It all started when Peter Bosz went in for his appraisal towards the end of last season. In what should have been a formality, it turned out that Overmars, Van der Sar and Bergkamp had issues with Bosz that were fairly deep-rooted in nature.
For us, the fans, it was almost un-thinkable at the time (and still is) that the board could have any type of issue with a man who had got Ajax playing exciting, fluid football and who, most importantly, had guided us to a European League final. Granted, no trophy had been won, but the high level of achievement was there for all to see, and crucially, Ajax were playing the brand of football most associated with the club.
But that wasn’t enough. You see, Peter Bosz wasn’t pally with Dennis Bergkamp. Furthermore, he didn’t see eye-to-eye with Hennie Spijkerman. Didn’t you know that this was crucial? Forget attacking football, forget the glorious European campaign – oh no, it’s all about making sure you’re a yes-man and best friends with everyone.
So the inevitable happened, Overmars and Van der Sar, in their wisdom, allowed Bosz to leave the club for pastures new which was a terribly shocking piece of news for anyone who supports Ajax. What happened next, you ask? Well, Davy Klaasen left for Everton (our captain and best player), Bertrand Traore had no interest in remaining at Ajax and left for Olympique Lyon. Kenny Tete and Jairo Reidewald move on too, plus guys like Heiko Westermann and Diederek Boer decided enough is enough and even they sought a move.
Now I’m not saying that these transfers all happened because Bosz left, but I don’t think there would have been such a mass exodus. But it’s fine right, because Ajax will replace Bosz with a reputable trainer and we’ll surely replace departed players with solid buys. Nada. Nope. Zilch. The so-called ‘technical heart’ decide to opt for a manager who has a poor track record of managing sub-standard Dutch clubs because of his ‘stellar’ season coaching Jong Ajax. Marcel Keizer – a man who failed as a footballer at Ajax and a man who has thus far failed as a manager. But it’s fine, because he’s good friends with Spijkerman and Bergkamp. It’s also fine because with their influence in training, Ajax can revert back to the boring days under Frank de Boer. We’ve already seen more ‘balletjes breed‘ and ‘balletjes terug‘ under Keizer in four games, than we had all season under Bosz. This was always a disaster waiting to happen. The technical heart, at the time, didn’t have the courage to opt for a big name to manage the team – someone who really could have carried on from what Bosz started.
As for player recruitment – don’t even get me started. Albert Einstein very famously said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. Well, by that token – we can qualify that the men in charge at Ajax are insane. For the club to experience the same horror-start to the season as last year, because of the same reasons, is beyond belief. If this was allowed to happen in the corporate world, they would have lost their jobs by now. But no, everyone within Ajax loves Overmars, van der Sar and Bergkamp. Oh and they love Marcel Keizer too, but that’s fine, because Marcel Keizer is a nice man and he gets on with everyone.
We are now left in a situation where for the first time since the 60’s, Ajax may not play any European football, we are about to lose our best defender for a fee much lower than Overmars had said he was going to leave for, our players have publicly said we need to sign players, the football has gone backwards, and we’ve dropped points in the Eredivisie. But have no fear people, we have over €100 million in the bank to spend and you can bet you’re bottom dollar we’re about to sign that talented 20 year old Danish or Colombian player that no one has heard of.
I will forever support Ajax no matter how tough it gets. This is my club. But let me tell you something, things have to change and change quickly. Or in the words of The Kaiserchiefs: ‘I predict a riot’.