AJAX into the FUTURE - S2 - '23/'24

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Danimal5981
3026 posts National Call-Up
edited August 1
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Post edited by Danimal5981 on

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  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
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  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    edited April 21
    We left you about half a year ago with rumours from England. And though for one protagonist the future indeed lies in England, things at Ajax took a drastic and very surprising turn.

    In January, Ajax Director of Football Marc Overmars faced sexual allegations to which he confessed. This lead subsequently to his immediate departure. Everybody expected this to be the end of the career for him, but Overmars re-emerged surprisingly fast as the new Director of Football of Antwerp.

    February saw the amitions in the Champions Legue come to a hold, with Ajax being eliminated by Benfica. This was followed by mediocre results and performances, which clearly indicated that the recent era Ajax under the leadership Overmars and Ten Hag was nearing its end.

    In April, this became official with Ajax and Manchester United announcing the news of manager Erik ten Hag's transfer from Holland to England. In the mean time, last minute attempts to make Andre Onana, Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch extend their contracts fell on deaf ears.

    The Dutch Cup was lost to PSV, but the league title again went to Ajax with Feyenoord catching PSV for second place.

    And thus, Ajax enters a new era with new leadership and most likely a new squad:

    It's now AJAX INTO THE FUTURE

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    Post edited by Danimal5981 on
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    edited April 21
    AJAX PROMOTES SECOND TEAM COACH JOHN HEITINGA

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    01 JUNE 2022 | AMSTERDAM

    The future is now: Ajax has is set to make a big transformation and the man to lead that change is none other than Ajax icon, John Heitinga. During the most recent years, the old defender of Ajax, Atlético, Everton and Hertha was youth coach at the U17 and U19 between 2017 and 2021, before coaching Young Ajax (second team playing in professional 2nd tier First Division) last season.

    His climb will be steep. First, he is successor of the very successful Erik ten Hag (now Manchester United), who basked in trophees with four first places, which due to the COVID interruption were worth only three league titles, two national cups, one Johan Cruijff Shield and a formidable run in the Champions League in 2019, which ended only seconds short of a place in the final. The quarter finals in the 2021 Europa League, as well as last season's unbeaten run in the group stage of the Champions League were worthy footnotes of the Amsterdam side's return to prominence.

    Second, the team built by Ten Hag is either leaving or aging. It is of yet unknown if Maarten Stekelenburg (39) will add another year to his tally, but otherwise Remko Pasveer (38), Dusan Tadic (33) and Daley Blind (32) will be question marks, if they can live up to last year's performances. Andre Onana (Napoli), Noussair Mazraoui (Atlético Madrid) are leaving without a transfer fee paid, while no doubt Nicolas Tagliafico, Lisandro Martínez, Edson Álvarez, Ryan Gravenberch, Jurriën Timber and Antony are in the spotlight of several European top sides as well.

    Finally, the slightly disappointing campaign in last year's Champions League and Director Marc Overmars' disgraceful departure have put a halt on the financial surge the Amsterdam side was experiencing. New manager Hetinga and whomever the new Director of Football will be, need to be 'creative' with available resources.


    Never change winning method

    With all that said, some things will remain the same. John Heitinga will most likely apply an attacking hybrid form of 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 and having had five years spent in the youth academy, the new manager will probably give the opportunity to some his talented former pupils. Attacking football with a lot of home grown youth, or well scouted prospects; the recipe has worked for Ajax many times, so need to adjust the winning formula.

    The appointment of John Heitinga can be seen from the same viewpoint: the most accomplished managers of Ajax all started there: Rinus Michels (7 trophees), Louis van Gaal (11 trophees) and Frank de Boer (5 trophees) started their careers at Ajax and were immediately successful. In fact, Erik ten Hag (6 trophees) is rather an exception to the rules at the Dutch capital club.

    Ajax will most likely experience a cross-over season, where a new core of a new team will be forged. On the national front, this should remain without consequence: Ajax will always be in contention for the Dutch trophees. But in Europe, Ajax might not go all-in about spending the winter in UEFA Champions League and settle for a potential bid for the Europa League cup.

    It's still a big guess what Ajax will look like, come the end of the summer transfer window. A close eye should be kept on pre-season friendlies and the clash over the Johan Cruijff Shield against Feyenoord.

    Post edited by Danimal5981 on
  • Steffolovitch
    1577 posts Play-Off Hero
    Interesting to see how you get on with this. As you say, it's a defining time for Ajax with the elderly players getting older and the youngsters being hot and wanted throughout Europe. It could potentially be a catastrophy, if the club makes poor decisions, and with Overmars and perhaps Ten Hag gone, you can't just expect they'll do it as well as last time, when Frenkie and de Ligt left. Looking forward to see your approach here.
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    and perhaps Ten Hag gone

    Ajax confirmed his departure at the end of the season, yesterday. Hence, a good moment to step in though unofficially Alfred Schreuder (ex-assistant at Ajax, now Club Bruges) is Ten Hag's probable successor.
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
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    Ajax said goodbye to Andre Onana, Noussair Mazraoui and Maarten Stekelenburg, while welcoming back several players on loan. At the same time, Ajax managed to retain Brian Brobbey, a player that went to RB Leipzig one year ago, but came back to Ajax on loan only six months later. Now he is back definitively, with the Amsterdam side having applied the buy-back option. It's rare to buy back a player who left on a free transfer only one year before.

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  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    edited April 23
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  • gavin2903
    723 posts Semi-Pro
    I still think deep down outside Holland everyone has a soft spot for Ajax I certainly do.
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    edited April 23
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  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
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  • Steffolovitch
    1577 posts Play-Off Hero
    I've spent so much time thinking about how I could start a save where it would be relevant or realistic to bring in Moukoko. And I actually think you just nailed it with Ajax! I'm really looking forward to see how he'll do for you, and I'm curious how you are going to play him. Do you see him as a central striker (no. 9), or perhaps playing wide or as a second striker/number 10?
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
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  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
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  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    € 23,000,000,- for Nico 'fico

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  • gavin2903
    723 posts Semi-Pro
    Another Player I keep meaning to try out in CM is Tagliafico, used in FUT buy not in CM. I don't know much about the signings you have made so will be good to keep an eye out and learn more lot players in the future for myself as well
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    gavin2903 wrote: »
    Another Player I keep meaning to try out in CM is Tagliafico, used in FUT buy not in CM. I don't know much about the signings you have made so will be good to keep an eye out and learn more lot players in the future for myself as well

    It's about how you scout - for Ajax I'll never get over € 20 mln transfer value and never over 30k salary. Within those limits, I'll try and dig for the best the game has to offer. As for outgoing transfers: anybody at the club longer than three seasons and/or in their final year of contract can be sold, especially when Champions League teams from the big leagues knock on your door..., unless Chelsea bids over 100 mln for a fairly new player:
    Antony spent only two seasons in Amsterdam.


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  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
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  • Steffolovitch
    1577 posts Play-Off Hero
    That's some fee for Antony, makes perfect sense to accept that. Gakpo to Arsenal is also a transfer I could see happen IRL, and he actually made the same move in my previous West Brom career and was even the player of the season at some point.

    By the way; you've done a decent job making this manager appear pretty much like John Heitinga. Well done.
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    edited April 26
    That's some fee for Antony, makes perfect sense to accept that. Gakpo to Arsenal is also a transfer I could see happen IRL, and he actually made the same move in my previous West Brom career and was even the player of the season at some point.

    By the way; you've done a decent job making this manager appear pretty much like John Heitinga. Well done.

    Yeah, it took me a while to get my John look like the real John, but I'm happy with the result.

    And -as mentioned in the interview- this John wants to step away from the trend of Latin-American talent and return to a more familiar and traditional pattern of searching improvements closer to home: meaning academy, domestic league or surrounding countries: Belgium, Scotland, Scandinavia, lower ranked teams of England or Germany; players with an affinity to Ajax or more experienced Dutch players that are willing to return home.

    But I think I still have some nice and realistic surprises in the pipeline.
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
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  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    edited April 27
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  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
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  • Steffolovitch
    1577 posts Play-Off Hero
    Two games, two wins and two clean sheets. Definitely a bright start, especially with one of them at De Kuip.

    The resilience of other Dutch clubs to sell to Ajax makes sense in a way, trying to avoid a Bayern situation with the same champion year after year. And on top of that, Dutch players have always seemed to do well abroad, so why not sell to a club in England, Italy etc. rather than feeding your rivals? It makes it difficult for you though, but you might just let them move abroad and try to sign them later on, if you keep the save alive for that long.

    Your scouting of Kristiansen and Sertdemir makes sense with Ajax's history of Danish talents. I was hoping that the so far underwhelming spell of Daramy wouldn't change the approach there...
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    Two games, two wins and two clean sheets. Definitely a bright start, especially with one of them at De Kuip.

    Very hard fought wins and goals only by Haller. It looks better than it appears.
    The resilience of other Dutch clubs to sell to Ajax makes sense in a way, trying to avoid a Bayern situation with the same champion year after year. And on top of that, Dutch players have always seemed to do well abroad, so why not sell to a club in England, Italy etc. rather than feeding your rivals? It makes it difficult for you though, but you might just let them move abroad and try to sign them later on, if you keep the save alive for that long.

    It comes across with reality. And it makes it difficult to implement the new closer to home strategy.
    Your scouting of Kristiansen and Sertdemir makes sense with Ajax's history of Danish talents. I was hoping that the so far underwhelming spell of Daramy wouldn't change the approach there...

    Yes, Denmark and Scandinavia in general have some nice perks up for grabs. Just a matter of scouting a lot. And Daramy is a good lad but soon to be redundant and already on my transfer list.
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
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  • gavin2903
    723 posts Semi-Pro
    Back when Krul made that loan move I thought it was genius by Newcastle. He was brilliant despite their relegation and was more than likely they'd come back up do loaning him out and having him return when promoted was perfect but he just never seemed the same after. Wasn't really aware of how he did at Ajax just that it wasn't the same Tim Krul that came back.
  • Steffolovitch
    1577 posts Play-Off Hero
    Two signings that make perfect sense. I like where this is going so far.
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    edited April 29
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    Post edited by Danimal5981 on
  • gavin2903
    723 posts Semi-Pro
    Interesting developments this week let's hope of Hallers move does happen then someone steps up or new arrival starts bagging some goals.
  • Danimal5981
    3026 posts National Call-Up
    gavin2903 wrote: »
    Interesting developments this week let's hope of Hallers move does happen then someone steps up or new arrival starts bagging some goals.

    It's slowly turning into a complete rebuild.
    But I'm limited to transfer and salary limits and country and age specific preferences.
    That makes it challenging
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