Thursday, August 11, 2005

Ajax and the Champions League

Looks like I haven't ranted about my beloved Ajax for a while.

Last night Ajax played their first leg of the 3rd qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League against FC Brondby in Denmark. The game ended in 2-2 after Brondby managed to score a last second goal. Next week is the home leg for Ajax and I'm sure they will beat Brondby. Scoring 2 goals away is always an advantage.

Ajax started this season with 29 players. That's a lot of players. So at the beginning of this week, 4 players were notified that they won't be playing much and can look for another club. Daniel de Ridder, Rasmus Lindgren, Tom de Mul and Anthony Obodai are being let go by Ajax. Lindgren already found home at FC Groningen for one season. What surprises me is Daniel de Ridder. He's a good player, at least good enough to be at Ajax but he hasn't got the opportunity to shine yet. He's a natural right winger and only Mauro Rosales is in front of him in the pecking order. At the beginning of the season he wanted to go away but Ajax insisted on him staying. And now Ajax wants to get rid of him. Well, whatever happens I'm sure Daniel de Ridder will end up at a big team someday.

And revelation of the season so far is Nourdin Boukhari. Last season he was playing left wing and didn't do enough to grant a starting place. Danny Blind made him left midfield during pre-season and now he is shining. He's even making Sneijder sit on the bench. That's an achievement.

First game of the league is this weekend. I have a good feeling Ajax will win it this time. And go to the quarter-finals (mayeb even semi-finals) of the UEFA Champions League. Watch this space...


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