Won again with Union, but Alexander Blessin still shouted hoarse: “I am an emotional coach”
29 de October, 2023
It was not a smiling Alexander Blessin despite the 1-3 win against Westerlo. Things did not go smoothly for Union against the red lantern. To the frustration of the hyper-ambitious coach and that is not the first time.
There is one big advantage to the Westerlo stadium. The visiting coach’s dugout can be clearly seen and heard from the press stands of ‘t Kuipje. An angry Alexander Blessin stood there for 90 minutes. The Union players were constantly beaten. Blessin screamed himself hoarse.
In fact, he was so angry that he didn’t celebrate Lapoussin’s equalizer. On the contrary, he called Ross Sykes from the sidelines to give him a lecture. “Ross was sometimes too high, there was no structure in our defense. That’s how we took the 1-0,” Blessin explained afterwards. Puertas and substitute Amoura were also beaten at times. “I certainly wasn’t always happy during the match. I am an emotional coach. It is my job to sometimes speak a little louder to my players and put my finger on the wound.”
For those who still have doubts: there was no smile from Blessin at the press conference after the match. However, thanks to the sixth league victory in a row, Union is still at the top of the Jupiler Pro League. Moreover, just after a European midweek match, the people of Brussels again did not lose any points in the competition. Not evident. Blessin knows that too. “It’s never easy after a European match. That switch is not simple.”
So he was satisfied with the three points. What frustrates the Union coach most of all is that the level of play is not yet what he expects. His players do not always seem concentrated, lose the ball too often and sometimes do not apply pressure quickly enough to regain the ball. Union continues to perform well on all fronts, but Blessin wants to see better football. And that is not the first time he has been frustrated. “The only good thing was that the first half was over,” said Thursday evening after the Europa League match against Linz. Even then he did not celebrate a goal because he was too angry about the mediocre level of his team – “I am sad in angry. Of basics were missing.”
“We were a bit lucky then. Winning is nice, but we have to keep our feet on the ground. Work hard, every day. We have to do that,” he said again after Westerlo. Blessin was also dissatisfied after the 2-3 win against RWDM and the 4-1 win against Eupen in recent weeks. “Our attitude is too easy, we are too slow. I don’t feel like we really have the game under control,” he said.
During halftime, captain Anthony Moris and vice-captain Christian Burgess get angry in the locker room. Then it is Blessin’s turn. “I have made a game plan, but it can be thrown in the trash. I don’t see any of it on the field. Everything is missing, even the basics. The only good thing is that the first half is over.”
It has made us wonder for some time what we can expect from Union if the team really plays well. What if the players deliver what Blessin wants to see for 90 minutes? Union is already the leader of the Jupiler Pro League, four points ahead of first pursuer Anderlecht. Union has won the last six league games and scored no fewer than nineteen goals. Or how the hyper-ambitious Blessin sets the bar very high for his players.