Ajax and Feyenoord. Feyenoord and Ajax. The two biggest rivals in Dutch football. Since the first game in 1921, it has always been a grudge match. Ajax won that game with 3-2 but after protests from Feyenoord, the full time score was officially set at 2-2. It’s also a game between the two biggest cities of Holland: Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

It’s El Clasico in Spain, the Old Firm derby in Scotland, Superclásico in Argentina, and De Klassieker in Holland – the biggest game of the season. The main football rivalry of the Netherlands, the most important game of the year, that’s Ajax against Feyenoord. They meet tonight in the quarter-final of the KNVB Cup in the Amsterdam ArenA. A game the fans have been looking forward to since the day of the draw.

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Outsiders might have thought Ajax were chanceless against Manchester City last Wednesday. Frank de Boer said, after the draw, that Manchester City at home was a game Ajax had a good chance of winning. Despite the last home game against an English team was back in 1987 against Nottingham Forst, Ajax normally play well against English sides. The away win at City’s rivals from Manchester last season proves that. Manchester City, the club with endless money versus Ajax, the club that’s famous for their successful academy. The club which total squad cost €498 million against the club which total squad cost €86 million. The champion of England playing against the champion of Holland. In every aspect of the beautiful game it was an interesting meeting.

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After a season full of turmoil, Ajax have clinched their 31th league title last night against VVV Venlo. Where many people has written them off after being 13 points behind AZ Alkmaar at some point, they’ve done the impossible. Frank de Boer has won his second Eredivisie title in 1,5 years. He has joined Reynolds, Michels, Kovács and van Gaal as the only Ajax managers to win back-to-back league titles. De Boer has restored Ajax’ philosophy. The future is fucking bright!

WE ARE AJAX, WE ARE THE BEST!

 

I keep apologizing for writing blogs on such a low scale. It wasn’t my intention to do so when I started this blog but it appears to happen. It’s not that there’s not much to write about this club. There’s always something to write about Ajax, positive or negative. I hope I can better my life from now on but I won’t promise anything anymore ha.

How things have changed for Ajax since my last blog, three months ago(!!). My last blogs weren’t posts that put a smile on my face. Ajax were five points behind the league leaders, were struggling to play the passing and pressing game manager De Boer is eyeing and half the first team was injured. The two games after that blog both ended in a loss (Feyenoord away and FC Utrecht at home). At that point, almost everyone (and I’ll be honest to say I was one of those), had written off Ajax for the championship.

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“We are getting into stoppage time in this thrilling Champions League final. The score is still Ajax 2, Barcelona 2. The Dutch club came back from two goals behind and are looking to score a third in these final minutes. It’s Janssen on the ball. A long pass to Sulejmani on the right. He runs past Abidal, this looks dangerous. Here comes the cross.. AND IT’S VAN HAAREN! WHAT A HIT! 3-2 Ajax! It’s unbe..-“. And the alarm rings.

The alarm at 07.00 am is always a sour way to wake up. The alarm at 07.00 after a dream you’d want to never end leaves a sour taste for the rest of the day.

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Ajax has been the epitome of instability over the last decade. Last week’s shocking twist doesn’t point to a quick change. Ajax are set to enter another period of uncertainty, raised eyebrows and variable results.

After Louis van Gaal’s appointment as Ajax’s new CEO last wednesday, a bomb has exploded under the Amsterdam ArenA. It’s not Van Gaal’s (who will start in July 2012) appointment that caused the biggest shock though. It’s the fact that the other four supervisory board members Steven ten Have, Mirjam Olfers, Paul Römer and Edgar Davids appointed the former Ajax coach behind Johan Cruijff’s back. An act of betrayal that wouldn’t be out of place in a Shakespeare play.

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The loss (6-4) against FC Utrecht was one of the lowest points Ajax have reached in the past months. After all the euphoria  and sunshine of last season’s league title, it’s raining in Amsterdam. But after rain comes sunshine isn’t it?

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Once in a while your thoughts go back in time. Back to your club’s historic moments. Back to the successes, back to the moments that will live on forever, back to the fantastic players your club had. You lie if you say you never do.

Thinking about Ajax leads to thinking about the great names: Johan Cruijff, Piet Keizer, Ruud Krol, Johan Neeskens, Marco van Basten, Dennis Bergkamp, Frank Rijkaard, Frank and Ronald de Boer, Edwin van der Sar. All Dutch players but before many of them, I think of Jari Litmanen. The man of the goals, the assists, the threats, the brains and the lungs. Everyone knows who he is..

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First of all: my apologies for not writing for such a long time. I’ve been extremely busy of the past months with moving out, university and football (both playing for a team as coaching the U14’s). On top of that my laptop broke down and I had to miss it for four weeks. I’m not a person of doing promises but I’ll try my best to write more regularly about the world’s most beautiful club from now on.

After a very promising start of the Eredivisie season (three wins and one draw in four games), Ajax are currently struggling to find their form. The Amsterdammers have only won one game in the last six competitive meetings. A win against vv Noordwijk, an amateur side, in the KNVB Cup. Losing against Real Madrid isn’t a shame, but Ajax have not been able to beat PSV, Twente, Lyon (all draws) or Groningen (1-0 loss). It’s not a surprise that Frank de Boer admits things aren’t going how he eyed them at the start of the season. Not only in terms of the league table (Ajax are currently sitting
fourth, 6 points behind leaders AZ Alkmaar) but also in terms of football and mental tenability. The players aren’t dominating on the pitch as Frank de Boer’s
beloved 4-3-3 passing and pressing game eyes. At least not 90 minutes long. Against FC Twente, Ajax were all over them for 45 minutes but it was the other
way around in the second half. Ajax dominated for maybe 20 minutes against PSV and they haven’t dominated at all against FC Groningen. Frank de Boer’s good start of adapting 4-3-3 is stagnating a bit. Is it a lack of quality? Is it a lack of passion? A lack of masculinity as Toby Alderweireld said? Or something else?

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After a well deserved break I’m back writing all things Ajax for the upcoming 2011/2012 season.

After winning the championship on the last day, Ajax is back where the club belongs. Everywhere they have been on their pre season tour inHolland, you see why this is the biggest club inHolland. Whether they are inFriesland, Twente or de Achterhoek, you see red and white everywhere. Four a five rows thick during training sessions and even more during a friendly. Young and old. The symbolic third star has done the club good for more than one reason. Ajax is hot. Ajax is big booming business.
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