No desire and no respect: Charleroi’s capitulation in Gent suggests a side not ready for a relegation scrap

Charleroi only needed a point on Sunday to ensure they would remain in the Pro League. They travelled to Gent to face a side who needed a win and some luck to make the top six. Gent have struggled since selling the majority of their strikers in January, but Charleroi were more than happy to let them regain some confidence. Incredibly, midfielder Omri Gandelman ended the game with four goals, adding to his two so far this season. Gent romped to a 5-0 win, with a late goal over in Leuven meaning that Charleroi ended the regular season in the bottom four.

Just a few seasons ago the side were playing qualifiers for European football. Poor recruitment has seen them tumble down the league in that time, culminating in the current situation. Fans on social media accused the players of showing no respect to them or desire to play for the club. In truth, capitulating so spectacularly in what was a crucial game really does suggest that the squad is not ready to scrap it out in the relegation play-offs.

Charleroi do have a small buffer within the play-offs. They are five points ahead of Kortrijk who are in the second of the two automatic relegation spots. They share the same points difference to Eupen who sit second and occupy the relegation play-off spot, with that side set to face a team from the Challenger Pro League once the format is complete. But after their defeat to Gent, many Charleroi fans will be concerned at whether or not the side are really ready for this.

Of the sides in the relegation play-off, only Kortrijk showed any fight to end the season. They are the only side that won, beating high flying Anderlecht in Brussels. RWDM were taken apart by Cercle Brugge, while Eupen lost 4-0 to Standard Liege and lost head coach Florian Kohfeldt in the process.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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