'We can make a step higher' - Van der Sar insists he and Overmars are not ready to leave Ajax

By Sports Desk December 15, 2021

Edwin van der Sar says he and Marc Overmars are "not ready yet" to leave their roles at Ajax and believe they can help take the club to the next level.

Van der Sar has been Ajax's chief executive since 2016, while Overmars took on the role of director of football in 2012.

The Dutch giants have claimed two Eredivisie titles and two KNVB Cup triumphs in the five years since the former goalkeeper was appointed, also appearing in a Champions League semi-final.

However, the 51-year-old claimed he is not satisfied with his achievements at the club he started his professional career with, as he expressed his desire to achieve even more success.

"I think Marc and myself are enjoying it very much here at Ajax," Van der Sar told Stats Perform. "The freedom and rewards, the level of the club is still growing. That brings joy to yourself and gives you a lot of confidence. We're easy in that way.

"For the moment I'm really happy in Amsterdam. I think we're not ready [to leave] yet. We can make a step higher and that's something we're aiming for. To be really, really successful on the pitch. It's not easy, but we're going [to give it a] go."

Van der Sar explained that players and coaches often feel they outgrow Ajax and look to move on, but he is determined to delay the departure of head coach Erik ten Hag for as long as possible.

"You see it also with players, sometimes they think they're finished at Ajax and want to take the next step," Van der Sar said continued.

"I've seen it myself when I went from Ajax to Juventus – it wasn't a natural fit. The level of football, the family, the expectations, it can be difficult abroad.

"But someone with the quality of Erik and the way he lets Ajax play and tick for the last four years, it's obvious there's a lot of interest in him. He is named among the big clubs in Europe.

"Eventually, he will take the next step, but we will try to delay it as long as possible but of course, at a certain point it's up to him. But we have to challenge him and make sure he maybe sees will there be a next level – can we be even better?

"That's what we're working hard for to make sure the players are staying, the scouting brings new talents and the structure around him are ready for a successful period."

Ten Hag will be hoping for another deep run into the latter stages of the Champions League after being drawn against Benfica in the round of 16.

Related items

  • Pochettino '100 per cent' at PSG, expects to be 'judged by work', not Mbappe relationship Pochettino '100 per cent' at PSG, expects to be 'judged by work', not Mbappe relationship

    Mauricio Pochettino is "100 per cent" committed to Paris Saint-Germain and does not believe his future at the club will be decided by his relationship with Kylian Mbappe.

    Both Pochettino and Mbappe have been the subject of speculation for much of this season.

    But while the superstar forward has signed a new contract in Paris, snubbing Real Madrid, it is unclear how that development impacts his coach.

    Pressure has been building on Pochettino since PSG again failed to win the Champions League, losing to Madrid in the last 16 despite Mbappe scoring in both legs.

    Given reports suggest Mbappe has been given a significant say in the running of the club as part of his new deal, it would appear crucial Pochettino keeps the World Cup winner onside.

    But in an interview with COPE, the former Tottenham boss seemed confident he would be given the opportunity to prove his worth at the Parc des Princes regardless.

    "I have said I am 100 per cent here. Today I tell you I am 100 per cent here," Pochettino said.

    "I have one more year of contract. The challenges are there and it motivates any coach.

    "I don't think [the relationship with Mbappe is decisive]. I will be judged by the work. We have won all the titles that previous coaches have won. That is earned regularly, and you have to give it value. This league is not easy."

    Asked if he wanted to keep his job, Pochettino added: "Of course, 100 per cent. It's a club that has ambition. The big disappointment is the Champions League because of the desire of the people."

  • Mbappe war of words wages on with UNFP blasting 'offensive, hateful' Tebas comments Mbappe war of words wages on with UNFP blasting 'offensive, hateful' Tebas comments

    Kylian Mbappe remains at the centre of a disagreement between French and Spanish footballing bodies after snubbing Real Madrid to stay at Paris Saint-Germain.

    Mbappe, long linked with Madrid, announced last week he would be signing a new contract in Paris rather than joining the Champions League finalists as a free agent.

    LaLiga chief Javier Tebas swiftly responded to the news by claiming it to be "an insult to football".

    Those comments have unsurprisingly prompted replies from France, firstly from LFP president Vincent Labrune, whose letter to Tebas was reported on Thursday.

    Labrune questioned "your latest attacks against Ligue 1 and one of our clubs", believing his counterpart's behaviour to be "completely inappropriate".

    And that is a view shared by the UNFP, the French players' union, which released a statement also directed at Tebas later on Thursday.

    "We can hear and understand the disappointment of people from Madrid and their compatriots, even knowing, especially in the world of football, that you don't win every time and that it is possible to say 'no' to Real Madrid, even for a third time," said the body on its website.

    "But demonstrating to the point of incomprehension does not justify disrespecting the player, his club and all of French football in this way, unless we call into question the freedom for a footballer to sign a contract with the club of his choice?

    "The arrogance of the remarks made is shocking and there is no need here to reply to our Spanish friends that they have hardly any lessons to give to French football in terms of financial management, protectionism and equality...

    "Once again, the most enraged is Javier Tebas who, when it comes to PSG, forgets to turn his tongue in his mouth seven times before speaking.

    "And his offensive, hateful remarks, without restraint or foundation, bring shame and discredit to him, especially with regard to his position.

    "In the heart of the 70s, Jeannette sang 'Porque te vas?' ['Why must you leave?']. But Kylian Mbappe will not leave, no offence to the president of the Spanish league...

    "So 'Porque Tebas?' asks the UNFP..."

  • Napoli complete deals for Zambo Anguissa and Olivera Napoli complete deals for Zambo Anguissa and Olivera

    Napoli announced two signings on Thursday, confirming midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa from Fulham on a permanent deal and the arrival of Mathias Olivera from Getafe.

    The Cameroon international spent this season on loan at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, and Napoli have taken up the option to make the move permanent for an undisclosed fee.

    Zambo Anguissa joined Fulham from Marseille in 2018, making 66 appearances in all for the Cottagers.

    He made 25 appearances for Luciano Spalletti's side in Serie A this season, recording two assists.

    The Italian club also confirmed the signing of Olivera from Getafe, with the Uruguayan left-back having made 119 appearances during five seasons in Spain.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.