Up and running

Up and running

FIRST WIN: Ajax celebrate

But Ajax’s style needs polishing.

Ajax Cape Town have broken their duck, but the work only starts now for the Urban Warriors.

The win over Platinum Stars, on the road nogal, and with three goals in the opening half hour will give them a lot of confidence.

But that positivity should go straight into their continued development in training.

Goals and game management have been the watch words under new coach Stanley Menzo.

In my opinion, they are the most important facets of the game.

Already, the Ajax boss has changed the formation of his team, giving his team the look of an Ajax Amsterdam side.

They have wingers in an attacking three and a fluid midfield and defence.

What I mean by this is the midfield blocks the space for the ball to move up the pitch and protect the defence when they don’t possession.

Meanwhile, the defence can step up when they attack.

The movement of your players should always minimise the space of the opposition can exploit, so closing down the ball is vital.

The name of the game for the team is to score goals and manage to game, either by winning the ball back or pressing the opposition back.

Menzo’s team got that right in the first half, but they quickly got into trouble after the break.

The same thing happened in their last-gasp defeat to Maritzburg on Saturday.

This time they were lucky not to pay the ultimate price, but Menzo was not impressed.

The most difficult part of the game for the Urban Warriors under Roger de Sa was exactly the weakness that they have right now – game management.

With more midfielders now under De Sa’s early-season side, the transitions from attack to defence are becoming easier to manage.

And with their next game being up against African champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday at Cape Town, their progress will be put to the test.

The players will tell you that that they are always up for the games against the big teams.

This time, it’s not just about a good performance. This time they have to realise that the winning points is what’s going to keep them in the top flight.

Read more Columns and Opinion