Ajax have been handed a boost ahead of their semi-final clash against Spurs. The Eredivisie has postponed a whole round of fixtures to accommodate the Dutch team’s success in Europe.
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While the English FA has been indifferent to the schedule in England putting their teams at a disadvantage in Europe, their Dutch counterparts are supporting Ajax as much as they can, believing a win for Ajax would be a win for Dutch football.
The Ajax and Spurs game will be a game between the underdogs of the Champions League, while favorites Barcelona and Liverpool battle it out for the other final spot.
Both Ajax and Spurs have overcome bigger clubs to reach this point, the Dutch eliminating title holders Real Madrid and Italian giants Juventus while Spurs took down a rejuvenated Borussia Dortmund and Guardiola’s expensively assembled Manchester City team.
You would think the Premier League would do what they can for Liverpool and Spurs. Nope. Absolute zero. Zilch. Even though an English team have not won the Champions League since 2012, the FA are frustratingly refusing to be flexible vis-a-vis the calendar for top six teams playing in Europe.
Solskjaer, Pochettino, Guardiola and co have all spoken about the hectic schedule in England, describing in detail how it affects their team’s chances in Europe.
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While Spurs will play 7 times in 21 days and need a win against West Ham the weekend before the first leg against Ajax, the Dutch team will have the weekend off, allowing them more time to recover and plan for their Champions League game.
The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the World and their clubs invest massively in their squads but for some reason, their Champions League record in the last decade is appalling. A hectic schedule may be partly responsible for that.
Here’s to hoping the FA becomes a bit more open minded and starts understanding that a win in Europe for English teams benefits English football as a whole.
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