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The retirement of Alex Taylor

Started on 15 May 2016 by ninjaskill
Latest Reply on 14 October 2016 by ninjaskill
Unlucky in the Europa League, but it was a great experience for the players, I'm sure!
Soze Thanks, going to be a poor season if we don't.

Griffin One win and we are back in it as we still have to face everyone again.

Justice Yeah hope it helps. Have to go up a level to compete in Europe this late on in the season
Alex was watching training on Friday with two days to go before the game against Anderlecht. Training was going well and in a scrimmage Vossen and N’Djeng had both scored for their sides. Alex wasn’t sure if he should be pleased they scored or distraught his defence’s had allowed them to. Alex’s phone started to buzz in his pocket and he almost hung up as he didn’t recognize the number but figured he could watch the game from while on the phone.


“Hi” A polite but, frazzled voice responded. “Is this Alex Taylor?”

“Yep.” Alex guessed cold caller for PPI. Did they have that in Belgium he wondered. The next sentence concentrated him.

“Your son Jake fell in the playground and hurt his arm quite badly he is on his way to the hospital.” Alex turned to try and get Philippe’s attention.

“What hospital is he at and how bad is it?”

“The hospital is just past the school third left then first right and you are there. Don’t know how bad it is.”

“Okay, cheers. I have to go I’ll get to the hospital ASAP.” Philippe came over. “Philippe I’ve got to go Jake’s at the hospital. Can you take the rest of practice?”

“Yeah sure.” He quickly replied. “Hope he is fine” He added as Alex turned and headed for his car. A 45 minute drive that Alex managed to cut to 30 with liberal use of the accelerator he got to the hospital and then had to spend five minutes trying to find a parking spot.

“Why isn’t there valet parking at a hospital!?” Alex yelled in frustration. He finally found a spot and entered the hospital. He then had to sit and wait as he was told Jake had broken his arm and it was being realigned. After nearly an hour of waiting Jake came into the room sporting a bright green cast. He then almost picked up a number of broken ribs as he was bearhugged by Rachael. Alex gave him a less crushing hug and ruffled his hair.

“What happened, who was involved, are you hurt, how long will the cast be on?” Jake wilted under the bombardment of questions but, they were all soon answered a fall playing football during lunch had broken it and he was in some pain but less than earlier. The doctor said the cast would likely be on for a month and after some paperwork was signed they were free to go. Leaving the hospital Jake went with Alex and he decided to stop back off at the training centre after they had stopped for ice cream.

Alex headed back and with Jake watched the very end of practice. Philippe came over and updated him quickly on what he had missed, not a lot strikers returned to being allergic to scoring goals. He then talked to Jake about his injury and showed off an impressive number of scars from injuries that he had gained during his playing days, and one from skiing when drunk skiing. He then signed his cast and after practice the rest of the Brugge players followed suit.

Jake was pleased with his cast and Alex was pleased that all of his players had taken Jake demanding that Felipe Gedoz signed first so good naturedly. For the rest of the day Jake enjoyed the perks of a broken arm things done for you, the signing and most usefully to him something solid to hit sister’s with.

After Jake finally found a comfortable way to get to sleep Alex was finally able to relax a bit after a stressy day and look forward to taking his team without a win in seven games away to Anderlecht in a game that could define their season.

For being the least awful striker Alex went with Jelle Vossen up front in the game. Ebert and Gedoz were the wide men as Izquierdo had been inconsistent. The much heralded Youri Tielmans.

The first half was a repeat of the last game. Both team smashed off efforts from range and missed almost everyone of them. Brugge had missed with 3 efforts and Anderlcht had shot 10 times and only one save for Butelle that was simple. “The next person who takes a dumb long shot is getting fined. Let them do it and gift us goal kicks and possession don’t get suckered into doing it as well. N’Djeng you are going on for Zokora, try and use your hold up play to let us get closer to goal.

Alex’s side heeded his threat and didn’t shoot from range while Anderlecht shot from range and got a second shot on target. After 65 minutes Meunier thundered into a tackle on Tielmans to win the ball back for Burugge. The ball fell to Vanaken and he chipped a ball up to Vossen. He ran with it and passed to N’Djeng. He passed between the two CB’s and Gedoz ran onto the ball in the box and fired a low first time shot just inside the far post to put Brugge ahead. The stadium was silent apart from a small contingent of Brugge fans who Gedoz sprinted over to celebrate with.

Alex put on Timmy Simons for Vossen to help them see the game out with the lead intact. Anderlecht responded by missing some more long shots. With five minutes left Simons was teed up on the edge of the box but, his powerful shot was blocked and went out for a corner. It was headed away for another corner.

Vormer stood over it and whacked a ball into the middle of the box. N’Djeng lost his man and rose high into the air. He powered a header that hit off the post. It bounced down and hit the man on the post in the head and then hit off the hand of the keeper and went in. Alex had seen a luckier goal but, he wasn’t complaining.

N’Djeng turned away from the box and ran over to the Brugge fans before turning to point to his name on his jersey. He was able to do this for a split second before Engels and Gedoz took him down to celebrate. Alex had the same happen to him. He hoped it would kick start N’Djengs time at Brugge.

A few minutes later three bursts of the whistle confirmed that Alex was 2 wins from 2 Der Klassiker’s, both of them away as well.
Get in! Great result for Club Brugge!
What a result! Get in!
Justice Yeah thrilled with the win and it was a very important one
The Der Klassiker win had been a boost to the morale of the squad and training in the week after had been a much happier affair than when they were on the long run without a win. After a good training session Alex had gone over to where the youth teams trained and played to watch the under 19’s play.

Alex was happy with what he saw good play and a comfortable 3-1 win with the 16 year old Arnaud Sabbe scoring two goals with some good finishes. A midfielder had impressed him as well but, when Alex enquired about his future he was told that he was able to dominate the midfield in Under 19 games he looked poor when he was in with the under 21’s so the coaches were holding off on judging him.

Sabbe on the other hand had just made his debut for the under 19’s and the youth coaches were impressed with what he had done two goals and he had been training well adding some strength which Alex thought was needed. The youth coaches felt that in time he could become a very good player for Club Brugge and one of the best strikers in the Belgian League if he continued to train well and avoided significant injuries. He had looked ruthless in front of goal for his first goal he calmly slipped the ball past the keeper and for his second he was in the right place to fire a rebound in past the prone goal keeper and man on the line.

Alex liked what he had seen of Sabbe and made a note to check on his progress as often as he could. “Hell” he thought “with the form his strikers were in Alex may as well just give him a start he could hardly do any worse than his current crop of strikers were doing in front of goal.”

He does still have a way to go but, with good youth facilities and coaches he could definitely reach his potential at the club and may well end up being to good for the Belgian leagues as he gets older and force Brugge to cash in on him.

Pleased with what he had seen at the youth game Alex headed back home. When he got back he had a look at the news and got a shock. Westerlo had changed manager but that wasn’t the shock. He was listed along with two other managers as the most likely to be sacked in the near future. While the odds were 7-1 Alex was still surprised to see his name on the list. While Brugge had been in some poor form for the last couple of games he had lead them well in the Europa League with good wins over Braga and Basel. He felt he had done a good job in the league he had guided them into the Championship group from 8th and they were sitting in third place after a win over Anderlecht.

After a while the shock wore off Alex realised that the board still had faith in him and it was what they though not betting companies that mattered and would decide his future at the club.

Still he was concerned heading into a rivalry game against run away leaders AA Gent.
Sabbe is going to be world class for you, I can feel it
Sabbe looks amazing, looking good for the future!
MJK46 Hope your right he could turn into a very good player if he develops well.

OlleM13 Yeah what can I say Belgian club good youngsters guarenteed as a result.
This was the first home rivalry game Alex had been in charge of and it was against 11 point leaders AA Gent, and that was after the points had been halved.

N’Djeng’s goal had earned him the start against AA while Mechele stepped in for Engels and Simons started. He would have to contend with AA’s star man M’Bark Boussoufa who had been tearing up the Belgian league and was a big contender for Belgian Player of the Year.

Brugge got the game underway in a jam packed and very loud Jan Breydel Stadiumthe fans were willing his side on to win the local derby. After 8 minutes Gedoz got the fans on their feet with a great run that was ended when he was tripped to win Brugge a free kick. Gedoz stood over the free kick and whipped in a cross Mitrovic reached up to head the ball away but, he mistimed his jump and the ball passed over him and on. The ball kept going and De Bock stuck out his foot and the ball changed angles and slipped just inside the post to put Brugge ahead. De Bock celebrated his first goal for Brugge wildly and the stadium got even louder.

Nothing happened for the next half hour as Gent fouled away and Alex complained about the lack of bookings. At forty minutes Gent had committed 10 fouls. Soon after De Bock had a throw in deep in the Gent half. De Bock played a 1-2 with Simons then cut the ball back to Vanaken on the edge of the box. The ball was played out wide to Meunier he ran into empty space and hit in a cross. N’Djeng and his man went down in the box to howls of protests from the Brugge fans. The ball rolled on though and Gedoz fired in a simple tap in from 5 yards out. The stadium exploded again as Gedoz pulled off an impressive flip to celebrate. Alex was thrilled as well. He wasn’t getting sacked in the morning.

Gent kicked off and kept hold of the ball for a bit. Kums started to dictate play in the Brugge half. The ball was played wide to Wikhiem and he slid the ball inside to Boussoufa. He took a touch and turn. Despite the tight angle and Butelle’s effort the ball nestled in the back of the net as Boussoufa had hit a shot just inside of the far post. Alex was annoyed as he had hoped to go in two up at halftime and silenced the crowd.

“Come on that has to be a booking.” Alex yelled as N’Djeng was taken down by Nielsen. A foul was given and that was it. N’Djeng wasn’t getting up though and instantly signalled for a sub. Thierry went on and agreed. Vossen replaced him with seconds left in the half.

“We can do this the stadium is buzzing get out there get the fans back into the game and get the win.” Alex made a second change Mechele had been poor and was replaced by Engels who Alex had more faith in.

Two minutes into the half Brugge had a corner and Alex saw something. “Hit in now” He screamed. He was pretty sure Vanaken didn’t here him but saw the same thing. He hit in the corner deep where Engels had no one within six yards of him. Engels jumped high in the air and hit a header back across goal, over the keeper and in. Engels was off celebrating another goal, for a centre back he scored a ton of goals he had 12 in 55 games for Brugge. The stadium erupted again as Brugge regained there two goal lead.

Ten minutes later Gent had a throw in deep in the Brugge half. It was thrown into the box to Depoitre. Simons went to close him down and when he got near Depoitre hit the ground and to the shock of the Brugge fans the ref pointed to the spot. Alex let the fourth official know what he made of the call as Boussoufa stepped up. Butelle guessed the correct side but could do nothing about the pen which flew into the top corner.

After 58 minutes Brugge had another corner. Vormer whipped it in and Vanaken rose high above everyone else and powered a header. It looked to be going in but, thudded off of the post and was booted into row z by a defender.

With ten minutes left all was looking good to Alex they still had the lead and weren’t letting Gent push up at all. Genk pushed forwards and suddenly Meunier and Boussoufa were racing for a loose ball. Meunier got there first and went down in pain when Boussoufa slid in late for it. Yet again Alex was perplexed by the lack of a booking and then concerned when Meunier failed to get up and his face was screwed up in pain. Thierry went on and signalled for a sub. Cools made a quick warm up and was on at right back for the last ten minutes.

With 3 minutes left Brugge had a throw in up in the Genk half. De Bock threw it in to Vanaken who played it across the pitch to Ebert. He took a touch and played in Vossen. One on one to win the game Vossen shot and his shot flashed past the post and out for a goal kick.

It didn’t matter as Alex’s side held on to beat last years Champions and almost certainly this years champions. A good win over a rival and Alex was pleased.

The result combined with the loss by OHL pushed Club Brugge up to 2nd place one point ahead of OHL and two of Anderlecht.

Alex went to go and see Thierry about the injuries his team had suffered. “How bad were they?” He asked

“Both of them have the same thing.”

“Is that good news or bad.” A nervous Alex asked.

“Neither really. Both will miss 6-7 weeks with sprained ankles so not to bad. They are likely done for the season as a result.”

“Damn, oh well what can you do?” Alex asked rhetorically.

Brilliant victory over Gent!
Alex was facing his first big interview after he had been appointed manager. FourFourTwo had been in contact and the club had encouraged him to take the interview as it was a chance to increase the profile of the club in Britain through the interview. After a couple of photos where Alex felt self coconscious as he pointed at nothing while a photographer told him other things to do after that which was even worse. After that they headed to his office for the interview.

He was given a brief run down of the fan in the interview first a brief look at his playing career then to his management career and then he would be called back with questions taken from twitter and sent in from readers to answer.

The interview was started. “Your playing career was a decent one and you are known for having the worst goal for England of all time. What do you think about the goal?”

Alex laughed thinking back to the goal. “Well the context is what makes it so important at 4-0 San Marino are a threat but, at 5-0 they are killed off. It was an awful goal from an aesthetic point of view but, for me it is a great goal as it meant I scored for my country which was something that I had dreamed off as a kid and I was thrilled to do it.”

“You had a nomadic playing career representing a number of clubs in the Premier League, then a move to Qatar before two years at your home town club getting them promoted. What was your proudest moment as a player?”

Alex had to think over that one for a while. There were some good escapes from relegation, the promotion with his home club at Wembley in his final professional game was nice and there were trophies in Qatar. But, there was an easy win. “The League Cup win with Middlesbrough. It was the only top trophy I won and I was gone by the UEFA Cup final so it has to be that. A lot of good moments and some bad ones but, that is the best moment by far.”

“So now onto your managing career. Why did you decide to go into management?”

Alex decided to lie here as because I was bored wasn’t a great answer. “I did a number of courses when I was playing and got experience coaching in Qatar and Shrewsbury which I enjoyed so I decided to go for it. When Brugge offered me the job I was over the moon.” The last part at least was true.

“A good run in Europe and looking good in the league. What are your plans for the future? England?”

“Well it is a bit soon for that I think. I’m happy in Brugge and Belgium right now and my family are settled. I’m really happy right now and while as a manger you can never look to long term I would like to be here for the foreseeable future. Unless I’m offered the England job.”

“What has been the biggest struggle of managing?”

“Getting a striker to score” Alex joked before realising he said it to a journalist. “Can we cut that from the interview?” Alex was relieved to see a nod “Well just managing players and keeping everyone happy and focused on the tasks at hand despite everything going on around them. It is a tough task but, I would never quit it.”

The journalist looked satisfied. “Great that’s my questions over then just need some from our reader’s. (Cough, cough) I’ll ask you them later.

If the cough wasn’t enough Alex will be answering questions asked soon.

Herro Arex, Tuong Lu Kim, Shitty news – Your shide shits shecond, ereven points behind Gent, forrowing your derby win. Do you think you can horld onto that position despite the injuries sustained in that match?

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