AJAX for the FUTURE (The Prequel)

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  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2021
    AZ CRIES FOUL AFTER DEFEAT AT AJAX

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    Amsterdam, 11 DEC 2021 | Pascal Jansen, trainer of AZ, was upset after his side lost 2-0 to Ajax in Amsterdam. "They've had two days more to recuperate from the deciding round in European football. That's why they had the edge today. After half an hour the juices were flowing away and they managed to hold their advantage with ease."

    Winning coach Erik ten Hag responded saying that AZ are using a 'baby type reasoning' - "Look at Vitesse and Feyenoord who also played European games on thursday; they went against teams who had a whole week's rest and yet they won their respective games."

    Ajax - AZ was a so-called "6 point match" with the winner either closing a considerable gap, or actually creating one. Prior to the game, there was seven points between the regional rivals and with Ajax keeping three points in the capital, AZ are now facing a ten point deficit while also having been surpassed on goal difference by a resurgent PSV.

    Under Philip Cocu, the Eindhoven side have recovered from their October crisis which costed Roger Schmidt his job. Under Cocu, PSV defeated NEC 3-2 and are back in second place, albeit with a giant gap to Ajax. PSV is Ajax' next opponent, playing the second round in the Dutch Cup.
    Post edited by Danimal5981 on
  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2021
    @Steffolovitch has given me some great feedback to speculate upon in this story. There needs to be an element of fantasy, now that we are actually in the future.

    AJAX DECLINES € 35 MLN OFFER BY DORTMUND FOR MAZRAOUI
    Experts question decision not to sell

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    Eyebrows were raised, when Ajax announced in public that an offer for Noussair Mazraoui by Borussia Dortmund had been refused. Analysts and football world experts have been speculating what's behind this remarkable move.

    Selling their talent is Ajax' liveblood. Most of the incoming money went into the Youth Academy first, but recently also has been used to acquire some high profile players such as Daley Blind, Dusan Tadic, Antony and Sebastièn Haller. But in order to maintain such level of perfomance, Ajax need to keep on selling their longer serving players of a relatively higher age for a good price. So, why are Ajax refusing a € 35 mln. bid for a back of 24 years?

    Ajax feel strong enough
    Maybe the time has arrived, Ajax feels big and strong enough to refuse a bid of such magnitude. Maybe a potential deal was discussed with Mazraoui and it was the player who deemed Dortmund to be a step back: Ajax have advanced in the Champions League, at the expense of Borussia Dortmund. Maybe either club or player would not prefer it to end the cooperation halfway down the season.

    There are those that claim that Director of Footbal Marc Overmars has given specific instructions on who can leave mid-season and who cannot: reserve players Danilo and Zakaria Labyad are on the transfer list, bids on Nicolas Tagliafico and David Neres will not be blocked and some youth players might be up for a loan. Mazraoui is not among the players allowed to make a move, but will soon be out of contract. Maybe the long awaited contract extension is on the horizon?


    Bigger transfer coming up?
    And that's where the most imaginative suggestion of all comes from: no decision has been taken and all is speculation, because there is no 2022 policy yet, because...., Overmars might be set to leave as Director of Football and is headed for....? Well, that would be the big question. And will he take Erik ten Hag with him, wherever he would go, if he goes? Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle United are all out on the hunt for a new man at the helm and could most certainly do with better policy.

    And in the search for a potentially new Director and new head coach Ajax could've decided to postpone any transfer of any player including the one of Noussair Mazraoui. The right back does not appear too dissappointed as the defender is included in the squad for the Cup game against PSV.
  • Steffolovitch
    1387 posts Professional
    Bombshell with Overmars and Ten Hag potentially leaving Ajax. Did NOT see that coming, haha...

    Regarding Mazraoui, I fully understand your decision not to sell. They've also only put 400,000 on top of his market value, so you could argue for them to try a little harder, if they want to get the deal done.

    Very intrigued to see where this one is going. And great mention of a return for Cocu by the way. Sounds like good news for PSV.
  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Wow! :o a refusal by Ajax to sell, indeed it looks like Ten Haag has positioned Ajax into a stature in Europe's Elite where a refusal from a club of equal or now below standing does make sense. I didn't envisage the storyline taking a twist for Ten Haag and Overmars to leave, with potential suitors circling like sharks just waiting for the green light to chomp at both employees. :D

    Man Utd sure could do with a better tactical manager and DOF, if we're building into the future at Barcelona then a complete overhaul is needed there it has to be said with so little finance they would completely have to use the Academy. I also have to add the bit that made me LOL :D was the little after match squabble between AZ trainer Pascal Jansen moaning about recovery after european games :) I wish fifa had a better press set up and had more in depth storylines but I digress. Great stuff lad
    ~Arlad
  • Like the move of not letting a star player leave. I remember when I was doing a Journeyman career I was gonna use this as my exit storyline. Wanting to take Ajax to the next step and build instead of selling then have board accept a bid for player I didn't wanna sell. Anyways that was me and like what you've done. Also interesting new regarding Overmars, maybe it just remains speculation and he stays.



  • Stlducks
    9376 posts League Winner
    Interesting twist to the career for sure. I’d like to see Ajax hold their talent for a year longer and see if they can win the big trophy.

    If Overmars does leave it will be interesting to see how Ajax change or don’t change going forward.
  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    "WE DEFEAT PSV AND YOU ASK ABOUT MANCHESTER UNITED!?"

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    Eindhoven, 16 DEC 2021 | An exciting cup game between rivals PSV and Ajax ended in a narrow and hardfought victory for the latter (1-2). The visitors were down to ten men in the final fifteen minutes, after Noussair Mazraoui tackled Ibrahim Sangaré from behind. But clever substitutes ensured that Ajax kept on pressuring high and in the final ten minutes Ajax took a surprise lead, which they managed to keep until the end.

    In the first half PSV and Ajax were evenly matched. A goal by Davy Klaassen gave Ajax the lead but that was rapidly undone by homeside striker Eran Zahavi. The second half however, was more of a classic cup fight: Ajax was the better side by a slight margin and that margin was put at risk when Mazraoui collected his red card. PSV smelled blood and pressed for the attack, but in a break out a cross by Dusan Tadic met the head of substitute David Neres. The effort was weak at best: still, Joël Drommel could not keep the ball out of the net: 1-2. Ajax then defended the small lead as if lives depended on it: a heroic cup win for the Amsterdam visitors!

    But after all entertainment and excitement in what is arguably the biggest game between two Dutch club teams, winning coach Erik ten Hag was annoyed that the majority of questions asked, were about rumours of him (and possible the club's two Directors Edwin van der Sar and Marc Overmars as well) possibly moving to England.

    'We have just won a great game, a cup classic. We did it in a hectic second half with a red card. We are three days away from another classic against Feyenoord in Rotterdam. There's plenty of football to talk about today or tomorrow here in Holland, but instead people here are going through the Premier League: Arsenal, Newcastle, Manchester United and what jobs they might've posted out there."

    A naughty journalist however pressed on and Ten Hag's response sounded little assuring: "Currently I am head coach of Ajax, I only talk about Ajax now. You ask about Manchester United, I'm not answering questions about that club."

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  • Steffolovitch
    1387 posts Professional
    Oh the rumours. The plot really thickens. I wonder where this will end.

    Great cup win in Eindhoven!
  • Stlducks
    9376 posts League Winner
    It's going to be a long season if ten Hag is putting up with these questions every match. Someone from Ajax is going to have to speak out soon to let people know what is going on.

    A classic win despite. Seems like Ajax have PSV's number right now with these close wins.
  • Great result against PSV and grabbing the winner whilst down to 10 men, sounds like some good tactics there to pull it off.

    Let's hope the rumours remain just rumours
  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    edited November 2021
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    Rumours are increasing, that the trio that has taken Ajax to new heights both nationally as well as in Europe, will be installed as the leading threesome at Arsenal. Ajax-Director of Football Marc Overmars is an ex-player of The Gunners, as he takes along his friend and confidant Erik ten Hag to the fallen London club and have persuaded Edwin van der Sar to follow suit.

    Arsenal are currently in the bottom half of the Premier League table. Despite a financial healthy state of the club, any success on the pitch lies far in the past. In the period that Ajax has made an impact on the European fields, Arsenal could not manage a top 4 Premier League finish, thus no entry to the UEFA Champions League.

    Overmars wants to take on the challenge at Arsenal due to his ties to the London based team, the financial healthy state of the club, a philosophy which is close to the Ajax philosophy and even the organization is similar to a degree as both Ajax and Arsenal are public limited companies.

    Erik ten Hag is the only trainer who has Overmars' full trust. The man from Haaksbergen, who was a modest centre back until his retirement in 2002, has consistently increased perfomance at the clubs where he has worked: he earned promotion with Go Ahead Eagles in 2013 (where Marc Overmars then was a board member), he learned lots of traits at Bayern München II (under the wings of Pep Guardiola at Europe's best organized football club) until 2015, then led FC Utrecht for 2,5 years leading them to European football.

    But he appeared on the international radar when taking Ajax by the hand, leading them to the 2019 Champions League semi finals, along with a Johan Cruijff Shield, two league titles and two Dutch cups. His 2019 team with stars as Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Hakim Ziyech and Donny van de Beek fell apart, but he has rebuilt the squad and currently Ajax are on a roll again in this year's Champions League.

    Many European teams have been targetting the services of the trio that have brought so much organizational, financial, sportive and structural success and stability to Ajax. English teams beat their drums the loudest, with Arsenal and Manchester United openly flirting because of the ties to the people involved (Edwin van der Sar has a history at United) and then there's the new rich team in town Newcastle, who appear to lean towards Eddie Howe although no official statements have been made about who will be at the helm of the club from 2022 onwards.

    Experts think that a departure by the three from Ajax, means the Amsterdam club is only fractions away from a complete overhaul. Not only in terms of organization: a new head coach will also mean the desintegration of the current team. With the change possibly happening around the turn of the calendar year, the Amsterdam side are likely to face a turbulent upcoming half year, spiced up with potentially lots of transfers.
  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    :o blimey! where to begin? lets start with that amazing 2-1 cup win over rivals PSV Eindhoven, a cracking match and adding to the drama of the sending off those after match press conferences are getting .. a bit spicy? :D

    Ten Hag is under immense pressure here as far as media scrutiny and now the added inclusion of two of England's Premier Clubs chasing the trio for a new era either in London or in Manchester. :o

    I would imagine with the thread being called ''Ajax for the future'' that your CM is not finished and that moving the trio to London or Manchester would not be feasible as far as completely rebranding the thread, although you could install new people in at Ajax here and make a new thread for a new split save? :p but that is a lot of work.

    I find it fascinating among all this rumor and gossip with Ten Hag poised to leave (Allegedly) there has been no rumor or discussion on who Ajax will replace them with?
  • Steffolovitch
    1387 posts Professional
    Arsenal, eh? Still rumours though, as I understand it... Well, I suppose you've made your manager look like Ten Hag and be named Ten Hag, so the question is, whether you'll be able to remain in Ajax and pretend that another manager is taking over? Unless you've foreseen the development beforehand?

    So, I think this story could take three turns at this point:

    1. The trio will remain at Ajax. This was just gossip after all.
    2. The trio will leave, and the story will continue with another setup at Ajax.
    3. The trio will leave, and the manager will take the job in London and continue the story from there.

    Either way, this is a brilliant cliff-hanger, and I can't wait to see what you make of it.
  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    END OF YEAR DOUBLE ROUND INCREASES UNREST AT AJAX

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    Amsterdam, 22 DEC 2021 | There hangs a shroud over the otherwise impressive first season half of Ajax. Next to all rumours about a possible mid-season departure of the club's CEO, Director of Football, as well as the head coach, Ajax could not manage a win in the double round that closed off the 2021 calendar year.

    On December 19th, Ajax had to take a beating visiting arch rivals Feyenoord (0-3) in Rotterdam. Ajax missed regular players Noussair Mazraoui (suspended) and Jurriën Timber (injured). Add to the mix a ferocious and bloodthirty Feyenoord and Ajax did not stand a chance, with the first goal already flying in after eleven minutes. Ajax fought long and hard, but with little success and two Rotterdam goals in the third quarter of the match accredited for Ajax second defeat in th league's first 18 games.

    Three days later, Ajax failed to bounce back and end the year on a high against the modest Fortuna Sittard. Ajax started well, with Patrick de Groot's fourth goal in five league games and Ryan Gravenberch doubling that lead before half time. But Ajax celebrated Christmas 45 minutes too early it seemed, because the home team played with lead in their shoes during the final minutes of the calendar year. Fortuna managed to pull back one goal after 68 minutes and on the counter attack the visitors managed to get a draw against a slow and lazy Ajax in the dying seconds of the match, sending the Johan Cruijff Arena into dissappointed silence.

    Erik ten Hag is convinced that all rumours around Ajax certainly have added to tensions and unrest within the club. 'We were able to surpress that for a while, with specific goals on the pitch: the Dortmund game was to get through in the Champions League, the AZ game to reel in first place at the end of the year no matter what happens and the cup game was also a final in itself. But these last two games: a suspended player, injuries, fatigue, these nasty stories which I have you (the press) to thank for. This only shows we should never get comfortable. Ajax need to get out of the winter break, fresh and revitalized.' The head coach then ignored the final question, whether such fresh and revitalized team would see him at the helm. Instead, he got up and went home, thereby ending the first half of the 2021-2022 season.

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  • Steffolovitch
    1387 posts Professional
    Tough defeat at De Kuip, before a disappointing draw vs Fortuna Sittard. Ajax still have a 5 points gap though, and 54 goals in 18 games is pretty impressive. However, with the state of the current FIFA, I find only 17 conceded to be even more impressive :lol:

    But it seems the club needs to sort the unrest caused by ongoing rumours there. January is upon us, might we get some answers soon?
  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    However, with the state of the current FIFA, I find only 17 conceded to be even more impressive :lol:

    Well, that was only 12 conceded after 16 games. I let five slip in two games, that is disgraceful for a player like me when I play a team like Ajax. So, it could've been better. But this draws back to what was discussed in the generic CMS discussion thread: I play with breaks, not building up too much of a rythm. That way, the game remains fresh.

  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    To keep things exciting, I'm going to focus a bit more on my other fav club, before getting back to this one.
  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    edited January 29
    Alright: last save was 3 months back, last post 2.5 months. But it's still there.
    All put together, the current career run isn't far from a plausible reality, so let's at least finish the season, shall we?
  • Steffolovitch
    1387 posts Professional
    edited January 29
    Do it.

  • ArladArlad
    97 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    However, with the state of the current FIFA, I find only 17 conceded to be even more impressive :lol:

    Well, that was only 12 conceded after 16 games. I let five slip in two games, that is disgraceful for a player like me when I play a team like Ajax. So, it could've been better. But this draws back to what was discussed in the generic CMS discussion thread: I play with breaks, not building up too much of a rythm. That way, the game remains fresh.

    I missed this discussion, can you elaborate? Idk if I am barking up the wrong tree but with GA being mentioned in the chat, I have had a hard time making my defenders do what I want to do when the COM is in possession. I remember back on Closed Beta the 1st week? loads of users gave feedback about how open the defensive/middle of the park is, about how the lack of tracking back is still a problem dating back to FIFA 20, anyway 1 week in and one of the updates EA patched on CB was
    "we've adjusted defensive positioning to allow more runs between the defenders and more space in general for attacking opportunities''

    :D So yeah EA, don't bother listening to actual users feedback
    Them "thanks everyone for your feedback, we continue to update the game to make it better''

    Me: :# well no you have made it defensively worse.

    I feel like the game is top heavy offensive and designed that way mostly for FUT, so it is up to CM users to tweak the sliders and settings to find something between realistic but still enjoyable. I actually discussed some of this in Ep1 of my Wimbledon save, playing both Heneghan and Nightingale at CB in a 4231 so with 2 CDMs in Woodyard and Hartigan, it is easily noticeable how much space there is between the CDMs and CB, you can put an aircraft carrier between them! :D
  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    Don't use CDM's, instead: use CM's that drop back between defenders.

    AI never plays back when on the half of the opponent. They'll either play forward or run with ball, so you will always need to sink in / run backwards. So in order to have plenty of room to sink into, you need to have your defensive line as high as possible. My wingbacks are usally RM and LM, my central defenders are sometimes CDM's while the CM that drops back, drops behind my defenders :wink: I strated doing this in FIFA 20 and still apply it in 22. For an attacking team as Ajax it works and even comes across as realistic.

    Decrease line length to ca. 5 (sliders) too.

    Second, don't get provoked. Good defence is a matter of discipline and patience. Don't step out too soon for the tackle: drop back until the penalty box line. Do not let opponent get into the box.

    All these things put together will leave little space on your defensive half of the pitch. However, beware the counter attack through the middle. Put a fast CB with some accelaration there!
  • Danimal5981
    3010 posts National Call-Up
    So, this story -the prequel- halted at the end of the 2021 calendar year.

    In THE SEQUEL we're going to jump fast forward to the run-up towards the next 2022/23 season...

    ...and a lot has changed
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