Ajax licks the wounds after a historic downturn against Napoli in the Champions League (1-6). Enough to talk about; Football Scoop draws six conclusions.
Napoli demolishes disastrously AjaxAjax faced a mega job in the Johan Cruijff Arena on Tuesday evening. Napoli came to the Johan Cruyff Arena in top form – and with an unbeaten status in Italy and Europe. That turned out on the field: Ajax got football lessons. Alfred Schreuder‘s team was played upside down both collectively and individually. Ajax has never received six goals in a European context. It wasn’t even flattering.
Schreuder in the line of fire It was the litmus test for Schreuder: with a Champions League win over Napoli, the trainer could have shown that he is the right man to bring Ajax back to the European top, as he did in the spring of 2019 alongside Erik ten Hag. None of that. Ajax plunged into a deep crisis on Tuesday evening and the pressure on Schreuder is getting bigger and bigger. The O-word (resignation) even falls in Amsterdam.
Contrast with a year ago couldn‘t be greaterA year ago, even in the third round of the Champions League group phase, Ajax scared the whole of Europe by belittling Borussia Dortmund with eye-catching football (4-0). How different it is now. This season, Liverpool and Napoli appear to be of a completely different order than the current Ajax.
Ajax problem in the air Not for the first time, Ajax collected a goal from a resumption of play. The people of Amsterdam have a big problem: they are simply short of height on the highest stage. This time, it was Jurriën Timber who let Napoli captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo beat himself, bringing about the Italian comeback.
Europa League course Due to the hard home defeat, Ajax is heading for the Europa League. The difference with Napoli has risen to six points, while Liverpool easily won against Rangers FC (2-0) and three points – and a much better goal balance – is above Ajax. Europa League football, that does not fit the ambition of the Amsterdammers, who want to structurally join the European top.
Tadic from great leader to unrecognizable SchlemielWith the exception of Kenneth Taylor, everyone fell through the ice against Napoli. Dusan Tadic took the cake. Nothing worked out with the invisible leader of Ajax, who looked unhappy. It doesn’t help that Schreuder sees him as a good right-winger. Telling: Tadic has received more red cards than goals scored this season.