Trainer Alfred Schreuder breaks his head about the number of sick at Ajax: “I think it has to do with World Cup visitors”

In the capital of North Brabant he missed Steven Bergwijn, Steven Berghuis, Mohammed Kudus, Jurriën Timber and Edson Alvarez due to illness. Schreuder hopes to have a few players available against FC Twente next Saturday.

“I think Berghuis and Bergwijn can be there. I spoke to Jurrïen (Timber, ed.) and that also seemed to be going better. But at the end of the day they usually get a fever. We really have to wait and see how things go in the coming days,” said Schreuder, who assumes that Brian Brobbey will be back anyway. The striker was missing in Den Bosch due to a minor shoulder injury he sustained against NEC.

Rinse thin in the back

Schreuder has been racking his brains over the past few days about the large number of sick people. “I think it has something to do with the World Cup visitors. That it affects the resistance. I asked the doctor. A number of boys had also been ill at the World Cup.”

Especially in the back, the flush at Ajax is currently thin. Schreuder had lined up all available defenders against FC Den Bosch, which meant that Owen Wijndal was also at the kick-off. The left back had been passed against NEC by the Ajax coach, who was not satisfied with what Wijndal had shown during training. It would suit Schreuder well if Timber can play against FC Twente again, the Ajax coach acknowledged after the duel with FC Den Bosch.

“Every player is important, but Jurriën is an undisputed basic player and he is doing well. You do need that. On the other hand, the boys, who were in the center against FC Den Bosch, also did well. But it is important that Timber is there,” said Schreuder, who was more positive about Wijndal this time. “The first half was still difficult. He got better in the second half. In the end it’s good that those guys get competitions in their legs. When I saw Owen at practice yesterday he was really keen to do well. There is always competition at Ajax. That is part of it.”


The FC Den Bosch speaker commented subtly afterwards that Schreuder could use a little success. Ajax has not won the last four Eredivisie matches. The cup match against FC Den Bosch was a game of cat and mouse, in which Ajax never got into trouble, no matter how great the effort of the players of the home team was. Schreuder was satisfied with what his team had shown.

Tricky choices

“I think we started well. We got a fine business win. There was a good energy in the field. We never gave Den Bosch the feeling that there was something to be gained. I did think that we unnecessarily incurred two yellow cards, that was not smart.” Goal scorer Kenneth Taylor was booked for the way of cheering after his goal, which was judged provocative by referee Edwin van de Graaf. “I don’t think we should do that. Especially in away games. And Sanchez’s foul was not necessary either.”

The Ajax crowd that traveled with them again frequently sang the name of Francisco Conceição, who is appreciated by the supporters because of his passionate actions. Also against FC Den Bosch, there was again the necessary threat from the small attacker, who saw a shot explode on the crossbar. When everyone is fit, Schreuder has difficult choices to make on the flanks, but the Ajax coach certainly did not rule out Conceição staying in the team for a longer period of time. “That also depends on him. If he keeps the threat he’s showing now and he’s fit, I think he’s definitely a good option for the starting line-up. I think everyone sees him giving something extra. He has speed, depth and can play a man.”

©  AFP


It became a debutante ball for Ajax in Den Bosch. The new goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli made his debut as a basic player, Kian Fitz-Jim and Lorenzo Lucca made their basic debuts and after the break the young defenders Olivier Aertssen (18) and Jorrel Hato (16) made their debut in Ajax-1. “We wanted to see Rulli right away. That was important. He had little to do, but he handled the balls he got well. In the end it is important that he makes minutes quickly”, said Schreuder, who had already made Christian Rasmussen and Fitz-Jim debut against NEC and now gave two young players the chance to show themselves in the main force.

“Owen (Wijndal, ed.) got some problems with his knee in the second half, the doctor said. He also had that collision so that’s why I decided to take it off. And Rensch had already indicated at half-time that he had problems with his back due to the artificial grass, so after the 2-0 I decided to change them. The guys who came in are doing fine in Jong Ajax. They play at this level every week and played effortlessly in this match. It is also part of Ajax to let talents make their debut young. We had no other choices now, but those guys are doing great at Jong Ajax and then it is nice to give them minutes.”

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