August 10th, 2006 by Hafiz Noor Shams
Preliminary matches for the UEFA Champions League are underway and Ajax are on their way to the first stage (tag). Ajax’s first opponent is FC Copenhagen and Ajax won the first leg in Denmark 1-2, courtesy of the best purchase by Ajax in recent years – Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. That win gives Ajax the away goal advantage and all Ajax need to do now is to at least draw in Amsterdam.
I didn’t watch the game and I haven’t had the chance to watch the proper highlight of the game. Despite that, I’m somewhat happy to hear good reports on some players. With Jaap Stam in the team, it seems that Ajax have found their new Chivu. Or Frank de Boer if we want to go down farther down the line. Still, it’s Stam’s first competitive game with Ajax and it would be premature to praise him too much.
Babel seems fantastic as always. I’m convinced that he’ll gain a place in the first team soon. One of the reasons why I like Ajax is the fact that the team keeps chunning out unbelieveable talented player over and over again. People like Babel.
Rosenberg and Rosales still look good. Both are as good as the other; both are excellent wingers. I’m not sure about Kenneth Perez though. He’s Ajax’s new signing from AZ Alkmaar.
But the real person on trial here is Ajax’s new coach, Henk ten Cate. Remember, Henk ten Cate was Rijkaard’s assistant at FC Barcelona, the last season’s European Champion.
I do feel however that this season is the first time Ajax will have a stronger attacking force coupled with reliable defense for a full season in recent times. Ajax’s problem has always been converting possession into goals ever since Ibrahimovic left Ajax for that old hag Juventus. So, this is a promising season, both for Eredivisie and in the European arena.