In Schroder’s Thoughts, AjaxDaily writer Lukas Schroder reviews the last week from the perspective of a somewhat cynical Ajax-fan. New pieces will come out every wednesday.
In the summer of 2015, Ajax made its worst decision since firing Morten Olsen in 1998. They decided to splash the cash on Nemanja Gudelj, a Serbian midfielder turned sex symbol who sometimes scored a free kick for AZ Alkmaar. Just to mark the red flags that should have come up then: AZ is also the home of former Ajax-players Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Olaf Lindebergh and Demy de Zeeuw. That should have been enough to kill the deal, but Marc Overmars works in mysterious ways. Frank de Boer, who was still manager at the time, was jubilant about the signing, not knowing that in November 2016 it would turn out to ruin the future of Ajax.
First of all, I would like to share the following two statements with you. First of all, if you’re benched for a little over two months and you have absolutely no reason to complain about it because you play rubbish every time you step foot on a pitch (ahum, Bazoer, El Ghazi), then you lack every mental aspect of being a top footballer. Expecting you can move from the bench at Ajax to the bench at AC Milan and not getting irritated when you’re not being played there, is a laughable statement. Which is why I think Bazoer and El Ghazi lack a lot of aspects to make it in world football. The past week have shown that.
Also, since this is the second Schroder’s Thoughts in two months that has centered around Nemanja Gudelj (who even blocked me on Twitter, mind you), here is a disclaimer: I do not have a vendetta against Gudelj. I just hate him.
There. We’ve cleared the air. Let’s begin.
As much as signing Gudelj (who has an enormous tattoo of his FATHER’S FACE on his upper thigh) made sense for the big public back in 2015, Overmars and De Boer should have known better at the time already. The Serbian (defensive?) midfielder offers nothing to our style of play, but makes so much money it would be idiotic to bench him. Peter Bosz is faced with the same dilemma and it required the signing of Hakim Ziyech for him to put the overrated Serbian Beckham on the bench. On this bench, however, he still takes up so much space that could be used for our talented youth.
Because on midfield, we do have the potential to put out two Eredivisie-winning midfields. That is insane. But, however, because of Gudelj and also Lasse Schone (but I give him a pass because he plays well), Donny van de Beek and Frenkie de Jong are stuck at Jong Ajax, even though both of them are capable of being in the first squad. Bazoer and Riedewald haven’t played a Eredivisie-match in over a month and until last Saturday it seemed that Abdelhak Nouri never even got the opportunity in an Eredivisie-squad. It took El Ghazi pushing Bosz to make sure he was involved for the coming weeks. Insane. And all because Gudelj warrants being in the squad, and making minutes as the second choice midfielder, even though four options are better than him.
I don’t want to attack Gudelj in this piece, that’s not my intention. Sure, I don’t like his personality or his playing style, but this is a mistake made by Overmars and De Boer. And it’s a mistake that has far-reaching consequences. So far-reaching, that we are bound to lose our biggest talent on midfield in this decade so far, and it’s a matter of time before Jairo Riedewald (our second-best player if he reaches his form) will feel cheated as well. And all because Marc Overmars doesn’t know how to put a squad together. It’s a sad day for everyone at Ajax, except for two. Overmars has just signed a new contract and will spread his reign of terror for another four years. And after all this time, there’s still not even a little bit of talk about selling Gudelj.
This club is doomed if the same people keep running it.