Frank de Boer had reason to be happy after Sunday’s win against AZ. The midweek disappointment against Rapid Wien thrust any bad feelings to the backburner. The generous 0-3 win in Alkmaar brought sunshine again to the title aspirers.
“I’m pleased that we were able to play today. Especially considering the result”, De Boer opened his presentation. The trainer discussed the police strike, which affected the first round of competition play significantly. It was even a question mark whether or not the North Holland derby would even take place. Fortunately, the addition of extra stewards, volunteers and an agent here and there made AZ – Ajax possible. De Boer: “Compliments for the volunteers and the mayor of Alkmaar. Today was a great example of how things can be done. In the ideal situation, as little police presence as possible would be required.”
Just like the organization around the AFAS stadium, the organization within Ajax – on the Alkmaar field – was impressive. Ajax burst into a 3-0 lead before halftime. That lead was never threatened. The duel between last season’s number 2 and number 3 teams got the winner it deserved. “Our organization was good”, said De Boer. “We perhaps weren’t better; we just didn’t get into trouble. We stayed alert. And after the break, there was lots of room to get in trouble. But we didn’t. It may have had something to do with the heat today. And that AZ only had two days of rest after their European match. But we had the match under control. We can be pleased that our first match ended like this.”
The fact that Ajax didn’t score in the second half was a minor downside on this sunny afternoon. Anwar El Ghazi’s injury – the player scored two goals on Sunday – doesn’t seem too serious at first observation. “Anwar is having some trouble with pain in his glutes. On Monday he’ll be examined again. We think it will be fine.”