This season is not going as expected for AZ Alkmaar striker Myron Boadu but can the youngster find his form in time to earn a spot in Frank de Boer’s Netherlands squad for the European Championships?

  • By Michael Bell
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AZ Alkmaar were a revelation last season and if not for the campaign being ended early, they could have been Eredivisie champions. A big reason for their success was the goals scored by Myron Boadu, who ended the season with an impressive tally of 14 goals and eight assists in 24 Eredivisie games. He also netted six times in the Europa League.

The youngster was clinical and excelled in the big games, getting goals in wins over PSV, Feyenoord, and Ajax twice. Boadu’s form also earned him his debut for the Netherlands and he scored in the clash with Estonia minutes after coming off the bench.

Coming into the new campaign, Boadu’s name was being linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe, and he was expected to be one of the standout players in the Eredivisie.

However, despite scoring in AZ’s opening two games of the league campaign, Boadu has struggled and currently has only four goals and one assist in 21 games.

The 20-year-old’s struggles up front have summed up AZ’s campaign so far with last year’s upstarts getting knocked out of the Europa League in the group stages, while their league campaign has been far from smooth and they currently sit seven points behind leaders Ajax.

At the weekend, AZ Alkmaar laboured to a 2-1 victory over hopeless ADO Den Haag, and Boadu’s struggles up front were there for all to see. Presented with two chances at point-blank range, Boadu hit the woodwork twice.

After the game, Boadu was honest to ESPN, “That’s not good, is it? No, that’s not good.

“I also expect more from myself, I think everyone expects a little more from me. But I just keep the faith, no matter how difficult that is sometimes. You can’t do more. You just have to hope that the tide will turn.”

So why is Boadu struggling for goals?

One reason could be that he is not being selfish enough with Boadu only taking 21 shots in 15 league games so far. That makes him 7th in the list of most shots for AZ, with his fellow forward Jesper Karlsson topping the list with 40. In six fewer games than him, Albert Gudmundsson (23) also has more shots than the young forward. Last season, Boadu took 60 shots in the Eredivisie in 24 games, highlighting the big drop off in this campaign.

This could also be down to the lack of service from his teammates with Karlsson, Stengs, and Gudmundsson often going for glory themselves instead of looking for their striker in the box. Last season, Boadu got plenty of joy from crosses into the middle, mostly from Oussama Idrissi who departed for Sevilla in the summer.

Boadu’s strengths would also be helped by having a strike partner who would be able to open up space for the quick forward. However, he is often the only one at the front making him isolated at times. Dani de Wit would be able to help out, but the midfielder is currently out injured.

It is also worth noting that Boadu did contract coronavirus earlier in the campaign, which he took some time in order to recover from.

AZ legend and all-time top scorer Kees Kist also believes Boadu’s attitude needs work, telling De Telegraaf, “Myron has to show more character, show more guts and poison. There is no fanaticism. He must be much sharper. I get annoyed by his laconic attitude. Then I think: goddamn boy, give it a go. You know where the ball will end up because you should know that as a striker. And then you are not there anyway. How is that possible?

“It drives me crazy. You only hear ‘Boadu this, Boadu that’. Then I think: show some character and resilience first. I’d like to have a cup of coffee with Myron, and with Calvin Stengs there. And then I’m going to tell them the truth! How I think about it as a striker.”

Kist also thinks Boadu is treated too softly by AZ, “When you talk about Stengs or Boadu, you have to do it with a velvet glove. Why don’t you touch those guys? You have to pull them in! It’s such a shame. They can play football really well, have everything a footballer needs, except that attitude. I’d like to fine-tune that.”

In five months’ time, Netherlands will be in action at the European Championships and Boadu will be aiming to be part of the squad. However, he has been with the U21’s since Frank de Boer took charge and at the moment it is unlikely that he will be involved at the tournament, despite the lack of striker options in Oranje.

Boadu now needs to finish the season in great form in order to impress De Boer and luckily he has some big games coming up in order to do that, especially the three clashes that AZ Alkmaar will have against Ajax. Last season, Boadu excelled against the Amsterdammers and he will be aiming to do that again to get AZ’s title challenge back on track.

There is no doubt that Boadu has the qualities to become a clinical top-class striker but the next five months could be crucial in the future of the forward. AZ has total faith in their number nine, who is hopefully just going through a blip in form and will be back to banging in the goals soon.

On Wednesday, see if Boadu can start his resurgence against Ajax in the KNVB Cup.

Michael Bell (59 Posts)