Peter Bosz expressed his satisfaction over the win at home against FC Groningen: 2-0. But the Ajax coach was less satisfied with the execution of this win. “Ajax had no sparkle”, was Bosz’s assessment in the Amsterdam ArenA’s press room.
Bosz saw his Ajacieds make a good start, but gradually lose their grip on the match as the first half progressed. That was to the visitors’ credit. FC Groningen played in a grouped formation and didn’t give much away in the first half. “Groningen did a good job”, Bosz complimented his fellow coach Ernest Faber. “But we should have been playing better. After a few changes, we got a better grip on the match in the second half. We still weren’t playing the way I like to see. But in the end, I’m pleased with the outcome. 2-0 is a good win. But I would have preferred to have an easier afternoon of it.”
The Ajacieds played with less sparkle than they have in past weeks. Ajax is now undefeated in 19 games (in all competitions). But in competition play, it’s inevitable that a few less compelling games will be played, says Bosz. “We’re never going to play 34 great matches, there will always be a lesser match from time to time.”
The coach started with Vaclav Cerny replacing the injuryed Bertrand Traoré. The choice for Cerny had something to do with Groningen left back Yoell van Nieff, according to Bosz. “He’s not a classic left back”, explained Bosz. Van Nieff, who comes up a lot, would be likefly to give away valuable space, was the expectation. “With his speed, Vaclav seemed to be the better choice. And this type of game will make him a better player. I have a lot of confidence in this guy. The fact that I started him should make that pretty obvious.”
Anwar El Ghazi started on the bench. After one hour of play, he came in for Cerny. Bosz was satisfied with his substitution. “Anwar brought more depth to our playing. Exactly what we wanted. He was threatening and involved with the first penalty kick, and other opportunities. The fact that he forced that first penalty shot might have been a bit too much.” With a smile: “But I’m sure that’s just because he was so eager.”