Schroeder under pressure, just as he did eight years ago at Twente: ‘gets into the same predicaments’

AP

Football NOS

  • Sam Borskamp

    Ajax follows on behalf of NOS Sport

  • Sam Borskamp

    Ajax follows on behalf of NOS Sport

Criticism of the game, supporters turning against it en masse, and administrative turmoil in the background. The tragic situation in which Alfred Schroeder finds himself in Ajax must be familiar to him. The parallels are great with his first season as coach of Twente, opponent of the night.

On 26 April 2015, negative feelings at FC Twente about Schroeder reached a low point. A week ago, Twente’s 29 (!) Supporters’ associations united and asked the coach to leave after the season. When Schroeder did not, his supporters decided to take action. Before the game against Arizona, the entire stadium was filled with anti-Schroder banners.

Painful day

“We weren’t in the pro-Schroeder camp,” says Leon ten Forde, who has been following the club since 1998 for the Topantia newspaper. “Our relationship really broke down, because we were also very critical of the game. But of course you can’t stand those banners as a club. Smoke bombs were blown up and then a thousand men were waiting for him at the gate. That went ver. Very painful day.”

Schroeder under a lot of pressure at Twente: It makes me stronger

The coach himself remains calm and tries to isolate himself from secondary matters with his choice. “One thing I learned about Schroeder: He wouldn’t throw in the towel himself,” Michel Jansen says now. Jansen was his assistant at FC Twente in the 2014/15 season. “It’s really Schroeder’s strength to focus on games and training sessions despite all the upheaval. The things he influences. He already transferred that at Twente and he’s doing it again now.”

Janssen had finished third with Twente in the Premier League with Schroeder the previous season. Since Schroeder did not yet have the right cards, Jansen was – at least to the outside world – the head coach. He laughs: “They shouldn’t have changed these roles.”

Mess up

Jansen meant it jokingly, but the truth is, the season then ended in a huge mess. The kingdom of Joop Munsterman, the boss who led Twente to the championship for the first time in 2010, was on the verge of collapse at the time. The club had lived a lot and was having major financial problems.

AP

Job Munsterman and Alfred Schroeder (2015)

“It wasn’t easy for him as a novice coach,” says Ten Voorde. “As a newspaper, we slowly but surely got a grip on the Monsterman situation and that everything was wrong. For Schroeder, who was Monsterman’s crown prince, he was a volcano where everything around him worked. Very difficult.”

But it wasn’t just a crisis at Twente at the managerial level, Schroeder also failed to get things going on the pitch. The media became increasingly critical and the fans began to turn against the coach. Conservative game can count on flute parties every week.

In the golden years under Munstermann’s rule, Twente grew into a club that represented attractive and dominant football. With players like Bryan Ruiz, Blaise Nkovo and Duzan Tadic, the fans are spoiled. Compared to the early years, the sleep-inducing game in the 2014/15 season was a big difference.

“Our style of play was football-dominant, without playing too direct,” said Jansen. “Control the game from possession and then strike in the latter part of the game. In the tournament year (2010, ed.) it went well and after that the cash stayed. But if you lose, the crowd will grumble.”

Annoyers: Always seeing the bright spots

Schroeder’s attitude in the post-match interviews also did not sit well with the fans. Ten Voorde: “What the fans are starting to get really annoyed with is that he’s always seen bright spots. You can now see he’s doing exactly the same thing in Ajax.”

Jansen can confirm this. “The minute you’re lost, the supporters don’t want to hear about it. They think: run off your positive strings. He genuinely means it, but maybe it’s more appropriate not to let it out to the outside world. I have that in Twente, too.”

Professional shots

Alfred Schroeder at a press conference (2015)

His optimistic outlook after negative results, a conservative field game, and clumsy communication in the media. These are all things Schroeder was also accused of eight years ago. “From day one, we see Schroeder fall into exactly the same pitfalls,” says Tin Forde.

“When you’re a head coach, a lot of things come to you that have nothing to do with the content of football alone. He outsourced it all to Twente. At the time we thought: You’re a junior coach, you have to learn a trade. But after eight years I still see Lots of things come back.”

For Schroeder, it is hoped that his time at Ajax will end differently than at Twente. At the time, the coach closed the competition at No. 10 and was allowed to stay despite a disappointing final ranking. But after four games the following season, in which he lost three times, he still had to pack his bags.

tornado

“I think you should never listen to supporters and certainly not argue for dismissal,” says Ten Voorde. “But you know the feeling would be negative again from day one if you left Schroeder. And that was it. In the end it became a hurricane. The last straw was defeat in the derby against Heracles Almelo. Then he had to go to Pullman Stadium out a back door because of the angry crowd. Then The club management kicked him out.

Schroeder also remained the Against All Streams coach in Amsterdam this winter. “Ajax hoped that two months of rest would remove the sting, but now you see again: in the first setback (1-1 tied with NEC, ed.) The feelings are all back. And now Twente comes to visit. All eyes are on her. This makes the similarities very striking.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.