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.
And you thought international breaks were boring, didn’t you? Well, they’re not. Once again, the crisis continued into its third or fourth week. What crisis, you might ask? Ajax is currently second in the Eredivisie and has already secured a place in the Europa League for 2017. Nothing to worry about, you would say. You’d be wrong again. There is currently a crisis at Ajax, because three players are tired of being on the bench. After being there for nine games.
You wouldn’t have that at PSV, I’m sure of it. You certainly wouldn’t have this scenario at Feyenoord, where everybody is super-close friends and they all gather at Dirk Kuyt’s for dinner on wednesday. However, at Ajax these situations aren’t uncommon. And I have developed a theory about why having too many good players always makes for trouble at Ajax.
I think it has something to do with some sort of Jesus-complex every Ajacied develops on one point or another. Look at our previous players; Wesley Sneijder, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Suarez and Rafael van der Vaart. They all have that famed Amsterdam Arrogance, which every Ajax-fan loves. And, to be honest, rightfully so. Each of these four players was amongst Europe’s elite at one point in their careers, some of them still are. In their case, the Jesus-complex is not a problem.
However, for some players in the current squad, who haven’t achieved anything other than thirty games in the Eredivisie for some club from Amsterdam or Alkmaar, this complex can lead to issues. These players, and we all know who I’m talking about, develop self-confidence so high, they automatically think they are the best thing that has happened to football since the birth of Johan Cruyff.
And no Nemanja, you’re not.
This undeserved arrogance has to be stopped in order to regain balance in the current squad. We have to make sure no more talented players will be sold because they are mentally completely unstable. Of course, a lot of this problem is due to the complete inability of Marc Overmars to put a squad together, but since he just signed a new contract, that’s become a problem we can’t solve anymore.
So how do we solve the Jesus Complex? We make sure our players know they’re not the greatest anymore. Players like Nemanja, like Riechedly; they have surrounded themselves with people who tell them they’re great three times a day. Nemanja has his brother, his father, his manager and Frank de Boer (who I believe started living with the Gudelj’s after his sacking at Inter), while Riechedly is fueled by his brother.
When someone has so many people surrounding them, when no-one ever criticizes them besides media and fans, they develop a sense of superiority and a lack of self-reflection. That’s why I make this call to every manager, brother, father, uncle or whatever in the world: if you know a talented kid: be critical. Make sure he knows football is about working hard to better yourselfs. Please, let’s kick the Jesus Complex out of Ajax!