Bosz is confident: 'I’m not afraid of anything'

Bosz is confident: 'I’m not afraid of anything'

An away game against Excelsior awaits Ajax on Saturday evening.  At the start of competition, the Ajacieds suffered considerable damage at the hands of Willem II and Roda JC, but Peter Bosz is not afraid of that happening again.  “I’ve said it before, but I’m not afraid of anything, and certainly not that.”

“Lately, we’ve had a series of matches in which we’ve done our job”, continues Bosz.  “Slowly, we’re becoming more stable and better.  But we can’t get lazy, because it won’t be easy against Excelsior.”

Bosz is not concerned with the rankings.  As Feyenoord will be hosting Heerenveen and PSV will play at Vitesse, Ajax could potentially improve its position.  “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t look at that, because it often leads to disappointment.  The only thing we can control is our own game.  That’s what we’re completely focused on.  And only after that will we look at what happened in the other games.  But I actually don’t think that this is very important at this stage of the competition.”

Wide range of talent
The day after the match against Kozakken Boys, Ajax’s strong performance (1-6), as well as the many young talents who are knocking on the door, were discussed at the press conference.  “On Wednesday, six guys on the squad were younger than twenty years old.  And that’s not even counting Carel Eiting, who was on the bench, or Pelle Clement, who just turned twenty.”

Bosz is vigilant about throwing young players to the wolves at an early stage.  “I’ve played abroad. Guys who make their debut at 21 or 22 years of age are considered young.  And in the Netherlands, if you haven’t made your debut by the age of 18 or 19, you’re seen as not being good enough.  But good players will always get a shot.  I understand, though.  If it were my own son, I’d want for him to play.  And that’s part of Ajax.  But we’re looking for the right timing.  Starting too soon isn’t good, either.  There are many examples of young guys who started too early, and as a result, didn’t reach the career that they could have.”

Abdelhak Nouri was discussed as well.  The young midfielder stood out in Werkendam during his first time on the squad.  Bosz was complimentary, but also added a footnote.  “Celta de Vigo is a different story than Kozakken Boys.  But this doesn’t take away from the fact that Abdelhak gets the job done, and makes an impact during the playing time he gets.  I’ve said it before, we have more than eleven good players.  We need to dare to let them play.  All of the guys who played yesterday deserved it.”

'Dutch team players’
Bosz was asked if he felt that the situation with an over-full selection could be problematic in the long run, and whether letting go of some players during the winter break should be discussed.  “Of course we need to look at the big picture with the entire selection.  But we’re doing that every month, and we’re also scouting, for example.  We just have a lot of very good players.  Guys like Riedewald, Tete and Bazoer are on the Dutch team.  These guys may land on the bench sometimes, but they want to play.  I get that.”

Bosz was also asked if he sees Riedewald as an option for left back.  The coach said no: “Right not, Mitchell Dijks and Daley Sinkgraven are the men for that position.” Bosz said that he sees Riedewald as a central defender and a defending midfielder.”

In any case, the past few months have been smooth and Bosz seems to have found his groove in Amsterdam.  That’s how he feels as well.  “This is what I’ve always wanted, to work with better players.  When I look at how our position playing is going, it’s pure enjoyment.  It’s also great to see our young guys come up and to follow their development.  I didn’t know what to expect at Ajax, so I’m just letting it all sink in.  But right now, everything that I’d hoped that it would be is happening .”