Ajax had been the envy of Europe once for their robust club structure and has deteriorated in just 12 months. When they head into a playoff for reaching the knockout phase of the Europa League, they had the 3rd manager for the year and still don’t have a technical director as 2 of their 3 central pillars collapsed: Marc Overmars- sporting Marc in disgrace last February and Erik ten Hag left to join Man United in Summer.
The last remaining pillar, Edwin Van Der Sar, had put Ajax back together again.
Even after a year, Ajax has not been able to replace Ten Hag and Overmar’s successors and Alfred Schreuder has also been sacked. In the third, Eredivise, and the Champions League, the club has turned to John Heitinga for steering the team through to the season’s end and while he is a club’s son, his elevation was not meant to come much sooner. However, he began brilliantly with 4 wins from 4.
As Ajax is preparing for the two-legged playoff of the Europa League against Union Berlin, the club is attempting to navigate its way through the choppy waters. In 2021, the club was still with many players who reached the semifinal of the 2019 Champions League and had enjoyed a historic group stage in the Champions League as they won all 6 of their matches and been the top of the Eredivisie.
A new deal had been signed by Overmars through 2026 as the team fended off the admiring Newcastle United among many other suitors, while Ten Hag was highly tempted to prolong his stay at Amsterdam, irrespective of being of the top sought-after Europe managers. The transfer strategy of the club was on absolute point.