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Chef Raekwon

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About Chef Raekwon

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    Ajax Researcher

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  1. Not sure if you think the Eredivisie counts, but AZ is incredible this year. They have a very young and talented squad and can challenge to break the PSV/Ajax dominance in the Eredivisie. There's also the added challenge of keeping your young talents and building rapport in Europe.
  2. Don't worry about me, I was not part of the FM20 research team and like you, I'm currently a well-meaning paying customer, so no thanks necessary! And like you, my first post in this topic (page 1, check it out if you want to) was pointing out different issues about the Ajax staff and records. However, I was part of the research and beta team for a few years so I do know a bit about how the data is set and what is and isn't possible (last minute). In no way I mean to be condescending, hopefully I'm considered helpful when pointing out the following: Players and staff are rated by the researchers of the club/nation where they played in the previous season, unless there are MAJOR issues. As such, Promes was rated by Spanish research, Alvarez by Mexican and Martinez by the Argentinians. It's a matter of prioritization of what gets adjusted during beta and what not. I'm not familiar with the current inner workings, but I'm not surprised the English data gets prioritized above Dutch. Records and player history rank low in prioritization so I don't think it's weird to not see them changed during beta. Data is subjective. I might rank some ability 15, you 17 and another 11. As such, you are always asked (as per the first post in this topic) to provide proof for your claims. Just saying an attribute should be higher and it be self evident usually doesn't help anybody. Not everything you point out is a data issue. For instance and as far as I know, country knowledge of scouts isn't set on an individual level. That doesn't mean there are no issues with the data, I see them too. However, in my case, a little understanding goes a long way.
  3. The list is too long to manually copy and because I wasn't part of the Dutch research team this year, I don't want to step on any toes there. As said, I kept PA's (95%) within the limits of their original range (so -7 is 110 to 140, I'm assigning a PA somewhere in that range. Two notable exceptions were Noa Lang and Carel Eiting. I gave Lang a slightly higher PA and Eiting a slightly higher CA (and shuffled some attributes around to mold him to player I think he is in real life). As for staff, I hired Dennis Bergkamp (assistant manager U19 after I fired the former assistant), Pedro Jaro (gk coach), Michael Lindeman (fitness coach) and Fabio Micarelli (coach).
  4. Ah, sucks. I can warmly recommend Telstar, had a very fun run with them in FM18. Might be in the same mold as Volendam / Den Bosch. At any rate, have fun!
  5. Started my own save game last night, as I always wait for the full game and editor to arrive. Made some improvements to the DB (wages, set PA's, fiddled a bit with positions, redistributed some player attributes, added favourite staff etc.) and started a new save. Started as Ajax and Holland manager, really want to play with Frenkie, Matthijs, Gini, Virgil and Memphis. Have only played a few (in-game) days, but so far did the following: Made Juan Castillo's loan move permanent. Am currently scouting a lot of Dutch prospects, as I want this save to focus on the development of the Eredivisie and Dutch football in general. Fired some staff members and hired a few more (hard to find good staff this year!) Set individual training assignments for all players. Created my own tactics this year, inspired by Ten Hag's formation in the past two years. Sold van Leer for 1,7M to Köln. Attempting to sell S. de Jong, Thetani, Solomons, van Bladeren and ter Heide before they either have their contracts terminated or leave on free transfers. The first iteration of my tactics are as follows: Gegenpress; narrow shape and highest possible defensive line and line of engagement. Overlapping flanks but playing the ball through the middle as often as possible. Sweeper Keeper (attack) (Onana) to support my high defensive line. Quick distribution to my playmakers, preferably short kicks. Wing Backs (attack) (Tagliafico and Mazraoui) who, as said, overlap on the flanks. I think I'm opting for whipped crosses for the time being. Ball playing defender (stopper) (Blind) to push up higher up the pitch. Not sure about this one, but I feel Blind has been consistently and aggresively pushing up the pitch to follow false nines or attack attacking midfielders. Ball playing defender (defend) (Veltman or Alvarez) with regular duties. Deep Lying Playmaker (MC) (support) (Probably Marin) to help transition from defense to attack. Deep Lying Playmaker (MC) (defend) (Not sure yet) to play a bit more in a holding role and act as a relief passing option for forwards. Inside Forwards (attack) (Probably Promes and Ziyech) who can cut inside and score. Shadow Striker (attack) (Van de Beek) to push up the opponents box and score goals. Deep Lying Forward (support) (Tadic) to drop deep to make room for my IF's and SS. First friendlies have been good (beat Jong Ajax, Bolton Wanderers and IJsselmeervogels with ease), so I'm excited to see if it carries over into competitive play.
  6. I've also done some research (it's a fun problem to solve!) and through this elite research (opened up the editor) I now know Volendam does not have any set club vision. Their Director and DoF have no stats / tendencies set either, so that can't be it either. Youth coaching, facilities, recruitment and importance are . So nothing there either!
  7. I think plenty of data issues have been fixed, just not all. Also, a beta is not *just* for data issues, but mainly for bugs and crashes.
  8. Two things about Haaland: I don't think he fits Ajax particularly well. He has relatively low technique which makes him at the very least an a-typical Ajax striker. Also, he doesn't want to join Ajax at the start of the game, even though his transfer fee (around 20-25M) is very reasonable.
  9. In which case I'll chalk it up to it being the language barrier preventing me from full understanding, followed by a well-meant apology.
  10. Seeing as I'm a former assistent researcher of FM I'm pretty confident I understand how PA works. I presume the editor is out on the 19th too, we'll see for ourselves then.
  11. Highly doubt it, as I think a 16-year old player with only a handful of pro games will always have a negative PA (I don't know, -9 seems likely, which will net him a PA between 150 and 180).
  12. Basically, if you want to stay true to the Ajax philosophy, there are three distinct systems to choose from, combined with a few non-optional philosophical 'rules': 4-3-3 This is the classic, or traditional, version of Ajax's system. Basically at least one ball playing defender, full backs if you play with wingers, wing backs if you play with inside forwards, one defensive midfielder (either a deep lying playmaker, half back or defensive midfielder), two MC's (possibly box-to-box combined with a more creative role), AML and AMR's (winger if you want the classical '70s style, inside forwards if you want a more modern playstyle) and a ST (complete forward might be best). 3-4-3 This is the most unorthodox formation out of the three posted. An excellent tactical breakdown and adoption for FM can be found here: 4-2-3-1 This is a more modern (Ten Hag) take on the Ajax philosophy which brought Ajax CL success last season. Basically play gegenpressing, sweeper keeper, wing backs, ball playing defenders (or at least one), two central midfielders (one deep lying playmaker, one mezalla I think (the role which links vertical lines of play), inside fowards (AML and AMR), an AMC (I think just a plain attacking midfielder but you could also go for shadow striker) and a ST (either a complete forward or a deep lying forward when playing a shadow striker). I think the difference up front is made by either playing Ziyech or Van de Beek as AMC. If Ziyech, you want a more creative role to get the most out of him. If Van de Beek, then an AMC with overlapping runs deep into the oppositions box makes sense, in which case you want a ST who drops back to make space. Philosophy I think your playing philosophy under all circumstances should be: * Attacking football. You'll want to move the ball up the field as quickly as possible. Always look for vertical space rather than horizontal, unless the ball is moved further up the pitch by triangles. * Pressing football. If you lose the ball, win it back asap. You want to press as high up the pitch as possible, force the opposition to make a mistake and then pounce. * Move your defenders high up the pitch to allow for high pressing. Also don't be scared to have your defenders step out of their defensive positions to break up attacks one line further forward. * Outscore your opponent. It's okay to concede, it happens when you play a high defensive line with a lot of space behind your defenders. Just make sure to always score one more goal than your opponent.
  13. Hi all, New year, new Ajax topic. I'll be adding player profile screenshots over the next few days. I've used the official Ajax player screenshots, but not too happy with how they look. Might replace them later, might not. Hopefully you like this post. If you have anything to add, please let me know. Have fun playing your Ajax saves this year guys! - Chef Raekwon
  14. Foreign talent As always, FM is packed with great talents that could help the club forward. I’ve selected some choice talents who have been linked with a move to Ajax in real life or are from nations traditionally scouted by Ajax. I’m also very interested to learn about other talents that would make sense at Ajax. Dominik Szoboszlai – RB Salzburg Dominik Szoboszlai is an established current Hungarian midfielder who plays for RB Salzburg. Especially since you lack some squad depth, Szoboszlai could be the missing link for your squad. Dani Olmo – Dinamo Zagreb Dani Olmo was heavily linked with Ajax during the final month of the past transfer window, but the transfer was never realized. It was reported Dinamo Zagreb wanted around 30M for the Spanish playmaker, which would be a real gamble for Ajax. In FM20, Olmo has spectacular stats and great potential, and can be bought right at the start of the game. You would give yourself another great option for the AMC position, which could allow you to move van de Beek back to MC, presenting you more options in the MC position. Antonio Marin – Dinamo Zagreb Antonio Marin was a great buy in FM19, which doesn’t look to have changed for FM20. Marin is a left attacking midfield prospect and can be bought rather cheaply (around 5M in my beta save), although this has prompted other European top clubs to also field bids for the young Croatian. If you can get him, it looks like money well spent. Sander Berge – KRC Genk Sander Berge already is a very established player, playing with Genk in the Champions League and Belgian league. The young Norwegian could provide your Ajax side with a great DMC or MC option, which would absolutely augment your possibilities and coverage. It looks like Berge isn’t impossible to get either, although he will hardly be free. Lovro Majer – Dinamo Zagreb Another young Croatian player! Lovro Majer was a good talent in FM19 as well, and looks to be as good or better in FM20. Majer is a central or attacking midfielder that can be bought for cheap (5M in my beta save). There might be better players out there, but Majer seems to be a good alternative if other targets are deemed impossible. Adam Hlozek – Sparta Prague Adam Hlozek is currently being linked with Ajax and could join the club in 2020. The young Czech striker has good stats in FM20 and could be a real option for your U19 side. He’s interested in a move so definitely check him out! Antony – Sao Paolo Antony was first linked with Ajax at the tail end of 2018, but the move never materialized. Antony is a great Brazilian talent for the AMR position and looks like a good replacement for David Neres, should you sell him. Readers beware: Anthony is not going to be cheap! Riqui Puig – Barcelona Riqui Puig is an established talent and seems to be valued at Barcelona, but can never really count on much playing time. With Arthur, Busquets, de Jong, Rakitic, Vidal and Alena all vying for the same coveted midfield spots, Puig might be the player holding the short straw. In real life, Puig was linked to Ajax in a potential loan move, but who knows, maybe you can move him more permanently? Ajax alumni As mentioned before, it’s no secret Ajax has alumni playing in the top of Europe. As they get older, it might make sense to sign them for your squad, either as a backup with a good personality (for fostering your young talent) or just outright as a first team starter. These names aren’t unconventional but no less interesting: Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham Spurs Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham’s left or central defender, is aging and as his contract is up at the end of the season, could be a very real option for your future side. Vertonghen can definitely offer something to your current first team, though his wages might be a bit too expensive after one season. Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham Spurs Another former Ajax lad, Toby Alderweiereld offers a balanced defensive profile, with good stopping as well as building skills. Like Vertonghen, Alderweireld’s contract is up in 2020, so you might attempt to lure him to the Amsterdam ArenA. That said, like Vertonghen, Toby’s on high wages so it might be a bit too expensive to add him to your squad. Luis Suarez – Barcelona Luis Suarez needs no introduction. As one of the world’s global superstars, Suarez would be an ideal forward for your Ajax team. However, since he’s at 550k per week, it’s going to be rather difficult to persuade Suarez to come and play for Ajax. That said, with his perfectionist personality, he would not only add playing skill to your team, but also mentoring opportunities. Davinson Sanchez – Tottenham Spurs Tottenham have had a subscription to Ajax players in the past few years. The most recent example being Davinson Sanchez, the Colombian central defender who joined Tottenham after spending only a single year in Amsterdam. Sanchez is a very imposing player, with all-round good defensive stats, but never being good enough to replace Alderweireld or Vertonghen as a central defender. As such, you can try to entice him to go back to Ajax. This will not be easy, as Sanchez is on 65k per week for the foreseeable future. Christian Eriksen – Tottenham Spurs Another world class Ajax alum, Christian Eriksen is perhaps one of the very best central attacking midfielders in the world today. Eriksen couples technical ability with a third lung, being able to run the entire game, putting the pressure on the opponent while having enough gas in the tank to be a decisive playmaker when in possession of the ball. With only one year to go at Tottenham, Eriksen’s future is still unknown. Competition will probably be fierce and it seems unlikely Eriksen will favor a return at the Amsterdam ArenA, but you can always try. At age 27, Eriksen is still young enough to make a move to another club and still be able to come back to Ajax in a later stage. Lasse Schöne – Genoa If you are like me, you’re still feeling a bit hungover from Lasse Schöne’s departure from Ajax. A veritable modern day Ajax legend, Schöne joined Ajax on a free transfer from N.E.C. in 2012. Winning a few trophies along the way and being part of the squads which reached the Europa League final in 2017 and the Champions League semi final last year, Schöne surpassed all expectations. He became the foreign Ajax player with the most games played for Ajax. Schöne will be remembered for his personality and his beautiful goals, including his free kicks and long range screamers. In FM20, Schöne is already 33 years old, but his technical and mental stats are as good as ever. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely looking to bring Schöne back as a back-up player as soon as he’s interested! Viktor Fischer – FC Kopenhavn Viktor Fischer was set to become the next big thing at Ajax. Sadly, in football as it is in life, things don’t always work out the way they are meant to be. Instead of ending up at Real Madrid or, apparently, Tottenham, Fischer had some nasty injuries before playing for Middlesbrough and Mainz before returning to his native Denmark, where’s he’s currently playing (well) for FC Kopenhavn, alongside former Ajax teammate Nicolai Boilesen (who I don’t ever want to see in an Ajax jersey again). In Kopenhavn, it seems he found his fortunes again, playing well and scoring goals as the left attacking forward we know him to be. In FM20, Fischer is 25 years old and set for a return in Amsterdam. His attributes are pretty well rounded, which make him a good inside forward with goal scoring threat and good work rate, which favors pressing sides. If you’re looking for a familiar face and a left forward, look no further than Viktor Fischer.
  15. Potential new signings (AKA let’s raid AZ) Although the current Ajax squad has enough talent to win the Eredivisie, there are various opportunities to continue to grow the club. As we’ve already seen in the team analysis, you could do with a new goalkeeper, left back, defensive central midfielder(s) and central midfielder, although with Ajax’s transfer budget of 75M euros, you can pretty much buy whoever you like. This section is divided in domestic players, foreign talent and Ajax alumni who could potentially be re-signed to the club. Domestic players There’s a lot of talent currently walking around in the Netherlands, and you could choose to capitalize on this. Most of this talent can be found at AZ, who have done a tremendous job cultivating various great players. Let’s dive in: Calvin Stengs – AZ Alkmaar Seasoned FM-players are undoubtedly familiar with Calvin Stengs. This young Dutch right wing attacker has been captivating fans in the Netherlands for close to a year now, resulting in his first selection for the Dutch National Team in November 2019. Stengs definitely has the potential to become your first choice right attacking midfielder, so keep him in mind. Myron Boadu – AZ Alkmaar Myron Boadu is another familiar name for FM-veterans. This 18-year old Dutch striker has been banging in goals for AZ left and right this season, resulting in his first selection for the Dutch National Team in November 2019. Boadu has good physicals and good goalscoring potential, which means he could become your undoubted number 9. AZ probably won’t let him go for cheap, so you might break the bank to get him to play for you. Teun Koopmeiners – AZ Alkmaar Teun Koopmeiners is a good young central midfielder, quite all-round so able to play as a holding midfielder or a central playmaker. It looks like he has enough potential to become a great addition to your team, right now, but also in the future. Like his teammates Stengs and Boadu, AZ probably won’t let him go easily, but he might be worth it. Owen Wijndal – AZ Alkmaar Remember how we talked about more coverage at the left back? Owen Wijndal would offer additional squad depth coupled with possibly future proofing your defense, as he’s the current AZ left back with the potential to become the first choice Dutch National Team left back in the future. Wijndal is still young and probably won’t feature much for the first two seasons behind Tagliafico, but it’s looking like he might be a great deal considering Ajax’s current setup. Again, Wijndal won’t be cheap, but would probably cost less than his formerly mentioned three teammates. Jasper Schendelaar – AZ Alkmaar Final AZ talent, I promise. Jasper Schendelaar was already a promising goalkeeper in FM19, which he continues to be in 2020. You can reasonably expect to get Schendelaar for around 10M. It’s up to you to consider if he could be worth it. For that price, you would get a goalkeeper that could potentially become Dutch National Team material. Thomas Buitink – Vitesse Thomas Buitink is the first non-AZ player to feature in this list. Buitink is a tremendously talented striker, in FM20 able to become a top striker and possibly National Team material. His biggest feature is the fact that he’s not as ridiculously valued by Vitesse compared to his AZ counterparts, while not being much worse, both in current as in potential ability. You could reliably get Buitink for around 10M in the first season. Mohamed Ihattaren – PSV Mohamed Inhattaren is possibly the current biggest Dutch talent, both in real life as in FM20. This 17 year old attacking midfielder already has stellar stats which make him a real option for your first team, his potential ensures fun for the coming 10 years. The one problem: PSV probably won’t let him go easily. You could attempt a move right at the start of the game, but I know I’m going to be focusing on getting him to force a move himself and me sweeping up the pieces. Please don’t tell the PSV board though. Donyell Malen – PSV The one that got away. Donyell Malen is a pacey striker who left Ajax for Arsenal before joining PSV, the club where he’s currently having his breakthrough season. Malen is everything you could want in a striker, young, fast, good goalscoring stats and bags of potential. As with Ihattaren, don’t expect to get Malen quickly or for cheap, but do keep an eye on him. Javairo Dilrosun – Herta BSC Another talent who left Ajax at a young age is Javairo Dilrosun. After a few years at Chelsea, Dilrosun is currently playing in Germany and has already debuted for the Dutch National Team. This quick left winger is interested in a move to Ajax and for a potential fee of around 16M euros, you don’t have to break the bank to sign Dilrosun for Ajax. If you’re looking for a more traditional winger, take a closer look at Dilrosun. Tahith Chong – Manchester United Tahith Chong left Feyenoord for Manchester United, the club where he debuted in the past season. Chong is veritable speed merchant as a right attacking midfielder, with good technical stats. Although it’s unlikely you can get Chong right away, his contract at Manchester is up after the season, so keep him in mind.
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