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De Boer backs Ajax philosophy

Former Netherlands international Ronald de Boer believes Ajax’s youth policy is the right pathway to achieving sustained success.

Ajax claimed their 31st domestic championship last season, finishing six points ahead of rivals Feyenoord with a largely youthful squad.

And de Boer says the club’s philosophy has them destined for success both domestically and in Europe.

“If you coach and raise up your young talents at a very high level, then you can compete and be a surprise in Europe,” de Boer said.

“That is what we are trying to do and that means new ideas and philosophies. It’s more like individual coaching and we’ve just started with Johan Cruyff’s ideas.

“I must say, it’s great to have all of those ex-players of Ajax on board – (Marc) Overmars, (Edwin) van der Sar, me and my brother (Frank de Boer) and all involved.

“It’s a great journey and we’re just starting so hopefully, in the next couple of years, we can see the results.”

However, he warned the loss of star players like Jan Vertonghen and the possible departure of Christian Eriksen could have a long-term detrimental effect on the club.

“It’s very difficult to keep our talents so we’re going to lose that battle, of course,” he said.

“If someone offers 10, 15, 20 million euros for a player, it’s difficult to say ‘no’ and also for the player themselves.

“We need, not only one good player, but five, six or seven and then, of course, you must be able to keep some players.

“If you sell your best talents every time, then you’re never going to compete with the best teams in Europe.

“Hopefully, we can hold onto them a little bit longer and create more of those Eriksen’s and Vertonghen’s and other big talents.”

Meanwhile, de Boer’s former Netherlands team-mate, Boudewijn Zenden, says players should be able to adapt at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, even in soaring temperatures.

“I think that Qatar can be ready for this (2022 World Cup),” he said.

“I’m sure that certain countries are more capable of playing in these conditions, but you’ll have to deal with it and it’s going to be a special event.

“There have also been some voices who have said that maybe the World Cup will be pushed forward into winter time.”

Zenden urged patience over Brendan Rodgers’ project at his former club Liverpool.

“I’m sure Liverpool will be back but it is going to take some time,” the 36-year-old said.

“They have got new players and a new manager, and it will take some time.

“In the top spheres of football, you don’t really get that time and, nowadays, people want success instantly.”

Tue 13 November, 2012
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