New squad numbers
Nothing earth shattering regarding the new squad numbers on first glance. Cousins moves to no. 8, there is no no.2 perhaps hinting at the club’s hopes to sign another defender imminently. Patrick Bauer and Naby Sarr become 5 and 6, and the young Spaniard Cristian Ceballos is given the no.10 shirt.
However upon scrutiny there is no shirt for Andre Bikey or Loic Nego and apparently Franck Moussa is only deserved of one once he can prove fitness, which presumes will not be for a long while.
A year ago Andre Bikey and Tal Ben Haim began the season as our centre-half pairings, eventually forcing Michael Morrison to leave. Admittedly once Guy Luzon showed up Morrison was already half out of the door, but that move still grates with me and his handling Bikey leaves a little bit of a bad taste, and one assumes he will be left to ‘rot’ in the reserves.
My son spoke with Bikey at Maidstone and said he was very friendly, and I think he could still do a job for us. However ‘the beast’ was cuplable of some mistakes towards the end of his tenure, as was Ben Haim, but they were both excellent during Peeters unbeaten run, which was far better defensively than it was offensively. However it was thought that both of the experienced centre-half’s were ringleaders in Peeters sacking, which might not have sat well with Katrien or Duchatelet, and tells us that Luzon is searching for a better team spirit and togetherness than Peeters could ever muster.
Again I will be interested to see the role that Johnnie Jackson and Alou Diarra play this season. Both are not expected to be regular starters, but their influence amongst the players will be huge. With Solly probably being rested for some games and third captain Henderson out injured, we will need others to step up.
As for Loic Nego expect him to be pushed onto another network club soon. Another early Duchatelet reign signing that was completely misjudged.