Ajax manager Frank de Boer has hit out at Manchester City’s transfer policy, preferring his own club’s style and philosophy.
The two sides face off in their UEFA Champions League Group D encounter on Wednesday and the Dutch coach, while praising the talent at Roberto Mancini’s disposal, insists that his approach is preferable.
“City is a club who spend a lot of money,” De Boer told reporters. “We don’t have that kind of money so we have to be creative.
“I like our style better because buying players is a lot easier. Their attack is worth more than our entire budget. I thought their attackers cost 142 million euro (115.5 million pounds) or something.
“It doesn’t matter who plays at City because all the players have a lot of quality.
“There is a difference in their players because (Edin) Dzeko and (Mario) Balotelli are more target men, (Sergio) Aguero plays around the striker’s position.
“(Carlos) Tevez works really hard for the team. He’s always busy and running around, so that’s hard to defend.”
Both teams are in desperate need of maximum points from the Amsterdam ArenA clash, with Ajax losing both of their opening group games and City boasting just one point after a last-gasp equaliser against Borussia Dortmund on matchday two.
And De Boer is backing his side to claim a positive result against City, declaring: “I think we can manage to get a result if we have the good form.
“Against Real Madrid we didn’t play well but against Dortmund it was good. We really need a good result or else it’s as good as over for us in Europe.”
Meanwhile, attacker Ryan Babel has called on his team-mates to prove their worth against the English Premier League champions.
“We have to play like men against City,” he said. “The last match, against Heracles, we gave it away and that shouldn’t happen anymore.
“City is an opponent who benefits when we lose the ball, so we have to play really direct.
“If we stand still, it will be easy for them to defend us and that’s of course the last thing we want to do.”
The former Liverpool player, who faced City six times during his four-year stint the Premier League, will come up against a far more star-studded line-up than he is used to seeing and believes their squad ranks among the best in the world.
“It was always tough for us (Liverpool), especially away games. They had a very strong team physically so that was always difficult,” he said.
“Since my time they have made big steps forward and bought some very good players. They made good progress the last few years.”