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105 "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer"

About Draakon

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  1. November 2023 We had a good October, but November looks tough. Only five games, but two important Eredivisie derbies and two difficult Champions League games - we really have to be at our best to get good results from this month. Player contracts We are in November, but I still have some contract issues to resolve. It’s good that Razvan Marin signed the new deal until 2027 (although I had to agree with an increased £47,000 p/w salary), but Perr Schuurs’ agent is continuing to be a problem and Kenneth Taylor doesn’t even want to start negotiations, preferring to wai
  2. October 2023 03.10.2023 - AFC Ajax - Lokomotiv Moscow 6:0 (Champions League Group G) - 49., 54. and 74. Jay Enem, 67., 71. and 81. Sontje Hansen After our defeat in Portugal, this was a must win game for us, but my squad selection was still hampered by injuries - we missed Quincy Promes and Lassina Traore and Noussair Mazraoui looked quite tired, so he was also rested. Squad: Dere, Veltman (71. van der Sloot), Schuurs, Lopes, Salah-Eddine (68. Baas), Taylor (62. Regeer), van de Beek, Hansen, Ferreira, Fitz-Jim, Enem We were clearly the dominant side in the first hal
  3. September 2023 The transfer window is behind us, international break is ahead of us and we’ll 01.09.2023 - AFC Ajax - ADO Den Haag 2:1 (ED) - 31. Nathan Markelo (og), 40. Lassina Traore - 48. Bradley de Jooijer We have one more game before the international break and it could be tricky, because ADO Den Haag have won their first four games. This winning streak gives them a lot of confidence and we had to be aware of that. Squad: Dere, Mazraoui, Schuurs, Lopes, Salah-Eddine (68. Baas), Taylor, van de Beek (62. Marin), Promes (74. Hansen), Ferreira, Fitz-Jim, Traore
  4. Squad Update 2023-2024 Goalkeepers Kjell Scherpen is gone and Dani van den Heuvel takes his place as the younger backup. To be fair, he’s not good enough to start in the first team and he’ll be playing for Jong Ajax, mostly, but as a back-up he’ll do. Gürcan Dere, however, is becoming an incredible player. Just 19 years old, played a full Eredivisie season and got us to the semi final of the Champions League - plenty of experience and his attributes can increase further. Defenders A few changes here - Daley Blind has left and hi
  5. August 2023 Four games, with plenty of time to prepare, but two tricky away fixtures in this month as well. It’s important to get our campaign going with a winning streak, so I’m putting a lot of emphasis on those games. I dedicated our extra sessions to set pieces and hoped to return to our previous seasons when we scored a lot of goals from free kicks and corners. 06.08.2023 - sc Heerenveen - AFC Ajax 0:3 (ED) - 66. Lassina Traore, 75. pen. Dušan Tadic, 90.+4 Kenneth Taylor It’s a tough game to start our season with - away game against sc Heerenveen. Our oppon
  6. Summer 2023 The first part of the Summer transfer window was fairly quiet. Plenty of transfer rumours around our first team players and the most notable one was Real Madrid’s interest in Kenneth Taylor, so I was anxiously waiting for an official bid with willingness to accept if the money was right. Some of the interest and bids were nothing less than ridiculous. PSV Eindhoven wanted to sign Gürcan Dere - it’s hard to imagine that a player who has just set the new goalkeeping record in the league and reached the Champions League semi finals would want to leave the club for the riva
  7. Season Update 2022/2023 That was, without a doubt, our most successful season so far. We’ve defended the title (with a considerable point gap in the end), we’ve secured our fifth cup win in a row (great achievement on our own) and we’ve reached the Champions League semi final which is our best campaign in continental competitions. The board is obviously delighted, but there’s more to that than success in competitions. We are rich. I mean - filthy rich. We have a £640m bank balance with some £400m transfer funds and competitions TV revenue and prize money has filled
  8. May 2023 With such a long April behind us, we have just a couple of games remaining in our schedule and obviously we have the dream to reach the Champions League final after our good performance against Atletico. Let’s see how it plays out. 03.05.2023 - Atletico Madrid - AFC Ajax 3:0 (Champions League Semi Final 2nd leg) - 15. and 40. Joao Pedro, 90.+2 Calvin Stengs So, the most important game of our season - the players have not been in this stage of the competition so far and I just hoped that nobody will be too nervous or anxious about the occasion. We need t
  9. April 2023 Our schedule was packed in February and March, but April is something else. Nine (yes, nine!) games in the month, with two Topper derbies with PSV Eindhoven and two important games against Manchester City coming up within two weeks. It’s important to balance our training schedule between games and keep our key players fresh for the next fixture. It’s the most important part of the season, too - our league game against PSV is a title six-pointer and I assume that the Eredivisie champions will be crowned before the end of April. 02.04.2023 - Fortuna Sittard
  10. Youth Intake 2023 The preview that our HoYD showed me in Winter looked fairly average. When the new bunch of kids finally arrived at the academy in March, I was a little bit shocked. The actual level of talent was nowhere near of what was promised and according to my staff, the most promising player was the left winger Remy Boer with around 2,5* potential. Two players who are potentially 3* are both 17 years old (already), so we lack time to develop their talent properly before age starts to kick in. I feel robbed. Where is that golden generation that was p
  11. March 2023 Six games in March and they’re all home games. That’s the first month like that I’ve seen in my career. But it’s good to travel less and concentrate on both training and matches. Second leg game with Real Madrid is the big test this month. Eredivisie fixtures offer a variety of bottom half clubs that should be easy to deal with. 02.03.2023 - AFC Ajax - NEC Nijmegen 8:1 (TOTO KNVB Beker Semi Final) - 17. Kian Fitz-Jim, 24., 61. and 69. Lassina Traore, 42. and 49. pen. Razvan Marin, 59. Youri Regeer, 67. Alen Karahasanovic - 62. Aziz Ceylan NEC wasn’t t
  12. February 2023 Another month with a packed schedule. We have a good list of opponents in Eredivisie - in those games we should be comfortable favourites - but month finishes with fixtures with Real Madrid and Feyenoord that’s supposed to offer a different kind of challenge 01.02.2023 - AFC Ajax - FC Twente Enschede 4:0 (ED) - 17. Lassina Traore, 45.+2 Razvan Marin, 62. pen. Quincy Promes, 90+2 Kian Fitz-Jim We’re in good form and there’s no reason to think that we couldn’t get a result against FC Twente. Our opponents came against us with a 4-4-1-1 2DM formation, gr
  13. January 2023 The new year has begun and January is so different from the usual transfer window. There is a transfer window, of course, but there’s also no less than 7 games in this month, so our schedule is packed and the games and press conferences are full of transfer talk and speculations. One thing got clear pretty quickly - Daley Blind signed with CF Valencia and he’ll be leaving in Summer. That’s a big loss in our dressing room and I need to think about transition period to find the new captain and develop new centre-back partnerships. There were decisions made about the
  14. December 2022 Firstly, the World Cup. We had four players in the tournament - Kenneth Taylor, Donny van de Beek, Daley Blind and Quincy Promes. Holland had an extremely successful tournament and they reached into the final where Holland lost to Portugal 0:1 (harsh extra time goal). The other players remained in the club and trained hard - and had a number of friendlies to practice and keep the match fitness. Between training sessions I turned my attention to player contracts. We had some contract issues still to resolve with key players and some difficult decisions to
  15. November 2022 The World Cup is coming up in the following weeks, so we have only two games in November and a pause from Eredivisie games that will last for over two months. On the one hand, it’s very unusual to start our winter break so early, but on the other hand it helps to focus on our most important Champions League game with Fenerbahce. 02.11.2022 - AFC Ajax - Fenerbahce 2:0 (Champions League Group G) - 2. Lassina Traore, 90.+2 Joel Veltman Quick reminder - we won the away game 2:0, but it was affected by an early red card to Fenerbahce that allowed us to tak
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