On paper, the home game against FC Dordrecht should be an easy win for Ajax, but coach Frank de Boer is wary of counting the chickens before they’re hatched. “We feel that Dordrecht deserves to be higher up in the rankings. It’s a good football team with three former top talents”, praised Frank de Boer at the press conference.
“Joris van Overeem, who came from the same class as Stefano Denswil, was a bit talent at AZ”, explains De Boer. “The same goes for Funso Ojo at PSV, and Ricky van Haaren, together with Jordy Clasie, was one of the biggest talents at Feyenoord. Dordrecht was better against ADO and FC Utrecht and gave Vitesse a hard time. We’ve analysed them thoroughly.”
The fact that Dordrecht had announced that they would play offensively was music to De Boer’s ears. “That could have a positive effect on the match.” Ajax’s coach expressed the hope that his team would take control from the first minute, like they did last week against Go Ahead Eagles. De Boer called the first 28 minutes of that game the best of the season.
“We need to take the initiative from the first few seconds”, says De Boer. “We need to radiate that confidence and determination from the start, and not after something happens with the opponent of we get scored against. All of the staff insisted on that point. Last week, we saw the results.”
During the weekly press conference, De Boer was asked if he, just like Johan Crujff, sees a defending midfielder in Davy Klaassen. “Davy can certainly play that role. But if you place him there, you also neutralize a very important quality. He’s a scoring midfielder with depth. And we’ll miss that if we place someone else there.”
Lerin Duarte’s situation was also discussed. The lefty seems to have been placed on the backburner. De Boer acknowledges that Duarte needs to do better. “I’m not saying he’s doing badly, but it’s not good enough for a starting spot. He’ll need to fight his way into the squad. The competition for his position (left half) is deadly. Lucas Andersen and Thulani Serero have been doing well from the start. Lerin took longer to get into it.”
The big question is who will be the striker on Saturday: Kolbeinn Sigthórsson or Arek Milik. De Boer didn’t give anything away, but had praise for both centre forwards: “There is very little difference between the two, they’re about equal as players. Arek is proving himself very well and is up and coming. But we also have faith in Kolbeinn. He’s looking fitter than ever and is very competitive.”
Ajax – FC Dordrecht starts at 18:30. Tickets are still available starting at €12. A Club Card is required for this match. Don’t have a Club Card yet? Request one free of charge through the link below.