Give Bassey popcorn, he’s always watching football on the pitch - Ex-Chelsea defender Boulahrouz slams Nigerian

Calvin Bassey
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Former Chelsea and Netherlands defender Khalid Boulahrouz has called out Calvin Bassey for ‘watching football’ instead of defending.
  • Bassey criticised for his movement & positioning
  • Ex-Dutch defender Boulahrouz unimpressed
  • Nigeria defender has struggled in recent matches

WHAT HAPPENED? Boulahrouz has not been impressed by Bassey’s performances for Ajax Amsterdam, especially in the Champions League, criticising him for a lack of movement and positional awareness.

This is after Ajax conceded 10 goals while scoring three in their last two European fixtures against Serie A leaders Napoli with the Nigerian defender starting both matches.

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WHAT DID BOULAHROUZ SAY? "Last week, Bassey was mainly watching football [on the pitch], only the popcorn was still missing. You expect a bit more from a defender there," Boulahrouz told Ziggo Sport as quoted by Ajax Showtime.

"I had him in my mind as a fierce opponent, a fierce defender, who is close to the man. He looks very heavy on the feet.”

“The twisting and turning, he almost falls backwards. That's something I don't like about him. On the other hand, it's not like I want to finish it all here.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 22-year-old started at left-back as Ajax lost 4-2 in Naples on Wednesday, having struggled in the first leg where the Dutch champions were thrashed 6-1 at home, leading to criticism over his performance.

Defeat leaves Ajax on the brink of Champions League elimination as they are third in Group A with three points from four games, their fate out of their hands as they need big wins against Liverpool and Rangers while hoping the Reds do not win any of their remaining two games to have a chance.

Bassey, who left Rangers for Ajax for a club record £20 million, had started life in the Netherlands in brilliant style with his performances making him one of the ‘undroppables’ but he has been in the eye of a storm in the past week following the heavy defeats to Napoli.

AND WHAT’S MORE: Boulahrouz, who made 35 appearances for the Netherlands, however, feels the Super Eagles defender still needs time. "I also want to be critical, but you have to give him time. Only if you have to take such a defeat, you hardly get the time, because Ajax wants to hibernate."

WHAT NEXT FOR BASSEY? Bassey will hope to start yet again as Ajax seek back-to-back league wins when they host Excelsior in the Eredivisie on Sunday.

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