Form Ajax worries Koeman

In the second league match of the season, away at RBC (0-1), Ajax were again far removed from top form. Coach Ronald Koeman even called it the worst match under his leadership. The leg of RBC's goalkeeper was needed to help Ajax to the full three points. In the second half the side from Amsterdam performed somewhat better, but still not to Koeman's satisfaction.

RBC Roosendaal started aggressively from the first whistle and and the home side's play reminded of that of Grazer AK, ten days ago. Successfully RBC prevented Ajax from playing their favorite passing game. In the first half Ajax only had one or two good chances. But with a bit of luck, Ajax took the lead anyway. Ten minutes before halftime Tom Soetaers crossed from the left. The ball hit the leg of RBC-goalkeeper Aerts, changed direction and went in the goal: 0-1.

Ajax were a bit better in the second half and showed some more aggression. It did not lead to many big chances however. Only Wesley Sonck was dangerous. De Belgian striker came face-to-face with Aerts twice. First he hit the post and a little later he struck against the goalkeeper's leg. But the goal could have fallen on the other side as well, as Ronald Koeman admitted afterwards. RBC could have made the equaliser through a free kick in the final minute and some time earlier Julien Escudé denied the home side a good chance.

Ronald Koeman thought hardly any of his players reached their normal level. ,,Tom Soetaers was alright on the left side and Zdenek Grygera and Julien Escudé played a fine match.'' The coach thinks it is a mental issue. ,,If you're not playing well, then you have to give it your all to make it difficult for the opponent. Some players should set the example, but they don't. Apparently this team does not realise that this season will be much more difficult than last season. We have to work even harder and be more aggressive.''

With six point from two matches all seems to be well. ,,The results are good, but that's all'', complained Koeman. With the all-important match for the UEFA Champions League against Grazer AK on Wednesday, the coach is starting to worry. ,,We were below our level in many ways today. Last week after Vitesse I was asked whether that was the worst match of Ajax with me as a coach. I say tonight was. Grazer lost today. The will be sharp for Wednesday. Maybe we should have lost last week or today, maybe that would have woken us up. The dime should drop by now for our players, or it's too late. I am very unhappy with our performance and it worries me.''