Ertugral not the real Ajax saviour

NOT IMPRESSIVE: Mhsin Ertugral. 24/11/01. © Touchline.
NOT IMPRESSIVE: Mhsin Ertugral. 24/11/01. © Touchline.

Coach Muhsin Ertugral's stealing of the show is deceiving.

Coach Muhsin Ertugral's stealing of the show is deceiving.

Many people have commended Ertugral for developing young stars at Ajax Cape Town with limited resources. Not true.

Ajax is a team co-owned by Ajax Amsterdam in Europe. The Ajax team in Cape Town, under Ertugral, played three friendly games with Ajax Amsterdam in the 2006-2007 season in Holland and in South Africa.

It is the main reason that the young Capetonian side developed quicker, playing these friendlies against a strong European side.

Many people in South Africa (including newspapers), because of their lack of observation skills, have concluded that Ajax Cape Town developed simply due to Ertugral's effort.

Ertugral struggled to develop young players when he was still at Kaizer Chiefs and the supporters ended up criticizing him, saying that he played too many draws.

At Chiefs, Ertugral did not have that privilege of playing three friendly games with a strong European team in one season. The only small privilege Chiefs had was to play off-season friendly games with foreign teams, and that did not have the effect of developing the young players quickly because it was not done in the season.

For instance, if Chiefs had played at least two more friendly games with Manchester United in the 2006-2007 season, Chiefs would have improved a lot in terms of tactics. Playing one friendly game with a strong team is deceiving and has the danger of giving a wrong impression to the challenging team. Winning might be a fluke.

Ajax Cape Town have got more than enough resources to develop their team to a European level because they have assistance from Ajax Amsterdam to develop youngsters.

I am not surprised they managed to beat Mamelodi Sundowns four times last season because Ajax Cape Town is the most privileged team in South Africa to have free friendly games.

Big teams like Sundowns, Chiefs and Pirates have to pay millions to try and invite European teams to play friendly games with them. And they can only invite European opponents once in a season because trying to do it three times would empty their pockets.

John Saunders,