"World Cup break was a gift for Anderlecht"

TUESDAY, 2 APRIL 2024, 09:29 - emjomi
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INTERVIEWS In the interview in Het Laatste Nieuws, Jan Vertonghen also reflected on his first months at Anderlecht. He noted that Felice Mazzu's system did not work here. "The appointment of Jesper Fredberg and Brian Riemer had an incredible impact," the defender said.

Vertonghen arrived at Anderlecht with Felice Mazzu as coach. "He is great as a person and as a coach, but not for the group we had then," Vertonghen said. That Mazzu played with five at the back did not suit Anderlecht and Vertonghen. "Actually, in practice we almost played with three at the back. That's not my strength anymore. Under Riemer and Fredberg, we switched to a 4-3-3. Partly because of that, I started playing better myself."

That Anderlecht was able to turn the knob around during the season was partly because the league was down for a long time due to the World Cup. "In hindsight, that break was a gift to the club. Wouter Vandenhaute played his role and made the right choices," Vertonghen said.

Vandenhaute first brought on board Jesper Fredberg, who in turn brought in Brian Riemer as coach. "They had an incredible impact," Vertonghen said. "They selected the right players, both incoming and outgoing. We are reaping the benefits of that now."

"Experienced guys should have positive impact"

So the core is currently much better composed, Vertonghen believes. Mentality is especially important. "Strong characters will always pull more shy guys along, both positively and negatively. Until the World Cup, that was a problem with us," Vertonghen points out. "That's why it's important that experienced players have a positive influence."

The captain points out that there is currently a fantastic mentality within the club. "That goes from Wouter Vandenhaute to our kit manager, all people who want Anderlecht to do well."

Vertonghen says he walks into the club every morning with a smile. "It's been since my penultimate year at Tottenham that I've felt so good in my skin."

Source: © Internal source

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