It has been clear since Tuesday evening, but it has now been official since Wednesday afternoon. KV Mechelen has found its new coach with Besnik Hasi. Will he keep De Kakkers at the highest level? And how the coach could also have ended up in various other places.
KV Mechelen made the arrival of Besnik Hasi official on Wednesday afternoon, although it had been in the pipeline for a day. And so, various rumors and possibilities that were launched in recent days after the dismissal of Steven Defour have come to an end.
Fred Vanderbiest and the rest of the staff remain on board and are still preparing the match against Charleroi, Hasi will take over completely from Sunday. “I stand for no-nonsense football, which suits Mechelen,” Hasi said in an initial response on the club’s website.
The question remains: is Besnik Hasi the man who can keep Malinwa in the first division? Playing against relegation is something different from playing for titles at, say, Anderlecht, as he did as a coach when he was head coach there between 2014 and 2016.
After his period at Anderlecht, he did not experience too many successes. He was thanked for his services to the Polish top club Legia Warsaw and the Greek top club Olympiacos after 18 and 11 matches respectively.
He then did slightly better at Al-Raed (96 games, 1.85 points per game average according to Transfermarkt), but also at Al-Ahli the adventure was over after 25 matches. Since then he has been without a job for at least a year and a half.
Although it could have been different. Peter Verbeke sounded him out as technical director for Anderlecht (even before Fredberg was mentioned) and several teams at least mentioned his name as a possible candidate.
In recent weeks he was in the picture at both OH Leuven after the dismissal of Marc Brys and at KV Kortrijk after the dismissal of Edward Still, but both teams opted for a different coach. In the coming months they will be direct competitors to avoid relegation.
Can Hasi show off his no-nonsense football at Mechelen and claim twelfth place in the Jupiler Pro League? Then he can speak of a successful return to Belgium. The Kosovar lived in our country between 1994 and 2016 (except for a year in Munich).
He played for Genk, Lokeren, Anderlecht and Cercle Brugge and, after his active career, continued to work for years as a youth coach and as an assistant at the Purple & White. In recent years he has appeared several times as an analyst, which showed that he still follows the Belgian competition.
That may prove to be an asset in the coming months – if we compare it with the situation at OH Leuven, for example – but it does not necessarily have to be immediately. In any case, the performance will be watched with an eagle eye.