Louis van Gaal presents an interesting choice to take over the calamitous situation at Ajax. The club’s head coach, Maurice Steijn, is under serious pressure after Ajax suffered an embarrassing moment both on and off the pitch. Eredivisie officials abandoned Ajax’s game against Feyenoord after 56 minutes. Home Ajax supporters launched flares onto the pitch when the team was trailing 3-0. The drubbing at the hands of the club’s biggest rival sent fans over the edge as the Dutch giants sit 14th in the 18-team table.
Former Ajax midfielder Rafael van der Vaart called on Louis van Gaal to return to Ajax as manager. The Dutch boss was the manager when Ajax had its most recent European successes. Ajax won the 1994/95 UEFA Champions League with van Gaal at the helm. Now, van der Vaart said van Gaal can at least provide some advice to turn this dismal Ajax side around.
“In my opinion, he is the ideal man at the moment to help save Ajax,” van der Vaart told Dutch outlet RTL Nieuws.
However, van der Vaart conceded that van Gaal’s current health does not allow him to take a full-time job. At the age of 72, van Gaal has been fighting prostate cancer. The iconic Dutch manager picked up that diagnosis in 2022. It forced the manager to step away from the Dutch squad following the 2022 World Cup. Fortunately, van Gaal said his treatment to fight prostate cancer was successful. However, he is yet to return to management.
Louis van Gaal has history of success with Ajax
Therefore, if van Gaal is unable to serve as a full-time manager, van der Vaart at least hopes the boss can work in a technical role.
His heart is crying, as he said this afternoon,” Van der Vaart said. “But his health does not allow him to have a full-time job. So, in principle, that is a no. But he can certainly give advice. He understands football.”
Ajax sacked Sven Mislintat, the director of football at the club, following the suspension of the Feyenoord contest. That leaves an opening for van Gaal.
Louis van Gaal has more experience than almost any manager in the modern game. With Ajax, he not only won the Champions League Final in 1995. He won the Eredivisie three times. Moreover, he reached the Champions League Final in 1996, only losing to Borussia Dortmund. He helped the Netherlands to a third-place finish at the 2014 World Cup, and he also picked up trophies with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United as a manager.
Ajax is a mess, and it looks likely to miss out on the Champions League for the second season in a row given its current form.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ANP
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