Monday March 2nd 1981 – Sören Lerby favours staying at Ajax

This week Sören Lerby has had a converstation with the board of Ajax about a possible lengthening of his contract. The Danish, who celebrated his 23rd birthday last month: ”I prefer staying at Ajax. But then the club has to be willing to fulfill my demands. Like that I am only interested in a two year contract. I do not feel for another kind of contract.” Moreover Ajax is hoping to be able to do business with Frank Arnesen as soon as possible. Just like Lerby (HSV) the captain of the club from Amsterdam is under the interest of a number of substantial associations (Arsenal and Napoli). Chairman Ton Harmsen: ‘We hope to agree with Arnesen as soon as possible.'

 

Saturday March 7th 1981 - PSV – Ajax 3-1

Eventually a score of 3-1 could be seen on the board after 90 minutes of attractive football in Eindhoven between PSV and Ajax, a result which came to be a bit flattering in the advantage of the team from Eindhoven. After all, after the first 20 minutes, in which Paul Postuma had put PSV on a 1-0 advantage, Ajax clearly took over the initiative but just as well without utilizing this continuous offensive play with more than one goal. That only goal was scored by Sören Lerby out of a very difficult angle, but the counter football of PSV did bring in two more goals, resulting in the fact that Ajax was confronted with the first defeat after the winter break. Also the first match without the tactical advice of Cruijff who had left for Spain. Beenhakker: „During the winter camp in Spain we have decided to continue the season with two strikers without the consultance of Cruijff. But when you begin a match apathically like today then you are asking for trouble”. Because this match was very important for both teams in connection to UEFA-Cup-football next season, the tactical plans of both teams had been discussed very good and long. To his dismay Beenhakker did have to establish that not a single player of him had any plans to act on those plans.

Beenhakker: „By now it should be a clear fact that PSV starts every match very well. But when this first half hour goes by without any goals, just as many times the team from Eindhoven loses the faith in its own ability, after which the opponent can strike quite simply in most cases. So for us the task was to keep the nill in the first half hour. Specially on the right side, where I totally did not notice Ling, there were made fatal mistakes, resulting that PSV could simply take the advantage on efford”. That opening goal already came to be in the 11th minute, when Willy Janssen (who would grow out to be the best man at PSV) walked past Lerby and could bring Postuma into a scoring position. Wim Jansen, who by the way limited himself to some standard passes at his re-entry as last man at Ajax and who was once beaten on pace by Postuma (on which the following foul was punished with a yellow card): „I also do not have an explanation for that uncertainty in that first quarter of an hour. But fact is that PSV did score and could then calmly let us come, resulting that we had to take more risks because we did not score.”. With only Ling, but also Arnesen (for whom Bayern-manager Ulli Hoeness sat on the stands), Schoenaker and Kieft clearly stayed below their normal level, through which it made it very difficult for itself and easy for PSV, although Willy van de Kerkhof had to take an efford of the most active player of Ajax, which was Ophof, away from the goalline in the 33rd minute. Thijs Libregts: „And then you are of course getting away very well. But on the other hand I have to say that the total team has worked very well and has finally displayed some agressiveness. Agressiveness was lacking in this team up untill now and because of this there was also no guts and initiative. And what is also a windfall is that young guys like Janssen and Dijkstra (later replaced by Lansbergen who was loaned to Willem II earlier this season) have played well, through which you had some compensation for the absence of Koster, Huh, Brands and Kraaij”.

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Monday March 9th 1981 – Ajax almost agreed with Sören Lerby

At the end of the week Ajax is suspecting to come to an agreement with Sören Lerby about a lengthening of his contract. It is going harder with Frank Arnesen, who for now gives the preference to a profitable transfer to England. Yesterday the Danish life and soul was more at the coming negotiations than at Excelsior with his mind. This week the board of Ajax is considering the verdict of the disciplinary commission in the case of the snowball thrown to Wim Jansen at Feyenoord. Chairman Ton Harmsen: "We do not want to take it too far. But this really shouldn't happen. Ajax and Feyenoord are putting their best lawyers on this case, but the KNVB drops the charge without listening to anyone".

 

Tuesday March 10th 1981 – Trainer Leo Beenhakker hands in his resignation

Today Leo Beenhakker has asked the Ajax-board to directly discharge him from his function. The Ajax-board has granted this request. Youth trainer Aad de Mos shall - interim - take over the work of Beenhakker, in cooperation with trainer Bob Haarms for now (until next July 1st).

 

Wednesday March 11th 1981 – Beenhakker can choose

After the periode-Ajax Leo Beenhakker can make the step to the Spanish Real Zaragoza or the Begian FC Antwerp. At his current club his contract is ending per June 30th. He can continue as youth trainer at Ajax, his task before the resignation, but he does not feel for doing that. The Spanish club has asked Beenhakker for a quick decision. Yesterday he talked to the board of Ajax. Last week he got to see a letter from the national champion, in which the Foundation of Working Affairs was asked for a working permit for the Yugoslav Tomislav Ivic.

 

Saturday March 14th 1981 – Debut match Aad de Mos against Excelsior

It would be wrong to say that Ajax is going through a glorious season. The national champion has dropped to the sixth place in the premier division, with sixteen more lost points than AZ'67, the formation from Alkmaar which is going straight towards its first national title. Except AZ'67 the club from Amsterdam has to tolerate Feyenoord, FC Utrecht, PSV and FC Twente above them. There shall have to be worked very hard to be able to reserve a place in the UEFA Cup-tournament next season. Last Saturday Ajax failed in the important duel against PSV, which eventually came off best with 3-1, by two goals of Pain, Postuma and one of Jan Poortvliet. Sören Lerby put one goal up against this. Too little, no matter how beautiful that goal was. After the cancelled cup interlude against FC Groningen last Wednesday in the Oosterpark stadium, Ajax has to try to get on the right track again in the competition against Excelsior. At the moment the team from Rotterdam is at the far from attractive sixteenth position, but seem to have set a course for a better classification. Last weekend the team of Hans Dorjee did not fail to win the all important duel with fellow relegation candidate NEC. By the 2-0 victory (goals from Ernst and Nijssen) on the team from Nijmegen Excelsior has gotten renewed hope, after a match earlier it had taken away a precious point at PEC Zwolle. In the last competition the team from Rotterdam finished at a very praiseworthy ninth position as a newcomer in the premier division. In that season Ajax won from Excelsior with 6-0 in stadium De Meer, which took away a deftly 2-2 at home. In the sixth round in the competition of last season the result of Excelsior-Ajax was 2-4. Mak Nijssen delivered both goals of the team from Rotterdam. Zwamborn, Van Geel (twice) and Ziegler scored the goals for the Red and Whites. Since then there has changed quite a lot in stadium De Meer. We mention the coming of Wim Jansen and the (temporary) help of Johan Cruijff as 'team leader'. The last couple of days there have again changed some things. Leo Beenhakker, the trainer-coach of Ajax, signed a two year contract with the Spanish Real Zaragoza and got permission to stop his work at Ajax immediately.

That is why since several days Aad de Mos is the first trainer of Ajax, with of course as most important and not to underestimate man in the background Bobby Haarms, but who does not have an A-diploma. De Mos is 32 years of age, was made enthusiastic for profession of trainer by Ernst Happel at ADO (the predecessor of FC Den Haag) and combined his job as teacher with the function of trainer at the amature clubs Valkeniers, Wilhelmus and RVC. Aad de Mos himself played at ADO, RVC and... Excelsior, today the opponent of Ajax. Three years ago the coach from the Hague recieved the 'great trainers diploma'. Last year he took the step to a professional trainers existance when Ajax attracted him as youth trainer. There is a chance that Aad de Mos shall finish the rest of this season as the responsible trainer-coach of the first team of Ajax. Hopefully this does not end up in a disappointment for him as well as the club and the fans. Ajax may not go down further in the grey middle bracket, where it traditionally does not belong.

 

Sunday March 15th 1981 - Ajax – Excelsior 7-2

In his enthusiasm there was still place for a little realism. The highest result of the season (7-2 against Excelsior) brought Aad de Mos „the best day of my life", but he said about the 1-0 defeat of the Ajax C-team against AZ: „Like that you see how relative it all is". From youth trainer to responsible coach. It is just like a thrilling boys' book, which De Mos may read in three months to then take a step back. So the first pages were looking nice, cause Ajax eagerly dealt with relegation candidate Excelsior. De Mos did not want to connect the strikers feast to the little changes which he took care of in stadium De Meer last week at all. Like that Molenaar, Van Geel, Zwambom, Van Roon, Storm, Holshuijsen, Wiggemansen and Rijkaard were directed to the training hours of the C-team. De Mos: „In the beginning of the week we keep training as one group. At the specific exercises I will work with fourteen men. That gives a lot more clearity. Moreover it is also a lot better for the mutual alliance in the C-team if one knows one another better. It all doesn't matter to me at all, cause for now I will be training both groups. In a very short period of time Ajax will hire a new trainer for the period of three months.” The second problem is that De Mos has been declared „holy" since Wednesday which had more to do with the result. „We have let Ophof, Schoenaker, Lerby and Boeve work from the touch line at the training. Today the balls had to end up in front and Arnesen and Jensen had to take turns in passing in the striker together with Wim Kieft. “Five(!) of the seven Ajax-goals were scored with the head, moreover the contribution in the preparation of Edo Ophof and Peter Boeve was great.

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Monday March 16th 1981 – Aad de Mos meets an Ajax of extremes

Already too often Ajax went from one extreme to another this season. Tumultuous was the re-entry of Johan Cruijff as mentor of the team, which then did not understand a thing about his extra lessons the weeks after. As a youth trainer De Mos already experienced too much in the half year in stadium De Meer to immediatly start cheering after the resounding 7-2. Yesterday Excelsior also helped to liven up the debut with a firecracker of 7 goals as an unworhy opponent. Before the break the team from Rotterdam still dug themselves in in front of goalie Peter Brunings. This slowed the scoring of the team from Amsterdam down to 2-0. But in the second half the relegation candidate left the defensive tactics in the changing rooms. In the then granted space Ajax indulged itself to its heart's content. „This was the type of play Cruijff had in mind", De Mos displayed to be a good student of the by then already disappeared teacher. „Keep the playing field small. Come up from the sides, supported by the backs. That is how it had to be done, that is how it succeeded."

That is what De Mos trained for very empathically the last two days before his exam against Excelsior. „I have specifically practised for this match. We knew we had to use the sides optimally and had to evade the centre. That preparation was one of the two matters I wanted to change in the short time I had." No less than six of the seven goals scored aroze from passes from the wings. Five of them were finished off with the head. While Excelsior let the quite big defender Joop van Daele stand in front of the goal next to the long defender Rob Ouwehand as one of the two centre-backs. Aad de Mos practised this surrounding on Friday and Saturday with a select group. Different from his predecessor who left for Spain he first decreased the selection from 20 men to 16 and 24 hours later to 14. „That is the second thing I have changed and wanted to keep like that. Afterwards I am glad about the cancellation of the cup match against FC Groningen. Now I could adjust the organisation. Eventually I have directed seven men to the preparation of the C-team, because this weekend they did not have anything to do at the A-selection. There they were only bothering the others. Moreover they get to know the guys of the C-team better, the players they had to work with on Saturday". Despite this the reserve team did not make it against that of AZ'67 (0-1 in Amsterdam).

The for now overburdoned Aad de Mos (tomorrow Ajax will hire a youth trainer exclusively for three months) observed the duel of the C-team, to put three players who played well on the bench for the first team. „Rijkaard and Wiggemansen stood out. I have then added them as reserves to the fourteen for Excelsior. I want to do this weekly. It does give me the obligation to be present at the C-team time and time again though". De Mos learnt the form of the reward for the best two in the shadow formation from Cruijff, who once proposed this to him weeks ago. While the formal head teacher at an elimentary school from a working-class distict in the Hague was racing to PEC/Zwolle - FC Den Haag on Saturday evening („after all one of the posibble opponents in the half final of the cup"), he was thinking about the strength of his first line-up. „When I had to take over from Beenhakker, I have won on two points. That I only lined up the team and that I could count on support. There was responded possitively to both". Against Excelsior the composition already gave away some of his personal ideas. He did not choose Jan Weggelaar but Edo Ophof as right back. „I have only seen Weggelaar in action a few times myself. But I heard from Bobby (Haarms) how he had also gotten into trouble defensively against PSV. He is covering too much on the outside in stead of the inside. This was taken care of better with Ophof. Against Excelsior this was very necessary, because the defence would be playing one against one". Aad de Mos who just like Beenhakker holds his freedom very dear prolonged the duo Wim Kieft - Tscheu la Ling in the offence, good for five of the seven goals. The board hoped for a preference to the expansive Piet Hamberg in vain. „After Tuesday I haven't talked to anyone of the board anymore", De Mos rebuted the impression that he had been given suggestions from above. „That is also how it has been agreed. I have let Hamberg come in, to involve him in things a bit. If something happens to Kieft or Ling, we are really going to need him. So look at it like a mental substitution", according to the temporary head of Ajax, where the board still wants to attract a foreign player for the coming seasons this month.

„I am just assuming that in a while I will have to take a step back to the youth. I shall not have any trouble with that. Cause I do not consider this as being pushed back. The board has clearly stated that the future of Ajax has got to come from the youth again. I will be constructing further to this as well. And there has been said to me that the true successor to Beenhakker has to get me ready for the task in two to three years, which I am now experiencing a bit as tasting the atmosphere", Aad de Mos who was inspired by Cruijff and Happel evaded the traps Leo Beenhakker lost his resilience with in the last couple of months at Ajax.

 

Monday March 16th 1981 – Piet Schrijvers wants to prove himself again

Aad de Mos was only head coach of Ajax for a few hours or the way for Hans Galjé finally seemed to be free, the purchase which had not yet leaded to more than a place on the bench, to the displeasure of several boardmembers. Leo Beenhakker, as those boardmembers thought, had liked Piet Schrijvers too much, the former international who resisted a replacement with a lot of fighting spirit. But now that routinier, the only one at Ajax who played all of the match minutes up until now, could not be able to evade it anymore. An injury to the ankle, sustained in a very tough game with the ball which De Mos came up with at his first training, would bring down the obstacle. And would give Galjé the chance Beenhakker had denied him for a long time after all. But Schrijvers did not want to give in at all, because he knows more than anyone else that another chance might be very far away. He already reported again on Friday for a (light) training and also immediately informed that he would only give in when he could only reach the field on a strecher. After which the remark that he had been selected by the brand new national coach Kees Rijvers for the Dutch national team meant pouring oil on the fire. And upsets the plans of those boardmembers who had so much wanted the “bear of De Meer” directed to the second position. So Schrijvers stepped up in the “clash” with Excelsior, observed by Ron Groenewoud, one of the national coaches from the staff of Rijvers. Extra motivated the 34-year-old goalie defended himself in the duel with the midget of the premier division which according to Schrijvers looked a lot like the image that Holland - France should be in a while.

Him: “Then you shall be getting a similar game as here this afternoon. An offensive national team with quite a lot of space for counters of the French team. In those kind of matches I feel fine and that is probably why Rijvers has asked me. He still knows me from my time at FC Twente and already had let himself be informed about my weak sides this season”. The national coach from Brabant tried to contact the Ajax-keeper on Sunday morning, but did not find him at home because he followed his son at a water polo training of the selection. Once arrived in stadium De Meer Schrijvers called the new leader of the Dutch national team to tell him that his refusal after the European Championship had a less definitive character than that of Wim Jansen. The keeper, which has already been passed by for fourty times: “Then I have said that I did not feel like it anymore. But I have immediately added to it that they could call on me from Zeist if they needed me. Now this turns out to be the case. Rijvers has told me what his intentions are with me later, although he hasn't given me the certainty that I will play. But he has said to me that when the chance for qualification for the World Championship is gone it will be the conclusion. I can understand that. Then you will have to look further. With maybe also a task for me, at the guidance of young keepers”.

For now Schrijvers is also still active for the Dutch national team in the field. Where he can best prove his critics wrong, at least as long as he is given the chance. Against Excelsior the opportunities were quite slim, that is how ilittle the opponent of Ajax entered the penalty area. The goals did not come to be until the team from Amsterdam was already “there”. That is also how it should be going against France in one and a half week in an efford to hold on to the small chance for Spain '82.

 

Tuesday March 17th 1981 – Real Zaragoza contracts Leo Beenhakker as the new trainer

Yesterday Leo Beenhakker returned from Spain with a two year contract at Real Zaragoza in his pocket. Both parties also took an option for a possible third season. Principly he will join the South-European club from July. But the board of Zaragoza insisted a direct agreement with the future trainer again yesterday evening at the meeting. The club has dropped to the fifteenth place, just above the red line. Real is still ahead five points on Almeria, with two more candidates for relegation. The guidance of Zaragoza did not want to wait another day with the resignation of the current trainer Vilanova. Yesterday president Armando Sisquez still ignored a plead from the selection to at least hold on to the coach until the end of the season. With sixteen votes for and four abstentions the group pleaded for holding on to Vilanova who had fallen into disfavour. But it did not help. Last Sunday Beenhakker witnessed a prospectless defeat in Sevilla, which Betis inflicted on his coming club. This Sunday Zaragoza will welcome Hercules at home, one of the opponents in the low regions. A loss would make things worse and inflict a shock effect, the board does everything it can to detach the trainer. While Beenhakker was considering with the board in Amsterdam, Real already cut all of the bonds with Vilanova and dropped him mercyless. For now it gave the training of the first team which had sunken deep to assistent Costa, also responsible for the annex of Zaragoza Aragon in the second division. The North-Spanish club was very silent about what will happen with the vacant spot. "There is something being constructed", spoke boardmember Adolfo Vasquez vaguely. Also Beenhakker refused to comment about the chance that he might already exchange Amsterdam for Zaragoza this week. With the words: "Principly I will be traveling to Groningen with Ajax and I will just be sitting in the dug-out in the evening. Do not ask me anything else", he did not bring any clearity in the confusion.

The 38-year-old from Rotterdam, busy with his third season at Ajax, reported in stadium De Meer again yesterday just after the afternoon from his trip of several days. Monday evening the true negotiations with Real Zaragoza took more than eight hours and did not end until midnight. Then the agreement had been made, but there wasn't yet any clearity if Beenhakker could move as soon as possible. Yesterday Bobby Haarms and youth trainer Aad de Mos temporary replaced him in the preparation to the meeting with Groningen. Back in the Ajax-stadium Beenhakker went into the meeting with the board at around six. This also lasted for two and a half hour. Also when it comes to Johan Neeskens Real Zaragoza does not yet exactly know what it can count on. Yesterday evening president Sisquez left the board meeting to negotiate further with the player from Haarlem at a secret place. The loaning for the last seven matches has been taken care of in detail with the New York Cosmos, but Neekens himself still has a few unfulfilled wishes. With Beenhakker as well as Neeskens Real Zaragoza expects to come to definitive business in the course of today. The active board still has the hope to be able to propose the Dutch duo to its home crowds on Sunday afternoon at the vital match against Hercules Alicante.

 

Wednesday March 18th 1981 - FC Groningen – Ajax 1-1

“Of course that 3-0 was a bit too much. When Ajax also came on 0-1, it had all been done for the opponent. Despite this I am glad that we have been able to close of the return in 1-1 in front of the crowds who had still come in great numbers". Yesterday afternoon Groningen-trainer Theo Verlangen said farewell to the KNVB-cup tournament with his team, after Ajax had also come through the return in the high north without any trouble and so now it is a half finalist. Through the big advantage the team from Amsterdam has recently built up in its own home, the confrontation in Groningen actually wasn't more than a formality. And because of that there wasn't a lot to see in the Oosterpark stadium. Ajax mainly limited itself to defending, Groningen did not succeed in creating any real dangerous offensive play.

Before the break there wasn't scored. Ajax was still the closest to a goal, when Frank Arnesen already broke through after two minutes of play, but still his action did not bring any efficiency. Shortly after the restart this was the case though. Arnesen escaped on the right, gave a good pass and Willem Kieft was there to flawlessly head in the 0-1. Then Groningen really had to come not to make a fool out of themselves in front of their own crowds. Ronald Koeman answered the prayers of the crowds. Shortly after that 1-1 Ajax even had a lot of luck that the opponent did not take the lead. Peter Houtman let the ball chip the bar and Anne Mulder saw an efford just go past the goal. But there did not change a thing to the score anymore. Referee Geurts pulled the yellow card for three times this duel. For Groningen Koeman recieved that card, Boeve and Rijkaard got the yellow on the side of Ajax.

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Friday March 20th 1981 – Frank Arnesen departs Ajax

Frank Arnesen has chosen the adventure. Cause yesterday afternoon the Danish informed the board of Ajax that he will depart for the Spanish Valencia at the end of this season, he will be playing there for three years. After consideration with his wife Kate Arnesen finally made the choice from five candidates (Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Ajax, Nottingham Forest and Arsenal) which were in the market for him. The Danish: “In financial aspect I would have improved at several other clubs, but this time I really wanted to follow my intuition. The Spanish language, the climate, crowds and the city of Valencia, it have been the factors which have been the deciding factors". So after six seasons at Ajax the 24-year-old Danish ends his stay in the Netherlands. Arnesen: “I have had to consider for a long time, after all also Ajax made me an attractive offer. But again, this time money wasn't the most important. That is why I have chosen for Valencia”. Arnesen will take in the place of Mario Kempes who has by now returned to Argentina cause he couldn't deal with the richness of the Orange city, at the current number four in Spain. Soon Valencia shall have to deposit the transfer amount of 900.000 guilders to Ajax (Arnesen had put this clause in his contract).

Last week Arnesen was a guest at Valencia together with his wife Kate and for the negotiations he had insured himself of the support of fellow club mate Henning Jensen and agent Carl Peter Mysager, who also assisted him in the negotiations with Leeds United and Ajax. Jensen as well as Mysager is director of the firm for football shoes Hummel which is the brand Arnesen is playing on. After the departure of the two players of Ajax Mysager stayed behind in Valencia to work out the offer of chairman Ramos Costa further. Yesterday the captain of Ajax heard from his agent that everything had been taken care of and his transfer depended on the answer from Amsterdam. Several hours later he decided to agree with the Spanish proposition, at which he is transfer free if Valencia would like to get rid of him in three years. The Danish international, stipulated in the agreement with Valencia that he would be available for the World and European championships matches of the national team, knew his new team from the European Cup II final which Valencia won from Arsenal last year. Then Rainer Bonhof and Mario Kempes were still playing along, but by now the West-German starplayer has returned to his native country and the Argentinian star shall follow that example in several months. That is why Valencia, which sees 32.000 season ticket holders stream into the Luis Casanova Stadium every match again, just had to go and look for another trendsetter and found this in Frank Arnesen.

Five years ago the still quite young Danish, who scored fourteen goals for Ajax this season in cup- and competition matches, was leered to stadium De Meer half way into the competition. Then Rinus Michels was interim-trainer and saw something in the thin 18-year-old talent which played at Fremad Amager from Kopenhagen. At first the trainer from Amsterdam visited the club from the Danish capital but for evaluating the one year younger Sören Lerby who after this also made the step to the Dutch professional football as well as his fellow clubmate. Arnesen: “Five years back Kate and I have risked the big step and we wanted to do that again. It hasn't been Ajax, cause the club has really made me a great offer…”

 

Sunday March 22nd 1981 - Brann Bergen – Ajax 0-4

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Sunday March 29th 1981 - FC Groningen – Ajax 0-1

„Luckilly we have been able to keep close to PSV. This was as we planned. The chance to play international football next season is still there." It turned out that Ajax-trainer Aad de Mos was suddenly satisfied after the 1-0 victory on FC Groningen. One could not notice a thing of this during the match. Time and time again De Mos jumped up from the dug-out to shout his players in the right direction and call names at them. That was necessary cause the defence of Ajax wasn't even able to ably construct the offside trap. Because of this Herman Dijkstra could steam up to Piet Schrijvers twice, but he took care of things very well. Already quite soon De Mos made measures. Jan Weggelaar, who could not keep up with Herman Dijkstra, had to go to the side and got his successor in Henning Jensen. Groningen wanted to take revench on the poor display against Wageningen and was prepared to use all of the energie sources it had. Sip Bloemberg degraded Wim Kieft to a nominal participant and Hans Boer eliminated Tscheu La Ling. At first the battle took place at the crowded midfield but it did not bring in a winner. Shortly after the break Frank Arnesen steamed away on the left and like that the further invisible Tsheu La Ling scored (0-1). Even more aggresively Groningen looked for the offence. Midfielder Theo Keukens and left back Anne Mulder were replaced by the strikers Bert Wiebing and Martin Koops.

Ajax even had to bring in Kees Zwamborn for Tscheu la Ling as an extra defender to stop the growing opposition of Groningen. This succeeded but was only the result of the incredible form of Piet Schrijvers. The Ajax-board is still nicely living in the past of a decade ago. The Red White blue blazer college thinks that every coach of name cannot sleep of exitement just to be allowed to work in stadium De Meer. Not to speak about the casualness which Ajax is expected to effordlessly climb the top of the premier division mountain. De Mos realises the current situation better, when he remarks: “You have to admit the reality. It isn't a coincidence that Ajax is in the sixth position now. And those 44 goals against have also not roled in by accident. There is a whole history behind that". At least the club from the capital did not go down from underestimating its own abilities against relegation candidate Groningen. But what took the biscuit in bravery was the playing with one striker in the final phase. When the home team was pasionately but unably hunting for the equalizer. Tscheu La Ling (the scorer of the only goal just after the break) was exchanged for defender Kees Zwambom, resulting in the fact that only Willem Kieft stayed behind as lonely striker.

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Monday March 30th 1981 – Soon there will be clearity about the future of Ajax

The problems around attracting a new trainer, the entry of an assistent as quick as lightning and the commotion with Sören Lerby isn't doing Ajax any good. Not the poor 0-1-victory on FC Groningen was the conversation of the day but the above lined out situation at the team from Amsterdam. So the tensions also have its influence on the team of trainer Aad de Mos, who afterwards directed to the only at insiders known Willem de Lange, holder of a fitness centre, suddenly hailed in as assistent to the board. Vice-chairman Arie van Eijden about that: „Many players already know De Lange because several players of Ajax let themselves be treated by him. He has responded spotaniously to become assistent. You have to look at De Lange as some sort of Ted Troost". But there is more work to do for Harmsen and co. Just take the vacant spot of the trainer. Happel still hasn't taken a decision and so Van Eijden says without blinking an eye: „We still have some time". Now that Frank Arnesen has fallen for the wallet full of peseta's of Valencia (Van Eijden: „In this football jungle you first have to see if you will recieve the 900.000 guilders of those Spanish") it is a matter of at least keeping Sören Lerby in De Meer.

But the Danish and his girlfriend do not feel like this though, although in an earlier stage he said yes to Ajax. In contrary to Arnesen Lerby has not agreed on a limited transfer amount. In other words: Ajax can ask whatever it wants. „I think six years of Ajax is enough. I will take a decision in two weeks. Germany and Spain are the most attractive to me", according to the midfielder, who is on top of the list of the FC Köln of Rinus Michels. Soon Ajax shall also have to do business with Wim Jansen, who has contacts with the Levante of Cruijff and the Zaragoza of Beenhakker. The current trainer Aad de Mos might be right, that the talent (9 youth-internationals, redaction) is everywhere. Fact is that the current Ajax has to be on their toes to stay insured of European football. One could clearly notice the insecurity to the game against FC Groningen, after all a relegation candidate.

 

Tuesday March 31st 1981 – Former Ajax player Bobby Hoogenboom is successful at Lokeren

Apparantly a lot of players cannot resist to put their old club in a bad light. Like this also Bob, for people close to him maybe Bobby Hoogenboom. The 31-year-old goalie of Lokeren stepped up against AZ'67 with his club in the quarter final of the tournament for the European Cup III at the 4th and 18th of March. Hoogenboom made use of this umpteenth Netherlands-Belgium by pointing at his disappointing Ajax-periode. He had to “fight” for a place under the bar with the purchased Heinz Stuy and Sies Wever. “I was sitting more on the bench than that I played and when I played, I played really bad”. Indeed Hoogenboom has never come in the field for Ajax in competition- of European Cup-matches. In '73 Hoogenboom swapped Ajax for De Spartaan from the first class section A: „It is incredible, a lot more fun than at Ajax”. He even made it to being keeper of the Dutch national amature team: „It has been a great time. I have enjoyed it, there was an incredible atmosphere there, which I really needed”. But he had put his intent on a carreer as professional football player. After contacts with Telstar, AZ (The reward was a joke), Haarlem, NEC, Go Ahead Eagles and FC Groningen had been backfired, Hoogenboom snapped at a proposal from Lokeren and he has never regret this.

A man Bob Hoogenboom has a lot to thank for according to himself is Hassie van Wijk. „I had lost all of the enjoyment in football at Ajax. I can only say that it is good that I met Hassie van Wijk. He has taken care of it that I have regained my enjoyment in football. And that same Hassie van Wijk was appointed as assistent-trainer at last March 19th for the first four months under Aad de Mos who has been pitchforked to head-coach. At that moment Van Wijk was „unemployed” as trainer. He earlier came out for De Volewijckers, FC Amsterdam and FC Den Haag. The trainer (A - diploma) is 42 years of age.