These are the best foreign candidates for Ajax

Kasper Hjulmand during the last World Cup.Photo by Marcel Van Dorst / Professional Shots

Now that there has been no response from Ajax to Peter Bosz’s rather obvious interest in the talk show Rondoseems to be the best option for the Amsterdam team to choose a foreign coach for the first time in 25 years.

That’s logical List your top five candidates, each with the strongest argument for and against their arrival.

Kasper Hjulmand (Denmark)

In addition: tactically versatile and experienced with very young teams.
If Ajax is fully committed to a large-scale regeneration, the Danish national coach looks like a dream candidate. Hjulmand has years of experience developing talent at FC Nordsjaelland, where he had a youth-filled squad from Right to Dream football school playing at the top of the Danish league with well-crafted attacking football.

Over the past three years, Hjulmand has proven that he can also perform under greater pressure. Under him, Denmark are experiencing their best period since the late 1990s and, remarkably, do so in several tactical formations: Hjulmand’s side is hard to beat in both 4-3-3 and 5-2-3.

Denmark's national coaches in the twenty-first century.'s photo

Denmark’s national coaches in the twenty-first’s photo

Min: Hjulmand has always worked with the underdogs.
Hjulmand’s only top-flight adventure, in 2014-15 with Mainz in the Bundesliga, ended in failure. While Dane is being lauded for his social skills in the national team, he has yet to develop experience with the biggest ego at club level.

Luis Enrique (without a club)

Luis Enrique Photo by ODD ANDERSEN / AFP

Luis EnriqueImage by Odd Andersen/AFP

Plus: Luis Enrique masters the technique of playing tikitaka like no other.
A common complaint about the Spanish national football team’s possession in recent years is that the game is dull, predictable, and without a final shot. Based on hard data, this appears to be somewhat short-sighted: at Euro 2021, Spain – numerically the strongest team in the tournament – was simply unlucky not to become European champions. And that with a choice without clear stars.

A team led by Luis Enrique will in fact be a 4-3-3 ‘with a point behind’ instinctively flicking the ball endlessly with short passes. Not every cup of tea at first glance, but in fact Luis Enrique’s style of playing on both sides of the ball is not far from Ajax’s philosophy.

European Championship 2021 Semi-Final Odds Balance. Image Opta Sports

The odds of the European Championship 2021 semi-final balance.Opta Sports’s photo

Minus: Luis Enrique wants (and can) get a lot of power.
The former Barcelona and Real Madrid midfielder has an outspoken yet demanding personality as a coach. Combine those personality traits with the interest Luis Enrique is currently without a club from the Premier League and the Spaniard will demand extra strength and say as a new manager.

Marcelo Gallardo (without a club)

Marcelo Gallardo.  Image by Marcello Indelli/Getty Images

Marcelo Gallardo.Image by Marcello Indelli/Getty Images

Plus: Gallardo is a striker award winner.
Where Marcelo Gallardo still captured the hearts of turn-of-the-century football as an agile playmaker, the Argentine as a coach is a modern and effective multi-winner. Under his leadership, River Plate once again performed as the main force in South America. And that with technically polished football and plenty of playing time for their youth.

Awards River Plate led by Marcelo Gallardo, 2014-2022.  picture

Awards River Plate led by Marcelo Gallardo, 2014-2022.

Minus: cultural gap.
Although Gallardo eventually played five years on European soil at Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain and finished a year in America at DC United, he doesn’t speak English. An obstacle that he will have to overcome quickly, if he wants to implement an intense style of play in Ajax as he did in the red and white formation of Buenos Aires.

Ange Postecoglou (Celtic)

Ange Postecoglou Photo by Russell Cheney/Reuters

Angie PostecoglouPhoto by Russell Cheney/Reuters

Plus: an Ajax-style champion maker for smaller teams.
Of the five options discussed in this article, Celtic manager appears to be the safest. Because the way Ange Postecoglou allows his team to dominate Scottish football suggests that there is a great international coach in Australia.

Postecoglou worked his way up the football ladder step by step. Allowing the teams in Brisbane and Melbourne to play beautiful positional matches, he became the national coach of the Australian national team. After the J. League title with Yokohama F. Marinos, Postecoglou came on Celtic’s radar.

Where Scotland is known for its kicking and rushing football, the Glasgow team, captained by Postecoglou, uses a very elegant positional style of play, with many tactical innovations comparable to that of Erik ten Hag or Arne Slot.

Celtic results since mid-2009. Image

Celtic results since mid’s photo

Minus: no high-level experience.
The average football fan – and especially a football translator – in the Netherlands will never or hardly have heard of Postecoglou. Thus, the accusation that the Australian never worked in a major competition is heard more often when losing the first point.

Thomas Leach (VfL Bochum)

Thomas Letsch Image Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

Thomas LatvianPhoto by Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

Plus: Proven in the Premier League.

If Edwin van der Sar and Sven Mislintat both want to go for the somewhat ‘safer’ option with a foreign coach, Thomas Letsch is a good alternative. As the former head of the youth academy at famous Red Bull Salzburg, Letsch has a solid reputation in Mislintat’s German-speaking network, while the Dutch contingent within Ajax is also familiar with the former Vitesse coach.

In Arnhem, Leach brought a rare period of stability. In two years under his leadership, Vitesse have secured the most points in the Eredivisie out of all teams outside the traditional top four. The collective pressure of his team was particularly impressive at the time.

Letsch ranking in the Premier League.  Opta Sports's photo

Letsch ranking in the Premier League.Opta Sports’s photo

Minus: Leach is not a possession coach.

As with most of the good German coaches of recent years, Leitch’s influence is particularly noticeable when the opposition has possession of the ball. In terms of defensive organization and aggressive pressing, Vitesse was remarkably strong under his wing. But with long possession of the ball, the Arnhem team’s game was often stagnant.

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