Feyenoord*.

POT 3: AC Milan*, PSV Eindhoven, Dinamo Kiev*, Spartak Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow*, Olympiakos, AEK Athens*,Sparta Prague*.

POT 4: AJAX, Rosenborg*, Lens, Newcastle*,Club Brugge*, Sturm Graz*, Boavista*,Celtic*.

According to Mr. Livie's article, teams with the * must pre- qualify.One team from each pot will be thrown in together, should those with the asterisk survive pre-qualifying, to make 8 4-Club groups. Let the speculation begin! Will Ajax draw a trip to hell, er ,Galatasaray? The Nou Camp?...Stay tuned.

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002

Hey guys,

Just wanted to share this with you. I received this email yesterday, froma Celtic fan named Kevin. I'm sure he won't mind that I post his note here. It shows once again what a great club Celtic is, what great fans they have, how much respect there was on both sides and what a f*cking marvellous time we had...

"Hi Menno,

I am a Celtic supporter and I would just like to say that now we are out of Europe my favourite tie of the whole season was versus Ajax.

Ajax fans are superb and I had a brilliant day in Amsterdam and also in Glasgow for the return leg.

I see you are doing okay in the Championship and I hope Ajax wins and next season Ajax v Celtic is in the Champions League rather than the qualifier as both our great clubs deserve to be in the biggest Championship of them all.

We have played Ajax, Porto, Rosenborg, Juventus and Valencia this season in Europe and we Ajax are the only side to win, or even draw, at Celtic Park.

You're team should be very proud of that record as Celtic Park is something of a fortress' these days. I was distressed to see you lose to Copenhagen (Ajax is better than this!) but when you're players get more experience and consistancy you will be great again!

Hail Hail and Ajax Amsterdam a doo ra loo! Kevin"

Now, can you understand why every Ajax fan has this "Celtic thing" since last August?

HAIL HAIL, the mighty CELTIC. 'Til next time (but not in a friggin' qualifier...) :-)

-- Anonymous, December 08, 2001

Only saw a few minutes of highlights on Eurosport. It appeared a poor match. Was Van der Vaart badly missed as we suspected and how did Machlas contrive to not score in the last couple of minutes ? What was the reaction of the crowd to the defeat - did they turn on Co ?

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2001

Down to earth again...0-1...Well done boys...

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2001

Hmmm... It seems we're gonna have to miss out on Hatem Trabelsi as well... (injury). Cristian Chivu is fit to play, by the way. In that case, I prefer this line-up:

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

If we want a more defensive central midfield, Co can bring Maxwell for Knopper, so Maxwell can play on left midfield and John O'Brien as a slightly more defensive central midfielder.

I prefer Zlatan playing from the start, but we have Mido and Machlas as back-ups. Luxury. No problems there.

WE CAN DO IT!! (But don't concede an early goal please).

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2001

So, the eight numbers three from the Champions League groups, who will join the UEFA Cup for the third round are:

Olympique Lyon, Lille (France), Celtic FC (Scotland), Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Real Mallorca (Spain), PSV and Feyenoord (Holland).

If we win tonight, that would mean there's four Dutch teams in the third UEFA Cup round: the 'Big Three' and Roda JC, who beat their Israeli opponent 4-1 at home and probably won't screw up. Even though there's no Dutch team in the Champions League anymore, I think that's not too bad for Holland.

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2001

What about Celtic again! That'll be F*CKING GREAT! (they ended up third and will now play UEFA cup)

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2001

Interesting for Ajax (that is to say, if we reacht the third round on Thursday): which teams finished third in their Champions League groups and will join the UEFA Cup in the third round? Yesterday night, the last games were played in four out of eight Champions League groups. The numbers three: Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Real Mallorca (Spain), PSV (Belgium... kidding: Holland).

Besides those sides joining in, it looks like all remaining small- timers will be brushed aside in this round. There will hardly be any 'weak' teams left in the third. Which means, if we win on Thursday, we're gonna get the heavier shit. Which is, by the way, great :-)

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2001


"FC Copenhagen lose points at home

In their last game before the second game against Ajax, FC Copenhagen drew 1-1 at home, against FC Midtjylland. The score was still 0-0 at half-time, but immediately after the break Christian Poulsen put the opening goal on the score-sheet. However, the guests equalized fifteen before the end. FC Midtjylland was two positions lower in the Danish league than FC Copenhagen. 'FCK' is now third." also reports that the Thursday's referee is Jacek Granat from Poland. His assistants are Slawomir Stempniewski and Rafal Rostkowski. Granat never led an Ajax game before.

So, we're gonna have to miss out on Rafaël van der Vaart (third yellow card suspension) and Abubakari Yakubu (cut right under his knee, sustained against Willem II). Cris Chicu was injured against Willem II, but is expected to be ready for Thursday. Which means we're pretty much gonna have to replace the midfield. I suggest this line-up:

Grim; Trabelsi, Bergdølmo, Chivu (if still injured: Heitinga), De Cler; Galásek, Knopper, O'Brien; Van der Meyde, Zlatan, Wamberto.

A Galásek-Knopper-O'Brien midfield is pretty offensive, with an offensive player in the center (Richard Knopper), backed up by two more 'controlling' type players. If we want to keep the 'Yakubu' type midfield intact, with a more defensive midfielder in the center, Co could also go for a Galásek-O'Brien-Maxwell midfield (with J.O.B. playing as 'Yakubu', so to speak).

I think we'll do it, by the way. 2-0 or 3-0, I say.

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2001

I'm getting excited...!

I'm going home to pack my bag and in two hours or so, I will board my Ajax fan bus to Copenhagen! The ride is 14 hours or so, which is long, and I am sure I'll be well fed up with it after ten hours or so, but anyway... my friend Mark and I packed plenty of Heineken cans, so we'll be fine.

Of course, we're taking the Ajax USA banner with us...

Good luck everyone. GO AJAX!!!! Talk to you all on Friday...

-- Anonymous, October 17, 2001


Co Adriaanse personally travelled to Denmark on Sunday, to see FC København ('FC Copenhagen', if you wish...) play against Silkeborg IF. Copenhagen already played Silkeborg a week ago in the annual Danish Super Cup game. Copenhagen won the Cup: 2-0 at Copenhagen's Parken stadium. The goals were scored by Zuma and Fredgaard.

Silkeborg was not able to take revenge on Sunday. FC Copenhagen proved too strong once again, winning the away game 0-1. The only goal of the game was, once again, scored by Sibussio Zuma (72'), his considered one of 'FCK's superstars. FCK grabbed the victory playing with ten, after Thomas Røll Larsen was sent off after half an hour. Silkeborg also lost a player leave the pitch with a red card, five minutes before the end. FC Copenhagen is now 4th in the Danish League.

No comments by Co there. I assume Ajax will set off for Copenhagen today or tomorrow. My friend Mark and I will follow on Wednesday... :- )

-- Anonymous, October 15, 2001

Make it probalbly 2 tickets due to some problems. Already swapped so it are the original park stadium entrance ticket's. kontakt me on or

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2001

Ticket available for Kopenhagen - Ajax, kontakt me on

-- Anonymous, October 11, 2001

Ajax Netwerk published some reactions from FC Copenhagen players, taken from Danish newspapers:

Niels Christian Holmstrøm, director of Sports Affairs of 'FCK' said in newspaper Politiken: "We will have to use all the qualities we have, but this is an opponent we have to try and beat." Holmstrøm said he would have preferred Union Berlin from Germany, but he was also very glad that 'FCK' was not paired with Inter Milan.

Michael Mio Nielsen, FC København's 36 year-old veteran midfielder, sais to be very happy with the draw. Here's what he said in newspaper Berlingske Tidende: "Clubs usually seem to be in doubt: do they want an opponent they can beat, or a big opponent that's lucrative for the club. Well, Ajax has not been doing too well recently, whereas we have shown against Lazio that we're very well able to compete with tough opponents, so why not? Ajax is an opponent the crowd finds attractive. Everyone talks about the Ajax system, when it comes to talent development. Now they get the chance to see that club play - and I think we can beat them."

(One thing: note that Lazio has lost *all* its games in the Champions League, they're bottom in the Italian 'Serie A' and they played a shit-poor game - which they lost 1-0 - against Holland's number 14, PSV... HAHAHA. So Lazio's not that great at all. Celtic, however, is doing much better than people expected: of course they're winning everything in Scotland, but they also beat FC Porto in the Champions League, after having lost 3-2 at Juventus, just because Amuruso was given a penalty for a disgraceful dive in the last minute. I still think Ajax does *not* have to be ashamed for losing against Celtic, and winning at Parkhead was actually a much better achievement than a lot of people thought it was.)

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2001

So, it's gonna be FC Copenhagen from Denmark. The away game is first (Thursday, 18 October).The second leg in Amsterdam is on Thursday, 1 November.

Not bad, I'd say. Good draw.

A profile on FC Copenhagen will be on Ajax USA tonight!

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2001

Today's the draw for the UEFA Cup second round. I can't find a time on, but usually it's at noon (Central European Time). The second round is the last round in which a difference is been made between 'seeded' and 'un-seeded' teams. There's 24 seeded teams, and Ajax is 10th on that ranking.

Which means we will *not* (yet) be paired with: Valencia CF, Real Zaragoza (Spain), Inter Milan, AC Parma, Fiorentina, AC Milan (Italy), Chelsea, Leeds United, Ipswich Town (England), Paris St.- Germain, Girondins de Bordeaux (France), AEK Athens, PAOK Thessaloniki (Greece), Hertha BSC Berlin, Union Berlin, SC Freiburg (Germany), Club Bruges (Belgium), Glasgow Rangers (Scotland), Roda JC (Holland), Sporting Portugal Lisbon (Portugal), Grasshopper Club (Switzerland), Brøndby IF (Denmark).

Here are the opponents we could meet:

Rapid Vienna, FC Tirol Innsbruck (Austria), Helsingborgs IF, Halmstads BK (Sweden), ES Troyes (France), NK Varteks, NK Osijek (Croatia), Dynamo Moscow (Russia), FC Copenhagen (Denmark), Wisla Krakow, Legia Warszaw (Poland), Viking FK (Norway), Slovan Liberec, FC Príbram (Czech Republic), FC Utrecht, FC Twente (Holland), Servette FC, St. Gallen (Switzerland), Standard Liege (Belgium), CSKA Kiev (Ukraine), CSKA Sofia, PFC Litex Lovech (Bulgaria), Maccabi Tel Aviv, Hapoel Tel Aviv (Israël).

What would you guys prefer?

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2001

Latest team update from

Ajax has safely arrived in Nicosia, Cyprus, and has just finished the first training session inside tomorrow's stadium, the Neo GSP Stadium. There's some nice pictures of Ajax' training pitch in Cyprus on Take a look. I wish I was there for a few days.

It's fucking hot over there (35 Celsius; isn't that 105 Fahrenheit or something?), which has one major advantage: the six flu patients recovered straight away. They were John O'Brien, Tim de Cler, Richard Knopper, Cris Chivu, Nikos Machlas and Raffy van der Vaart. They all participated in training without any problems.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2001

The Ajax team is now on its way to Cyprus. They took off from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam at 1:45 PM Central European time. Before going to the airport, Co Adriaanse gave a final press conference at the Amsterdam ArenA, during which he revealed that Ajax is fighting a feared opponent at the moment: the flu. Co was ill himself during the Sparta game - and six players got sick the following days.'s report doesn't say who those guys are, but Co is quoted saying that Zlatan and Mido are fit.

"We have to look out that this doesn't get worse", said Co, sounding somewhat worried. "The squad now travelling to Cyprus is the same squad of 18 players as last Sunday against Sparta." (Source:

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2001

Co gave the team the day off on Monday (no traditional Monday training session). Today they're off to Schiphol airport for their flight to Cyprus... Good luck guys.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2001

Here's a fair comment made by Co Adriaanse, directly after the Apollon game:

"It's a positive thing that Apollon didn't score, but we played shockingly bad before half time. We didn't show enough of the football we want to show. Too many players didn't have a good day. The players were disappointed themselves, too. In the dressing-room, the atmosphere was as if we'd lost."

Now, that's a fair comment. No shit - just admit it. I can respect that. Now score a goal or five in Cyprus. Should be possible. Apollon played extremely defensive in Amsterdam, which made it hard to play nice football, but they'll have to attack in the second game. Which provides Ajax more space. I expect a bigger victory in the away game than in the home game.

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2001

Three days after the first, and four days before the second game against Ajax, Apollon Limassol played its second game in the league of Cyprus. Like the first one against Omonia Nicosia (2-2), the game against Olympiakos Nicosia ended in a draw: 1-1 in Nicosia's Neo GTP Stadium (the stadium in which Thursday's UEFA Cup game will be played).

Apollon did prove that they can score goals, since both goals were scored by a Limassol player. Dobrasinovic gave Apollon the lead (18th minute), but Pittas scored an own goal, thereby equalizing for Olympiakos.

Both teams have at least one player who would fit into the Dutch league very well, since they both missed a penalty in the first half. Also, the crowd behaved the Dutch way: the game was interrupted for six minuted by the referee, because an official was hit against the head by an object thrown from the Olympiakos section. (Thanks to the FC Twente fans for preparing Fred Grim for that kind of stuff - he's now used to it).

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2001

Apollon Limassol coach and former Liverpool and Ireland player, Ronnie Whelan, will probably have to miss out on two of his key players in Thursday's game in the Amsterdam ArenA. Experienced midfielder, Georgos Iosiphides, and goalkeeper Sofronis Avgoustis, sustained injuries in the Cyprian league opener against champions Omonia Nicosia, in which Apollon took a 2-0 lead after goals by Christos Maranghos en Zoran Miserdovski, but ended up with only one point: 2-2.

Ajax, in the mean time, has left Amsterdam for a two day training camp in Hoenderloo (the facility where the Holland team is always based, too). Ajax was already there last week, when the attacks on the U.S. happened. A Co Adriaanse press conference is scheduled later in the afternoon. I will post interesting team news in this thread later... (Source:

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2001

From Ajax Netwerk:

Apollon Limassol, Ajax' opponents on Thursday in the Amsterdam ArenA in the first round of the UEFA Cup, has started the Cyprus League on Sunday with a 2-2 draw against current champions Omonia Nicosia. Last year's national Cup winners Apollon gave away a 2-0 lead during the game. All goals were scored in the 2nd half. Marangos and Miserdovski were the goalscorers for Ronnie Whelan's Apollon team. The game was played in Nicosia's Makarios Stadium, Apollon's temporary home part (while Limassol's Tsirion Stadium is under construction). Apollon Limassol vs Ajax (27 September) will be played at the national GST Stadium in Nicosia.

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2001

Apart from Ajax USA's Apollon FC profile, you may also want to read the Apollon profile on the excellent C website.

By the way, just read on 'The Ajax Star' independent fansite that only 14,000 tickets were sold so far for Thursday's game at the ArenA...

-- Anonymous, September 11, 2001

Here's another Apollon Limassol update...

The 'Blues' have played their third serious game of the season this weekend (after the two UEFA Cup qualifiers against SK Tirana): the traditional domestic Super Cup game between the Cup holder (Apollon) and the champions, Omonia Nicosia. Thursday's UEFA Cup opponent lost it, 1-0. A chance to take revenge will follow soon, as Apollon and Omonia will play each other in next Saturday's league opener as well. reports that the UEFA assigned the first leg of Ajax vs Apollon (in the ArenA on Thursday) to Yugoslavijan referee, Dejan Stanisic. For the record: the linesmen are his countrymen Zika Ilic and Nikola Tomicic. The fourth official is Dusan Cvijovic.

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2001

Funny: The UEFA Cup final this season will be played in feyenoord's De Kuip stadium (8 may 2002). Another good reason for Ajax to reach the final! (for the old ones amongst us: won't be the fist time Ajax can win a European Cup in Rotterdam...)

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2001

Hello all,

Some news about the Apollon Limassol games...

1) Apollon FC have a new manager. Coach Mouskallis resigned (some sources say 'was fired') due to disappointing results in pre-season. He was replaced by former Liverpool star, Ronnie Whelan, who was already working in Cyprus, for Olympiakos Nicosia. We updated our Apollon FC story accordingly. Also, we added a link to a report on Whelan joining Apollon, as published by

2) Also, the webmaster of and a very friendly Apollon fan named Marios (thank you!) informed me that Apollon FC decided to play the second leg game in Nicosia's national GSP Stadium, because Apollon's own stadium, the Tsirion in Limassol, is under construction. The 'Neo GSP Stadium' holds 27,000 spectators. There's some nice pictures of the GSP, as well as some information, rig ht here on

-- Anonymous, September 04, 2001

I am sorry Tony but you must have a different opinion of what is sectarian and what is not.

-- Anonymous, September 02, 2001

"Yes the singing of sectarian songs is a thing of the past @CP, but what about away games? "

But the songs sung at these away games are not sectarian songs and could never be described as such by anyone with half a brain.

The 'intention' of some of the support who sing the songs may well be sectarian but the songs themselves are not.

SAROH is not sectarian either ,this is a song about sacrafices for a political ideal ,if you are signing that particular to 'get' at someone then that is your business.If I happen to sing along to it I hope I sing it to honour those who died for a cause..

The song I dislike the most (apart from the two I have already mentioned) is the 'orange b@stard' one ,I cringe whenever I hear that at CP or on TV.


-- Anonymous, September 01, 2001

Yes the singing of sectarian songs is a thing of the past @CP, but what about away games? I sometimes cringe while watching these games on TV, although I do admit to belting out the roll of honour in amsterdam!

-- Anonymous, August 31, 2001

Lets put this to the test. Celtic's next home game is against Dunfermline. Tony/Jim, please along with myself listen-out for any sectarian songs. Jim take note, I promise you will not hear one song. If I am correct then please take back all the previous smears that you placed on me and the rest of the Celtic support.


-- Anonymous, August 31, 2001

Jim writes,

"i was at parkhead for the ajax game and i heard a few songs that i would certainly call sectarian".

Which songs are these then Jim??

There are no sectarian songs sung at Celtic Park ,this is a complete myth there are songs sung which....two-in-fact..have been 'bastardized'. Both the original songs (The One Road and Roamin In The Gloamin)are not in-them-selves sectarian however the doctored versions contain references of a sectarian nature .

"what tony cosgrove fails to mention in his submission is that celtic also have a massive support from the roman catholics in scotland and ireland"

I'm sorry but this is a massive generalisation ,sure there are lots of Catholic supporters ,I am one but let's not forget that Celtic was founded by a Marist Brother(Walfrid from county Sligo)in 1887 to 'provide funds to feed the poor children of St Mary's parish in Glasgow's Calton district' so it's inevitable that Celtic given it's roots, is bound to have a significant Catholic support.And there is nothing wrong with having a significant Catholic support but the previous writer said that Celtic were a 'relgious and Keltic team' the inference being that we were exclusive which is patent nonesense.

As for your point vis The Ira and the fhanzine 'tiocfaidh ar la' again you appear to be confused ,The Ira and to a lesser extent the fhanzine could never be considered ,IMO, sectarian.The IRA .like the Basques seek a uniteded homeland how exactly is that ojective viewed as sectarian.

The IRA have been at war with the British State for over 30 years, to my knowledge they have never singled out people (to assinated/kill or maim)during this period of war simply because of thier religion .

"whilst alot of fans do not support bigotry, a very large majority do"

Well I think you are digging an exceedingly large hole for your self here Jim ,what information and or research do you base this statement on??.

I can only speak for myself and for Celtic supporters I have known and do know now,all I can say in regard to that last statement is that it simply beggars believe.I have never ever met a Celtic supporter who 'supports biggotry' and I am now 42 yaers old and I have been a Celtic supporter since I was born which is often the case with Celtic supporters and indeed Rangers supporters.

"i only have to mention the sale of "tiocfaidh ar la" outside the park. this magazine is seen as the newspaper of the IRA.if there was no demand for this publication and for all the other items on sale which blatently publicise the religious ties that celtic have with catholics and ireland then these vendors would surely be selling the big issue on sauchiehall st".

Not only are you content to smear Celtic supporters you are prepared to use homeless people to make some sort of stupid joke which frankly is beyond me but one other point ,since when has buying images of the Pope been viewed as a sectarian action or listening to 'Irish Rebel' songs been viewed the same way?? I fail to understand your logic in this regard ,I have never heard a sectarian message in an 'Irish Rebel song' yet,in the main they are mostly songs of freedom and oppression .Propaganda yes sectarian never.


-- Anonymous, August 30, 2001

in response to mr dalys comments about the lack of party tunes at parkhead, may i use another man text to answer?"Sorry pal but your talking absolute bollox.!!!!" i was at parkhead for the ajax game and i heard a few songs that i would certainly call sectarian.he is trying to kid himself if he thinks that these songs are no longer sung. they may be more prevalent when we play the huns but to claim that they no longer exist at other games and that "they" are the sole culprits of sectarian songs smacks of an ostrich is no wonder that the daily papers in scotland ignored his claim. going back to markos comments about the religious aspect of cfc, in my opinion he got it correct!what tony cosgrove fails to mention in his submission is that celtic also have a massive support from the roman catholics in scotland and ireland, in fact i would put my neck out and say that this support is the majority. whilst alot of fans do not support bigotry, a very large majority do! this is here for everyone to see when they approach our stadium.i only have to mention the sale of "tiocfaidh ar la" outside the park. this magazine is seen as the newspaper of the IRA.if there was no demand for this publication and for all the other items on sale which blatently publicise the religious ties that celtic have with catholics and ireland then these vendors would surely be selling the big issue on sauchiehall st. celtic as a club do not condone these vendors and would probably like to see the back of them but as it stands people do sympathise with the religious history associated with our say that it is in the minority my friend is wrong!!

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2001

Yes - Tony Cosgove was correct in stating that Celtic and Celtic fans are gelled through religion. We have no religous policy and should anyone get the chance to come to Celtic Park, they will not hear one sectarian song (I do exclude Celtic V Rangers). My friend and I completed an exercise recently were we actually tried to count the number of sectarian songs at Celtic park, the result was zero. We then watched 20 minutes of Rangers highlights the following week on TV and counted 25 anti Pope/Catholic songs. (more than one every minute) We have sent our information to the Daily Record and Sunday Mail and have asked them to do a similar exercise but they are not interested. This would prove that there is only one sectarian team in Scotland or even the whole of Europe. Tom

-- Anonymous, August 28, 2001

"the reason why celtic fans are so good is because celtic is more than a club it is about religion, and political issues in northern ireland which creates a passion for a team which symbolises an entire race of people in the celts."

Sorry pal but your talking absolute bollox,Celtic have a long history yes but your view of that history is somewhat cloudy.

Celtic has always been an inclusive club and without getting to much into this crap , Jock Stein, amongst others, including large sections of our support are non-Catholic and non-political in the context of Noriron .Also Celtic has a very large support in England and all over the world , some of these supporters are not 'Kelts' and you do them and our great club a dis-service by inferring Celtic are a 'Keltic' club. To suggest Celtic is about religion and politics really does show your niávete in this matter.

Celtic is not and never has been a racist club which is excactly what the above statement says.


-- Anonymous, August 28, 2001

Thank you menno for a great site which i am a 17 year old celtic fan who has thoroughly enjoyed since my team drew ajax amsterdam in the euro cup.I may not know that much about your team but i think if you hold onto v.d. vaart, chivu, mido and knopper in the way you didnt with euro cup team of mid 90's you have a good nucleus of a team which can mature into a sucessful european team. Stick with co adriaanse he is obviously building a good team for the future. good result against fe#*#*#rd but you will only win the ere div. with consistancy but good luck. if you thought the atmosphere was good on wednesday it was not even half as good as an old firm match-celtic v rangers-which is the biggest derby in the match much bigger than ajax/fe#*#*#rd barca/real lazio/roma put together. the reason why celtic fans are so good is because celtic is more than a club it is about religion, and political issues in northern ireland which creates a passion for a team which symbolises an entire race of people in the celts. I hope you do well in holland and europe I enjoyed amsterdam and i am sure I will enjoy going to rosenborg trondheim and turin although i cant go to porto because my parents wont let me off school that much.2-1 over the fe#*#*#rd scum - brilliant!

-- Anonymous, August 27, 2001

I see for the Feyenoord match Ajax adopted Celtic's 3-5-2 system which destroyed Ajax in the ArenA ,Adriaanse is being 'crucified' in the Dutch press and by Johan Cruyff for playing an 'ultra defensive system' which is 'alien' to 'The Ajax Way'.

Impersonation, they say is the sincerest form of flattery.I see also that the Dutch press are saying that the Celtic defeat in The ArenA was perhaps the kick up the backside that Adriaanse needed for this season.

Anyway best of luck for the rest of the season ,as a Celtic supporter it has been an absolute pleasure watching my team playing against one of Europe's greatest club sides.



-- Anonymous, August 27, 2001

yer hope we'll meet in next year's European Super Cup

-- Anonymous, August 27, 2001


I am glad you enjoyed your time in Glasgow, I too agree that we deserved to go through. Can i point out that Celtic did not tie 0-0 with Kilmarnock we won 1-0 due to a late goal by Henrik Larsson. We had a fantastic result last night againt Hibernian winning 4-1 away from home, we were 4-0 up after half an hour with the goals coming in a 15 minute blitz, we even had the luxury of replacing our goalkeeper with 10 minutes to go!

Good luck to you, your team and most of all your fans, until we meet again.

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2001

hi there. i would just like to say again- what a pleasure it was to play ajax (both home and away). i spoke to some ajax fans before the match at celtic park who thought their team "sucks", but after your performance that night i hope you all change your opinion. we may meet you again this year in the uefa cup or maybe we're going win the European League (well.. you never know!). good luck ajax, your team and fans have certainly gained a lot of respect in scotland.

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

Rudy wrote: "we get Apollon Watchamacallit, Celtic move on to Juve and Porto".

That's true, but at least we'll beat Apollon... I mean seriously: if Celtic play like they did in Amsterdam, they can take *any* European team by surprise. And playing like they did in Glasgow, Ajax would not look like a bunch of idiots against *any* European side, either.

But if Celtic play like they did against Kilmarnock (0-0), or if Ajax would play like they did against Roda (1-1), then they'd get trashed by Juve, Porto *and* Rosenborg. At this point, there's a risk that that would happen to Ajax. Celtic will not win their group, either, and if they're unlucky, they can finish bottom and be eliminated before Christmas.

Being aware of that, I'd rather play with Apollon Watchamacallit and then with Spartak Perestroyka or whatever, followed by some nice games against AC Milan, Valencia or Aston Villa. I prefer making it through the winter in the UEFA Cup over getting traumatized in the Champions League.

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

Menno's idea seems a bit extreme at first but then a man's got to do what a man's got to do !!!!!!

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

Hmm ... we get Apollon Watchamacallit, Celtic move on to Juve and Porto ... if only we had'nt commited suicide in the first leg ... if ... if ... if.


-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

It's gonna be Cyprus. Apollon Limassol. At home first.

Good draw. If we don't beat them, I'm blowing up the ArenA.

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

Alright, fifteen minutes to go before the draw...

Ajax are a seeded team in group three of the UEFA Cup draw. Which means we'll play one out of these eight clubs: Torpedo Moscow (Russia), Príbram (Czech Republic), Kilmarnock (Scotland), HJK Helsinki (Finland), Dinamo Bucharest (Romania), Silkeborg (Denmark), Apollon Limassol (Cyprus) or Gorica (don't recognize the flag...).

My personal preference would be *not* to play against Torpedo Moscow or Dinamo Bucharest. Teams from Russia and Romania can be stronger than you'd expect, but they're not very attractive as opponents. The other six would be fine with me. I guess Kilmarnock and HJK Helsinki would be the most attractive opponents at this point. I hope we'll get to play one of them.

Thirteen minutes til kick-off...

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

Hi all,

Just wanted to share some of my experiences with you: my friend Mark and I were in Glasgow for the second leg against Celtic and I had a fantastic time.

We entered Celtic Park some 20 minutes before the game. What an impressive stadium it is. High stands, *everyone* is wearing the green and white Celtic shirt (not only the young folks behind the goals) and when the teams entered the pitch, you could simply not hear what the person next to you was saying. What a noise. Impressive.

Ajax played a very good game, although I didn't really believe in a miracle. I was there to have a good time, and I was hoping that Ajax would show the world that they're actually a much better team than they seemed, two weeks ago.

There were about a thousand of us, all dressed in red and white, and I think we made a lot of noise. We sang thorughout the game and were sometimes vocally dominant.

After the game, the Celtic fans went nuts over the fact that they reached the Champions League, of course. Then, all of a sudden, they turned their faces towards us and gave us a standing ovation. Absolutely amazing. The Ajax section started yelling "Good luck in the Champions League", "We love you Celtic, we do" and even "If you hate the f***in Rangers, clap your hands". The Celtic fans appreciated that very much and sang along.

Some of them wanted to walk up to us to change scarfs and shirts. The stewards and police did not allow that, after which Ajax and Celtic fans started throwing scarfs and shorts, to trade. It was absolutely amazing to see how much respect there was between the two sides. Everyone passed the scarfs and shirts thrown to the person they were intended for. The Celtic fans started yelling "Ajax, Ajax", which was beautiful.

Two weeks ago, we already had an amazing day in Amsterdam with the Celtic fans. These scenes at Celtic Park were simply fantastic. I was really moved.

To all the Celtic fans visiting this forum: I want to thank you guys very, very much for your kindness and respect, both in Amsterdam and in Glasgow. Great club, great stadium, fantastic fans. It was a privilege playing against you, you were the better team and I sincerely wish you the best of luck in the Champions League.

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

For your information: the draw for the first round of the UEFA Cup will be published real-time on

Once we know about the opponent, I will write a profile on the club involved and their history against Ajax and other Dutch opponents. It will be available thru the Ajax USA homepage *soon*. Stay tuned...


-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

Celtic's half-fit defence look under little pressure from a team chasing the game and seeking 3 goals. We contained a very good Ajax team and our midfield helped our defence when needed, again Rab Douglas saved us a few times and his saves over the 2 games proved just as important as the 3 goals.

Good luck to Ajax and I hope you get Rangers in UEFA cup!

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2001

Celtic stumble into the big league Celtic 0 Ajax 1

Glenn Gibbons (The Scotsman)at Celtic Park

Celtic's entry to the first group phase of the Champions League was much more expected than the comprehensive beating they had to endure to get there.

Outplayed for virtually the entire 90 minutes at Parkhead last night, Martin O'Neill's side ended this pulsating game fortunate not have lost by a wider, potentially more embarrassing, margin than the first-half goal from the Brazilian, Wamberto.

If there are such things as dangerous side effects from a 3-1 victory in Amsterdam, they come in the form of a dilemma over how to approach the home leg and the need to atone by opponents who have been so badly treated that they are likely to react like wounded bears.

For long periods of this extraordinary match, Celtic appeared to be the victims of both afflictions simultaneously, looking for much of the time as though they were walking on egg shells as the Dutch, by and large, outplayed them with fluent and committed football.

By the time Wamberto gave the visitors the lead, there was no question that they had been, for all but a short time of the preceding 30 minutes, the more willing and accomplished side. Indeed, had it not been for a terrific piece of work by Robert Douglas, they would have been behind nine minutes earlier.

It was then that the Scottish champions' general slovenliness in midfield and attack worked its way back into the defence, when a group of them hesitated without cause as the ball was played towards the penalty area. They may have assumed it would run through to Douglas, but that was a dreadful miscalculation.

Wamberto simply ran past them and beat Douglas in the race, but the big goalkeeper had seen the problem early enough to be in a position from which to block the Brazilian's low shot, the ball spinning away for the next in a series of corner kicks gained by Ajax.

Wamberto, like his team, thoroughly deserved the goal he did deliver, this time setting off on a solo run from close to the centre circle which took him unhindered through some weak challenges and into the area, where he chipped the ball past Douglas from 12 yards. It was a piece of penetrative skirmishing of which Celtic had, by then, not seemed remotely capable.

Instead, a team which has become known for its ability to cover ground in all departments, making it difficult for opposing midfielders and forwards to operate and defenders to resist, mostly looked to be outpaced in thought and action, frequently second to the ball and, all the way to half- time, looking more like an away team defending a lead.

They did have one or two promising moments very early in the match, but, without written notes, they would have been difficult to recall by any home fans in the stands who had been aware mainly of Ajax giving their heroes a showing-up.

Even those incidents of promise tended to be poorly executed, but perhaps the most reliable indicator of Celtic's ineffectiveness was the total absence of a threat from the wide players, Agathe on the right and Guppy on the left.

If Celtic improved in the second half, it was not so much in the matter of imposing a threat in forward areas as it was in working harder to contain opponents whose passing and movement had a crispness and sharpness the home side could not match.

Martin O'Neill had clearly impressed upon them the need to press the ball in every part of the field, but, when in possession, the Celtic players in the main could not use it as effectively as their opponents at pace.

Even during those periods when O'Neill's team managed to push Ajax back towards Grim, there remained the ever-present possibility of a quick and slickly-executed break which would leave Joos Valgaeren, Johan Mjallby - both having played despite appearing less than fully fit - and Tom Boyd having to lunge desperately in defence.

For most of the time, those Parkhead players who have become accustomed to creating space in which to inflict pain on their opponents, appeared shocked at how much quicker the Ajax players were. But, as their passing became increasingly ragged, O'Neill replaced McNamara with Lubomir Moravcik.

It was soon after that Celtic would produce their first piece of genuine menace, even if the little Slovakian had no hand in it. Agathe worked a 1-2 with Lambert on the right and, for once, the Frenchman galloped away from Maxwell, his Brazilian marker, and reached the dead ball line.

His low, driven cross could have given the Ajax defenders a serious problem, but they coped well, making the clearance.

O'Neill's counterpart, Co Adriaanse, had substitutes of his own who could be dangerous, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was followed on to the field by Achmed Hossam, the pair replacing striker Nikos Machlas and defender Andre Bergdolmo. When Shota Arveladze was played in by Ibrahimovic on the left, it looked as though the switch would work, but Douglas made a good save from the striker's powerful shot.

On a night when there were too many such scares for comfort, Celtic would learn just how difficult the Champions League is likely to be.

Celtic: Douglas; Mjallby, Valgaeren, Boyd; Agathe, McNamara, Lambert, Lennon, Guppy; Sutton, Larsson. Subs: Kharine, Sylla, Tebily, Petrov, Moravcik, Crainey.

Ajax: Grim; Trabelsi, Bergdolmo, Vierklau, Chivu, Maxwell; Wamberto, Yakubu, Van der Vaart; Machlas, Arveladze. Subs: Stekelenburg, Ibrahimovic, Knopper, Hossan, Heitinga, Pienaar.

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

Ajax showed themselves to be a very good side tonight but as the previous person said the tie was over two weeks ago.Celtic were nervous which is often the case at Celtic Park in games such as these in anycase Celtic were really in a no win situation tonight while Ajax had nothing to lose ,the gole was excellent as was the flick from Averladze (I think)into the path of the scorer (Wamberto).But really it was too little to late.

Celtic settled down in the second half and Ajax really did struggle for an opening despite two of Celtic defence being short of match fitness and the other defender am old man of 35!!

However ,Celtic supporters are not stupid and unless we buy a creative midfielder we will really struggle in the CL group stages ,it will however be a great experience and Celtic will be able to develope further playing against sides of the quality of Ajax ,some of these sides will be even better that Ajax (were in this tie) and I can't wait to watch at least one of Europe's top sides in action in Glasgow.

Your supporter were brilliant tonight ,don't be misled by negative press reports regarding your asupporters behaviour inside the stadium ,Celtic's security people are in the main idiots and tonight the reacted very badly to the Ajax support letting of a flare near the end of the game .Ironically that incident sparked the celtic support into life big time which resulted in the team getting a massive lift from the support.

All in all one of the best games at Celtic Park in recent years and again well done to ajax and thier supporters for making tonight a very good night indeed and the best of luck in the Eufa cup.


-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

Well ... that was that.

We managed to restore some pride with a decent performance in an intimidating stadium. In the end though this tie was over after the home game. Too little, too late.

I thought the defence were solid, midfield consistant (Wamberto played a corker), but ... I have grave reservations about Machlas. He doesn't have the fine touch or the vision to open the defence up. If you play the style Ajax do, you're going to compress the opposition in the last third of the field, and you need a lot of creativity to break them down. Machlas doesn't have it.

Anyway, on to the UEFA cup, let's hope for a good run.

To any Cetlic fans; Good Luck, you deserved to win overall.

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

Rich. To put it simply... Celtic were a phenomenon domestically last season. Claimed all trophies and turned the tables on a very good Rangers side. Martin O'Neill is an incredible manager boasting much success wherever he's been and possesses vast amounts of football knowledge, shrewdness and man-management. Wins against 3 quality premiership teams and to your mighty Ajax (in their own back garden) show they are not a team to be taken lightly. Ok we are no Real Madrid or Barcelona but on our day we can give ANY team a run for their money. Look at Leeds United last season in the champions league (with a bit of help from a certain Australian striker). They have shown it to be possible and i'm sure if Celtic can stay free of injuries then Martin O'Neill will continue his success and Celtic shall be 'something special' this season. Make no mistake.

Good luck tonight by the way as i do believe Ajax are a good team and will make a game of it. Our support will be in fine voice and i just hope your players do not crumble under it.

Hail hail

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2001

Sorry to annoy the Celtic supporters. I am not a fan of Celtic's play. That is all I said. They were obviously better then Ajax 2 weeks ago, but they are nothing special. If anyone things otherwise that is your opinion, but it is wrong I can tell you that! I watch a lot of games and just call it like I see it. Also, for the gentlemen to talk about Celtic's European Champions Cup win against Inter Milan over 30 years ago I ask simply how is it that Total Football derived from Celtic's win over Inter? What are you talking about? Give me a break with that! For the record, I never said Celtic are a crap club, and because I said that I do not think they are anything special does not mean that I show the team (Celtic) or its fans any disrespect. With that now out of the way, I hope for a miracle, but after watching the Roda JC match, I doubt it as the team is in major disarray. Co must go too, but there are some problems no matter who is in charge. Many of the foreginers in the team are not that good and its the board's fault for buying some of these players over the past few season's. I hope its all untrue, or some kind of bad dream or something, but reality tells me that Ajax are not playing good football and that cannot escape my thoughts. I expect a lot of Ajax and want the best for the club, nothing more, nothing less. Let's hope things change for the better and soon!

-- Anonymous, August 21, 2001

As a Celtic fan I feel it is long overdue that we are nearing the champions leaque, no dissrespect to Ajax fans but I think we will not lose at Celtic park. I don't think you Ajax fans realize that you have a good team. I loved the way you took Liverpool apart especialy as the English press confidently predicted an easy win. The problem that you have is you believe Celtic are a poor team. Celtic are on the road to becoming a great team again, if you look at the previous games we played before the Ajax game, we beat three English premiership teams including Man Utd in Manchester. These results are not flukes and I honestly believe that we will do well in the group stages. I also think that Ajax can have a decent run in the Uefa cup and maybe hopefully they will come up against Rangers.(show no mercy !!) Try to take heart from this defeat and when you see the famous green & white hoops break the bones of so called superior teams, you may look upon this in not quite the same way as today.


-- Anonymous, August 18, 2001

first may i apologise for the missing link on the e-mail.I am responding to Jim on his comments. Tony or myself for that matter were not collectively damning Ajax fans but we were making a point about the minority who seem to open thier mouths before engaging the grey matter.Both our teams are institutions where failure is not an option for the fans but we must be realistic, especially when teams are spending 30mill+ on players! I wouldnt settle for anything less than 100% commitment from my team and if I see that I am happy.It does seem that while Co is trying to get the Ajax system back from the dead, too many supporters are not giving him the time and support he needs.It may be frustrating losing to other teams but if, in 2 years time Ajax is once again challenging for honours at the very highest level Co will be seen as a savior whose name will go down in history along with Cruyff etc. GOOD LUCK IN THE MEANTIME!!!

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2001


My comments were actually intended for you. If I wanted them posted to the discussion, I would've done that myself. Anyway, no harm = no foul.

I don't think you need to look very far to see that MANY Ajax supporters respect and admire Celtic. Read ALL of the above comments (not just the one from Rich that annoyed you) and you'll see that. And from Ajax USA: match preview; and from Ajax: Co Adriaanse commentary.

-- Anonymous, August 17, 2001

Below is a response I mailed privately to an Ajax supporter who took the time time to respond to my mail from last night.

Nice to know that not all Ajax supporters are direspectful of thier opponents.


Subject: Re: Response to European opponents for Ajax: Champions League, UEFA Cup, etc.

You got that right. Or maybe, "poor comments from a sad loser." Either way, a regrettable under-estimation of Celtic, obviously a quality team.

Good luck in the 2nd round! - Jim   Ajax USA

Thanks Jim,

I was incensed when I read that comment ,I know that the guy was speaking from an entirely Ajax perspective but if he were to have actually done a little research he would have perhaps realised that these comments showed a total lack of respect for one's opponents .Celtic, are after all former European Champions .A long time ago perhaps but nevertheless a fact.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you this but Celtic's record against Ajax, which incidentally covers a thirty year period and includes a EC tie against arguably the greatest ever Ajax side ,reads (thus far) played five, won three ,drawn one and lost one. Two of the victories have been in Amsterdam incidentally.

And while I would be the first to admit that Celtic's European record in relation to Ajax pales into insignificance, the writer however would do well to remember the comments of the great Rinus Michels when he said that ( referring to Celtic's European Cup victory over Inter Milan) they (Celtic) showed how it could be done (defeating cattenachio).

Celtic's victory over Inter Milan paved the way for the advent of 'total football' a look at that stats for that match would support this analysis, for example 42 attempts on goal from Celtic with five from Inter of these 42 attempts 23 were outside of the area and a total of 24 shots were on target however Ajax quite obviously took that football philosophy to even greater heights than that which Celtic achieved in Lisbon.

In general Celtic fans were completely and genuinely amazed at both the result and the performance from the team on the night, it's not every day your team completely outplays and comprehensively defeats one of Europe's greatest club sides in their own stadium.

Peter Boeve say's of the Celtic support after the 1982 European Cup tie at Celtic park which ended 2-2 "We were given a Standing ovation for the way we played. I'd never experienced that after an away match".

Perhaps I'm too naive to think that some Ajax fans are indeed football supporters.


Tony Cosgrove.

-- Anonymous, August 17, 2001

Re: Jim Farrell's response to Rich Savare....

First things first, yes, he was out of order taking a shot at Celtic. They did outplay us, but for an Ajax fan to be so thoroughly beaten in every department by a team that has no recent success (no offence) in Europe is VERY disappointing. Call it delusions of grandeur if you like, but Ajax fans see their team as a powerhouse that should do better.

On his criticising Ajax, we do not accept mediocrity from our team. I know it's different for other clubs, Leeds United springs to mind, where criticism is viewed as disloyalty to the cause. This is not the way it works at Ajax. Standards are expected and when they are not met fan pressure increases. We've had a couple of very poor seasons now and the supporters are going to start demanding improvements soon. The Amsterdam way is confidence to the point of arrogance, with all the pluses and minusses that come from that. We EXPECT (however unrealistically) to be in the Champions League, as our rightful place. These are very hard times for a once great club (thanks to Mr Bosman) and you'll have to excuse our agony and anguish.

Good luck to you in the Champs League, you deserve to be there more than us (notwithstanding an event of biblical proprotions on Aug. 22nd).


-- Anonymous, August 17, 2001

in response to rich savare's article above,it is such a shame that a man has no respect for his own team and that of the glasgow celtic. it is fair to say that celtic played well (i will gladly reply to any who think not!)unfortunately rich wasnt watching the same game as i was.between the lines, ajax in his opinion were pathetic! maybe so-i dont watch them every week but what i do know is that when my team are on the receiving end of a defeat but with hope of turning it round the last thing i want is to hear my team being ridiculed by a so called supporter. in my opinion ajax could do without this sort of "supporter". with celtic, we have went through many barren years playing catch up with another team.this pained me so much but at no time would i have slurred the team or stooped so low as to say that whilst we were not good the other team was poor also! i respect my club and i have supported them through the bad times. the good times makes me feel even better!!! i have the utmost respect for co and what he is trying to achieve and given time and patience from the support you may well be moaning about a champions league final defeat----as long as celtic are the winners! yes i may be dreaming but celtic and its support would not dream of attacking our manager in such a vicious manner.try and remember that these players are young and very impressionable and while playing for ajax may be an honour, would you be happy turning out every week to listen to your supporters bring you down???


-- Anonymous, August 16, 2001

"Again Celtic is not even a good team. Average at best".

These are sad comments from a poor loser.


-- Anonymous, August 16, 2001

Looks like Petta will miss the 2nd leg v. Ajax.....

(From Petta suffers Dutch injury woe ------------------------------

Celtic midfielder Bobby Petta will be out for up to six weeks after injuring a hamstring whilst preparing for Holland's friendly against England. The 27-year-old was due to make his international debut against the English at White Hart Lane last night, but he suffered an injury in Holland's final training session on Tuesday night and was forced to miss the game. As a result Peta will now miss Celtic's Champions League qualification home game against Ajax next Wednesday and Holland's important qualification match against the Republic of Ireland on September 1. The left-footed winger is no stranger to injury whilst with the national side. The former Feyenoord player was due to make his debut in a friendly against Turkey in February but again he missed out because of injury. Petta has represented his country at Under-21 level but as yet to make his mark on the senior squad.

Hmmm... good for Ajax, bad for Holland.

On a seperate note nice to see Oranje finaly come out of the year long state of mourning after Euro 2000. Dutch players always seem to have a bad year after a major tournament.

-- Anonymous, August 16, 2001

I wanted to hold back from making any comments until I got to see the the Celtic debacle, and after just watching this poor match by Ajax i am ready to sound off. I am really not too pleased with the effort by our beloved Ajax. I wish I could just kid myself and say that Celtic are a strong side, but this is just not the case. Ajax was poor plain and simple. Again our Defense was a disgrace. Fred Grim, well what more can be said of his performance or lack there of. He did make 2 excellent saves, but he gift wrapped the first goal for Petta, (The best Dutch player on the field though there were few of those) and he was out of position on the 2nd. Our defense again is just so pitiful. Pasanen never plays a good game it seems, and is not a quality player in my opinion. God forbid if he jumped for the ball on the cross that led to the 3rd goal and final nail in the coffin. Where was our Zlatan, our new "Van Basten" (Please give me a break with that stuff) from the start? When he appeared he did not work hard enough for my liking. Mido was okay but few other players showed up. I have read that some people seem to think that this current crop of young players will be a great side in a couple of years, but I just do not see this happening. That side of the mid 90's was one of the top European sides I ever saw. This Ajax does not even play good football. Its been a couple of years since we have seen classy, skillful football from Ajax. Again Celtic is not even a good team. Average at best, so what does this say for us? Unfortunately, Ajax has been fleeced since the Bosman ruling a few seasons back and we have been in big hole since. As for Andriannse? I do not know about his future. Some say he plays the Ajax way? I ask just what is that? I have not seen too much good from him on a tactical level since his appointment. What about passing the ball or playing with skill? The team should always bring youngsters into the side, but they should also keep some of the older players as they certainly would have coped better the other night. Both Winter and Witschge could have been of some real help the other night,I firmly believe this. Some of the players brought in the past couple of years do not even have any clue what an honor it is to play in the great Ajax strip. This upsets me very much! With that said, all is not lost or is it? Sorry folks but I am really pissed off at this latest result.

Any views are welcomed.


-- Anonymous, August 14, 2001

Hi-as a celtic supporter I thoughourly enjoyed my time in amsterdam.Ajax fans were great and the city is fantastic.Wasn't it great to hear all the celtic fans shout for bobby petta (goalscorer)- who got an international call up one day later!Can't wait for the return leg at Parkhead.One thing I dont understand is why the dutch press showed celtic fans as the troublemakers when it was ajax fans who started flinging things at the celtic fans as they went up the ramp and the police done nothing about it for over 20 minutes! I have never seen such a badly set out stadium where the away support have to pass by the Ajax drinking den!!!Crazy. All the best in the UEFA and if you see Rangers on your travels I may return to amsterdam as an Ajax supporter! All the best John

-- Anonymous, August 13, 2001

Celtic won 2-0 at home to Hearts today... Larsson scored the 2.

-- Anonymous, August 11, 2001

As a celtic fan who travelled to the match i would like to make the following points:

Having travelled to several games in europe i can honestly say that even before the game it was undoubtadly the most enjoyable trip ever.

I spent almost all of the two days in the company of Ajax fans and never felt safer. outside the stadium both sets of fans mingled happily.Apparently there was brief trouble which stemmed from fans using the stadium bar for too long - this was given a huge ammount of coverage in the uk and while it was certainly something the game can do without, those that witnessed the incident felt it settled down very quickly.

I thought that the atmosphere in the arena was quite good but it seemed that the acoustics do not really help - both ajax and celtic fans seemed to sing as a section at times and obviously standing in the celtic area it was loud but you could only just hear other areas of the stadium.

Although an important one, i thought this the only problem inside the stadium. the transport system to the stadium, the approaches,and the structure itself were magnificent. the facilities inside were second to none.the system of entering the stadium seemed extremely cumbersome however and most fans had to wait around an hour to get in - is it always like this ?

As a celtic fan, the game itself was wonderful and the result was thoroughly deserved ! most celtic fans felt that while Ajax were technically good there was little cohesion or pattern to their play and that overall they seemed weak and easily brushed aside. i think that a lot of this is down to their age and relative inexperience. it is also worth noting that celtic played very well.

Most fans think that we should go through but it is not a formality. the other edge of the coin being a youthful side is that there is always belief and confidence in their ability.

I would like to finish by saying that the whole trip was a wonderful experience and while i hope celtic do go through i wish Ajax and their wonderful fans all the very best in the future. i genuinely hope that you get back to the standards of old - good luck and thank you.

-- Anonymous, August 10, 2001

I am a Celtic fan and would just like to express my delight at my teams performance. I think it is safe to say that AJAX unfortunately for you faced a Celtic team highly motivated and with most players performing towards the top end of their game.

In past years Celtic have found it difficult to adjust from Domestic football to european football. As I am sure you are aware in scotland we have only a hamdful of teams capable of challenging for honours and only Celtic or Rangers have any serious financial ability to buy quality players. Thsi results in Celtic doing lots of attacking in League games and facing determined defences. However in our current manager we have someone who is a great motivator of men and judge of character.

Personally I feel AJAX are the sort of team Celtic are made to play against. your wide pitch is well suited to our wing play and resulted in Petta and Agathe in particular having good games. Also your wonderful stadium is a a perfect venue for such occasions and I am saddened to hear that the atmosphere isnt always as enjoyable as Wednesday night, I hope some of your fans can follow the Celtic example. Also by playing two men in the middle allowed Lambert and Leenon the room to control the midfied. They are both very workmanlike players and keep things simple and retain possession always for us.

However the tie is not over and no-one form our club is making any assumptions. You are great team with a wonderful history and I am sure you will be looking to win back some respect at least in the game in Glasgow. Also I would like to say that I am sure if you keep this team together for a few years you will begin to see more tangible results at ahome and abroad.

One last thing, could you thank Feyenoord for giving us Larsson at such a ridiculously low price and assure them we are looking after him quite well for them :-)

Hail Hail.

Henrik Larsson is the King of Kings!

-- Anonymous, August 10, 2001

Alistair makes some very good points which in the main I have no problem with. I have a lot of time for Co Adriaanse and the way he has turned around the style of play. Ajax must always play the Ajax way - that is what makes it such a great team to support. However, I just have these small niggling doubts on Co being the coach to see this through. I sincerely hope he is the man to see it through as I do wonder if there is anybody out there better qualified. Apparently there has been a disagreement between Adriaanse and Beenhaker over the 4-2-4 tactics - Is anymore known about this ?

-- Anonymous, August 10, 2001

Sincerely, I do not understand certain comments on our coach. Do not forget that it was Adriaanse who has reverted Ajax back to their culture, by inserting young players in the team and re-instating the traditional way of playing. Following the Van Gaal era a series of coaches were employed and they only served as a loss of time in Ajax progression. Not because they were not good coaches but simply because they are not Ajax men, not brought up within the Ajax culture as Van Gaal and Adriaanse.

The Ajax's way whether you like it or not is to build a team slowly from our own nursery and new young signings. Such development requires some years. It requires PATIENCE but most of all it requires the right men behind the scenes. Adriaanse and Beenhaker are the right men. In my opinion, if we give them some more time in 2 years time we will see another great Ajax team like Van Gaal's. But one cannot expect a new load of talent just like that, only a couple of years after we sold Davids, Kluivert, Overmars, Litmanen, Reiziger, Kanu, R De Boer, F De Boer, Seedorf, and so on ... The Ajax system is fantastic and unique but it cannot do miracles !!!

-- Anonymous, August 10, 2001

Doesnot appear from Rudy's posting that the defeat and the manner of defeat hurt Adriaanse - this is very disturbing news. The cracks at the back that were there to see last year still appear to be there. Maybe it is wrong to blame the back four and goalkeeper for this malaise - Ferguson of Moan Utd stated during the summer the problems with his defence in the latter part of the season was not down to them but down to the midfield - and that is why he added Veron to the squad - does the same problem exist at Ajax ? - Not that the money is available to add a Veron to the squad anyway. The squad available is very talented and one that will improve, like a good Port, with age - as long as it is coached in the right direction - and this is the Crux of the problem in that is Adriaanse the best man available to achieve this.

-- Anonymous, August 10, 2001

In response to Bill Bryden's question on performance and Co's reaction:Adriaanse: Ajax were second best ^top Ajax coach Co Adriaanse has admitted his side were given a football lesson after their 3-1 defeat to Celtic on Wednesday in the Champions League. Adriaanse said there was still another match to play before the final result, but it looks like Ajax will miss out on Champions League football again for the third year in a row. Adriaanse admitted Celtic were far better than his team, and said: "Of course it will be very, very hard to qualify. Celtic have taught us a lesson in football. You only have to look at the difference between our defence and their defence. "They had no trouble at all with Machlas and Arveladze, while our defence did not know what to do against Larsson and Sutton. And besides that, their positional play was better than ours." However, Adriaanse did not think that he had put his team in danger by starting with four attackers and only two midfielders. "No, it is not the tactics that made us lose. This is the system we want to play. We bought our new players this summer to play like this, but the players did not perform their tasks well tonight." It is a bit strange that Adriaanse says he bought new players to play like this, because he started with Arveladze and Machlas in the centre of attack. The lack of performance from these two strikers was exactly the reason for him buying Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for $US 8m, but Adriaanse kept him on the bench in the first half. Adriaanse admitted that Ajax should even be happy after the defeat. "They had six or seven great chances to score. We maybe only had two; therefore we cannot talk of an undeserved defeat. Celtic played fantastic football and I think our spectators could enjoy that despite our defeat." Hmmm.... doesn't sound like an unjust result (I didn't see it either).

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2001

Hi folks! I was at the game yesterday and I have to say that the atmosphere in Amsterdam was fantastic. I felt nothing but warmth from the Ajax fans. In the dam square, it was a great feeling mingling with ajax fans and swapping tops and scarves! The trouble before the game was nothing worth talking about. I felt totally safe at the stadium wearing my hoops. As for the shooting - i don't think that it was a Ajax fan out to shoot a celtic fan. He didn't have to make his way to the back of a crowded bar to do that! All this aside. I had a great time in Amsterdam. HAIL HAIL THE CELTS ARE HERE!

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2001

Tom, the dutch media report that the shooting of the Celtic supporter had nothing to do with soccer or rivalry. So I don't think it was an Ajax supporter who did it. Nevertheless a terrible incident. I heard the news yesterday before the match while I was drinking and singing with a big group of Celtic supporters at an Irish pub in Amsterdam. I couldn't believe it, because we had such a great time all together. To me the atmosphere in the city was very friendly and I was therefore very surprised when read in today's newspaper about some riots near the stadium.

Too bad for the result, but I definetely had a great time (before the match that is...). Cograts to all Celtic supporters and good luck in the Champions League! See you all next time!

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2001

As I was unable to view or listen to last nights match could some unfortunate sole who did attend give us the rundown on the performances of each individual player and of the tactics employed. Was the absence of Galasek crucial ? Was it that Celtic were just too good or were we bad (as in the first half versus AC Milan) and made them look good ? How has the coach and team taken the defeat - have they learned anything from it ?

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2001

Hi everyone, I just want to say I was particularly proud of the way Celtic went about their business in the Amsterdam Arena last night. They showed the Dutch press that we are not the aggressive and talentless team they made us out to be. I feel that when we go into the first group we might just actually progress to the later stages, which I don't think is being unrealistic. Regarding the crowd trouble before the match. I saw police hitting female Celtic fans on the way into the ground for no apparent reason, is this normal behaviour for the Police? Also it was dissapointing to hear that one of our fans was shot. I always thought Ajax fans respected Celtic fans and therefore I am totaly surprised by these incidents. Good Luck in the Uefa cup!

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2001

Agreed, Harumph. Going to Celtic park with the task of scoring at least 3 goals is virtually impossible these days

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2001

i think you will all agree that we witnessed some 'total football' last night. if you think the celtic fans were noisy last night you should wait until the tie in 2 weeks.........

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2001

Where was Zlatan last night and I suppose more to the point where was the defence ?

-- Anonymous, August 09, 2001

Here are some links that will provide you with Scottish pre/post match analysis

Pre-match analysis from Scottish Sunday newspaper - may interest you.

Hope you all enjoy the match - but not too much!

Old Firm go for glory in Europe II

Since Ajax abandoned the home-grown policy that saw them win the Champions League in 1995, they have been a side on the slide. Simon Kuper examines Celtic's midweek European opposition

It's not just that Ajax are a worse team than when they won the Champions League in 1995. They are a different club altogether, as you discover even before arriving at the stadium.

The team of 1995 played their home matches at 'De Meer' (or 'The Lake') a rickety little ground in Amsterdam-East that most fans reached by Tram 9. To get to the new stadium, you leave Amsterdam on the highway until, southeast of the city, just by the ABN-Amro headquarters, you see what everyone describes as a UFO.

The ArenA -- for this is it -- was unveiled in 1996 as the most consumer-friendly stadium in football. It has a sliding roof, a car parkbeneath the pitch, beautiful stewards and clean food that you buy with special cards.

It can fit 50,000 people, about twice as many as De Meer. The old stadium was quiet, but the ArenA is so silent you can hear the players scream. The crowd, in fact, has changed completely.

The De Meer crowd consisted of cynical, male Amsterdammers, who would whistle their brilliant team even if they won 5-0. The ArenA fans come from all over Holland, many of them families (there can't be a crowd in Europe that includes more little girls). Any volume on Wednesday night will come from the Celtic fans. When the F-side, Ajax's trad itional hardcore, does manage to rouse itself, the songs are different too.

In the past, songs of tribute dominated: 'Kluivert, Kluivert, we're going to win the league' or 'Danny Blind is a Jew' (the highest praise you can give at Ajax).Now they sing songs of lament: 'Johan Cruyff' (Ajax's spiritual father who left the club 13 years ago), 'We want to see football,' or, saddest of all, 'We want to see Ajax.' For 30 years Ajax had a tradition: the club produced their own players, from Cruyff through Frank Rijkaard to Patrick Kluivert, Amsterdam boys with flair, good haircuts, and the 'bluff' that characterises the city. Some players were born to play for Ajax -- like Marco van Basten -- while others, like the hulking red-headed beanpole striker John van Loen, were not. John Hartson, for instance, may be a good striker but he is not an Ajax player. He is too ugly. The born Ajax player would make his debut aged 17, score, and be totally cool about it. A year later, on his Holland debut, he would do the same. The unique demographic phenomenon of Celtic's 'Lisbon Lions', all born within a few miles of the ground, was endlessly replicated in Amsterdam. In the early 1970s Ajax won three European Cups with a forward line -- Sjaak Swart, Cruyff and Piet Keizer -- that came from the streets around De Meer. The full-backs, Wim Suurbier and Ruud Krol, could only have been Amsterdammers. So local was the club's culture that Cruyff's father, a grocer, supplied Ajax with groceries. After he died, his widow cleaned the changing rooms and later married the groundsman. In 1995, by which time football was supposed to have changed, Ajax again won the Champions League with a predominantly neighbourhood XI.

Now Ajax aren't Ajax any more. The side who line up against Celtic will probably include only one Amsterdammer and two or three other Dutchmen, one of whom, the midfielder Richard Knopper, comes from Ajax's rivals Feyenoord. Michael van Praag, the Ajax chairman, son of an Ajax chairman, a boyhood friend of Cruyff, says it pains him that he now has to address his players in English. In goal is the solitary Amsterdammer; the burly 35- year-old Fred Grim, who grew up at Ajax, spent his best years at Cambuur Leeuwarden, and returned in 1994 to sit on the Ajax bench for five years.

Alone among the current side, Grim was in Vienna on the night in May 1995 that the club won the Champions League. For the last two seasons he has been the first-choice keeper, and is considered fairly reliable. The back four are all foreigners: the Tunisian Hatem Trabelsi, the club's latest signing; two 20-year-olds, the stolid Finn Petri Pasanen and Christian Chivu, already captain of Romania but still apt to blunder; and the 19-year- old Ghanaian, Abubakari Yakubu. In the great Ajax, the libero would play almost permanently in front of his three defenders. This team cannot risk that. As it is, the centre-halves Chivu and Pasanen are prone to misunderstandings from which Henrik Larsson will surely profit.

Against Celtic, the midfield will lack its most reliable component: Ajax's injured captain, the Czech Tomas Galasek. That might produce the nostalgic sight of a young, all-Dutch midfield; the goalscoring Knopper, the pacy Cedric van der Gun, a cricket nut from a posh Hague family, and the club's one great talent, Rafael van derVaart. The 18-year-old Van der Vaart grew up in a caravan. (He and his parents are only just moving into a house now.) His first name commemorates his mother's Spanish descent, and he will surely end up in Spain, but for now he is already Ajax's most important player.

Voted European Talent of the Year -- a prestigious Italian award -- Van der Vaart is what Ajax fans call 'a real one'. His gift is the pass. 'As left-half I never play badly,' he says. 'The way I play looks simple: receive, pass. But look at other players; it seems to be very difficult.' At Ajax today, you don't have to look far to agree. Up front, almost uniquely in Europe, Ajax still field two wingers. On the left is the 18-year-old Egyptian Ahmed 'Mido' Hassan, a new signing and already a famed Cairo playboy. On the right will be either Andy van der Meyde -- a home-grown player who has never quite proved himself -- or the little Nigerian Pius Ikedia, whose dribbles would be more impressive if they didn't tend to proceed horizontally across the field. Still, Ikedia is close to becoming one of the players for whom, as theDutch say, you go to the stadium. Shota Arveladze, the skilled Georgian striker, scored 18 league goals last season. However, Ajax have just kicked him out of the squad because he won't sign a new contract. If he doesn't play against Celtic, the centre-forward spot will go either to Zlatan Ibrahimovic -- a massive but clunky 19-year-old who, despite the name, is Swedish -- or to the Greek international Machlas. After two mediocre years at Ajax, Machlas is known to a section of fans as Lachgas, or Laughing Gas. To say that Ajax field three forwards is an understatement. The central mid -fielder -- the 'number 10', in Ajax parlance -- habitually attacks too. At half-time of Ajax against AC Milan in last month's Amsterdam Tourn ament, the Ajax technical director Leo Beenhakker was moved to comment on television that his team wereplaying a touch naively.

The coach, Co Adriaanse, told him off. But it is quite likely that Celtic, too, will encounter a teenage outfit playing 4-2-4. Admittedly the Ajax of 1995 were also a teenage outfit in a utopian formation, but they were great.

Adriaanse probably set out to create a young side. Director of the Ajax youth system for five years, he has always been happiest working with young players.

Encountering at Ajax the esteemed former Dutch internationals Aron Winter and Richard Witschge, he dropped them. Winter last week joined Sparta, commenting that Adriaanse 'lacks social intelligence', while Witschge is still at Ajax, though, after saying the coach could 'sink in the shit', probably not for much longer.

The Dutch traditionally deride Scottish football, finding it hilarious that new-born Glas-wegians are named after the Feyenoord also-ran Larsson. However, few at Ajax currently believe their team can overcome Scottish opponents with 'hair on their knuckles'.

Adriaanse's comments after the draw -- 'we are definitely not favourites to win these two legs' -- were read in Scotland as an attempt at mind games. He was probably just being honest.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2001

Murdo's Euro predictions Hmmmmm.....From the BBC website.....

"BBC Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod looks ahead to this week's European ties involving Scottish clubs and gives his predictions. Ajax v Celtic - live on BBC One Scotland and Radio Scotland 810MW

While this may not be the most important game of Martin O'Neill's Celtic career, it marks a major step in the progress the club has made.

This tie represents an opportunity to gauge exactly how far Celtic have come in the past year.

They are currently the best team in Scotland and now they have a chance to prove themselves as a European force.

Ajax may not be the team they once were, but they have a phenomenal European pedigree and a Celtic victory would bring the Scottish champions a great deal of credibility in European circles.

Ajax are a young, enthusiastic side and are very good technically. They will have a lot of the ball but I think the strength of Celtic will be too much for them.

I don't think Celtic will stray far from their usual tactics for the away leg.

I think they'll sit in a bit more but they'll definitely be looking for a goal and when they go forward, they will get a lot of support from midfield.

A failure to get through this tie will be a disappointment for Celtic and a financial setback, but I'm very confident that won't happen.

Murdo's prediction: Ajax 1-1 Celtic"

If I was Co I'd be posting this in the player's changing room before the game. A Bit like Louis Van Gaal did with a Newspaper article quoting racist remarks (not that these are, obviously!) from Jesus Gil before the Champions League game against Athletico Madrid several years ago.


-- Anonymous, August 06, 2001

Well good to see so many optimistic Ajax supporters here. esp the one that played down Giggs's Match in Old Trafford.. You got to Remember Martin O'neil has been at Celtic for only a Year, in Europe we may not do much this year... but wait for the next... and I am sure you will do well in the UEFA cup ;-) any perdictions?

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2001

Just to let all Ajax supporters in America know that if they cannot get to see the game live they should check any local Irish bars as many Irish bars across canada and america show all Celtic games live. It's worth a try.

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2001

Lucky people you all are. I probably wont be able to watch the game cause i'm not sure where it'll be televesied. I'm in Egypt and i dont think we'll show the game. Maybe on satelite, but dont know on which channel. Where you people will be going to the game itself... just pure luck!

Good luck Ajax.... and may the best team win.

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2001

Right lads, I'm off to your lovely city now... lets have a ball!!

C'mon the Celtic!

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2001

Oh yes, we're coming.Many Celtic fans shall leave on monday - planes,trains & motorbikes! A European tie with Ajax - fantastic, can't wait. Heres to a great game and making new friends. All the best john

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2001

If anyone lives around the Philadelphia area, a Celtic pub in Havertown called Paddy Rooney's Pub will be showing the match LIVE. I'll be there, and hopefully some more Ajax supporters will join me.

If you're not from around Philly, the match is available closed circuit at all Celtic Supporters Club establishments. Check, find the CSC closest to you, and wear your red and white to the pub.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2001

After watching the Ryan Giggs testimonial match between Man United & Celtic I thought that Celtic were really up for the game while United looked in a fog defensively giving away two real soft goals in the first 4 minutes of the match. Barthez in particular looked out of control playing with ball foolishly. He also allowed a soft free kick in my opinion. Basically he did not take the game too seriously while Celtic were really pumped up for the game especially with all of the recent talk about them and Rangers hoping to join the EPL. I guess what I am saying is that we Ajax supporters shopuld not put a whole lot into this result. Players to watch for Celtic will certainly be Larsson and Agathe who played well on the right flank, while the Dutchman Petta on the left could play also, other than that I was not too impressed with their skill level. To be honest, Celtic do not play very good football, but they have a lot of grit and determination. Ajax SHOULD win this tie plain and simple. Interesting side note is that Celtic is being linked with a move for former Ajax star Winston Bogarde. Finally will anyone be getting a vidoe of these two matches as I would be very willing to purchase them? Please let me know via email.



-- Anonymous, August 05, 2001

Celtic did not play too well today but the 3 points are in the bag, i expect a better performance on wednesday. larsson was daedly though one chance all game and he finished with aplomb

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2001

final result: Kilmarnock 0, Celtic 1 (scorer Henrik Larrson who was set up beautifully by Chris Sutton).

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2001

Just finished listening to Kilmarnock v. Celtic a short time ago. The final score from Rugby Park was 0:0. Celtic lined out as follows :Robert Douglas , Olivier Tebily, Joos Valgaeren, Johan Mjallby , Didier Agathe, Neil Lennon, Paul Lambert, Alan Thompson,Bobby Petta, Chris Sutton,and Henrik Larsson.The commentator said Petta tweaked a hamstring approx. 63 minutes in. He was replaced by John Hartson.Martin O'Neill went to three strikers at that point. Celtic definitely sounded more attack minded.

I could be mistaken but I believe I heard a commentator say that Steve Guppy was not totally fit.

It seemed that Kilmarnock were playing for a draw. Combine this with Celtic perhaps looking ahead and 0:0 is what you get

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2001

After watching Celtic in Ryan Giggs' testimonial match, I was very impressed. Celtic were clinical on the counter (something which always seems to undo Ajax sides) and their defense was relatively solid against a strong Man U side. The Ajax defense is the absolute key to this tie. The offense will be able to score on Celtic's average defense, but Yakubu, Chivu, Pasanen, and Cruz will have to be very attentive to Larsson and Sutton (and maybe even John Hartson). Petri Pasanen will have to play huge (literally and figureatively) against Chris Sutton. Sutton is a very good target man up top who is very comfortable winning the Celtic backs' long balls with his back to goal.

Basically, if Ajax' defense can contain Henrik Larsson and Chris Sutton, I'm confident Ajax will go through.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2001

More info on Celtic's three deadline day signings from the BBC......

Thursday, 2 August, 2001, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK Celtic sign trio on deadline day

Hartson arrives at Parkhead for talks with Celtic

John Hartson, Steve Guppy and Momo Sylla have completed their moves to Celtic. But there is no word yet about whether the Scottish club have been able to register the trio in time to beat Thursday's Champions League signing deadline.

Hartson joins from Coventry City for a fee of about £6m, Guppy from Leicester City for around £700,000 and Sylla from St Johnstone for a similar amount.

Celtic manager Martin O'Neill said: "Our season is just one game old and I am confident that all three will play important roles in the coming months.

"Having lost a number of players during the summer, it was essential to bring the squad back to last season's strength and I still hope to add to its depth in the coming weeks."


Celtic fans will be relieved to know that Hartson passed a medical.

It was the Welsh international's failure to do so that prevented his transfer to Rangers last season and prompted Coventry to place him on a pay-for-play contract.

The move to the Scottish champions represents a swift about-turn by Hartson, who only two weeks ago signed a new contract with Coventry.

He was also handed the club captaincy, but Celtic's renewed interest has tempted the 26-year-old away.

Goalkeeper Magnus Hedman had also appeared to be heading to Celtic Park as part of the deal, but nothing has come of that proposal.

Celtic did manage to capture Hartson on a four-year deal, beat Coventry to the signature of Guppy with a three-year offer and gave Sylla a five-year contract.

About to leave

Guppy is a former England international, the 32-year-old having been taken to Filbert Street from Port Vale by present Celtic manager Martin O'Neill.

Leicester manager Peter Taylor had earlier confirmed: "We have agreed the fee with Celtic and the player has flown up to Scotland to complete the deal.

"Steve is an excellent professional, a fine crosser of the ball and I wish him all the best with his new club."

Sylla was impressive for St Johnstone on Saturday, despite the Perth side's 3-0 opening-day defeat at Celtic Park.

The 24-year-old from the Ivory Coast was originally employed as a full-back at McDiarmid Park but later moved into midfield and was up front for Saints on Saturday.

One player who may be about to leave Celtic Park is Scotland Under-21 striker Mark Burchill.

Burchill was on loan to Birmingham City and Ipswich Town last season and Portsmouth are now in negotiations designed to take the player to Fratton Park in a £1.25m deal.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- My thoughts for what they're worth;

Hartson is a very physical "traditional English centre forward" who likes to "mix it up" in the penalty area. Excellent with his head, and great at drifting away from his marker.

Guppy is a talented winger with good crosses.

Don't know annything about the third one.

Hmmm...this doesn't make it easier!


-- Anonymous, August 03, 2001

hi again from glasgow. Hot News: Celtic have just announced three new signings:- Steve Guppy, winger from leicester city;john hartson, welsh international striker from coventry city;and Momo Sylla, versatile Guinean international from St St Johnstone. Today was the closing date for signings, so any of these guys might be lining up against ajax on wednesday!

-- Anonymous, August 02, 2001

Hi Ajax'ers! I love the Ajax-USA site! Fantastic! Well I will be heading over to Amsterdam next Tuesday for the game against the famous Celtic the following day. I cannot wait to see your beautiful city! I have heard so much about it. I just like to wish your team all the best for the game and I hope you will enjoy the special atmosphere that us Celtic Supporters generate. It is just a pity that one of our teams has to go out.



-- Anonymous, August 02, 2001

hi there from sharon (celtic supporter in glasgow). i'd just say thankyou to this fantastic site. the overwhelming welcome i received as a celtic fan was a tribute to your team, and thanks to the guys from amsterdam who have got us tickets, travel directions and have just been generally so helpful and friendly. i am really looking forward to coming over. The hype in glasgow is building now, with different viewpoints on the outcome of the two matches, but they all agree on one thing - ajax are among the european greats. this is what martin o'neill our manager says ""We will go into this tie confident that we can win through," he said. "I said a while back that many of the seeded sides wouldn't fancy facing us and I'm sure that will be the case with Ajax. Either way, they are a side we know plenty about and they will likewise know plenty about us so it should be a cracking contest. Ajax at Celtic Park is the kind of game we've all been yearning after for some time now and I'm delighted to have it to look forward to."

re: john hartson signing: he is currently awaiting outcome of medical. we have also signed a young player today from St Johnstone (a scottish league opponent).

While celtic don't have the "new faces" we would have liked to see by the start of the season, we trust in our manager to do the right thing. (he has actually just bought some shares in celtic ..£2,000,000 worth, so i think his judgements are not in question)

as to beating ajax..well.. any team who can win a trophy against the likes of liverpool, valencia and acmilan are certainly no pushover.

but again..thanks for the friendly welcome guys. look forward to having you in glasgow.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

The Celtic wires are burning with reports of John Hartson signing for them. If true, the upcoming CL tie just got more interesting...and AJAX have one more thing to plan for defensively.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2001

I saw AJAX yesterday against Liverpool and i must say that after the ugly match against Milan i didn't expected much,but what i saw is that we have a very fitness-based young team which could win any team , whereas if the match isn't good for us we could be 2 or 3 down.Against Celtic i think the possibilities are 55-45 for AJAX ,but i am afraid of the Celtic crowd.As for the ranking i would put Celtic between 15-20 place in the Europe and of course AJAX among Real Madrid - Liverpool - Bayern - AC Milan. I loved Mido... what a player!!!

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2001

Menno, try, you'll be going to glasgow for just 300,- guilders....

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2001

Hi Ajax fans!!

I'm a Celtic fan from Glasgow and I am so delighted with the draw both our clubs have got. Ajax are a class team as they showed last night against Liverpool and I have to say it looks like we are in for a couple of classic matches in the next couple of weeks.

This is a beautiful game, it's what football is all about. Celtic and Ajax deserve better than what they have had in the last few seasons so this game even though one of us will -sadly- go out it will give both teams the taste of a big European night again.

For me? Well I am travelling to your lovely city with another 7,499 Celtic fans and I'm sure we'll all have a great time meeting new friends in Amsterdam!

Travel, well we are taking the Supporters Bus with us... we leave on Monday evening and travel to Dover (South England) and get a ferry to Callais (France) before driving up through Belgium and into the Netherlands and finally Amsterdam.

Good luck to you and I hope that the game is a classic between the two clubs with the best, most recognisable strips in football!!!

Hail hail! Kevin!

PS: where would you rate Celtic in terms of Famous teams... ? To me Ajax are one of the top 5 in Europe!

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2001

Regarding travel arrangements, I have booked to fly to Belgium (Charlerloi) then stay with friends in Vlissingen, then onto the match in Amsterdam. I found this a lot cheaper (even with EASY-JET) the best option. It looks like it will be two cracking games to see. Well all the best lads, but, there can only be one winner.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2001

Well, our European opponents are off to a flying start. Celtic lead St. Johnstone 3:0 at Parkhead.15 minutes left. A "wee" crowd of 58,005 is the listed attendance.I hope our lads can acquit themselves well tonight. And , more importantly, give Celtic a thing or two to worry about.

-- Anonymous, July 28, 2001

The game at Celtic Park will be played on the Wednesday, too (just like the first leg in Amsterdam). Game dates are now: Wed, August 08 (Ajax vs Celtic) and Wed, August 22 (Celtic vs Ajax).

It's gonna be madness. But great madness. I read on the Ajax Mania discussion forum that Ajax has provided Celtic with 7,800 tickets for Scottish fans. Which is a *lot*. In the mean time, all EasyJet flights to Glasgow on the day of the second leg are already booked. Rates of EasyJet flight to Edinburgh are going through the roof, so there's probably a lot of interest for those, too.

I am currently checking out the options to fly from Belgium (either Brussels or Charleroi, which is a lot cheaper than from Amsterdam!) or to go to Scotland by boat. If anyone of you has some useful advice... Any Celtic fans who can tell me more about boat connections from Holland to Scotland v.v.?

-- Anonymous, July 24, 2001

As a Celt this is a mouth-watering tie. Two great like-minded clubs coming together to settle the best of three. The way I see it is that Celtic's main disadvantage is a suspected lack of belief at this level of competition, if they can overcome this I think they have the players to win. But Ajax as the fathers of total football can hold on to the ball for fun and if they do this well enough I think this could be our undoing, especially in Glasgow were the fans tend to get a bit nervous on these big nights if it doesn't go to plan.

Anyway if you are coming to Glasgow try Heraghty's in Shawlands for a pre match pint.

In Larrson we trust Joe

-- Anonymous, July 23, 2001

It would be a very good thing for Ajax to qualify for the CL, so I actually hoped for a weaker team than Celtic. Ajax was seeded at the draw due to their successes in the near past. Kind of strange that the number one of Scotland wasn't seeded at all. Last season Celtic played much better than Ajax I think. We ended only third (in what is probably a stronger league). Too bad for Ajax that Celtic wasn't seeded also. I think we now drew the strongest team of non-seeded clubs.

But also the nicest club of that group. Nice history, nice jersey, nice country, nice people (I visited Glasgow several times). Of course Ajax is going to win, but I'd rather lose against Celtic than against Dynamo Djneprpetrovsky or something like that...

Good luck to both teams and may the better team lose this time...;-)

-- Anonymous, July 23, 2001

hi, there. i'm sharon mcbride, also a supporter of celtic from scotland. i'm very excited at the prospect of playing Ajax, who are as far as i'm concerned one of europe's top teams. i certainly think ajax are very much underestimating themselves. Celtic were a shambles of a team just over a year ago and the managers efforts in winning the scottish domestic treble were nothing less than a miracle. Also you have to bear in mind this is celtics first venture in the champions league. I would love nothing better than for celtic to win but we would not be disappointed if we did not. If you knew how much of a mess celtic were in a year ago then you would not be surprised that we find the fact of actually getting to the qualifying stages of the champions league is wonderful. Of course if we win then all the better. good luck to both teams. sharon

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2001

Hi Stevie, welcome to Ajax USA!

I would love to write a very long reply to your post, but I can only think of one thing to say, and that is that I completely share your view... Boring answer, I know ;-)

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2001

Hi Guys, as a Celtic fan I hope you don't take umbrage at me 'inteloping' on your dicussion board, but I was interested in some of your comments and wanted to view some opinions. So with your permission here goes : As for the ESPN site and the Lennon 'quote', please be advised that Ajax is also the name of a well know detergent in the UK, and 'Wipes the floor with' is a particularly cretinous piece of sub-tabloid punnery the less said about the better.

As for our (Celtic's) fans, we feel that this is obviously a hard tie, but one we have a chance of winning (ie not against Roma or Man.U etc, whom we both are at too early a stage of redevelopment to hope to match, agreed?). Like mant Hoops fans, I have a soft spot for Ajax (despite us having 2 ex-F******** players on our books), I believe this dates back to our previous encounters and a respect for the attacking style and wonderful history of your illustrious club.

In all any fan I have spoken to feels that the tie is on a knife edge with us perhaps slight favourites (only because of relative inexperience of the current Ajax side). Of course we would fully expect this to change in the coming years :-).

In any case I hope the tie is enjoyable for us both and may the better (if not both) of these two sleeping giants awake from their slumber and reclaim their rightful position. Good luck also for the following season, friends.

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2001

I am very confident that Ajax can get a good result in the Arena. What scares me, however, is the away leg in Glasgow. The last season or two, we've been notoriously bad away from home, and the match at Celtic Park will be tremendously difficult. Celtic haven't had a match like this in about a decade, so the Celtic supporters will definitely be raucous, and our young players might find that a little intimidating. Hopefully we have such a lead from the home leg that the away leg is of little consequence.

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2001

The teams line out differently, AJAX in a 4-3-3 v. Celtic in their 3-5-2.4 man back line v. 3 man.There is also a big similarity. Both defenses appear to be the achilles heel of their respective clubs. AJAX will definitely need to assemble a back four which shows not only pace but that they can play together.A health Christian Chivu in the middle would be a big lift. Celtic use two wingbacks who love to attack on the flanks.And , they boast an attack of 52 goal man Henrik Larsson and Chris Sutton, excellent in the air or on the ground.

In contrast, Celtic lost defenders Ramon Vega and Alan Stubbs during silly season. Both started parts of last season; especially Swiss international Vega. Vega's replacement, Bobo Balde, ex- Toulouse, is not fit. His chances of lining are iffy. Joos Valgaeren and Johan Mjallby will really have to pick up the slack. AJAX have speed and, in Ibrahimovic and Hossam,size to cause problems. They have the speed in the aforementioned Ibrahimovic and Mido, Ikedia, van der Vaart, van der Gun, Maxwell, O'Brien ,etc create problems for Celtic.Any contribution from Arveladze would also be a plus.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the matches be open flowing affairs; with a score line like 3:2.

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2001

Sometimes I wish I could have a personal word with the editors of some of those on line football magazines. Chris Roberts, author ESPN's SoccerNet for example. In wonder why he puts a headline at the top of his report ("Lennon: We'll wipe the floor with Ajax") which does not represent Neil Lennon's remarks at all?? Lennon is confident and thinks Celtic can do it, but he shows a lot of respect for Ajax. I quote: "The draw could have been kinder to us, but it could have been a lot worse as well so we can't wait to get going." And: "I certainly haven't played against them before, so I'm personally excited about it and hopefully we can get more big games after this one." That doesn't sound like 'wiping the floor', 'kicking ass' or whatever. I hate those on line magazines. They're sooo primary and sensationalist. This is a complete miss-representation of what Lennon said.

The reactions to this draw of the clubs involved are a bit miss- represented anyway. Indeed: Co Adriaanse has said that he considers Celtic as "the favourites" for this clash. But his remark that Celtic are the "worst possible opponents" for Ajax (source: Ananova) was completely torn from its context. Co was simply explaining that Ajax was seeded for this draw and that they could have been paired with Omonia Nicosia (Cyprus) or Skonto Riga (Latvia). But they were unlucky and were paired with probably the strongest of un-seeded teams. From the list of teams Ajax *could* have met, Celtic was the toughest. That's what he said. He never said he was "afraid" of Celtic, or that they were "the worst opponent". He shruggingly said that "at least we'll know exactly where we stand after this confrontation." But that's probably a less spectacular headline...

What these football webzines do has nothing to do with journalism. I hate them.

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2001

Whew !

It will surely be a stiff test for the team. First the F-word and now Celtic, all within a few weeks' of the opening of the new season! So,as stated earlier in Ben's .588 article, the big improvement the team needs is in defence. And it will be put to the test so very early on, in this coming season. And Chivu is injured... It will be interesting to see how CO will handle the tactical strategy of the team with such tough early matches. This promises to be one helluva exiting year !!


-- Anonymous, July 20, 2001

Make no mistake, this is a VERY tough draw.

Celtic are playing in a mediocre Scottish league, but they are miles ahead of any other team in that league. They completely obliterated Dick Advocaat's Rangers last season, which had a number of established international players. The manager Martin O'Neill, has plenty of international experience as a player (including Nottinham Forest's European success) and is a very intelligent manager (he took a very average Leicester City team into Europe and well up the English Premier League). Also, their fans are fanatical and will provide the "12th man" in Glasgow, as well as "making themselves heard" in the ArenA.

This will be hard.......

Still on the flip side, it's a great test for the new blossoming Ajax team, and let's face it...isn't this the kind of game we've been hankering for in the last 3 or 4 years?

-- Anonymous, July 20, 2001

Yeah, you can never underestimate a club like Celtic. It's a legend and I respect them a lot. This is a great draw, and I think we can do it. Even now, Holland's best clubs don't need to be afraid of Scotland's top teams. It's gonna be a confrontation of two completely different styles of football, that's for sure.

I look forward to the atmosphere in Amsterdam on match day. That gonna be great...

-- Anonymous, July 20, 2001

Well the opponent is Glasgow Celtic - the draw could have been kinder but one that is not impossible - Celtic are a very organised side under O'Neil with an exceptional striker in Larsen. Interesting Times

-- Anonymous, July 20, 2001

Tomorrow, at 12:00 Central European Time (3:00 AM Pacific/6:00 AM Eastern), is the draw for the third preliminary round of the Champions League. Which means: D-Day for Ajax. published a list today of the teams Ajax *can* and can *not* meet (has to do with UEFA's club ranking, on which Ajax takes a high position).

Ajax is, therefore, one of the 'seeded' teams, which means they can *not* meet Liverpool, FC Barcelona, Lazio Roma, Parma, Borussia Dortmund, Real Mallorca, Bayer Leverkusen, Dynamo Kiev, Lokomotiv Moscow, Rosenborg BK or Slavia Prague. These teams will join the competition in the third preliminary round, just like Ajax.

Galatasaray, FC Porto, Anderlecht and/or Glasgow Rangers are already playing (in the second preliminary round), but if they make it to the third, Ajax can't bump into them, either.

Right, so who *can* we meet?

The strongest, best known teams Ajax can meet include Panathanaikos Athens, Fenerbache, Grasshoppers Zurich, Innsbruck Tirol and Celtic Glasgow. Or, of course, one out of the remaining 14 teams coming from the second preliminary round. Most of those are not as well-established.

You can follow the draw on, or surf by Ajax USA later. I will write a profile about Ajax' opponent straight away and send it to Jim. He'll put it on the homepage as soon as he gets up (which is usually early, thanks to Ajax USA's Board of Directors, Sean and Ryan McGough).

-- Anonymous, July 19, 2001

Here is that link to the part icipants' list for the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League.

-- Anonymous, June 07, 2001

Response to European opponents for Ajax

How is it determined who Ajax plays in the Champions League play-in match? Also it appears that they only have to win that one tie to progress to the Group Stages? Any confirmation would be helpful

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2001

Response to European opponents for Ajax

Interesting... Jim has posted a link on the homepage, which takes you to's list of Champions League participants. It's intersting to take a look at the teams marked 'Q3', just like Ajax. The third preliminary round includes teams such as Valencia, Lazio Roma, Liverpool, Parma, Celtic and Borussia Dortmund.

However, I think Ajax (being a seeded club) will play one of the 'minor' teams, who have to make it through the first and second preliminary rounds first.

-- Anonymous, May 29, 2001

Response to UEFA Cup opponents

We decided to re-name this topic 'European opponents' now that Ajax have qualified for the Champions League. :-)

Of course, it will once again be a discussion of UEFA Cup opponents if we get eliminated and have to continue there. :-/

Anyways, write this down in your agendas: Friday, 20 July is the draw for the third preliminary round @ UEFA's HQ in Geneva, Switzerland (the third one is the first and only one in which Ajax has to participate; they're free for the first two rounds). Games will be played on 08 and 22 August. There will be 32 teams by that time. The 16 clubs out of those 32 that are highest on UEFA's club ranking (including Ajax), will be 'seeded' and can not play against one another. This means: luckily no AC Milan or whatever in the pre-lims.

-- Anonymous, May 28, 2001

Response to UEFA Cup opponents

There's something sad, but perhaps interesting going on (well, for Ajax, that is)...

Don't know if you've read anything about it, but PSV was eliminated in the UEFA Cup yesterday night, in a very frustrating way: they'd lost away (1-0), while they were the best team of the two. The same thing happened again in Eindhoven, with PSV missing a penalty before going 0-1 down. Then, the referee had to stop the game for 15 minutes because frustrated PSV fans broke through one of the gates and entered the pitch.

The UEFA usually takes *very* harsh measures against after riots inside the stadium (Ajax knows all about it, after the 1989 'bar incident': they were playing Austria Vienna and it didn't work, and then an iron bar was thrown at the Austria goalkeeper from the F-Side section. Ajax was banned from UEFA tournaments for one season. They won the championship, qualified for the European Champions Cup (the Champions League in its old form) but weren't allowed to play. So, Holland did not have a Champions Cup participant that year.

If PSV gets banned (the UEFA decides on Wednesday) that would be *very* sad for Dutch football, but the good news is that the rule has slightly changed: nowadays, a country can subscribe another team in their place. That would be AJAX, in this case... This would mean *direct* Champions League qualification. *If* PSV gets banned, that is (which I doubt).

-- Anonymous, March 16, 2001

Response to UEFA Cup opponents

Ajax' "dress rehearsal" against Willem II was rather effective than good (it was bad, actually), but it was better than Lausanne's. Ajax's UEFA Cup opponent lost at home in the Swiss league: 1-3 to current number nine on the table, FC Aarau. Lausanne Sports dropped to the 5th spot.

Adriaanse will not play with the same line-up. Tom Sier, who played well against Willem II, was not reported to the UEFA as a member of the Ajax selection and is, therefore, not allowed to play. On the other hand: Cristian Chivu is back in training and will probably be fit before Thursday. Due to his red card in Switzerland, Sunday's match winner Wamberto is suspended. Adriaanse will probably not choose young left winger Kevin Bobson, who seems to be out of the picture.

I personally think he'll go for Shota Arveladze as a left winger. The Georgian has done that before. My guess for Thursday's line-up:

Grim; BergdC8lmo, Chivu, Pasanen, De Cler; Winter, Galasek, Van der Vaart; Ikedia, Machlas, Arveladze.

Which should definitely be good enough to make up for the 1-0 defeat in Lausanne...

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2000

Response to UEFA Cup opponents

Ajax flew to Lausanne yesterday. There's a short Adriaanse interview on, in which the coach says he's confident about tomorrow's game. "If Ajax plays the way we are supposed to play, we've got the best chance of reaching the third round", he said. "Lausanne plays in a 4-4-2 system, and their forwards are their best players. Argentinian striker Mazzoni and Polish striker Kuzba create most of the danger. They're strong at free kicks and corners. I expect Lausanne to be better than Ghent."

The squad with which Adriaanse travelled to Switzerland is the following: Grim, Lobont, Vierklau, Bergdolmo, Chivu, Pasanen, Galasek, De Cler, Yakubu, Nieuwenburg, Winter, Van der Vaart, Van der Gun, Machlas, Arveladze, Wamberto, Ikedia, Cruz.

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2000

Response to UEFA Cup opponents

Kick-off time of Lausanne Sports vs Ajax (Thu, 26 Oct), is 7:00pm Central European Time (1:pm Eastern/10:00am Pacific).

-- Anonymous, October 16, 2000

Response to UEFA Cup opponents

Lausanne Sports has lost its league game of this weekend: 2-0, away to Yverdon, the last-but-one team on the Swiss table. Lausanne stays second, three points behind league leaders Lugano but now only one more point ahead of Grasshopper Z|rich. Feyenoord's opponent, FC Basel, is 6th.

The Lausanne Sports website calls the clash with Ajax a "confrontation between David and Goliath"... :-) The English version of their website is not wrking. If you understand French or just wanna check it out, the URL is: or (two URL's for the same webpage).

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2000

Response to UEFA Cup opponents

Ajax has requested the UEFA officially to make the first leg of the second round, away to Lausanne Sports, two days earlier and reschedule the game to Tuesday, 24 October (instead of Thursday, 26). Ajax would like to play on Tuesday so the team will have two extra days to prepare for the away game against PSV in Eindhoven, on Sunday, 29 October.

The UEFA is likely to comply with the request. Since Ajax fans (to Lausanne) and Feyenoord fans (to Basel) are originally scheduled to travel to Switzerland on the same day, the UEFA was probably considering rescheduling one of the two games anyway.

As soon as the rescheduling is official, it will be announced on the Ajax USA homepage...

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2000

Response to UEFA Cup opponents

No problem

-- Anonymous, September 04, 2000

Response to UEFA Cup opponents

Yeah - AA Ghent should be dealt with without too many problems. It's definitely not the easiest of draws, considering that seeded teams in the first round of the UEFA Cup usually bump into some amateurs from Andorra, Liechtenstein, the Fakrokr Islands, Latvia or whatever. Compared to those teams, AA Ghent is a pretty serious opponent. But Ghent is, firstly, a more attractive opponent, and secondly, it's a short trip. So I'm satisfied. And besides: we're f***in Ajax Amsterdam, aren't we, so we're not gonna worry about a bunch of Belgians in the first place. Simple as that. :-)

-- Anonymous, September 01, 2000

Response to UEFA Cup opponents

Nothing like a good border skirmish to breath even more life into a campaign which has started so favorably. Also, the travel gods must be smiling on De Godenzonen.I believe AJAX have 8 fixtures between Sunday and 2 October, including the UEFA Cup ties.The schedule is busy enough without an excursion to Moscow, Bulgaria ,or some other vacation paradise.I also like the fact that AJAX play the first leg away.Nothing more damaging than to win a cup tie in the opponents backyard.I think AJAX will do just that.Finally,though not directly related to the UEFA draw, the crowded fixture list will certainly allow the "blooding " of some of the young talent not now seeing regular minutes.And, for what its worth,Andres"El Condor" Mendoza, a young Peruvian striker,is another interesting player with Gent. I had the pleasure,if gasping for breath at 14,000 feet in the Andes(at Union Minas) is pleasure,of watching him as a Sporting Cristal(Lima) player.Tall, good pace, and ran for 90 minutes+ at altitude.

-- Anonymous, August 25, 2000

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