The rattling Ajax also had no answer to football machine Napoli (4-2) on Wednesday evening in Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. VoetbalPrimeur draws eight conclusions.
Hard figuresEight days after the historic downturn in the Johan Cruijff Arena, Ajax went down again against Napoli. 10-3 over two games, these are tough numbers. The people of Amsterdam are threatening to overboard all the goodwill that has been cultivated in Europe in recent years. But it must be said: Napoli was impressive again. Every time Ajax seemed to get back into the game, the Italians effortlessly stepped up a notch.
Waiting for the true Ajax face on the bright side: Napoli only needed fifteen minutes to make the hole, but Ajax showed better afterwards. This time it wasn‘t as hopeless as last week’s 1-6. Due to a severely punished handball by Jurriën Timber and horror error by Daley Blind, Napoli fell out at the decisive moments. Ajax has two more group matches to show its true face to Europe.
Six (!) yellow cardsMore than half of the players of Ajax who were kicking off received a yellow card from French referee François Letexier. And no one could grumble about it, except Jurriën Timber. His handball gave Napoli a cheap penalty. It is time for the UEFA Rules Committee to review the current handball rule again.
Avalanche against GoalsNo club collected more countergoals than Ajax in the current Champions League season (12). In total, goalkeeper Remko Pasveer had to fish 25 times in 14 games. Last season under Erik ten Hag, the Amsterdammers only reached that number after 40 games. In the back, trainer Alfred Schreuder, not even just because of the avalanche of countergoals, has a major problem.
Napoli turns out to be another buddy 🤕 Schreuder‘s team gets goals from Lozano, Raspadori, Kvaratskhelia and Oshimen, ultimately ending the game in a 4-2 loss 😅 #ZiggoSport #UCL #NAPAJA pic.twitter.com/LP5rrJDDv2
— Ziggo Sports Football (@ZS_Voetbal) October 12, 2022
Wijndal celebrated left BackDaley Blind, Calvin Bassey and even eighteen-year-old Youri Baas: they are all above Owen Wijndal in the pecking order at Ajax. Of course, the former captain of AZ had an injury for a while, but in Naples, his absentia was almost impossible to explain. Apparently, Schreuder simply doesn’t think he‘s good enough – or at least: other players are better.
Schreuder fails againSchreuder was again unable to prove that he is the right man to bring Ajax back to the European top, as the ambition in the Johan Cruijff Arena is. He was also charged enough in Naples: again he changed lavishly late and for weeks, players have been dragged by the team from left to right. The fact that he does not show up in his interviews afterwards does not help Schreuder.
Three falls through the MandDaley Blind, Jorge Sánchez and Mohammed Kudus are the least likely to look back on their evening at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. We’ll just say it: Blind has been a dissonant for weeks, base debutant Sánchez is currently heavily short for the Champions League, and Kudus has nothing to do at the point of the attack.
Next up: Liverpool at home in two weeks, Ajax will be back to work: Liverpool, clearly the better one at Anfield, is coming to visit. Jürgen Klopp‘s searching team will take action against Rangers FC on Wednesday evening, after which it becomes more clear about the Amsterdammers’ chances of Champions League wintering. Because mutual results are most important with an equal number of points, Ajax must at least win on October 26.