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The retirement of Alex Taylor

Started on 15 May 2016 by ninjaskill / First Post
Latest Reply on 14 October 2016 by ninjaskill / Last Post
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Alex named a rotated side sue to the game against Fener soon Ebert replaced Gedoz who needed a break and Cools continued to deputise for Meunier. He also had De Bock and Mechele at centre back to give his preferred pairing a rest.



Alex stood on the side to watch as the teams kicked off and nothing happened to move him from that spot in the 90 minutes despite making a couple of changes he made. The Belgian highlights show didn’t even bother to show any of the game and Alex couldn’t blame them nothing happened. Not a jot.



The result saw Brugge fall a place in the table but, stay the same distance from CL football

Tough result mate, rare that a match goes by without a single highlight Alex did well to keep his eyes open! :P
Yikes it must have been a frustrating game to watch!
Noooo, down to fourth atm mate, but you can still go that extra distance and push for CL!
Lippo Yeah although as it was a rotated side against a team ahead of us it isn't to bad. Never happened to me before. He gets paid enough to stay awake for 90 minutes :P

Justice Not really first half was quick and then I blinked and missed the second half wasn't enough time to get frustrated

mgriffin2012 Yeah not thrilled about that but we still are only three points off and have to play the teams around so we can still easily do it
While the players wouldn’t usually train the day after a match but, with an away European game coming soon Alex wanted to do some light training. As the game was late in the day practice was 4-6 which left Alex with a bit of a problem. Rachael was back in England to do a couple final bits of work and see her parents for a day so Alex had to bring his kids to training. A few players did it so they should stay entertained.

After half an hour of some film on Fener with the players all seeing things relevant to their position they got out and did some stretching and light running before some drills. After everyone seemed loose they grabbed some water before Alex explained the drill they were going to do.

Alex was talking the drill over with Jelle Vossen when Ellie, his daughter tapped on his leg. “I have to go to the toilet. Where is it?”

“One second I’m talking to Jelle Vossen” Alex responded

Ellie looked like she was trying to recall something then here dace lit up. “Oh, he’s the one who couldn’t hit a barn door. Isn’t that what you said dad?” Alex vaguely recalled saying that once out of exasperation why did she have to remember it he thought. He looked over to see if the players had heard and they all had and were laughing there heads off, except Vossen who looked stony faced.

Alex tried to rapidly think of an excuse. Say it was another Jelle Vossen, no to obvious. Umm say it was before he joined, no he was in great form and Alex had mentioned he hadn’t seen the team play much. He was running out of time. Think think, MIDDLESBROUGH. He almost shouted it out loud.

“I’d forgotten about that.” He turned to Vossen to explain his lie that he thought was decent. “You were playing at Middlesbrough last season and I played with a couple of there players a few years before so I wanted you guys to win in the playoffs and you missed a couple of chances and I got annoyed and yelled at the TV. Can’t believe she remembered.” He added ruffling his daughter’s hair to her annoyance then telling her where the bathrooms were before she could do any more damage.

Alex looked around and was relieved to see it looked as if his lie had worked and resolved that he would never say a negative thing about his players in front of his kids. Vossen didn’t look thrilled and Alex could understand why he wouldn’t be thrilled to hear that his manager had said he couldn’t hit a barn door even if it was a bit in the past.

The finishing drills were going well with the squad suddenly paying a lot of attention when Jelle Vossen stepped up. Alex knew why and prayed that he scored. No such luck. Vossen skied his effort and club jokers Engels and Vanaken stood up pretending to hold microphones. “Well that is a wild effort from Vossen there you know” Engels started with.

“Yes it was” Vanaken continued on before pausing for effect. “You know many have said he would struggle to hit a barn door.”

“Surely not” Engels said looking horrified at the thought. “He is merely thinking of the animals” Engels and Vanaken bowed to laughter before sitting back down. Thankfully Vossen got the rest of his efforts on target and Alex guessed it would blow over in a couple of days and be forgotten as long as Vossen didn’t make a big deal of it.
Bloody kids ey =))
Looks like Vossen might want out if he knows how you feel about him!
Jack Yeah, who needs them?

AuthoR Yeah TBF he has been awful and if he was aiming at a barn I'm pretty sure it would be safe
Hahaha, glad you went with that mate! Nicely written as well, darn kids!!! :P
ninjaskill's avatar Group ninjaskill
3 yearsEdited


It had been a long flight to Turkey the day before, they had been able to get a quick training session on the pitch before heading back to the hotel to eat and sleep. Now they were heading back to the pitch and it was much louder this team than when they had been training as Fener fans lined the streets shouting and with flares around the team bus to try and intimidate the players. Alex decided the best thing to do for his players was looked calm so he simply talked tactics with Philippe as calmly as he could. He had found out a few days ago that Brugge lost a playoff to get into the CL to Fener which was not a good omen to him..



Alex went over the tactics again, above the noise of the crowd this time before his team walked out to what you could call a “Lively” atmosphere. He was almost unable to think as he walked to his technical area to watch the game.

Fenerbahce got the game underway and got the ball wide to Nani who was able to sprint past Meunier and hit in a cross but, it was poor and Butelle dived out and claimed the ball.

Less than two minutes later Alex looked on unhappily as Nani flew past Meunier to have space to hit in a cross. Densil headed the ball away but, only as far as Ozan. He passed to Markovic who was open six yards out. As Alex yelled for offside Markovic turned and shot. Joao Paulo dived in the way of the shot and the loose ball was smashed clear by Izquierdo. Alex called over Meunier as Brugge had a throw in high up in the Fener half. “You have to drop deeper or Nani will blast by you every time. Drop a bit so he can’t get past you but, not to deep so he can cut inside and shoot.” Alex was pretty sure none of it was taken in by him though.

Two minutes later Nani was in behind Meunier. He was flagged offside though and Butelle launched the free kick forwards. Brugge won the ball in midfield and twice Vanaken tried to get the ball wide to the left to get past the Fener right back. The third time he passed the ball wide Joao Paulo got in space and just cut the ball back to Izquierdo in the box. He took a couple of touches and Ozan sprinted over Izquierdo touched the ball inside and ran into Ozan and went down. Alex and the Brugge bench threw their hands up to claim a penalty. The referee looked set to ignore the claim until the linesman indicated for it and the referee provoked the wrath of the fans by pointing to the spot.

With normal penalty taker Timmy Simons on the bench Felipe Gedoz was the one who took the ball to have the chance to give Brugge a valuable away goal. He stepped up and hit the ball in statistically the place place to hit a penalty, the middle. Unfortunately, stats are useless and the goalie stayed in the middle and parried the shot before it was blasted out for a corner. It was probably a fair result and as the Fener fans celebrated Alex’s head was in his hands at the waste of such a good chance, especially to get an away goal. The corner was claimed by the keeper and Alex looked to the sky.

With Meunier staying deeper and Brugge unable to create anything on the counter the game went into half time 0-0 and very tight. “We’re defending well and keeping it tight which is good. We have to keep out concentration up as they have the ability to capitalise on a split second lapse. Up front we have to keep it simple no fancy tricks play the simple pass and move forward. Don’t overcommit though conceding on a counter is not acceptable.” An ineffective Vossen was pulled off for Pereira who Alex hoped could bully the Fenerbahce defence.

For the first fifteen minutes all was going to plan and Alex was pleased. His side were working hard and denying Fener the chance to get open near the goal. Erkin hit a throw in to Van Persie out wide and Alex could sense the trouble as it pulled Meunier wide and with one pass Nani was running at Zokora. Nani turned on the jets and breezed past Zokora before firing in a cross. It was an awful cross to defend and as it went past two Brugge defenders they couldn’t touch it or they would put it in their own goal. Just as it past by the real danger zone Markovic stuck a foot out and redirected the ball on target. Butelle dived out full stretch to try and reach the shot but, couldn’t and Markovic ran off celebrating as the noise in the stadium went off the scale.

“Come on keep your heads up. We score once and we are ahead.” Alex yelled from the sidelines although the roar of the crowd meant he doubted the bench heard what he said. From kickoff Brugge passed the ball around and tried playing it long to Pereira but, Fener easily won the ball back. Diego got the ball and no one came out to close him down so he ran unopposed from the halfway line to just outside the box. From there he payed the ball wide to Gokhan and he hit in a cross first time. Denswil didn’t react to Van Persie’s run for the ball and he was wide open six yards out and smashed the ball past the powerless Butelle. In just 71 seconds the game had gone from 0-0 to 2-0. Alex had warned his team about losing concentration and for the second goal half his team had.

After 5 minutes where Brugge offered little going forward Alex decided to go 4-4-2 and try and get an away goal despite the risk of conceding going up. He pulled off Zokora and put on N’Djeng after 66 minutes.

From the next goal kick Alex’s front two interacted as he hoped. N’Djeng heading the ball down for Pereira. He hit the ball back to Vanaken who played it wide to Gedoz. He cut inside and lay the ball back to Vanaken. He tried to return the pass to Gedoz but, Gedoz was pulled down by Kadalec to stop him receiving it. Alex was about to appeal for a foul until he saw Pereira had made a run and the ball had gone just where he had anticipated to put him 1 on 1 with the keeper. From a tight angle Pereira tried to find the near post and Alex could only watch as the ball bobbled inches wide of the post. Another good chance missed he thought.

After 71 minutes the risk of two upfront showed. Brugge lost the ball and it was hit to Nani at the halfway line. HE skinned three Brugge players and as he bore down on goal it looked like it could be a classic goal. His shot was poor though and Butelle easily held the effort. Almost a classic from Nani.

After 75 minutes Nani was played in again with a great pass by Volkan Sen. He copied Pereira and dragged his shot just wide of the far post and out for a goal kick. Butelle hit the free kick up to Gedoz and he beat a man before his pass was intercepted. The ball was as usual instantly hit to Nani. Just as he got up a head of steam Meunier slid in and the ball flew 20 yards into Ozan in the middle of the pitch. He took a couple of touches before playing the ball wide to Volkan Sem. He hit in a deep cross and Nani sprinted to get under the ball and he easily fired in at the back post to put Fener three goals ahead of Brugge. Alex pushed his team up as he figured the tie was all but, over if they didn’t get an away goal.

After 83 minutes Vanaken hit the ball wide to Joao Paulo he took the ball down and then fell down screaming in pain under the tackle of Gokhan. The ball was hit long and Butelle hit it out for a throw in so that Joao could receive treatment. Thierry raced onto the pitch and the second he got to Joao Paulo he signalled for a stretcher and a sub. Alex told De Bock to warm up and looked on in increasing concern as Joao’s leg was put into an inflatable cast and he was stretchered off. Thierry walked past with the stretcher and said. “Probably broken ankle off to the hospital to check. Probably done for the season.” Alex cursed as De Bock went on at left back. Joao had been in wonderful form and Alex knew how the pain of that injury and felt for Joao.

As the fourth officials board went up Fener pressed forwards again. Nani passed to Hasan Ali on the overlap and he had acres of space to whip in a cross. Fernando got his head to it and Butelle dived and got his fingertips to the ball to deflect it onto the bar. The ball bounced away and Denswil smashed it away. Fener just held onto the ball to end the game three goals up.



Alex had intended to launch into his team about losing concentration for the second goal but, he could see they were all drained and had given there all against a team that was undeniably better than his. There front five players earned more than everyone at Brugge including the youngsters and staff.

“We created enough we still have a chance” Alex said but the words were hollow and the players knew they were out barring a miracle.



Alex got a call from Thierry as he left the stadium. "He's just had an X-Ray it is a broken ankle so he will miss three months which is the rest of the season."

Alex swore loudly. "And Vanaken will miss just over a week with a head injury all of that for a 3-0 loss."



"Welcome to small club football." Was the response Alex got. "At least in Europe we are. We did well to get this far."

"True" Alex conceded "Anyway I'm about to run the gauntlet of fans talk later."
What an unfortunate result, better luck next time!
Unlucky mate, thought you could get a better result but there's always next time!
Lippo Thanks again, and what can I say I'm just an incredible comedic writer. Yeah annoying aren't they. I've heard.

AuthoR Yeah not thrilled by it, we have to improve in a bit of a rut.

mgriffin2012 Yeah thought we could have done better but, we just couldn't cope with Nani and he won them the game easily.


Alex was concerned about the lack of goals from his strikers. N’Djeng had one goal for Brugge as did Pereira while Vossen had only rarely found the net. Alex resolved to try and train to be more lethal and try and raise their morale. The best way for him to do that he felt was not to mention it to his kids who had enjoyed going to training so much that they wanted to go back and Alex was fine with it but, made sure never to say anything negative about his players at home.

Most of training on Saturday Alex spent with the forwards feeding them passes and having them finish first time or after a touch and it was clear to anyone watching they were in poor form. No matter what advice Alex gave most of the shots either missed the target of went straight at the keeper. Of the few that were a challenge to the GK they were mainly saved and very few of the shots went in which demoralised Alex. They had a solid defence but, if they could never score then there was so much pressure on the defence to keep a clean sheet.

Alex still had no faith in his strikers but, told them they had done well and his kids hadn’t told them what he really though so it was a successful training session from that point of view. All in all it hadn’t filled Alex with a lot of confidence ahead of Lokren but, a goal would possibly be enough for Brugge as they had a solid defence.

A more defensive approach was something Alex had talked over with Philippe where they might get less chances but, they would be of a higher quality. They decided against that as Alex would be on them missing when past the goalkeeper so the more the merrier was considered to be the best approach for trying to get a goal or two out of the game.

He wasn’t all that confident as they had almost no time to practice for the game or prepare as they had to come back from there game against Fener in Istanbul so they had one training session that was just stretching and getting loose before watching some quick film on Lokren.

The training today had not been encouraging and off of the back of 4 games without a win Alex was keen for a win to stop it from going to five in a row with out a win. After half an hour of some planning Alex went to hunt for his kids before heading back home and was thrilled to learn that they were playing hide and seek and could be anywhere inside of the building training complex. He knew that saying they had to leave would not get his kids from out from there hiding spots so with the help of Jake he set out to try and find his daughters so that he could head back home.

It took him longer than usual to find them as he didn’t know where they hid in the training centre as opposed to at the house where they were creature of habit for hide and seek. Seven minutes later they were found and within 15 minutes he was able to get them all into the car and head for home. An eventful car drive back with two fights some complaints about his taste in music and a stop to pick up some food for dinner. After they got back Alex looked forward to being able to relax for a couple of hours before going to sleep and the chaos of game day.

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