LOOK. Riemer in the clinch with Vanhaezebrouck next to the sideline
Hein Vanhaezebrouck said he was “disappointed”. Logically. There was much more in it for AA Gent, which always came up against a purple-white wall. “A double bus,” Vanhaezebrouck called it on television. “We missed someone great today. A headstrong striker.”
But in the end, Vanhaezebrouck was satisfied with his team’s performance. “I can’t blame my strikers for being only 1m80. I can’t blame the whole team. We still compete at three levels and are in our 25th competition of the season. I am proud when I see how strong we were against a team that hasn’t played a match all week…”
A first stab towards Anderlecht. When communications manager Mathias translated Vanhaezebrouck’s words for Riemer, the Dane grinned.
Riemer and Vanhaezebrouck were already in contention during the match. After a strong charge from Dolberg on Kums, the Ghent coach held the ball, after which Riemer stormed towards him in anger. There was more electricity in the air on the sidelines than on the field. It was no different at the press conference.
LOOK. Hein Vanhaezebrouck and Brian Riemer laugh about a small incident at a press conference
(a question for Riemer) Is it an advantage not to play European football, as Hein says?
Riemer: “For a top club, European football is something positive. You can say that playing fewer matches is an advantage. But I have already experienced that a European campaign can give an incredible boost. You play at a high pace against strong opponents and can give minutes to many players. If you don’t enjoy European football and see it as something negative… No, I don’t think about it that way.”
Vanhaezebrouck: “We enjoy it, hey. I never said that we don’t like European football. Let that be clear.”
There was also a fuss on the sidelines. What was going on there?
Vanhaezebrouck: “There used to be few football players who rushed at me like that, because they were all afraid of me. Well, congratulations to my colleague. He is not afraid of me and rushed towards me, out of his zone. I said, ‘You don’t have to be here. I stay in my zone, you stay in yours. There is no problem.’ Sven (Kums, ed.) was still on the ground and I was holding the ball. The game had not yet been restarted. He (Riemer, ed.) was a bit irritated. That can happen.”
Riemer: “I just wanted to take the ball away. That’s all.”
Vanhaezebrouck: (winks) “Good luck with that.”
Riemer: “You look strong. Who isn’t afraid of Hein here? Anyone?”
Vanhaezebrouck: “I respect someone who is not afraid of me.”
From strong Hein it went to strong Jan. Vertonghen, who is struggling with his ankle, was prepared just in time for the top match.
Brian, how is Jan Vertonghen doing?
Riemer: “He is a warrior. At the beginning of this week he could barely walk due to a sprain in his ankle. We got him ready. Many players would not have stepped onto the field today. Now he also has problems with his other ankle. Wait and see what happens. He will report to the Red Devils and they will decide whether he is ready to play. Ultimately, Jan knows his body better than anyone. I am sure the right decision will be made.”
Was he playing with painkillers?
Riemer: “He used everything he was allowed to.”
Vanhaezebrouck: “I congratulated Jan. (delicately) Not only for his performance, but he was also one of the few Anderlecht players who did not sit down today. Jan should be fit.”
Riemer: “Are you a doctor now too, Hein?”
Vanhaezebrouck: (smiles) “Excuse me?”
Hein, that Anderlecht are so happy with a point here. Do you take that as a compliment?
Vanhaezebrouck: “No. Everyone sees it in their own way. I was not surprised at how Anderlecht came to play here. They are rightly satisfied.”
Whereupon Vanhaezebrouck and Riemer shook hands. End of a sharp – and at the same time respectful – joust.
LOOK. AA Gent – Anderlecht 1-1
No winner in the KAA Gent Arena: Buffalo’s and Purple Wins share the points after a mediocre top match
OUR REPORT. One tube at Anderlecht, two 7s at Ghent: “His enormous VO2max came in handy” (+)
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