It is now public news that Rene Desaeyere is no longer coach of Muangthong United.
As is always the case when a coach ("manager" as he'd be called in the UK) leaves his team, there will be two sides to the story and some of that may or may not become public in future. We don't know. What we do know is that Rene was an excellent coach for the club.
A bit like a coaching version of Roy Keane, it was easy to dislike him if you supported any other team, but great to have on your own side. His super-passionate temperament frequently raised attention as Rene was often spotted on the touchline gesticulating or expressing his opinion at a high volume. One of his usual gestures looked aggressive but was actually simply saying "I" or "Me". His style came in handy in Thailand where on pitch ruckuses and bullying are normal. My favourite memory of Rene's antics was in a home AFC game where the opposition coach moved to the touchline to shout abuse at a young MTU player. Rene sprang up and walked slowly towards the coach, pointing to his own eyes and then to his ("Say that to my face!") . The opposition coach sat down and didn't repeat his offence again.
After his second touchline ban, Rene calmed down immensely but continued to lead the team through a very difficult period. It was obvious from his interviews that the whole club was strained through an extra two-legged tournament and utterly ludicrous scheduling of domestic and national games. The Belgian clearly felt people didn't have a full gauge of the pressure it placed on the squad and yet they still pulled through to win the league and came so close in other tournaments.
He's also a personable chappie off the pitch, always happy to chat with fans and let them take photos, he twice gave me an interview ( one, two ) and more importantly he was highly proficient in training and spotting talent.
It seems that for now one of the under-coaches will take over the reigns, What happened with Ibrahim's transfer (if it happened, did it create a problem? ) remains a mystery and it also seems unclear if MTU will seek a new head coach or employ permanently from within. No doubt things will clear up in the long term.
It's notable that this news has created shock and some upset amongst the usually very happy-go-lucky Thai fans of the club.
Thank you Rene for all your hard work and the success and growth you brought to Muangthong United.