The field of the Johan Cruijff ArenA is not in good condition three days before the Champions League match against FC Midtjylland, as it turned out during Ajax’s home match against Heracles Almelo (5-0) on Sunday. Many players were injured, while there is little prospect of improvement in the short term.
‘It’s an overkill’
“The field was soft, smooth and bumpy”, said Zakaria Labyad, who scored twice against Heracles Almelo. “We as players are not happy about that.”
27-year-old Labyad was one of the players who dropped out with an injury on Sunday, making him a question mark for the encounter with Midtjylland. Teammates Davy Klaassen and Noussair Mazraoui were also injured and Robin Pröpper and Silvester van de Water were not unharmed at Heracles.
“Not all of that had to do with the field, but Pröpper’s injury, for example,” said Labyad. “I saw that he slipped and went through his knee. In these months the fields just get worse because of the weather and then the risk of injuries increases.”
The injured Robin Pröpper leaves the ArenA field in tears. (Photo: Pro Shots)
According to trainer Erik ten Hag, the bad field in the ArenA is not only the result of the weather, but also of the bizarre busy schedule.
“The field is overloaded. This is because, for example, the KNVB lets all the home matches of Orange play here in corona time. Countries also train on the field, which is an overkill. The field suffers from that and we are experiencing the disadvantages”, says Ten Hag, who does not expect the field to be much better against Midtjylland on Wednesday. “
“From groundsman does everything it can. Immediately after the match against Heracles, they were on the field for the best possible recovery. But you can’t break iron with your hands. “
The Champions League match between Ajax and Midtjylland starts on Wednesday at 9 p.m. in the ArenA. With a win, Ajax comes in seven points in the group and the club is sure of at least third place and thus wintering in the Europa League.