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Welsh Wizard

FM16: AFC Ajax - de Godenzonen

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History

Ajax was founded in Amsterdam on 18 March 1900. The club achieved promotion to the highest level of Dutch football in 1911. The move to the first division did not last long though as just three seasons later the club was relegated for the first and only time in its illustrious history. Their first major success came in 1917, winning the KNVB Beker, the Netherlands' national cup. The following season, Ajax became national champion for the first time. The club defended its title in 1918–19, becoming the only team to achieve an unbeaten season in the Netherlands Football League Championship.

Throughout the 1920s, Ajax was a strong regional power, winning the Eerste Klasse West division in 1921, 1927 and 1928, but could not maintain its success at national level. This changed in the 1930s, with the club winning five national championships (1931, 1932, 1934, 1937, 1939), making it the most successful Dutch team of the decade.The 1930's were also a special decade for the club as in 1934 they moved into what would become known as "De Meer." Their new stadium where which legends would be born. It was there that Ajax would call home fore over 60 years and be the place that the club would come to dominate Dutch football and grow into a power across Europe. Ajax won its second KNVB Cup in 1942–43, and an eighth Dutch title in 1946–47, the last season the club was managed by Englishman Jack Reynolds, who, up to this point, had overseen all of its national championship successes as well as its 1917 KNVB Cup win. Reynolds and his revolutionary training methods built the foundation for what has now become the world famous Ajax Youth Training Program.

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Jack Reynolds - Manager of Ajax Amsterdam from 1915–1925, 1928–1940, and 1945–1947

In 1965, Rinus Michels, who had played for the club between 1946 and 1958, was appointed manager of Ajax, implementing his philosophy of Total Football Outfield players in Total football could typically play anywhere, so you would often see defenders attacking, or attackers tracking back. This style of play relied heavily on a loose 4-3-3, with one defensive midfielder, wing backs who made overlapping runs, wingers that could beat their man both inside and outside and a striker that would occasionally drop deep to create more room for other players.

Total football went on to become a world staple. The Dutch national teams of 1974 and 1978 showed the world how devastating innovations such as the offside trap, overlapping runs and frequent roaming from position could be. In modern times, Barcelona and the Spanish national team have recreated and improved upon this concept, resulting in a tremendous run of form in the past ten years. . In 1964 Johan Cruyff, who would go on to become the greatest Dutch footballer of all time, made his debut. Between them, Michels and Cruyff led Ajax through the most successful period in its history, winning seven Eredivisie titles, four KNVB Cups and three European Cups.

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Rinus Michels - Manager of Ajax from 1965–1971 and 1974-1975

The 1970–71 season saw Ajax retain the KNVB Cup and reach the 1971 European Cup Final, where they beat Panathinaikos 2–0 with goals from Dick van Dijk and Arie Haan to become continental champions for the first time, with Cruyff being named European Footballer of the Year. After this success, Michels departed to become manager of FC Barcelona and was replaced by the Romanian Ștefan Kovács. In Kovács' first season, Ajax completed a treble of the European Cup, the Eredivisie and a third consecutive KNVB Cup. The following season, the team beat Argentine club Independiente to win the 1972 Intercontinental Cup and retained their Eredivisie and European Cup titles, becoming the first club to win three consecutive European Cups since Real Madrid in the 1950s. In 1973, Michels' Barcelona broke the world transfer record to bring Cruyff to Catalonia. Kovács also departed to become manager of the France national football team signalling the end of this period of international success.

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Johan Cruyff

The early 1980s saw the return of Johan Cruyff to the club, as well as the emergence of young players Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard. The team won back-to-back Eredivisie titles in 1982 and 1983, with all three playing a significant role in the latter. After Cruyff's sale to rivals Feyenoord in 1983, Van Basten became Ajax's key player, top scoring in the Eredivisie for four seasons between 1983–84 and 1986–87.

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Marco van Basten

In 1985, Cruyff returned to Ajax as manager and the team ended his first season in charge with 120 goals from 34 matches. However, Ajax still finished as runner up to PSV by eight points. The following season, Ajax again lost out on the Eredivisie title to PSV, but won the European Cup Winners' Cup, its first continental trophy in fourteen years. After this, Cruyff left the club to become manager of Barcelona and Rijkaard and Van Basten were sold to Sporting CP and A.C. Milan respectively.

The 1988–89 season saw Dennis Bergkamp, a young forward who had first appeared under Cruijff in 1986, establish himself as a regular goalscorer for Ajax. Bergkamp helped Ajax to the 1989–90 Eredivisie title and was the top scorer in the division in 1990–91, 1991–92 and 1992–93. Under the management of Louis van Gaal, Ajax won the UEFA Cup in 1992 to become the second club, after Juventus, to have won all three major European club competitions.

After the sale of Bergkamp to Internazionale in 1993, Van Gaal re-signed the experienced Frank Rijkaard to complement his young Ajax team featuring academy graduates Frank and Ronald de Boer, Edwin van der Sar, Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids, Michael Reiziger, and Winston Bogarde, as well as mercurial foreign talents Finidi George, Nwankwo Kanu and Jari Litmanen, and veteran captain Danny Blind. The team regained the Dutch championship in 1993–94, and won it again in 1994–95 and 1995–96 to become the first Ajax side to win three back-to-back championships since 1968. The height of Van Gaal's success came in 1994–95, where Ajax became the first, and to date only, team to complete an entire Eredivisie season unbeaten. The team also won its first European Cup since its glorious 1970s era, beating Milan in the 1995 UEFA Champions League Final 1–0, with the winning goal scored by 18-year-old Patrick Kluivert. Ajax again reached the final a year later but were defeated on penalties by Juventus.

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Louis Van Gaal, Kanu Nwankwo and Finidi George with the Champions League Trophy

Ajax's return as a European force was short lived as Van Gaal and several members of the squad soon departed to some of the continent's biggest clubs. The 2000s was a lean decade for the club with only two Eredivisie championships won. However, Ajax's academy continued to produce star players such as Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart.

In 2010, Frank de Boer was appointed manager of Ajax and led the club to its first league title in seven years, and record 30th title overall, in the 2010–11 season. This was followed by back-to-back wins in 2011–12 and 2012–13 to match his three consecutive titles as a player in the 1990s. In 2013–14, Ajax were again Eredivisie champions, winning four consecutive league titles for the first time in the club's history.

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Frank de Boer

Honours

Eredivisie: 33 ‣ 1917–18, 1918–19, 1930–31, 1931–32, 1933–34, 1936–37, 1938–39, 1946–47, 1956–57, 1959–60, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14

KNVB Cup: 18 ‣ 1916–17, 1942–43, 1960–61, 1966–67, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1978–79, 1982–83, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1992–93, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2001–02, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2009–10

Johan Cruijff Shield: 8 ‣ 1993, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2013

Intercontinental Cup: 2 ‣ 1972, 1995

European Cup / Champions League: 4 ‣ 1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1994-95

European Cup Winners' Cup: 1 ‣ 1986-87

UEFA Cup: 1 ‣ 1991-92

UEFA Super Cup: 2 ‣ 1974, 1995

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Club Info

Founded: 1900

Nicknames: de Godenzonen (Sons of the Gods), de Joden (the Jews), I Lancieri (The Lancers), Lucky Ajax

Chairman: Hennie Henrichs

Finances: Secure

Estimated Value: £70m (Loan Debt: £2.3m)

Rivalries

Fierce: Feyenoord

Other: PSV



Legends

Johan Cruyff

Marco van Basten

Dennis Bergkamp

The Stadium

Name: The Amsterdam ArenA

Capacity: 53,052

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Squad Analysis



Goalkeepers

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In Jasper Cillessen you have the best goalkeeper in the Eredivise and NT number 1. Interest will come and the time may come to cash in but in the meantime Cillessen is a very strong starter. Diederik Boer is a good enough back-up, is happy enough to be in that role and can be used as a tutor for the youngsters. Boer could be sold if you have faith in the younger players to be able to do the back-up role early on. The other Goalkeepers in the club are all very similar, young and unlikely to reach Cillessen's level. Peter Leeuwenburgh and André Onana seem to be closer to the first team and could fill the back-up role if Boer is offloaded. Jeffrey de Lange seems to have the highest potential and has the best chance at being able to take the starting role in the future.

Jasper Cillessen - Diederik Boer - Peter Leeuwenburgh - André Onana - Jeffrey de Lange

Conclusion:- With Cilessen you have a great situation in the GK position. The rest are all good back-up and Jeffrey de Lange has the potential to challenge with Cilessen for the spot or become a Ajax number 1 in time. Adding another young prospect to the mix is a option down the line or hope that the academy can produce one is the plan I would look to unless a good ofter comes and in and a top GK is needed to replace Cilessen.

Full Backs

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On the right side you have Kenny Tete and Ricardo van Rhijn battling it out for the stating role both near the top in the Eredivise. Tete is the long term solution with his superior potential but van Rhijn offers something different and could be used as a more attacking option currently. Darren Sidoel, Leeroy Owusu and Teun van Zweeden look most likely out of the other options to be potentially developed in to first team members.

The left side has Mitchell Dijks and Nicolai Boilesen as the main options which are also right near the top as Eredivise players in their position. Dijks just edges it as he is a more rounded player. Versatile Nick Viergever can be a good defensive option at LB, CB and DM. Mauro Savastano has the potential to develop in to a usable attacking option.

Kenny Tete - Ricardo van Rhijn - Darren Sidoel - Teun van Zweeden - Leeroy Owusu - Mitchell Dijks - Nicolai Boilesen - Nick Viergever - Mauro Savastano

Conclusion:- Both Fullback positions are great for the long term and right at the top in the Eredivise. Best option is to try and keep hold of them and be on the lookout for young prospects or hope the academy can produce the future players if the time comes to sell. Time is definitely on your side with this position unless pressured in to a sale. Nicolai Boilesen expires at the end of the season so he needs a new deal unless a cheaper/better option is available and the sale of Boilesen is possible.

Center Backs

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Joël Veltman and Jairo Riedewald could be your main pairing for years to come with their decent defensive attributes and ability on the ball with Riedewald having the potential to be one of the best Dutch Defender of all time and could play LB if required. Mike van der Hoorn is a nice big body option to have but will always lack the on-ball quality required to be a starter at Ajax. Matthijs de Ligt looks most likely out of the younger players to be able to develop in to a player able to break the main pairing up.

Joël Veltman - Jairo Riedewald - Mike van der Hoorn - Matthijs de Ligt

Conclusion:- With Joël Veltman and Jairo Riedewald you fine for the long term and have good enough backups or maybe better options if some players are chosen to be move here. Be on the lookout for young prospects or hope the academy can produce the future players.

Center Midfields

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Riechedly Bazoer looks the most suited to the holding mid role if playing the Ajax way with 433 but will surely offer more in a CM role with more freedom and has the potential to be one of the worlds best midfielders. Thulani Serero is the other main option for the holding role and will put in a shift and use his mobility to link defence and attack. Nick Viergever and Jairo Riedewald are also other options. The future is very bright for the holding role with Donny van de Beek, Carel Eiting, Nathan Leyder, Frenkie de Jong and Noa Lang all looking great prospects and could fill the DM and other CM slots in the future.

Davy Klaassen and Nemanja Gudelj can fill the 2 CM slots with Lasse Schöne and Daley Sinkgraven providing competition for the slots as well as being able to play outwide. When Lucas Andersen returns from his loan he will also offer competition and is also a option outwide. It is pretty tight to say what is the best pairing as all are great options. Abdelhak Nouri and Francesco Antonucci are the future for the more attacking roles.

Riechedly Bazoer - Thulani Serero - Donny van de Beek - Carel Eiting - Nathan Leyder

Noa Lang - Davy Klaassen - Nemanja Gudelj - Lasse Schöne - Daley Sinkgraven - Lucas Andersen - Abdelhak Nouri - Francesco Antonucci - Frenkie de Jong

Conclusion:- A very strong position. Maybe a better player for DM could be brought in to fill the gap while the younger players develop and allow Bazoer to play more in CM. But main thing is to be on the lookout for young prospects or hope the academy can produce the future players.

Wingers

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Viktor Fischer and Anwar El Ghazi are the more rounded options for the wingers and near the best in the Eredivise. Fischer is more suited to the Left side cutting in and El Ghazi more the right side as with most players at Ajax can play in other positions to good level such as Striker. Amin Younes offers a smaller frame and could play either side. As mentioned above Daley Sinkgraven, Lucas Andersen and Lasse Schöne are options as well. Abdelhak Nouri could be a prospect if developed for the winger role. Che Nunnely, Vaclav Cerny, Kasper Dolberg, Gino Dekker, Robert Muric, Justin Kluivert all have enough potential to become Ajax regulars in the future and could offer something different from each other if developed well with Che Nunnely looking the most promising.

Viktor Fischer - Anwar El Ghazi - Amin Younes - Che Nunnely - Vaclav Cerny - Kasper Dolberg - Gino Dekker - Robert Muric - Justin Kluivert

Conclusion:- Again a very strong position. Loads of good players who offer different things and are versatile with great potential. Be on the lookout for young prospects or hope the academy can produce the future players as no signings are needed.

Strikers

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Arkadiusz Milik and Richairo Zivkovic are the main strikers. Milik is a well rounded forward and Zivkovic is the very pacy option. There is loads of options with most of the wingers and a few of the CMs able to play Striker.

Arkadiusz Milik - Richairo Zivkovic

Conclusion:- Nice to have two different types of strikers. Loads of players able to play this position if needed so back-up is fine and if you want to use more than one ST you should have enough options. Be on the lookout for young prospects or hope the academy can produce the future players no signings are needed

Potential Formation and Line-up

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Really good analysis. I've currently got an Ajax save ongoing playing a 4-2-3-1 with Bazoer and Gudelj the 2 and Schone in front after selling Klaassen. Brought in Mammana and as such I'm under using Riedeweld. Really excited by the likes of Nunnely though. Trying to factor him in the team as I go, fighting it out for a slot with Fischer, El Ghazi, Younes and Andrija Zivkovic.

My goal is going to be to enhance the reputation of the Dutch league by winning the big competition, but trying to keep the squad as homegrown as possible.

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I'm in the middle of a very enjoyable Ajax game (now in season 2020/21). Some of the youngsters have turned out great. Some are still at the club, some moved on for big money and others moved on and then came back once my reputation had built up a bit. I've also had a couple of excellent regens come through the youth system and I've picked up a few in the transfer market too.

On the pitch, I've won the Eredivisie every year as you might expect but I also won the Champions League in 2017/18, lost in the semifinal the following year and lost in the final last season.

Let me know if you want to know how individual players have turned out and/or where they've ended up.

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Really good analysis. I've currently got an Ajax save ongoing playing a 4-2-3-1 with Bazoer and Gudelj the 2 and Schone in front after selling Klaassen. Brought in Mammana and as such I'm under using Riedeweld. Really excited by the likes of Nunnely though. Trying to factor him in the team as I go, fighting it out for a slot with Fischer, El Ghazi, Younes and Andrija Zivkovic.

My goal is going to be to enhance the reputation of the Dutch league by winning the big competition, but trying to keep the squad as homegrown as possible.

Thanks. Keep us updated on how it goes.

I'm going to have a similar goal and try to have lesser activity in the transfer market than I usually do and bring the youth players through as much as I can.

I'm in the middle of a very enjoyable Ajax game (now in season 2020/21). Some of the youngsters have turned out great. Some are still at the club, some moved on for big money and others moved on and then came back once my reputation had built up a bit. I've also had a couple of excellent regens come through the youth system and I've picked up a few in the transfer market too.

On the pitch, I've won the Eredivisie every year as you might expect but I also won the Champions League in 2017/18, lost in the semifinal the following year and lost in the final last season.

Let me know if you want to know how individual players have turned out and/or where they've ended up.

Well done on the very good seasons with Ajax especially the early champions league win.

Feel free to post as little or as much as you like. I would be very interest in your players that have come through the youth system, some of your sales of the starting squad or some big profits you made on buys.

Would love to see how the current squad is develop and used by people, especially Bazoer, Nunnely, Riedeweld, van de Beek and Nouri.

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I'm currently in 2017 with my long term Ajax save (find it in career updates forum), but I started with initial database, so I'm not sure what's the difference of youth players potential with 16.3, but in my save I use only Ajax players and make no transfers, so a few notes about these 2,5 years:

1) I'm struggling with Europe because I don't have solid enough midfield. I use van de Beek as DM (regista) and Serero as MC (BBM) because of his work rate, but in truth their both a bit poor in tackling and more suitable to playmaker role than being controlling midfielder. Bazoer too (although I sold him in my save) is more of a DLP or regista in DM position). To search from Ajax youth players you should check Nathan Leyder and Carel Eiting as future prospects for deep midfielder.

2) Good prospects who have proven themselves already (players from U-19 or Jong Ajax, I'm not stating obvious like Riedewald or Zivkovic here): Andre Onana, Leeroy Owusu, Navajo Bakboord, Darren Sidoel, Dragisa Gudelj, Matthijs de Ligt, Abdelhak Nouri (wonderful player!), Frenkie de Jong, Francesco Antonucci, Donny van de Beek, Justin Kluivert.

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Ok, I may stretch this over a few posts.

Goalkeepers

Cillessen stayed with me until 2018/19 when he made a big money move to Benfica:

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I don't currently have a goalkeeper exciting enough to bother screenshoting.

Fullbacks

The guys you've quoted above have all moved on:

Kenny Tete has somehow ended up at Barca after leaving me to join Napoli, although I don't think he's all that good personally.

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Ricardo van Rhijn went to Cagliari and has stayed there since:

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Darren Sidoel went to PSV for £2m, Teun van Zweeden was released and picked up by Groningen, Leeroy Owusu left for Perugia for £3.9m, Mitchell Dijks went to Leipzig for £5m, Nicolai Boilesen also ended up at Groningen (£575k), Nick Viergever went to Mainz for £2.8m and Mauro Savastano joined Bologna for £4.5m.

As for my current squad, my right back position is fought out between a retrained Marcelo Meli and an extremely promising regen Michiel van Dam who has just broken inot the first team this season:

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At left back, I brought Jetro Willems back from a short spell in England and he is joined by a young Turkish regen Canberk Yağcı:

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So all in all, I'm pretty satisfied with the sales and the players I brought in at fullback. Meli is getting a little old now, so I'm look to replace him soon I think.

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Great work, Welsh Wizard. Think I'll join you on this one.

I am currently enjoying the winter break, after a solid first half of the season. Here's my progress so far:

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Undoubtedly the highlight was surviving a pretty tough group including Man Utd and PSG:

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As you can see, I had a slow-ish start having initially struggled to score in the league but finished strongly with a 5 game winning streak.

Inspired by this article on the 3-6-1 formation on Spielverlagerung.com, I decided to try something new.

My first choice XI looks something like this:

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With Ajax I always feel we have a lot of good midfielders but a limited attacking threat coming from Inside Forwards so this mitigates that. The basic idea is to be as fluid as possible. For example, at any time the back 3 could be a 4, 5 or even 6 depending on whether the wings or holding midfielder drop back into defence.

The real advantage of this shape is the pressing options, as you'll see in that article. Your midfielders can all press aggressively, in numbers and the others will cover their position. We really choke the opposition and control the midfield, then the results come from there.

My selection strategy is simple, I look for strong technical players with good determination, work rate and stamina.

On the transfer front, I have let some big earners go in favour of giving youngsters a chance. I have also signed Olic, Kallstrom and Simons as tutors. Simons isn't working out so any defender tutor recommendations are highly appreciated. Best business has been Ajer for #850k, brilliant so far and developing nicely.

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Couldn't play as Ajax without mentioning the Youth Academy. As you can see, I've tutored heavily. De Ligt, Nunnely, Eiting and Cerny have all now got the personalities they need to succeed. Time to start easing them in to some game time..

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Continuing on from my previous post…

Centre Backs

Joël Veltman did pretty well for me before securing a big money move to Milan. He was swiftly moved on by them though.

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Mike van der Hoorn also left for a reasonable fee and has since bounced around a bit before ending up at Twente.

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Jairo Riedewald is an interesting one. I actually sold him to Atletico for £21m, only to buy him back for an extra £5m a few seasons later.

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Matthijs de Ligt is one of the youngsters that has made the grade and is now a first team regular.

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So those are two of my centrebacks. I have the following other three (one too many for my liking but I’m not sure which to get rid of – suggestions welcome)

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I think Orban might be the one I get rid of, but I like his personality for tutoring.

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Inspired by this article on the 3-6-1 formation on Spielverlagerung.com, I decided to try something new.

My first choice XI looks something like this:

LYKBzAg.png

With Ajax I always feel we have a lot of good midfielders but a limited attacking threat coming from Inside Forwards so this mitigates that. The basic idea is to be as fluid as possible. For example, at any time the back 3 could be a 4, 5 or even 6 depending on whether the wings or holding midfielder drop back into defence.

The real advantage of this shape is the pressing options, as you'll see in that article. Your midfielders can all press aggressively, in numbers and the others will cover their position. We really choke the opposition and control the midfield, then the results come from there.

My selection strategy is simple, I look for strong technical players with good determination, work rate and stamina.

How do you find this defends the wings? I'm just starting a game also inspired by that article. Tempted to use support roles in the wings.

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How do you find this defends the wings? I'm just starting a game also inspired by that article. Tempted to use support roles in the wings.

Personally, I'd recommend Attack roles. You need width in attack to stretch the defence and give your middle-men spaces to attack. There appears to be a mechanism in the match engine which makes the MR/ML drop back into slightly advanced fullback roles in the absence of a DR/L.

If you opt for Support roles, I would highly recommend an additional attack role in the middle.. possibly 2. The issue there will be lacking width in attack and having lots of players crowded centrally.

Bear in mind, you've also got the DM who can either cover any gap himself or drop into the gap created if your DCR/L move out.

Defensively I've been very strong. Attack was difficult to begin but has improved steadily throughout the season, so far.

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Personally, I'd recommend Attack roles. You need width in attack to stretch the defence and give your middle-men spaces to attack. There appears to be a mechanism in the match engine which makes the MR/ML drop back into slightly advanced fullback roles in the absence of a DR/L.

If you opt for Support roles, I would highly recommend an additional attack role in the middle.. possibly 2. The issue there will be lacking width in attack and having lots of players crowded centrally.

Bear in mind, you've also got the DM who can either cover any gap himself or drop into the gap created if your DCR/L move out.

Defensively I've been very strong. Attack was difficult to begin but has improved steadily throughout the season, so far.

Interesting, I've noticed in pre season a lack of goals so will go for attack duties to offer more going forward. What team instructions have you gone for?

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Interesting, I've noticed in pre season a lack of goals so will go for attack duties to offer more going forward. What team instructions have you gone for?

Much Higher D-Line & Pressing, Low Crosses, Play out of Defence and more Creative Freedom are the main ones.

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Have always had a great fondness of Ajax, and have intended to start a game on FM with them sometime soon. Excellent stuff on this thread guys

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End of Season Update - 2015/2016

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In the league, the second half of the season was inconsistent. We had a horrible run after the break and PSV overtook us, briefly. We then found our mojo again and eventually won the league on goal difference.

We enjoyed a brilliant run in the Champions League, eventually losing the final to Guardiola's Bayern Munich but enjoying some wonderful European nights on the way..

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Academy Update

In January I brought in Kolo Toure and Drogba, meaning I had Simons, Toure, Kallstrom, Ollic and Drogba all tutoring, providing experience and supporting the first team. Drogba in particular scored some vital goals in the league.

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As you can see, the tutoring went well. Marked increases in determination and improved personalities almost across the board. Next season each of these lads will be given a chance to impress for Jong Ajax before a shot at the first team squad. I am particularly excited by Nunnely and de Ligt.

The youngsters won the UEFA Youth League including an impressive victory over Barca along the way.

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The regens look good. I signed 8 of my youth intake and am scouting Holland and the major academy clubs extensively this summer. This lad is the highlight with 5 star potential:

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I'm immediately looking to train him to play across the front line and improve his weaker foot. My tutors are not yet available but I'll be looking at Klassen, Ollic, Kallstrom or Drogba (if possible).

Verdict on the 3-6-1

Last time, I showed you I was toying with an experimental 3-6-1 - as a reminder:

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Overall it worked very well. It's one of the best shapes I have used for flexibility, pressing and solidarity in midfield. At times it was unstoppable, but at times it just didn't click. The Complete Forward role is crucial. Needs to be a world class player and I am not sure Milik or Zivkovic are there yet. In fact, I don't think it suits Zivkovic at all - to me, he is an inside forward or a poacher, and potentially a very good one.

My verdict is that I am keeping it on the roster, but going to add a simple 4-3-3.

As always with Ajax, the major question next season is going to be exactly what next season's squad looks like. A lot of this season's stars, including Milik (Top Scorer), Sinkraven, Fischer, Nouri (best youngster), Gudeij and El Gazhi have made noises about moving on.

More positive news is that Bazoer, Riedewald, Veltman and Klaasen have committed. Next season, I think Ajer, Zivkovic and van der Beek to push on into the first team and build the spine of a good team.

I've got a bid on the table for Sneijder, brought in Kenneth Paal from PSV in Jan and I'm sniffing around Odegaard's release clause.

It's going to be an interesting summer!

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After a bonkers summer transfer window, I need a cup of tea..

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As predicted, after last year's performance the first team was ripped apart with English, French and Italian players coming in for a large chunk of the first team. The player I was most disappointed to lose was Fischer as he had a good season last year but I am very excited about his replacement, Odegaard.

This leaves us in reasonably good shape:

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I'd say we're in a similar place to last season in terms of current ability we have more potential to grow now. Ake was an impulse buy, initially as a centre back but looking at his attributes, I like him on the left.

Biggest buy of the season has to be Odegaard. Real Madrid gave him zero game time whilst I could offer a Key Player position, Champions League football and match his pay..

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Not 100% sure what I'll do with him yet. First season I think he'll be on the left. I am training him to play up front as a False 9 and developing his weaker foot. With Zivkovic and Nunnely/Cerny coming through, that could be useful.

Kuijpers is also developing his weaker foot, whilst I wait for a tutor to become available.

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Jong Ajax

Last year's academy graduates have gone to hone their skills in the Jong Ajax squad.

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De Ligt, Eiting, Cerny and Nunnely all look likely to break into the first team squad. A few others are close. The rest will hopefully at least earn themselves a decent transfer, or maybe a loan.

The Academy

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Looks like a decent in-take. Already mentioned Kuijpers. Scouts brought in van Leeuwen and Dammers from elsewhere, both look good prospects.

Struggling a bit for tutors this season after a couple of retirements and the first team exodus. May have to either prioritise the youngsters or bring in a few new tutors.

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What's the foreign limit in Dutch leagues? Do non Eu have to be paid a certain amount or have I imagined that? I'm looking at starting a new game In a country where I can churn a conveyor belt of youths from all over the world

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I don't think there is one. If memory serves me correctly Dutch, German and Portuguese sides are your best bet. Obviously, Benfica and Porto are tailor made for your requirements both starting with excellent scouting networks.

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Ö-zil is correct - no foreigner limit in the Eredivisie. You can still get caught on the home-grown status players if you make Europe, however. And there isn't tons of money in the league. The big three are pretty solid, and bring in good money from Europe. They get sizable transfer funds and can offer pretty reasonable wages. Other Dutch clubs can't. So while good prospects from Eastern Europe, South America, and Africa may be willing to come, you may not be able to offer wages to lure them.

Germany has no foreign player limit in the league, but it is in the German Cup (DFB Pokal). More money and better wages through the league as a whole, though.

Portugal I'm less familiar with. Ö-zil is also right about Porto and Benfica. Sporting CP as well. Its how those clubs already operate. They bring a LOT of Brazilian players over to Europe due to the shared language. The big three will have money to spend and wages to offer. Other clubs in Portugal, I'm not certain about.

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Great guide Welsh Wizard

Finished my first season with the title

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Europe was a real struggle to get results

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Early season struggled with tactics then settled on this

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Transfers as follows

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High hopes for these guys

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End of season Best Eleven

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Currently starting out the new season and plans are :

Turn down all bids for star players with a view to really challenging in Europe.

So far rejected good offers for every first team regular. £30m for Bazoer was tempting but no deal.

Seems to upset them but they get over it fairly quickly

Find a role for Nouri !

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It certainly has, I'm starting a new game today. Had a break from FM recently but this has got my fingers twitching.

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Season 2 is off to a flier - hit the Park the Tank achievement in the first 10 games, including away ties at Bayern & PSV.

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The classic Dutch 4-3-3 is working well. Particularly the intense pressing game, fuelled by the young, high-energy midfield.

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Very quick update - the mid-point of 2016/2017 hasn't been eventful to warrant an extensive post.

We're walking the league so far. P18, W15, D2, L1. We progressed through a Champions League group including Bayern and Valencia with surprising ease with 2x draws against Bayern and 2x wins against Valencia probably the highlight, to date. Barcelona lie in wait for the next stage. Pressure if off for us. We have met expectations. I am in two minds about whether to continue with the intense pressing game or adopt a more pragmatic approach for that game.

The 4-3-3 is great for the squad. We're starting to see some interesting competition for the first team places with Nouri and van de Beek performing well in the Development team.

A quick shout for Kristoffer Ajer..

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Absolute Total Footballer. A hard-working, intelligent, technical, tall and strong player with a great personality. He's been my go-to as cover for the first team this year and covered DC, MC and FC at various points. Looks a strong shout to make the First XI next season, most likely displacing Veltman at DC. Perhaps he may even enjoy a couple of run outs as a Libero...

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Anyone had any experience with Kongolo on this years FM? I have Ridewald and Ake on that side but he's available and I'm thinking of going back to a back 3 so could be useful..

Yes, see my post about defenders above.

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End of Season Update 2016/17:

Progress. After scraping the league title on goal difference last season, this season we walked the title. We started strong, went top and stayed there all season. Domestically, there were no real challengers. Winning the cup as well gave us a nice, domestic double.

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In the Champions League we maintained last year's strong performance, this time reaching the Semi Final.

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The highlight of the run was definitely the defeat of Barcelona. Now managed by Del Bosque, Barcelona played a deep 4-2-1-3 which gave us complete control over the midfield in both ties. We won the home tie 2-1 and then drew the away tie 1-1 thanks to heroics and a MOTM performance from Cillesson.

The Tactics

Classic Dutch 4-3-3. Very fluid shape and very intense pressing. Worked very well.

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I think this is my preferred system, if I have the right players. The challenge this season is going to be holding on to everybody.

The Squad

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According to reports from Dennis Bergkamp, we're looking pretty good across the board. Daley Sinkraven and Joel Veltman are being pushed hard by Donny van de Beek and Kristoffer Ajer respectively.

Here's how the rest of the squad is developing:

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Hopefully in this shot you can see the influence of Toure, Simons, Kallstrom, Klassen, Ollic and Drogba tutoring. Very determined and professional squad.

Rajkovic is another pushing hard for a First XI spot. Patrescu is a regen signed from Romania who joined in January and impressed with a couple of goals.

As for the players due to graduate from the Jong Ajax squad:

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De Ligt and Eiting are going to add depth to my defence. Nunnely and Cerny are the stars who look best suited to winger roles. Noa Lang and Wallian are maybes. Antonucci is attracting a lot of interest from Italy. Others will be sold to raise funds or loaned.

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Ari Milik is some boy, scoring goals for fun at the minute but still not happy because I let Klaassen go and didn't 'replace' him with a big name, despite both Schone and Sinkgraven playing very well in his absence.

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I was playing with a back line of van Rhijn, Veltman, Riedewald, Dijks up until January when Veltman spat the dummy when I rejected a bid from Monaco, he then departed for £4.6m which was a disappointingly low fee. I have Mammana to replace him though, hopefully he and Riedewald make a solid partership. I also punted van der Hoorn so I'm a bit short on defenders at the minute (Vlaar is signed on a pre-contract for some experience and tutoring). Unfortunately I've lost Klaassen and Veltman for a combined £10.6m. I've also brought in Afonso Figueiredo (Boavista, £2m) at left back, so now Dijks has asked to leave, and Tete isn't happy because he isn't getting a game ahead of van Rhijn.

Also signed Johannes Eggestein as a striker but he was a pretty large outlay (£7.5m in total) and will spend the rest of the season at Bremen. I hope Nunnelly, Cerny and Eggestein do well together in the age groups and have a good understanding going forward.

So with El Ghazi injured long term my team looks like this:

Cillessen

van Rhijn Riedewald Mammana Afonso

Bazoer Gudelj

A Zivkovic (£1.5m)Schone Fischer

Milik

Top of the league with ten to go. Gonna be a good run in.

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Just finished my first season with Ajax and i have to say, it was one of the more enjoyable saves i've had in a while! Didn't start well though by losing to GA Eagles in the 2nd round of the KNVB Cup + also finished third in my CL group behind Arsenal and Barcelona and ahead of Lech. That meant that i had dropped into the Europa League and this is how my journey there went.

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Won the league comfortably by 10 points, which allowed me to use some of the youngsters inbetween the Europa League games. Below is my best XI, from those players i've had to sell Milik to Juve for 28.5m, Fischer to Villareal for 9.75m(bloody release clause) and i am dangerously close to having to sell both Bazoer and Riedewald since both are unhappy that i didn't allow them to leave, hoping that they will change their minds during the season though.

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Finished my first season with Ajax too last night. Really enjoyed the season and looking forward to the next one. Heres the main points:

Eredivisie

Won in some style. Lost some points in the final five or ten games but overall met expectations of a dominant season.

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Dutch Cup

Out in Third Round to FC Eindhoven. Disappointed with this as I thought we could have walked to the Dutch Cup too, but I fielded a young team and they couldn't see off FC Eindhoven as they won on penalties. A good win over NAC Breda was the highlight, though.

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Champions League

Unfortunately didn't progress after bowing out to Monaco in the Play-off. Really disappointed to lose the way we did at home after getting an away goal over there. It saw us into the Europa League Group Stage, though.

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Europa League

Decent run ended by Bayern in the last 16. Absolutely schooled by the Germans over two legs and we couldn't really compete with them. Some good wins on the way though, notably over Leverkusen. We do struggle when we come up against bigger teams, as illustrated by the losses to West Ham.

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Transfers

As stated I am trying to be self sufficient, but that was proving difficult. I didn't spend big-big except on Eggestein who I've seen mentioned a few places, and the youth team was crying out for a decent striker. Mammana came in and did well for his first season and I think we all know what a talent Andrija Zivkovic is. Best signing though is Afonso Figueiredo for £700k. Disposed of Dijks in the left back spot and excelled, with multiple assists and a few goals.

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Best Eleven

Here's the best eleven seeing as I advanced into the next season without screenshotting, and I don't really have any stats for them...

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Milik, Andrija Zivkovic, Viktor Fisher, Lasse Schone and Nemanja Gudelj were absolutely tremendous, with 84 goals between them. The defence played their part and were fairly settled until Veltman was sold to Monaco after moaning about having to stay.

Season Transfers

Not too much inbound business as I tried to invest in talent for the future with Diakhate and Eggestein, Zivkovic as I say really came to the fore, as did Mammana when Veltman left. I have deals concluded for Jhon Arango and Maxi Romero (Velez) too.

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Moving forward...

As I mentioned I have progressed into the next season, I have tried to strengthen the team for a good Champions League campaign, and I've also had to fend off multiple bids for Milik, Zivkovic, Fischer, Bazoer, Riedewald, Nunnely, Elting, Flemming... the list is endless. They all came to me saying they wanted to leave but after a strong start to the season they seem to have quietened down. I added Julian Brandt (loan) and Pione Sisto as other wing options as I felt we were short in that area with Richairo Zivkovic going out and El Ghazi seemingly injury prone.

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The likes of Michu and Ron Vlaar were brought in purely for experience and tutoring value. Tom Carroll and Florian Lejeune add depth. We all know the qualities that Sisto brings and he can step up if Zivkovic falls off form wise or departs later in the season. Sven Bender, again, brings experience and depth. I'm not overly convinced with Bazoer and was tempted to sell him in the summer, with Gudelj as the ball player in the midfield I ended up playing Bazoer as a destroyer (CM,S) and I don't think it really suits him, as shown by him having the lowest average rating of the front five. So the squad looks like this, I have the highlights of the youth team training with the first team and playing U19 and Jong games where they can, the likes of Nunnely, Bakboord, de Ligt and Cerny have already featured in one way or another, with Nunnely managing two assists and a goal on his full debut against Cambuur.

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Hopefully second season syndrome won't kick in and we'll manage to retain the league, looking to kick on in the Dutch Cup, and at least be in the Europa League after Christmas.

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Ozil I'm interested to see what TI you are using. I'm trying to replicate the way Ajax are known for playing, so would be good to maybe bounce some ideas around?

I'm still in season 1, things are going well top of the league, qualified to knockout rounds of Champs League.

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Ozil I'm interested to see what TI you are using. I'm trying to replicate the way Ajax are known for playing, so would be good to maybe bounce some ideas around?

I'm still in season 1, things are going well top of the league, qualified to knockout rounds of Champs League.

Absolutely. Good luck. It's an interesting challenge.

Typical Team Instructions

Much Higher Defensive Line

Much Higher Closing Down

Low Crosses

Play Out of Defence

Higher Creative Freedom

Sometimes, I'll up the tempo or play with the passing lengths of individual players.

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Quite tempted to try a save with Ajax and try and set them up with either a mixture of the classic 4-3-3 and some kind of hybrid of the Cruijff diamond and the shape Van Gaal used with a sweeper in 94/95.

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Quite tempted to try a save with Ajax and try and set them up with either a mixture of the classic 4-3-3 and some kind of hybrid of the Cruijff diamond and the shape Van Gaal used with a sweeper in 94/95.

I'd certainly recommend it. You've got lots of good, versatile and 'complete' midfielders which opens up lots of doors tactically. Defenders are strong technically too so you can play some nice football.

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Time for an update from me. You join me at the start of the mid-season break in 2017/2018.

Summer Transfer Window

As is rarely the case with Ajax, it was a rather uneventful transfer window.

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Star and top goalscorer of the previous season Milik earned himself a big money move to the Premiership, joining Liverpool for #21m. Sinkraven, Dijks, van der Hoorn and van Rhijn also made way for younger players in the squad and and a slight change in style. We also raised good money selling youngsters who weren't quite going to make the cut for the first team, some going for particularly lucrative deals abroad. Where possible I added by-back clauses in case I was making any mistakes but, so far, I am happy.

I strengthened the first team by promoting Nunnely, Cerny, Eiting and de Ligt from Jong Ajax and bringing in Nkoulou to strengthen midfield, add experience and as a solid tutor.

The Results

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So far, so good having survived an injury ravaged first half of the season. We're second in the league after too many draws but remain unbeaten and qualified for the Champions League knockouts easily, drawing Barcelona in the next round.

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Barcelona may be after revenge after we knocked them out at this stage last season, however looking at their squad they have not really refreshed it very well. Iniesta is aging yet still key and they're playing a deep 4-2-3-1 which I love playing against.

Tactics

My primary shape has been an attacking, flexible diamond.

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It's a solid back four with attacking wingbacks, covered by Bazoer at DM and an aggressive midfield trio of Klaassen, van der Beek and Nouri making up the diamond. Odegaard playing as a 10 and Zivkovic up top, scoring for fun.

It's not my favourite shape to play given the poor pressing options but it is fun, and suits the players available. After losing and failing to replace Milik I couldn't really field a front 3. We score for fun but we're not intimidating defensively.

Ajer has joined my First XI and Veltman seems happy to stay, providing cover.

Plan B is a 3-6-1, similar to that played first season but with more support for the striker.

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Delighted with de Ligt and Nunnely in particular. They have really stepped up. Rajkovic is also pushing Cillesson for the No.1 jersey.

Sneijder, Nkoulou and Veltman give some experience to an otherwise very young side.

Squad and Player Development

The first team squad is in the best shape it's been since I started:

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Bazoer, Zivkovic and Odegaard are the club's stars, all committed to nice long contracts and re-acting well to the near constant speculation. The first team has a nice feel to it with the majority coming through the academy and most still to reach their maximum potential.

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Patrascu is a regen, in his second season here. I can't say he's going to be first team but he has a good personality and is a great finisher.

I already mentioned de Ligt and Nunnely. The rest are providing very solid backup for the First XI.

Jong Ajax

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As I mentioned in the last update, I am very excited by Thijs Kjuipers. Drogba tutored him to become a Perfectionist with great potential and is the star of this team.

Van Leeuwen looks very good at left back. Highly likely to be promoted next season.

I brought in Dammers and Kayode from other academies and they're also good prospects.

I suspect the rest will make way, but we'll see.

Academy

Hardly a vintage year but Hein Baric looks great and a few others have potential.

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The major youth development challenge at the moment is that my First Team are so young I only have a few tutors so I can't develop as many youngsters as I'd like. There's a chance I will bring in some old-boys as tutors in Jan but I prefer to avoid having players who don't play regularly at the club.

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The 2017/18 season finished with style for Ajax, crowned Champions of Europe for the first time since the legends of 1995, completing an unbeaten season in the league and adding the KNVB Beker for a treble.

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After an injury ravaged first half of the season with too many draws, we enjoyed the strongest second half of the season since I started. The squad is strong enough now that I suspect we have two starting 11s capable of winning most games.

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The Champions League was the main achievement of the season. Barcelona did us a big favour playing a disjointed 4-2-3-1 allowing us to completely control the midfield and choke possession from their superstar frontline. We have now knocked Barcelona out at the same stage in consecutive seasons. This year we had a big win in the first leg followed by a 3-2 defeat at the Nou Camp, but enough to make it through. Barcelona were also weak at the set piece with Mascherano unable to compete with the likes of Ajer, Riedewald or Bazoer with Ajer managing two goals in the home leg.

Monaco, managed by Pep Guardiola, surprisingly also played a 4-2-3-1 and had a couple of star players but in general we were comfortably the better side.

Juventus were the biggest challenge of the season. Having already played them twice in the group stage, winning one and losing one it was set to be a cracker. It felt like a classic European tie with a solid Italian defence facing up to a fluid Dutch attack. Juventus had an aging side but with a wealth of experience and the world's best midfielder, in Pogba. We stuck to our guns with the attacking diamond and came out on top - just!

Arsenal in the final was a surprise but they did us a huge favour overcoming Bayern, who had destroyed their league and going for a 3rd consecutive Champions League. Bayern are managed by Ancelotti which is a scary, scary combination. Arsenal are now managed by Benitez. Initially an odd appointment but they've really taken over English football with 3x league titles in a row. They play Benitez favoured 4-2-3-1, very similar to his Liverpool or Valencia sides of the early/mid-2000s and have held on to Ozil, Sanchez and added well.

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As I have mentioned, I enjoy playing against 4-2-3-1 formations. If you can control the midfield you can immediately take the 4 attacking players out of the game. Arsenal played Ozil in the AM spot and Cazorla behind him, with a holder who I forget now. Clearly Ozil was the man to stop and Bazoer did a great job from the base of our diamond. This left us with a solid back four, against Sanchez, Morata and Walcott and an extra man in midfield. The extra man in midfield, Klaassen scored the crucial first goal. By this stage of the season, the Odegaard / Zivkovic combination was really firing and they created constant problems. Eventually it was an Odegaard corner, converted by Ake in extra time which won the game. This season really showed that you can play the most beautiful football but a set piece can often push you over the line!

Next season..

Cillesson and Tete made their intentions clear early so I have arranged moves early. #30m from PSG for Cillesson and #15m or so for Tete seems good business, particularly with replacements in the squad. Rajkovic is moving up to my first choice keeper and Cech joined for #1m providing cover, experience and tutoring. Van Persie also joined on a free, solely for tutoring.

I enjoyed playing the diamond but I believe we would be infinitely better with a more effective pressing system which is why I am thinking of returning to the 3-6-1. Nunnely looks a shoe-in on the right side, plus I have a few options for the left. Maintain the same diamond in midfield with Odegaard and Zivkovic ahead and add a 3rd centreback from De Ligt, Veltman or Nkoulou.

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Productive off-season. Holland narrowly missed out on winning the World Cup, reaching the final but ultimately losing 2-0 to Ukraine - couldn't help but have a chuckle.

Easiest summer by far for me. After last season's success the squad seem happy to stay on and see if we can retain the Champions League.

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The only first team players to leave were Cillesson and Tete, both for good money. Rajkovic was promoted to No. 1 to replace Cillesson and Cech brought in as experienced backup. Tete has been replaced by a youngster from Jong Ajax. Cerny would have been given a shot in the first eleven this season but Man City came in with a big bid, which I negotiated upwards and he took the $$$.

The team tasked with retaining the Champions League looks like this:

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Possibly the most effective pressing shape I have seen and devastating in attack. I think this is going to be a fun season!

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2018/19 Mid-Season Update

Competitions

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As I mentioned last season, our squad is now so dominant in the Eredivisie that I suspect we could win it with our second XI. We're flying. Dropping points on rare occasions and staying unbeaten.

Defending our Champions League crown is where the real action is at.

This year, we face a few interesting sides. Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea all made the play offs and have some very impressive squads after a couple of seasons of big spending. All underachieving in the league (realistic!) with Tottenham looking like winning the title so they have some making up to do. Arsenal are particularly formidable, now managed by Ancelotti - Arsenal made last years finals and won the last 3 Premier Leagues whilst Ancelotti won two Champions Leagues with Bayern.

Bayern are now managed by Simeone - a particularly frightening combination.

Toughest opponents though may well be Juventus. Still managed by Conte and boasting the toughest defence in Europe, plus the best midfielder in the world with Dybala and Gabigol up front.

Squad Development

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The main change is Rajkovic taking over as No. 1, ably supported by Cech. Nunnely has stepped up to the first team and his performances have earnt him the European Golden Boy accolade.

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Nouri is posing big questions. He is now at a level where my scouts rate him higher than Klaassen. Klaassen is my captain, club legend and embodiment of my tactics so there is no chance I am dropping him so, do I sell Nouri or adapt the tactics to fit him in?

Regen van Leeuwen is having a phenomenal season and looking likely to force Ake out of the side. Ake has been moaning about wanting a move for a while now so I intend to cash in this summer.

Cech has been excellent - 15 or so clean sheets and an excellent tutor. I am really hoping to persuade him to take one more year.

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It's not a vintage year for Jong Ajax but de Vries and Baric look like solid potentials. I am possibly going to loan most of them out next season to get a better look after a bit more competitive football.

Tactics

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So, I'm back to the 3-6-1.

Without the ball it's an absolute monster. High intensity pressing. The band of 5 means that we can press aggressively whilst simultaneously cutting off passing options. It's devastating.

With the ball, we are a 3-4-3 diamond. In fact, we're basically two diamonds flanked by wingers with a forward up top. The back 3 + Bazoer create the first diamond. Then there's the midfield diamond. Bazoer is absolutely crucial both with and without the ball. He's involved with everything.

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Great save you've got going there, Ö-zil. I've been struggling to keep up team mentality with my 'no signings' policy. I have to rely on players coming from U-19, whatever personalities they have (although they are not poor, on average) and tutors are scarce because not many players will remain in the club after turnin 24.

My average age is just below 24, but interestingly we're not even the youngest squad in Eredivisie.

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Thank you. I am really enjoying it. Probably my most enjoyable save of the year.

Yes, I can appreciate a no-signing policy will make things difficult. I have made signings but reasonably few and I think they keep with the typical Ajax approach very well. The major issue with no signings is going to be the lack of tutors and, for me, tutoring is one of the most important aspects of developing a youngster.

What's your youth intake typically like? In comparison to other teams I have managed, I notice a much higher level. Most are going on to become decent Eredivise players with 1-2 potential stars which I then supplement by scouting and poaching other youth teams, particularly Africa. The challenge is that <10% have desirable personalities so I am tutoring extensively. Cech, Veltman, Kallstrom, Drogba, Olic, Klaassen and van Ginkel have all had major influences on the squad. My assigned tutors are almost constantly tutoring which means the strong personalities are spreading through the squad. It feels like an Alex Ferguson team where we "are never beaten, sometimes we run out of time". :D

The Eredivise is certainly a younger league. I think my average age is a little higher as I have actively tried to sign experience whilst I wait for my own players to develop.

At the moment, 6 out of my first XI have come through the academy. Next season that'll be 7 with my first regen starting.

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! quite impressive results you got there. I remember stumbling upon the article that inspired you to create the 3-6-1 and I was thinking of doing the same, now I might give it a go with Ajax.

Was wondering what are your TI? Are you using any specific OI to keep those wings safe? Also, do you put any specific individual instructions for your players?

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! quite impressive results you got there. I remember stumbling upon the article that inspired you to create the 3-6-1 and I was thinking of doing the same, now I might give it a go with Ajax.

Was wondering what are your TI? Are you using any specific OI to keep those wings safe? Also, do you put any specific individual instructions for your players?

Thank you. Yes, I would highly recommend it. It's interesting and suits the Ajax team well as they have lots of midfielders and no really great inside forwards to play a 4-3-3.

Team Instructions

  • Much Higher Defensive Line
  • Close Down Much More
  • Tighter Marking
  • Prevent GK Distribution
  • Play Out of Defence
  • Pass into Space
  • Be More Creative
  • Low Crosses

The wings are pretty well covered as the MR / ML has support from the ST and AM when pressing, flanks are also covered by the wider MC and DC who in turn can be covered by the other MCs or DCs moving across, towards the ball.

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Thank you. Yes, I would highly recommend it. It's interesting and suits the Ajax team well as they have lots of midfielders and no really great inside forwards to play a 4-3-3.

Team Instructions

  • Much Higher Defensive Line
  • Close Down Much More
  • Tighter Marking
  • Prevent GK Distribution
  • Play Out of Defence
  • Pass into Space
  • Be More Creative
  • Low Crosses

The wings are pretty well covered as the MR / ML has support from the ST and AM when pressing, flanks are also covered by the wider MC and DC who in turn can be covered by the other MCs or DCs moving across, towards the ball.

Thank you for your quick response. Do you achieve that said cover with some tweaks or you rely only on the default instructions?

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