Bosz: 'Nice that Sparta’s back'

Bosz: 'Nice that Sparta’s back'

Ajax kicks off the competition this Sunday with an away game at Sparta.  The Rotterdam team is back in the highest level after a six-year absence, which Peter Bosz is happy about.  “Sparta is truly a traditional club in the Netherlands, and has always put forward good players”, says Ajax’s coach.  “Het Kasteel also has something special.  It’s nice that they’re back.”

This will be Bosz’s first competition match as Ajax’s coach.  He’s aware of the significance of this, but at the same time, doesn’t want to exaggerate its importance.  “This first match is important, especially emotionally.  That’s obvious.  But in the end, there are 34 matches in a season and each game is important.  We’re going to do everything we can to win on Sunday.”

The only way is up

Bosz has already booked his first series of successes in Amsterdam.  Ajax reached the UEFA Champions League at PAOK’s expense.  The result was satisfactory, but the execution of the match in Greece was not.  “During our flight back, I watched the match again.  I noticed many things”, says Bosz.  “We clearly need to play better.  In any case, when it comes to the way we’re playing, the only way is up.”

According to Bosz, Ajax’s stodgy playing had nothing to do with the fact that they were using a different system.  “However you are playing, be it with three or four defenders, the pace has to be faster.  You need to play to each other more precisely and you can’t just lose possession.  All of those things have nothing to do with tactics in my eyes.”

Bosz has an idea about how to defeat Sparta, but he didn’t want to disclose his plans just yet.  “I always do that with my players first.”  In any case, Ajax will rely on its own strength.  “I always look at my own players, to Ajax, for 95 per cent.  And I look at the opponent for very small details.  For example where and how we will apply pressure.”

Full speed ahead

The Ajacieds came out of the match in Thessaloniki unscathed.  Only Amin Younes is still a question mark, but the German didn’t travel to Greece.  All of the other players could potentially be at kick-off at het Kasteel, said Bosz.  “The guys need to go full speed ahead.  They needed to do that on Wednesday evening, and will have to do it on Sunday again.  After four weeks of preparation, they’re not in top condition, but everyone is able to play two matches.”

New this season is that coaches can select up to 22 players for the match selection.  What does Bosz think of this new rule?  “A big advantage is that these young guy who deserve it can be included in the selection more often.  That was more difficult before.  And as a coach, you often chose the safe route with players that you knew.”

Playing time

“But I’m not going to put guys on the bench if I’m sure I’m not going to use them”, continued Bosz.  “I’ve played in matches with just three substitutes, because I knew that the others wouldn’t get a chance.  Here are Ajax there are more good players, so I’ll probably have a few more on the bench.  But again:I’m only going to bring guys who have a chance at playing.”