03 June 2014

... and Peeters doesn't

It's nearly a week now since Charlton announced that Bob Peeters is the new Head Coach. I'm trying to keep an open mind about the appointment. As others have pointed out, many of us, me included, got Jose Riga all wrong when he was appointed and he surprised us with his commitment, attitude and ability. Maybe Peeters will be good for the club. Let's hope so.

But what's odd is that there hasn't been a peep out of Peeters since then. Not even the obligatory few words, however insincere and platitudinous, about his excitement at the new challenges and opportunities facing him. Nothing about the kind of football he wants his team to play, or his ambition for what the club can achieve next season. Not even an automated phone call urging me to renew my season ticket.

A lot of people have legitimate doubts about this appointment: his record as a manager isn't brilliant (though you could have said that about the previous two postholders), and we know very little about him. The underlying fear is that he'll have more loyalty to the Duchatelet network than to Charlton. His silence isn't doing anything to assuage those doubts.

It's worrying that the owner of the club can't see this, or doesn't think it matters. As Matt Wright wrote in Voice of the Valley last week, Duchatelet had the easiest job in the world to win the Charlton fans' affection, simply by not being Slater-Jimenez. Investment in the pitch and training ground are obviously good things. Maybe we should accept that he has good intentions. But he's making it very difficult. Actions don't always speak louder than words.

Update 4 June
Within hours of my posting this, Charlton announced that an interview with Peeters would be posted on the official site at 8pm. I'm perfectly used to my views being proved wrong, but not usually as quickly as this. The interview is here, so make up your own mind.