Genk gala match is a turn off, coach Wouter Vrancken not amused: “Consequences for match against Club Brugge”

Consequences for Club Brugge

Of course you should not draw too many conclusions from a practice game, because that is and remains the duel with the Greeks. Yet for the first time in this preparation we saw a slightly despairing coach. Wouter Vrancken was not amused and made that clear.

“I’m not going to name names. But I’m unpleasantly surprised by some players. In advance you think: ‘They play for their own audience, we are a week before the start of the competition. So they want to show something.’ But none of that. I lacked willingness. This is not without consequences for Club Brugge (on Sunday 24 July, ed.). I am very satisfied with the work in training. Everyone there gives 100 percent. The practice matches for AEK also appealed to me. One block of 30 minutes against Volendam was not good. But in blocks 2 and 3 we rectify that. However, AEK was by far the least match of the series. I would rather have seen it differently.”

Static phases again a pain point?

Anyone who looks at Genk’s statistics from last season knows that the team was very vulnerable to standard situations, especially before New Years. That trend seemed to have reversed in these first weeks of training. In the friendly matches, it was Genk that regularly scored on corners and free kicks via Nemeth and Cuesta. But on Saturday, the Genkies did concede two goals on a corner.

“I have to determine that together with you,” says Vrancken. “I don’t know what exactly went wrong. We couldn’t see any replays on the bench, technically something was wrong. But we will of course analyze those phases in depth in the coming days. If there was anything positive, apart from those two goals, we hardly gave anything away. At the center of the defense, I tried the Cuesta – McKenzie duo. It was there, I thought.”

Trio in the front not at the appointment

Correct. In the field game, Genk barely gave up. But it also created virtually nothing on its own. A shot from Dessers, a header from Cuesta on a corner, a pin from Heynen plus a missed penalty by Dessers, that was about it. To put it into perspective, after all, Dessers and Ito have only been working for two weeks.

“Yet I expect more from the trio in the front”, Dessers did not spare Oyen either. “They have enough volume now. They should be sharper now. They have to flip a switch. The one who did roll up their sleeves was Mike Trésor. He is of course not the same type as his predecessor Thorstvedt, with him we have to play differently as a team. But at least he had the willingness that others lacked.”

Not the strongest core

Yet the 23-year-old midfielder remains, literally, a lightweight. He doesn’t have much to offer in the duels. Perhaps the arrival of the Argentinian Nicolas Castro can change that.

“It is a fact that we do not have the strongest core as a whole”, Vrancken continued on that theme. “There is certainly room for more in that area. Also in position 6.”

With the Heynen-Hrosovsky tandem, the Genk midfield is indeed vulnerable and the young Aziz still has to take steps. In short, Vrancken argues in veiled terms for action on the transfer market. A wake-up call a week before the start of the competition is not necessarily a bad thing in that regard. “Although an experience of success would have been more pleasant”, concluded the coach.

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