Eredivisie Games : LUSENET : Ajax USA : One Thread

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Note: There are separate forums for Amstel Cup, European or Pre-Season and Friendly games. To read earlier comments, originally posted to the "Current State of Ajax - Comments on Recent Games" discussion, click on the following links: [Sep 2000-Oct 2000 | Oct 2000-Feb 2001 | Mar-May 2001 | May-Jul 2001 | Aug-Oct 2001 | Nov2001-Jan 2002 ]

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2000


Really guys! Only two teams can win the league, Eindhoven and Ajax so why not just flip a coin and get it over with. The only thing that matters is Champions league and the opportunity to show the big clubs what products you have to sell. You know I´m right.

-- Anonymous, December 30, 2002

Speaking about the webcast - was anyone able to get it? I tried, but after two minutes of advertising, all I wound up with was a blank screen. Everytime I tried clicking 'Play' I started all over with the advertising.

I wound up following the game on the 'minute-by-minute' tick report.

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2002

I hope Chivu's injury ,sustained late in the match,is not too serious.I understand that the coach said something to the effect of more will be known about the extent of the blessure tomorrow.All that said, Chivu sitting out against De Boeren next weekend would not be the absolute worst that could happen.DeGraafschap is playing better, witness their comeback v. NAC( a signal to Ajax not to take them lightly), but Ajax should be able to get a result there. Especially as he is out for the Roma match, resting a gimpy Chivu would be better for the player. Playing next weekend might just give De Jong or Chivu's replacement v. Roma a chance to become more comfortable in his role.Plus, AJAX-PeeSV is the match where Chivu will be needed most.

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2002

PHEW!!!!!!!!!! LUCKY AJAX strikes again some headlines may shout. All I know is that my internet connection to the webcast is dire and we won 2:1! Thanx Raffie!

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2002

The same types of attributes mentioned by Menno several posts ago,in this very thread, will be needed Sunday. Ajax will definitely need to be focused,have great concentration, and be determined to win. True,Twente is only 10th in the league.But, since starting the year with 4 losses and a draw from their first 5 matches, they are unbeaten since September 20.They are 4 victories and 4 draws in that time. Definitely dangerous,just ask F-word last year or PSV(0:0 at Arke Stadion)this year.GO AJAX!!

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

Ajax definitely showed me something yesterday. Yesterday was an even bigger potential landmine than say,RBC away earlier this year.So what did they do? Ajax scored on 6 minutes and put their hosts under the gun instead. It sounds like the goals were all well taken too; the result of excellent combination passing or one helacious freebie.I think the clean sheet is Joe D's. just reward.He has really risen to the occasion when Ajax, faced with a keeper crisis like I can't ever remember, needed him most. More proof that good things happen for good people.I hope the confidence and desire to make a statement will be evident Wednesday as it was yesterday. HUP AJAX!!

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2002

I must say I'm very impressed by this performance. Ajax was not perfect in Heerenveen, but they were focused, concentrated and determined to win. The defenders were safe as the bank of Switzerland, the team created plenty of chances. Playing like this only a few games before the Valencia game - that's really good and it really tells us something aboutt he self-esteem and the determination of this team. They are not invincible, like the Ajax of 1972 or 1995, but the 'aura of invincibility' is definitely there at the moment. You could tell from the way Ajax played that a good result for Heerenveen was simply out of the question.

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2002


As many of you will have noticed, there is an error on the Ajax USA homepage. Ajax won the away game at SC Heerenveen by the score of 0-3. Not 0-2. Ajax is even better than we thought. We will fix this as soon as possible. The match report will appear on the homepage later today. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2002

Ajax Netwerk's chatter during the game also has a couple nice still pics ,including Galasek's strike flying past Vonk. Great result lads. Like Bill, i was nervous about this one.Don't know what the coach said to Andy but three goals in the last two and some better play is great to see from him.Oh, PSV won 0:3 at RBC but F-word lost 1:0 at Waalwijk. Oost's 82nd minute goal put the Rottendammers to the sword.

-- Anonymous, November 23, 2002

Thankyou Ajax

-- Anonymous, November 23, 2002

yesss... 72' 0-3 vd Meyde

-- Anonymous, November 23, 2002

BTW: PSV is already leading 3-0 vs Rosendaal. Hope we will take 3 points today

-- Anonymous, November 23, 2002

Ajax Netwerk chatter has it that Galasek's goal was came on a sweet freekick.

-- Anonymous, November 23, 2002

38' 0-2 Galasek

-- Anonymous, November 23, 2002

Herenveen - Ajax 06' 0-1 vd Meyde

-- Anonymous, November 23, 2002

Really nervous about tomorrow's game - more nervous than for the CL game. Would be just great to get three points. Go Ajax Go

-- Anonymous, November 22, 2002

Excellent news: both Hatem Trabelsi (early substitution in his Tunisia game) and Jari Litmanen (injured for weeks) are deemed fit and are in the squad for tomorrow's game in Heerenveen. That's great. They need this game to get the feeling back and then they should be ready to rock and roll against Valencia, on Wednesday!!

(Meanwhile: I will not talk about the Valencia game until Sunday morning. The Heerenveen game will be a tough one and we have to win it - if only because we looked like a big pile of crap over there last season [5-1]).

-- Anonymous, November 22, 2002

I have to agree with Menno about the strength of SC Heerenveen. They just had a pitty start, and have been playing quite well lately. As long as Ajax can keep their concentration and don't underestimate Heerenveen then I am positive that they will walk away with the victory. Last year they were over confident and we all know what happened. After van der Vaart scored the 0-1 Heerenveen won the game 5-1, but however I have a feeling that Ajax will win.

And about the upcoming Champions League match against Valencia CF. They have a very strong team, but they will really miss Aimar and Ruferte. I think that if Ajax plays aswell as they did against Inter in the first half, and the referee won't dissallow a goal, then Ajax could at least get a draw out of it, and maybe even a victory. The fans of Arsenal see Ajax as the biggest rival in making it to the next round, and before the draw for the 2nd round was leaders of the Valencia CF youth academy came to Amsterdam to see how it was possible that Ajax made it through the 1st round with such a young team. Finally after all those years Ajax is slowly coming back to the European top, and if they can keep this team together for a few more years, then they will win the Champions League for sure.

I have a season ticket for Ajax, and I think the reason why they changed the counting is because the Dutch Tax Department (FIOD) has become really strict about tax fraude and keep a close eye on it. As we saw with Feyenoord earlier, and the upcoming case against Ajax about the transfers with Laudrup and Arveladze.

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002

Interesting reply Menno, I didnt realise that the ArenA Season Card s**t went on. Do you know how much rent we have to pay ?

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002

I wrote: "The ArenA's so-called certificate holders (= the folks who bought a significant share of ArenA stock) get a free season ticket."

More precisely: the certificate holders don't get a free season ticket, but they own their seat. Not only for Ajax games, but also for concerts, dance events and all the Holiday Ice and Winter Wonderland crap taking place in the ArenA.

There's been a pretty interesting dispute about this between the ArenA and Mojo Concerts, Holland's largest concert agent. They wanted to sell the maximum number of tickets for the concerts (Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones, Céline Dion, Bon Jovi etc.), but the ArenA said it was impossible to keep the certificate holders outside the door. In their certificates it says that their seats are guaranteed for every event in the ArenA. Mojo Concerts claimed that they had nothing to do with that agreement.

Not sure what the outcome was.

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002

Bill wrote: "How are they arriving at these figures this season - is it season card sales + sales on the day and not supporters through the turnstiles ?"

Good question. Jim and I visited the Ajax offices the other day and I asked them. Bill is right: they count the total number of season tickets (40,000 or so), plus the tickets sold in presale and on match day. In previous seasons they counted the number of tickets scanned at the turnstiles.

The girl was not sure about the reason why Ajax changed the counting system, but I think it's a "safety measure", to avoid any trouble with and/or awkward questions by the tax dept. They now use the official number of seats sold, because that's the number that determines the club's income and sum of tax that has be paid.

Next question you may ask yourself: who the fuck are the 5,000 or so fackin' w#nkers that don't show up to support their team!! The answer is very simple: the people who bought a season ticket, like you and me, are usually there. But as you know the ArenA is not Ajax' property, but an independent company (Ajax has to pay rent to play in the ArenA). The ArenA's so-called certificate holders (= the folks who bought a significant share of ArenA stock) get a free season ticket. They are the folks who - quite frequently - don't bother to show up.

Most of them are on the first tier, behind the North goal. That's why that section is always sold-out, but almost never full. Of course, everyone shows up against F-Word.

No way there were 46,000+ people yesterday. About 40,000, I thought (which is by the way still significantly more than in recent seasons). Against Willem II and especially AZ, however, I thought the figure of 45,000+ was about right. It was almost solidly packed against AZ, if it wasn't for the half-empty away section. But 49,000 against FC Zwolle and 46,000 yesterday? No way.

This whole system is one of the (many) reasons why I think Ajax should buy the ArenA. We have to get rid of these morons, who use their season ticket to show off to other people, but never use it.

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002

At a few games this season we have been perplexed by the official attendance announced near to the end of the game. Sunday's game was no different in that looking around the ArenA ( and there was plenty of time in the first half) I estimated about 38 to 40,000 as there were some really empty spaces on the second tier. So total surprise when 46,000 odd was announced. How are they arriving at these figures this season - is it season card sales + sales on the day and not supporters through the turmstiles ?

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002

After the schizophrenia of Tuesday,it was a pleasure to watch Ajax earn a just reward for their efforts. The first half was generally a snooze fest but NEC were attrocious.Mido's clinical header from Pienaar's cross and Bergdolmo's header off the bar helped pull my nose out of the new F-Side story ,"F-Side is niet makkelijk!", if only for fleeting moments. The ArenA stewards would have done well to hand us all seatbelts at halftime. I am not sure what the coach said but, 5 goals, 2 posts, and numerous chances later, the smoke cleared and Ajax had the 6:0! Van der Meyde's solo run, and Boukhari's cannon shot to the shortside of Gentenaar's net ;along with the mentioned chip; were highlights for me. Chivu, Bergdolmo, and Galasek were rock solid. Sikora had his best game in a while. Witschge, subbed about 65 minutes in, played absolutely fantastic. His passes were spot on and it seemed that every touch was perfect. Hell, he even defended. An Joe D. kept a clean sheet. Well done, at least 45 minutes worth, Ajax. Thanks for treating this weary traveller to a great Sunday!

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002

i think it was a very easy game.. the only nice thing is the half dozen of goals mido as usual was brilliant and van der vart was amazing but lets hope as menno said that not all the players go with their national teams..mido is going with egypt to play with tunisia(thats what i heard) and african games always get us injuries) hope they all return back safe

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002

Honestly, I can't believe how weak NEC was. They had better stayed at home. Then they would have suffered an administrative defeat of 'only' 3-0... But still: 6-0 is a good result. We've seen some stunningly beautiful things in the second half (what about that VCan der Vaart lob, which the goalie saved? Pffff... Holy Mother Mary - that was brilliant).

Anyways - it's good to have a week with no Champions League football. A lot of players are invited to play friendly's with their national teams, but I hope a bunch of them will not go (Litmanen's not going, luckily. The more guys stay in Amsterdam, the better).

No Ajax football this week; next game is SC Heerenveen away. I have a bad feeling about that one. They are low on the table, but beware: they are much better than that! Just had a shit start. They're improving now (1-2 at Vitesse today, which is excellent) and they're one of those teams that can pump itself up for the big games (unlike Willem II and NEC, apparently).

On Saturday, Ajax will be counting the days until the Valencia game - and I have a feeling we will pay the price for that. But well, that's for later. I hope I'm wrong on this one.

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002

The CL is graet and very exciting, but dont forget that it is the bread and butter Eredivisie games that get us there. It is so important not to drop out of the top two positions. With PSV and the nerds now out of European football this should intensify the pressure on Ajax ie: the PSV game is just a few days after the CL match in December and also Ajax stand more of a chance of picking up injuries etc.

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002

It appears that Schenning(sp?)and Hristov are out;one injured and one suspended;for NEC next Sunday.

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2002

Maybe I am viewing the glass as being half-full rather than half- empty but I am not dissatisfied with a point from yesterday's match. Sure it is always better to win. But, considering how badly under strength Ajax is, a draw is okay. Considering that our lads were facing a club, on their sod, which held PSV scoreless (in Eindhoven) last week; a hard fought, chances for both sides draw is a fair result. Finally, it would be impossible to imagine that our young and talented squad wasn't looking ahead, at least a little, to the biggest match in 5 years.It is human nature.Like I said , a draw isn't too bad.

Besides, even if PSV do top SC Heerenveen today ,and go top on GD, does anyone really believe the season will be determined after 10 or 11 games?There is lots more footie to be played.

-- Anonymous, November 09, 2002

Ben wrote: "the most famous rib since Adam's Rib is acting up again"

'Amsterdam's Rib'... That's actually pretty friggin' funny :-D *LOL*

-- Anonymous, November 08, 2002

Sadly, injuries may dictate how Ajax line out tomorrow more than just the decision of the manager. Ajax Netwerk reports that Jari's hammie is not 100%. Also, Andy has a shin bone blessure and the most famous rib since Adam's Rib is acting up again,i.e. Cristian is hurting and his participation is questionable at best.So, the proposed back four,minus Chivu, maybe the reality.A 4-4-2 maybe the reality.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002

I believe that Ajax should start a back four of Trabelsi, Bergdolmo, Chivu, en De Jong.Going into tomorrow, Ajax have lost just once in the league since January 1st; that being last March at Vitesse. Coach Koeman's comments about the importance of Ajax'league form would lead me to think Chivu should start. Why risk 3 valuable points? Without a top league finish, achieving same means all 102 possible points are precious, the CL is a pipe dream.

I also agree with Bill re: worry about Tuesday after tomorrow is put to bed.

In my opinion,the ideal formula for tomorrow is GLH (Go Like Hell) for 60 minutes , get a lead, and then worry about lining out Tuesday's back four and Joe D. together.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002

The vote from the panel in Bocking is ...... play Chivu.

The decision of the panel was based on extensive research over a matter of seconds. The game tomorrow night is a very difficult & an important one and as such I feel that we will need our best players for the game. When this one is put to bed then the preparations for Tuesday can begin. Inter's game-plan will surely be to steal a point and attacking wise I cannot see them committing loads of players forward, unless Ajax take say a 2-0 lead. Therefore, I feel that less importance can be placed on using tomorrows game as a dress rehersal.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002

I have to choose your first option Menno. Playing without Chivu is tough, but the game on Tuesday is much more importan than this one, therefor Ajax should play with the same guys in the defence on Friday as the do on against Inter.

How about up front then? I guess Mido is hotter than Zlatan at the moment after his great game against Willem II.

Any other interesting thoughts about the line up?

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002

The Big Question for tomorrow night's game in Kerkrade:

What's a wiser thing to do for Koeman:

Play Cristian Chivu - or not? I mean: he's available again after his one game suspension, but he won't play on Tuesday. Wouldn't it be better to play with Tuesday's back four (Trabelsi, Bergdølmo, De Jong, Van Damme). Roda away is a tough game. They're 4th, they're physical in defence and fast upfront (just like Inter) and Ajax always has a hard time in Kerkrade. It would be the perfect dress- rehearsal for Tuesday's defence.

On the other hand: we're tops, the league is not a joke and why would you leave your captain out of the side if he's available?

What do you guys think?

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002

How come Ajax has it's own site in te US. Is Ajax famous in USA too or what is it? I'm from Sassenheim, near Amsterdam and I'm curious about this.

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2002

For those of you who haven't been following the links at the bottom of our match reports... Our friends at SuperShota have been posting videos of nearly *every* Ajax goal this season.

See: upershota/

And when you do, you must pay attention to the final moments of the video of Pienaar's goal from Sunday, so see an excellent close-up of the Ajax USA banner, which Menno carries faithfully to every home *and* away game. Great!!!

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2002

I would like a video of the first hour of yesterday's game, so that I can play it the next time I have problems with insomnia.

I can't remember being so bored at Ajax for a long time. The guys seemed to sleep walk through the game, and only Willem II's lack of ambition saved Ajax from an embarrasing result. They seemed tired and listless.

Still 72' minutes for Rafael was much needed, although quite why he was voted MOTM is beyond me.

Other plus points were the performances of Van Damme, and de Jongh, and above all Mido with his goal and two assists.

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2002

what a nice game ...rafi is back /////i am really impressed..mido was playing very nicely and proved his worthy over zlatan(though i like zlatan too),,,,mido is starting to ake nice assists the last games.. and on the top peinar...this gy is amazing..i cant describe him..... by all means i think koeman should try to keep this line-up or the next few games

-- Anonymous, November 03, 2002

Ajax 3 :Willem II 0. Nice job lads. A clean sheet for Joe D. courtesy of a revamped defense,an early strike for Mido, 73' meaningful minutes for Raffie which was capped by a goal, and Stephen "the goal machine" Pienaar strikes again. The sun definitely feels a bit warmer this morning,US time that is.

-- Anonymous, November 03, 2002

Ronald Koeman has not revealed his full line-up, but he did announced a few things.

1. Nigel de Jong will play in Cristian Chivu's position in central defence. Koeman: "His play has been amazing. He seems to be becoming a starter for the team in no-time."

2. Jelle Van Damme is fit again and will take over De Jong's left back position, making for a Trabelsi - Bergdølmo - De Jong - Van Damme backline.

3. Jari Litmanen is not fully recovered from his hamstring injury and will not play.

4. Rafaël van der Vaart will return to the Ajax-1 starting line-up!

I expect Ajax to play in a 4-3-3. Koeman has always said that that's the system Ajax wants to play in. A 4-4-2 may be used in 'big' games, especially away.

So, my guess would be: Didulica; Trabelsi, Bergdølmo, De Jong, Van Damme; Galásek, Van der Vaart, Maxwell; Van der Meyde, Zlatan, Sikora.

I think Koeman will go for Maxwell now he played such a superb game in Lyon (Witschge back to bench). Also, I have a feeling that he may give Mido a full game, but I'm not sure. That's just a feeling.

-- Anonymous, November 03, 2002

For what it's worth: the home game against Willem II is, historically/statistically, an easy game for Ajax. The 'Ajax Of The South', as Willem II is nicknamed due to their offensive play with wingers, visited the real Ajax 28 times for an Eredivisie game. Ajax won 24 of those games. The remaining four times, Willem II notched a draw. The red-white-blues (referred to as the Tricolores) never won a league game in Amsterdam. The last time they grabbed a point was in the spring of 2001 (1-1).

As Ben wrote: Willem II will have to miss out on its most dangerous striker, Jatto Ceesay, due to a suspension. On the other hand, Ajax will have to play without its best defender, Cristian Chivu. Both players were sent off last weekend.

Willem II is doing well this season, currently sitting in the 6th slot on the table. However last weekend, feyenoord put their feet back on the ground: 5-1 in de kuip.

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2002

....Correction:three match ban.Ceesay was red carded and sent off last week.

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2002

There is some potentially good news for Ajax regarding the match home to Willem II. Ajax Netwerk has a story indicating that one of Willem II 's more dangerous players v. Ajax, Jatto Ceesay ,is suspended for the match .If I read correctly, he is banned a total of 4 matches.The Ajax match is the first of the four.

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2002

Ajax are still doing well in the leageau, but they have to make sure that they win the match against lyon. If they lose that one, it will be hard for them to continue playing in the champions leageau.

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2002

Mark wrote: "Anyway, does anyone know what the Ajax fans were chanting that got the game closed down?"

Mark, how good's your Dutch...?

Temmink kankerlijer, Temmink hoerenjong and Temmink bolle :-)

For our English speaking friends (and there's quite a few of 'em here): the latter chant is the most harmless one, meaning Temmink fatso. The first one has to do with a fatal disease, the second one with the supposed profession of Temmink's mother in the industry that keeps Amsterdam's red light district running.

Not very kind, and it continued for about ten minutes, so I guess he was kind of right. But then again: I had a great time after he had stopped the game.

First of all, Koeman and Arie van Eijden walked up to the Ajax section, which immediately started chanting: Join us! Join us! You could clearly see that Koeman laughed out loud when he heard that.

After Koeman's request to cut the crap, we started taking the piss. Everyone sat down, nicely on their seats, and started singing We are sweet, we are sweet, and Ooooh, we are so sweet/ oooh, we are so sweet/ We haven't been this sweet in many, many years/ So sweet, so sweet.

Then we started singing a very well-known children's song, to which you move with the lyrics: Forward to backward and left to right...

Hilarious. And then Ajax scored immediately after the resumption of the game... *LOL*. I think it was rather funny, all in all. But let0s not do it again, cos Ajax will probably be fined for this (as if they can help it). Next time, the fans will be f*cked (as in: no tickets).

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2002

Nice one! I hadn't seen this yet... My (our!) Ajax USA banner is very clearly visible behind goal in the little movie of Maxwell's equalizer at RKC, on SuperShota! Check it out. You can't miss :-)

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2002

I felt that Chivu's red card was a bit over the top, he seemed to do no more than tap the defender on the shoulder, and he went down like a ton of bricks.

It always seem to be a tough game @ RKC, for whatever reason, so I'm not too dissapointed at the draw. Ajax have had a noticeably tougher program than P$V, so to be on terms with them now is OK.

Anyway, does anyone know what the Ajax fans were chanting that got the game closed down?

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2002

Just your typical Ajax match: Red card for Chivu , Ajax goes behind 1:0, a 12 minute play stoppage, and Maxwell's first Ajax-1 goal to lift Ajax to a 1:1 draw.Unfortunately PSV throttled NEC in Nijmegen.Our result keeps us level on points(23) but second on GD.Oh, and Willem II got crunched by the F-word at the De Krap. BAD DAY !!

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2002

Just to re-inforce Menno's comment on the debut of Nigel De Jong - I thought that the guy did terrific on his debut - didnt seem to suffer with nerves etc - one hell of a sassy player. Also I believe that in the last few games a certain Mr Galasek has been an unsung hero and very important cog for the team - keep it up Tomas. One last person to comment on is my pet hate, a certain Richard Witschge. I must admitt that his performance in the last 2 home games were very good - carry-on like this and I for one will have to eat my words.

-- Anonymous, October 21, 2002

For what it's worth... If you look at the table, we have the easiest game again this upcoming weekend. Ajax (#1) is away to RKC Waalwijk (#8).

F-Word (#4), meanwhile, play at home against a team that's currently doing better than them, namely the current #3 (Willem II). Finally, p$v (#2), who are due in Nijmegen, at the Eredivisie's #6, NEC.

RKC had an excellent start, but seemd to have kind of lost it in the past few weeks. Still, it's going to be a tough away game. Ajax regularly loses points over there.

-- Anonymous, October 21, 2002 is reporting that Joey's ankle has swollen to the size of a bowling ball and that Timmer will be starting on Sunday

- ez

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2002

In fact, Ben: Joey Didulica's injury looked quite serious, but turned out not to be. reports that he's fine. With Maarten Stekelenburg returning, we finall have three decent goalkeepers (Stekelenburg, Joey, Timmer) to our availability again. And yes: both Litmanen and Chivu will almost certainly play against the feyenerds. Nice one!

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2002

Another game, another keeper injured. I just finished reading that Joe D. has screwed up his ankle. AT5 , Football nl , and Ajax netwerk are saying his status is somewhere between doubtful and a snowball in hell, if the press is to be believed. On the other hand,it appears that Maarten Stekelenberg and Jari Litmanen may well be fit enough to go. Add Chivu's battle cry about playing or else and there seems to be more to smile about before this game. And if Maarten isn't fit, Ajax can always put an ad in the help wanted section.Hey, it worked for Springsteen( see Max Weinberg).

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002


-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002


-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

A bad weekend to be a central defender. We lost Chivu and probably Heitinga for an undetermined length of time. Our foes in the title hunt weren't exactly unscathed. F-word has van Wonderen out about one week if reports are correct, and van Haaren(sp?) and Song in varying stages of gimpiness. PeeSV has lost Hofland for a few weeks at least. Especially in the case of the F-word game,I hope their gimpy d can work in our favor.

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

Damn !!! P$V is running a 90 mph in the Eredivisie and Ajax isn't even able to profit the errors of the rotterdammers...Too bad !!

I can't figure how they can be leaded by two goals against Breda at home anyway.....

But strenghten your hearts amsterdammers Rosenborg wednesday !!!

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

I just noted on's match ticker that Captain Fantastic was pulled off on 46' because of a rib injury.That would explain him holding his mid-section and looking pale.Damn these injuries anyway!I hope THE CAPTAIN is okay in time for Wednesday.If anybody can make it so,it's the Ajax physios. Lord knows they get enough practice.Especially this year.

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

I hope the removal of Chivu was precationary. Posts on AjaxNetwerk had him holding his midsection and looking pale. I must say that it was a tough day for our central defenders. What with Chivu replaced by Heitinga. Then Heitinga goes down ...and thankfully returns to the game. Meanwhile,Yakubu is sacrificed in the push for offense when Ajax trailed 0:2.

Also, how did Boukhari look?

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

After 21 minutes, and down 0:2, I was wondering why I ever decided to lose precious sleep on a Sunday morning.Especially when Ajax lined out a side featuring 5 new or relatively new starters. Joe D., Jelle"Jean-Claude" van Damme,Richard Witschge, Stephen Pienaar, and Norodin Boukhari all figured in the first 11. I guess the answer was follow Ajax as they worked thru their injury problems and earned ,compared with last year's same fixture,a decent result.It is said a draw is like kissing your sister.Well, at least in this case, I feel like I was tongue-kissed by Heidi Klum or Gisele Bundschen. Yeah,make no mistake.. we're now two points down to PSV. But, losing one goal inside 3' and two inside 21' meant it could've been an even worse result today.Finally, I wish Earnie Stewart would make the jump to MLS as is rumoured.He has been a pain in the a-double-scribble in this fixture for several years now.

Interesting to see what the coach does on Woensdag after both Zlatan and Mido tickled twine today. So, 2:2 today and now it is on to Trondheim.I just hope Jari, Maxwell,Johnny O, etc..can make miracle recoveries.Also, given what he has battled back from,I hope Johnny Heitinga's knock is not too serious.I read that he returned to action.I just hope he has no complications after the fact.

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

2-2...It seemed like a nightmare but at least it ended up as a tie.We also saw Mido with Zlatan in the field.And both did well as you can understand.I thought our midfield and defence would do better,but anyway.They are kinda tired,as i can imagine...

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

Zlatan is once again chosen before Mido eventhough Ajax has a very tough schedule at the moment. Does this mean that Zlatan is Koeman's first chice striker right now, or is Koeman still pissed at Mido because of his statement a couple of weeks ago?

Anyway, this wont be an easy game. Ajax has to continue their good form to take the full 3 points. Go Ajax!

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2002

The expected line-up for Sunday, according to Ajax Netwerk: Didulica; Trabelsi, Yakubu, Chivu, Van Damme; Galásek, Litmanen, Maxwell; Van der Meyde, Zlatan, Sikora.

If this is the line-up, a few things are interesting:

1. Apparently, still no need to give Chivu and Litmanen a game's rest. Which is probably a good sign: they are two intelligent players, who will most definitely ask for a game's rest if they need it. So they're ready for it and want to play. Good, but no risks should be taken (as if Mr Koeman doesn't know that...).

2. John O'Brien is not fully recovered yet. He did some running exercises during training, so he's almost fit. However, the decision to give him one more week, was made a lot easier after Jelle Van Damme's convincing performance in Milan.

3. Very remarkable: Abubakari Yakubu, who had almost dropped out of the squad in pre-season, is now apparently higher in the hierarchy than Petri Pasanen. Pasanen played in Milan due to Yakubu's suspension. But the Ghanese wins his slot back immediately. Still no return for Bergdølmo either.

4. Another chance (the last??) for Andy van der Meyde, who's been a walking tragedy for weeks now. Both RBC Roosendaal and Inter scored a goal after Van der Meyde let his direct opponent rush past him. He seemed to be sleeping on both occasions. Offensively, he's been weak as well. Koeman as said several times that he's vry annoyed with this, but Andy's still in the team.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2002

Any further word on the injury report by Ben? Hope nothing serious for those fellas.

Dang, Galasek's goal is a peach! The ball was hit from what, 25 yards, and it was still rising when it hit the net? Yow...

-- Anonymous, September 22, 2002

Definitely a good news and bad news kind of day. 2:3 isn't the best of results but 3 points is 3points. I am more concerned about the injuries suffered today. What is the prognosis for Jari, Johnny O, and Andy? I hope one or several of the three will be able to see action Wednesday. The timing of these "blessures" definitely SUCKS.

-- Anonymous, September 21, 2002

If I am reading the article on, big if, Wamberto will line out in place of Sikora v. RBC.It looks like Chivu may well play. Honestly,I hope this is just a misdirection play by the coach.He is too valuable to risk. I do think giving Zlatan the start would be a just reward. Mido on at the half wouldn't be a bad move.Fresh legs and someone with a point to prove could really be a handful for RBC.

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2002

I agree with Ben's suggestion in the European Games thread: Chivu is about to sustain an injury (he was slightly injured up to a few hours before the Lyon kick-off) and we should be careful with Jari as well (he has not played many games this season, so let's not overdo it). It would be good to give 'em some rest against RBC Roosendaal.

This has one extra advantage: the 'Champions League eleven' have played a exhausting game on Tuesday, and they're probably already thinking about the Inter game, so there is a chance they'll screw up against RBC. Therefore, let's play with some young players as well as players who are usually on the bench. They are fitter and they will also be very determined to show something.

Meanwhile, a young Ajax team without the biggest stars still has to be good enough to beat RBC, if they work hard.

How 'bout this?

Stekelenburg; Heitinga, Yakubu, Van Damme, O'Brien; Van Halst, Pienaar, Witschge; Wamberto, Zlatan, Boukhari.

I have a feeling that this team will actually play better than the guys whose minds are already in San Siro...

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

In addition to Menno's report, I would just like to add 2 points about Zwolle. Firstly I thought Kras (Ajacied on loan) had a tremendous game in keeping our forward line silent. I firmly believe that he is a future great for Ajax in the centre of the defence. Secondly, their fans with their infernal drum were the best away supporters I have seen in the last 3 seasons at the ArenA - they were there to party and were determined to not even let a small matter of a 2-0 defeat spoil their night.

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2002

To Menno:I agree 100%.Koeman's situation is hard right now,with Mido kinda struggling and Raffy out.But we have very good backup(since Jari is back n' we have many CLASS forwards) so it's all good! The game today wasn't very good for Ajax.But the three points are the most important thing in these games.Jari had a good game.Zlatan had an average game overall.If you take my point of view(that he is not a true striker,but a satellite striker),his game was ok.We could use some goal instinct up front of course.And as far as i am concerned,there's something available on the bench(in case some of you remember).Anyway... :-) GO AJAX!!!

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2002

I'll leave the match reporting to those who witnessed in one way or another.I would simply say it appears that we fared better than Tuesday's opponent. Last I checked ,they were 1:0 down v. Nantes...without Sonny Anderson(rested i think) and Mamadou Diarra (ejected I think).Finally, KUDOS to This was easily the most up to date that I have seen their "match ticker". I still wish they would install a webcast.Even in dutch it would be better than the big fat zero live coverage we americans have now.

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2002

Ben is right: according to, Yakubu, Litmanen and Zlatan will be in the line-up today. I think this is a good thing.

Of course, it will be great to see Jari wearing the Ajax jersey again. Now Rafaël van der Vaart is injured, it's a logical decision to play with Litmanen from the first minute.

More surprising is Yakubu replacing André Bergdølmo, due to the latter's unexpected form-crisis. The first person in the world to admit that would be André himself. Petri Pasanen is still slightly injured. You would expect Johnny Heitinga as the 'third man', but Ronald Koeman has chosen for Yakubu. Personally, I am very happy with that, not only becuase I think Yakubu is a very gifted player and an excellent replacement for Bergdølmo, but also because this chance will be a major encouragement for him. He now knows that he actualy has a chance to make it into the team and that there still is a lot to fight for. To me, the main reason why I didn't understand the whole Van Halst thing last year, is the fact that I think that Yakubu is a younger and much more talented version of Van Halst. He's the same type of player, except that he's better on every aspect of the game. Good luck to Yakubu.

Finally, I think it's a good thing that Zlatan is one of the starting eleven. Mido has kind of struggled in the first weeks of the season and deserved his early substitution against FC Groningen. He did not think he was lazy, but he did agree on the substitution because he was playing a poor game. Ronald Koeman chose to keep the three central forwards he now has. He thinks they're all good, but as a result of this, he is kind of obliged to give the second and/or third man a chance if striker #1 is not playing well. I think it's really good that he will actually give Zlatan the chance tonight. Who knows, Jari Litmanen is the man to give him that one little push into the right direction.

Conclusion: kudos to Ronald Koeman. I would have made exactly the same choices in this situation (which doesn't necessarily mean they will turn out to be the right choices, btw).

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2002

Litmanen is in great form, no doubt. I watched the game between Finland and Wales a couple of days ago and Litmanen was the best player on the pitch. And he did well for 90 minutes. There will be no problem with his fitness.

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2002

Reports on various sites say that the following will be the starting eleven in the match vs.FC Zwolle at the ArenA: Stekelenberg Trabelsi YAKUBU Chivu O'Brien

Galasek LITMANEN Maxwell van der Meyde ZLATAN Sikora

The potential line-up changes are in caps. I must say this makes sense to me. With a CL game early next week, splitting time between Zlatan an Mido makes sense. Also, Litmanen, whether he has the fitness or not, is our best number 10.Yakubu's inclusion ,I feel, is the result of Bergdolmo's uneven play and Pasanen's minor injury.

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2002

Some initial statistics from Daniel Kirk, who runs our prediction league. Seems like there is a small but earnest band who enjoy this service. Great!

Mon, 9 Sep 2002:

I'm glad to see some people are using this service. If you have any feedback about the service, send them to me (jim@ajax- or directly to Daniel (

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2002

Yo, everyone,

I'm sure msny of you are waiting for the Vitesse vs Ajax match report, but we're facing a problem. Our reporter, Bastiaan, has a back-ache which keeps him from writing it now. He thinks he can do it today, so we ask you for a little more patience. In this unique case, I can't do it for him, cos I did not see the game (this happens once or twice every season). Our editorial policy is that match reports can only be written by someone from the staff who saw the game in its entirety. You can never get the picture of a game based on highlights only.

Anyway: match report coming soon... Stay tuned.

-- Anonymous, August 27, 2002

I have heard of football being a physical game but now I have seen everything. For a good laugh, especially since we won yesterday, check out the photo, on the Ajax Foto Side website, where it appears the Vitesse player is throwing a punch at his own keeper.Chalk one up for team unity. And now for something totally chauvenistic...check out Miss Foto Side. Enough to make a man , and 10% of the women, forget about football.

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2002

Some general thoughts about FC Groningen, the next opponent...

Prior to the season, the three newcomers were my three main candidates for relegation. I think FC Zwolle will go down directly. RBC and Excelsior will finish 16th and 17th, respectively. But if I would have to name one 'Eredivisie-side-that-was-already-there' that might well go down, I would go for FC Groningen. They were struggling last season, they lost their most talented player (Arjen Robben) to PSV and their new signings are not too impressive.

They signed a French winger named Kamata, who was spectacular in the first game against Vitesse. A very entertaining, high quality player. The crowd loved him immediately. But guess what? Only a few days after his first game, he announced that he wanted to dissolve his four year contract with immediate effect, because he was homesick! Basically, Pius Ikedia is now the most important new player in the team.

FC Groningen has a tremendous reputation as a club (I always look forward to the Groningen away game), but their actual team is one of the weakest in the Eredivisie.

Second point: for some reason, everyone in Holland seems to think that away games at FC Groningen are always tremendously tough for Ajax. According to the myth, Ajax always travels to Groningen with "shaking knees", and they lose regularly. Sports journalists keep saying that, every year, over and over again, so the entire country seems to believe it. But I though: I can hardly remember the last defeat in Groningen, so lemme check the facts...

This myth of Ajax always having a hard time in Groningen is a complete mystery. FC Groningen was founded in 1971. Since that time, Ajax suffered exactly three league defeats over there (2-1 on all three occasions). That's an average of less than one defeat per decade. You should also note that the last time FC Groningen beat Ajax at Oosterpark Stadium was on 08 May 1988 (that's over fourteen years ago!).

There also was one defeat for Ajax at FC Groningen for the KNVB Cup (now the Amstel Cup), in 1989. That was a 3-0, literally the only time Ajax ever that Ajax was demolished and outplayed over there. Even if you include that kick-in-the-butt, the last defeat in Groningen is 13 years old.

Since that time, Ajax did not only win almost all its games in Groningen, but they also did it in remarkably large figures, on several occasions. The facts: since the last defeat (of May 1988), Ajax played 12 league games in Groningen (they were in the First Division for two seasons). Out of those 12 visits, 10 were won. There were two draws. In total, Ajax scored 36 goals in those 12 away games. That's an average of exactly 3.00 per visit to Oosterpark Stadium, an amazingly high average for an away game.

I did not check Ajax' away game record at every Eredivisie club this thoroughly, but I am 99% sure that the FC Groningen away game is statistically and historically the easiest away game of the season for Ajax. Ajax suffered more (and more recent) defeats at RKC Waalwijk, De Graafschap, AZ, Fortuna Sittard and Sparta - to name a few. But everyone in Holland thinks that an away game at FC Groningen is a bigger deal for Ajax than games at those clubs. Which I think is odd.

(The toughest away games of the past ten years are obviously Vitesse, FC Utrecht and PSV. We never win there. Feyenoord has never really been one of the tougher opponents for Ajax. Ajax has a good/excellent record at De Kuip).

Prediction: FC Groningen 0, Ajax 4 :-)

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2002

In checking my e-mail tonight,I must admit that I had no small amount of trepidation. After all, Ajax always seemed to play like they had an 800 pound Arnhemese gorilla(Simeonus Arnhemus to you monkey- lovers out there) strapped to their collective backs. Imagine my relief to learn our 800 pound mascot obviously thought the match was a 14:30 kick-off. Not seeing the match,I can't speak to our form. Nice to see our defenders step up HUGE.

Last, I was sorry to see that Victor Sikora missed the match. I am sure he would have been sky-high to go against his former club. Ajax Netwerk attributes his being left out of the side to a minor knock coupled with the flu.

Eagerly awaiting the match report and any commentary from those attending or viewing the match.

-- Anonymous, August 25, 2002

Noooooo... Just checking the referee assignments for next week's games. Guess what. We're having Luinge AGAIN for the Vitesse game! That's weird. The same ref in two consecutive games??? I don't think I ever noticed that before...

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002

Menno wrote: "Luinge is the shittiest referee in Holland, and I can't believe that Ajax gave him flowers before the game, because this was the 500th game he got to screw up on behalf of the KNVB..."

Within this comment is the answer - the guy must suffer from hay- fever and as such he couldnt see properly. I just knew nobody could be that stupid without a good reason.

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002

Bill wrote: "Interesting to note that although the fans donot seem to like the new shirt, FC Ugly players seemed to as they spent the entire 90 minutes trying to pull the shirt of the backs of Ajax players. Surely they are the Anti-Christ of football teams."

You're absoutely right. It was disgusting once again, just like last season, especially in the away game in Utrecht. I was very annoyed by the fact that the defenders ('Mad Dog' Vreven, in particular) were constantly allowed by Luinge to pull shirts and kick against the shins (Van der Vaart, Sikora and Van der Meyde were the victims, most of the time). It was absolutely ridiculous that Vreven left the pitch without a yellow card, whereas his direct opponent Sikora got booked for standing in the way when Utrecht took a totally unimportant free kick somewhere in midfield! He basically just walked by as the free kick was taken. It wasn't even on purpose. Gimme a break. Who was the lunatic and the bad guy here???

Luinge is the shittiest referee in Holland, and I can't believe that Ajax gave him flowers before the game, because this was the 500th game he got to screw up on behalf of the KNVB...

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002

I find I cannot agree with Menno's comment on Bergdolmo being the worst defender on Sunday. Whilst agreeing that he is not the same player as last year I believe that Trabelsi was absolutely appalling in his defensive duties yesterday - constantly being beaten by the FC Ugly left-winger for pace (ie FC Ugly's goal) and his positional display especially in the second half also left a lot to be desired. The last thing Bergdolmo required yesterday was an out of sorts Trabelsi beside him. Interesting to note that although the fans donot seem to like the new shirt, FC Ugly players seemed to as they spent the entire 90 minutes trying to pull the shirt of the backs of Ajax players. Surely they are the Anti-Christ of football teams. I was very surprised at the speed the game was played, considering the heat and humidity etc., which surely was a compliment to the coaching methods employed by Ajax. A good 3 points to start the season with , and only another 99 to go to be 100% sure of a back to back championship.

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2002

Better late than never. Definitely a better first match of the year than the effort v. Roda JC last year. I saw that Andre Bergdolmo was taken off in favor of Petri Pasanen late in the first half. Was this due to Andre's indifferent or poor play once again or did he pick up a knock? He and Christian Chivu have had a great partnership in the center but ,for some reason,Bergdolmo's play this go-round hasn't been up to its usual high standard.I will be glad for the usual excellent reporting and insights of those who viewed the match.The earliest of the journalistic efforts(i.e. on several english language, NOT AJAX-USA, websites) reporting on the game were ones I could have written ; even though I can't see matches any more.

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2002

It's always nice to pick up where we left off last season! This should clear last year's Utrecht's Amstel Cup game incident.... Bravo!

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2002

This was issued by Dutch press agency ANP:

The KNVB will reveal the Eredivisie and First Division league schedules this upcoming Friday. The football association presented a first version of the fixture lists earlier, which was sent to the clubs and the mayors of the cities involved. They filed their complaints and suggestions, after which the final schedule was put together by the KNVB in Zeist.

On Friday, several KNVB directors, including Henk Kesler (professional football) and Will van Rhee (manager of league affairs), will present the 2002-2003 fixture lists and give their comments to the press.

The wishes and demands of clubs and mayors were not the only problems. Several clubs are in financial trouble. This week, they will find out whether access to the professional football leagues will be granted to them in the first place.

-- Anonymous, July 01, 2002

Same here, Bill...

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2002

Am I alone on this - the majority of the time I don't give a s**t about the World Cup. I just cannot wait for the new club season to start with the real action in Eredivisie and Champions League. Talk about having withdrawl symptoms !!!!!

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2002

When Ajax is running wild in europe in the early 90's i kinda catch their games and all of a sudden im a change man for here in my country, the Philippines, football is not that popular and basketball is my thing back then but seeing Ajax in action opens my true passion...FOOTBALL!!! watching their weekly games on ESPN i instantly falls in love with Ajax...knowing their history and how the club is so successful in the past and it also leads to supporting Oranje!

Disaster came when Ajax lose to Juve on the CL final...from there everything falls apart...losing its young-great talents through the Bosman ruling allowing such talents of Davids, Reiziger, Kluivert, etc. to leave Ajax at their will Ajax suddenly stumbles often and Dutch Football considers to be one of the weakest leagues in europe due to poor financing of many clubs.

Bowing out in the WC 98 and a poor run in the league Dutch Football vanished here in Asian in thin air...i used to stay up late at 1 am to watch their games but now you just cant find one thanks to the boring Premiership league

Now i hope Ajax will do better in the Champions League this time around so Dutch football will be rediscovered again here in asia!

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2002

The game for the Johan Cruijff Shield (the Dutch Super Cup, against PSV) will be played on Sunday 11 August. Traditionally, the Eredivisie kicks off the weekend after. So, Ajax vs FC Utrecht will be played on Sunday, 18 August (if that's the first game).

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2002


Does the "concept fixtures" mention a date for the opening game ?

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2002

Indeed: Ajax Netwerk reports that the first game of the season is Ajax vs FC Utrecht. However: note that the report is about the concept Eredivisie schedule, which the KNVB has sent to the 18 Eredivisie clubs and city councils. They will send their complaints and requests, after which the KNVB will put together the final version of the schedule, which is expected to be revealed in a week or two.

A lot of things will change, that' for sure, but usually the Amsterdam council doesn't have too many additional wishes and complaints. There's a fair chance that it'll stay this way, as far as Ajax is concerned, that is.

In the mean time, Ajax Netwerk has posted a follow-up report, containing the opponents for the first weeks and the dates for the traditional 'top games'. According to the concept Eredivisie schedule, the first four games are: FC Utrecht (home), Vitesse (away), FC Groningen (away) and FC Zwolle (home). Feyenoord vs Ajax (once again the away game's first) is scheduled for 06 October. PSV is reportedly due at the ArenA on 16 December.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2002

I just read a report on which says the first fixture of the upcoming season will be a home match against , get the riot squad ready, those wonderful lads(GAG!) from Utrecht.After the Amstel Cup final match and the Halve-final, why did we all know this would happen? Reportedly, the F-word will play NEC , and PSV draws F-word- Lite, er, Excelsior.I have checked other sites but see no confirmation or additional listings.

-- Anonymous, June 04, 2002

About two weeks ago,Rich asked if anyone had any ideas on the 2002- 2003 Ajax-1 selection. AT5 weighed in today according to a report I accessed thru . It is interesting ,if not official, for who it leaves out of the side as well as who is included.Here goes nothing. "De Ajax selectie seizoen 2002-2003" is the heading. The news? item lists the selection as Lobont;Trabelsi,Bergdolmo, Chivu, O'Brien;van Halst,van der Vaart,Maxwell;van der Meyde,Mido, Wamberto. Others named in the internet article were Didulica and Stekelenburg(keepers); Heitinga, Pasanen, van Damme, De Cler (defenders);Galasek, Pienaar, Witschge(midfielders); Machlas, Rafael, Sikora(forwards).Gone ,if AT5 are right, would be Knopper, Zlatan, van der Gun, Cruz, Yakubu,Ikedia, and Vierklau.

There is also more speculation/news/bull@#$% about the Sikora situation. Also,keeping in mind what Bastiaan has just posted,there is a report that Ajax are looking to bring Jari Litmanen back home.The report also says Ajax wish to sign Edwin van der Sar;both he and Jari being the victims of too many players -too few spots at their current sides( Fulham has reportedly agreed to sign a keeper named Hererra).

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2002

I really don't know Rich...Will Koeman keep Zlatan,Machlas?Who will be the goalkeeper?Van Haalst will be in the starting 11?What about Wamberto?Is Diarra coming?Will he play 4-4-2,or 4-3-3????So you can understand why i can't have an opinion here...Maybe some of the guys that have information from the inside can enlighten us in some of these matters...Menno???????? ;-)))))

-- Anonymous, May 16, 2002

Well after a few days to reflect upon this successful season I have already started to think about the next campaign.

As it stands, I think some upgrades will be needed if Ajax are to make a run in Europe. At least we know that we are in the tournament proper and will play 6 matches.

I cannot see the boys doing anything with Van Halst that is for sure, but for some strange reason I believe that Koeman thinks his participation is essential. His shortcomings which are a plenty, will be taken advantage of by quality European sides. His inclusion in the middle of the park is a complete disaster.

I really have my doubts about this current team despite the honors picked up during the 2001/02 season. Many comments about this season have not been encouraging about the Ajax play, but the bottom line is the wins at the end of the day.

I don't want to get into all of the negative stuff, but their run in Holland this year was helped by PSV'S shit form early on. The Dutch League has dropped a bit quality wise too I believe so this too was a benefit.

I have read before that Koeman knows that he must remodel the side a bit so it should be interesting to see what happens in the off-season.

Any thoughts out there on a starting XI for next season?



-- Anonymous, May 15, 2002

Champions! Yes!!!! Next stop is the Dutch Cup, then the Champions League!

I will be back with my thoughts.

Enjoy the success Ajax fans!

We deserve it!!!

-- Anonymous, May 06, 2002


This has been a most deserving season, with all the excitement and drama in the Quest For The Cup.

The outside of my house has been decked with Ajax flags and will be displayed until after the Amstel Cup final !

-- Anonymous, May 06, 2002

YYYYYEEEEEEESSSSSSS We have the title!!!!!!! It was fantastic, the game sucked big time, but the victory was the only thing that counted. It was a huge party at P2(the parking lot). And next week I'm going to rotterdam for the Amstel Cup final. So there will be another party there, because we won't lose against FC Utrecht.


-- Anonymous, May 06, 2002

K-A-M-P-I-O-E-N!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Didn't sleep a wink last night. Nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full off rocking chairs. I should've known better. If the Amstel Cup result should have taught me anything,it's that this team has learned how to win the BIG GAME.Congratulations to the players, coaches,management and my fellow supporters. HOW SWEET IT IS!!! Next stop, De Kuip for De Double.Have one for me on Leidseplein.F-it. Have many for me on Leidseplein.

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002


-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002

YES!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!! one more cup to go.... can we have the wallpaper of the celebration, Please?

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002

Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssss !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002

Just a few minutes to go and 2 - 0 up with PSV drawing 2 - 2 Hup Ajax

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002

1 - 0!!!!!!!!! Mido goal. PSV are down by a goal...... this is it guys!

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002

Just put money on the draw at 12/5 - boy are these nervous times.

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002

I usualy "read" sunday games on the pay by play section as I am always at work during game times. I do think I'll be out of a job from tomorrow as I havent been able to do an ounce of work today. I've been surfing for news and updates regarding today's game, the team, the celebrations since 10am!!! This better be worth my unemployment! 15 more minutes.... GO AJAX!

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002

Two more hours to go...slept only four hours tonight...woke up @ 8 am...couldn't sleep anymore...pretty tired and pretty nervous too...don't have anything interesting to say apart from: GO AJAX!!!

-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002

And once again, I'm can't keep myself from posting a message, although (once again) I really have nothing to say... One more night's sleep and I'll be on my way to Nijmegen...

NEC refused to co-operate and did not make any extra tickets available for Ajax fans. Only 583 Ajax fans will be there, officially. I *think* quite a few more will get into the ground with tickets bought on the black market. But safety measures will be strict. Everyone will have to show an NEC Club Card in combination with a passport or driver's license. It's gonna be hard for Ajax fans to slip past security...

We'll make as much noise as we can, but we also need positive energy from the U.S. and all other places. Wear your Ajax stuff and put up your flags, banners, posters and what not. And keep your fingers crossed for our boys.

No-one really took them seriously at the start of the season. PSV and F-Word were going to fight it out; everyone agreed on that. But who's been at the top of the table throughout the league? That's right.

Mido, Chivu and Van der Vaart will probably stay. Almost everyone has a long term contract. The future looks good, especially with the current Young Ajax crop as back-up.

Also: my apologies for *NOT* having the AJAX USA banner with me. Don't look for it on TV, cos it won't be there this time. After the game, I hope (and expect) to go straight to Leidseplein to share a few buckets of beer with Bastiaan and Mark. The chance of me losing the banner somewhere in the city during the hours thereafter, would be 99.9%.



-- Anonymous, May 04, 2002

I expect and demand a win on Sunday. Preferrably in style. The clock is ticking. I cannot wait!

Next stop is success in Europe!

Go AJAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

I start thinking that the chairmen of Ajax,actually read my posts,and follow my instructions(Hehehehe...)...I was talking about what a retard Adriaanse was...So he left the team...I was absolutely sure that Machlas would return to his good shape with a new coach(and the rest of the team actually.You heard what Nikos and Zlatan said about Adriaanse's behaviour.).And this thing happened...Then i was talking about the 4-4-2 system e.t.c....It happened again!!!The only thing i've never thought of was Mido...I have to admit that i thought Zlatan was better...Well,nobody's perfect... :-DDDDDDD PS:Guys please DON'T screw this...GO AJAX!!!

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

Please excuse any typo's as I am finding it difficult to type with keeping everything crossed for good luck. Next year I hope they can tie it up earlier, as it might save a few grey hairs.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

Two more days to go...

God, would this be great...

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2002

This is a place to say your opinion.We are glad you do,and we hope you keep on writting your opinion here...We just say our opinion,too...Zlatan gets some time to play...In many games,he played half an hour,or even more as a substitute.Don't tell me it is not enough to prove something...Machlas got much less time as a substitute,but he managed to become a regular by scoring really crucial goals...Zlatan is still very young,and has a lot to learn...And i am sure he will...But for now,Mido and Nikos are in better shape...

-- Anonymous, April 29, 2002

Sorry for expressing my opinion, I will make sure not to do that again.

-- Anonymous, April 29, 2002

Stop with the biased talk about Zlatan. He has not played well period! That is why he is on the bench. Mido is a better player and has been playing better than Zlatan. Actually Machlas has played better than Zlatan also that is why is playing. I am no fan of Machlas but let's face the facts, even he is a better finisher.

Why should Koeman or Ajax have to put Zlatan or anyone else in the side when they clearly do not perform well?

As for getting his time and scoring in the Champions League next season I cannot see it. I mean be honest, he cannot score in the Dutch League let alone stiffer competition in the Champions League.

I hope I am wrong about this because I LOVE AJAX. However if he works harder in training, and puts some of his technical ability to good use it could be a different story.

Also I cannot see him getting time for Sweden in the World Cup with his current forum. As a matter of fact he should not make the squad.

On a lighter note the title is within our sights. Let's hope for a great play and a great result!

By the way, nice moment for Fred Grim.

Fianlly, although we have not met, I too picked up Menno in his starring role during yesterday's match.

Well done!!

-- Anonymous, April 29, 2002

I don't know, I don't think of it as showing off.. if Zlatan dribbles through the opponents defence and passes the ball to Machlas who gets an open goal, isn't that helping the team? Or if he scores himself instead of passing to Machlas, isn't that helping the team too? Since you too seem to see his potential, what do you think has to be done? He can't just sit on the bench while Mido and Machlas plays.. Anyway, I think he has become more unselfish since he arrived at Ajax, I don't think he's any more selfish than anyone else. I've followed Zlatan since the beginning of his career so I know quite alot about him.. kind of like you and Machlas. And based of what I know of him and Mido, I DO think that Zlatan is a better football player, he just hasn't shown some of it yet.. that's my point. Perhaps he'll show it in the World Cup.... :-)

-- Anonymous, April 29, 2002

I also hope he proves he is a great player...Maybe you didn't get my point...I said "MIDO IS A BETTER FOOTBALL PLAYER"...I never said that Zlatan isn't good too...But,from what i've seen,the Egyptian is better...Yes,he made a fine pass...So what???How many times the rest of the team made fine crosses to Zlatan and he wasted the chances??? This is not the right way to judge a player my friend...I judge the player from what i know,and what i've seen so far...For example,i say that Machlas is a great striker because I KNOW him very well(even though in Ajax he wasn't THAT good all these years)...I didn't know Mido,but now i WATCH him,and he seems to be a great striker too...I also didn't know Zlatan,and so far all i see is a player with great potential,who prefers showing off than helping the team...Am i wrong in this one???I don't think so.................. :-)

-- Anonymous, April 29, 2002

Your lack of faith is disturbing. Zlatan is a phenomenal player and the way he handles the ball sets him apart from anyone else. Not many players can pull off the moves he can. It's easy to forget the game against Sparta, right? He certanly showed there that he could both pass and score. As a matter of fact, Zlatan played good today too and he had a nice pass to Machlas today which would've resulted in a goal if Machlas would've made better use of it. If Zlatan got more playing time with Mido in a 4-4-2 system, I think he could show that he is just as good, if not better. At the beginning of the season Zlatan was forced to play in a 4-3-3 formation which obviously isn't what's best for him, as he has always played in a 4-4-2 formation before. I'm confident that he'll show next season why he deserves the no. 9 jersey (esp. in Champions League). That is, if he get's to play.

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2002

Well... since it's just your opinion, I guess I can't argue with that. 0_o

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2002

Because Mido is a better football player maybe?Making all these fancy moves,doesn't make you a good football player...Mido is better in scoring,passing and he doesn't carry the ball around the field as much as Zlatan does.So,he is better to have as a partner...That's my opinion... PS:I never expected someone would ask me why Mido is better to have as a striking partner than Zlatan.That was a surprise!!!

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2002


-- Anonymous, April 28, 2002

It does my friend...unfortunately it does...

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2002

Having Zlatan as a partner doesn't make things harder than having Mido as a partner...

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2002

What happened to Mido?I hope he is not seriously injured...Anyway,Nikos scored twice today even though he had Zlatan as a partener for the most of the game.I liked a lot the way he "killed" the keeper in the second goal.This header was a typical Nick the Greek goal...One more point,and certain people will kiss our asses!!! :-D

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2002

Three Ajax players will have to be careful in tomorrow's FC Den Bosch game, because they face a one game suspension if they get booked (which would mean they'll miss what might be the champions' game, at NEC). These players are: André Bergdølmo, John O'Brien, Jan van Halst, Andy van der Meyde and Hatem Trabelsi.

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2002

Some pre-game information...

* Wamberto is back in the Ajax squad. His four game suspension, due to the red card he received in the away game at Vitesse, is now over.

* This Sunday's Den Bosch game is not only Fred Grim's last home game for Ajax; it's also his 100th Eredivisie game in the Ajax goal!

* Ajax players not available: Van der Vaart, Heitinga, Van der Gun, Cruz and Vierklau.

* Den Bosch will have to miss out on its two most important fighters in defense and midfield: Fred van der Hoorn and Jan Michels. Both are suspended. Very important!

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2002

Today's 6:0 victory over Willem II ensures that PSV remain nipping at the heels of Ajax.They are 3 points back on the same number of matches. It Looks like Ajax will be challenged to the bitter end.After the exciting Eredivisie season to date, it shouldn't be any other way. 2 to go and three ahead. C'mon AJAX!!!

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2002

Summing-up of Sunday's game - we accumulated another 3 points - end of story. The only excitement coming from the half-time draw for seat- numbers - only 4 seats out - boy was I shaking with excitement when vak 425, row 23 was shown on the big screen !!!!! Disagree slightly with Ben re Heart-throb/Kojak cock-up in that I couldnot for the life of me understand why Kojak passed the ball to Heart-throb - If he had shot he would have scored and the goal would have stood as Mido would not have been interfering with play. Still 3 points is what the record books will show at the end of the season. Must say that Maxwell in the second half of the season has got my vote for being the most improved player whilst Bergdolmo has been Mr Consistency for the whole season - Probably wont get player of the year, but surely deserves it.

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2002

Well,I can finally exhale. 1:0 is a little to close for comfort. Still, Ajax created chances and, but for a 1st half brain-fart from Mido and several excellent stops by Wapenaar, would have won by a larger margin.My biggest concern is the three cards. Question, is Hatem Trabelsi suspended again after being booked today?

In Mido's defense,I must admit that seeing Jan van Halst on the ball close to goal would have made any striker momentarily forget such small details as staying onside.An attacking van Halst is a sight rarer than a Dodo bird to be sure.

So, we are six clear on top,thanks in part to John"the Giant-killer" van't Schip. Also, the good guys have -1 goal difference with PSV, have Den Bosch(2:1 losers away at NEC today) next Sunday, and can sit and watch PSV home to Willem II on Wednesday.There is now speculation that Willem II's Denny Landzaat will play outside the Netherlands next year. Here's hoping he can give Ajax a going away a goal or two against the candy asses, er, candystripers.

Two matches to play and our lads are still in the driving seat. HUP AJAX HUP!! Beat Den Bosch! AJAX 4-EVER...F-word NEVER.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2002

I think Adriaanse should be invited to the celebrations!He offered a lot to the team in a way that most of us didn't notice...HE LEFT THE TEAM(actually he was sacked)!!!Leaving his place to Ronald Koeman,was his greatest offer to the team!So we should be thankful... PS:Even closer to the Eredivisie title!!! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!!! :-D

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2002

Ben wrote: "I say this in the wake of reports stating that former coach Adriaanse would be invited to the victory celebration in the event of a win in the Amstel Cup Final."

*LOL* That was an April Fool's Day joke, which a lot of Dutch media picked up. Co still seems to be very bitter about eveything that happened (and honestly, he's got reasons to be bitter...). He doesn;t even want to give an interview about the whole affair.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2002

After today's Twente v. PSV result, Ajax should invite John van't Schip to any league winning celebrations.I say this in the wake of reports stating that former coach Adriaanse would be invited to the victory celebration in the event of a win in the Amstel Cup Final.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2002

Bringing back Frank (DB) and Jari (L) makes a lot of sense to me.

There is a good, strong, young base to the current squad, but I think they lack the character, experience and leadership that these two would bring to the team.

It's a bit like the mid nineties team that had tons of young talent but needed the "old heads" of Rijkard and Blind to steady the side.

In the higher level of the Champions League this will be essential, otherwise we'll mess up like we did against Celtic.


-- Anonymous, April 19, 2002

Why not Jari Litmanen? I would just love to have him back in Ajax.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2002

I totally agree with you, Ben. If we can keep hold of the key players at the moment, like: Chivu, van der Vaart, Pienaar, Bergdolmo and Mido for example, we have a good chance to get far in the Champions League. With a few reinforcements, like Sikora and maybe Frank de Boer, you have a very balanced team. With youngsters and experienced players. That's what you need in Europe.

But the Dutch Championship is almost ours!!! If p$v loses of FC Twenthe, Ajax can win the Championship when they play FC Den Bosch. And its very likely that FC Twente can win over p$v, because they won both the 2 game against feyenoord this season.

We're hoping that Johnny van het Schip(coach FC Twente and former Ajax-player) can make it happen.

-- Anonymous, April 19, 2002

It is amazing how things can change in just a few weeks time. I have gone from wondering if our strikers could score to wondering how many they will score in a given week. Granted, not every club is as bad as Sparta; but 4 goals and several near misses is evidence of a superb effort on the part of Mido, Nikos, and Zlatan. Re: Mido,does his motor ever stop? Yeah, I know he is 19 . But still, he is like the energizer bunny.He keeps going and going, etc..His first goal was a result of not conceding a clean catch by the keeper and turning away from goal. Result: a misjudgment by 'keeper van den Bussche and Mido scores a header into the open net. His 2nd and 3rd goals were the residue of hard work, of a go for the net attitude. I don't believe either was more than 3 feet from goal when he poked them in but, last I checked, they count the same.The inspiration that has been Mido for the last several weeks rubbed off on Zlatan. Boy did it ever!

His goal was such a nicely taken goal, turn the defender and fire home with the right foot, that not even FSW announcer Christian Miles could screw up the call. Welcome back Zlatan!! We missed you big time. He definitely should be in line for more playing time off his effort today.Additionally,Zlatan played very unselfish in setting up Mido twice. I even saw him track back near the center circle to break- up a Sparta counter. That play was pure hustle.

Nikos has been in great form of late and almost scored with a shot, a header if memory serves, which clipped the right-hand(keeper's left) post. As I missed the first 29 minutes thru the FSW screw-up, I can only say that he looked good in the action I saw.

Mido's 3 goals today mean he and Nikos both have 10. May both get many more chances;and goals; a recipe which would be great for the Good Guys down the stretch.

What a difference a week or two makes. It is uncanny that, despite his 9 goals, Ajax don't seem to miss Wampie at this point. Perhaps this will factor a little more into the possible arrival of one Victor Sikora.

Kudos to Fred Grim , Cristian Chivu(ONE MORE YEAR...PLEASE!!), and Andre Bergdolmo.This trio was once again rock solid and a pleasure to watch.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2002

Another 3 points!!!Guess who will win the Eredivisie this year!!! :-D

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2002

Woohoo! Can't wait for the match report.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2002

Agreed, they seem to think Mido is several classes better after a few goals. If Zlatan moved, I would want him to move to a club like Arsenal, I think he could really have some fun with the slow Premier League defenders, such as Liverpool's. ;) Forwards like Bergkamp and Kanu seems to be leaving after this season and Arsenal were interested in him before Ajax bought him. I wouldn't wan't him in the Italian League, it seems to be losing quality every year. Anyway, good luck to Zlatan in the Sweden game on wendesday.

-- Anonymous, April 13, 2002

I wish that Zlatan could play for some other team than Ajax so that i could for once see him actually play!!! Please Ajax let him go to Roma or whatever, he's no use on the bench anyway! The fans of Ajax don't even think very high of him, so what difference would it make?

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2002

This is exactly what I expected and predicted a few posts ago...

Great :-)

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2002

Yes!!!! Feyenoord played 0-0 against NAC!! We're now one point ahead of psv and feyenoord! All we've gotta do is win all our games, then we will be the champions!

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2002

The negotiations between Ajax and Vitesse about Sikora are starting now. The Vitesse website and a local newspaper over there, confirm that.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2002

A man of Koeman's experience will be only too aware of the problems which can happen if too many changes are made at this crucial time of the season. Whist agreeing that the team on Wednesday certainly needed some "fighting spirit" and that the youngsters could supply this, I believe at this time in the season experience is all the more important and as such would counsel against anymore un-forced changes to the starting line-up.

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2002

Yes Lars, that's a good idea. And in the case of Culina, he is already a few years at Ajax but he never made it to the first eleven. If he doesn't break through in the first team, then his contract will over and there will be no contract again for him. So he has to prove himself. And maybe with his fighting spirit he will fire up the whole team, I hope.

But its up to Koeman, but looking at the current form. It can't get any worse, so why nog try him?!

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2002

Instead of abusing Zlatan as a left winger, why not use a fresh pair of legs from the oh-so talented second team? (Culina, Walker, Nando Rafael) These guys are very eager to prove themselves and might introduce some well-needed fighting spirit.

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2002

Huh, Zlatan played as a left-winger... =/ don't like that at all. Perhaps Ajax should try something new like 4-3-1-2? Or maybe it would be better to wait for that untill after the season. Anyway, I think it's a waste to have either Zlatan or Mido as a winger.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Didnot see Zlatan's position last night as an-out-and-out winger more as an old fashioned inside forward. He drifted out to the left-wing area to either receive a pass or to make space for people to move into but for much of the first half that touchline was left empty for Maxwell and O'Brien to move forwardm into.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Wamberto was talking with Ajax for a new 5-year contract. But Koeman want de so-called Vitesse-trio. Diarra, Stefanovic and.. Sikora. Looking at future i would say: Sikora, he is younger and an international. But there are also other clubs in the race for Sikora. And Ajax always wants to have 2 players for 1 position, in case of injuries or something. If there's enough money they can buy Sikora. But in the reserves team there's also a left winger: Jason Culina. So it's difficult. We'll see what will happen at the end of this season.

BTW, Zlatan was the left-winger yesterday night.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

I checked the line-up and it appears that,at least nominally, Mido lined out at left wing. Maybe he prefers striker but two goals is two goals.

Also, call me curious but, has anyone heard anything more on the Wamberto contract negotiations? Now that he is banned,thanks Wampie, he should have lots of time for off pitch matters. I ask only because no new deal would just add fuel to the Sikora speculation. Just wondering.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

I have a question, since both Zlatan and Mido played at the same time, what positions did they play?

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Damn.. during the game, I became 20 years older. What a match. I think the pressure is to high for the young players. I was screaming in my house when Machals scored the 4-3. I've seen the highlights of the game, but all I can say is that Ajax was weak on all positions. Only Maxwell did his job well. Mido scored two very important goals, the 2nd of him was a real beauty. I hope that Koeman will bring the team back on track for the remaining games, otherwise we will lose points... no doubt.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

I think Koeman has been reading Geo's posts... ;)

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

What a fright last night. I didn't see the game but followed it on my mobile phone ( It's still the same. We have to win the remaining 4 games and we will be CHAMPIONS.

Now something about the forward line. Our problem right now is who to leave out between Mido and Zlatan, because since Mido is not going to play as winger (we are saying) then only one of them must play. Leaving Zlatan out of this Ajax team is a grave mistake. In my opinion we must still be patient with him because he will develop in a great football star and so we must not loose patience with Zlatan.

So I think it would be worth it to play Mido as left wing with Zlatan in the centre (and Van der Meyde right wing) and try this forward line, but for some matches not only 1 match. I still think that such forward line is the optimum with the players we got (remember how they played against Liverpool in the Amsterdam Tournament).

As for the 4-4-2 formation I think it is possible but you have to appreciate that this will be a major departure from the Ajax system. This will have a massive effect on our play in the future, since the young players coming up from the academy all play the 4-3-3 formation. They know this system by heart and play it since the age of 9 years. Therefore it would be a mistake (in my opinion) to change everything at Ajax 1 level, only to suit some player or another. It is a culture of football, a school of thought which is in question here not merely a match formation. Think and look at how we made our past achievments.

-- Anonymous, April 04, 2002

Just saw the result after walking in from work. 4:3!! Unreal. Just glad it was our lads with 4.I see that our strikers bagged all 4. Certainly good news. How was Zlatan's 55'. Was he involved but not on the score sheet or did he have another off day? I would appreciate commentary on Zlatan. Two tidbits I just saw on Planet which impact Ajax: 1.) Wamberto received a 4 match ban for his "effort" during the "messe at Vitesse" and 2.) The Arnhem City Council voted to loan the financially strapped club 5.3 million euros. The vote was 21-18, the e-article said. The article noted that this clears the way for viteese to hang onto key talent; like Sikora, Diarra, etc...who e-rumours insist we are interested in.The silly season is starting in earnest.

Just happy for the three points, taking us to 61, which I believe ties last years point total for the season.

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

I'm watching it on tape right now..It must have been a great game...Thank God i didn't see it live.I would get a heart attack... PS:WHO'S THE MAN WITH THE PLAN??? ;-)

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

Ajax 4 v. Groningen 3......Jeez Louise!!!

1-0 Down 2-1 Up 3-2 Down 4-3 Up Red Card

My heart can't take this!

At least we squeezed the points out!

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

Holy moly, this scoreline (from speaks volumes:

Ajax - FC Groningen 4-3 (1-1) 13' Van Gessel 0-1 41' Mido 1-1 56' Mido 2-1 60' Robben 2-2 69' Tuhuteru 2-3 71' Machlas 3-3 87' Machlas 4-3

Ajax: Grim; Trabelsi, Bergdolmo, Yakubu, O'Brien; Van Halst (72' Galasek), Pienaar, Pienaar (70' Ikedia), Van der Meyde, Zlatan (46' Machlas), Mido

Mido scores two more, and Machlas replaces Zlatan and gets it done! WTF couldn't FSW show this game? On paper, it looks like the most compelling match in weeks! Can't wait for the Match Report...

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2002

Here's the remaining schedules for the three championship candidates:

AJAX: FC Groningen (home), Sparta (away) FC Utrecht (home), FC Den Bosch (home), NEC (away).

Feyenoord: NAC (home), PSV (away), Fortuna Sittard (away), De Graafschap (away), SC Heerenveen (home), Willem II (away).

PSV: FC Den Bosch (away), Feyenoord (home), FC Twente (away), Willem II (home), Sparta (home), De Graafschap (away).

My thoughts: Ajax' remaining opponents are definitely not the toughest. FC Utrecht almost never wins in Amsterdam; they're a completely different opponent in home games than they are in away games. The only two remaining top ten-opponents will have nothing left to fight for when they meet Ajax: no chance to qualify for Europe, no relegation danger. Apart from that, Ajax faces three candidates for relegation, two of which in home games. Sparta is almost 100% sure to finish 17th. They won't drop to 18th (Fortuna) and get relegated directly, but there's also no chance of avoiding the play-offs, in which the number 16 and 17 will have to play.

Also, it's a significant difference that Ajax has only five games to play left. Both PSV and Feyenoord still have to play six.

Feyenoord's schedule is most definitely the toughest: home games against two teams still running for UEFA Cup or even Champions League tickets (SC Heerenveen and NAC) and a visit to PSV. Also, they're still visiting a team fighting for survival and avoiding the play-offs (De Graafschap). In the mean time, they have the Inter Milan UEFA Cup tie on their mind...

If you ask me, the only remaining game in which PSV might lose some points, is against Feyenoord. They're in good form (beat SC Heerenveen 4-1 today) and may well win everything from now on. Luckily, Ajax is still ahead of PSV. Feyenoord will most definitely not win everything.

Conclusion: I seriously think Ajax still has - by far - the best chance to win it. With the championship shield in sight, Ajax should be able not to underestimate the remaining opponents and win five times. If they do so, they're 99% sure to win the title, because the chance of Feyenoord not losing any points seems really, really small to me.

And if Ajax doesn't win it, I'm pretty sure it will be PSV - and not Feyenoord.

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2002

Was Zlatan injured or something?

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2002

:-)...We keep out future in our hands...Losing the championship now,is suicide...

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2002

Usually, Geo's posts are quite long. His last one was very short, but I must say it sums it all up quite brilliantly. Therefore, I quote Geo's post:

"The Feyenoord losers saved our asses once again...Sad..."

That's all I've got to say about this crap game. Well, I think I'll add this: I suppose we kind of survived the tough weeks now. If we win the remaining games, we win the friggin' championship.

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2002

The Feyenoord losers saved our asses once again...Sad...

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2002

1-1 is a good result for Ajax, if you take a look at how the game was. The defense was really good. Bergdolmo and Chivu rule. I watched the game live and I must say that de refferee was a little bit against Ajax. Trabelsi got a yellow card for almost nothing, but Hofland could do anything without receiving a card! That made me angry. Wamberto was the worst player on the whole field, all the chances he got, he f*cked up. But the championship is ours. The only thing that we have to do is keep on winning. Feyenoord will make a mistake against feyenoord or Heerenveen.

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2002

I agree about the flank play not being too good yesterday. However part of this problem was because of the midfield's inabilty to play any decent balls to them to start the attack.

In particular Van Halst (Yes all he does is foul) and Galasek (What a goal!) did nothing with the ball. Too many poor passes and giving up posession way too much for my liking. Why not Yakubu for Van Halst? Is Jan Van Halst an automatic selection for Koeman now? Not good!!

I wish I could be a little more positive, (1-1 at least its not a loss) but I do not think it was any quality football from Ajax yesterday.

Chivu and Bergdolmo are pretty solid at the back I should mention.

Comments anyone?

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2002

The main reason why Ajax was so powerless upfront, for the large part of the game, was the poor form of both wingers. Andy van der Meyde really played one his weaker games of the season (although he had a good run from which Galasek scored). And Wamberto... he's been in bad form since the winter break and was simply horrible against PSV. With two bad wingers, there was not much Mido could do, I suppose.

If there's no good crosses coming in from the wings, you need a central striker you can pass the ball to from midfield, into his feet, and can then cover the ball, waiting for assistance from the back. Zlatan can do that, and I must say he was pretty good when he was brought on. Staying in possession, all alone, while some excellent defenders such as Hofland and Ooijer are trying to steal it from you - that's good. Zlatan usually did something useful with the ball.

Also, despite his fantastic goal, I don't like the idea of both Galasek and Van Halst playing in midfield. You could tell the forwards were isolated, cos there was no 'bridge' from midfield to the strikers. Van der Vaart is brilliant at that, and Pienaar has done extremely well recently. But with both of them injured and John O'Brien playing as a left back, I must admit there's not too many options left. Galasek used to be a 'number ten' type player at Willem II, but at Ajax he seems to have become more defensive.

Good result anyway.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2002

Random post-game thoughts:

Ajax were outplayed for the first 60 minutes, but Galasek. WHAT a goal! Fantastic.

Wamberto chose a bad day to have his worst match. He kept showing too much of the ball and getting it nicked. The Ikedia sub was overdue, and it did make a difference.

What can you say about Van Halst? Slow, clumsy and poison to the Ajax possession game. He makes you long for the return of vd Vaart, or Pienaar. Or anybody!

Trabelsi needs to learn to KEEP HIS HANDS TO HIMSELF! He's grabbier than Bill Clinton at an all-intern rave.

Ajax fouled too often, too early in each build-up (unnecessarily). Van Halst, Trabelsi: watch how Chivu, Bergdolmo and (yes) O'Brien do it. They don't foul until they absolutely HAVE to.

Zlatan returned, which surprised me. But smart move by Koeman, I think. Ajax were being out-muscled on the ground and in the air. I thought he looked good. Too bad he didn't finish the one really good chance he created, shooting straight at the keeper. The press would've enjoyed that, if he scored to win the game. :-P

We were lucky to be tied at halftime, and a bit unlucky to not win the 3 points at the end. In all, a fair result, and a good one for Ajax, considering it could've been much worse.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2002

I suggest everyone not to be nervous about PSV - Ajax on Sunday. No matter what Ajax is a champion, I think

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2002

A special announcement for our Dutch members, in possession of an 'away card': because of Ajax' increasing championship chances, Vitesse Arnhem has put an extra section to Ajax' availability, after great work by the Idependent Fanclub (OFA), the official Supporters Club Ajax (SVA) and Ajax' bus operator, Axios.

The original section for travelling Ajax fans sold out immediately, but for some reason there are still a few hundred tickets left for the extra Ajax section. Apparently, many Ajax fans do not know about this extra section and have already given up.

Therefore: GUYS, THERE ARE PLENTY OF TICKETS LEFT! Go to your nearest Ticketbox sales point to purchase your 'combi' bus/game ticket for Vitesse vs Ajax (31 March). We need a huge red and white section @ Gelredome!

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2002

Ajax is back on track. What was lacking before Koeman arrived - concentration, consistency and will; is now there. Koeman has already done a great job in making the players realise that they have to fight with the right spirit in order to win games. Otherwise the talent and class was already there.

Talent is also cropping up again. Van der Vaart, Van der Meyde, Heitinga, Pienaar, Van der Gun all show that our youth system remains the best in the world. Such players are already being scouted by the big European teams and moreover there are other rising talents in the youth teams (Seedorf, Walker, and Sneijders to mention but a few). As in other years, the main problem here is how to keep such talents at least for a couple of years; but even here the club seems to have improved its negotiating power.

Qualification to next year's Champions League seems almost sure. It is here that we must demonstrate whether we have a new effective team once again.

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2002

I saw the goals in the game against Heerenveen on a programme here called "Eurogoals" and Mido looks a really good prospect, here's hoping that he plays in the World Cup finals for Egypt, the performance from Ajax was one of the best this season, although it's a tough game next against PSV on Sunday

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2002

Okay, it was a 2-0, and you probably all know by now...

Nevertheless, I can really recommend to watch the game on FSW. It was a very entertaining game. Heerenveen was not playing bad at all: they were dominant for two short periods and got three great chances. But Ajax was just... great. They were concentrated, determined and showed - by fits and starts - really impressive combination play. Also, you might want to see how unbelievably powerful Mido was in the air. He won everything. His first goal was a beautiful header; his second was an amazing display of individual skill, that reminded me of the Dennis Bergkamp days.

The team really starts to believe in the title. Since the F-Word game, they do this group hug/yell before kick-off, which underscores their determination. Also, the crowd starts to believe in it. The average game at the beginning of the season, attracted some 34,000 spectators. Today, there were 41,937. A full house - and a great game. Don't miss it.

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2002

Striker controversy? What striker controversy? Mido bags a brace and Ajax is 5 in front of the F-word( winners home to Den Bosch in a game that was 0:0 for 67 minutes ) and 7 over PSV(0:0 away to Vitesse).

-- Anonymous, March 17, 2002

Here a little word from a ew from the site!! Damn, I enjoyed Pienaar sunday, in a not very interesting match(to put it lightly) he was absolutely brilliant every now and then!! The flick of the heel as a true piece of art!! Together with Van der Vaart, Van der Meyde, Van der Gun he's the hope for the future....And for the near-by future....: We'll finally be the champions again!!

See ya in tha ArenA

Dave 126

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2002

From Ajax Netwerk:

Three Ajacieden will have to be careful during Sunday's game against SC Heerenveen: Andy van der Meyde, Hatem Trabelsi and John O'Brien now have three yellow cards. A yellow card against SC Heerenveen, would mean a one game suspension for those players, or in other words: watching PSV vs Ajax on TV.

So behave yourselves guys... :-/

-- Anonymous, March 13, 2002

Indeed,those subs don't make sense.I didn't watch the game,so maybe Koeman saw something that we wouldn't see(?)...Who knows???But even though i didn't see the game,i can imagine that we fucked up BIG TIME today.Fortuna actually SCORED,and we didn't manage to score more than ONE goal against the worst defence???And we used ALL the attackers available...Well,i HOPE they are just saving their power to kick some feyenerd ass!!!Cuz if this was all they can do............damn...i don't wanna think about it.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2002

This has to be considered a major slip-up. Only one point from the most apathetic team in the league. :-(

Interesting to note that O'Brien was subbed after halftime (56') for Mido (?), Pienaar STARTED and was subbed for Zlatan (70'), and Van der Meyde was subbed for Van der Gun (77'). Also notable is that Trabelsi was on the substitute's bench.

It really looks chaotic. Hard for me to make sense of those substitutions (strikers for midfielder/defenders). And vd Meyde must've had a bad game, to give way for vd Gun.

When will we see Trabelsi back in action? I thought he was doing so well in the first half of the season...

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2002

On any given day.. Well, I guess today was almost that day for Ajax and Fortuna. Almost the day for Ajax to LOSE and Fortuna to WIN. Thank god for Wampie in minute 59' or its 1:0 and 0 points. A draw with Fortuna feels like a loss. If the F-word wasn't so busy getting ready for tomorrow, they'd be licking their collective chops at the thought of playing this Ajax club. Really disappointing!

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2002 bad. Left midfield should be Maxwell.... Right back is JOB..... Left back is DeCler.....

and yes, at central midfield I am proposing Zlatan...!

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2002

Hmmm...some thoughts on Sunday's NAC match...

Clear cut player of the match has to be Maxwell. At runner's up - Bergdolmo. I still think Didulica is not (yet) ready for the big time, tho he made some rather spetacular saves, he very nearly fumbled on at least three occasions; On the NAC side of things, I thought Bobson was pretty much a flop; in each of the three or so matches I've seen him play this year he's not able to contribute the way an Ajax (ex-Ajax player) winger is suppose to be able to. That's why he's on loan, and probably on is way out of a contract.

Here's another thought: the midfield remains the weak link, with or without vd Vaart. Mido - I believe - is unable to perform at a level that Wamberto/vd Meyde/Ikedia can at left wing. So why not try this:

---------------- Didulica ----------------

--- JOB-----Bergdolmo----Chivu------De Cler/Maxwell


----vd Meyde----Machlas/Mido-----Wamberto---

I would LOVE to see Koeman experiment with this line up, considering it's Dead Tuna forthcoming.

Gee, aren't we all expert managers ??

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2002

My line-up for this Wednesday's match is : Didulica; Vierklau,Bergdolmo,Chivu,Maxwell;Galasek,Wamberto,O'Brien ; van der Meijde,Zlatan, and Mido. I see this as a perfect oppor-tuna-ty for both Zlatan and Mido to break through on the score sheet( and restore confidence in front of goal). If Ferdi can't go at right back, I would use JO'B there, Maxwell at left midfield, and Stephen Pienaar at left back.

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2002

Another crappy performance (they definitely don't play better football than under Co, do they?), but I have to say I'm extremely happy with these three points...

I knew in advance that the NAC game was gonna be the toughest after the winter break before F-Word. The Philips Girls from Shite-Hoven and F-Word didn't win in Breda. Ajax lost the home game against them. They're 5th on the table. Winning over there is not something you do just-like-that.

This was a tricky game and, therefore, an extremely important win. Oh yeah, one more thing: Johnny van 't Schip KICKS MAJOR BUTT. He let Ajax win twice in the league (0-2 and 3-2), kindly co-operated in the Young Ajax fairy tale in the Amstel Cup, but notched the full six points from the F-Word - which is pretty cool, I must say. Yr home town says 'thanks', Johnny! :-)

If we beat Dead Tuna on Wednesday (which 15 out of their 22 opponents did, so far) then we kick off against the F-Word with a seven point lead! Which is more than I ever expected, keeping in mind how tight it was when the second season half started.

(Meanwhile: keep an eye on p$v... There's not just two candidates for the title, especially because we haven't beaten them since Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492).

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2002

Ajax definitely did not equal art today but ,unlike last week, they took care of business. Not one of the more free flowing games I've ever seen(Thanks to my local taproom again for the tv time)but hard fought . Noone can say Ajax didn't play aggressive, scrappy football. Pigpen, a.k.a Jan van Halst,kind of symbolised the day. Short on beauty, long on tough, hard slogging.Nice to see Maxwell and Stephen Pienaar contribute.Maxwell showed great balance and cutting ability on his run which set up the goal.John O'Brien did a nice job filling in at the right back slot. And, the two-headed monster of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Nikos Machlas contributed to the effort.Nice toe poke goal by Nikos. Finally, always nice to see a clean sheet recorded by our lads. Way to go Joe D. and the rest of our lads.

On the down side, Mido and Tomas Galasek didn't perform to the high standard of past games. That said, kudos to the coach for his timely substitutions of them. Nikos and Wampie sparked the attack when they came in; at least enough to notch the vital goal.The only other downer was that Tim DeCler's yellow leaves him suspended for Wednesday's match thru gele kaart accumulation.Under the circumstances ,it was fortuitous that DeCler was subbed at the half and Stephen Pienaar got some time at left back.

-- Anonymous, February 24, 2002

Ajax must be living right. They went top of the league on a day in which they played about as nicely as a petulant two year-old.The game was good as a sleep aid but little else. Ajax should give the travelling support their money back.Man of the Match has to be Joe Didulica.He saved our bacon. Even the barman in my local watering hole asked me why I was crazy enough to view the game.Hope the form is better next week; away at NAC.

-- Anonymous, February 17, 2002

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