Ajax stayed true to Ten Hag, their technique and their ethos

Ajax’s goalless draw at Heracles was a surprisingly plain finish to a month overflowing with targets and pleasure.

Two assertion wins back-to-back — a historic 5-0 conquer Eredivisie rivals PSV Eindhoven 5 days after the 4-0 evisceration of Borussia Dortmund within the Champions League — had observers close to and much purring over their horny attacking soccer, however Saturday’s much more chaste affair introduced consideration to an under-appreciated side of this crew’s brilliance.

Ajax don’t simply rating with an ease befitting their house metropolis Amsterdam’s famously laid-back proclivities. In addition they defend with the type of resoluteness one may extra naturally anticipate to come across in northern Italy. It’s that fluid stability that makes them such an thrilling crew, a examine in collective motion, ideally within the opposition half. “Everybody assaults, everybody defends,” their coach Erik ten Hag has stated of his model of Complete Voetbal.

The weekend’s journey to Heracles introduced a fourth successive away Eredivisie clear sheet this season, and was the eleventh match with out Ajax conceding of their 15 outings throughout all competitions. “Their watertight defence is a boon for zero fetishists,” wrote Dutch newspaper BN DeStem, “Ajax have hardly seemed higher on the again this century.”

This may not be an exaggeration. Ten Hag’s males have definitely by no means seemed extra stable with out the ball in his four-year reign, a thrillingly competent spell that has married home success with a formidable re-emergence on the worldwide scene. Both facet of the 2018-19 crew’s barnstorming run to inside a number of seconds of a Champions League last, four-time European champions Ajax haven’t made it previous the group stage of Europe’s prime membership competitors since 2005-06.

https://theathletic.com/2925159/2021/11/02/ajax-stayed-true-to-ten-hag-their-strategy-and-their-ethos-and-theyre-flying/?supply=rss | Ajax stayed true to Ten Hag, their technique and their ethos

Curtis Crabtree

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