Well…after Michel Preud’homme’s resignation at the end of the play offs, the hunt was immediately on at Club Brugge for a predecessor to the man who was reasonably successful in his spell at the Jan Breydel Stadion. I spouted at one point there were big rumours of Frank de Boer coming into the hot seat and I was only thinking about that very recently, thinking how exciting it would be and probably would bring a whole lot of popularity to the league with a huge name like him.
But with a month to think about the offer, if there ever was one, either two things happened. Either Brugge got edgy and would rather somebody taking over the team sooner rather than later, or, the more likely, de Boer turned them down. Obviously I’m speculating but my question is ‘Why Leko?’
Last night the news broke of Ivan Leko: Club Brugge manager!
He is more than well known in Belgium now, moving to the country in 2005 to Blauw-Zwart and winning his only real trophy at the club in the Beker van Belgie in 2006-07. Moving onto Beerschot and then finally Lokeren, where he won a second Belgian Cup, he went straight into Leuven as manager.
After a brief spell at PAOK in Greece as an assistant, he came back to his second home in Belgium, but this time at Sint Truiden. And this is where I go ‘huh?’ because no matter how well he did in the play offs, and let’s face it, De Kanaries were very, very good. But in his 30 regular season matches, his side were less than average. Winning less than a third of their matches and losing over half, how is that criteria good enough to be hired on?
Players may be better at Brugge, granted, but he knows Belgium. He knows the league and was just not that good. Unless his play off performance was sufficient enough to offer him the job at the runners up of Belgium, with a crack at Champions League qualification, I’m unsure. I hope he performs as well as he did in the play offs for the club and leagues sake, but maybe my pessimist view could be echoed and felt by the fans too?
I feel most sorry for Sint Truiden where, even though I’ve said he wasn’t amazing, he looked as if he may have been building something there which made him deserved of his two year extension there rather than his new two year deal in Brugge.