So…this week 2 of the biggest clubs in Belgium have settled on who will lead them into next season, and this time around, Standard Liege have appointed Portuguese Ricardo Sa Pinto.
A familiar face to Les Rouches fans as he ended his career at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne 10 years ago, he’ll most likely be a popular acquisition with his connection to the club. Coming from Atromitos in Greece, Sa Pinto may feel he is taking a big step up in terms of stature of club and league.
He has bounced around in management, coaching in 4 countries already! So experience is on his side as well as different styles of play, and maybe potential untapped players he has on his radar? But I’m guessing his main task will be maintaining who he already has in Belfodil and Scholz and keeping them onside for at least another season.
I just think with a good pre season and no European football, Standard could progress if he gets his ideas across, if they’re good of course, and mount a challenge for at least a Europa League place next season. However, Belgium is weird in its own way because you can finish 15th and get a Europa League place, but I feel his targets will be slightly higher than a relegation battle, and the way Liege finished off the play offs, hopefully for them the momentum will carry through into next season.
Lastly, I think José Jeunechamp deserves credit with how he made the team play in the end and restored some pride back into the jersey.