Tag Archives: Frank de Boer

JOHAN CRUYFF SCHAAL: AZ 2-3 Ajax A.E.T.

JohanCruyffSchaal

Ahead of next week’s Eredivisie season kick-off, champions Ajax faced KNVB Beker winners AZ Alkmaar at the Amsterdam ArenA for the coveted Johan Cruyff Schaal (Shield), in the usual season preview to the upcoming campaign. Ajax were looking to finally end an curse in this match which has seen the Amsterdammers which has seen them lose the match the last three seasons consecutively, although they went on to win the Eredivisie title on all three occasions. Not a bad consolation prize, but it was a case of third time lucky for Frank de Boer’s side this evening, coming back from two goals down to finally clinch the Shield.

AZ 2-3 AJAX

AFTER EXTRA TIME

The first 45 minutes were a cautious affair from both sides of the pitch but after a goal-less first-half, but in the second period, the game opened up and delivered four goals.

The first goal was produced against the run of play after Ajax defender Daley Blind was knocked down on the edge of AZ’s penalty area by Jeffrey Gouweleeuw. Gouweleeuw launched the ball forward as the AZ attack had a three on two advantage. The Icelandic attack linked up well as Aron Jóhannsson squared to an unmarked Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson who buries it past Kenneth Vermeer to put the underdogs ahead. Coach De Boer was furious that the foul had not been given up the pitch before the goal.

Moments after the restart, it was nearly 2-0. AZ surged forward again and when the ball was threaded through to always pressing Gouweleeuw, he poorly hit his shot straight at Vermeer, but Ajax were on the ropes.

Gertjan Verbeek’s men did get their second goal with some good work from their midfield exposing some defensive frailties from the Amsterdam side. Markus Henriksen and Roy Beerens linked up well to split the Ajax backline and left Jóhannsson to tap home to double the lead. De Boer acted by bringing on 18-year-old Danish attacker Lucas Andersen for the on-loan Bojan Krcic, who had largely been disappointing.

AZ - Ajax

Ajax grabbed a goal back with an unlucky own goal. Up stepped Christian Eriksen with the free-kick which ricocheted off Gouweleeuw’s head and into the goal.

Toby Alderweireld hit a long-range effort straight at Esteban Alvarado but the Costa Rican goalkeeper could just parry the effort into the feet of yet another Icelandic, Kolbeinn Sigþórsson to level the game up with fifteen minutes of time remaining.

With chances for either side going begging, the game ended 2-2 on 90 minutes and headed into extra-time. Moments into the first-half, attacking AZ full-back Mattias Johansson found space inside the box but pulled his shot narrowly wide, a huge let-off for De Boer’s side.

Ajax knokt zich terug van 2-0 en wint Johan Cruijff-schaal

Ajax finally took the lead in the match on 103 minutes, Eriksen whipping in a high cross for Siem de Jong to nod home from the back post. Ajax continued to look for goals hitting AZ on the counter while the Alkmaar side pressed to get themselves back into the game, but time ran out for them and Ajax were awarded the Shield.

By winning the trophy this evening, De Boer has wrote himself in the record books once again. He is only the second Ajax man to have lifted the trophy as both a player and a coach, the first being Ajax legend Danny Blind.

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NEWS: De Boer is ‘Coach of the Year’

Championship winning manager Frank De Boer of Ajax has been awarded the Rinus Michels Award for being voted ‘Coach of the Year’.

The Rinus Michels Award is an annual prize in Dutch football and is supported by the official football coaches union (“Coaches Betaald Voetbal”). The award is named after Rinus Michels, who was named ‘Coach of the Century’ by FIFA in 1999.

De Boer wins the award for the first time in his coaching career, fending off last years winner Feyenoord’s Ronald Koeman, PEC Zwolle’s Art Langeler, Vitesse’s Fred Rutten and FC Utrecht’s Jan Wouters.

De Boer adding more trophies to his vast collection

No-one can deny De Boer of the award, who has guided Ajax to their, and his third Eredivisie championship in a row.

Oranje coach Louis van Gaal picked up the ‘Oeuvre’ award, which congratulates a coach for their career, while Marcel Groninger of Be Quick 1887 won ‘Best Amateur Coach’.

Finally, Feyenoord won the ‘Best Dutch Youth Academy’ award for fourth straight season. An academy which has produced such talent as Stefan de Vrij, Jordy Clasie, Tonny Vilhena, Jean Paul Boetius and Bruno Martins Indi over the past few years.

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NEWS: Ajax to link up with Manchester United?

Ajax manager Frank de Boer

The partnership would see players from the Red Devils loaned to Ajax to gain great experience from first team football and although a plethora of transfers would be unlikely, with Ajax only likely to loan in areas they are in need of strengthening, it could potentially give Manchester United’s youth players a fantastic chance to experience a different footballing culture. The deal seems to be quite a simple one; United will send some of their best young and fringe players on loan to Ajax and in return they could have first refusal over some of the players linked with moves away from the Dutch club.

In an interview with Voetbal International, Frank de Boer said: “If Manchester United talent would prefer to gain experience with Ajax than in the lower divisions in England, then it can be a very interesting option.”

De Boer’s quotes come less than a week after Manchester United Dutch first-team coach Rene Meulensteen admitted to newspaper AD that loaning out the younger players would be a good idea with former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar playing a big role in getting the partnership started. “For our younger players it would be a good idea, rather play at Ajax than in the Championship, I’ll keep Edwin informed.”.

Now that Edwin van der Sar is working as the sporting director at Ajax, the move could prove extremely useful for both sides with the ex-United legend likely to play a key role if the partnership materialises.

Edwin van de Sar now Ajax’s Sporting Director

This season, Ajax have had Barcelona’s highly-rated winger Issac Cuenca on loan with the club and despite his problems with injuries, De Boer is hopeful that the player will go back to Spain with ‘enthusiastic stories’.  Barcelona are expected to have a long standing loan partnership with Ajax due to the link that Director of Football Marc Overmars provides, so the loan deal for Cuenca is likely to be the first of many.

Given Ajax’s globally renowned talent at creating and nurturing some of the worlds most gifted players including Dennis Bergkamp, Johan Cruyff, Patrick Kluverit, Edgar Davids, Marco van Basten and Wesley Sneijder, a move would be a great experience for any United youngsters and likely extremely beneficial.

If this deal does come off, and Manchester United do get first refusal on Ajax’s stars then I’m sure that Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen, Viktor Fischer and many more who could all make the 20-time champions a much stronger squad and a much stronger proposition to their rivals.

Ajax are not going to turn into a feeder club because they are under no obligation to sell players to United who don’t wish to move. The Eredivisie is a greatly underrated league in the context of European football and it allows United to get a stronger hold in terms of their scouting network in the Netherlands. It also potentially cuts off the supply line to their main rivals.

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NEWS: De Boer to stay with Ajax

Frank de Boer is staying in Amsterdam next season

Frank de Boer has announced that he has decided to stay on as head coach of Ajax Amsterdam.

De Boer was quoted as talking to Amsterdam Tv channel AT5 and stated “I will still be with Ajax next year, if they should decide to keep me.”

Ajax have been keen to discuss a new contract with De Boer and wish to extend their deal together until summer 2014. The former Dutch international is now in his third season as head coach of the Amsterdam club.

Marc Overmars, Sporting Director at Ajax spoke to Dutch newspaper AD: “We wish to look to bring new players into the club but not before we negotiate a new deal with Frank. We have already expressed that intent and Frank knows that. Obviously his is the most important deal for us.”

The announcement that De Boer is staying comes just three days after the British press had suggested that De Boer had welcomed reports linking him to Manchester City.

De Boer has led Ajax to two Eredivisie titles since taking charge of the club in 2010, and has been touted as a potential successor to Roberto Mancini at the Etihad Stadium. However, although he has indicated an interest in leading City, De Boer does not appear to be ready to move away from the Netherlands.

“Manchester City would be something I want to do, yes, but it is difficult for me to move my family abroad at the moment and I have to consider others, not just myself.”

Ajax director Marc Overmars added this past weekend talking to ESPN “Am I worried? Not for losing Frank now, but City will be a big competitor for his signature in the near future.”

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