In truth, no one understood what new coach John Van den Brom was doing until Anderlecht scored the goals and then he was acclaimed as a genius. He seemed to make all the wrong decisions. First he chose Sacha Kljestan to play in place of the suspended Milan Jovanovic and that smacked of fear. Then when it seemed to be going wrong he sent on Sacha Iakovenko (far too late) and then Massimo Bruno and everyone said “Who?” and “Why?”. But sure enough, young Bruno (18) set up Mbokani for the first goal and Iakovenko – with great help from Kanu – scored the second goal that made the ground explode.
So Anderlecht won the €17 million game, the President and the Board are happy, and several first-team players such as Lucas Biglia, Mbokani and Cheikhou Kouyaté might just stick around for another few months in the shop window. Such is football. What was strange is that two of Anderlecht’s most creative talents – Dennis Praet and Fernando Canesin – stayed on the bench for the 94 minutes. Only Van den Brom could do and that and succeed. He is God.