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The OH Leuven Thread

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Busy day for us.

 

We have a new defensive midfielder. Aboubakar Keita comes in on loan from Copenhagen.

 

 

Also some outgoing transfers:

 

Central defender Clement Fabre was sold to RWDM (Belgian 1st amateur division)

Striker Esteban Casagolda was sold to Roeselare (Belgian 2nd division)

Striker Sam Hendriks went on loan to Cambuur (Dutch 2nd division)

Striker Daan Vekemans and winger Jo Gilis (both youth players) went on loan to Aalst (Belgian 1st amateur division)

 

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Very frustrating and disappointing night. After last week's win I thought this would be a turning point, but I was wrong.

 

I'm sorry to say, but Pearson has clearly run out of ideas.

 

If he doesn't get sacked this week, we are done for!

Edited by Bonanza
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4 hours ago, Bonanza said:

Very frustrating and disappointing night. After last week's win I thought this would be a turning point, but I was wrong.

 

I'm sorry to say, but Pearson has clearly run out of ideas.

 

If he doesn't get sacked this week, we are done for!

I thought you wanted to wait a bit? ;)

 

Well, Henry has been a huge improvement over Hirst, he bullies defenders instead of the other way around, Kotich seems less prone to screw up than Schuermans... do you finally believe that the problem was never the players? Btw, again he starts with Maertens on the bench... this guy is so hopeless and clueless it's endearing. If you look at all that wasted potential we have on the pitch (and bench). We buy the topscorer from another team in the league and we get an experienced defender from a 1st div. team, and it makes absolutely no difference. Furthermore, we have guys like Kapustka, Aguemon (top scorer of the league last year), Maertens, Tshimanga... all of them good players. And yet this team is like comedy capers.

Edited by Lizhang
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An interview with Eddy Demarez, longtime sportsjournalist for Sporza (biggest sports broadcast/news in Belgium) and OHL supporter. Written before the game (which we lost 0-1 at home).

(tweaked google translate:)

 

https://sporza.be/nl/2019/02/01/demarez-over-ohl/

 

From title favorite to relegation candidate, the season of OH Leuven has taken a remarkable turn. What is going on? Eddy Demarez has been at home in Leuven for years and doesn't beat around the bush.

 

Reverse football logic

 

Tonight, OH Leuven will play against Roeselare. A duel between the last and the penultimate in the general classification. That is not the ambition that the board had set for the season, but that board is also to blame according to Demarez.

 

"The current situation of OHL is dramatic and yet no action is being taken. In football everything still starts on the pitch, followed by the rest. In Leuven they have turned that around." The first three years serve to put the infrastructure in order, says the board now. "

 

"The changing rooms in the new gallery are being renovated to make them the most beautiful ones in Belgium and beyond. But I would rather be dressed in a pigsty and win every game instead."

 

"All the important decisions are taken by the English managers of Leicester and the money is Thai, but there is no feeling whatsoever with the fans, local sponsors or the region, this club has lost its soul. Just try to interview a player, being a journalist Everything is blocked as if it were the Premier League. "

 

Part ways with Pearson immediately

 

The results are dire at OHL this season: recently 3 in 21 points and a total goal difference of -11. "This can't just be the players fault," says Eddy Demarez. "The core is broader than that of KV Mechelen and the financial possibilities are almost unlimited thanks to the Thai connection."

 

"If you see how many of the players behave on the field, it seems obvious to me that the problem lies in the lack of chemistry between players and coach. Trainer Nigel Pearson has been there for almost a year and a half, but you do not see any structure in the game tactics of the team and during matches he does not coach or hardly. "

 

"There is not a single team in Belgium or abroad where a trainer can stay on with these results. Even at Leicester he would have been kicked out a long time ago. But the English boardmembers still back him for god-knows-what reason."

 

"The only chance to get this right is to immediately  part ways with Pearson. There would be talks with Frank Vercauteren, and if he comes he should be given the power to clean house. A good manager can still turn this around in the play-downs, because there is enough quality. But time is quickly running out."

Edited by Lizhang
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5 hours ago, Lizhang said:

An interview with Eddy Demarez, longtime sportsjournalist for Sporza (biggest sports broadcast/news in Belgium) and OHL supporter. Written before the game (which we lost 0-1 at home).

(tweaked google translate:)

 

https://sporza.be/nl/2019/02/01/demarez-over-ohl/

 

From title favorite to relegation candidate, the season of OH Leuven has taken a remarkable turn. What is going on? Eddy Demarez has been at home in Leuven for years and doesn't beat around the bush.

 

Reverse football logic

 

Tonight, OH Leuven will play against Roeselare. A duel between the last and the penultimate in the general classification. That is not the ambition that the board had set for the season, but that board is also to blame according to Demarez.

 

"The current situation of OHL is dramatic and yet no action is being taken. In football everything still starts on the pitch, followed by the rest. In Leuven they have turned that around." The first three years serve to put the infrastructure in order, says the board now. "

 

"The changing rooms in the new gallery are being renovated to make them the most beautiful ones in Belgium and beyond. But I would rather be dressed in a pigsty and win every game instead."

 

"All the important decisions are taken by the English managers of Leicester and the money is Thai, but there is no feeling whatsoever with the fans, local sponsors or the region, this club has lost its soul. Just try to interview a player, being a journalist Everything is blocked as if it were the Premier League. "

 

Part ways with Pearson immediately

 

The results are dire at OHL this season: recently 3 in 21 points and a total goal difference of -11. "This can't just be the players fault," says Eddy Demarez. "The core is broader than that of KV Mechelen and the financial possibilities are almost unlimited thanks to the Thai connection."

 

"If you see how many of the players behave on the field, it seems obvious to me that the problem lies in the lack of chemistry between players and coach. Trainer Nigel Pearson has been there for almost a year and a half, but you do not see any structure in the game tactics of the team and during matches he does not coach or hardly. "

 

"There is not a single team in Belgium or abroad where a trainer can stay on with these results. Even at Leicester he would have been kicked out a long time ago. But the English boardmembers still back him for god-knows-what reason."

 

"The only chance to get this right is to immediately  part ways with Pearson. There would be talks with Frank Vercauteren, and if he comes he should be given the power to clean house. A good manager can still turn this around in the play-downs, because there is enough quality. But time is quickly running out."

Makes for very sad reading. Really sounds as if Pearson should go. But is is it too late?

 

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2 hours ago, Bonanza said:

I believe in giving a manager time to built. I think clubs (especially Belgian clubs) sack their managers way to fast. But it is very clear that it's not working out with Pearson. Like you said before, he's been here 1,5 years and there has been 0 progress. Not a single player has improved under Pearsons management. As a matter of fact, a lot of players have become worse. This includes Leicester loanees Moore and Kaputska.

 

I stand by my opinion that some players were also at fault. Defenders giving away penalties and making defensive errors and our strikers missing open chances has to do with them, not Pearson. I agree that Henry and Kotysch have been a huge improvement.

 

Like I said before, I thought last week's win would've been a turning point. The whole week the players and manager told us and the media what a big boost in moral the win in Lommel was. So I expected us to start the game with a lot of passion and with the intention to win the game. I could not have been more wrong. We didn't have any sense of urgency in offense. Our tactical plan consisted of passing the ball around between the defenders and the goalie and lumping it forward to Henry. I have to say, Henry did a brilliant job tracking down those long passes as a striker. So what does Pearson do? He puts him on the wing in the second half! When we lost the ball, instead of putting pressure on the ball to win it back, we all ran back and let them pass the ball around. How do you expect to win a game like that??? The fact that Pearson blames us, the fans, for creating a difficult enviroment for the players to play well is the final straw for me.

 

I still strongly believe in Top and King Power. There is no doubt in my mind that they have good intentions with OHL. I understand why they thought Pearson was the right man for the job, because I believed so too. I even understand why they gave him so much credit, since he did the same thing at Leicester (the great escape). But they have to see now that it won't work with Pearson. If we want to fight off relegation a chance is needed.

Of course players also made mistakes... but when there are no patterns and habbits to fall back and rely on, when there is no gameplan, when the squad is constantly changing and players do not feel any trust from the manager (still he hasn't figured out Maertens should be first on the sheet), when other players (like Hirst) can make a mess week after week without consequence, a coach/manager quickly loses credibility among his players. They lose faith in the team and in themselves and are playing without self esteem.

 

And while i agree we sack managers too soon in Belgium, there was never any progress, on the contrary. In the summer, he could get the players in that he wanted, he got the time to build. You would expect improvement, but the opposite was true. We didn't have to be first. Not even second... but surely, top 4.

Just heard, rumor has it: HE'S BEEN SACKED

PS: regarding the match vs Lommel, those guys had lost their last 3 games prior to OHL and weren't exactly on fire.

Edited by Lizhang
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8 hours ago, Lizhang said:

An interview with Eddy Demarez, longtime sportsjournalist for Sporza (biggest sports broadcast/news in Belgium) and OHL supporter. Written before the game (which we lost 0-1 at home).

(tweaked google translate:)

 

https://sporza.be/nl/2019/02/01/demarez-over-ohl/

 

From title favorite to relegation candidate, the season of OH Leuven has taken a remarkable turn. What is going on? Eddy Demarez has been at home in Leuven for years and doesn't beat around the bush.

 

Reverse football logic

 

Tonight, OH Leuven will play against Roeselare. A duel between the last and the penultimate in the general classification. That is not the ambition that the board had set for the season, but that board is also to blame according to Demarez.

 

"The current situation of OHL is dramatic and yet no action is being taken. In football everything still starts on the pitch, followed by the rest. In Leuven they have turned that around." The first three years serve to put the infrastructure in order, says the board now. "

 

"The changing rooms in the new gallery are being renovated to make them the most beautiful ones in Belgium and beyond. But I would rather be dressed in a pigsty and win every game instead."

 

"All the important decisions are taken by the English managers of Leicester and the money is Thai, but there is no feeling whatsoever with the fans, local sponsors or the region, this club has lost its soul. Just try to interview a player, being a journalist Everything is blocked as if it were the Premier League. "

 

Part ways with Pearson immediately

 

The results are dire at OHL this season: recently 3 in 21 points and a total goal difference of -11. "This can't just be the players fault," says Eddy Demarez. "The core is broader than that of KV Mechelen and the financial possibilities are almost unlimited thanks to the Thai connection."

 

"If you see how many of the players behave on the field, it seems obvious to me that the problem lies in the lack of chemistry between players and coach. Trainer Nigel Pearson has been there for almost a year and a half, but you do not see any structure in the game tactics of the team and during matches he does not coach or hardly. "

 

"There is not a single team in Belgium or abroad where a trainer can stay on with these results. Even at Leicester he would have been kicked out a long time ago. But the English boardmembers still back him for god-knows-what reason."

 

"The only chance to get this right is to immediately  part ways with Pearson. There would be talks with Frank Vercauteren, and if he comes he should be given the power to clean house. A good manager can still turn this around in the play-downs, because there is enough quality. But time is quickly running out."

Emotional read. As others said it's very sad and worrying, not only the stuff about Pearson losing the players but especially about the club losing its soul, it's easy to make the distance grow between the fans and the club with decisions (and results) like this but it's not easy to patch things up afterwards. IMO Pearson should be gone a month ago (at the latest)... let's hope the rumor will ring true.

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17 minutes ago, Permafrost said:

Any news? Has he been axed?

Nothing as of yet, bar from rumors. Word has it that it will be Tuesday at the latest, presumably because they're in talks with someone to take over and don't want to finalize without having a new coach straight away.

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It looks like it's not worked out and isn't going to. I posted earlier in the season, in the first phase, to suggest that Leuven fans were hasty in pushing the panic button, protesting, demanding the manager leave etc., but they're way past that point now. It would have made sense to fire the manager some time ago. Now it's no longer a matter of it making sense, it's unavoidable. 

 

That doesn't mean Pearson is a poor manager, of course, nor does it detract from what he did at Leicester. Way more esteemed managers than NP have had their nightmare spells where it just doesn't click - Mourinho, Benitez, Clough, you name them. There's still nothing I'd like more than for him to turn it around out of nowhere, but I can't see it. What I've seen of them this season has been terrifying.

 

I disagree with some of Demarez's observations on King Power. It's not only our owners who like to put infrastructure in place and accept some short term pain in the name of the wider gain, that's how most clubs build. I just don't think you can endure this amount of short term pain.

 

I hope some of the building blocks King Power, and Pearson, have put in place lead to future success. Yet it's not happened for him, whichever way you look at it. The reasons? He clearly did lean heavily on Walsh and Shakespeare. Plus, it might be a case of what works in one place doesn't work in another, in galvanising a squad. There's obviously been a breakdown in the relationship between club, owners, players and manager. And I maintain that, on paper at least, the Leuven job hasn't historically been an easy one, and of course it doesn't help when there are protests just a few games into a season, or when there are people from the old regime still at the club and working against the new one. If that had any truth to it, that is.

 

Above all, though, it seems that - as Lizhang always stated - Pearson has underestimated that league, totally failed to come to terms with it and never been a good fit for it. Maybe he isn't the manager he was. Maybe we broke him!

 

I expect they'll fire him, and I doubt very much he'll have many complaints about the decision. I've got a feeling it'll be a breath of fresh air for the club to have a new man, and hopefully that new manager bounce can go a long way. As for Pearson, I hope he reunites his old management team and has one more crack at it, but maybe the fire's no longer raging in him. At least it should put an end, for a while, to the argument that we need to fire Puel and reappoint NP.

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If Nigel is sacked he's pretty well finished in football management.

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1 hour ago, KlaaZ said:

Nothing as of yet, bar from rumors. Word has it that it will be Tuesday at the latest, presumably because they're in talks with someone to take over and don't want to finalize without having a new coach straight away.

This has to require much of Whelan's and Rudkin's time and attention.  Pearson may have got an extra week because of LCFC's activity at the end of the window.  But surely not too late for OHL to stay up, given the resources at hand and a new manager bounce,.

 

Lots of us wondering the same thing.  Does Pearson still have the desire and iron stomach to manage in the Football League?  If he does, even this failure does not make his overall CV any worse than lots of other candidates.

 

A senior staff position at a Championship club looking to build might suit him well.

 

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39 minutes ago, Tuna said:

If Nigel is sacked he's pretty well finished in football management.

There'd be third tier interest, possibly bottom end of second tier if a club fires its boss mid-season. If you look at the names managing in those leagues, you'd expect him to interest clubs. He said he had opportunities in the past but wanted to wait for a longer-term project. If he wants to continue, and I strongly doubt that he does, then he'll have to be less picky.

 

His best bet would be to reunite the old managerial trio, because that could easily turn the eyes of better second tier clubs. Most managers have had unsuccessful spells at clubs to their name, but when you look back on second tier appointments and their pedigree over the past decade, you'd have to think he had a chance of a job. Steve McClaren, Paul Lambert, Steve Bruce, Steve Cotterill, Chris Coleman, Simon Grayson, Owen Coyle, Ian Holloway - they've all been given second, third, fourth chances in a league where they've previously endured a nightmare, and over the past few seasons. 

 

A boss with two promotions to his name, including taking a club up to the PL and keeping them there (with that side winning the title with the team he assembled) will count for something. He's had varying levels of success in four, arguably five if you count Carlisle, of his seven spells at clubs. And if a chairman was willing to abide the surly, unpredictable element of his character, they'd know that they'd have one of the game's top coaches and top recruiters alongside him as part of the bargain. I don't think you can underestimate how attractive a proposition it is to appoint a management team whic has enjoyed great success at that level and, to an extent, beyond. There aren't too many of them doing the rounds.

 

As for Leuven, I think it's a great shame that they didn't see the best of him, and enjoy the benefits of that managerial trio. The story might have been very different.

Edited by inckley fox
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11 minutes ago, Heymister2015 said:

Wasn’t it March when Leicester started the great escape? Yet some people think it’s beyond him being a success! 

Honestly mate, I don't understand how you still seem to think he's going to be a success here. Even when we were losing week in, week out in that season - I felt like we were unlucky a lot, played well a lot but just couldn't get the results - that's not the case from what the actual OH fans here have been telling us. There's a big difference between playing well and losing, and playing poorly and losing. The former is somewhat forgivable when it happens for a while, but the latter mixed with the dreadful run of results is inexcusable tbh. 

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1 hour ago, Tuna said:

If Nigel is sacked he's pretty well finished in football management.

I honestly don't think he'd mind, if that were the case.

Edited by Xen

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