Ajax had a fantastic first half of this season. Players were at their peak and that attracted the interest of many top clubs. But the famous Dutch club could not continue their good performance in the new year. Ajax were happy to draw Madrid, but a couple of disappointing results hampered the optimism. And now the Dutch club is in a mini crisis. Ajax didn’t play like a team and especially there were too many mistakes in the defense and the goal.
Coach Erik ten Hag is however optimistic and sees the Madrid game as a big opportunity to turn the tide:
It is true that we recently didn’t play well. But it is my task to come with solutions for our poor performance. Madrid is a big team. They are the favorites. But this is a big game and a great opportunity for us to leave the bad period behind.
Madrid are a top team for years. They have many options tactically. They can defend, play on the counter and they can also be very offensive sometimes. It will not be easy for us. But we’ll go for it. We definitely have a chance. We are unlucky that we have 5 players on a yellow card. A suspension can of course influence the result. We have to be careful to avoid a second yellow. But on the other hand you can not plan this. On top level you have to give 100%. Yellow cards are a part of the game. If you think about it too much you can not play your own game.
During my time in Munchen I learned a lot from Guardiola. He is a a great coach. His teams, Barcelona, Bayern Munchen and Manchester City, are offensive and play attractive football. I try to implement his way of playing in my team Ajax as well.