Peter Bosz wants to get to know his Ajacieds as soon as possible. The head coach hopes to get to know his players, especially their characters, thoroughly. This is to ensure optimal performance. At the end of July, the first qualification match for participation in the UEFA Champions League awaits.
The reporters who attended Bosz’s first presentation as head coach got to know the brand new Ajacied a bit better in several ways. In the press room of the ArenA, the Apeldoorn native unfolded his tactical and organizational plans for the upcoming weeks. “One of the challenges will be to get to know the players as thoroughly as possible”, said Bosz.
“It’s important to get an idea of their qualities. Only then can you be clear about what you need from them. You need this in order to create the playing strategy. I have a goal in mind, where we want to go; play compelling football and be successful. We will need to work hard for this. I think that the players will need to get used to me, too.”
Coach Bosz’s (a big fan of Pep Guardiola) concept of football fits well with his new club: “The way in which football is taught here isn’t that different from the way I think about football. For example, you need to play compactly. 10 meters more out in the front or to the back makes a big difference. And what do you do when you don’t have the ball? Those details can have a big impact. Fortunately, there are many roads that lead to Rome.”
The Ajax selection has remained largely intact compared to last season. This is comforting for the new coach. Every top club looks out for reinforcements. Ajax is no exception. “I’ve been in regular contact with Marc Overmars regarding reinforcements. Today we had 14 field players and 2 keepers on the field. That’s not much, but the internationals are returning next week.” Bosz has relatively few centre forwards in his selection. Bosz: “We have some young centre forwards available, but we need to give them time. But I think that we will have another centre forward by the end of July.” Amin Younes will not take part in the Olympic Games with the German team in Rio de Janeiro in August.
Ajax has dealt with the blow of missing out on the national title last season. Bosz didn’t notice any lingering disappointment when he had his introductory meetings with his colleagues. “My experience is that three weeks are generally enough to clear your head”, said the coach, who had followed Ajax closely during the final months of the season while he was still working as head coach with his former club Maccabi in Tel Aviv.
Unique week with Cruijff
In Israël, Bosz had the privilege of meeting with Johan Cruijff first hand. The most famous Ajacied ever visited his son Jordi in Tel Aviv. Shortly before the Ajax club icon passed away, Bosz had the privilege of experiencing a unique week with him. “He watched all of the trainings. After that we chatted about football and Ajax always came up. Even the smallest details. That was very special for me. I mainly listened and absorbed what he said. I’m very grateful to have experienced this. It’s very sad that things ended so quickly after that.”
Bosz isn’t afraid of the pressure to perform at Ajax. “There will always be pressure”, said the head coach. “The only thing I can do is work hard and help the players prepare as much as possible. The pressure is out of my hands. That’s part of the deal.”