Coach Frank de Boer was left to lick his wounds after a painful loss to FC Groningen (1-0) with a sparse group of players. Many Ajax players travelled to their home countries this week for interland commitments. Which Ajax players will see action, where, and when?
Gregory van der Wiel is the only Ajax player called for the Dutch national team. The 23 year old defender, who made an early exit from Sunday’s match against Groningen after referee Richard Liesveld gave him a second yellow card, has been a fixture at right back for some time.
Although the Dutch team is assured of participation in the European championship, which takes place next summer in Poland and the Ukraine, coach Bert van Marwijk’s team still needs to play two qualification matches. The first of these will take place on Friday, when they cross swords with Moldavia in De Kuip. Their meeting one year ago in Chisinau was decided by a goal from former Ajax player Jan-Klaas Huntelaar. Four days later, the Dutch team will close the qualifications when they meet Sweden, who is still chasing the second European Cup ticket in group E.
Christian Eriksen is also absent from the Toekomst youth complex training fields, for the time being. The 19 year old midfielder plays Friday on Cyprus with Denmark, after which a deciding match against Portugal takes place on Tuesday. If the Danes win both matches, they qualify for the European Cup.
Iceland, who are also in group H but have already been eliminated, must play Portugal on Friday without forward Kolbeinn Sigthórsson. The 21 year old attacker sustained an ankle injury during the match against FC Groningen, and thus couldn’t report to the national team for the match.
Thulani Serero travelled to South Africa for his country’s match against Sierra Leone. The midfielder had abdominal muscle issues last week, and thus was absent last Sunday in Groningen.
Belgium, with Jan Vertonghen (Toby Alderweireld didn’t report this week due to injury), could, in theory, still place for the tournament. Besides a win against Kazachstan (Friday), they would most likely need to pull an upset against Germany, who are assured of a spot in the European Cup, four days later. Should the Red Devils get their six points, they still depend on Turkey’s results. Turkey is group A’s number two team.
Finally, another Ajax player has been invited to join Jong Oranje: Daley Blind. Jong Oranje, under the leadership of Cor Pot, won its European Cup qualifying match against Austria on Thursday, 1-0. Blind did not play.