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Gullit demands tougher Ajax

Netherlands legend Ruud Gullit said Ajax need more steel in their squad if they are to be successful on the continental stage.

The former midfielder believes the Dutch champions were good with the ball at feet in their 1-0 Champions League loss against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, but their lack of a physical presence cost them.

“The balance to perform at top level isn’t there at Ajax,” Gullit wrote in his column for De Telegraaf.

“That’s the feeling I got when I watched Borussia Dortmund versus Ajax. They put in a good performance and looked good in possession, but they lacked a bit of steel.

“They miss a player like Ronald Spelbos, Jan Wouters or Frank Rijkaard. Or guys like Johan Neeskens and Wim Suurbier back in the 1970s. Players who are excellent on the ball, but are also real men when it comes to the ‘nitty-gritty’.

“That’s what Ajax needed in the second half, but they failed to deliver. Christian Poulsen is not that type of player either.

“The balance at Ajax simply isn’t right. They have too many showpieces and not enough players who get stuck in.”

Ajax resume European action at home to Real Madrid on October 3.

Sat 22 September, 2012
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