Judging John Heitinga is ‘a mission impossible’ for Ajax, it writes General Journal. The 39-year-old coach has an expiring contract, is supported by decisive players, but performs erratically. All this makes the circumstances within which it must be determined whether Heitinga should also be head coach of Ajax next season extremely complex.
“The trainer has only been on his own two feet for three months, works with a selection that he has been split through the stomach and those who have to judge him work there even shorter than the relevant coach himself or have shown in the past year, especially not with the estimation of coaches to be saddled. In other words, who should Ajax let Heitinga weigh?”, journalist Johan Inan wonders aloud.
Heitinga can certainly count on the necessary confidence within the group of players. “Several pillars of support, with captain Dusan Tadic in the lead, broke a lance for the young coach, about whose work within Ajax there are few discords anyway. Whether it’s about his training material, approach or substitution policy: at the Toekomst they see the clubman mainly doing logical things.
The decision about Heitinga’s future, however, lies with the immediate and, according to Inan, that is precisely where the problem lies. “With the appointment of Schreuder, general manager Edwin van der Sar and technical manager Klaas-Jan Huntelaar made a serious error of judgment last year. A miscalculation is just as lurking as the football boss Sven Mislintat and Commissioner Jan van Halst, who were appointed after much delay, who have yet to officially start and barely worked with Heitinga and still have to determine his fate.”
Sven Mislintat recently announced at his presentation as the new technical director of Ajax that Heitinga is on ‘pole position’ to become the new head coach of the team from Amsterdam next season. Now that Ajax is in danger of missing out on Champions League football, may also lose the cup final and can also be overtaken by AZ in the Eredivisie, the question is whether a permanent appointment by Heitinga can be justified, should the coach end the season disastrously. But Ajax can hardly conclude whether Heitinga is unsuitable or the top candidate.