FC Bayern: New recruit Daley Blind settles accounts with Ajax Amsterdam: “It was something personal”

“It was not how I imagined my end at Ajax, but circumstances made it happen.” Daley Blind’s words on Twitter after leaving Amsterdam already hinted that the end of the relationship was not for the best.

Blind was Ajax – and Ajax was blind. The son of former national player Danny Blind joined the highly decorated youth department of the Dutch record champions at the age of seven, came through all the youth teams before making his professional debut at the age of 18 .

In 2014 he moved – to Manchester United. Four years later, he returns to his first great love. A love that – according to the plan – should never end, not even after the end of the active career. It turned out different, the supposedly stable base between the player and the club started to crumble and eventually crumbled like a house of cards. Blind left Ajax for the second time. But this time obviously with a good dose of anger in the stomach.

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In Munich, his new football home, where he will now play for FC Bayern, the 32-year-old gave a detailed interview to the Dutch daily ‘Algemeen Dagblad’ – and explained what he hinted at in his enigmatic farewell . Tweeter.

An exit through the back door

“I thought for a long time that I would end my career at Ajax,” he began his review. “I thought: if I leave earlier at all, then next summer, when my contract expires. With another title, hopefully, and a farewell from the front door.”

It became a “Doei”, a “Bye” from the back door. This is despite the fact that he had reached an agreement with former sporting director Marc Overmars before his resignation (due to allegations of sexual harassment of Ajax employees) to continue working together after the career.

Daley Blind

Photo credit: Getty Images

“I had a verbal agreement with Marc Overmars after my playing career. They offered me to learn coaching at Ajax.”

A long-term collaboration went up in smoke when Blind secretly and quietly left with his belongings on December 27. “On the road, you think: is it really true that I’ve already played my last game for Ajax?” Hard to accept, but probably the only sensible step given Blind’s later statements.

Blind: “I didn’t feel welcome anymore”

“It got to the point where I didn’t feel welcome at the club I had played for since I was seven,” Blind said. “On December 26, the management told me that a day later – at the start of training – they no longer wanted me there. The contract was terminated. It was the end of a week of painful roller coaster.”

A roller coaster ride with multiple passengers. In addition to Blind, trainer Alfred Schreud was one of the protagonists of the group. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, now technical director of Ajax, also entered the theatrical scene a few days ago. According to the former star striker, Blind was mocked by his own fans.

“There were calls for Nicolás Tagliafico (left-back, editor’s note). It was a slap in the face for him (Blind) at the time. And the fact that the coach made different decisions in the last few weeks before the Mondial Cup brought Daley probably overflowing,” Huntelaar said in an interview with “Het Parool”.

Blind disagrees with Huntelaar

An assertion that Blind does not want to let go: “He (Huntelaar) should not speak for me,” said the defender. He added: “That wasn’t the crux. The decline started when I was demoted from my first-choice position to fourth-choice.” Specifically, it happened after a war of words with Schreuder during half-time in the league game against RKC Waalwijk at the end of October.

Blind recalled: “What happened between the coach and me made a big difference. We didn’t play well. Schreuder said during the break that our pressing wasn’t working well. ‘What do you think? you, what do you prefer?’ asked strikers. I got up and said out loud in the locker room: ‘Coach, be clear in your speech, you decide how we do it!’ His reaction was violent: ‘You shut up now. Shut up and sit down!’

Alfred Schreuder (left) and Daley Blind

Photo credit: Getty Images

Blind then asked the physios and his teammates if he had gone too far. “They didn’t see it that way.” Unlike Schreud, one could have constructive discussions with his predecessor Erik ten Hag. He only proposed to Schreud at halftime with the best of intentions. “I did it for the sake of the team, to win the game. I didn’t want to embarrass the manager. If you have a problem with that, call me the next day.”

Schreuder-SMS to everyone – except blind

But that didn’t happen, Schreuder had “ignored it for weeks” since then. Blind found himself on the bench. He then asked Schreuder for an interview. “I wanted to know from him if it was something personal. That was the most important question for me,” Blind explained. “He said no, it was nothing personal. I asked if I had gone too far at half-time against RKC. Then I would have apologized and we could have continued. But he said : ‘No, it’s nothing personal.'”

At the World Cup in Qatar, where Blind was allowed to play from the start of every game until Elftal lost in the quarter-finals, he felt Schreuder had something against him. According to Blind, Schreuder repeatedly sent congratulatory text messages to all Ajax players in the Dutch squad. “I have no doubt things got personal after the RKC duel,” he said. Blind added: “All the players got the coach’s congratulations except me.”

Blind also saw further evidence of his thesis in Schreuder’s behavior when he left Ajax on December 27. “I shook hands not only with my teammates, but also with the employees. Michael Reiziger (assistant coach, editor’s note), Richard Witschge (individual coach, editor’s note). Only I didn’t see Schreuder, even though he knew I was there because the timing was agreed with Ajax.”

Schreuder intervenes: ‘I don’t need it in training’

Schreuder himself recently confirmed in an interview with ‘De Telegraaf’ that he didn’t say goodbye to Blind. He regrets it. “I blame myself for not going to De Toekomst (Ajax sports center, editor’s note) when Daley was there to say goodbye.” He was in a meeting and – contrary to what Blind portrays – didn’t know Blind was coming.

Alfred Scheuder

Photo credit: Getty Images

However, he couldn’t resist a dig at his ex-protege. “I no longer need players who no longer want to play at Ajax or who are looking for a change of training. All attention must be on Ajax,” Schreuder explained.

While the tablecloth was already cut, Blind actually inquired about the possibility of leaving the club in winter. Above all, to find out if those responsible would convince a deserving player to stay. However, according to Blind, the opposite was the case.

“You can leave for free”

“I found it suited them quite well. During the World Cup, my agent was told that I would cost €2m in January,” he said. “Shortly after the World Cup, on December 14, I sat down with Edwin van der Sar (CEO) and Huntelaar. They said: you can leave on a free transfer. But only if you leave before January 1 and that you’re not going to practice on December 27 come on.”

So that was it. Bayern struck quickly, signing the veteran on a free transfer to replace the long-injured Lucas Hernández. Blind received a contract until the end of the season. Until then, he wants to “give his all and hopefully win something”. And after, in the summer, “we’ll see how it goes,” he explained. There will probably be no revival of Ajax’s blind love. Too many things broke.

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