Maarten Stekelenburg is happy to have the chance to play at Ajax, but he is happy with Andre Onana. The 38-year-old goalkeeper looks back on a good performance in the cup duel with PSV (2-1).
Stekelenburg does not get hot or cold from the fact that he is now the first choice at Ajax. “No matter what game I play, I always want to win. I always give 100% and today too,” he says at ESPN. “I am experienced enough and I know what is asked of me. There is no doubt that I am now finishing the season, as it stands.”
“I came to Ajax and knew my role. He has now changed something,” continues Stekelenburg, who has difficulty in estimating how far away he is from his old level. “Of course, I havent played for a long time. Not at Everton, and not here. Circumstances make me play now. Im happy about that. Anyway, Im not so quick to find out.” Against PSV, the 58-fold Orange-International had a fairly quiet evening, he judges himself. “It went fine. We didnt get into trouble very often. Some dangerous moments, but I think we played a good game — especially in the first half.”
Yet it remained exciting until the end in the Johan Cruijff Arena. “He can always fall wrong, especially because they start playing more opportune. But I think we defended well. A nasty goal against. But in the first half they got one good chance, and I think we had it pretty much under control.” Stekelenburg even had remarkably little to do. “Yes, the score doesnt suggest, but we won.”
That was the most important thing for Ajax after a horror week. “There are jokes: typical Ajax week. But its annoying,” says Stekelenburg, who says that the endorsing of Onana was a joint initiative from the club and the players. “Onana is facing a difficult period. And, of course, we miss him, too. Besides being a great keeper on the field, its also a nice guest in the locker room.”