Thursday, February 16, 2012

Watch Ajax VS Manchester United UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE February 16

Ajax VS Manchester United
Thursday 16th February 2012
Venue: Amsterdam ArenA
Kick-off: 18:00


Match Preview:

De Boer plotting to surprise United Ajax coach Frank de Boer admits it is now a fact of life that Dutch clubs must satisfy themselves with landing one-off blows on Europe's elite. Four-time European Cup winners and one of only three clubs along with Juventus and Bayern Munich to win the trio of major UEFA club competitions, Ajax remain one of the game's most famous names. However, it is 17 years since their last European triumph and when Ajax take on Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday, they will do so in the knowledge it is likely to be a long time before they repeat it such is the vast disparity in income between clubs in Holland and those in the big five nations. The Dutch TV contract is a tenth of the #1billion-plus deal negotiated by the English Premier League, a figure that is only set to increase as the years go on. Ajax's turnover of #100million is a third of United's, leading to the almost inevitable exit of all their top players even though they remain the 16th best-supported team in Europe. "You just have to look at the facts, including the difference in turnover between the two clubs and the revenue from TV contracts," said De Boer. "It is very big and we lose players to big leagues, so it is up to us to make sure there is a surprise every now and then." A number of Ajax players are being coveted by Europe's major clubs. Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen is at the top of the list and De Boer accepts the game offers another chance for him to shine. However, the Ajax boss has a word of advice for Eriksen, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Tuesday.Rooney spells out aim as United visit Ajax "Christian is a smart kid," he said. "Of course maybe he will play for a big team like Manchester United in the future. But I think he wants to show what he is capable of in this kind of team. "It would be better for him to stay until he was 25 because you learn a lot in the Netherlands. "If you leave afterwards you are a more stable player and ready to play in the big leagues." Ahead of his side's first foray into the Europa League, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists he would regard it as a significant achievement in the club's history if they were able to join the select group of clubs that have won all UEFA's major prizes. For the first time since 1995 United will compete in a European competition other than the Champions League. It is the prize being paid for failing to emerge from a simple-looking Champions League group. Ferguson has admitted he made selection mistakes, particularly in two home games that yielded only a couple of points. However, two months on from elimination, the United boss is looking forward positively. And that means joining Ajax as winners of all three European trophies. "It would be a significant achievement," said Ferguson. "Winning any European trophy is significant. "Irrespective of those who have won the three trophies before it is important for us, with our own history, to win tournaments all the time." And, with no domestic match to sidetrack him at the weekend following his side's exit from the FA Cup, Ferguson found it easy to state his intention to field a strong United line-up. The absence of injured duo Ryan Giggs and Dimitar Berbatov, plus his decision to rest Patrice Evra following the controversy surrounding his latest clash with Liverpool's Luis Suarez, does partially erode the strength of Ferguson's words. However, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes were both part of the travelling party when they could easily have been given the week off.

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