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Dec 25, 12 at 3:57am ^Ajax Team Discussion
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Ajax Team Discussion
History and Philosophy
Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax, also referred to as AFC Ajax, Ajax Amsterdam or simply Ajax (after the legendary Greek hero), is a Dutch professional football club based in Amsterdam. The club is historically one of the three clubs that dominate the Dutch national football league (Eredivisie), the others being PSV and Feyenoord.
However, Dutch football has seen better days. The spending power of the major European leagues has, to an extenet, diminished Dutch football. Having said this, this seasons Champions League indicates that spending big like Manchester City, is not the only way to be successful. Through beating Manchester City, Ajax proved that through careful selection and development of young players, a sustainable and intelligent plan for success is possible. This is your task as the manager of Ajax - to bed in young players, play attractive football, dominate the Dutch leagues and do your very best at Ajax.
Your first choice goalkeeper should be Kenneth Vermeer. He can be your first choice for many years if you wish; a dependable keeper with solid stats and very good reflexes. If you wish in the second or third season you could replace him but honestly you do not get very much money and replacing Vermeer would be a waste of what little cash you have. If you find a good goalkeeper for free (I.e. David Ospina) then you could go for him, but honestly I see little difference between him and Vermeer. For back up, you have Jasper Cillessen, but I found Vermeer to be so consistent that Cillessen was never needed.
I think Ajax has a weak defence. Toby Alderweireld aside, I see the others being liabilities, especially in the Champions League. Perhaps that is unfair to young right back Ricardo Van Rhijn, and also Daley Blind, but I decided both could leave at the end of the first season (when I had funds to sign replacements). For the first season, I brought in Ryan Donk from Genk for 2 million or so, Lisandro Lopez for 4 million from Arsenal Sarandi in Argentina, and Tomas Rincon for a couple of million as well. My back four became: Lopez DL; Donk DC; Alderweireld DC; Rincon DR. The aforementioned 'liabilities' were my back up, as well as Sotirios Kyrgiakos as a loan backup. In January I shored the defence up further with Alex Silva on loan from a club in Brazil, while I secured Salvatore Bocchetti on a Bosman as well for the second season.
Spoiler:Ricardo Van Rhijn
Christian Eriksen is capable of running the show from midfield. His passing and creativity are key to your sides fortunes, especially in the Champions League. On the wings you have good options as well in former Liverpool man Ryan Babel (a frustrating but occasionally amazing player who is also key for big European ties) and Serbian winger Miralem Sulejmani, who is a slightly less talented Babel. As a defensive midfielder you have experienced Dutchman Christian Poulsen whose mental stats can be important in Europe, as well as Eyong Enoh for backup. Other back up players can be: Lucas Anderson; a young Danish winger who will be a star in the future and is good backup for the first season, Derk Boerrigter; another talented left winger who I initially thought would have no place in the side but turned out to be fairly consistent and direct when played in Babels absence; also Siem De Jong, the club captain, can be a useful asset but you can fetch 7 million or so in the second season for him so I would start to think about that.
I also signed Enio from a Chinese club for 1.5 million, who proved to be a creative power in the middle (scored a fair few important long-shot goals as well), I also resigned Demy DeZeeuw on loan, who was good backup also; finally in January I brought in McDonald Mariga whose experience and power helped me to a decent run in the Europa League.
Again, you are a little short up front. Your main man is Kolbein Sigþórsson who turns into a very good all-round striker fairly quickly in your first season (note the stats I show are from the end of the first season). Siem De Jong can play up front as well, but I brought in Christian Danalache (again from the Chinese league) as well as Guillaume Horeau from PSG on loan for backup. Danalache would support Sigþórsson if I played two up front, or alternatively I would use Sigþórsson on his own as his heading and strength makes him an effective target man, holding up play and bringing others - hopefully Christian Eriksen, whom I tried to get as close to the target man as possible - into play.
I don't know if you think it is cheating to use a tactic from FM sites, but this year, due to the difficulty of the game, I found myself doing this and then adapting them to my team. For tough games (away games against the big boys in the Dutch League, or pretty much any game in the Champions League), I used Raikans Amazing AMC tactic, using Christian Eriksen as my AMC. I had to tinker it a bit to make my wingers a bit more direct, and to adapt one of the midfield roles to be more suited to the creative power and long-shot mastery that is Enio, but other than that I kept this formation as it was. In easier games, I went for 442 Pav, which I also downloaded from FM Base, and again had to tinker; I found this formation made me too prone to getting counter-attacked, so I shored it up a bit by making the defenders less reckless, and my defensive midfielder more cautious. Also Christian Eriksen was played a little less attacking-minded in this formation to make sure my midfield was not overrun. Credit to Raikan and Pav for making these tactics.
Spoiler:Raikan Amazing AMC
Success and Future
I won the league fairly easily in my first season (I am only one season through thus far). A Champions League Group of Chelsea, Galatassaray and Malaga proved tougher than I expected, the killer blow being a loss to Malaga away. I ended up third after beating Galatassaray at home, and in the Europa League defeated Sporting Lisbon and Stuttgart before coming unstuck against Liverpool. After beating them 2-1 at home, I had them at 1-1 at half-time at Anfield, before Fabio Borini (yes...Fabio f***ing Borini) got a double, and as I went for the game in the dying stages they grabbed a fourth.
In the KNVB Cup (essentially the FA Cup in Dutch football), I was defeated by NAC Breda in the semi-finals (one of those games where you dominate the entire match and they score with their only shot). I did win the Johan Cruijff Shield though, which is the winner of the league versus the winner of the KNVB cup, so two trophies for my first season was not a terrible return. Next season I want to bring Ajax to the next level. I have talented youngster Viktor Fischer coming back from a loan at Genk, as well as Bosman deals for Juan Manuel Vargas, Vladimir Weiss, Salvatore Bochetti and Juan Guillermo Cuadrado. Hopefully with a few more good signings I can push on and do better in the Champions League.
Spoiler:League First Season
PS. Hope you're all having an awesome Christmas Day! I did have family/presents/Christmas dinner ect...this Ajax team discussion was not the only thing I did this Christmas!
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Dec 25, 12 at 5:32am ^re: Ajax Team Discussion
Can you close this please? I meant to do it in FM2013; it is there now. Thanks.
Dec 28, 12 at 3:49am ^re: Ajax Team Discussion
Posted in correct forum
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