European Games : LUSENET : Ajax USA : One Thread

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-- Anonymous, February 07, 2002


What a GREAT game this seems to be!!! Too bad I have to follow it on what the hell 2-0 66 minutes!!! Zlatan and Litmanen!! Jiiihaa!!!!

-- Anonymous, December 10, 2002

Game preview by the BBC website..........

Ajax v Roma Ajax v Roma | Champions League Group B | Tues 10 Dec 1945 GMT | Updates on BBC Radio Five Live and BBC Sport Online

Ajax take on Roma in the Champions League without Rafael van der Vaart and Victor Sikora.

Van der Vaart tore a muscle in his left thigh during Saturday's Dutch league match against Graafschap Doetinchem and is out for two weeks.

Sikora sustained a knee injury in the same game and will miss the next six weeks.

Goalkeeper Joey Didulica also left the field injured on Saturday with a hip injury, but should be fit to face Roma.

John O'Brien, Bogdan Lobont are also doubtful for the match.

The latest spate of injuries add to manager Ronald Koeman's selection problems.

Ajax skipper Cristian Chivu and midfielder Tomas Galasek are suspended, while defenders John O'Brien and Johnny Heitinga, as well as keeper Bogdan Lobont, are all injured.

Roma lost their opening Group A match 3-1 at home to Arsenal and are keen to collect some points before the winter break.

The Italians have a number of injury doubts but will be able to call on captain Francesco Totti again after their captain was suspended for the 1-0 Serie A defeat at AC Milan on Saturday.

Midfielder Damiano Tommasi and forward Marco Delvecchio are both ruled out.

And coach Fabio Capello will be hoping that defenders Christian Panucci and Walter Samuel recover from muscle strains.

Defenders Luigi Sartor and Jonathan Zebina are both receiving treatment for muscle injuries.

And Capello is likely to wait as late as possible to name his team, who need to bounce back after their 3-1 humbling by Arsenal in their opening game.

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

Ajax (probable): Joey Didulica, Hatem Trabelsi, Andre Bergdolmo, Petri Pasanen, Maxwell, Steven Pienaar, Richard Witschge, Nigel de Jong, Jari Litmanen, Andy van der Meyde or Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mido.

Roma (probable): Francesco Antonioli, Jonathan Zebina, Walter Samuel, Aldair or Traianos Dellas, Christian Panucci, Cafu, Francisco Lima, Emerson, Vincent Candela, Francesco Totti, Vincenzo Montella.

Referee: Markus Merk (Germany).

-- Anonymous, December 10, 2002

From the french sports newspaper L'Equipe from Monday morning :

"AS Roma faces great difficulties two days before a perilous away trip at the Amsterdamp Arena in Champion's League.

Italian 2001 champions indeed lost one more time saturday (against Milan AC 0-1) and are consequently out for the "title chase" (11th 12 points down), unless an unlikely spectacular recovery.

Without his captain Francesco Totti, and the french left back Vincent Candela, the roman (???) squad hasn't been that bad, but was way too ineffective in the box, particularly Batistuta and Montella, the two center forwards." Well, let's hope they'll play the same score in Amsterdam tomorrow....

PS : sorry if the quality of the translation is poor, I did it on the fly after a hard day of harassing, brain-hashing, head-aching college work..... :O)

-- Anonymous, December 09, 2002

Shit.... no tix for Arsenal away. Thank you Ajax, for keeping 850 tickets to yourself so you can organize overpriced trips for people who have no business at Ajax anyway.

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2002

Would someone please help me with this webcast deal?? I woke up this morning @ 6:00 am, even though it's the weekend, just to catch the game live. All that happened was that at the webcast page, it kept saying opening....connecting to server......closed. Is that because of heavy traffic or did I do something wrong?

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2002

They must convince them that Ajax is a big club and that if the team remains as it is,with the contribution of experienced players,will become the best club in Europe again.Of course some of them will still want to leave because of the money or because they think they are better than they really are.

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2002

Sorry, got a bit *messy* in my last note there. The only thing I wanted to get out there was: What SHOULD Ajax do to keep their players. Yhe rest of the message got...weird. :-)

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2002

I do agree with Geo in the fact that many Ajax players who aren't ready to leave will leave. History will repeate itself once more on this one. I have also always liked Ajax's policy on developing players for themself (maybe they should have bought Zlado two or three years earlier and moulded them for a year or to in young ajax?). My question is what can Ajax do? The past years they haven't participated in CL and that would be one reason to leave. The other reason is obvious - the Eredivise is a couple of steps behind in both football quality and salary level. The one thing Ajax can compete with is their ability to further develop the player AND give them CL games(which is an integral part of that development). I don't think that Ajax's players are stupid so why do they leave then? They must think that they cannot develop further in the club - or am I wrong? Now that Ajax can provide CL games that obstacle is out of the way. All they have to do now is make the players understand that they will become better football players in the long run if they stay for a couple of well needed extra years at Ajax. What do you think? What should they do to keep their players longer?

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2002

Ben(and many others) is very satisfied by our striking duo.So,if a player has an important role in the team's success he shouldn't leave.Simple as that...

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

All I know is that we have one striker who has hit for 4 goals in the CL plus a biggie at DeKrap and one who was robbed by CL match officials (who should've been wearing black masks and six-shooters owing to the blatant nature of the robbery)and has 7 league tallies to date. To me, this says that Midan or Zlado or whatever you wish to call our two-headed monster is a big reason why Ajax are able to have success as they are. I could care less who plays and how much.Mido and Zlatan are both chipping in;to ensure we have a good CL run this year and get the league results to make it next term.That is all that counts.Good work lads.Keep on chipping in as you have and we'll be just fine.

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

My personal opinion:The power is in the midfield and it is very obvious.The midfield is the most important part of the game anyway.It is the link between the defence and the attack.For me the defenders must have cold blood and passion,the midfielders stamina and talent,and the attackers movement and finishing.That's all.In the game against Valencia Mido and Zlatan couldn't do anything more,as the team was suffering from the Spanish pressure.In more balanced CL games i admit that we have attacking problems.We don't have a "complete" striker,but as u know it is very hard to find such thing.All three strikers are good in some things and lack in others.The whole team should cooperate better and more goals will definitely come.

PS1:The bad thing is that even though most Ajax players are not ready to leave,the WILL leave.It happened in the past and it will happen now.I really like the Ajax system with the young players.This is what made Ajax what it is today.But i really think that things have changed and that experience is definitely needed.

PS2:Someone said that all three strikers are ok for the Eredivisie but not enough for the CL.I kinda agree,but i must admit that i haven't seen Machlas in the CL enough.I believe that he could make the difference since Ajax plays a 4-4-2 sometimes.Maybe it's too late to say those things now,but you never know......... :-)

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

I take your points Per, but would say in my defence I was trying to make a comparison between Zlado and the likes of Van Basten on a same age basis and not comparing Zlado to the finished article Van Basten. That would be grossly unfair. Apologies if my previous post didnt make that clear.

Unfortunately, to succeed in today's CL you do need a Van Basten level of player for this role.

Time, unfortunately, is a commodity that is a scarce resource at Ajax, due to the financial restrictions of the organisation. To survive with the current infrastructure demands success in the CL to say the quarter-final stage.

You could well be correct in saying give them another year - it will only be in hindsight that we will know who is right and who is wrong on Zlado.

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

I can agree that Zlado (good one by the way ;-)) might be better off in a 4-4-2 system. I can't really speak for Mido but I know that Zlatan grew up on that system (the only one practised in sweden the last couple of seasons with few exceptions) and ceartinly struggled with 4-3-3 during his debut season in Ajax. But to write them off for the future is a bit dramatic. Give them both one more season to settle in and I for one think that Ajax will get that missing piece you are talking about. What did people expect anyway - a 19 year old from Sweden coming in, without any experience of 4-3-3, - playing as well as Marco van Basten. The lack of realism with Ajax's fans is obvious. A team from Holland WILL have difficulties having a "ready" team every time they go into a competition simply because of their purchasing policy. Ajax haven't bought a "ready" player on high level in years - they have to buy promising youngsters. With this policy you have to have patience and be realistic as to what level to expect the players to be playing on. You can't lose your head and expect a van Basten every time Ajax buys a new player.

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

In the Eredivisie, Per, it means a great deal, but in CL it means diddly-squat. The real point about the Zlado twins is that certain sections of the supporters, myself included, feel that at the moment they will struggle to fully assimilate that missing piece no matter how long they have. No disgrace there, as different styles of players suit different teams. Perhaps their style just will never suit Ajax's system.

If you compare the Zlado twins to the past greats in this position, people like Frank Stapleton ( no only kidding on that one ) and the Van Bastens of this world they do not match-up, even if the comparison is made on an age to age basis.

Your point about total football is correct Per, but even in total football each player has his specialisms/focused objectives.

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

The note earlier about the lack of achievement from Ajax' centreforwards, however well written, shows only the view the writer has on what our no 9 SHOULD be. Isn't the Ajax game supposed to be whole team attacking - whole team defending. Everyone, expecially wingstrikers and no 10, are supposed to be scoring goals, with no 9 as both target, assister and striker. Zlatan has the two earlier capacities and working on the latter, while Mido has the opposite. Isn't that worth anything?

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002


I was not criticizing Litmanen as middle man, but rather as center- forward. He's a very good playmaker behind the strikers. But what I was saying, is that he's definitely not a striker. As for Mido, I heard he played a decent game and was defending most of the time. I don't see Mido missing a chance like Jari's if he was in center- forward position. I've also heard that Koeman used this formation to confuse the Valencians. But why try to confuse the other team, rather than put your players in the best positions they play in and try to play complete football. I'm also wondering who's going to head the ball towards goal if Mido is in the left. He cannot cross accurately. Maxwell should've gotten that position. I'm totally confused and don't know what the hell Koeman was doing.

P.S. Don't get me wrong, I think the tie was a great result. But I also think Ajax could've won if Mido played in the center and/or Zlatan played alongside him. Koeman should start introducing this formation in training. Yesterday was a 4-3-1-2??!! I've never heard of a striker behind the two wingers.

-- Anonymous, November 29, 2002

I'm not sure you're right, Mohammed...It was Litmanen's first game back from injury...give him time...he will play well as a middle man. Also, I didn't get to watch the game, but from what I read at UEFA's website, Mido played well as a left winger, so maybe Rich is right...who knows...

Anyway, long live Suomi power!!!

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

To Rich Savare,

Are you serious in what you said about Mido? That you feel he'd be better as a left-sided striker, rather than a true center-forward. I don't agree with you one bit. In fact, the only games that he impressed in where the ones where he was center-forward. Yesterday, Jari was taking care of that position, remember? And that's why Mido wasn't good. When he started against Internazionale, he was also a leftwinger/left-sided striker. And in that game he didn't impress either. So what you're saying doesn't go at all with what's been going on. I mean, the reason he's been great in the Eredivisie is because Koeman decides to put him in center-forward position. On the other hand, for some reason, when it comes to CL games, he goes with the other option when he knows what's best. He also makes the mistake of putting Litmanen as center-forward. So, bottom line is, I don't see where you're coming from.

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

I hope Chivu (& the rest) will stay for 1 or 2 more years.. If this team stays together I forsee great things again in Europe for the next couple of years..

V. d. Vaart should stay for another 4 years imho, he's only 19 atm.. I would piss me off pretty bad if we keep losing our best players at such a young age.. Remembers me why I "hate" the big clubs in Italy, England & Spain.. ;)

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

Now I understand why this French referee desperately wanted Valencia to win (he gave them a hatful of 'semi-penalties', free-kicks on really dangerous places, in the second half)...

... he's from Lyon.

Too bad, dude. Didn't work :-)

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

I just checked the match stats from yesterday and saw that Ball Posession was 60 to 40% in favor of Valencia.

Wow! That is a lot of suffering.

I cannot remember Ajax having so little of the ball in any European match. Not that I am aware of these type of stats in past encounters, as I have not watched all of their prior games, (Unfortunately for me) but this is not a typical Ajax trend. Ajax generally holds posession well and imposes themselves. Its not a good thing to have so little of the ball. 1-1 is lucky perhaps, but we will take it. Remember no Aimar either!

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

Check out this link... LUSENET Do you agree with this? Was Jari really that bad? Was Mido that good?

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

On the 07 November 2002 I posted the following on the Ajaxmaniacs website and can see no reason whatsoever for changing my opinion:

"I believe that we are still to find our number 9 as all 3 contenders have important parts missing from their game."

They are ok for the Eredivisie, but for CL, even taking into account their age, I just cannot see them cutting the mustard.

The bigger problem though is where do we find somebody better - not an easy task as the majority of clubs are also looking for the same holy grail.

Remember as well that the number 9 at Ajax hasnot always been the most prolific goalscorer in the team, but has been a very important cog in the scheme of things in setting up the goals for the shadow striker etc.

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

No question about it, last night's result speaks for itself. 1-1 is great against the Champions of La Liga, the best league in the world by the way.

I read Menno's and Geo's comments yesterday about our forwards, and I agree 100% that we are lacking in this area, in a bad way I might add.

Lots of hype from their respective supporters is all we get. There have been some flashes, but in the big games, the games that matter, they have failed for the most part. I feel that Mido might be better off as a left sided forward, perhaps like Thierry Henry, rather then a Striker. Zlatan needs more speed when reading the game, and seize his chances, develop that killer instinct. Its not easy being a forward, striker, or target man , but they are young, and I have seen some progress, but they have a long way to go.

Like Menno said, Ajax best play comes from midfield no doubt about it. That is where the best talent is located at Ajax. As a group that is.

I also cannot help but look ahead, and wonder what is in the future of this Ajax team? Of all of the current squad the only player who is ready to move is Chivu. Everyone else is not ready to go. Plain and simple. This team is still developing including the forward's.

Although I hope Chivu does not leave I think he will go. I just watched the video of Matchday 2 at Inter were he was immense, reading the game, tackling, I really enjoy watching him. He is truly World Class.

Anyway back to the main topic. That was great to get a point last night. Happy Turkey Day!



-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

MIDO as a left winger is a big ""GHALTA" MIDO is the best striker in ajax ... you will see .... MIDO to juventus in breack winter .vd vart to liverpool.zlatan to ROMA and chivy to R.MADRID...

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

To make some things straight.JOEY IS GOD!All 11 players are heroes.Zlatan did what a true striker should do after a brilliant(as usual) through ball by Raffy.I wasn't happy to see the team helpless in the field but the result is good.Maybe i'm asking for too much,but i want to see a stronger Ajax in AND out of the Arena. GO AJAX! :-)

PS:Carew's missed chance was unbelievable.But if we want to be honest,we should say that he was a BIG pain in the ass for the defence.

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

What a great result last night. It seems that they are a team that has grown-up tremendously during the CL campaign and are a club for all of us to be proud of. Sure we were under pressure for most of the game, but did we expect anything different? As people have said, Valencia are a top-notch team, especially at home and to come away from there with a draw is a tremendous achievement.

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

One great thing about this game...

We now no longer have to discuss how - hypothetically - Ajax would do against the very, very best teams in the world, for the simple reason that Valencia is one of the very, very best teams in the world. They're one of the best teams in the UEFA club ranking, the Spanish league is the best league if you look at the UEFA ranking and Valencia is the champion in that league. Right now, they are three points clear of Real Madrid and five points of FC Barcelona.

This was our test against the absolute top in world football - and guess what? We survived. Mind you: this was an away game against the champions of Spain, ladies and gentlemen. No-one wins there. Valencia won all of its home games in the first round (including Liverpool, for example: 2-0).

We are not the best team in Europe, but we do belong to the best sixteen. There's no doubt about it that we belong where we are now. If we manage to beat AS Roma in the ArenA (they're 9th at the moment in the Serie A, so shy not?) then we really have a chance!!

Out of the six games we have to play, this was one of the two toughest (Arsenal away is the other one) - and we have a point!

-- Anonymous, November 28, 2002

Absolutely fantastic! Given that Valencia outshot us 24:12(1 goal, 1 post,11 on target, 11 wide v. 1 goal, 4 on target, 7 wide) and, by the look of the match ticker outplayed us, I am over-the-moon about the result. Thank you Ajax for giving me reason to smile after a 14 hours at work.I guess the real truth of John Alieu Carew's statement is "what Zlatan does with the game in the balance, I can't do from less than 3 metres". Can't wait for December 10.

p.s. Enjoy the day and knock off the sniping I read on one of the other threads.Legit criticisms of club and/or players are one thing,but personal attacks on members are BULLSHIT! PERIOD!

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Actually guys, it's my fault. I forgot to take my Ajax scarf to work today...if only I'd remembered!

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Good Result, to tie AWAY vs. Valencia (champions of spain) is more then an excellent result. Ajax played bad, didn't have good ball control, and Litmanen was useless. To walk away with one point is more then expected after seeing Valencia dominate the entire game.

je kan het lekker volgen via Radio Langs de Lijn.



-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Now we know how Casino Salzburg fans felt in 1995 after the match in the OS.. :p

1-1 is a great result because Valencia was much better, but still it sucks we couldn't hold on to the 0-1.. That would have been soooooooo great because it would also have been Valencia's first home defeat ever in the CL.. To bad..


-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

I don't give a SHIT about the equalizer. This is a GREAT result. We've been under pressure for 95 minutes, Valencia could have scored in a million different ways, Joey Didulica is a HERO, Zlatan is GOD (for now; may I please be a little schizophrenic for now...? ;-) ) and I never ever expected this. Absolutely superb. Great. We've been soooooo lucky. My God...

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

It's so strange... five minutes ago I was more than satisfied with the one point for 0-0... now it feels so little compared 3 points for 0-1 win. But it's still good start for the second stage... Hopefully Ajax's game only gets better and better.

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002


-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002


-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002


-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002


-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Litmanen almost touched the ball in the Valencia goal, but that was about it.. ;)

Valencia was alot better in the 1st half.. Sofar we should be happy I think when this ends with 0-0.. We'll see what the second half brings us..

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Feels like Ajax isn't ready for this level. Did the guys even touch the ball in the first 45?

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

is this channel available online??

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002


For those of you that understand Dutch, you can listen to all Champ games on "Radio 1" Holland

Have fun!


-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Oh, btw, Mido is in the line-up..

Ajax line-up for tonight:

Didulica Trabelsi Bergdolmo Chivu Maxwell Galaseck Pienaar v.d. Vaart Litmanen v.d. Meyde Mido

Looks like the traditional 4-3-3 :)

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Yes, you are making sence.. I've felt the same for a long time now.. We just don't have very good strikers anymore, both Zlathan & Mido are ok, but nothing special.. Losing the ball way to much is one reason, not showing any special skills is another (They don't give me the feeling of Ooooh & Aaaaah, if you know what I mean).. .. We need strikers like van Basten, Bergkamp, Kanu or Kluivert again.. :)

Btw, those were almost all results of the Ajax school.. Can't we produce good strikers anymore?

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

So, it seems like Koeman will leave both Zlatan and Mido out of the team tonight, and I must say: I agree with him for 100% and I want to add that both strikers have forced Koeman to come up with this tactical decision.

It's interesting: Zlatan and Mido are Ajax' so-called superstars. They are insanely popular in their respective countries and even on our forum they both have a whole army of fans shouting that they are the greatest talents in the world, that Koeman is an idiot if he leaves them out and that every club in the world is dying for a super- duper football player like Mido/Zlatan (alphabetical order; I do not mean anything by the fact that Mido's name is first!)

And now for the truth...

Both strikers have lived in to the expectations in certain periods. Mido was great in the final ten games of last season; Zlatan in the first ten of this season. Both of them sucked more frequently than that they kicked ass. Right now, they're both unacceptably poor. Zlatan's play if okay, but he has stopped scoring once again. Mido scores goals (in the league only) but has been absolutely dramatic in European competition.

Fair conclusion: the forward line, for which we have our superstars to our availability, is our weakest point.

Our true power is our midfield. The guys playing there are low-key (as people) and don't look or behave like superstars: Rafaël van der Vaart, Jari Litmanen, Tomás Galásek, Steven Pienaar, Maxwell and even our prodigal son Richard Witschge, who has played surprisingly well. Zlatan and Mido have not remotely made the impact those guys have made. All of the midfielders I summed up have been tremendous so far. There is absolutely no reason in the world to assume that Zlatan and Mido are better players than them.

Against a team like Valencia, there is a serious risk that Zlatan and/or Mido would get cut off by the Valencia midfield. They would lose all their duels, they would be unable to keep the ball in possession, they would not score and they would be a total waste of space.

Therefore, I think it's a really wise decision by Koeman to play with two 'numbers ten' (midfielders, in a way) upfront and without typical strikers. Litmanen and Van der Vaart are able to attack coming from midfield. They will not just stand there, watching the action taking place in midfield, waiting for the ball to come and - when it comes - get blown away by the defenders. Which is what Zlatan and Mido would do.

Zlatan has had one great game in 'Europe' (Lyon at home). Mido has shown absolutely nothing in international games. The goals will have to come from midfield, by far the best part of this Ajax team.

Geo! Maybe it's Nikos time (although I don't believe he would be capable of making the difference). Fuck the hype. The central strikers we have now (ALL THREE OF 'EM!) are not irreplacable.

Am I making sense?

-- Anonymous, November 27, 2002

Maybe when the USofA starts to recoqnize that football as a sport is 10x bigger then all US sports combined, and start to name the sport correctly..

They have no clue, and that's why they don't show it on TV.. That's my answer I guess.. ;)

-- Anonymous, November 26, 2002

Not really an answer, however couldnt figure out how to post and question. So here it is it that we "AJAX" are in the 2nd round of the UEFA Champions league, and still nowhere to be found on US TVs? Do we need to make it to the Semi-finals in order to see my team play?

-- Anonymous, November 26, 2002

You said that our strikers are not easy to face big and rich clubs YET.Probably because they don't have the experience.Yes maybe they will be able to do it in some years.But you know what?In some years they will not be playing for Ajax,as usual.And my suggestion is that if Koeman has some good experienced players,he should use them. (Winter can't play,but Witchge has some good games,and Jari is always a coach inside the field).My humble opinion is that the same thing should be done with other older players too.Maybe the younger ones will get something from them.And in this case(strikers) could learn how to move more,be a pain in the ass for the defenders,instead of waiting for the ball,and when they finally get a pass try to act like Maradona.

PS:I know we missed Chivu a lot in this game but,trust me,Jari (experience) would make the difference up front and we wouldn't have to worry about our defence that much.As you know,the best way to defend in football,is to attack more... :-)

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002

Stop that Machlas stuff?He's not the answer?Like you say i keep on talking about his stats e.t.c. i could say the same thing about "missing many chances" and "painfully slow" stuff...I keep on listening to this for the past three years,and i haven't seen a better striker coming to Ajax in those years.Why?Because it is not easy to find a better striker than Nikos.

Use your brain.It's easy.Ajax has a problem with strikers right now.In the game against Inter we couldn't score right?You have a striker on the bench and one struggling in the field.What can you do? Yeah you know the answer.

Machlas' poor form?Oh i see Rich.You've seen Nikos so many times in the field this year that you can judge if he's in a good form or not.PLEASE!The guy hasn't got a single chance,so don't talk about bad form.

Nikos is not the answer?He was the answer sometimes last year.Why can't he be the answer now?

And yes i love Nikos,but i love Ajax too.I never talked about Nikos being a starter or everything all this time.I have common sense.But saying that Koeman keeps him out of the team because of his form e.t.c. is at least funny.

PS1:Nobody wants him because he hasn't played a single game this year.And trust me,someone will be lucky enough to buy him.

PS2:If Nikos is not the answer,i really want to know who is.Any suggestions?Cause what i see so far,is not the Ajax that i want to see in the CL...

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002

Interesting line-up there Alistair. My personal choice would be:

GK Didulcia

Back Four De Jong, Chivu, Bergdolmo, O'Brien

Midfield Trabelsi, Galasek, Piennar, Van der Vaart

No 10 Litmanen

Centre Forward Zlatan

If Litmanen is injured then v d Vaart to play in that position and Sikora to play left wing.

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002

Now that we are through for the second group stage, some words about the first stage. It is true that we just scraped through but it is also true that we should have obtained a couple of points more based on our performance which I would say was the best in the group. We should have easily obtained more points from the 2 Inter games and the 2 Rosenborg games. However THANK YOU ROSENBORG. You re' great.

Ajax's performance was quite good especially when one notices that we played many games without Van der Vaart, or Litmanen, or Chivu, or Ibrahimovic. The way we played in the first half against Inter on Tuesday without three important players was superb.

This team can only grow with more games not that we are guaranteed at least 6 more games. This is good for our finances as well. Well done to the team and to our coach.

My opinion for the best Ajax line-up in the coming matches is:

Goalkeeper Stekelenburg or Didulica Right Fullback Trabelsi Left Fullback De Jong Defender Central Chivu Defender Central Bergdolmo Midfielder Galasek Midfielder (NO 10) Litmanen or Van der Vaart Midfielder Van der Vaart or Maxwell Left Winger Boukhari or Sikora Forward Ibrahimovic or NOBODY Right Winger Van der Meyde

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2002

I hope Ajax get drawn with Real Madrid. Good experience for the players, good money for coverage, and we'll feel like the best team in the world again when we kick the crap out of them :)

P.S. I know Witschge is old and pretty crap now, but he still is useful

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2002

RJ... for clarification, I didn't say that Inter outplayed Ajax. I said Inter played a smarter game. No doubt Ajax played with more energy and intensity. Although the Italian's style is not nearly as exciting... it's goals and points that matter and while I love to attack, we left ourselves open for some easy scores. Anyone who claims that Ajax played a better game is delusional. We got beat and were damn lucky it was only 1:2.

On another note, Ajax is in pot #4 for the draw on Friday. I understand we will definately have either Real Madrid, Barco, Valencia or Man U as the top team in our group. Can anyone explain how the draw works? How are the teams seeded? Thanks

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2002

Stop with the Machlas stuff! He is stranded on the bench because of his past poor play, and ultimately because no one wants him. I know you will disagree, and bring out his past scoring stats, etc. All I can tell you is that having watched him play in the past he has not shown me much at all. He misses many chances, and he is painfully slow. Neither of these are good things for a striker.

I really trust Koeman's opinion here. For Nikos obviously by not playing his value continues to go down which is not good for the club, but plain and simple if anybody wanted him they would buy him.

It would be backwards thinking to put him in at the expense of Zlatan or Mido at this stage. Now I am not the biggest fan of either of these guys, but they are younger, and as of now, the present, and future striker options for Ajax until someone else comes in. I hope that is soon for what it is worth. Of the two I would take Mido, but he seems better suited when coming inside from the left flank. In short I don't know if he is a true striker/center forward. Hopefully he will grow up, and continue to improve. The same goes for Zlatan.

Ajax has some real problems IMHO when they face the Bigger/Money teams like Inter because their strikers are not up to par for that level yet. Of course there are some breakthroughs as Zlatan's 2 goal performance in the opening Champions League fixture against Lyon, but if we are to be honest both Mido and Zlatan have a lot of work to do at this level.

I know you love Machlas, but he is not the answer.



-- Anonymous, November 13, 2002

The team is improving and Koeman seems to be working a lot with the younger players.Of course we need to get better in order to make an impact in the CL... Yeah,Ronald's friends will definitely stay at Ajax and play some games.Plus they will get their salaries and everyone will be happy.Rafael and Chivu will keep on saving our ass.Trabelsi will be great.Mido will keep on working hard and score some goals mostly in the Eredivisie.Zlatan will keep on doing his magic,and score some goals when he is in a good form.Litmanen will help a lot in the CL.Machlas will stay out of the team because...hmmmmmm...because???I dunno.I really need your help here.Am I the only one that would like to see if this guy can still play football?

PS:Sometimes I think that Koeman probably caught his wife in bed with Machlas.This is the only good excuse for not using him at this point... :-DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD


-- Anonymous, November 13, 2002

Thank God for Rosenborg I guess, but the poor officals killed the game. Certainly the first goal being disallowed was a disgraceful decision. I know this happens a lot in football, (Too often for me) but how many times can the linesman not interpet the offsides/not offsides decision?

Ajax really started off well. Lots of pressing and posession put the Italians under a lot of pressure I thought. The shooting was off target unfrotunately, but there was some good effort form the boys.

Like I said Inter really lacked some midfield direction and that helped our cause for most of the first half. The only negative was we seemed to lose our concentration, and shape too easily. Inter could have punished us from these lapses. De Jong was a little nervous out there, (Who can blame him right?) but he was far from poor.

The second half we finally paid for not keeping our shape and Crespo scored 2 good goals. Especailly the 2nd with a bullet header. Although the marking was a bit slack it was Raffie who was at fault by not closing down Di Biagio whose chip was deadly for Ajax.

I thought after that it was over, our passing was poor. Andy had a tough night on the right, but to be fair we seemed a bit too predictable, and Inter was so well organized. Though Materazzi is crap like I said. I hate to admit to the Mido fans out there, but he really did not worry the Inter backline on the night. He got caught up with the typical Italian B.S. and lost his focus.

Overall our lack of experience showed, the the Swiss 3 blind mice did not help obviously, and we really missed Litmanen and Chivu. JOB too for that matter, although Van Damme looked pretty good. I could not understand Koeman's subbing of him for what it is worth.

We can only improve our play with a full squad, and these experiences in Europe will only help the players. I think its painfully obvious that none of these guys are ready for the big-time (I should say big money moves) as of yet.

One more positive for me was that Tommy Smyth was not too bad. He finally got his count right regarding the number of Dutch players out on the pitch. He said 6 non-Dutchmen, then it was 7, finally he saw that our Keeper was an Aussie giving us 8, until the subs. Oh well I love to rip his analysis.


P.S. Oh by the way Rudy, Witschge is Crap!

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2002

I don't agree that Inter played a smarter game. Ajax outplayed them for at least 3/4 of the game. They had very few chances, but were able to make 2 goals - but, come on - we were playing with a 17 (18?) year old kid with little to no experience of these kind of games in the center - which was the reason for the lapses that led to the goals. (I thought he did pretty well, actually, under the circumstances.)

Ajax played well enough to have won the game. With more accurate refereeing there would have been a definite other goal and probably a third (from the hand ball penalty). As someone said about ref decisions, you win some, you lose some - you have to accept that. But dont knock the team play - the quality of play was enough to have won.

As someone else also said, it was obvious that Ajax desperately needs a killer striker. I don't see them going much farther without one. As far as I am concerned Mido has talent, but he doesn't present enough of a force to where he can fill that role. He seemed really weak when it came to the crunch in the box.

Anyway, I don't think we 'backed' into the second round. Based on the quality of play we deserve to be there.

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2002

A couple of comments on last night's game...

- Witschge is, was and will always be crap. He single-handedly broke down numerous counters with terrible passing and losing possession. - Although the disallowed goal was a disgrace it was no more so than the Lyon disallowed goal 2 weeks win some you lose some. - Raphael v.d.V. is an exceptional footballer, he was the guy who looked like he could turn the game at any time...I think he's not quite match fit yet though. - We REALLY missed Chivu and Jari. They were outstanding in the away game, the defence marked very poorly without Chivu last night, and Jari's creative flair in the hole meant we sent in endless poor crosses from Mr v.d. Meyde. - We need a "cut-throat" striker, neither Mido nor Zlatan have proven themselves in round one (excluding Z's goals against Lyon at home). Why not have Machlas on the bench at least? I just don't get it. - Thank God for Rosenborg. For those that didn't see the Lyon game Sonny Anderson missed a free header 5 yards out 2 minutes into injury time. - Did I mention Witschge is crap?

Anyway.....on to round two....;o)

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2002

We don't have the balls,that's for sure.We are in the second round,so who gives a shit you would say,huh?Well,it's not that simple.We get the money and everything,but the team needs to show more things.I don't want to see a weak Ajax.Chivu was out,Jari too.Ok.But injuries e.t.c. happen all the time.Big clubs need to find ways to make it under ANY circumstances.Let's hope things will get better in the second round.

PS:Raffy is the best scorer again.Good for him and for the team.But it seems like we are getting into the era that strikers can't score,so Midfielders have to do the job(AGAIN)...

GO AJAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

Luck be a lady... tonite. Can't help but feel lucky that we're on to the second round. I could whine, bitch and complain but it won't do much good. The Italians (once again) played a smarter match and when we went down 0:1 Ajax looked out of sorts. We started to press the attack and didn't set up for the offensive opportunities that always present themselves. The result: 0:2.

Regardless of the mistakes by the ref, the lack of focus by our side is inexcusable. Mido needs to shut his mouth and play and van der Meyde needs to learn how to send a cross into the box. I watched our boys being handed flowers after the match... they should send them to Rosenborg BK... they're the reason were waiting for a Champions draw and not a UEFA Cup consolation prize.

We sure could've used Chivu and JOB out there.

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

yes! much needed money for the club. How much money to make it to second phase, isn't it around 20 million pounds or something?

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

Can you say ROBBERY........ How this match could have been so different if the line judge would have been watching the play before him. The goal was just that.... a goal. No offsides: even is on! What a difference this would have made. We all saw the stats at half and witnessed the play of our side. The two goals against was of no denial, it was just bad marking on our parts. Then the hand ball in the box. It was so clear that it completely changed the direction of the ball. One word explains it all... PENALTY We were just plain unlucky at home. The first italian win. (a freebee) On to the next round. Lets hope for quick returns for our injured players.

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

So we're on to the next round.Phew....

As for tonite's match it seems that :

1) A perfectly valid goal has been cancelled around the 25th minute 2) The italians earned 5 yellow cards ( why isn't it amzing ?? :-) ) 3) Rafi VDV is back on fire (the rule is quite simple : one match one goal) 4) the two italians goals have been scored on 50 and 51 th minute...probably few minutes of los of focus :O) 5) The team was far from complete (Chivu is the better example)

"You can always bear the tale when the end is sweet"

Go AFC, aim for the quarters (for our pleasure and the treasury's...) !!!!!

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

Oh my God...thank you Norwegians!!! That was a close one. But what the *#"%&#* was that freaking referee doing in the 7th minute. If a ref isn't sure about something, he should not whistle. Seems like the assisting referee had forgotten that.


-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!! We made it to the 2nd phase. :) we lost unfortunately to Inter (2 goals by Crespo in 3 minutes?!?!) but Lyon drew at Rosenborg. Rosenborg took 4 points off us, but they actually helped us today. How weird has this group been? Inter beat Ajax twice, Ajax beat Lyon twice, and Lyon thrashed Inter. And Rosenborg drew with all three I think. Who cares, with an under-strength team, we are into the 2nd phase. I'm so glad that Van Der Vaart is a "last-minute scorer". Might be crucial later... Oh yeah, how wrong we all were about Ajax's away win to Lyon :)

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

Now it's time to see if we have the balls to do it.This is the kind of game that shows the real ability of the team...


-- Anonymous, November 12, 2002

A couple of thoughts:

Well if Zlatan is out this obviously is a big chance for Mido to shine. These are the games that can really make a player. We must win and Mido must do the business.

If Jari is out this will really be a big blow. I hope and pray he somehow makes it as his experience is vital.

Regarding Inter, even if Cannavaro is out they still have some quality defenders. Gammara the Paraguyan is pretty damn good, and it amazes me that he does not play in their team as it is at the expense of Materrazi. I think the tall slim Italian can be had. He does not impress me. Incredible he plays for the Italy as well, but that is something for Italy to worry about. Cordoba the Colombian is hard and fast, but not so great on the ball. Overall he is solid as he plays within himself every time I have seen him play. Zanetti the captain is a tireless machine who must be watched making his raids up the right flank. Not a true defender more of a midfielder for me he is the heart and soul of the team.

The midfield as I have mentioned before has some decent players, but no real central playmaker. They miss Seedorf plain and simple. Perhaps Recoba will play in the "hole" tomorrow. He would be Inter's vest option IMO. All left foot is the Uraquayan.

Attack is Vieri the bull and Crespo. They play a similar style, but Crespo is a better player with better skill. Vieri is a typical (Italian bitch and moan type. (I am Italian myself so no offence)

Finally I hope that Tommy Smyth keeps his glasses on and clean. I am no fan of the little scum, oops! I mean onionbag. Anti-Dutch is Smyth, always has been.

Say a prayer everyone.

God Bless us all and Ajax!

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2002

Crap! Not only is Litmane unavailibe, but now also Zlatan. Zlatan is sick and will not play tomorrow, according to his manager. Great, just great!

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2002

With the injury situation worse than ever leading into Tuesday,I must admit that I wonder if a 4-3-3 is even possible. Just looking at the list that was part of an article on Ajax Netwerk has me shaking my head: Litmanen reportedly out and niggling injuries to Trabelsi, Pienaar, van der Meyde, de Jong. The list seems endless.The physios will definitely earn their money in the next 48 hours.

-- Anonymous, November 10, 2002

Regarding the winger/no winger debate all I can say is that I am for playing the best 11 players, plain and simple. With that said, I definitley would play both Van Der Meyde and Sikora as they are 2 of the better players in the side. Certainly they could provide the cutting edge necessary to bag the 3 points.

I am not sure about their respective form as I have had no opportunites to see our beloved Ajax play this year thanks to FSW, (I know, I know it hurts thanks to FSW, and that is another story in itself) but players form is VERY, VERY important, and I can only hope and believe that Koeman will make the right decision.

It would seem that Sikora has not really setttled yet I can only base this on what I have read while Andy had some early struggles, but has now regained his form (Menno would this be correct?

Obviously Inter will be tough, but I think we should get the win. Of course I am an Ajax fan and I shoul think this way, but I think we have better quality with Jari back and Raffy injury free.

I also do not believe for a minute that Cuper's side will attack as he has come out and said. Although he does have an abdunant number of attacking players to choose from. Still they probably sold their best attacking midfielder are very own Clarence Seedorf who has been in majestic form for city rivals AC Milan. This is the key for me as Inter lack quality central midfield play. Dalmat, DiBiagio, and Almeyda just do not get it done for me.

I really do not like a pairing of Vieri, (A real battling ram with little skill IMHO) and Crespo who I admit is a dangerous finisher. Their styles are too similar and I hope I am right about this and they just end up getting in each other's way on Tuesday.

Your thoughts are welcomed.

Go AJAX!!!!

BTW, Yes it does hurt not having Chivu, Perhaps the youngster De Jong can raise his game again. He certainly will have never played in a bigger match, that is for sure!

-- Anonymous, November 08, 2002

RE: Using Wingers at Ajax

Unfortunately Ajax has a long tradition of producing very creative, tricky, fast wingers that couldn't cross a ball to save their lives. Players like Tscheu la Ling, Bryan Roy, Marc Overmars, and the present "crop" are a joy to watch....except when a Beckhamesque hard, curling, accurate, cross is required. Overmars and Roy really started to make waves after they left Ajax and were given a permission to run into the penalty area and shoot (at Arsenal and Nottm. Forest)'s a bit like Thierry Henry who's been a revelation since he moved to Arsenal and stopped being a winger. Simon Kuper wrote a whole article for the English Fanzine "When Saturday Comes" about Ajax's history of producing wingers that can't cross.

Don't get me wrong, we score from headers, but that's in the Eredivisie, where the marking is less tight....but against Inter...when they need a draw???? It's beginning to feel like the Euro 2000 semi against the "Azzuri"!!!

Nope, I'd rather see us focus on Litmanen in "the hole" supplying Mido and/or Zlatan with through balls (with some, but less wingplay)....the way we played away at Inter (based on what I saw from the highlights).



-- Anonymous, November 08, 2002

I mention the 4-4-2 only because the coach himself has said he might use such a formation in matches v. a tough opponent. I understand that 4-3-3 is Ajax to the core but so is winning.Plus, how good has our wing play been? Especially the play of van der Meyde and Sikora (much as I like him). I ask because I am not able to judge their effectiveness;except for the comments and critiques in these discussion boards;not having seen them live since the Amsterdam Tourney.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002

Hector Cuper has previously made comments about wanting to play an attractive, attacking style on Tuesday. If he does, Inter could give up more than 1 goal.Ajax exploited Inter's defense to some degree in Milan.If Inter opens things up, Ajax can do the business by playing a 4-4-2, with Litmanen tucked in behind the front ,perhaps,Maxwell or van der Meyde being on the flank.Also, we'll have enough players to thwart an offensive set that might include Recoba ;in addition to Vieri and Crespo.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002

As Inter are probably going to play a blanket defence, does the membership feel that we should revert in Tuesday's game to playing 2 wingers to try and get around the back of them?

For my part ....... I cannot decide.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002

Damn, I'd like to be there!!!

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002

The match against Internazionale has completely sold-out according to NOS teletekst page 660 which should make up for a great atmosphere this coming tuesday.

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002

Menno wrote:
YEEAAH, we're back in CNN's World Soccer Top 10!! (As the only club not coming from one of Europe's four major football nations. Quite honestly, this CNN Top 10 usually doesn't make too much sense, but then again: it's nice to see us in there).
In assessing the quality of CNN's rankings, you can take into consideration (along with a nice big grain of salt) their assessment of this past Sunday's victory, which was by all other accounts anything but a "fluent display ... over in-form Willem II":
"No. 10 Ajax Amsterdam seized a two-point lead in the Dutch premiership and a return to the Top 10 with a fluent display and a 3- 0 win Sunday over in-form Willem II Tilburg. In the Champions League on Wednesday, Olympique Lyon was deprived of a genuine equalizer late in the first half as it slumped to a frustrating 2-0 Group D defeat against a marauding Ajax team reduced to 10 men after 62 minutes.

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2002

Will this guy Zlatan play against Inter? I think they'll need his talent. I saw last time they played and he made a move very few people can do in the world today. Haven't seen much of him but, from what I saw, he must really be one of the most talented players in the last 20 years or so. Ajax must let a guy like this play, otherwise he could lose his confidence. Good luck, Brian Toft, writer of football in London

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2002

YEEAAH, we're back in CNN's World Soccer Top 10!!

(As the only club not coming from one of Europe's four major football nations. Quite honestly, this CNN Top 10 usually doesn't make too much sense, but then again: it's nice to see us in there).

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2002

A report on VI says that The Netherlands is closing in on Greece, on UEFA's nations' ranking, which determines the number of clubs per country that can be registered for European tournaments. The number of clubs to represent Holland is based on the performances by Dutch clubs in the recent past. To be precise: the performances of five season before, except the most recent season. For example: the number of Dutch clubs to participate this season (2002- 2003) is based on achievements of Dutch clubs from 1997-2001. Last season did not count. It will for next season.

Holland was 6th on the UEFA ranking until this season, which means the country had three Champions League slots (#1 and #2 qualifying directly for the group stage, #3 to enter in the final preliminary round) and three UEFA Cup slots (#4 and #5, plus the winner of the Amstel Cup).

As most of you will know, due to disappointing results by Dutch clubs, Greece leapfrogged Holland on the ranking. Holland is now 7th, which means that we lost one Champions Leagus lot. We will have one direct qualifier, one (final) preliminary round slot and - this will remain unchanged - three UEFA Cup slots.

This is already certain, because (as I explained) the current season does not count towards next season. Next season's 'Europe tickets' will be divided based on the UEFA ranking as it was after last season (1997-2001).

There is a change that Holland will win its lost CL slot back pretty soon. So far, we're closing in on Greece again, thanks to the recent victories of PSV (over Auxerre), Ajax (at Lyon) and Vitesse (over Werder Bremen). If Ajax make it to the next round of the Champions League and one or two Dutch teams continue to do well in the UEFA Cup, we may well win our place back.

Not that I care - PSV and the UEFA Cup teams always screw up anyway, so why bother? But it's not a bad thing either, of course.

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2002

UEFA has announced that yellow cards given during the first round group stage of the Champions League will not be 'deleted' for the second round (they were last season, if I remember it correctly).

For Ajax, this means that quite a lot of players may enter the second round group with one or two yellow cards behind their names. A third yellow card automatically means a one game suspension. Cristian Chivu will miss the Inter game due to his red card in Lyon. That red card was directly given, which means his two yellow cards are still counted.

Ajax players with two yellow cards: Galásek, Van der Meyde, Zlatan, Chivu.

Ajax players with one yellow card: Stekelenburg, Yakubu, Van Halst, Didulica, Pienaar, Van der Vaart, De Jong, Sikora.

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2002

I returned from Lyon yesterday night...

Man, what a trip. For anyone interested: here's my report.

First off: great city, Lyon. It's truly beautiful and it has an amazinf array of nice little restaurants and pubs. A much nicer place to go than Milan - also (and this surprised me) when it comes to footy atmopshere.

You could sense that the entire city of Lyon was looking forward to this game. We walked around wearing our Ajax jerseys. People waved at us, wished us good (or bad) luck. There was a lot of interaction and many scarves were exchanged. Milan was absolutely dead. We were in Milan for three days and we did not bump into one single Inter or AC Milan fan. One taxi driver talked about football (he was a Juventus fan), but other than that, even on match day: no atmosphere whatsoever, except at the ground. We thought we'd come to the wrong city.

The Stade de Gerland was really nice and there were some 2,500 Ajax fans. Great atmosphere at the ground, except for the moron in the Lyon section, who was acting as the 'conductor' of the Lyon fans, by starting chants thru a microphone and speakers system! Please get out of town. Gimme a break. That SUCKS!

About the game itself:

I think it's reall great that Koeman and the team decided to play in an almost 'Italian' formation and to wait for the opportunity to counter-attack. We've been kind of naive, but also very unlucky on two occasions (Inter away and Rosenborg at home). Therefore, Ajax was absolutely right to try something more 'mature' this time around.

They battled and fought like lions, and they did it. They obviously took Lyon by surprise in the first ten, fifteen minutes, in which Zlatan could have opened the scoring from an open scoring chance. A few minutes later it was a bingo. Our section went absolutely BANANAS. Everyone hanging in the fences and stuff. Amazing.

After that, Ajax was basically under HIGH pressure for 75 minutes. Luckily, the referee was blind. He didn't see that a Sonny Anderson header had clearly crossed the line. But Ajax had bad luck as well. At least three out of Ajax' six yellow cards were ridiculous and Cristian Chivu should have been given a YELLOW card, not a red one. The Lyon guy did not have a free passage. There were two Ajax defenders in the centre. It was not a 100% scoring chance. Should have been a yellow, but he would have missed the Inter game then, too.

I must add that it was a stupid move by Chivu. He tried to nod the ball to the side, in order to pick it up himself, in a very dangerous situation - and he was forced to pull the emergency break. It was a very reckless thing to do. Lyon's goal (that was not given) also came after a Chivu mistake. We will miss him against Inter and he's one of our best players, but I'm just trying to say that he's not GOD and that he makes mistakes as well (cos he's human).

Ajax did well in defense after Chivu's red card, thanks to Bergdølmo (great game, finally!), Galásek (who moved back to defense and was simply brilliant), Trabelsi (one of his best games) and Nigel de Jong - a truly spectacular European debut. He was faultless and also provided Pienaar with the assist for the opening goal.

Upfront, Ajax had problems in creating space for itself. Both Mido and Zlatan played rather weak games, but I have to say - to their defense - that they were lone warriors upfront, who had to try and do something amidst a multitude of Lyon defenders and midfielders. It was almost impossible for them to do something.

Quite remarkably, Ajax got better after they were down to ten men. They even created a few great chances in the final ten minutes, including an open header chance which Rafaël van der Vaart should have converted. In the final ten minutes, you could see that Lyon started to panic: they started making more mistakes in their passing and finishing. It was then that I started feeling: WE ARE GONNA MAKE IT!

It was a mystery to me why the referee added four minutes of stoppage time (four??? There had hardly been any interruptions), but hey: it only gave Ajax the time to double the score :-)

This was a GREAT, GREAT victory, cos I thought (and still think) that Lyon is BY FAR the best side in Group D. They are way stronger than Inter in every respect. Grabbing the full six points against them is a superb achievement, but - as Bastiaan wrote in his match report - it makes the four points lost against Rosenborg even more stupid and unnecessary.

My men of the match: Tomás Galásek, who played a superb game in midfield and got even better when he moved back to the defense line. He won every duel, had numerous great tackles with which he stole to ball from an opponents' foot and he was always quiet on the ball, never panicked and provided the Ajax defense with lots of badly needed 'oxygen'. What a leader.

Then there's Nigel de Jong. What a fighter, what a winner, what a brave, brave kid. Great rush and pass, too, which brought us the first goal.

But - and I want everyone to know this: my winner is Joey Didulica, who played his most important, but also his best game ever for Ajax. He was so calm, he intercepted all crosses he could intercept and he saved our Dutch asses on two occasions. He saved a low shot from inside the penalty box wth his foot in the second half, but his best save was in the first half, when some Lyon player (I believe it was Juninho) fired from some 25 yards. The ball was very nastily deflected by an Ajax defender. Nine out of ten goalkeepers would have had no chance, diving into the one corner while seeing the deflected ball flying into the other. But Joey reacted like a friggin' TIGER and managed to save it. Amazing. He was our #1 hero in Lyon. Good for him.

Joey proved Koeman right in choosing for him instead of Henk Timmer. he will surely be the man for the upcoming weeks. This was great.

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2002

Just got back from Lyon (Menno at the time of posting is I would guess about halfway home by car)- not the greatest football match skill wise, but what excitement which seemed to totally drain the fans - unbelievable performance and one which showed they can really dig deep and scrap when necessary. Thought that the tactics wasnt to defend, but we were pushed back due to our inability to hold onto the ball until messrs Meyde & Vaart came into the fray. Thought that whilst the whole 14 players deserve credit I would heep particular praise on Joey D (words cannot describe his performance), Tomas galasek (who was absolutely fantastic) and Nigel de Jong ( fantastic, especially considering he was playing out of position). Another player who worked his wotsit off for the team was Sikora who played in the middle of the park rather than on the wings. With regard to the vocal support of the home team, it is the first time I have come across "professional cheer-leeders" who didnt watch one second of the game but were just there with their microphones to whip up the crowd - so false at a football game.

With regard to the tie-breakers I blagged my way into the official press conference on Tuesday night (along with the training session) where the press and one imposter were handed amoungst other things a sheet showing the rules. Here we go :

Higher number of points in the matches between the teams in question

Superior goal difference from matches between the teams in question

Higher number of goals scored away from home in matches between the teams in question

Goal difference from all group matches

Higher number of goals scored

UEFA coefficient (club + national association) based on last five seasons.

Well there you have it - totally meaningless when we beat Inter. Almost forgot - Chivu's dismissal was out of order - yellow card yes but red - nooooooo way - the Lyon player was going away from goal towards the corner flag and there appeared to be other Ajax players in covering position. But then apparently Lyon had a perfectly good goal not allowed, so I shouldnt complain too much.

A great night and thankyou Ajax.

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2002

Well..the lads done good.

Looking at the standings the result makes little difference unfortunately! If they'd lost they would have needed to beat Inter. As it is (assuming Lyon beat Rosenborg) they need to beat Inter. Oh well, good for the morale, although Chivu will miss the vital game.

The game was a strange one...Ajax won tacticaly playing "Italian" football, i.e. camping out in the last 3rd of the field and looking for the counter. As I said on the Zlatan thread he and Mido did not hold the ball well (too many fancy tricks from Mr Z), and Ajax looked much more threatening on the counter when v.d.Meyde and v.d.Vaart came on. Chivu's red was harsh, but let's not forget that Lyon had a perfectly good goal disallowed.

All in all great experience for the young team.

The Inter game is going to be a nailbiter! I hope the away game isn't repeated with Ajax getting lots of possession and Inter delivering the killer blow on an occasional counter. Don't forget they're looking to a draw, and will play that charming Italian baiting game trying to incense the young Ajax squad.

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2002

Ajax! Ajax! Ajax! Great result...Van der Vaart is the Man!!! anyways i hope Ajax can adjust without Chivu in time for the Inter game and the Willem II match will be the perfect test for that matter, actually im not that worried at all cos looking at the first meeting against Inter Ajax played well and with Van der Vaart this time im sure Inter will crash!

remember that a good defense is a strong offense so if Ajax dominates Inter like the way they did in Milan and finish their scoring chances, im sure Ajax will qualify to the next round top of the table and i have a feeling that Lyon will stumble against Rosenborg so relax everyone cos if theres a club that can overcome such odds it is AJAX!!! Go Ajax Go!!!

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

This will teach me to read without my glasses. Zlatan had 1 yellow prior to today; last match v. Rosenborg.It was Galasek, Chivu, and van der Meyde who had two each before tonights game.Thus, Chivu is out. Zlatan, van der Meyde, and Galasek are good to go on 12 November. Sorry for my screw up. I feel dumber than a F-word or UGHtrecht fan.

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

Wow, is Zlatan suspended against Inter? Did he play well today?

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

I couldn't have asked for a better pick-me-up after 12 hours of work, unless I had found Salma Hayak in my condo(guess she lost my address again!), than the 0:2 scoreline.Absolutely sensational!!

Congratulations to Ajax on a job well done.This team may be held together by chewing gum and chicken wire, given the continuous injuries and now suspensions present and pending,but they have one helluva lot of heart and one helluva lot of guts.

As for learning to play without Cristian Chivu , Ajax has been forced to do that already..twice. 32' today and a half hour Saturday have hopefully given them a dose of the reality of what 12 November will be like.Sunday will be another heavy dose. The playing squad of Ajax- 1 have been stepping up to meet the challenges posed by injury, bookings, and suspension(i.e. Jelle van Damme today) all year. I think the six-pack of Trabelsi,Bergdolmo, de Jong , Yakubu, Maxwell, and van Damme can make a fine case for the defense.If John O'Brien is healthy,so much the better.

Just as Litmanen,Mido, Wampie, van der Meyde, Sikora, and Boukhari will step forward to meet the challenges of replacing the fine work of Zlatan; in the wake of his card today and possible suspension for card accumulation.

Add to this the stellar effort of Joe D.(CONGRATS and WELCOME BACK!!) and not only was today a great day but there are reasons to smile and be very optimistic for our CL future. Cards or no cards.Injuries or no injuries.HUP AJAX HUP!

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

Who is the greatest club team of all time, based on European successes? I nominate Ajax, NOT Real Madrid. Reasons: Ajax like Madrid and a few others have won all the european titles available, have how 4 CL (the fifth is soon methinks ;) ), they did all this while coming from a small country and having nowhere near the financial clout of Bayern or real or Milan. Plus, Ajax always had to put up with exoduses of our top talent :( yet we always come back, for we are the best, we are the strong-willed, we are the flying Dutchmen, we are AJACIEDS!!!

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

Just realised I contradicted myself. Of course the other way Lyon could go through is if they win AND we draw.

So in summary if Lyon win we have to beat Inter to qualify... think that's right.

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

I'm not sure about BuffaloSoldier's list of tiebreakers.

My understanding was that in the case of two teams being on equal points, their head-to-head record counted second (i.e. just like the UEFA cup with home goals and all that bollocks), then goals scored, then goal difference, then lots are drawn.

So if Ajax - Inter is a draw and Lyon win, Inter go through because they already beat Ajax 1-0 in Italy and Ajax finish third.

If we lose and Lyon draw, we would go through because we beat Lyon twice.

Obviously if we win and/or Lyon lose we go through no matter what.

In other words for Lyon to go through they have to beat Rosenborg AND we have to lose to Inter; that's my interpretation anyway, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

Yay! I thought a draw would be good but an impressive 2-0 victory. Go Ajax! However nice it is to see them win an important game, even a draw and a loss, coupled with a win against Inter (easy, Inter is bad away from home, and Ajax plays good either way ;)), does the win actually mean anything? maybe, as now Ajax can top the group and have an easier path to the QF.

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

BuffaloSoldier posted these tie-breakers to BigSoccer:
  1. higher number of pts obtained among the teams in question
  2. superior GD played among the teams in question
  3. higher # of goals scored away among teams in question
  4. superior GD in the group
  5. # of goals
  6. coefficent points
Based on that, we can see:

Ajax loses, Lyon draws: who goes through with Inter???
- Ajax advances with the two wins over Lyon.

Ajax draws, Lyon wins: Who goes through with Lyon???
- Inter goes through on superior goal-differential (1 better).

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

Deep sigh. Okay, Group D, with one game to go... Will Ajax suddenly learn how to defend without Chivu? I hope so...

Here are the possible scenarios for 12 Nov:

  1. Ajax wins, Lyon wins: Ajax is through.
  2. Ajax loses, Lyon loses: Ajax is through.
  3. Ajax draws, Lyon draws: Ajax is through.
  4. Ajax loses, Lyon draws: who goes through with Inter???
  5. Ajax draws, Lyon wins: Who goes through with Lyon???
Somebody who knows about the tie-breakers, please enlighten me.

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! :-D I knew it!I had a good dream last night! ;-) It was about f***** time!!!

PS:Vassaras is usually a very very good referee.He even was at the World Cup.Well,maybe he was mad cause Nikos wasn't there... :-/

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

27 fouls, 5 yellows and a red... but the only numbers that count are 0-2!!! Excuse me... make that 6 yellows. Menno, please give us the breakdown on what needs to happen to advance. The way I see it, we still must beat Inter to guarantee a spot in round 2. Correct?

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

Well I'm watching the game on french TV , and as much as i've seen it, it's kinda...bad. Too much faults, a really bad referee wasting the match (to tell the truth, he's quite as bad as the spanish referee of the 97 semifinal against Juventus), Chivu sent off to balance all the previous bad choices of Mister Vasaras... Many good news though : Rafi 's back for my pleasure, Trabelsi is a fantastic right back, and Joey's really cold blooded and skillful when it comes to stopping hot shots from those poisonous Lyonese strikers. 20 minutes left ..Go Ajax !!!

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

Chivu sent off, again! This was exactly what Ajax didn't need! Damn! Well, at least we're still in the lead...

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

Ajax still leads 0-1 as van der Vaart makes his return to action in the 55th minute, replacing Mido. Come on Ajax! 25 minutes to glory!!!

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

YEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!! Steven Keep it up.... Let's kick some a@@!

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

I'm doing my best, sir. All the way, thank you for quoting my name, it's really made my parents very proud (you can't imagine...). I must add that F'nerds lost their CL match which is a bad new (UEFA points.... :-(( ) but also a good one (DO I really need to explain why :O) ).

I hope that Ajax will defeat Lyon tomorrow, it will make things easier for the qualification, and i'll avoid those pesky cleanser jokes from my "friends". Bye.

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2002

I want to send out a big 'thank you' to Bertrand Chardon, our friend from France, who (once again) sent us team news and quotes from the Lyon camp (to which he doesn't belong, by the way: he's an Ajacied). Very insightful. Thanks for your good work, Bertrand. Keep it up if Ajax bumps into another French opponent, in the second round!

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2002

Agree with your thoughts Menno, and would add that I think that this team is more than capable of turning up in Amsterdam on Thursday morning with all 3 points. It should be an interesting night.

-- Anonymous, October 28, 2002

Some news about Wednesday's game in Lyon...

First off, the referee for Olympique Lyonnais vs Ajax is a Greek, by the name of Kyros Vassaras. If you're interested, he was recently interviewed on

More importantly, Ronald Koeman just gave the final press conference before Ajax' departure to Lyon, tomorrow morning. He will have twenty players along to Lyon. The squad for Wednesday can only consist of 18 players, but Jari Litmanen has some hamstring trouble.

The most spectacular news was the fact that Rafaël van der Vaart will join Ajax to Lyon, as a substitute. He is fit to play, said Koeman, but he has not played a game yet, so he will not play from the start. Not even if Litmanen can't play. But he's available to come as a sub. Wamberto was also injured, but he's fit and will join the team again.

Bogdan Lobont, Maarten Stekelenburg, John O'Brien and Johnny Heitinga are still injured. Jelle Van Damme is suspended, due to his red card against Rosenborg BK. Petri Pasanen, Aron Winter and Nikos Machlas were not selected and will stay in Amsterdam.

Some Koeman quotes from the press conference:

"I have enough reasons to believe in a positive result in Lyon. I know my team and we've only lost one game this season. Although Lyon do not have any real weaknesses, we played well against them at home. They are truly fantastic in switching from defense to attack. But they make defensive errors, which is shown by the fact that Inter scored three goals against them in Lyon."

"Tomorrow, after training, we will decide how we're gonna play. I have not chosen for either Maxwell or De Jong at left back yet. This also depends on Jari Litmanen's availability."


My personal expectation for the line-up? I think Litmanen will play. We know this crap. He'll be fine, I'm sure. Line-up. Also, now Joey Didulica is fit again, I think he'll play. I remember Koeman saying a few weeks ago: "We hired Henk as a reserve goalkeeper, and that's what his position is. It would be unfair to our goalkeepers to not play them."

Didulica; Trabelsi, Chivu, Bergdølmo, Maxwell; Galásek, Litmanen, Witschge; Van der Meyde, Zlatan, Wamberto.

Subs: Timmer, De Jong, Yakubu, Van der Vaart, Mido, Sikora, Boukhari.

That's what I expect. Not Boukhari. He was rather weak against RKC, after a great game against Rosenborg.

-- Anonymous, October 28, 2002

Chivu must play - otherwise I have a feeling that we will leak a hatful of goals and more importantly our attacking options will also be very limited as he is a key player in moving the ball forward. Understand your thoughts on this one Ben but cannot agree this time around. To defend in this game will be suicidal - lets attack, attack, attack and beat those frogs at their own game.

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2002

Seeing as I have nothing better to do on a Sunday morning, I might as well throw out an idea and see what conversation it generates. If I were coaching Ajax,I wouldn't play Cristian Chivu against Lyon. One more yellow and it wouldn't matter if he is injured or fit for the 12 November tie.Plus, with a possible suspension looming unless yesterdays rood kaart is wiped off the books, he would finally have time to get the knee stronger.

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2002

It's best to look forward, as they say, so let's go...

Here's a link from an excellent German Football Grounds website named It takes you to their pictures of Stade Gerland, home ground of Olympique Mayonnais, you know, the team we'll be trashing in exactly one week from now.

If you're going to that game, check 'em out to get in the mood. I know at least two regular visitorsto this forum, by the names of Bastiaan Vercouteren and Bill Bryden, who are going (not including yours truly).

The pics are right HERE.

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2002

My two most important worries:

1) In three out of Ajax' four games, they played a decent or good first half followed by a *much* weaker second (Lyon, and Rosenborg 2x. In Milan they were okay for 90 minutes). This is not good. If you have to beat an Italian side by two goals, you'll need to be good for 90 minutes.

2) All three goals they conceded were scored in the final 10 minutes. Bad sign. In three our of four games, they came into serious shit because of that. It cost a hatful of points. The pressure builds up during the second half - and they collapse in the final 10. That's immaturity. A class side just *has* to be able to hold onto to a lead.

On a positive note: scoring against Inter at home is possible: they conceded five goals in their two away games (but scored five as well). If someone in Italy could break some of Crespo's bones - that would be nice ;-)

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2002

does anybody know when John O'Brien will return from injury?

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2002

This was a major disappointment. All in all, they had really deserved the win. But then again: they are simply unable to keep the door locked, and then you just know you get in trouble on a European level.

Let's look at the bright side...

After the final whistle, I thought we were fucked and could forget really forget it. But then we checked the table in Group D and - quite mraculously - not that much has changed. The final game against Inter is still going to be decisive and the Lyon away game isn't even a 'must win'. If we lose in Lyon (even if it's 10-0) we will have to beat Inter by two goals. If we notch a draw from Lyon, every win is good enough.

Of course: if you can't beat Rosenborg, then why would you beat Inter by 2-0? That's true, so there is reason to be worried, of course. However, if you look at the plain facts, there is not much more reason to be pessimistic than before this game. We can still settle this at home.

Weird group.

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2002

I wrote the paragraph for the Ajax USA home page just moments after the end of today's game:
Disaster: Reckless Ajax squander two precious points against Rosenborg, 1-1
22 October: Ajax' Champions League aspirations are on life-support following today's disastrous draw at home to Rosenborg. In addition to the lost points, Ajax incurred four yellow cards (Chivu, Galasek, van der Meyde and Ibrahimovic), and a red card to Jelle van Damme, who handled the ball in front of goal. The ensuing penalty kick allowed Rosenborg to equalize in the 85th minute. Ajax must surely win at Lyon in order for the final match at home against Inter to be meaningful.
This is why I should wait at least a few moments before writing... Ajax does NOT have to WIN at Lyon. They need a point, and then they'll need to win at HOME vs Inter. They can manage both, so "life- support" is probably over-dramatic.... What do they say about patients who have a good chance of recovery? The patient is in "critical condition" but has a fair chance of recovery.

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002

the coming CL games against Lyon and Inter will surely test Ajax on how they really want this trophy and if they are mature enough to overcome such crucial games...we all know that they are full of potential but they just cant live to it at the moment. Injuries really hurts and I for one really think that if Van der Vaart can play, Ajax wouldnt be in this kind of position.

Let's just wait in see if they are really that hungry to win the CL this time and if they can overcome and win the remaining games im sure they can GO all the way! GO AJAX GO!!!

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002

Man, oh man. "Wat een sukkel" I suppose you'd say in Dutch. They obviously have much to learn as a team: much to learn about finishing, for sure. The ball-handling is something that could've happened to anyone, but looking at all the Ajax attempts-on-goal...jeez.

Why can't Ajax be in a Cup competition without all of the fans suddenly forced to use probability theory to figure out what they're chances are?

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002

Well we`re all disappointed of course BUT let`s not forget that nearly half the team didn`t play today for different reasons ( mainly injuries ) so let`s hope things will get better in the coming weeks

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002


-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002

As of today:

  1. Lyon: 7
  2. Inter: 5
  3. Ajax: 5
  4. Rosenborg: 3

Next Round: 30 October

I predict Inter will trounce Rosenborg. Let's say Ajax manages a point at Lyon. Then, the standings look like this after October 30:

  1. Lyon: 8
  2. Inter: 8
  3. Ajax: 6
  4. Rosenborg: 3

Final round: November 12

Now, let's assume Rosenborg give up and hand 3 points to Lyon in Trondheim. Probably won't happen, but let's assume the worst. Meanwhile, Ajax beats Inter:

  1. Lyon: 11 *
  2. Ajax: 9 *
  3. Inter: 8
  4. Rosenborg: 3

Alternately, if Rosenborg manages a point in the final game, which I expect at least, then it gets really interesting. Meanwhile, Ajax beats Inter:

  1. Lyon: 9 *
  2. Ajax: 9 *
  3. Inter: 8
  4. Rosenborg: 4

There are other permutations, but I just think Ajax HAS to get a point at Lyon AND they have to BEAT Inter... But in the scenario that Ajax loses at Lyon but beats Inter in the final game, they'd both have 8 points (assuming Inter beats Rosenborg at home). What would be the tie-breakers?

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002

Damn....must be a nightmare...A draw versus Rosenborg...4 yellows and a red...Equaliser goal at 85'...Let's celebrate Lyon draw vs Internazionale. Anyway next match at Lyon will be decisive. Internazionale will certainly defeat a tired Rosenborg at home, while Lyon will want to thwart Ajax plans to qualify. I hope they'll show a better face than today. Go Ajax !!! Aim for the second step of CL !!!

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002


-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002

1-0 at half time...Phew it seems to be really hard but.... I can't wait to see what's going to happen. Ok let's get to voodoo and necromancy.... ... ...

PS : Where's my Brattback hemp puppet 8O]) ???

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002

1-0 at halftime, barely...

Eegads, Ajax are not making it seem easy. According to's live match commentary, Ajax struggled until Zlatan's tap-in in the 41st minute. And THREE yellow cards, Zlatan, Galasek and vd Meyde, including a punch thrown (?) by Zlatan!? What the heck?!

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002

I'll be off line for the rest of the day, so...


We have the right form, we have all our key players and it seems like Koeman will go for a 4-3-3, which is the right decision. This feels right. We're gonna do it!

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2002

Team news from

Ajax travelled to the coastal town of Noordwijk this afternoon, where the team will prepare for the game in the magnificent Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin (why don't you take the virtual tour on their website?).

Coach Ronald Koeman's squad currently consists of 18 players. Fred Grim (see the news report that will appear on the Ajax USA homepage!) and Nigel de Jong are the newcomers. Nikos Machlas, Aron Winter and - after his weak game against AZ - Abubakari Yakubu dropped out of the squad and remained in Amsterdam.

Koeman's expects a defensive opponent in Tuesday's crucial "must win" game: "I do not expect Roseborg to come to Amsterdam to play a beautiful game."

The main worry of the Ajax coach is, obviously, the 'goalkeeper problem': "For a second I considered having Kenneth Vermeer along. But on second thought, it did not seem a wise thing to do to add a B- junior to the group. Fred Grim wasn't very happy, but he wants to be there for his club (...) You'll have to accept this situation. You can't change it."

First goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg had an MRI scan made today, to check how serious the muscular injury in his upper right leg really is. There was 'something' there, says the coach: "But we will have to bring him back to the team as soon as possible."

There was good news as well: the three 'question marks' for Tuesday's game, who were missing against AZ, have been deemed fit. Koeman: "Chivu, Zlatan and Van Damme joined today's training session and there was no trouble. Luckily, we'll have more players available than last weekend."

As posted in the 'European Opponents' thread of the Ajax USA forum, Rosenborg BK clinched the Norwegian league title this weekend. Will that affect the fitness of the opponents from Trondheim? Koema does not think so: "That will not be of any influence, I'm sure. People told me they don't even celebrate domestic championships anymore. More imporantly, Rosenborg did not exactly book its best results in away games. Away from home they play more defensively, which they don't want to do at home. But it's a tough opponent and they're always dangerous on free kicks and corners. I don't think they've come to Amsterdam to make this one a beautiful game, though."

The Ajax coach does not want to reveal in what formation Ajax will play: "We've practiced in two different formations during training. I don't feel like telling what we're going to do, though."

A final fact: Tuesday's referee will be led by a referee from Spain, Mr Arturo Dauden Ibanez.

-- Anonymous, October 21, 2002

Ajax Netwerk reports that Rosenborg BK will be supported by approximately 1,000 fans in the Amsterdam ArenA on Tuesday. Some 200 fans will fly to Amsterdam aboard the 'RBK' team flight, whereas another 800 have made their own travel arrangements. This is the largest travelling support ever to attend a European RBK away game. We are flattered that so many Trondheim fans want to visit Ajax, Amsterdam and the ArenA. I'm sure it will be great to have them. Interaction between Ajax and Rosenborg fans on the internet has been particularly friendly.

A message to all Ajax fans who will be in Amsterdam on Tuesday: the Ajax vs Rosenborg game (Tuesday 22 October, kick-off 20:45) is nowhere near sold-out! Some 35,000 to 40,000 spectactors are expected, just like against Rosenborg. This has to do with the ridiculously high ticket prices Ajax is charging - for some reason.

If you think Ajax vs Rosenborg is worth some 50 euros: there is free presale for this game! No Club Card required; you can go to any tobacco store connected to the Ticketbox network and buy a ticket! Just bring photo ID with you to the ground on match day and you're in!

-- Anonymous, October 19, 2002

Interesting stats on the group stage so far to be seen on :

The stats could be slightly miss-leading at this stage as Ajax have only played once at home and as such you would expect them to show a more defensive bias. However, the one stat that did shock me into losing a few more grey hairs was that we have committed 67 fouls - 56% more than Inter who I would have expected to be numero one in this category. Also what rings alarm bells is that we donot seem to make the most of corners - but then again do we in the Eredivisie.

-- Anonymous, October 16, 2002

mido&zaltan,vandermaued,trabolsy all they are the best player in ajax without them they can.t wine

-- Anonymous, October 05, 2002

Oh please, guys... :-/

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Borussia Dortmund took a beating 3-0, and yes the 3rd goal was high quality, but they were not played off the park. My opinion I guess.

Anyway I am done with this!

Your funny too!

Cheers, Rich

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

denk na man! Rich, regarding Gullit I was talking .nl in general bringing up talents, which they do all the time (which is great, as I like Dutch football, with it's flair and technique). and about getting MY statements acurate??? you're the one who's claiming Rosenborg is all about "long ball, defend defend defend"! You clearly couldn't have watched those tapes you claim to have very closely! And take a look at Borrussia Dortmund - Rosenborg 0-3 again, and tell me we didn't play them off the field, and that we play long ball long ball. LOOK(!) at the 3rd goal in particular, and watch our boys play five-a-side in their box before scoring! Anyways, I'm not interested in discussing this further...I just think you're an amusing type...

I just hope Ajax go as far as possible, as I love to watch them play! And I can't wait for the opportunity to watch Rafael play!

Oh, and the connection to Ajax, is based on 1970's Ajax their style and movement, but OF COURSE it's been modernized too! We don't have players like Cruijf and the likes, but it seems to work for us anyway, as we're about to win (I hope) our 11th consecutive league title! ;)


-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Let me give you a hint : i was obviously talking about the norwegian footballers who (sorry) don't excite me a lot (except for that Mimi Jakobsen who was really funny and skillful :O) ). I've never gone away from my country, consequently i won't do no comment about all the foreigners. Maybe a few spite (OK....) was flavouring my words though...I am SO disapointed about the results...

But don't misunderstand me; sport is sport and it always remain.

PS : the board of directors are really wonderful clad with those AFC colours, Jim.

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Couple of things:

1. Gullit is not Ajax bred! 2. I NEVER compared Rosenborg to Norway. Although you not far off.

3. Regarding the "past" wins against the Big Money (Not Big Club) teams I watched those matches and they far from played their opponents off the park. 4. Get a clue yourself. Be accurate with your statements.

5. I am a non-viewer of last night's game because there is no outlet here in the USA to see Ajax play, but I plan on getting a video in the near future.

6. I still cannot get over the Rosenborg Ajax Attacking Philosophy?

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Of course we won't be able to produce players like Kluivert, Riijkard, Gullit a.s.o, look at the number of ppl and players in this country. Oh and, come to think of it...take away the Surinamese influx, so wouldn't you!!

As for last nights game, yes it was both teams. But before you totally blow off this Norwegian Storm thing (whoever came up with that word?), get hold of videos of some games, and watch us trash, not just win - but play them off the field, Real Madrid, Borrussia Dortmund, AC Milan (the away game mind you;) and others!

Rich, you're just a laugh...anyone who compares Rosenborg to the Norwegian national side simply doesn't know what he's talking about! Whether you try to bring your "point" here or through e-mail!

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

"Anyway Norwegians are boring whatever you can say...." Oh man, let's not descend into nationalistic baiting, eh? The few Norwegians I've met have been anything but boring! I could tell you stories...

But I won't. :-P

It sounds to me like Ajax simply lacked the confidence and killer instinct while Rosenborg was hampered by injuries to attacking players. But I didn't see the game. :-(

The second half of Group D will be dramatic stuff, that's for sure.

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Joel, ' Your comparison of Fword-Kiev to Rosenborg-Ajax is pretty accurate.

To Ronald Koeman I say don't believe the hype. Just play the game. Impose our style, and our system!

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

I'm still really pissed off about this game.

Rosenborg didn't even play the stereotypical Norwegian catennacio. They are simply a very mediocre side. Which makes it all the worse that Koeman and Ajax did not realize this in time. All that bullshit about the 'Norwegian storm' was just hot air.

There are actually a lot of parallels with feyenoords 0-0 against kiev on tuesday. Kiev were also supposedly a lethal counter-attacking machine. Despite the fact that Kiev were actually crap, feyenoord were still so scared that they didn't dare to go for a victory.

feyenoord doing this is all good and well, but we expect more from Ajax!

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Sir, You are misinformed or blind. Attacking Ajax Philosophy?

I forgot all of those flair and skilled players that Rosenborg has produced.

Get a clue.


-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Anyway Norwegians are boring whatever you can say....The system of playing is not everything..Particularly when you have wack players like Rosenborg. Ajax WILL go forth to the second round of the CL. I can even guess that Milan will stay at the harbor....Lyon and Ajax will qualify.

Hup Ajax

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002 really don't have a clue do you? "I am well aware of Rosenborg's past, but I have never been impressed with their lack of style or flair. The Norwegians are tough opposition because of their anti-football ways. Long ball and defend, defend, defend. Very little thought or imagination from them"

This is the Norwegian National team...and nothing like Rosenborg! So as the non-viewer you say you are, I suggest you do some research before you say extremely ignorant things like that!

Oh, and by the way, The entire attacking philosophy of Rosenborg is based on AJAX!!! That's right...AJAX!!!! The same reason that makes us play 4-3-3 with wide wingers at the front, with the midfielders constantly changing positions and making deep runs! And the same reason Eggen refuses to spend more time practising defending, because as he says "The team that scores the most, wins!"

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Well by all written accounts last night was rather forgettable. Koeman's attitude is suprising to say the least. How can he be satisified with crap play against a crap opponent?

I am well aware of Rosenborg's past, but I have never been impressed with their lack of style or flair. The Norwegians are tough opposition because of their anti-football ways. Long ball and defend, defend, defend. Very little thought or imagination from them.

Ajax needs to play the right way no matter what, and I sorry to say, but Koeman needs to get a grip. How can you respect an opponent who does not want to play?

As for the form of the players its troubling to hear of Andy's struggles, but unless he plays he will not get over his rough start. I think he is VERY important to the way Ajax plays. Sikora too needs to come to grips with things since his transfer unfortunately there is little time for patience when playing in the vaunted Champions League.

For what its worth I am glad Winter played some. I know his age, but he is better than Van Halst.

The team needs Van Der Vaart, Litmanen, Mido, (At full strength, and the above mentioned wingers in order to advance. Time is running out but I believe if these things happen Ajax will survive to round 2.

By the way, if you think Ajax has troubles just look at PSV. They have a very diffcult group and are 90% eliminated already.

Finally after reading the disturbing posts about Zlatan moving on to a "BIGGER" club all I can say is please poeple get a clue. Zlatan will rot on the bench at a Richer (Not bigger) club. He needs to develop as does Mido as they are lacking the pedigree for this Champions League competition. That will develop as they play European matches.

Keep the faith everyone with our Ajax.



P.S. Is anyone taping the games over in Holland that can send them here to us less fortunate non-viewers here in the States?

Please let me know.


-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Oh, and a funny thing... Michael Van Praag keeps denying any connection between Ajax and the Jewish community in Amsterdam...but...the only banner I saw in the Ajax section...was an Israeli flag!!! ;)

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Well... we should have won. Things would definitely be looking better then. Rosenborg at home shouldn't be too much of a problem. We just have to stay cautious not to get 0-1'd and score a goal. After that we shouldn't have too much trouble with them. Inter at home will be tough but we should be able to beat them 2-0. Although 1-0 is enough. But then it comes down to the goal average... which means we have to beat RBK with big numbers at home. So 2-0 would be better against Inter. And Lyon? We can only hope. I'll be travelling over there... and usually we lose when I travel :-)

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Just wanted to inform you about those early substitutions by Rosenborg. striker Frode Johnsen twisted his ankle, and winger/striker Harald Brattbakk got a strain. Both are likely out for our next league match. What with our two most dangerous attackers gone, it was always going to be a crap performance by us(RBK). Especially since coach Eggen is CRAP when it comes to matching subs during the season, giving them time to play. He always sticks to his usual XI, then puts them on in the CL with next to nothing worth of match experience.

Anyway, the winger who should/shouldn't have had a penalty, Dagfinn Enerly, ought to be a starter now, with Karadas moved to the central attack, seeing as Johnsen the last few months need 20 finishes to score once! Oh, and I have to say I can't believe the crappy midfield(except wamberto) Koeman started against us! I was so sure Galasek and Pienaar would be in the middle, with Van der Meyde on the right!

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Well, well.....

I don't know why people still underestimate Rosenborg after their history of major upsets. They're very well organised, do their homework, and play a simple effective game.

I suffered throughout the game....waiting for them to score.

I thought we we're lucky to get a point. Mido and Zlatan were well sussed by the Norweigans...their offside trap worked to perfection, our strikers could not adapt to the situation. Zlatan was a beaten man by the time he was substituted (exactly what the Norweigan press had said was the plan according to Jakob in earlier postings).

Our midfield could neither hold possesion nor string 3 passes together. Witsche had a terrible game, only passing to team-mates (or playing them into trouble) if the pass was backwards. Let's face it chaps, Ajax gave up on finding a way through midfield and starting pumping high balls into their third of the field (i.e. playing to their strength).

Their simple passing game with players running into space gave our defence no end of trouble. Menno's right it wasn't a penalty...but could very easily have been given.

I know we had injury problems, but we better put on a vastly better showing when the games resume in three weeks if we're going to get into the next round. Rosenborg and Inter playing a defensive game (versus feeling oblidged to create openings at home) will prove to be more difficult than what we've seen from them so far.....and as for playing Lyon away....well.....were's my lucky rabbits foot gone???

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

About the game againts Rosenborg. I think that Koeman was wrong in fielding such a formation with a 'defensive' mentality. Rosenborg were very poor and if we simply played in our usual style, even with all those missing players we would have easily won.

Nonetheless, the situation is not so dull Menno. As you said both Ajax and Inter have a game away to Lyon and a game home to Rosenborg. So it is very probable that the final game will be decisive. But of course it is going to be played in Amsterdam so that is surely an advantage to Ajax. And Menno you are wrong in stating that if Ajax and Inter arrive with 7 points each at the final game, we need to win by 2 goals. We just need to win, whichever the margin.

My final comment is that I have seen a strong Ajax against Lyon and Inter. If we play our usual style I think that Ajax are capable of winning the remaining 3 games.

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

I think that Ajax deserved just the one point - as long as we get three against Rosenborg at the ArenA, anything less will be seen as a missed opportunity. It doesn't really surprise me that ajax didn't score, we really need van der Vaart in the side to give us a more attacking edge. As soon as ajax get JOB and van der Vaart back they'll start kickin

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

Ajax needed the "last touch" man again.The leg that will give a slight kick to the ball and push it into the nets.I know Zlatan isn't one of those strikers(i saw this air-backheel thing he tried to do when he was unmarked in the box again n' again,n i still don't understand what he wanted to do there.)Mido could do the job but he just started to play again so don't expect much for those first 3-4 games... Wamberto did his own thing again.But the team needed other things from the #10... The defence was good,even though i think we were lucky the referee didn't gave Rosenborg the penalty... Koeman made some bad choises and substitutes,we all know that... Well,anything can happen.I strongly believe that Ajax will advance to the next round... :-) GO AJAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

but i liked the way mido played he was strugeling to get the ball and so kean to score( which wasnt that much in zlatan) though i liked zlatan with his magical touches.. which can be very good if he is more effective.. now i am also impressed with van dam...

wamberto was like a clown i didnt like his way his team work isnt that enough for such a game andy was out of form as usual i dont know what happened to him my call is that mido was good but the chances were so rare...

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

In addition to my previous post: don't get me wrong, I do think that nine out of ten referees would have given a penalty. It would not have been a stupid mistake by Mr Benes if he had given it. Therefore, I think we were extremely lucky. But seriously: look closely and you'll see it's not a penalty.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

"Rosenborg should have had a penalty!"

I do absolutely not agree with you there. And I'm not the kind of guys who wouldn't admit it if it were true. I'm not such a blind fanatic. When Van Damme fouled that RBK guy (what's his name again?) my first thought was: penalty. No doubt about it. I was sure the referee was dead-wrong in not giving it. Until I saw the situation in slow motion.

Van Damme starts his tackle, doesn't touch the guy, then he starts falling and then Van Damme's boot kind of touches his foot. Look again. Closely. And let us know what you saw.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

Rosenborg should have had a penalty!

Even Ajax-defender André Bergdølmo says that RBK-winger Dagfinn Enerly was fauled by the action hero in the defense, Van Damme:

"I didn't see the situation so well when it happened, but the TV- pictues shows it clearly: Rosenborg should have been given a penalty," Bergdølmo said after the game.

But instead we beat Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena ;-)

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

yeah...25 fouls is way too physical for Ajax hehe i thought Rosenborg is gonna out-muscle us but we end up on the top in the foul count! i hope Van der Vaart is ready for the Lyon match cos i think this is the real deal here and we sure need his abilities!

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

At least you could see the game....I just had the chance to check to see that Ajax one time again got the draw after having dominated the match....The 25 fouls stat kind of impresses me, but in the end Lyon gets 6 points and we have to go play a match at Gerland for the last day of the pool....Hope they'll fill their point bags against Inter and Rosenborg @ home.

But now keep prepared for the classic against Failnoord !!!

Go Ajax !!!

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

what a boring game poaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

I agree that Wamberto played his best football for Ajax in the "hole" last season against Celtic. Perhaps he can regain that form tonight. His play on the flanks has never been much to get excited abaout as his crossing is very weak.

I hate to see that Van Der Meyde and Sikora are both left out but if they are playing like crap what can Koeman do?

I also think Begdolmo is the right choice in central defense tonight for 2 reasons. 1. He is facing his former club. 2. He is better then Pasanen.

I have final thing and that I think its a shame that Ferdi is gone. He was a talent,(Capped for Holland a few seasons ago) but way too many injuries stunted his development. I am sure he can play for another lesser side in Holland. All the best to him.

Finally Go AJAX!!!! We should beat this team.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

I think this might be Mido's real chance to come back into the team. Because everybody and I mean EVERYBODY in Norway (in the press that ís) speaks about how they are going to stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Not one word about Ajax' Egyptian striker Mido.

It's written about who is going to take away Zlatan and how they will do it. Zlatan is mentioned in every article before the game. But that's only the press of course, I'm sure Rosenborg has studyed Ajax very well too. But still, if you compare tehir room in the papers, Mido will probably get 10 times more time to do something with the ball than Zlatan.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2002

4-4-2!!!Thank God...I couldn't see those out-of-shape wingers in so many games in a row...I mean,u know how much i like Andy,but.......

PS:And i see my personal fav Wamby in a #10 position!


-- Anonymous, October 01, 2002

Excellent news on NOS Teletekst today! Ajax has arrived safely in Trondheim and had a training session at Lerkendal Stadium tonight. According to NOS Teletekst, Cris Chivu 'will almost certainly be in the starting eleven' against Rosenborg BK!! Reportedly, his bruised rib is recovering remarkably quickly. He joined all training exercisies from beginning to end, apparently without any trouble.

Chivu's comment: "With pain-killers and my Romanian will-power, I think I can play."

Also, coach Ronald Koeman kind of admitted that Ajax will play in a 4- 4-2 formation against 'RBK'. It is generally expected that both Andy van der Meyde and Victor Sikora will be left out (which is a good decision, since they've been absolutely crap for weeks now).

The expected line-up (the most surprising names in bold characters:)

Didulica; Trabelsi, Chivu, Bergdølmo, Van Damme; Galásek, Van Halst, Wamberto, Witschge; Zlatan, Mido.

My personal thoughts about that line-up: not a bad idea. I am fully in favour of dumping Van der Meyde and Sikora. They've been piss- poor. Zlatan and Mido upfront? Excellent idea! They played well together against NAC (one goal and one assist each).

I also think it's a good idea to give Bergdølmo a chance rather than Yakubu or Pasanen. He's experienced and he knows the opponent. He can be very important.

Most surprising is the midfield formation. No doubt about Galásek, of course: he's been one of our best players so far this season. It is, however, very surprising that Koeman goes for Wamberto as the 'number 10', directly behind Zlatan and Mido. I think this is a great idea. 'Pipo' played some of his best games (Celtic away!) as a 'number 10' in a 4-4-2 system. He's a fast, dynamic little runner, who can be very valuable racing around midfield behind the two tall strikers.

Ieven agree with Koeman's choice for Van Halst, this time. We need a defensive midfielder to back up Wamberto. Could be Yakubu, but Van Halst is more experienced and can be useful against the physically strong Norwegians. With Wamberto playing as a #10, we need a 'Van Halst type' in his back. Why not Van Halst himself then?

The only thing I really don't agree with is Witschge instead of Maxwell as a left midfielder. I see no reason for that. But Maxwell was slightly injured. Perhaps he still is.

All in all: good line-up. Everything looks a lot better with Chivu in there!


-- Anonymous, October 01, 2002

Great One Rudy - my life has suddenly become clearer.

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2002

LOL, Rudy!!! That "Beer" thing seems really dangerous!

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2002

Ahh...but Bill, the problem isn't the danger of's BEER....

(Apologies in advance to those of a fragile or politically correct disposition!)

Warning!: Beer monsters

Police warn all clubbers, party-goers and unsuspecting pub regulars to be alert and stay cautious when offered a drink from any woman. A new date-rape drug on the market called "beer" is used by many females to target unsuspecting men. The drug is generally found in liquid form and is now available almost anywhere."Beer" is used by female sexual predators at parties and bars to persuade their male victims to go home and have sex with them. Typically, a woman needs only to persuade a guy to consume a few units of "beer" and then simply ask him home for no-strings-attached sex. Men are rendered helpless against this approach. After several "beers" men will often succumb to desires to perform sexual acts on horrific-looking women to whom they would never normally be attracted. After drinking "beer" men often awaken with only hazy memories of exactly what happened to them the night before, often with just a vague feeling that something bad occurred.

At other times these unfortunate men are swindled out of their life's savings in a familiar scam known as "a relationship." Apparently, men are much more susceptible to this scam after "beer" is administered and sex if offered by the predatory female. Please! Forward this warning to every male you know.

However, if you fall victim to this insidious "beer" and the predatory women administering it, there are male support groups with venues in every town where you can discuss the details of your shocking encounter in an open and frank manner with similarly affected, like-minded guys. For the support group nearest you, just look up "Golf Courses" in the Yellow Pages.

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2002

At times like this with all the enforced personnel changes I do wonder if it is also wise to tamper with the tactical formation. Ajax, with all the injuries at the back could play a more defensive game but to sit back and let RBK attack would be inviting trouble. As my father used to say .... if the ball is in the oppositions half its darned hard for the opponents to score. If only he had imparted such pearls of wisdom on the dangers of women. ;-)

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

jakob: yes, I think so. Pasanen played against Inter and did reasonably well. However, against NAC Pasanen had dropped out of the squad of 18 and was watching from the stands. At least Bergdølmo was on the bench. Also, Koeman values his experience (now there are so many injuries) and his knowledge of the Rosenborg team. He knows the qualities and weaknesses of almost every RBK player, so he can be very important in coaching the other guys. I think Bergdølmo will be slightly higher in the hierarchy than Pasanen for this one.

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

Maybe you're right Menno. But you think Bergdölmo will play, not Pasanen?

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

Jakob, I think a Van der Meyde-Witschge-Pienaar-Maxwell midfield would be too 'light weight'. They're four creative, not very physical guys. I think such a midfield would be overrun by the Norwegians. Therefore, I really think Witschge needs a tough guy playing directly behind him: Van Halst or - even better - Yakubu.

Also, we need at least one 'footballer' in the back. I'm thinking Galásek (who played in Chivu's position yesterday, after Chivu got injured) or Witschge, who also has experience as a 'number 4'. It's probably gonna be Galásek. With Pasanen, Yakubu and Van Damme, there really would be no creativity, no build-up from the back, I'm afraid.

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

You're right Menno, a 4-4-2 formation is probably best now, but wouldn't this be a better team?

Didulica; Trabelsi, Pasanen, Yakubu, van Damme; van der Meyde, Witschge, Pienaar, Maxwell; Zlatan, Mido

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

Menno asks "But what can you do?" - well if they are that hard-up for defenders I can always climb into the loft and dust down my boots - I might not be as mobile as I once was, but with the size of my belly RBK will find it hard to get around me and keep the ball in play.

So Menno, if you could pass on my shirt size to Mr Koeman, I will sit by my phone tonight to await his call.

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

It's even worse than expected. Ronald Koeman has announced his squad for the Rosenborg game. There's a report on Jari Litmanen will NOT join the group to Norway. He can not play. Same goes for John O'Brien. The players staying in Amsterdam are: Lobont, Stekelenburg, Heitinga, O'Brien, Litmanen, Van der Vaart and Boukhari.

Which means the following players will board the Ajax plane to Trondheim tomorrow:

Goal: Didulica, Timmer

Defense: Trabelsi, Yakubu, Pasanen, Bergdølmo, Van Damme, Chivu

Midfield: Winter, Witschge, Galásek, Maxwell, Pienaar, Van Halst

Attack: Zlatan, Mido, Machlas, Wamberto, Van der Meyde, Sikora

Koeman has indicated that chances of Chivu playing are very small ("This morning he could hardly walk. We'll wait for tomorrow, but his situation will have to improve very quickly now.")

Conclusion: we're in deep shit.

I think I would go for a 4-4-2 with a creative midfielder playing in Chivu's position (Galásek replaced him in the back yesterday, and did well)

Didulica; Trabelsi, Bergdølmo, Galásek, Van Damme; Van der Meyde, Witschge, Yakubu, Maxwell; Zlatan, Mido.

Very vulnerable, I know. But what can you do?

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

A Czech referee, Wednesday in Trondheim: Mr Michal Benez. A young chap, graduate from the UEFA Referee Program. For what that's worth.

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

So? Ronaldo's ready for Wednesday's Real Madrid game... There was nothing wrong with your post... :-)

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002

You people are all WAY too nice to me. "Ronaldo might be ready for Wednesday's game," I said. Yeah. But fortunately, he plays for REAL MADRID now. Duh! I feel like I'm Dr. Evil and you're Scott. Go ahead, call me an ass. :-P

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2002 says that the most important rib in Amsterdam is bruised. The short,1 paragraph, article says THE CAPTAIN will definitely miss Wednesday's game.

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

The earliest reports have Chivu's rib injury leaving him unavailable for Wednesday. Just what we need with Rosenborg and the F-word on the horizon. Get well Christian!!

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

Looks like Ronaldo might be ready in time for Wednesday's game. See

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002

So, I returned from Milan two days ago. Here's some of my experiences:

Milan - The City

Milan is one of Italy's largest, but not one of Italy's most attractive cities. It's nice and old and the city centre looks great as a whole, but if you walk around you notice that there are not that many truly interisting attractions to see or visit. The chathedral (Duomo) is stunningly beautiful, from both outside and inside. And there's a beautiful old fortress, named Castello Sforzesco. There's a great park directly behind it, which is nice for a walk. But apart from those two things? Not that much to see. Milan's museums are not spectacular. It is of course a great city for shopping and fancy designer's clothing, but that's not the average footy fan's thing. As a tourist destination, Milan comes nowhere near Rome or Florence.

Giuseppe Meazza Stadium/'San Siro'

The massive stadium shared by AC Milan and Internazionale is of course the most important attraction for football fans visiting Milan. San Siro is the name of the area where the stadium was built. Its official name is Giuseppe Meazza, after the legendary Inter player. Therefore, AC Milan fans prefer to call it San Siro.

The stadium has a capacity of 84,000+ (76,000+ for Champions League games) and is absolutely overwhelming. It's so enormous. Many people think it's ugly from the outside, with its enormous concrete pillars, which are actually winding stairs to the highest tiers. But I loved it.

On Tuesday we went to the AC Milan & Internazionale Museum inside the stadium. You should definitely check it out when you're there, but quite honestly, the Ajax Museum inside the ArenA is much better. What the Ajax Museum and the AC & Inter Museum have in common, are their impressive collections of collectibles: old programmes, jerseys, pictures, trophies and what not. But (unlike the Ajax Museum) the AC & Inter Museum has no video presentations, no famous goals on screens and hardly any 'storytelling' aspect to it. I missed that.

A visit to the Museum includes a short peek into the empty stadium. When it's empty, you can see that there are four huge sections of seats: red, orange, blue and green. The blue and green seats are behind the goals. The hard core of AC Milan fans are on the blue side (remarkable, since Inter is the blue club) for their home games. When Inter plays at home, the large part of their fans is on the green side.

Inter vs Ajax - The Game

Well, okay, a 1-0 defeat. The result was the only unsuccesful thing about our trip to Milan. I was disappointed, of course. In my opinion, Ajax played a tremendous game. They worked hard, their combinations were sometimes beautiful, they were technically superior and they had the best chances (although neither side created too many of 'em in the first place). In the second half there was this 15 to 20 minute stretch in which Inter was basically played off the park. We really should have won, or at least notched a 0-0 draw. Throughout the game I was very proud of my team. Proud to be a supporter of such a young team, playing suc attractive football.

Being a season ticket holder of Inter? Yuk. Please, no. The team has a very sneaky attitude, a very negative and destructive approach toward the game. I would never follow them for my own pleasure.

That's what made this defeat so bitter. I know: technical superiority and dominant play are irrelevant factors against Italians. The best Italan teams from the past played their traditional, ultra-defensive catenaccio system: it often looked as if the opponent was better, but they hardly created any danger. In reality, meanwhile, the Italians just waited for that one little chance, which always came, eventually.

People who did not watch the match, or just don't understand the game, may think that this is what happened to Ajax as well. But that was not the case. Inter tried to play more offensively, but just couldn't. They were under enormous Ajax pressure by fits and starts and they were absolutely not in cool Italian control of the situation. It's typical that coach Cuper hastily replaced three player in fifteen minutes' time. In the second half, they played with Veiri, Crespo and Recoba upfront.

Also, a truly superior catenaccio team does not panic in defense. Inter did, on several occasions. There was no-one to stop Zlatan except goalkeeper Toldo. And it was certainly no catenaccio tactic to give Sikora a completely free shooting chance on the penalty spot. In the last fifteen minutes of the first and during some 20 minutes in the second half, Inter was simply outplayed. No way that they were just "allowing Ajax to play", like Italians do.

The win was simply undeserved. Everyone knows that it is possible to concede a goal like that from Italians. It can happen. And it happened. A damn' shame.

However, it did not destroy my evening, or my Milan trip. There are a lot of positive conclusions to draw:

This game, even more than last week's Lyon game, proved that Ajax - our good old Ajax - is good enough for the Champions League - period! No doubt about that anymore. We're good enough to be where we are, and we are also good enough for the second round. The number of teams which this Ajax team would simply have no chance against, is a lot smaller than many people think.

If (I repeat: if) we continue to play like this in the Champions League, we will beat Rosenborg twice and we will also demolish Inter at the ArenA. I'm not saying that this will happen, not at all. But if Ajax manages to play four more games like this one, we're advancing. No doubt about it.

Proud to be an Ajacied. More than ever. In San Siro, during the second half, I suddenly realized: fuck me, we're back. We really are back. A good feeling.

-- Anonymous, September 28, 2002

Very frustrating loss against those sneaky italians. But they're definitely beatable in the Arena. Bloody pity that Stekelenburg got injured. Did very well so far, he'll be the future nr.1 keeper for Ajax for sure. I read some worries about Henk Timmer, but don't forget he was reservekeeper for Feyenoord last season and already played a CL-match with them. He'll be a reliable replacement for the coming matches.

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2002

The last posting on the Mido forum felt that Inter were looking sure to qualify. Cannot see at the moment that they are sure to qualify with trips to Lyon and Ajax and home games against Lyon and Rosenborg still to come. The group is still wide open and perhaps they will qualify, but could so easily miss out as could happen if my predictions are correct:

Ajax to win at home against Rosenborg and Inter, win away in Rosenborg but lose at Lyon thus giving us 12 points.

Inter to win and draw at home against Rosenborg and Lyon respectively whilst losing on their travels at Lyon and Ajax. Points total would therefore be 8 points.

Lyon to Win at home against Inter & Ajax and 2 draws away at Rosenborg and Inter respectively, thus giving them 11 points.

And remember that we come to the last 2 crunch matches against Lyon & Inter, Raffie could well be back in the team.

Go Ajax Go

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2002

i am so proud of my beloved Ajax *weeps* they deserved a win, pity bout the keeper stuff, they are soon to be in my opinion champs again. but psv with players like v bommel, hofland, bouma hesselink et al, should have done far better then a 4 nil whomping IMHO. Go the Dutch teams!

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

It's ok Rudy :-)

I don't think that the big teams in the Netherlands don't have money...Even the big Greek teams(from what i know Greece isn't in better financial condition than Holland)can afford some world class players(e.g. Karembeu,Giovanni e.t.c.)Of course i'm not talking about the small Greek clubs,cause they lose their good players from a very young age(Nikos is the best example of this situation).What i'm trying to say is that even though it is logical for-let's say- Vitesse,to not be able to keep the good players,the three big clubs in the Netherlands should have enough money to keep the world class players.Or at least,since they can't keep the young and talented,at least they should keep some good experienced players,even though they are not Van Basten or Cruiff or Overmars(for example Shota Arveladge)...

What i see in Ajax,is a very wrong way of thinking.Because Ajax could be the best team in the world easily,instead of having the best Academy(which is a great thing also).

About the game against Inter,well,i must admit that a tie would be perfect and that the 1-0 loss is kinda painfull... :-#

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

Greetings from Amsterdam

Well the game was for ajax , but just wat koeman said "you think you are better , you think you can win the game, but at the end they'll take 3 points"

it was a undesrved win for internationale and Ajax played a good match...

But this wont say we wont competing for round 2 we still got 4 matches to go And internationale coming to the ArenA i will give them a warm welcome "NOT"

Greetings from Jordy Side 410

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

i dont understand koeman why he puts sikora and vd meyde on the wrong sides. it should be a surprise 4 the opposite team but it didnt work that well against we should concentrate on our match against rosenborg and trash them like lyon did.i hope vd vaart comes back very soon because we miss him allot i think,and then play litmanen and vd vaart in midfield 4 some extra power. AJAX 4 EVER

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

"Ajax had more than their fair share of chances but Zlatan Ibrahimovic especially wasted too many of them"

Can't really remember that he wasted any real great chances. Sure, he had one chance but his effort was good, unforunately Toldo was well-placed and could save his shot.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

Goe...err....sorry Geo!!!


-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

Goe, you're spot on my friend.

Unfortunately it's the way of the world since Bosman. As long as Ajax is in Amsterdam, and Amsterdam is in a small country called the Nederland, we will never be able to pay world super-stars what teams in England, Italy, Spain and Germany can pay them. This can only change with a European "super league" which many fans don't want because prices go up and you can't see the team live every week (but NO I don't want to open that debate again!).

The best we can hope for is that our "farm team" gets critical mass and peaks early so that we get a few days in the sun (e.g. '95-'96) before the team is disemboweled by richer teams and agents.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

Wasnt able to see the game last night as not shown on UK television. Felt very depressed by the early postings, but was lifted by the report on viz:

Ajax had another footballing lesson as the Amsterdammers showed they can play excellent-looking football but consistently fail to close in for the kill when it matters most. Litmanen looked the absolute professional that he is, and all his talents were on display as Ajax got off to a fine start, leaving Inter looking rather powerless to cope with the visitors' talents and midfield organisation in the opening hour's football. Ajax had more than their fair share of chances but Zlatan Ibrahimovic especially wasted too many of them and their usual over-casual attitude let them down. Tomás Galásek and Maxwell had a go with distance shots but they didn't seriously trouble goalie Francesco Toldo. As the second half progressed the play became rather aggressive as frustrations and irritations came to the boil. It was left to Hernán Crespo to give Inter the points in the 75th, scoring from a Matías Almeyda pass. It was an undeserved goal and a big disappointment for Ajax who never looked like recovering enough to equalize, even with fresh-blood Mido and Pienaar in the side. They will get their chance for revenge in a couple of weeks in the ArenA.

From this report there doesnt appear to have been that much wrong with the team to warrant the early comments which have now been correctly deleted by the webmaster. I find the comment about the usual over-casual attitude strange to say the least. I await the report from our intrepid editor etc who attended the game with eager anticipation. Maybe then we can judge the validity of the statements made above.

Lets remember that this is the first defeat of the season and was inflicted with a number of crucial players missing.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

Not much to do with European Games,but it has to do with Ajax,so... :

Quote:"Zlatan will be a world class international in a couple of years."

In a couple of years he won't be playing for Ajax.Aren't you sick n' tired of this situation?Keeping all the youngsters in the team for some years,and when they actually learn how to play,sell them.At least to me,Ajax seems like a team of youngsters that play only for the eyes of the managers,so they can get the "BIG" transfer... Ajax needs players that play for the jersey.Players that actually believe that Ajax is a big club,and don't wanna leave for a -so called- bigger club...Period.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

Couple of thoughts on last night's loss (based on extended highlights only):

- They didn't get "stage fright". - The "Dutch disease" of playing crisp creative dominant football without the killer touch was again in evidence. I hope that they develop this with more European experience. - The "Italian style" worked for Inter, but they won't get far in the tournament playing a game where they rely on one successful counter. - Jari is a very good "central cog" for the machine. - Zlatan will be a world class international in a couple of years. - Chivu was incredible, particularly in the 1st half. - Mido came on too late. - Another goalkeeper injury scares the hell out of me.

At home Inter were oblidged to push forward a bit, and that created space for Ajax, they won't feel this compulsion in the ArenA (especially with the home win under their belt), and I foresee a very frustrating game.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

I don't really understand why you're complaining about the player's bad efforts (wings, attackers etc.) Ajax was the better team last night. Inter had one shot on goal in the first half and they were very lucky to get the three points.

My point is that the players did a good game last night.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2002

"The Egyptians seem more realistic, laid-back and willing to actually discuss Mido, rather than just yelling how great he is and attacking people who criticize him. And indeed: no Egyptian visitor ever wrote that Zlatan was crap or whatever." - Menno

Really? ;-) Just kidding.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

mido came tooooooooooooo late koeman played the game in the wrong tactics i think mido should have started he is a good finisher not like zlatan also andy shouldnt have played zlatan wates many chances i dont care if he was a threat all i care about is scoring its getting complicated ahmed what about that goali is he really good that ajax would be interested and how would ajax know about him???????//

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

there is a goalkeeper called Essam El hadary .. he plays in Ahly (Egypt) .. and this team Ahly beats Real Madrid 1-0 in August 2001 .. and this same team Ahly beat AS Roma in August 2002 .. and Essam El Hadary is the best goalkeeper in Africa .. and he's really talented .. and i think this guy would be a great addition to Ajax if Ahly accepted to sell him ..

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

Firstly, let's keep the FULL-CAPS to a's getting silly, especially when it LOOKS like you're yelling THE wrong emphasis.

Secondly, 1-0 isn't bad. Not the routing that Rosenborg received today, though I'm disappointed we didn't manage at least some "Goals For".

Ajax needs a keeper. A real keeper. Fred Grim was good last year, and deserves respect for his career with the team (through some pretty depressing seasons too)...however, he wasn't of the calibre the team needs now. When I hear rumours of Grim being called-up, I shiver.

Stekelenburg and Lobont are also good...but we need something better than "talented" or "promising".

I don't have any bad feelings about the 4th-pick keeper's performance today...he probably had the time of his life (!).

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

Just watched the extended highlights on TV.(didn't have live coverage,cause AEK Athens was live today)...Inter wasn't SUCH a great team.Had some chances,but nothing really dangerous...Ajax seemed afraid,and(from what i could tell only from the highlights,i'm not 100% sure about this)with the wingers in a bad shape,couldn't create a descent chance.It was one of these games that you might get one or two chances and you HAVE to score.No place for missing chances in this one...Inter scored when nobody expected it....Well, 1 point would be great,but anyway...We'll do better next time...

PS1:Mido came in VERY VERY late...

PS2:Mr.Koeman wake up.The CL isn't Eredivisie,keep that in mind...

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002


Bad result for Ajax. BUT, we were lucky to have kept the score down to 1-0; Ajax lost concentration after Crespo's winner, and quite frankly Inter should have scored more.

BAD - for Stekelenburg's injury; hopefully nothing serious.

BAD, for Lyon's 5-0 win over Rosenborg means Ajax falls to 3rd place.

BUT, if one looks at the bright side, Rosenborg is fast on its way out of the running especially IF Ajax gets a good result next week at Trondheim. We play them away & home for the next two CL matches. Critical that we get a minimum of 4 points over these next two matches. Absolutely critical...

AND it's very possible that Ajax can beat Inter at the ArenA; if so, the home win would neutralize today's loss at Milan.

SO, THE critical match WILL BE at Lyon...

At least we didin't lose 0-4 at home....heh heh.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

Even 7-1 if you're familiar to arithmetics 8O])(shame on me.......)

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

Too bad for Ajax. I could only wish that we could watch the game rather then follow the coverage slowly on

Our young keeper gets hurt is a shame.

This sucks!

Any views from what happened from anyone in Holland?

Match ratings perhaps?

PSV slaughtered 4-0 at home by Arsenal with Bergkamp making the trip to Eindhoven.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

Bah....I'm disgusted...fed up with those italians...Always dominated, less talented...and then the vicious goal by the rotten goleador...

Stay tuned for next match in Trondheim....Lyon defeated them 5-0 tonite. Given that Ajax defeated Lyon 2-1 a week ago, it will be a 6- 1 :O)

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

I thought we would get a draw vs Inter. Damn!! What happened to Stecklenberg? Injury?

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

I hope I am wrong but I have no confidence in Pasanen. I never rated him much, and today's competition is the best he has ever faced.

Missing Heitinga, Yakubu, JOB and Andre hurts.

Still go Ajax!

BTW, Inter is the United Nations of Football. Their roster is a who's who of top players in various countries.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

Here's the match preview from UEFA.COM. Interesting that Litmanen is fit and O'Brien is benched in favor of Pasanen. Curious!

To follow the match live, go to and then click on the "light" or "full" icons on the right-hand side, under "Matchday 2, Live Coverage". Kickoff in less than 2 hours!

The only thing odd about these UEFA.COM match-casts is that you're supposed to read from the bottom up, even in the preview text...


Ajax coach Ronald Koeman has made two changes to the side that defeated the French champions last week. Petri Pasanen comes in for John O'Brien and Jelle Van Damme replaces Abubakari Yakubu, who was dismissed for two bookable offences against Lyon. The influential Jari Litmanen has recovered from a slight hamstring strain to take his place in the Dutch side's starting lineup.

Inter coach Héctor Cúper will be without defender Fabio Cannavaro after the Italian international was sent off for two bookable offences against Rosenborg. Giovanni Pasquale's inclusion in Cannavaro's place is just one of four changes Cúper has made to the side which drew in Norway. Further up the field, Emre Belözoglu, Luigi Di Biagio and Okan Buruk are preferred to Francesco Coco, Matias Almeyda and Domenico Morfeo.

Welcome to the Giuseppe Meazza stadium for tonight's UEFA Champions League Group D encounter between Internazionale FC and AFC Ajax. Both sides are undefeated going into tonight's game, the Dutch side having beaten Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 at home last Tuesday on the same night that Hernan Crespo's double rescued Inter a draw away at Rosenborg BK.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

The second installment of Ajax' 02/03 CL campaign begins today, at the Giuseppe Meazza. I must admit I'm a lot more anxious than nervous. The CL has thus far produced some amazing, astonishing results that were totally unpredictable. If both Ajax & Inter plays to their full potential, then I must admit that the edge goes to Inter, especially the game being played at Milan. But that's just based on paper merit.

In reality though, the key to Ajax's success tonight lies in two names: van Damme & Pasanen.

Expect the Ajax defence to experience prolonged pressure from Inter attackers. If they can withold that, then we stand a good chance of success. Of course, the key element to an away match is to score a goal....c'mon Zlatan !

Yes, I'm anxious !

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

Tonights game in the San Siro is a tough one to call. My heart says Ajax to win, my head says Inter, so I will sit on the fence and say a draw which would be a very good result. Believe that the game hinges on the youngsters - if they do not suffer from stage-fright then I believe my heart could well be correct.

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

Watched Fword last night v. Newcastle and there's something I just don't understand about that team. Why do they insist on playing like headless chicken for the last 15 minutes of every European game? They spent the last quarter of an hour mindlessly booting the ball up the pitch every time they had possesion like like some Sunday morning pub team. It was just like they played against Ineter and Dortmund last year. They don't half like to make life difficult for themselves!

Quite bizarre!

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2002

I found an article on the Sporting Life website and wanted to share a couple of quotes stated by the coach.

About Jari's status tomorrow:"Litmanen is doubtful and will stay that way until we warm up for the match. Then we will decide if Jari can play or not".

About whether coach Koeman was fazed by the possibility of Jelle van Damme making his european debut:" If I were I wouldn't have taken van Damme with me to Milan". He added: " I have faith in the players I select".

Coach Koeman also gave a hint about Ajax'Line-up: "I could play with two strikers,But I'd rather keep our tactics the way the players are used to, with three strikers. Against big opponents we did this during pre-season and in other games and it has worked very well."

Ajax were to hold a press conference in Italy tonight, 1800 cet, so perhaps more news will be forth coming.

-- Anonymous, September 24, 2002

Johnny Heitinga left today's 3:1 Jong Ajax victory at halftime.If I understand the article correctly, this move was because his is one more name added to the mix for Wednesday.With Ajax needing cover for several backline positions,I can't say I'm surprised.

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2002

Agree with a lot of your selection Ben, but personally would like Jari to start as I feel it is more important to get a goal up against an Italian team rather than try and come back from a goal down. Believe one of the wingers (probably van de Meyde)will be sacrificed for him in a 4-4-1-1 formation. From recolection Inter normally pack the midfield and as such Ajax must counter by increasing their number of players in this area. But who knows - probably only tight-lipped, ashen-face el-supremo Mr Koeman.

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2002

Olympique Lyonnais lost again this week end against Monaco (1-3).

It is the third defeat in a row after Nantes and Ajax. President Aulas gets angrier every day...Smells good before their match against Rosenborg. Go Ajax !!! Aim for the #1 of the pool......!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2002

From what I can gather from several articles on ,I would not be at all surprised if Wednesday's starting back four turns out to be ,from right to left, Trabelsi--Pasanen--Chivu--van Damme. Beyond that, I think the starters will be Stekelenberg; a midfield of Galasek, Pienaar, and Maxwell, and van der Meyde, Zlatan, and Sikora up front. I honestly believe Koeman will keep Jari, Mido, Machlas, and Witschge in reserve if he needs a goal. And van Halst for defense if we have the luxury of a lead or if the match is tied and Koeman wants 4-4-2.

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2002

Scotsman Stuart Dougal has been chosen as the referee for Wednesday night's CL match. Ajax last saw him when he was the man in charge of the Celtic -Ajax friendly , 24 July, in Glasgow.

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2002

From NOS Teletekst (click on nieuws section,number 647, under voetbal): The Ajax squad will travel to Milan without O'Brien and with Witschge, Winter, and van Damme as part of the 19 player side.

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2002

Looking at the TV websites, it looks like only the Fword and P$V games are on Dutch tv on Tue. and Wed. respectively. No Ajax.

Can someone tell me how I can see the game against Inter or am I S.O.L.?


-- Anonymous, September 23, 2002

In a story now running on, coach Koeman was quoted as follows,"he's(Jari Litmanen)till suffering from an old hamstring problem that's playing up again and is DOUBTFUL TO START(my caps)on Wednesday".He doesn't say he's definitely out, won't play, etc... so hopefully Jari will be able to take some part if he can be the kind of difference maker the coach has talked of in regard to both Litmanen and Witschge.

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2002

AT5 website has a small story on it which says neither Litmanen nor O'Brien were at training today.Given the conditions of Jari's hammie and John's achilles,this is hardly earth-shaking news. Ajax Netwerk has a small item on its news page also.Re Jari: It just seems that if coach and player agreed that it was best he come off rather than totally scotch all chance of playing Wednesday, that there is at least still a possibility of him participating. O'Brien's achilles on the other hand ? It seems longer odds that he plays any part Wednesday. Damage the achilles further and he could really be out a while.

It looks like Victor Sikora, he of the thigh strain, did participate in training this morning.

Ajax leave for Italy tomorrow. GOOD LUCK LADS!!

-- Anonymous, September 23, 2002

Nothing definitive, at least that I can understand, on the injury situation. Both and are reporting that Jari's fitness is in doubt. PlanetFootball calls him doubtful. AT5 has an article in dutch with comments by coach Koeman.Someone will need to translate that one.My dictionary just doesn't contain enough of a vocabulary.Nada on Johnny O!Also, it appaers van der Meijde was only piss-poor, not necessarily hurt as several supporters mentioned to me.

-- Anonymous, September 22, 2002

Woohoo, I get to watch Inter-Ajax on TV3 in Sweden!! Thank you TV3. :- D

-- Anonymous, September 22, 2002

This is what Lyon coach Paul le Guen had to say about his team's defeat at the ArenA. From Sporting

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2002

(Not entirely Ajax related, but I think newsworthy..)

Today's UEFA action saw two Dutch clubs participating - Heerenveen & Utrecht.

Heerenveen's bad play so far this season has carried over to their European campaign, losing badly at Bucaresti, 3-0 to National. Sad.

On the brighter side of things - at least for hardcore Ajax fans - Utreg also failed miserably - losing to Legia Warsarwa, 4-1. Their prodigal son, and F-side's (and every true Ajax fans') pet piss, Stijn Vreven, got sent off...{-D

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2002

A reaction to Philippe's post about the 10.000 seats empty...

How dare you blame the supporters ???? If the seats are empty, then it is a signifiacnt sign of a problem between the club (more precisely its prices policy) and the supporters...You know that not everybody is rich...And do I have to remind that fotball is a popular leisure, save your respect ... ????

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2002 is running an article titled "Koeman hails Zlatan". The lauding of Zlatan was nothing less than the player deserved.He definitely came up HUGE in the big game.But, for me, the part of the article which caught my eye most was this quote attributed to the coach: "It is not our goal at all to reach the second round.You can see that we are not ready for that.We play to get better." His follow- up to this is: " This year's objective is to play for the Dutch championship again".

Definitely a smart move I feel. He is downplaying expectations a bit so that players will not be too high if they win on the European stage or too low if they don't. Also, he wants his lads to FOCUS on the league.Europe is great but, without the league results europe is not possible.

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2002

Hey Jorge... Welcome here. I only saw you on Ajax Netwerk and Ajax Mania so far (my nick is Kowalczyk over there). Hope we'll see you over here too, from now on :-)

A quick note to everyone: we're very sorry about the unexpected delay with the match report. There was some confusion. Anyway - it's written now and Jim will put it up as soon as he sees my e-mail.

Thanks for your patience. We'll be faster next time (starting on Saturday, after the RBC game).

-- Anonymous, September 19, 2002

This was a fantastic win to show that Ajax is once again back on the European map!!! This was also a return for Jari Litmanen to his favorite footballing stage. He is one of the greatest players in Champions League history & now he's back! That performance from Zlatan is what he has the potential to unleash every match. He just needs to find the missing link. But this performance may of set him loose! Well done Ajax & hello to every Ajax supporter in America!!! You are great! I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THE GOOD TIMES ARE BACK

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

While Ajax demonstrated a fine overall performance last night, I couldn't help but notice how Sonny Anderson scored the lone goal for Lyon.

Late in the game, Zlatan was subbed for Bergdolmo, whose current shaky form has been documented on these pages.

The last thing Koeman wanted to happen, and certainly the last thing on Andre's mind, was to concede a goal. But that's exactly what happened. Not that it was anyone's fault, no-one is looking for an excuse but his confidence just took another stride back.

Last season saw the rise of many players - without doubt, Ajax's 01-02 season success was largely due to Bergdolmo's solid defence.

It was Andre who was vocal about his support for Zlatan last year, who himself was struggling to find his stride consistently.

Zlatan, as it seems, has gotten a vote of confidence from Koeman this year - so far. His overall contribution to the Ajax game is improving. Which is a fantastic thing.

This team isn't even kicking on all gears yet, and one can only dream about a well-oiled, all cylinders firing Ajax team when this team reaches the deeper stages in the CL. Just imagine...

Point I'm trying to make is, Andre is an integral part of THIS team. I hope he gets the support needed to gain his confidence back, in order to perform at the level we all saw last year !

Finicky thing, this football game...

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

Huh, what a great game last nite!! And we were superb in the first half. I agree with most of us (fans) that the second half should have not been as defensive as it was. Litmanen was brilliant first half, but can see that he got a bit tired during the second. Zlatan was great with Litmanen and Sikora in the second goal as well. Go Ajax!! If we play like we did in the 1st half, we will get high!! (Especially in Amsterdam ;) Personally I hope we play against Liverpool and drop them out of the CL!!

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

From the UEFA minute-by-minute ticker, as posted by Jim: "The only French team ever to beat Ajax in Amsterdam was Olympique de Marseille in a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup game 15 years ago - now Lyon will need to score twice to make history here tonight."

This is not true. AJ Auxerre also beat Ajax in Amsterdam, in the group stage (first round) of the 1996-1997 Champions League (1-2). Ajax won in Auxerre; Auxerre won in Amsterdam.

The only time Ajax lost to a French opponent in Amsterdam before that, was (indeed) against Olympique Marseille, in the semi-final of the '87-'88 European Cup Winners Cup. Then too, the score was 1-2 to the guests, which was not enough to keep Ajax from pulling into the final. The Amsterdammers had already won the game in Marseille in spectacular style: 0-3.

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

A great way for Ajax to start its Champions League campaign. I agree with the post if playing Jari, Sikora, Van Der Meyde, is defensive then I have to wonder what is the offensive team?

From all accounts it appears that Ajax played too defensive in the second half after a brilliant attacking first half.

Too bad for Yakubu with his sending off via the double yellow. How did he play? Better yet can someone rate the boys performance?

Finally a big day for Zlatan I have already read one of his fanatics (lunatics) calling him the best striker since Marco?

Please take it easy! Remember he has had much difficulty finding the back of the net until yesterday.

I don't want to dwell on the negative as yesterday is a positive for all Ajax supporters but all Z fans use your heads.

Go Ajax!!!!! On to the United Nations of Football, I mean Inter Milan

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

Ajax was really brilliant during the first half. Playing defensive during the second half seemed dangerous to me since it is not the usual Ajax game at all. Anyway, my guess is that Ajax is on its way to the first place in this group, and to the qualification, probably with Rosenborg second. Just one thing that drove me mad : how is it possible that 10.000 seats were empty ? Where are the thousands of supporters ? Some are travelling milles to come and see Ajax playing, when others live nearby and stay home for a CL game cause the tickets are expensive ? But Ajax is really lucky to have faithful supporters like the F-side, section 410 and some others to be always there !

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

I'm a 22 years old french ajacied, and I hate Lyon...

So why would i want more ???? :O)

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

Zlatan for KING :-)

Malmö FF <-----

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

The Big Chapeau to Jim for providing a minute by minute ticker. Reading through it, it looks to me like Ajax-ManU revisited. It looks like Ajax were more dangerous in half one and Lyon in half two.Nice to see Jari getting his chances. He is too good a scorer to stay off the scoresheet for very long.Once his timing and touch are at normal Jari levels, I think the biscuit will be visiting the basket a whole lot more.Today's second goal was just a preview.

One other point. Given his hamstring situation, I would not be at all surprised if Captain Fantastic sees limited or no action at RBC. It might be wise to utilize Yakubu, who can't play in Milan, and rest Chivu. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Mido saw a half of action and Zlatan saw a half.Finally, if Ajax grab a lead, resting Jari wouldn't hurt our cause either.I know league matches must be won to enable the CL to be achieved.It is just that I honestly feel we can go to Milan and at least earn one point.

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

Found this minute/minute report on (Start at the bottom) ------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

I was just attempting to read the minute by minute ticker at when two items caught my eye. One , it looks like Rosenborg v. Inter ended in a draw; meaning Ajax are top dog in group d. Two, it appears that Fabio Cannavaro, one of Inters best defenders, was red carded.Thus,like Abubakari Yakubu, he would miss the Inter v.Ajax clash.

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002


Koeman lined up 4-3-3 at the start of the match, with vd Meyde & Sikora both starting. Van Halst also played, subbed in for Galasek. In the other GpD match, Rosenborg and Inter drew 2-2, at Trondheim. Good day for Ajax !

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

A quote from

"A moment of individual brilliance lights up the Amsterdam ArenA. Ibrahimovic beats two players on the left-hand edge of the Lyon penalty area and drags the ball on to his right foot before unleashing a powerful shot which sails past French goalkeeper Grégory Coupet and finds the back of the net off the inside of the far post."

Let the Zlatanists rejoice ;-)

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

HOW SWEET IT IS!! 2:1 is the final. Only minor problem was a red card (two bookable offences) for Yakubu.Time for Andre or Johnny to step up in the next match,25 September at Inter. A great way to start the campaign.Great to see Zlatan really step up.Looks like the coach did go the second half when up 2:0 at the time.I would hate to sit across the poker table from the coach.I mean.." we are going with a more defensive alignment". Yeah,right. Jari, Zlatan, Andy, Maxwell, Victor. If that was defensive,I can't wait to see offensive. I hope this gives Ajax a great deal of confidence that, yes Virginia, we can play with the big boys.Exactly eight days from now in the San Siro.

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

Go Ajax !!!!!!!!!!! Ajax is life! Witchge and Jati 4EVER!!!

Hup Ajax Hup (and Israel!)

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

2-0!!!Go Ajax!!!Things look very good!What about another 2 in the second half???C'mon boys you can do i!Seems like a perfect night for Zlatan!!! :-D

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

Zlatan again!!!!!!! 2;0 on 34'.Running time seems identical to televised Roma v Real as far as I can tell. The only negatives seem to be gele kaarts to Yakubu and Galasek.c'mon lads. keep yer cool.

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

Zlatan just scored ANOTHER goal... 2-0 Ajax, after 34 min. (YES !!!)

Can this be the breakout match for him ??

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002


We needed this ... I needed this .... Zlatan needed this !

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

ESPN just reported Zlatan has bagged one on 11' for Ajax. 1:0

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

GO AJAX!My body is in Greece,but my mind in the Arena!

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

Hmm... This software does not handle spaces as I expected :) Ok, then it'll be:

Machlas Zlatan

Maxwell Litmanen Galasek vdMeyde

O'Brien Chivu Yakubu Trabelsi


with Litmanen positioning a bit closer to attack

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

God, how nervous I am...

As for me I'd prefer such line up for today: ------------------------------------------- ...........Machlas ....................Zlatan

...........Litmanen Maxwell...........Galasek........vd Meyde


.............Stekelenburg ------------------------------------- with Sikora and Pienaar as possible substitutes for Maxwell and Galasek if it will be necessary to revert the team into more offensive one.

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

Alright, signing off... I'm hitting the streets.

I've been a complete friggin' waste of money, time and oxygen today, but whatever... ;-)

Ajacieden around the world - UNITED WE STAND! GO AJAX!!!

(Time for my first beer)

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

It's ok Menno...I have to face the truth anyway...Koeman won't put Machlas in the starting 11 even if Mido attempted to murder him,and Zlatan said in front of 5 million people:"Koeman is a fucking idiot!"


Let's wait n' see,but i don't think Ronald thinks highly of Nikos...

PS:It sucks!!!I mean,DAMN,i KNOW that Nikos can make the difference in Ajax's attack.Give him playing time in 2-3 games for God's sake!

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

In addition to the news report on the homepage, here's an impression of the final press conference of Ronald Koeman, on Monday night, as published on After that, Ajax went to the coastal town of Noordwijk, to spend the final 24 hours before the game with the team, at the Huis Ter Duin hotel.

"During the press conference, Ronald Koeman indicated that Ajax will play Lyon in a slightly more defensive formation that usual, in the Dutch Eredivisie. "We will not take as much risk, because Olympique Lyonnais is a very dangerous opponent. With all due respect to out Dutch opponents."

The Ajax coach did not want to reveal his line-up and tactics for tonight. "Once again: we will play slightly more defensive than against FC Zwolle. We will not take as much risk, but we will not play with fear, either. This has to do with the power of the opponent. I don't want to make anyone, especially Lyon, wiser than they are now. But we will attack, that's a sure thing."

The Ajax technical staff saw three Lyon games and has formed a good picture of the qualities of "l'OL". Koeman: "Lyon plays from a solid defense. They are very fast in switching over from defense to attack. We will have to be fully concentrated from the very first to the last minute of the game, as every little mistake will be paid for on this level. But there sure are chances."

Koeman has already figured out how to deal with Lyon's fast striker couple: "We will play an extra defender to mark them. Ths may be a full-back, but it could also be two central markers with a sweeper behind them. We will not play one-to-one in the back."

The Champions League is an exciting, but completely new phenomenon for almost every player on the team. Koeman: "It is new for me, as a coach, and new for the squad. I am curious to see how we will deal with opponents of this caliber. We have already seen a little bit of that in the Amsterdam Tournament, but this is definitely a different story. It's for real now. There's extra pressure, there are high expectations and the stage on which we perform is bigger. Therefore, I can impossibly guarantee that we're reasy for it."

Especially, of course, because Ajax has not played very convincingly in the Eredivisie, so far. Koeman: "We have not reached the level of our preparation campaign yet. But playing in the Champions League is something everyone is looking forward to. You can sense that in the group. That little bit of extra determination, which I thought was lacking against FC Groningen, is definitely there now."

The Mido affair did not change that, says the coach. "It has been of influence. I mean: if one of the guys kicks over the traces like that, the rest of the group is of course not happy about that at all. But it is no longer affecting the squad now. That would not be a good thing, and I don't think it's the case."

The coach firmly believes in Jari Litmanen. Koeman: "I expect him to play like he did against FC Zwolle. Of course, he's not 100% fit yet. That's impossible, as he had only played two games before he joined us. But, even on Saturday, he was able to show that he's very important, in the role he has in the team. And it will get better. Jari needs a game like this one. I do hope he will come closer to playing the full 90 minutes than against FC Zwolle, but he will give indications of this himself, during the game."

Compared to the FC Zwolle game, Ronald Koeman has added Petri Pasanen to the group. Also, Wamberto (sitting on the stands last Saturday) has replaced Nourdin Boukhari, who played with Young Ajax yesterday. The squad for the Olympique Lyon game now consists of 19 players."

END OF AJAX.NL REPORT (so from here it's just me again...)

I must admit that I'm nervous as FUCK. Counting the hours. Also, I'm happy to tell you that I'm slowly getting more optimistic. It's gonna be very tough indeed, as I think that Lyon is better than Inter and easily the best side in the group. But they're not invincible, and there's no way that Ajax will be as lame as against Groningen and Zwolle. So why not?

I also changed my mind as far as my favourite line-up is concerned. Coming to think of it, I would rather not see Litmanen upfront with Zlatan. I think his qualities are more needed in midfield than they are upfront.

Also, on second thought, I agree with Bill that we need a fast little creative player in midfield, to "race around" and launch smart little attacks. However, I would prefer to see this coming from the flanks. Therefore: Andy van der Meyde is my man, as the far right midfielder (semi-winger type thing). Let's give him a chance. If he screws up like he's been doing in recent games: get him off the pitch after fifteen minutes for all I care, reverting to 'system B' (whatever that may be).

This would make for a Galásek-Litmanen couple in central midfield, which I think may work out very well: Jari in a slightly more offensive role, Tomas a bit more defensive. Galasek has been one of the best Ajax players so far, so I trust him. Left midfield: Maxwell.

The good thing about this midfield line is that that it's solid and experienced in the middle, but fast, sassy and creative on the flanks. Extra advantage: no Richard Witschge. I mean, let's face it. Nice that he scored, but gimme a break. Galásek, Litmanen and Witschge on the same line would be too slow.

Next question: who is to join Zlatan upfront? You'd say Machlas, but (sorry, Geo), I think good old Pipo a.k.a. Wampy may be the solution here! Why not? He's always scored regulalrly, and moreover, he scores important goals. Plus: he's better when playing as a central, number 10-ish 'support-striker'. I think it would make for an excellent couple upfront: Zlatan to keep the ball glued to his feet and Wamberto circling around him as the fast runner.

Defense: no probs there. Even if Koeman decides to replace Yakubu with Bergdølmo (experience) or Pasanen (on-form), I say: okay.

So, ladies and gentlemen, this would - in my opinion - be the perfect team:

Stekelenburg; Trabelsi, Chivu, Yakubu, O'Brien; Van der Mayde, Galásek, Litmanen, Maxwell; Zlatan, Wamberto.

Mr Koeman, what do you say? ("no way", probably. I think he'll use Litmanen as the second striker, which would be a waste of tactical intelligence).

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

If im in Koeman's position i would go for the 4-4-2...i will give Machlas the chance with Zlatan in the attack and Maxwell, Pienaar, Litmanen, and Galasek in the midfield. O'brien, Chivu, Yakubu, and Trabelsi will keep Lyon at bay and if this doesnt work maybe a switch to 4-4-3 will do good, taking Litmanen and Pienaar out and bringing Van der Meyde and Sikora to run the flanks! the "full of potential" Zlatan can try his luck and be the shadow-striker then! lets just hope Ajax plays well and not mess things around tomorrow!

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2002

I would hope that Ajax or Koeman for that matter plays with the two wingers Van Der Meyde and Sikora against Lyon.

My reasoning is plain and simple they are both two of the best on the team. Now I am not sure about their respective form as we no longer have the privilige to view games here in the US, but let's play positive attacking football, and with Jari in the hole supporting Z and Mido. Of course that will not happen as Mido is thinks too highly of himself it would appear.

BTW, I am very happy to see Yakubu get another chance. He is BETTER than Bergdolmo and certainly Paasanen IMHO.

Go Ajax!

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2002

Olympique Lyonnais has arrived in Amsterdam for tomorrow's game. Coach Paul Le Guen has his full squad to his availability. No injuries; no suspensions. Check the full roster of "l'OL" in this news report on

Meanwhile, Ajax Netwerk published some quotes of Olympique chairman Coupet: "The battle for second round qualification will be tight and exciting, but not impossible for us. We're up against one top side, Inter, and two sides of our own caliber, Ajax and Rosenborg."

Coupet is very happy about the fact that l'OL plays its opening game at Ajax: "That's perfect. It will be an open, technical game. We will get to play our own type of play over there."

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2002

Gentlemen my thoughts on rejecting your choice in midfield is based on that we need some very young legs in that compartment and not as it would stand a very slow midfield. We need a whippet like Pienaar to race around the pitch to snuff out the danger of the Lyon counter- attack. I have also given a starting place to Sikora as I feel we do need a winger to be able to create pressure down at least one flank as Trabelsi will probably have to curb his attacking instincts for this game. Van de Meyde would be an option if he could reproduce his Holland/Belarus form, where I understand from Ray that he was superb. Lets remember that all we have to do to gain the points is to keep it tight and win by 1-0. The requirement for large scores at home will come into play when we reach the knockout stages. Having said all of that, I have a feeling that your selections will not be too different to Koemans.

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2002

I will go with Menno's formation.We DEFINITELY need Litmanen more in the midfield than up front.Plus,Zlatan is being more cooperative with his teammates lately,and maybe it's time for him to score.Machlas is at his best in a 4-4-2,and don't forget that he wants to prove some things(hasn't played for a while though n' that makes me wonder weather he will be effective).


-- Anonymous, September 16, 2002

Keep the faith Menno, what you have seen this season is two Ajax's. One for the league games where they appear to be doing just enough and no more to get the required result, and the other in the big friendlies when they stepped up a gear. I anticipate them stepping up a gear for this one. I believe that the season so far has been one that has been geared in the players minds to the CL season and not the Eredivisie. Only time will tell, but I think that at least Lyon will allow them to play football and not try and kick them out of the ArenA. If this is the pattern of the game then it will be to our advantage. Anticipate a very tight match where even a draw would be ok. My preference for the lineup would be in a 4:4:1:1 formation:


Trabelsi, Chivu, Yakubu, O'Brien

Sikora, Galásek, Pienaar, Maxwell



-- Anonymous, September 16, 2002

Ajax Netwerk reports that Englishman Michael Riley is tomorrow's referee at the Amsterdam ArenA. Riley never was in charge of an Ajax game before, but gained some prominence as the referee of the most recent F.A. Cup final in England, between Arsenal and Chelsea.

BTW: I was just chatting about the game with Bastiaan (via e-mail) and quite honestly, I have a very bad feeling about it. I hope I'm wrong, of course. My main concern is that Ajax has only played one good game in the league so far (Vitesse-away). The rest was, well, crap. Too many players are not at their best.

We've lost Van der Vaart, Mido will not be there, Bergdølmo is in a form-crisis and the wings (Van der Meyde and Sikora) have been rather weak, so far. A 4-3-3 formation, with the two out-of-form wingers and Zlatan in the middle, will definitely not work.

Therefore, I hope Koeman will revert to 4-4-2 (which I think he will). I would say: let's leave Saturday's defense line like it is. Yakubu and Chivu did well in the centre, whereas Trabelsi and O'Brien are of course certainties in the team.

I think Koeman will go for Zlatan and Litmanen upfront, but I would rather see Litmanen in central midfield. I say, let's go for Zlatan and Machlas upfront, and a Galásek, Witschge, Litmanen and Maxwell midfield. Wamberto should be on the bench as a possible replacement for Jari, whereas we might want to have Jan van Halst stand-by as an extra defensiv killer in central midfield.

So, if I were Koeman, this would be my team for tomorrow:

Stekelenburg; Trabelsi, Chivu, Yakubu, O'Brien; Galásek, Witschge, Litmanen, Maxwell; Zlatan, Machlas.

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2002

No CL draw is easy but, some are better than others. Ajax have avoided the two biggest pitfalls: inclusion in a "group of death" and travel.No Juve, Newcastle, and a trip to Dynamo Kyiv (the F-words fate) for us. Nor Real and Roma.And,unlike,say, Barca, which has fixtures at Galatasaray and Lokomotiv Moscow, Ajax travels to France, Italy, and Norway.Not too bad in the midst of a crowded fixture list.

I would never say we got lucky, but the draw was better for us than for many.For me, the biggest reason to be optimistic is that Ajax has already shown they can play the big boys(CL caliber clubs) and win.Within a two week period,Ajax defeated Celtic( a CL team last year), ManU, Barcelona, and PSV. That is not ancient history. It happened only within the last month. Oh yeah,I know it was pre- season.But, kind reader, check out the line-ups arrayed against Ajax.Not too shabby. Now about our competition:

Inter was inconsistent in last seasons UEFA campaign.And they choked away a Scudetto. They will be two days into their season when the CL kicks off, thanks to the tv row.I think Ajax could split with Inter.If they study how the F-word attacked them last campaign,and exploit their inconsistent midfield, they could do better than a split.Lyon, defending French champs, will be a tough nut, especially there. Currently, they sit one point behind the leaders in Le Championnat. They are 2 wins and 2 draws from 4 matches; scoring 14 goals (league leader) and conceding 6. They can be physical to play.Witness Henrik Larssons broken leg in Lyon several years ago.If we get 4 points,I'd be over the moon. As for Rosenborg BK, I hope that former Rosenborg man Andre Bergdolmo will help to provide a scouting report on the Trondheim side ; to the benefit of Ajax.They did have a hard fought fixture against Danish side Brondby to get to this point.4 points would suit Ajax very well.

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

I can see it clearly now...Ajax running wild once again in Europe...with all the craps happening in Italy Inter's form surely is not that good and i guess Lyon and Rosenborg will only cause some little harm but then again Ajax will surely go way beyond the Group matches Go Ajax Go...

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

Very good group for Ajax...Too bad i won't see the team in Athens...But maybe it is better this way...It would be a big dilema for me.I want my country's teams to do well in the CL,but WTF?I am an Ajacied too...Damn,maybe i will have to face this in the second round...

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

Hey Menno, you got 2 out of 4! Ajax and Olympique Lyonnais(French Champions last year) are in the same group. Glad we missed out on Genk though. See their group and you'll understand.For their efforts v. Fenerbahce, the Ladies Auxilliary of Rotterdam have been drawn with Juve, Dynamo Kiev(hope they have the winter undies ready),and Newcastle.The Manky Mob of bus blockers from Eindhoven got Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, and Auxerre.

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

Ajax gets group D. Draw still going on. So far, we get Inter Milan and Olympique Lyonnais. Seems we're luckier than some so far. Barca, for instance , get Gala and Spartak trips.Our last group mate is.... Rosenborg BK, the Norwegian sometime giant killers. No CL group is easy but some are better than others.Ours is better than other groups in my opinion.First match days are Tuesday and Wednesday ,Sept. 17 and 18.

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

Ah, so the girls made it... Pity, but we're in pot three for the draw anyway, because Racing Genk (Belgium) eliminated Sparta Prague (Czech Rep). Sparta Prague was higher than Ajax on the UEFA Ranking, which means that Ajax jumps from pot 4 to 3. This is great news, for various reasons.

1. Quite simply, we will now play one of the eight 'weaker' teams, although they're not that weak at all.

2. The most boring opponents are in pot 3 as well, which means we will not end up in a group with them: the two Moscow teams (Spartak and Lokomotiv) and Dinamo Kiev. Also, the two Greek opponents are in pot 3 with Ajax (Olympiakos Piraeus, AEK Athens). No, no, Geo... Those are not 'boring' opponents, but they're far away from Holland. Basically, the only really distant opponents are now Galatasaray (Turkey) and Maccabi Haifa (Israel, who will probably eliminate Sturm Graz [Austria] tonight). Which means it will be Belgium, Germany, Britain, France, Spain and Italy (mainly), which is well do-able from Holland.

Check THIS PAGE to see the four pots. My favorite draw would be Bayern Munich (pot 1), Olympique Lyon (pot 2) and Racing Genk or Club Bruges (pot 4). This not only seems do-able, but they're also opponents from right next-door (Belgium, Germany and France). If this happens, I think I'll go to ALL THREE away games! Yeah, baby...

-- Anonymous, August 28, 2002

OK - would the person(s) who didnt concentrate in the 49 and 89th minutes please own-up. I did the best that I could , which was shown by the result in the other 88 minutes. So who was our weakest link ?

-- Anonymous, August 28, 2002

Hey !

Last time I tried that (Fyoor$#@d vs. German team) a bunch of spoons in my kitchen cupboard got bent out of shape...

I might want to check the latest chapter in my Uri Geller book of how to manipulate football score results, and I'll post the detailed instructions here....

...but somehow I get much, much better psychic results when browsing the Playboys and Penthouses of this world...:-D

-- Anonymous, August 27, 2002

Right Ladies & Gentlemen, we have members that stretch completely around the globe and as such I believe that with our collective mental concentration between the hours of 20:00 and 22:00 tonight we can ensure the demise of the Rottendam team downtown Turkey. Please remember the timings and no sneaking away for a tea or a p*** (apart from half-time).

-- Anonymous, August 27, 2002

Reminder: the draw for the first round of the Champions League (group stage) will take place this upcoming Thursday, 29 August, at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The ceremony starts at 4:00 PM CET (7:00 AM Eastern; 4:00 AM Pacific). It will be shown live on Dutch TV, numerous European networks, including Eurosport. Also, you can follow the draw 'real-time' on Be there or be square... :-)

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2002

"But we took over Feyenoord Winners of the UEFA cup 2001-2002."

I'm glad you enjoyed playing in the UEFA Cup, cos you'll get to defend your title from round one. In Istanbul, Fenerbahce will deep- fry you girls like a portion of Chicken McNuggets.


-- Anonymous, August 20, 2002

But we took over Feyenoord Winners of the UEFA cup 2001-2002

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2002

I was checking the official UEFA website this morning, and found that the dates for the Champions League draw and games have been announced. Pull out your agenda and write this down:

Draw for the first round: 29 August @ Grimaldi Forum, Monaco. (The Champions League draw is always shown live on Dutch TV. You can also follow it live on

Match dates for the first round:

Match Day 1: 17/18 September 2002

Match Day 2: 24/25 September 2002

Match Day 3: 1/2 October 2002

Match Day 4: 22/23 October 2002

Match Day 5: 29/30 October 2002

Match Day 6: 12/13 November 2002

Actually, the draw for the first (of three) preliminary rounds has already taken place. If you wanna know more about all this, as well as the dates for the second round and the UEFA Cup etcetera, check THIS PAGE on

-- Anonymous, June 23, 2002

Hmmm...chickens are comming home to roost....we're (Dutch clubs) ranked below Greece! (No offence intended to any Greek Ajax fans ;o))


Loss of one CL place brings further misery to Dutch football


The Netherlands is set to lose one place in the Champions League in 2003/2004, as the country's clubs performances in Europe dropped below those of Greece. Greece have climbed to sixth in the rankings based on how clubs from one domestic league fare in European club competitions over the last five years. Greece will now have two teams qualifying directly for the Champions League instead of one on the basis of their 35.115 coefficient in comparison to Holland's coefficient of 32.332.

For the last few years, the Netherlands has profited from the successes of Louis van Gaal's Ajax Amsterdam side in the mid- nineties. Ajax won the 1995 Champions League and were the beaten finalists in the following season. In fact Ajax reached at least the quarter-finals of a European competition between 1993 and 1998. But these successes no longer count and Holland's ranking was especially scarred by their clubs appalling performances in the 1998/1999 season, when Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord, Willem II and Vitesse were all knocked out before Christmas.

The successes of PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord Rotterdam and Roda JC this season came as too little too late for the Dutch. Even if Panathinaikos (the last Greek club left in European club competition this season) lose all their remaining games in the Champions League, and either PSV or Feyenoord go on to win the UEFA Cup , it will not be enough. However, since the pair will meet each other in the quarter-finals, Holland's one semi-finalist is bound to come to the country's aid in the future, when the black '98/99 season no longer applies.

-- Anonymous, March 11, 2002

All the results and line ups of Ajax in European Cup Matches

Ajax in Europe

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2002

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