San Marco in Amsterdam (1 Viewer)


Bedpan racing champion
Jul 25, 2001
San Marco in Amsterdam

Autumn 2003. Grey skies over Holland and the North Sea keeps sending rain. The VIP bus carrying the Ajax squad halts at the Arena and the players quickly seek shelter inside the massive structure. The heavy suitcases with the sweaty t-shirts from yesterday’s match are quickly carried inside, signalling the end of peace and quiet in the Arena underground.

Ajax just returned from an unlucky 1-0 loss at Milan. The trainers Koeman, Krol and Bruins-Slot will undoubtedly trace and eliminate the weaknesses but not right now. Upon arriving in Amsterdam the focus shifts to the next match and the first training is about to start. The starting XI are off jogging and the rest will play a practice match against the youngsters. After spending three days in a foreign country, haste is a virtue and everybody wants to go home. Back to wife and children. The players quickly dress and the physiotherapists give a couple of quick massages. The coaches too are switching to their training-gear, eager to finish and go home.

Suddenly a stranger is walking through the corridors on football sneakers. Click clack click clack. Who got dressed that fast? Ah, it’s the new trainee at Ajax; he wears the ironed training-suite well. Eyes wide open, a face that doesn’t reveal any emotions. The brand-new whistle around his neck, ready to start! Judging by his big, ambitious steps, he can’t wait to begin but of course he wants to be informed over every detail about the players before his first training so he’s on his way to the office of head-coach Koeman.

And that’s when it happens.

“Hey!” A loud yell brings the young trainee to a standstill.
“That’s sacrilege! Don’t you know?” – Assistant-coach Krol shouts at him.
“Never worked at the top before, have you? Rule #1: never, EVER walk into the office of the head-coach with your football-shoes on! Are you out of your mind?”

A deafening silence follows. The physiotherapists stop their massages, the players end their stories about nightlife in Milan. They’re all looking at the new kid, eager to see his reaction.

Completely surprised, the trainee looks back, an unconvincing smile around his lips but Krol keeps looking at him in anger. Ronald Koeman is behind his desk, apparently writing his notes but really desperately trying not to break out in laughter.

The trainee hesitates but finally takes a step back, fiddles with his laces, takes his shoes off and puts them next to the door. Exactly like he’s apparently supposed to do. The smile around his lips is gone as he, with questioning eyes, starts his walk into the office of Koeman.

Behind him, his footprints are marked in sweat on the concrete floor. There’s no sequel to that thunder-speech from Krol but sadly, the poor trainee can’t remember why he came here...

These are the first steps of Marco van Basten in the professional training business, his first lesson. There are, undoubtedly, many more to come.

By Jan van Halst.
Translated by Erik.

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Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
My brother likes it too :stuckup: He calls him Marco Von Boston in this sweeeeeeeeeeeet accent :D
Dec 27, 2003
Interesting article.

I don't know if I want to see Van Basten becoming a coach though : seeing him sit on the edge of the pitch might break my heart. But maybe I'll get used to it after a while and will wish to see him lead Milan to Italian and European glory yet again.

I wonder if he has what it takes to become a trainer though : Marco has always been a reserved, almost shy kind of person. His feats on the field earned him respect on behalf of his teammates, but he hardly was a spiritual leader of the team.

Surely I'd love to see him interviewed at the Domenica Sportiva though, describing Kakà's umpteenth class act, with his trademark dutch accent, as "esheshionale", lol.


Bedpan racing champion
Jul 25, 2001
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter #8
    Well I don't know about Italy but in Holland, Marco has the potential to be an excellent trainer.

    Over here, authority is a sin, argumentation a virtue.

    Players aren't going to do something just because the trainer told them to. Players do things because the trainer has explained to them why it works the best that way.

    When Marco van Basten, with all his experience and famous technique explains how something should be done and why, players listen and obey.

    At least, that's the current situation at Ajax.

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