Douglas de Coninck is a news journalist with the Belgian daily De Morgen, and a lifelong Standard fan. He has met with and followed Roland Duchatelet since the early days of his political life, long before he bought Standard.
Here are his insights on the various Charlton issues of the last few weeks:
On Bob Peeters
As coach of Cercle Brugge he impressed a lot of people. This season his mission was to keep Waasland-Beveren in first division. He managed to do so, which is quite a performance. Waasland-Beveren is quite a poor team. Bob Peeters is seen as a young and talented coach. As far as I know him, I cannot see how he would act different than Riga did. He will put the best team on the pitch, whether some are part of the network or not.
On Jose Riga and Guy Luzon
My feeling can be wrong, but I hope that José Riga returns to Standard de Liège and Guy Luzon is sent to some other team of the network.RD tried to bring some more confidence to Guy Luzon as the leader of this team. Some players like Batshuayi, Opare and Kanu didn't seem to listen to him anymore, at a certain moment.
Have you seen Reza's performance against Argentina? Couldn't believe what I saw. He never played like that at Standard de Liège.
The "network" did not send players to Standard
Standard is still the mothership. In June all these players are expected to come back to Liège: Nagai, Tucudean, Thuram, Koç, Ajdarevic, Biton, Ngawa, Ligot and Oztürk. None of them, exept Oztürk (and maybe Ajdarevic) are considered to be of any use.
Yes, RD will spend on players outside the network
The "network" doesn't exclude possible transfers like Chris O'Grady. We had a similar situation with Mehdi Carcela, only a year ago. He's a youth player of Standard de Liège, but got transfered to Anzji Machatsjkala, a millionaire’s team with Samuel Eto'o, Lassana Diarra and Roberto Carlos. Although Anzji sold most of its stars last year, it still is a team with another kind of budget (and salaries) than Standard. But Duchâtelet did it. He brought Carcela home. Maybe he wanted to please the fans. Buying Carcela generated a spectacular increase of fans buying seasons cards. As may happen to your team now.
On Yoni Buyens
Believe me, Yoni Buyens will bring you joy. He's a great box-to-box-player, very physical and fit for British football. He was close to the national team at a certain moment, but too many stars in midfield (De Bruyne, Fellaini, Defour, Witsel, Naingolan, Dembele, Chadli…)