OPINIONS Today is the day, after 5 months of abstinence we will finally play an official match. The first game of a new season, KV Mechelen in an empty AFAS stadium.
It is difficult to estimate where we are exactly... although my feeling is that we will come out stronger from the transfer summer. Also, we were well on track in the final weeks of the last discontinued season, and the players who made the weather then stayed, which offers the advantage of taking advantage of what was already in March. Without waiting to be overly enthusiastic, I think last season there was an upward trend in our performance, with after a failed start gradually more points and gradually betteer game, especially after the winter break.
The youngsters are also a year older, they have more experience and they will probably also stand up more and more physically.
If we abstract from the first 9 match days, then we were comfortably in the leading group in March, somewhere around place 3.
Now I know that 'comfortably up front' is, in principle, insufficiente in terms of goal for the majority of Anderlecht fans, but it also indicates how relative the predicate 'disaster season' may have been.
In order not to have to be aware of the facts, it seems the message above all not to miss our start to the season this time.
The first seven days of the match, we shouldn't be foolish about it, we were up against feasible opponents. Achieving better results than last year, when we fell at the bottom with a 5 out of 21 report, should'nt be an illusion in principle. If we dream realistically: an 18 out of 21 would immediatley give us a 13 point bonus over last year.
Those games have yet to be played, of course, but I don't think it too optimistic to hope that we can pick up where we were forced to leave five months ago. So we immediately go back to the correct flow and then it seems to be a matter of continuing that flow for the next several weeks, when the heavier pieces arrive.
In any case, it will not be a year like any other, for any club.
Even if we don't assume the worst case scenario where the competition would have to stop again, the prospect of matches in empty stadiums or three empty rooms is not very attractive. For the clubs, not for the players and certainly not for the fans. Football without fans is like a coffe without beer, champagne without bubbls, a beach without a sea...
But... playing football in empty or almost empty stadiums can also work in our favor.
For one thing, it doesn't necessarily have to be a disadvantage at home to play without our critical audience. Maybe cynical, but I say it like it is: no player has improved with the whistle. Who knows, without an invigorating hiss / boo, certain players will suddendly flourish. It could be an interesting experiment...
On the go, it should definitely be an advantage. Traditionally, Anderlecht always receives a warm welcome at away matchs. Not only in Bruges, Liège, Genk or Antwerp, but also in clubs like Kortrijk, Charleroi, Mechelen... These movements are difficult, as if we always have to play against the wind and uphill.
We will not have that disadvantage far from it this year. And a disadvantage that disappears is an advantage. Finished calculating the loss of points away from home.. Finished calculating and counting... At home or away from home it doesn't matter this year... Hopefully, this understanding has already penetrated the players and staff.
It seems essential to me that we approach away games differently this season, starting today. There are fewer reasons than ever to play football differently on the move than at home, more calculated, wait and see, more careful... no, we must move forward, starting from our own strength, imposing our game, imposing our will, wherever we play...
Jan Mulder will. I would like to hear it, but I hope that the generals who determine the marching orders have in the meantime also reflected on this great opportunity that the corona offers us: every disadvantage has its advantage, and we must try to make the most of this situation.
Ambitions speak of better let's leave out the final ranking, top 3, top 4, let's be silent about it in all languages, let the competition think what they want, let the media write what they want... the ambition must be: match after match to win, at home and away, also in Mechelen, in Antwerp, in Bruges, in Liege...
Not calculating, not counting, always going for the three points, grabbing what we can grab... always and everywhere. Go ahead guys!
Thanks in advance