If reports are to be believed, when Bob Peeters was recently asked about the imminent arrival of Tony Watt he responded by saying that "if he must come then I'm sure I can work with him". Must come? If Bob really did say that, it would appear to be further proof of the strained harmony surrounding the first team at Charlton.
Of course, it may have been lost in translation, but there seems little question that Peeters should have selected his words more carefully. I can't imagine Mr. Duchatelet liking that response.
It's got me thinking about whether it can ever work that a manager or head coach is handed players to 'work with' by whomever is selecting them in the background. It may surprise you to hear that I think it can work, but as long as everyone in the process understand their role perfectly. The key to all this is what Peeters believed would be the case when he signed his contract. If he was told player recruitment is not in his remit then I don't think he has much cause for complaint. If we assume that this was the case, then we could also assume he would have been made aware of the process for recruitment - something Katrien Meire has referred to as a 'profile' in the past - and bought into the philosophy. You have to assume this or you'd have to wonder why he joined.
The alternative view is he has been dealt a bum deal; perhaps promised an input and opinion that hasn't carried weight in reality or, worst still, has been completely ignored. I can't see that being the case, but even if it was, perhaps it's because the club have questioned Peeters ideas as they have got to know him better.
Unlike the skeptics, I don't believe Mr. Duchatelet is sat at his desk plucking names out of hat and nor, by the way, do I think he's only interested in the 'network' players. Whether you like it or not (I'm not convinced) moving players between clubs he owns is considerably easier than buying in from another club and it's no wonder he's keen on the idea. I'd like to believe that whatever budget he has assigned to improve our depleted squad it is being carefully managed to ensure the right players are bought to the club, even if that does take time. Most irrational football fans, if given half a chance, would go out and buy the first player to come up on a Google search as available, but that is a short-sighted view and a recipe for disaster.
Without knowing the reality, I would imagine it is far, far harder than some people think to attract players to a club, especially with so much competition. And despite being linked to promising players, there may be very good reason why the club do not get their man as opposed to 'not enough effort' as some fans would have you believe. Furthermore, we may ultimately have dodged a bullet by missing out of some deals (think Andy Delort).
Of those players bought in last summer, there can be little doubts that Ben Haim, Bikey, Gudmundsson, Buyens, Vetokele and to a certain extent Henderson have all been worthy additions. Tucudean has a great heart but whether he will eventually be added to that list only time will tell. The jury is out on Moussa for me and I'd send Bulot back to the mothership in a flash to free up funds.
I don't think it will be a surprise to anyone that Big Bob is not driving his preferred list of his transfer targets. Likewise, I wonder how much influence Big Bob has on any current player leaving, whether by virtue of a loan or a permanent deal. I wonder also whether Big Bob will be the man in charge of the any new faces we may have.
Time will tell.