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The retirement of Alex Taylor

Started on 15 May 2016 by ninjaskill
Latest Reply on 14 October 2016 by ninjaskill
Good update, hopefully you can get rid of the poor run of form!

Pesky kids...
AuthoR Thanks, yeah if it goes a couple of games longer will be a real concern.

You sound like a scooby doo villian :P
Alex sat on the bench as the rain poured over the pitch to remind him of his time playing in England. The game was quiet and incident free until Simons took out Machalch after 15 minutes, and despite the howls from the Lokren bench he didn’t get booked. Jaja played the ball wide and the two wide players on the left interplayed with the ball Melinjak found some space just inside the 18 yard box and fired in a cross. Machach made a late run into the box and hit a first time volley that was too powerful for Butelle to parry away from the goal. Brugge were down and Alex felt a goal wasn’t too likely from them.

After 33 minutes Ebert stood over a free kick out wide for Brugge. Alex groaned as it was headed clear by the first man and Lokren countered. Meunier cut out a through ball but, the second one by Harbaoui played in Patosi. He took a touch and shot, Butelle dived down low to his left to force the ball behind for a corner. It was a good save and Alex applauded it along with the rest of the fans.

After 49 minutes Lokren had another corner. Melnjak whipped in a low corner to the near post. Jaja got the step on his man and was able to redirect the ball on target and add some power to it. Brugge would have been two goals down but, the shot hit De Bock on the post who knew very little about it and Vanaken hit the loose ball away into the Lokren half.

With just one minute of added time Brugge’s corner would likely be the last act of the half. Denswil’s corner was headed clear. Meunier picked the ball up and hit it back out to Denswil, he hit a cross in first time. 18 yards out in beat everyone until Izquierdo stretched out and got a toe on the ball. It rolled slowly goalwards and perfectly played in Vossen. 1 on 1 twelve yards out he fired a powerful shot past the keeper that gave him no chance and ran off celebrating by doing a chicken dance and giving himself bull’s horns that had Alex laughing along with most of the Brugge players and baffled the supporters.

Seconds later it was half time. “So having established that Jelle most definitely could hit a barn door we are level in the game. We have been second best and we are level so if you can press on and move up a gear then we can end the day with three more points and be that bit closer to playing in Europe again next year.”

5 minutes after half time Vormer stood over a free kick for Brugge with Ebert being sacked from them after his last delivery. It was hit in well and Izquierdo chested the ball down and then tried to poke the ball past the keeper. The keeper spread himself well to smother the shot and the chance was missed.

The next 25 minutes were dull and with 15 minutes left Lokren stood over a free kick out wide. Melnjak hit the ball into the box and Denswil headed it out. Lokren got the ball and passed it around just outside the box and Patosi slipped in Harbaoui. He took a touch and Butelle raced out of his goal. He managed to blocked the shot with his leg. Melnjak stopped the ball going out just but, couldn’t shoot. He cut the ball back to Abdurahimi and from six yards out he fired a shot goal bound until Butelle dived across to tip the effort away. The rebound fell right to Melnjak. He shot first time but somehow Butelle had got up and the shot thudded into his chest. He then dived at the feet of Melnjak to smother the ball and end the chance. Alex couldn’t believe the teams were still level Butelle had pulled off 1 great save and two world class ones to keep the teams level and the fans showed their appreciation as he got to his feet and looked to move the ball along.

With just over 5 minutes left Lokren pressed forwards from a kick upfield from an offside call. They worked the ball wide and Abdurahimi had lots of space to hit in a cross. From twelve yards out Harbaoui fired a volley across his body. Butelle dived down low and produced another stunning save to tip the ball behind for a corner.

A few minutes later the game ended and Butelle had somehow managed to ensure that Brugge got a point with one of the best performances that he had ever seen from a keeper that saw him justly get the man of the match award.

Alex was asked in the press conference about Butelle’s performance. “It was stunning some of his saves late on in the game where incredible and it has to be up there with one of the best ever performances that I have ever seen from a goalkeeper. I don’t think anyone could have scored against him the way that he was playing in the second half.”

“And what was Jelle Vossen’s odd celebration where he seemed to be barnyard animals about. It clearly amused the players and staff including you.”

“Umm… it was just part of a joke between player and staff and his celebration reflected that. Everyone has inside jokes and this is one for the players and staff here.
Tough draw there
MJK46 Yeah would have liked to win but, given how busy Butelle was more than happy to leave the game with a point.
Alex had a decision to make, should he go with his best line up against Fenerbahce in the hopes of pulling off a miracle and somehow getting to the semi finals or should he rest his best players keeping a couple on the bench in case things looked like they would go well.

His teams league form had becoming poor and having his players fit to play against KRC Genk would give them the best chance of getting the win and trying to get into Europe next year. It was a tough choice he also considered that if he played a full line up vs Fener and they did go out then they would have enough time to get match fit before the rest of the games they would have more time to re-gain their fitness.

Another reason to play his full team was that they were his best players and they lost 3-0 so the odds of a back up team not getting hammered by the same amount and making the aggregate score humiliating was also a risk that Alex had to consider. A big loss would be embarrassing and would be a blow to the morale of everyone at the club making finding there form again more of a challenge. If Fener thought they had all ready got through then maybe Alex’s side could win the match if not the the aggregate score the win would still likely be a boost to morale especially as it would be over a very good team.

Alex decided to name the best team he had available to him and while they wouldn’t be reckless he would encourage them to attack Fener and see if they could cause them to crack. With that decided Alex talked over the line up with Philippe and had his strong lineup he would tell the players off on Wednesday.

Alex enjoyed a much calmer drive back home without his kids in the car and picked up a bit of speed on the way back to Beernam. His kids were out playing football when Alex got back and he joined them in the garden helping Jake fire the boys to a 13-11 win in a tightly contested game against the girls before they all went in to eat.
Good luck against Fener!
Justice Thanks going to need it

Alex went for an almost full strength line up only changing Engels for Mechele as Engels needed a break. Simons was also in the squad in place of Zokora although those two regularly swapped given their ages.

After 3 minutes Fener had a corner that was cleared out of the box. It fell to Nani and he ran past three Brugge defenders. Beating the last player Nani was in on goal from 6 yards out. He fired a shot away that beat Butelle and smashed off of the bar and bounced away and was cleared.

Just before the half hour mark Diego chipped the ball over to Nani. He received the ball in behind the defence but, had to cut back just before the ball went out for a goal kick. He dribbled away from goal and despite some good options available to him, Nani was Nani and fired a shot that went way over the bar and out for a goal kick.

As Alex’s side went into half time 3 down and Alex knew that his side was out of Europe. “Come on we may not be able to win the tie but, we can at least win the game. There are 22,000 people out there cheering you on make them proud.” Not the most inspirational thing he had said but, he hoped that his team would get the win.

8 minutes after half time and Fener were on the attack again. The ball was given to Diego 30 yards out and he turned past his man and slipped in Van Persie. He took a touch and tried to beat Butelle at his near post. Butelle pushed the ball away and out for the corner.

A nil-nil draw was all Alex side could get out of the game. Niether side could hit the target was the main issue. Fener managed it 3 times from 17 shots and Brugge once from seven attempts.

It was also three injuries from two games against Fener as Leonardo Pereira was ruled out for 3 weeks with a chest injury from a poor aerial challenge.

Alex watched on as yet again his strikers were all ineffective in games and this time training he had pencilled in his entire team except for striker. No one that he had tried in the position had been effective so far and Pereira was injured but, had also been ineffective in the role.

Vossen was the best paid of his strikers and having played 12 times for Belgium before Brugge signed him he was supposed to be the star of the team and for the first couple of months he had been. Recently he had lost all form and was rarely scoring although out of everyone that Alex had put up front Vossen had been the best although he was nothing like free scoring.

Yannick N’Djeng had been signed to add goals and take over from Vossen but, had only scored once again Zulte Wagrem and his physical style was easily combatted by defenders although he was still the best at holding the ball up to play it to onrushing midfielders. N’Djeng unlike Vossen and Pereira had rarely been able to get into positions to miss or hit the goalkeeper. That made him the least useful of his strikers as Alex as he seemed unlikely to be able to find a goal or two to get him back into form.

Leonardo Pereira was unable to play but he had seen the most chances of any of the Brugge forwards per game and played the least. He had missed all of them except one during Alex’s first game in charge. His inability to finish though was troubling and he also wasn’t averse to pulling the trigger when it wasn’t warranted. Even then he was rarely close to the target. Alex wasn’t able to consider him for selection but, wasn’t sure that he would choose to do so given the chance.

Abdoulay Diaby was his fourth choice and hadn’t played under Alex yet although given the failings of the three players ahead of him Alex was considering giving him a chance despite his coaches not rating him highly and Alex was unable to agree with them as he hadn’t looked great in training. He could hardly do worse in game than those ahead of him in Alex’s view. His return of 5 goals from 14 games before he arrived wasn’t to bad and Alex had been told he was playing out wide for a couple of games making it a better scoring ration up front.

His final choice was Wesley who had moved to Brugge in the summer. A young Brazilian he had played five games and was yet to find the target for Brugge and alongside Alex’s belief that he wasn’t good enough for the first team yet meant that Alex would only use him in a last case scenario.

Going over all of his options didn’t help Alex’s confidence as he felt that none of the options that he had were good enough for them to grab goals consistently which was needed to fire them up the league which was all they had left.

After much arguing with himself Alex decided on the name he was going to put down for the role. Although he still didn’t think that any of his options were top quality he would have to pick one of them and he felt that his choice was the best option.
Hopefully you can get a better striker in the next transfer window and whoever is the key you are choosing plays good for you in that role
MJK Yeah it is plan one for the transfer window to get a good effective striker who can do well for us.
Alex had decided on Abdoulay Diaby to lead the line against KRC Genk despite him not having been on the pitch since the winter break. He was a speedy enough operator and Alex hoped that he could use his speed to create some chances. He was unhappy when he heard this question.

“Abdoulay Diaby is on a fairly lengthy run without scoring a goal; can he break his his hoo doo here today?”

What Alex thought no one had mentioned that. Absolutely none of his players were in form in front of goal. He realised that his answer had to be more diplomatic. “He has been training well and I am confident that he can score and play a big part in a good performance today.”

He went back into the dressing room to give his final words of advice. “We haven’t been in great form recently but, we can kick on with a good performance and a win here.”

Alex took his seat next to Philippe and watched on as the game got underway. Alex almost fell asleep in the first half hour as both sides proved incapable of creating a decent change of having a shot on target. A long ball into the Brugge box was headed away by Denswil and fell to Buffel who chipped a pass in behind De Bock. As De Bock turned he realised that Kivrakidis was in behind him and about to get onto the ball. He just stuck his foot out to take him down. The referee instantly pointed to the spot and Alex couldn’t complain about it. But, he still did trying to sway the officials.

Butelle took his time getting on his line and ready to face the penalty to try and ratchet up the pressure. Buyens stepped up and fired the ball into the bottom corner. Despute Butelle diving the right way he had no chance and Brugge were behind and needed a goal which wasn’t good for a team with struggles like theirs in front of goal.

Vanaken stood over a free kick just in the Genk half two minutes later. He just squared the ball to Engels who played it wide to Meunier. He ran up the wing and played a 1-2 with Ebert. After skipping past his man he passed the ball back to the open Ebert, he took a touch and hit in a cross that Izquierdo blasted into the roof of the goal from close range. Alex punched the air as his side was level and not surprisingly the scorer wasn’t a striker,

The sides went into half time level and Alex exhorted his side to try and find the winner and be more accurate with their shots and try not to blast away from long range.

His players had clearly ignored him Alex surmised as the team seemed to be competing to see who could miss by further from 30 yards out. At least a couple of the Brugge efforts had worried their keeper. Butelle may as well have been planning his holidays for the summer.

Just after the hour mark Genk brought the ball down from a goal kick and moved quickly up the wing. An overlap gave Buyens space to cross in and he hit Kiyrakidis perfectly. Six yards out he took a touch before firing goalwards and right into Denswil’s thigh. The ball bounced away and was booted out for a throw in to keep it safe.

After the realisation that someone had actually done something smart the teams both recovered from the shock by firing away again form 30 yards. A battle Brugge won but, not by scoring just by having one effort on target. The game ended without another goal and the sides were level.

“What was with all the stupid shots from long range. When we got the ball down and tried to pass it round we looked good then you would waste it by smashing a shot way over from 30 yards. Decisions like that are why we haven’t won in 7 games and if you play like that against Anderlecht then I expect that it will be 8 games in a row without a win.”

The table looked quite bad and Alex knew that a defeat to Anderlecht would make it a lot harder for them to get into the second Champions League spot.

Hopefully you can beat Anderlecht!
Champions League might just be a dream atm mate :(

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