Brian Priske’s days as trainer of Antwerp are numbered. The board of the Great Old has seen enough after the 0-4 blackout against Anderlecht. Barring surprises, the Dane can still finish the season, but in the meantime work is already being done on his succession.
To be clear: the heavy defeat against Anderlecht was not solely the fault of Brian Priske. Key players such as Radja Nainggolan and Dorian Dessoleil remained far below their level on Sunday. But questions can also be asked about the decisions of the coach. For example, the Antwerp board takes Priske’s choice to switch from a three-man to a four-man defense at halftime. Last week, a similar move already got his team in trouble against Union. Antwerp then got away well because the visor of Undav and Vanzeir was not sharp enough. Kouamé and Zirkzee made use of the extra space they were given on Sunday, resulting in a disgrace for the Great Old.
The Antwerp board has seen enough in the meantime. Normally Priske can still play the remaining three games in the Champions’ play-offs, but his time at the Bosuil is over after that. Chairman Paul Gheysens realizes that he still has to pay Priske, who still has a contract until June 2023, a significant part of his salary. Sending the Dane out of the way now is of little use to Antwerp. Since a new coach – three matchdays from the end – would never have enough time to make his mark on the team.
Sporting director Marc Overmars is already working on the succession of Priske. The new director of football affairs has a list ready with potential new trainers. At least one big name from the Netherlands is on it.