Napoli hammer outclassed Ajax 1-6 in Champions League
A 1-6 home defeat by Napoli on Tuesday night has virtually put paid to Ajax’ chances of remaining in the Champions League competition, and given rise to questions about the future.
Ajax, who meet the Italians away next week, are currently in third place in Group A with three points from three games. The defeat is the club’s worst in European football.
Ajax coach Alfred Schreuder said after the match that the result was ‘unacceptable’ and ‘unworthy of Ajax’.
‘Napoli was very much better,’ he said. ‘They had a very good day and we had a bad one. Napoli and Liverpool are just a bit too big for Ajax at present. You can see the difference. As a team, we are not good enough.’
Captain Dusan Tadic, who was given a red card in the later stages of the match, said the side is still learning. ‘We lost seven or eight players in the transfer period,’ he said. ‘We need more games to bring back the routine… but that is not an excuse for tonight’s defeat.’
The Dutch media were biting in their criticism of the Amsterdammers’ performance. ‘Without speedy improvements, heads are going to roll,’ said the Telegraaf in its analysis of the game.
Schreuder can hide behind the loss of so many top players in the summer – because it is impossible to replace them all so quickly, the paper said. But many questions remain, in particular about the decision to bring in such an inexperienced trainer, the paper pointed out.
The Volkskrant too said that much happened to Ajax in the transfer period, with the loss of Erik ten Hag, who took Antony and Lisandro Martinez with him, and the departure of Sébastien Haller, who scored 10 goals in the Champions League group phase last season.
‘The boos on the stands spoke volumes,’ the paper said. ‘There was disbelief about what had happened to Ajax.’
NOS was scathing. ‘Lots of transfers, few results: there is nothing for this Ajax in the Champions League,’ the broadcaster said in its analysis. ‘The boos and catcalls… it is a long time ago that the sentiments around Ajax were so negative.’
‘And there is nothing odd about that,’ NOS said. ‘Ajax has failed time after time in the matches that count.’
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