Valentijn Driessen does not think the trend about the busy month of December of 2020 is entirely justified. According to him, it is normal for the last month of the year to be busy and that is not much different in 2020 than in previous years. The journalist sets in his column The Telegraph that the busy months are coming just after the winter break.
Ajax will play ten matches between November 22 and December 23. ‘If you say it often enough, you start to believe that it is inhumane, while this number has been the practice for years at this stage of the season. In addition, coaches are now allowed to make five instead of three changes’, Driessen nuances. He notices that the trainers at the top clubs, except for PSV coach Roger Schmidt, agree to the situation. ‘You don’t hear Erik ten Hag, Dick Advocaat and Arne Slot complaining about it,’ he writes.
Driessen sees that Ten Hag takes the burden of the Ajax players seriously. ‘Apart from the number of matches and the favorable program for the top clubs, they only meet each other for the first time in January, there are also terribly weak teams in the Eredivisie such as Heracles Almelo, Fortuna Sittard and FC Emmen. Teams that you have nothing to fear from as a top club. You win freewheelend without going all the way. Even if you end up with ten men, as happened to Feyenoord and Ajax. ‘
According to Driessen, the big crowds start in that month of January, when the top clubs meet in competition for the first time this season. “The football agenda can only be seriously overloaded after the turn of the year,” says the reporter. ‘The winter break is ultra-short with a maximum of two weeks. Then from 9 January to 16 May, twenty competition rounds will be played, three international matches in March, four KNVB cup rounds until April 18 and the Champions League will start in February 2021 with the eighth finals and the Europa League with the sixteenth final. In theory, Ajax can play more than thirty matches in that period, provided it is successful at European level.
December month definitely busier than usual
Although Driessen states that December is traditionally a busy month for footballers, fewer matches were played in recent seasons than this year. Between November 22 and December 23, 2020, Ajax will play ten matches, while the team of trainer Ten Hag played no more than eight matches between November 23 and December 22, 2019 and between November 24 and December 23, 2018.
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