De Boer counting on traditional top three

De Boer counting on traditional top three

Frank de Boer isn’t expecting any surprises in the Eredivisie title race. “At the outset, you’d expect the same top three teams as always. At the end of the line, those three teams usually take over the top spots”, says De Boer. “But you never know, there could be some surprises. FC Twente and Vitesse continue to be teams to keep an eye on, and AZ has shown that they have a good selection.”

At the end of the first round of play, Ajax is at the top of the list. De Boer, logically, thinks it is still too early to draw any assumptions. “Everyone still needs to find their way. In five or six matches, maybe you can say something. PSV and Feyenoord have brought in good replacements for the players who have left, but these players still need to prove themselves.”

Ajax meets Willem II on Saturday in the ArenA. Vaclav Cerny is in the match selection for the first time. The 17 year-old Czech received praise from De Boer: “Vaclav is a true winger and is making a good impression with the Ajax Reserves. I’ve known him for a while. He came to the training camp in Austria with a few of the young guys. These guys are fantastic to work with. They’re eager to learn, they want to improve every day, but they also know their place. They realize that their moment still has to come.”


But De Boer doesn’t guarantee a debut for Cerny. “We’re not a charity. If I think I need him, then he’s in. His debut will happen regardless. If it’s not tomorrow, then it will be another time. The same goes for Donny (van de Beek) and Appie (Abdel Nouri).”

De Boer was also specifically asked about Anwar El Ghazi at the press conference. El Ghazi was the hero in the away match at AZ. The winger also received praise. “Anwar is driven in everything he does. He always wants to profile himself in the matches and score goals. That’s a good attribute. Sometimes he could make better decisions, but that’s inherent to a young guy.”

Another young player with great drive is Riechedly Bazoer. De Boer is not surprised at his strong performances. “We know what he can do. He picked up at the same level he left off last season, and is perhaps playing even better. We’re also working on making him a more complete player. If he can get a handle on everything, he could become a great player.”


Nicolai Boilesen’s situation was also discussed. De Boer said that a transfer for the Dane to Genoa didn’t work out. There’s no place for Boilesen at Ajax anymore. “We’re not counting on him any longer. We made him an offer but he didn’t take it. That is his right, but it’s also our right to bring in a new player. That’s what we did, with Mitchell Dijks.”

Dijks came over from Willem II, a team which currently has three Ajax players loaned out in its selection: Richairo Zivkovic, Ruben Ligeon and Lesly de Sa. De Boer thinks that the Ajacieds are in good hands with Jurgen Streppel, the coach in Tilburg. “It’s important that the guys have someone behind them who is good. Streppels is a good coach. Of course you also look at the style of play. Willem II doesn’t lean back but plays out to the front. This way, you kill two birds with one stone.”