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Everything posted by Chelsea-Ajax
This is probably the last update form me, unless Bertrand wins us the final When he returned from ACON, I expected him to shine since he was doing better and better at Ajax before he went to Africa and because he had a very good tournament individually. He did score in his first game, but besides that he showed nearly nothing of his class. Even his normally exceptional work rate was gone. At the time Justin Kluivert had just made his debut and was an instant fan favourite and winter signing David Neres was awaiting his debut so fans were a bit impatient. They wanted to give someone else a run on that RW spot. A few games in, some Ajax fans decided it was time to let Traoré know that they weren't happy with him and started to mock him a bit during a home game. This clearly had an impact on Bertrand. And although I'm heavily against this kind of behaviour, it triggered him and in the next game he scored (lucky goal but hey) and worked as hard as he could. After this, he went a few games not playing very well, but at least his work rate and eagerness were back. Then Dolberg picked up an injury and Bosz decided to play Bertrand as a striker again. At the beginning of the season this failed miserably, but this time around he was incredible. Holding up the ball, running at defenders, winning headers, creating chances and scoring a few goals (although he should have scored twice as many). He was vital in our home victories against Feyenoord and Schalke. Why did it work this time around? First of all, the whole team has come together these past few months, playing some very nice football which of course makes it easier for Bertrand to fit in. Second, his attitude has improved, he now wants to give it his all twice a week. Third, he is finally used to playing for Ajax and he knows his teammates. Fourth, football is a crazy thing, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. With Dolberg returning last week, Traoré played at RW again last night against Lyon, but with a small change. He clearly was instructed to play more on the inside of his fullback, closer to Dolberg, leaving space out wide for the fullback to run into. Normally, he stayed wide, received the ball and then cut inside. He played his best game of the season. Two goals, one assists, never loosing his fullback in defense and very strong in possession. If you want to see a very entertaining game of football, I suggest you watch last nights game All in all, Bertrand hasn't performed to his full potential here at Ajax and I can't see him breaking through the Chelsea ranks anytime soon. It's clear to me that these loan spells aren't good for him. His eagerness to succeed at Chelsea seems to wear him down a bit at times. He is a player that needs to know his teammates and takes some time to adapt. At Vitesse he needed a full season and at Ajax he also needed a very long time before he was able to show what he can do. The best thing for him would be to stay at Ajax for another one or two years, then move on to a more competitive league and if all goes well, he might be ready for a big club by the time he is 26/27. The thing is, as long as his paycheck still comes from Chelsea, he won't be able to fully commit to another club for multiple seasons. Now, he will return to Chelsea, play along in preseason, probably to be disappointed again and then taking another period of time to adjust to his new loan club. But then again, crazy things happen in football so you can't really blame him for trying. If there are any questions, feel free to ask guys
Small update: Ajax sold Anwar El Ghazi, who was Berto's direct competitor at RW, for €9 million to Lille. With Berto gone to ACON and El Ghazi gone to Lille, Ajax played 17 year old Justin Kluivert (yes, Patrick's son ) at RW last sunday, because he pretty much won the game for Ajax the week before as a substitute. His performance was outstanding and as an Ajax fan, it is amazing to see someone play with the name Kluivert on his back. I don't think he will play ahead of Berto when he returns because he is so young and after a few good games young players always seem to struggle for a bit, but I think he will be more of a competitor at RW for Berto than El Ghazi ever was, because El Ghazi just doesn't really suit our playing style at the moment. Now, more importantly, Ajax signed another RW, 19 year old David Neres from Sao Paolo in Brazil for €15 million. I've never seen him play, so I can't say if he's any good, but the same scout who brought Suarez to the Netherlands is now convinced that this one is an absolute gem. Because of his price tag (€15 million is the second highest figure a Dutch club ever paid for a player) and the appraisal of our scouting department the expectations of this guy are high to say the least. However, I don't think he will play ahead of Berto right away because he will need some time to adjust here, but is interesting to see how Berto reacts to stronger competition here. I will keep you guys posted
The kid is only 19, so it's a bit too early to tell I think. But when you have watched him play, you can't deny that he is something special. Despite his young age, there are very few aspects of his game that need huge improvement, he practically already is a very complete central striker. His style of play is very modern, he positions himself near the centreback that is the furthest away from the ball at that point and then chooses which run he needs to make. Usually that is dropping back to receive the ball and then either turn the defender or pass the ball on. In doing so, he always creates space for wingers or midfielders to run in to. Sometimes, when the situation asks for it, he doesn't drop back but runs in behind. As I said, he positions himself near one centreback. Then, he runs towards another defender and appears behind his back. This is how every modern striker makes runs and it is very hard to defend. His physical stats are very promising. He is a little over 6"1, has decent strength, good acceleration and a good top speed. He also has a lot of power in his right foot. This makes it easier for him to be good in both dropping back and running in behind. His most beautiful goals came forth from a combination of the two: he drops back and receives the ball, then turns the defender and runs towards goal. Or he passes it on, makes a run and receives the ball in behind the defense. His technical abilities are even better. Excellent ball control, excellent dribbling, excellent first touch, excellent first touch passing and shooting, excellent passing in general, both short and long, excellent shooting abilities and a decent header. It is just beautiful how he manipulates the ball. Because of this, he is not only extremely hard to defend, he also is a joy to watch. Then, his mental capabilities, probably what sets him apart for me. His vision when it comes to his own game is very good. He has an incredible eye for positioning. However, when it comes to runs other players make, he sometimes doesn't recognize them or doesn't want to play the ball. But hey, he is a central striker, not a creative midfielder. His most important quality however, is that he always keeps a cool head. He doesn't even really cheer when he scores, he just grins and thanks the player who gave the assist. According to himself, he is afraid that he will loose his edge in the game when he lets himself be influenced by scoring goals or other things. I've only known one player who had something close to this and that is Dennis Bergkamp, who is now one of his coaches. Here's the best compilation of him that I could find: https://youtu.be/DY1Bck8tujc There are however a few things to consider. First of all the level of the opposition. In Holland there are a few decent teams, but the rest are just plain bad. So it is hard to say if he could play the same at a higher level. IMO he can, but not before he has a few years under his belt at Ajax, became top of the league in goals a few times and performs well internationally with Ajax and the Danish team. He needs to be someone before he walks into the dressing room at a bigger club. Also, a player of his age isn't physically full grown. If you want to perform good in a top league you need to be at your physical peak. Second of all the ones that went before him. The media in Holland, and also in England, are very good in hyping young talent. This resulted in the idea that every player who has a few good games at a side like Ajax is ready for the best teams in Europe. This is simply not the case. For instance, Viktor Fischer. His first season in the first team at Ajax was incredible. But then he got severely injured and since then he is a completely different player nowhere near the level he could have reached. So Dolberg needs to stay injury free. Also, Bazoer, he also played quite well in his first few games. The new Pogba he was called. However, all this praise had a negative effect on him and he stopped to work hard on the pitch because he thought that he didn't need to. Also his environment played a negative role in this. So Dolberg needs to keep his feet on the ground and surround himself with the right people. Of this I'm sure he will. In short, I think he can become world class because he really is something I've not seen in a very long time. But the road is long, he needs to perform at Ajax for another two or three years, stay injury free and choose the right move(s) after that. Then I see a bright future for the kid.
Hi Guys, I'm a Dutch Ajax fan who also follows CFC quite closely and I wanted to give you a little update and more of an in-depth review of Berto's performance at Ajax. The first couple of games Bosz played him as a central striker and it became painfully clear that he is not equipped to play in that role in a side that dominates the play and needs to create chances in small spaces. He let defenders run circles around him, couldn't win any of his duels, couldn't hold up the play and, most importantly, couldn't get on the end of chances. Every time he got the ball he either lost it, or needed to drop back past our attacking midfielders. Still, on a few occasions, you could see that special something that he has where he glides past defenders or quickly makes a turn around defenders. At Vitesse, he played as a central striker and performed well, so why couldn't he do the same at Ajax? When he was at Vitesse, the chances he got came forth from counter attacking football, where he could run at defenders in loads of space. At Ajax, where the opponents in the league just let you have the ball most of the time, he needed to play with his back to the goal and that just doesn't work for him. This is illustrated by the fact that his only goal playing as a central striker for Ajax was the result of a counter attacking move against Panathinaikos in the Europa League. Then came the game against Go Ahead Eagles, a newly promoted side in the Eredivisie. Peter Bosz wanted to try something new and started Dolberg, who performed really well in preseason. Berto started on the right wing ahead of El Ghazi. Berto had some very good attacking runs and one of them resulted in a penalty. Since that game he has played all his games on the right wing. There are still a lot of aspects of his game that needs improvement if he wants a future as a winger at Chelsea, or even at a club like Ajax. First of all, his lack of awareness of the opposition when the ball is played towards him. He simply doesn't know where the defender is and looses the ball in a very childish way. This happens quite a lot. If he learns to watch his opponent and use his body to cover the ball this problem is gone. Second of all, his game lacks depth. With the pace he has, he should make more runs behind the opposition's defense, with a player like Ziyech behind you, the ball will be played to you at the right time and with the right speed, so no excuses there. Last but definitely not least, his finishing is just plain shite. He gets an average of two one-on-one's in a game and scores not even half of them. This may be related to the fact that his style of play is very careless, if that's the right way to put it. He seems to think too easy of the game and this results in very poor finishing, but also in loss of possession and bad passing. This carelessness is the reason why the media in Holland and a lot of the Ajax fans want to send him back. They seem to forget that this guy is only 20 years old, still needs to learn a lot and also needs some time to adjust. This carelessness is also the reason that I personally hate him and love him at the same time. Sometimes it results in chances, assists, goals or just beautiful attacking moves. However, most of the time it results in loss of possession. If he somehow figures out when he can and needs to look careless and when he needs to concentrate on keeping possession he definitely has potential. Here are the highlights from Sunday's game, where he scored once, but needed to score three or four. One of those chances isn't even shown in the video. https://youtu.be/cfDXzaR_03w It somehow doesn't want to embed it, but I hope it will show up As you can see, there are no excuses for Traore. Ajax plays well at the moment. The central striker Dolberg drops deep quite often to create space to run in to for the wingers, midfielders like Ziyech and Schöne are quite good in playing through balls and because off the high pressure from the back four Ajax retrieves possession in promising areas of the pitch, which resulted in a goal for Berto. I read that some of you wanted to try him out as a wingback. IMO, he definitely has the work rate for it. He always tracks the run of the opponent's fullback. I doubt however if he has the eye for positioning that is needed. A wingback needs to prevent the opposition from creating a two against one scenario on the wing, the main tool for this is anticipation through positioning and I doubt Berto's abilities in this. Look at that dangerous shot from distance from Sunday's game. He did track back really well, but then he shifts his position, because he only has eye for his direct opponent, and the opponent has some space to line up his shot. A good wingback wouldn't let that happen IMO. I think the judgment of Berto in the Dutch media is a bit harsh. He is fitting in better and better and with players like Ziyech and Dolberg in the squad he is bound to become a better player than he was or would have been if he sat on the bench at Chelsea this whole season. Also, his direct competitor for the right wing spot El Ghazi is under performing and recently has been punished for bad behavior, so he will keep his spot at least until the winter break. If he keeps improving like he does he will be a better and more complete winger than he was before joining Ajax. My hopes are that he will improve exponentially. If that is the case, and his next loan spell would be at a Premier League side (this has to be one of the better ones! One that always wants to dominate possession!), he could become a decent Chelsea winger. If he doesn't improve exponentially, but at the same rate he does now, I am afraid (not really, it is still a decent level) that Ajax is the best he can get so to speak. That's all I had for now, hope you guys liked it. And sorry if there is any bad English in there If there are any questions about Berto, Ajax or other Eredivisie players just let me know.