The recent defeat to Valencia in the Champions League will, ultimately, be considered a fall from grace. Supporters have already vented their spleen and urged those who make decisions at Ajax to take a long hard look at exactly how the football operations are managed at the club. This, of course, all comes in the wake of a disastrous Champions League campaign that has culminated in the Sons of the Gods crashing out of the prestigious European competition following last night’s calamitous 1-0 defeat — a slender margin but a big impact — at home to Spanish outfit Valencia.
Now, Erik ten Hag’s defeated team must drop down to the Europa League after they were knocked out, at best unceremoniously, in the group stages. Can they snare silverware in the second-tier competition? You can find out just what the odds-makers think thanks to a full list of all bookies offers here at the Bookies Offers where a host of Ajax game outcomes can be bet upon. Once the draw for the Europa League happens you will be able to pick from top goal scorers in games to outright competition winners. Ajax will have some stiff competition from bookies favourites such as Manchester United sitting at 6/1 closely followed by Arsenal at 13/2.
Ajax will first need to regroup to stand a chance in the Europa League as the recent Champions League defeat was not supposed to have happened! Pre match odds had Ajax as favourites to qualify following last years spectacular efforts by advancing to the semi-final and were very unlucky to lose out to Tottenham Hotspur, who were roundly beaten in the final in Madrid by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Back then, of course the Sons of the Gods could boast world class talent in the shape of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt. Both are gone now and how it shows in the performance — with a lack of cohesion largely to blame for a display that was well below par overall.
Despair was afoot at the final whistle at the Johan Cruyff Arena. Fans watched in disbelief as Rodrigo grabbed the only goal half way through the opening half as he shot into the roof of the goal after latching on to a perceptive pass from the ever lively Ferran Torres.
The home side rallied as best they could but they couldn’t quite muster enough, energy and guile to find a way past a very much defiant Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech. Chief among the protagonists desperately trying to find a way through were two stars of the Amsterdam giants in the shape of Lisandro Martinez and Hakim Ziyech. But both were thwarted by the visiting No.1 as they forced saves from him, needed to keep out to their thunderous efforts on goal. It wasn’t to be, alas.
Ten Hag? Well despite the obvious disappointment he made mention of the previous displays in the group stages and cited these as a cause to take positives from the defeat. He said: “We got 10 points, and played a good group phase and were on the verge of qualifying for the knockout stage two matches ago (remembering the 4-4 draw against Chelsea, when they let slip a 1-4 advantage). That makes it extra bitter We deserved it, but we left it. The disappointment is huge.”
Now Ajax must await the conclusion of the Europa League tomorrow night before they look at just who they might meet when the knockout sages come around.