Bosz: ‘What happened in Manchester is terrible'

Bosz: ‘What happened in Manchester is terrible'

Peter Bosz took the stage directly at the press conference on the eve of Ajax – Manchester United.  The coach, on behalf of Ajax’s selection and staff, expressed deep sympathy for the victims of the attack that took place on Monday night in Manchester.  “What happened there is terrible.  We extend our sincere condolences to the victims and their families.”

Events cast shadow
“This match, which we’ve all been looking forward to so much, should have been one big football celebration”, continued Bosz.  “Unfortunately, the events in Manchester cast a dark shadow over the game and robbed the final of its shine.  Of course, it remains a match which Ajax and Manchester United are going to play to win, but it’s not going to be the big football party that everyone had hoped for.”

Threat hits close to home
Bosz said that the threats feel close to home now.  “It happened in the city that is home to the team against whom we’re playing in the final.  Moreover, if it can happen in Manchester, it can happen anywhere.  Of course we’re all talking about it.  Ariana Grande gave a concert in Amsterdam two weeks ago.  Some of the players’ wives attended with their kids.  When you look at it like that, it definitely hits close to home.”

'Send them to get their head checked'
Many reporters, both local and international, attended the press conference.  They asked Bosz if Ajax’s young guns were nervous.  “Well, I’d send them to get their head checked immediately if they weren’t nervous”, was the coach’s realistic reaction.  “It would be very strange if the players weren’t nervous.  This is a first-time experience for everyone.  But we need to make sure that the nerves don’t paralyze us.  We’re trying to give the players a grip on the situation by doing the same thing that we’ve always done.”  

Preparing for various scenarios

Bosz will not make any concession, even though Manchester United is no small opponent.  “We’ve reached the finals by playing a certain way.  We’re not going to deviate from that very much.  We intend to play our own game.  Clearly, we’re very strong when we do, and we can go far.  Of course I realize that we’re facing a very tough opponent.  As a coach, you’re always trying to prepare your team for various scenarios.  But it will mainly come down to how strong we are, ourselves.”

Zlatan part of Ajax history
Naturally, the topic of Zlatan Ibrahimovic was raised.  The Manchester United star will be unable to play in his homeland due to an injury.  Bosz regrets this.  “Zlatan is a part of Ajax’s history.  The man has had an incredible career, won so many championships in several competitions, and despite his age, is still performing strongly with a big club.  Above all, he’s a big personality.  He should have been part of this final.  We’ll miss him tomorrow.”

Kasper Dolberg is Kasper Dolberg
As Zlatan will be absent, all eyes will be turned to Kasper Dolberg, Ajax’s newest boy wonder on centre forward.  When asked, Bosz refused to compare the two players.  “I hate comparing players.  I don’t think that a new Zlatan or Dennis Bergkamp is coming.  Kasper Dolberg is Kasper Dolberg.  He has his own way of playing, his own qualities, and his own personality.”

But Bosz didn’t hide his satisfaction.  “In the pre-season preparations, I was asked to take a look at Kasper.  He was playing with the Under 19s.  After that, he experienced an amazing development.  He’s only 19 years old, but he has so many qualities and enormous potential.”