Ajax have sacked head coach Alfred Schreuder after a run of seven games without a win in the Eredivisie.
Schreuder, 50, was let go less than an hour after his side drew 1-1 at home against relegation-threatened FC Volendam on Thursday night, leaving them in fifth place.
In that match, Ajax needed an 80th-minute equaliser from Mohammed Kudus to prevent an embarrassing home defeat.
But Schreuder’s exit was confirmed shortly after the full-time whistle, with Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar saying: “This is a painful decision, but it’s necessary. Regardless of the good start to the season, we lost a lot of unnecessary points.”
Schreuder’s assistant, Matthias Kaltenbach, has also left his role.
Schreuder was appointed in the summer on a two-year deal to replace Manchester United-bound Erik ten Hag, leaving his role at Club Bruges where he had just won the Belgian Pro League.
He initially started well but results and performances dried up shortly before the World Cup break, however, as Ajax struggled to cope with the departure of Ten Hag and several key players. Antony and Lisandro Martinez joined their former coach at United, while top-scorer Sebastien Haller left for Borussia Dortmund and Ryan Gravenberch signed for Bayern Munich.
Ajax have not won in the league since the World Cup, with their last Eredivisie victory coming when they beat RKC Waalwijk 4-1 on October 22.
“The football itself was precarious too,” Van der Sar continued. “Due to the World Cup, we had an early and long break during the winter. We gave Alfred our time and trust to change the way things were going.
“It became clear to us that he could not change the tide. Regardless of the many transfers that took place, we consider the squad fit for a championship. We lost a lot of points over the last few weeks and sadly saw a lack of progression.”
Ajax’s only win since domestic football restarted was the 2-0 victory over second-tier side FC Den Bosch in the KNVB Cup on January 11. Schreuder’s side were also knocked out of the Champions League after finishing third in their group behind Napoli and Liverpool.
Ajax have won the last three Eredivisie titles (not including the abandoned 2019-20 season), but are seven points behind leaders Feyenoord after a run of five straight draws.
They are back in action on Sunday with a trip to Excelsior.
(Photo: Getty Images)
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