Frank de Boer looked back on the loss against AZ (0-1) with disappointment. The evening which marked his 200th match as Ajax’s coach offered, despite the poor result, a glimmer of hope. For an entire half, the team’s play was finally worthy of Ajax.
De Boer called on a very young squad to face the Alkmaar team. Despite his team’s youth, the Ajacied saw his team play ‘Ajax’s game’ for the first time in many weeks. “There was constant pressure, but the only problem in the first half was that we weren’t able to make the last push”, said De Boer, looking back. “There was a lot of movement in the team, especially in the first half. At that point, Ajax had the match completely under control. We started off the second half badly. Many guys loss possession, and there was a lack of concentration at times.”
The red card of Niklas Moisander was the breaking point of the match for De Boer. The Ajax coach can’t see any rhyme or reason in referee Pol van Boekel’s decision. “It wasn’t even a free kick, he (Aron Jóhannnsson) just fell. It wasn’t even a scoring opportunity.” The coach went on to summarize the disappointing situation: “1 point in 3 matches is simply not enough for Ajax. At this time, we shouldn’t be looking at the lead, but we first need to focus on our own playing. Ajax needs to constantly play like we did in the first half.”