NEW MANAGER MARZEC: 'THIS WILL TAKE SOME TIME, BUT WE'LL COME OUT STRONGER'
Amsterdam, JULY 2017-
It was a little over a month ago. Under manager Peter Bosz, the young, dynamic, daring and attacking Ajax came short against Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League final (0:2). Likewise did Ajax fall one point short to clinch the 34th league title: the Rotterdam arch rival Feyenoord lifted the trophy for the first time in 18 (!!) years, but all honours went to the capital. Ajax was on the verge of another breakthrough with a dozen or so talented homegrown players.
Then it became known Peter Bosz wasn't on speaking terms with the board anymore. A good reason to abandon ship: Bosz left for Dortmund. And after a quick evaluation of several youth and reserve coaches (as Ajax prefers to also have an in-house manager) the choice was made to hand DANIËL 'DANNY' MARZEC JR. the scepter.
MARZEC (37) was once a talented defender/midfielder with for Dutch people unusual tenacity and venom. His Latin-American aggressive and tough play (plus biker look) earned him the nickname DANIMAL. But the beast was tamed fairly early when the half-Dutch, half-Polish tore his knee ligaments at the age of 23. The Dutch born attempted a comeback in his paternal Poland (Wisła Kraków), but at the age of 30 he called it quits to become a football manager (like before him, his father; uncle Dariusz is still youth coach at Wisła).
Making the step back to Holland, Marzec landed at his beloved Ajax, where he became champions with the U15, U17 and (after Youth Academy Head Wim Jonk's enforced departure) U19 squads. He now gets a chance to show his worth at the helm of the first team. Like his play, Marzec is not a die-hard follower of the Dutch School (4-3-3, wing play, high pressure). Rather does the new Ajax Manager try to follow the more realistic line of Louis van Gaal (who had his more recent teams play in 4-4-2, 3-5-2 and 5-3-2). 'By will, or by force: winning is what counts!' is a credo suitable to the new chief's approach.
Danny Marzec is aware of the situation and is cautious: 'Ajax always plays for the domestic trophees and we want to repeat our European run. But with a sudden change of manager, who on top has a different view than the all-out attack of my predecessor, I think we're in for a challenging beginning of the season. Making the switch without damaging too much will be difficult: this will take some time, but in the end we'll come out stronger.'
'The squad is more or less complete. If we can find a suitable left (wing) back we'll take it into consideration but apart from that we won't buy, unless someone leaves.'
Ajax and the fresh boss did not yet make any announcements on the schedule during preparation, or kit numbers.