Dutch giants conceded a last-minute goal in defeat to Utrecht
One of the most traditional clubs in European football, Ajax is experiencing what is perhaps the biggest crisis in its 123-year history. This Sunday (22), the Amsterdam team suffered a harsh 4-3 defeat against Utrecht, with a goal in stoppage time, and now finds itself in the penultimate position in the Dutch Championship table, with just five points in seven games played.
Some factors may justify the ordeal experienced by Ajax, such as the departure of coach Erik ten Hag, who left Dutch football to join Manchester United at the beginning of last season. The board, until now, has not found a coach who can maintain the level at the height and Ajax, since then, has not been able to find itself.
Another situation that helps explain the club’s terrible moment was the departure of Marc Overmars, an Ajax idol as a player and former director of football. Overmars left his former post after confessing to sexually harassing several female club employees in February 2022. Ajax announced Sven Mislintat as his replacement in May 2023, leaving the club without a sporting director for more than a year.
Maurice Steijn, current team commander, even publicly complained about Ajax’s poor transfer window: “Only Josip Sutalo brought a direct improvement to the squad. The remaining 11 need to be evaluated in the coming weeks and months”, said the coach at the time . Sven Mislintat was sacked on the same day as a derby against Feyenoord, which was interrupted as Ajax trailed 3-0 and flares were thrown onto the pitch. The match was rescheduled and the Amsterdam team suffered another defeat to their great rival, 4-0.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) October 22, 2023
It wasn’t long ago that Ajax was among the European elite. In 2017, the four-time Champions League champion played in the Europa League final against José Mourinho’s Manchester United, but ended up defeated. Two years later, in 2019, Ajax, now under the command of Erik ten Hag, overthrew giants like Real Madrid and Juventus, reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League. In 2023, the situation is very different and the horizon is not the best for one of the most traditional clubs on the Old Continent.
The post first appeared on www.terra.com.br