De Boer: ‘Ajax underperformed for an hour’

De Boer: ‘Ajax underperformed for an hour’

On Tuesday, Frank de Boer saw Ajax post its twelfth clean sheet in this Eredivisie season.  This equals the total for all of last season in terms of clean sheets.  This was one of the only highlights after Tuesday’s disappointing scoreless tie against Heracles.

“We did a good job on defense, but not such a good one on offense”, was Frank de Boer’s analysis in the ArenA’s new press room.  “It started off well with Anwar El Ghazi’s play.  With an early goal, like we had on Saturday against Vitesse, you hope to draw your opponent out.  But we underperformed for an hour.  At halftime, I told them that we needed to shoot in the ball faster behind Heracles’ defense.  Our players who were on the move could have taken advantage of that.  There were very few transition moments against Heracles. We should have created opportunities from the ‘second ball’.  We did manage in the last fifteen minutes.  We should have done that at the start of the second half as well.”

Too many Ajax players played below their level against Heracles.  For example, El Ghazi was not able to follow up after his great start.  Daley Sinkgraven was strong in the first half, but unable to continue in the same vein in the second.  De Boer missed Amin Younes’ contribution as well – whereas the player has been outstanding in the past few weeks.  “Even Amin had a bad day.  He wasn’t able to make the difference this time.  This is also because he barely got into a 1 against 1 position.  Sometimes you need to approach it a different way.  Although that is what we did in the last fifteen minutes.”