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The retirement of Alex Taylor

Started on 15 May 2016 by ninjaskill
Latest Reply on 14 October 2016 by ninjaskill

Alex settled in for the longest drive he had faced so far as Brugge manager 1 hour and 41 minutes to get to Leuvan home of the biggest alcohol company in the world. Alex may sneak some samples back with him.

His side was the same as the one that ended the game against AA Gent to take on the biggest surprise in Belgian football this year OHL. A win would go a long way to consolidating third while a loss would see them drop out of second.

After 17 minutes of not a lot happening Alex was able to bring down a long clearance by OHL with a wonderful touch to the biggest cheer of the game. Cools took the throw in to Ebert who backheeled the ball to Vanaken. He passed to Vormer who returned it. Vanaken chipped a ball over the left back to Ebert who ran into lots of space to hit in a cross. It was cleared out of the box and Ebert chased it down. From 30 yards out on the wing he hit in a shot/cross to the back post. Izquierdo sprinted to catch up with the ball and rose at the back post. He powered his header in past the helpless keeper and Brugge were ahead. Alex was pleased he side were scoring more now but, knew there was aa long time to go.

After 35 minutes Brugge had a corner. They had caused chaos from set pieces last time so Alex was hopeful. Vormer hit it in and Denswil flicked the ball on at the near post. Engels volleyed it at the back post and Alex was about to celebrate when it smashed into the stomach of the man on the line winding him but, stopping a goal and the ball was scrambled away by OHL.

Alex was pleased with the lead at half time and let his team know. He also pulled off a tired looking Ebert for Gedoz who Alex hoped could be a big impact sub.

With nothing happening after an hour Alex put Zokora on to give Simons a rest which the 39 year old looked to need. Eight minutes later there was something interesting. OHL played some nice football out wide and Cerigioni got in behind Cools to open up a nice opportunity. He hit in a cross and Trosssard jumped up to sidefoot volley the ball past Butelle. He ran off to celebrate until he saw the linesman’s flag was up. A correct offside call that Alex applauded.

With 13 minutes left OHL had a throw in deep in the Brugge half. Torssard got on the ball 25 yards out and was easily able to turn and pass to Remacle who was wide in the box. He hit in a cross that Alex dreamt of as a striker. Ojo got on the end of it and finished it as Alex always wanted to. A thumping header that left the keeper no chance. It was a great header but, it forced Alex to change his plan Abdoulay Diaby went on as Brugge went 4-4-2.

When Brugge got a throw in deep in the Brugge half he motioned al his players forwards as there were just 3 minutes left. De Bock threw it in and the ball bounced over Zokora’s foot and was hoofed clear. Aleex was worried for the counter but, Denswil got up high and headed the ball up to Izquierdo. He played the ball inside to Vanaken who hit it wide to De Bock instantly. De Bock was wide open and took a touch before hitting a cross into the “corridor of uncertainty”. Two defenders could only watch the ball pass by for fear of scoring an own goal. Gedoz was happy to hit the ball and did, firing in to give Brugge the late goal. Alex celebrated with his staff and the bench before telling his players to be organised at the back.

Brugge pushed forwards two minutes later. Zokora passing up to Diaby who played the ball on to Vossen. He passed back and Diaby played the ball to Izquierdo. With poor runs denying him a pass and the defence being way back Alex wanted him to take it to the corner to kill time. From over 25 yards out Izquiero instead smashed a low shot towards goal. It was the perfect shot powerful and went in just inside the far post out of reach of the keeper. It was a tremendous goal and Izquierdo looked thrilled as he ran off to the corner flag where he did some awful dancing to celebrate.

As the added time went up OHL had a corner they hit in. Denswil headed it out and Cerigioni got the ball. He hit in a great cross and Kanu powered a header in, again offside though. That correct stopped any chance of a comeback and Alex’s side had another win and a bit more of a grip on second place.

A good win over an over performing OHL side that were dangerous.

They now had a better hold on second place with a two point lead over Anderlecht. It also meant if they dropped any points then AA Gent would be back to back league winners.

Ebert had complained that his hamstring was sore when he came on and later Thierry said he had pulled it and would miss 4 weeks, or the rest of the season. “Another one bites the dust.” Alex thought Ebert had missed a lot of the season for Brugge despite supposedly not being injury prone.

Also questions still welcome
Great result against a team that have been doing okay!
Superb result, almost cemented your place in second position!
1 hour and 41 minutes sounds like my commute on a good day hahaha. Great update
You seem to be having zero luck with injuries at the wrong time of the year, lets hope you can push through it though!
Superb performance pal!!
Jack Yeah, pleased with the result, would have preferred a less tense win though :P

Justice Hopefully, but we still have to play some tough teams so have to keep up our good form.

MJK Move to Belgium then seems you can reach anywhere that quick. Along with that Chocolate and lots of Alcohol what more could you want

Lippo Yeah not been great but better than what the manager before me had.

BeanyUnited Thanks, pleased with how we did

With all of the injuries that they had suffered Alex was pleased to see that one player was away from the physio and back on the training ground. Leonardo Pereira had recovered from his chest injury and would be fit to face Anderlecht at home in a big game for second place and pride as it was against rivals.

Alex went to Thierry to get an update on how his injured players were getting on and if he would be able to get any of them back before the end of the season. “Thierry, your unfortunately quite busy I’m guessing but, do you have some time to go over how everyone is doing.”

Thierry did looked tired from all his work but, agreed to talk with Alex. “First up and longest term is Joao Paulo and he is recovering at a good pace that we would expect. It was a bad injury though and there is no chance he will play for this season so the goal is getting him ready for pre season which he should be fit for as long as he suffers no set backs.”

“Okay” Alex responded “De Bock is more than good enough to cover but, if we lose him we are in trouble.

Thierry continued “Meunier will probably be fit at most a week after the end of the season but, I would be shocked if his ankle was up to playing in the last game if it is absolutely desperate then you could maybe use him but, unless he is one of 11 fit players I wouldn’t.”

“So rule him out for the season then?” Alex asked. A nod confirmed it. Alex knew it was likely when he went down but, the confirmation made it annoying. “So the same for N’Djeng as it was the same injury and the same game.”

“Yeah pretty much” Thierry confirmed “He is slightly more likely to be ready. Just a day or two before though he will also not be ready for the final game.”

“Not a massive loss though” Alex thought. “Oh well, I have enough options upfront would still like to be able to add him to it though.” Was what he actually said.

“Ebert is the only one who has a chance of playing, and even then it would just be the final match. It depends on his recovery time exactly but, he has a decent chance of being ready for the final game. Even if he is though I would limit his time, I’ll be able to say more exactly nearer the time.”

“Okay” Alex mulled it over “Given all of his injuries I don’t think that I will risk him if I don’t have to. Thanks for the update.” After some small talk Alex turned and headed back to his office. He crossed the names off of his depth chart.

The position where he had the most concern was right back without Meunier. He had a choice between the youngster Cools who hadn’t played much of De Fauw who was another old player who hadn’t featured under Alex. After a couple minutes of contemplation Alex decided that Cools would be the one he would entrust with the right back spot.

Alex had more than enough strikers and wasn’t overly concerned about losing one striker. Ebert rotated with Gedoz and Izquierdo on the wings so they could start and it would be fine there. At left back De Bock had done well since Paulo was injured and Alex had to hope that he could keep the form up as he had no other first teamer who could play there so he would have to promote a youth team player. All in all he would have preferred to have his players fit but, he felt that his team should be able to cope.

Way too many injuries man
MJK Yeah annoying but at least I have cover for all the positions so far. Any more knocks and it is big trouble

It was Alex’s first home Der Klassiker and he was hoping to make it 3 wins from 3 in it. With the injuries involved his team was pretty standard. Simons played at DM while January signing Santamaria made his debut, Alex did consider that it was a big game but, hd faith in the young Frenchman to do well.

After ten minutes Anderlecht had the ball with Tielemans in space in the middle of the pitch. He hit a good pass out to the left where Trezequet had swapped wings. He cut inside and passed back to Tielemans. He hit the ball out to Sylla who held it up and slipped a pass back to Tielemans in the box. He took a touch then fired a powerful effort in past Butelle at the near post. Alex was annoyed but, Butelle coulnd’t have done much. Tielemans had shown his quality.

After 17 minutes Gedoz went on a good run and whipped in a cross that was headed out for the corner. Gedoz stood over the ball and hit in a free ick to the middle of the box. In a pack of players Engels rose the highest and powered a header into the top corner. Alex couldn’t believe how often Engels scored, more than most of his strikers. Engels ran off to celebrate and turned to point to his name for the fans to shout.

The game became cagey and not a lot happened until the 40th minute. Defour had the ball in space and played the ball up to striker Okaka. He had space to turn and play in Tielemans and did just that. Alex appealed for offside as he thought it was. Tieleman raced in and Alex felt he showed a lack of a scorer’s instinct as he took an extra touch so Butelle moved closer and blocked the shot with his leg and Denswil hammered away the rebound.

Alex led his team into half time level. In the dressing room you could still here the fans and Alex decided to use it to help him. “You can here all those fans, right now they want nothing more than for you to win. They pay for all of us to be here, we have more fans and louder fans than any other team now go and show them why they should be proud to be Brugge fans and get the win.

Despite some changes in the second half Alex was annoyed as his side created very little. Just as Alex was thinking over his final change after 72 minutes a Imoh Ezekiel picked up the ball out wide. He used a combination of pace and strength to bully his way past three defenders and get in on goal. From a tight angle his shot was poor and Butelle held the shot with a diving save.

After that the game petered out and neither side had a chance to try and claim a winner and it ended with a 1-1 draw. Alex felt mixed emotions over the result. He was pleased to have avoided defeat and not lose to Anderlecht. They also had another point towards second place although OHL won to close the gap. He was annoyed at not winning at home to a team they had beaten twice away from home.

The failure to win also meant that AA Gent were the Champions of Belgium. It was the goal that Alex had for next season.
Unlucky to not steal a win against Anderlecht! Hope you can win the league next season :)
Title might be gone but there's still plenty to play for! Second place would be huge considering where you started.
Jack Yeah would have loved to be three for three. Thanks thats the goal

Lippo Would love to finish second a great improvement and CL football would help the finances
It was just after practice had finished and Alex was heading to his office to have a look at some scout reports when Philippe came up to him. “Felipe Gedoz wants to talk to you about something.”

Alex hoped it was something banal if he wanted to leave it would be trouble, his deal expired next year so Alex would be forced to sell him as he couldn’t pass up on the money. He calmed himself down and told Philippe to tell Felipe that he would see him in 15 minutes.

Alex spent the time drafting up reasons that Felipe should stay until he heard a knock and told him to come in. “So Felipe what did you want to talk to me about.” Alex tried to keep the apprehension out of his voice and felt he succeeded.

“Well” Felipe seemed to shift a bit in his chair as if he didn’t want to say anything. “I want a new deal.” He suddenly said. Alex almost did a fist pump of celebration.

“Well we were planning on giving you a new deal at the end of the season as your deal runs out next year so would you be happy if we just stuck to that plan.” Alex was relieved to hear that Felipe didn’t want to leave and if he asked for it would throw a contract down in front of him instantly. He had been the best player since Alex took over, just ahead of Butelle and Engels.

Felipe responded quickly. “Yeah, I’m happy enough to wait a few weeks. A thousand euro’s a week doesn’t go far after the taxes.” He added as he got up and left. Alex was thrilled that his big player was happy to stay and he did deserve a pay rise no questions asked. It was also nice he did it himself instead of sending his agent.

Alex looked at the clock and rushed to turn on the T.V. he had in his office. It was time for the Belgium squad to be announced and a few of his players were supposed to be in with a chance. Three players made the provisional squad which pleased Alex, and it was also the most of any Belgian team which was good to see. Alex decided to give each player a quick call to congratulate them, he would wait an hour though as he sure others would want to call them.

Alex phoned up Bjorn Engels. “Hello.”

“Bjorn, it’s Alex.”

“Oh, hey boss what’s up?”

“Nothing, just calling to say well done on making the Belgium squad. It’s a great achievement and you’ve played so well you deserve it.”

Bjorn sounded pleased. “Thanks boss, have to keep it up to make the full squad though.”

This was true even without Kompany the squad contained a number of big name defenders. “Good to see your head hasn’t got to big, anyway I’m going to call De Bock and Vanaken so see you tomorrow.”

“See ya” Engels responded before Alex hung up.

Next Alex called Laurens De Bock, Joao Paulo’s injury and a lack of quality wide defenders meant that De Bock had got into the squad. “Laurens, congrats on making the Belgium squad.”

“Thanks, looking forward to it. Think I’m on the bubble for the final squad so I have to keep performing to get in.” It was right to Alex and he hoped he would sneak into the squad. Given there was an MLS defender in it he had a chance. After some small talk Alex made his final call.


“Hans, how are you? It’s Alex, just calling to see good job making the provisional Belgium squad.”

“I did.” Hans seemed surprised. “Really?”

Alex didn’t know he hadn’t heard. “Yeah, the squad was announced about an hour ago. How do you not know? Surely someone called about it?”

“My phone was dead and I only just found the charger. I wondered about all the missed calls but, then you called. So I’m in the squad then.” From surprised Hans seemed thrilled about what had happened. “I thought the squad was announced tomorrow. Oh well.”

Alex laughed to himself, Hans was known for forgetting stuff when the team travelled and it seemed it happened with everything. “Well I’ll let you return all the calls, good job making the squad though. You deserve been playing really well.”

“Thanks, Alex.. err boss. I’ll go tell Julie not to book the holiday during the Euros then.”

“That would be smart. See you tomorrow Hans.” Alex was thrilled for those who made it, he had never played in a tournament and would have loved to. Maybe he could manage in one he thought, next best thing.

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