Bob’s sound bites
I hope Bob Peeters is showing a little more variation in his training techniques than he is in his post-match conferences. Sadly since the Duchâtelet era began we rarely hear from our head coaches other than a few sentences post-game, which is not helpful in building rapport with supporters.
The last few weeks Peeters’ has bemoaned tiredness, other teams being better headers of the ball, injuries, young guns, a lack of physicality, set pieces, Tal Ben Haim and the size of the squad. It’s getting a little tiresome.
I took to Bob early because he came across as passionate and honest, and had an endearing amalgam of naivety and ambitious. This is a massive test for Bob, both in managing and getting the best out of his players and how he gets the best out of those that employ him.
I do hope though that Bob presents a different face to the players than he does to the media. Cut the lamenting, nip any negativity in the bud, rebuild belief.
I remember in these situations Curbs used to circle the wagons, do his talking on the training ground and get back to basics. Curbs mind you ran the football side of the club from top to bottom.
Bob has a small group, and despite the average age of the squad, there are some seasoned pros in Jackson, Ben Haim, Bikey, Solly and Buyens. He appeared to have no difficulties in getting his ideas across about how the team were going to play during the summer, and he needs to be even more laser-focused now. The league position and points total is still a great base to build on.
There has to be reinforcements though this month. Bob is being hindered by being forced to play players out of form, out of position, raw or not good enough youngsters and not fully fit senior players.
January is not only a test for Bob Peeters but also Roland Duchâtelet’s network. Do the advantages beat the system, and give us opportunities or are we being sucked into a system that is to the detriment of our club?
The first signing is a network player and although I’ll reserve my judgement for when I see him play, probably next week, Bob’s initial soundbite was not encouraging.
“If Tony Watt must come here I think I can work with him, no problem. It’s all about communication. Every player ran their socks off against Cardiff – that’s the most important thing. If you come here you need to be honest. If he doesn’t do his job, whether he comes or not, the crowd will kill him.”
With talk also of sister club Ujpest allowing their goalkeeper to join the Addicks later this week, we have to hope that Roland and his tightly knit scouting network get this right.
Talk of removing Bob is still folly. He needs to be judged over a whole season but this month will make or break the next five.