Kenyon backs Mourinho return
Mon, 06 May 2013 11:30:00
Ajax coach Frank de Boer set his sights on improving the Dutch giant's showing in Europe after leading them to a third successive Eredivisie title.
The Amsterdam outfit were crowned champions with a game to spare after thrashing Willem II 5-0 on Sunday with goals from Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Christian Eriksen, Viktor Fischer, Siem De Jong and Danny Hoesen.
That was Ajax's 32nd Eredivisie crown -11 more than the next-best team, PSV Eindhoven - and further established them as the dominant force in Holland.
It has not been a similar story in recent times in Europe though, with the club not having reached the quarter-finals of a continental tournament since 2003 - a poor showing for a side who had previously won the European Cup four times in their history.
That disappointing return is something De Boer is hoping to change.
Talking about his future ambitions, he said: "We want to move forward in Europe, and play attractive football. If we succeed in this, I'm convinced we can achieve something."
De Boer insisted they would not break the bank to bring continental success though, adding: "We don't pay absurd amounts."
The former Holland international this weekend became only the third man to lead Ajax to a successive hat-trick of Eredivisie crowns.
Rinus Michels (1966/67/68) and Louis van Gaal (1994/95/96) are the only other two Ajax managers to seal three consecutive league titles.
The 42-year-old De Boer also has the honour of becoming the first player to win the league title three consecutive times with Ajax and then repeat the feat as a manager.
De Boer said of this year's triumph on his club's website: "This is a team effort. Football is a team sport, not an individual sport. Our strength is that we are not dependent on one person.
"We have gone through this season consistently playing our game, we've never dropped our standards. We've always played in a dominant fashion. It was a steady performance curve and that's also a compliment to the coaching staff.
"We are getting to know better what is expected and that we can always rely on our system."
With Mourinho set to leave Real Madrid in the summer and Rafael Benitez only an interim boss, speculation is growing that the Portuguese coach could return to the Chelsea hot-seat.
Kenyon has looked at the potential candidates and is convinced Mourinho is the best man for the job.
"If I was at another club and looking for someone who would give me the maximum chance of winning, it's Jose Mourinho," said Kenyon, quoted in The Sun.
"You've got one of the best clubs, one of the best owners and one of the best coaches - it's a hard combination to resist.
"I'd need some other very strong candidates to look elsewhere and you'd have to say he's very much on the shortlist.
"Pep Guardiola would have been up there, but he's not available. Malaga's Manuel Pellegrini - you would definitely look at.
"But if I was looking at Pellegrini or Jose, Jose would win hands down."
The situation is complicated by the fact that Blues owner Abramovich had a fall-out with Mourinho, leading to the two men parting company in 2007 - but Kenyon claims that could be resolved.
He added: "Given the past history, all that does is heighten the need for some of those things to be ironed out before the appointment is made."