Sunday, October 1, 2023

Standard: There will be no Balikwisha-Hoefkens affair

An indifference that irritated

After the match, while still getting carried away by the adrenaline of this eventful finale, Arnaud Bodart could not hide his exasperation in front of the microphone of our teammates from Eleven. “What we did at the end of the game is unacceptable. I’m not going to incriminate anyone in particular but we can’t do things like that. If Eupen is a little fairer, he will be able to get back into the game.” The anger of the Liege goalkeeper, who was deprived of his first clean sheet this season, is directed at the laxity that overtook some Standardmen during the final ten minutes of regulation time.

Carl Hoefkens did not appreciate William Balikwisha’s behavior.

The starting point of these 20 minutes of madness was obviously the guilty loss of the ball by William Balikwisha just a few seconds after entering the game: “It was not the fact that he lost the ball that irritated me, but his attitude “Carl said. Hoefkens after the meeting. Indifferent, as if he didn’t care, William Balikwisha, whom we are used to seeing with a smile on his lips, entered the game with a closed face and, after losing the ball, reported Jonathan Lardot for a non-existent foul. He missed and stopped dead. In the process, Yaya Touré stood up and whispered a few words in the ear of Carl Hoefkens, who did not lose his temper. On the bench, everyone seemed annoyed by the Congolese international’s laxity and that did not improve in the following minutes.

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Eupen, Belgium - September 17 : Finnbogason Alfred Forward Of Kas Eupen Celebrates Scoring A Goal During The Jupiler Pro League Match Between Kas Eupen And Standard De Liege On September 17, 2023 In Eupen, Belgium, 09/17/2023 ( Photo By David Hagemann / Fotonews
Balikwisha only stayed ten minutes on the Eupen field. ©DHA

No warning signs and a constructive explanation.

During the week, after his return from the national team, William Balikwisha was informed by his coach of his intention to leave him on the bench in favor of Hayao Kawabe, who was gaining strength. The history of the match will also prove T1 Liège right. After this frank discussion between the two, the attacking midfielder left nothing to show, hence Hoefkens’ surprise on Sunday when he noticed the behavior of his player.

”For me, this is now a thing of the past and we are moving forward. If William needs any explanation, my door is open to him. Has he ever asked for one? Not yet,” Hoefkens added at a press conference. Later, it appears that the two men explained themselves and the case was closed. Still, by acting this way, Carl Hoefkens sent a clear message to his men. In the coming weeks there will still be some discontent after the incorporation of quantity but also quality, during the last day of the transfer market. Last season, to a lesser extent, Ronny Deila had already acted in this way with Noah Ohio in Bruges when he eliminated the Dutchman, just a few minutes after returning from the locker room. The striker did not hide his discontent, which irritated the Norwegian coach. “This is the first and last time I see this,” he declared after the meeting. There, too, the two men quickly resolved their differences.

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Last Season In Brugge, Ronny Deila Did Not Appreciate Noah Ohio'S Attitude When He Replaced Him.
Last season in Brugge, Ronny Deila did not appreciate Noah Ohio’s attitude when he replaced him. ©Jan De Meuleneir

Balikwisha in the restart against Westerlo?

Now that the player and his coach have made things clear, we will have to see how William Balikwisha, more affected than ever in his pride, will react in the coming days and especially during his next appearance on the field. An appearance that could well take place this Friday against Westerlo thanks to the suspension of Steven Alzate. This week Carl Hoefkens’ managerial skills will be put to the test and should he start against Westerlo, a strong performance from Balikwisha would be a perfect happy ending to this story.

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