When a player signs a contract for a club, he gives the oh so famous ‘yes I will’ to the club. In good and bad times, they’ll stand by each other. Where a marriage normally means forever, isn’t that the same with signing a contract. Especially not in football nowadays, but that’s another story.

Mounir El Hamdaoui and Ajax gave each other the ‘yes word’ last summer. Former Ajax coach, Martin Jol was happy he had signed the best striker in Holland after Luis Suarez. It would just be a matter of time until the two of them became an unstoppable duo. And it has to be said, from the start it looked like it was going to be a happy marriage. El Hamdaoui and Suarez found each other easily and Ajax’s number 9 scored some beauties.

But with the end of the Martin Jol Era early December, it seems to be the end of the (short) Mounir El Hamdaoui Era too. With the coming of Frank de Boer, Mounir El Hamdaoui only seems negative in the press. In Frank de Boer’s first game as head coach against AC Milan, he benched Mounir El Hamdaoui. The Moroccan wasn’t happy with the way he heard that news. De Boer has admit he should’ve done that in another way. But the way El Hamdaoui reacted was a bit too much. A bad start, followed by an early holiday for the no. 9 after a talk he had with Frank de Boer. When he came back on January 4, the doctor said he was suffering from illness and a knee injury. Even though this is the truth, it’s not really credible after what happened before his holiday.

 Frank de Boer has a clear idea how he wants Ajax to play and that’s the traditional 4-3-3 with wide wingers and lots of movement. It’s not a secret Mounir El Hamdaoui isn’t the perfect no. 9 right now to play in that system. He favors 4-4-2. He’s a striker that moves a lot and creates space for himself instead of a no. 9 that creates space for his team mates. The latter is what suits Ajax the best right now.

But that what happened just before the winter break and just after the winter break aren’t the only things. After the semi final of the Dutch Cup, Frank de Boer expelled Mounir El Hamdaoui from the first team because ‘something unacceptable’ happened in the dressing room at HT. Frank de Boer didn’t want to say what happened but El Hamdaoui stepped to the press and did his part of the story. Something that De Boer isn’t happy with, of course. Full back Jan Vertonghen has denied the stories that came out (El Hamdaoui being bold towards De Boer and especially the one of El Hamdaoui grabbing Suarez by his throat). So what really happened, no one knows but it’s clear Frank de Boer and Mounir El Hamdaoui aren’t best friends. Mainly because Frank de Boer wants El Hamdaoui to play in a certain way which doesn’t really suit the Moroccan international.

Everyone can see that Ajax have played their best games under Frank de Boer without their no. 9. When Siem de Jong took over his role, Ajax played more fluent. Siem de Jong isn’t the ideal striker De Boer eyes, but he can hold a ball and lay it off to his team mates. And that’s the type Ajax need right now. El Hamdaoui isn’t a striker that plays to help the team. He plays for more selfish reasons: goals. It’s not in his nature to lay off balls to team mates. He chooses rather to run at a player and trying to beat him. This, his behavior and not being in his best form have caused that the supporters aren’t really backing him anymore.

All in all, you can say that the marriage between Ajax and El Hamdaoui looked like to be a stable one, but turned out not to be. When writing this, El Hamdaoui is still expelled from the first team. He and Frank de Boer had a talk today, but result isn’t out yet. El Hamdaoui is a great player with a fantastic technique but for Ajax’s sake, it’s better to play Siem de Jong upfront and to say goodbye to El Hamdaoui. Buy a ‘real’ striker in the summer that can take over the role of midfielder De Jong.

So yes, another marriage that might end with a divorce.

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