Next weekend the football competition will get going again with a club from the East Cantons at the top of the standings. Mike Notermans of the German-language newspaper Grenz Echo sees 2 explanations for the surprising results of KAS Eupen.
1) The German coach
“When the club proposed the new trainer, there was doubt among the supporters,” opens Mike Notermans. “The German Stefan Krämer went to work for the first time in Belgium, the first time abroad, the first time in the first division.”
“But look, the doubt quickly gave way to enthusiasm. Because Krämer formed a group very quickly. He is also very close to his players.”
Not only the team atmosphere has changed in Eupen, so has the approach. “Krämer introduced the German system in Eupen”, Notermans explains. “He makes Eupen play much more dynamic football.”
“Under San José, you saw players stop when they lost the ball. Now you see a lot more effort on the field. Krämer impresses on his players that the first seconds after losing the ball are particularly important.”
Under San José you saw some players stop when losing the ball. Krämer impresses on his players that the first seconds after losing the ball are particularly important.
“Mentally, the team has also grown under the coach,” notes Notermans. “I have not seen the players lose heart.”
“On the contrary, they continue to fight until the last whistle. Even in numbers such as against Genk. That is a big difference with previous seasons.”
“Under Krämer, young players such as N’Dri, Nuhu and Lambert are also flourishing. That is also a must for the club now that the money flow from Qatar is drying up.”
WATCH: Eupen coach roars club song with the fans after the win against Genk (3-2)
2) The Rode Plow
Besides the team, Mike Notermans sees another important success factor: the team. They stayed together. “The players are attuned to each other. An important weapon”, says Mike Notermans.
“Strongholders such as Stef Peeters, Smail Prevljak and Andreas Beck have remained on board. That is to the credit of Christoph Henkel (also a German, ed). He protects Eupen from idleness now that the Qatari owners are investing less in the club.”
The Grenz Echo reporter gives an example. “Stef Peeters could play football for Standard, but Henkel did not let that happen.”
“He now has to work with more limited resources, the club will continue to pay the players properly. There are no financial problems in Eupen,” says Notermans.
“I am somewhat surprised that Prevljak is still playing in Eupen, but he feels good at the Kehrweg. He realizes that he is better here than on the bench of a bigger team.”
Stef Peeters plays an important role in Eupen’s midfield.
“Bundesliga remains Eupen’s biggest competitor”
At the top of the Jupiler Pro League, great results against top clubs, more dynamic football… the ingredients for a swirling stadium. Nevertheless, places remain empty in Eupen.
“The coach thinks that is a shame”, Mike Notermans says. “At the moment, Eupen should welcome 7 to 8,000 spectators.”
“The corona certificate may play a role, but the competition from German football will still play a bigger role,” said Grenz Echo’s reporter. “Within a drive, you are in the stadium of Cologne, Dortmund, Schalke or Mönchengladbach.
“And a match at 9 p.m. on a Sunday evening is not inviting either.”