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The retirement of Alex Taylor

Started on 15 May 2016 by ninjaskill
Latest Reply on 14 October 2016 by ninjaskill
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MJK46 Yeah just have to try and develop all of them with them fighting each other for first team football

Lippo Yeah either that or my youth coaches got drunk and decided to give them all a chance with the new manager
A quick meeting with his squad before they left for a friendly in Serbia had gone fine, it had been decided Alex would stay behind to plan training and transfer plans and leave the friendly against Partizan in Philippe’s hands. He had also met with Sinan Bolat and Mikel Agu to cancel their loans from Porto and save 6 grand a week in his wage budget. He was about to host a meeting with his chief scout to decide who to target.

Alex opened the meeting. “While we seem not to need anyone desperately I would like us to add a right back for depth. Other than that unless you find a great talent for a low price then I would rather not spend anything.”

Stan Van den Buijs as part of his assistant to the assistant’s assistant role was also the chief scout and so had all the records of players scouted and flicked through them. “I had picked up some people for each position before you came. For the right back I would recommend Franck Beria from Lille, his contract runs out at the end of the season so you could sign him now and then try and get him permanently for a small fee. This is what the scout made of him” He said while handing over the report. “Probably first choice only problem is he would have to take a big wage cut”

Alex looked over the report it indicated the scout felt that he would be a first team player and Alex decided to trust him and authorized the move. Stan then moved to the second target “Going back to France Baptiste Santamaria plays for Tours and wants to leave so we could get him for a cheaper fee and he is a young player who can do a job now and play a key role in the future we feel.”

Alex was again happy to agree with the scout department but, did have a question “If he wants to leave surely there is a team interested so we may miss out on him. Other than that I’m more than happy to sign him.”

“It’s an odd one” Stan responded “the interested side is Pohang Steelers in South Korea so as he wouldn’t have to move continents to join us I’m hopeful we could beat them to him. I’ll phone Roel and tell him to start negotiations, also while you’re here Jelle Vossen has been in poor form and we have found a great striker who wouldn’t cost a lot that could replace him.”

Alex was puzzled he had looked over the stats Vossen had over a goal every other game “I’ve seen his stats he is scoring and that is what I want from my strikers so he don’t bother with the striker yet but, I will keep him in mind. Anyway I have to go and set up training for when everyone returns so I’ll talk with you later.”

It was a few hours later when Alex’s door opened and Roel walked in. “Good news and bad on the transfer front. We had agreed a deal with Franck but, I just got off the phone with his agent and Lille offered him a new deal worth more and he wouldn’t have to move so he will take that over our offer.” Alex cursed Franck inwardly even if he would have made the same decision anyway it at least meant Santamaria had signed for the good news.

“So Santamaria will join us then”

“Yes” Roel confirmed “just ironing out the details with his club and agent but, he should be here in a couple of days. Fee looks set to be somewhere around €2.1 million euros but, his wages will be quite cheap. Also looking over some agent offers I found a decent goalkeeper who I want to offer a trial to and I was told by Stan to drop this report off to you.”

“Great, I’ll give the keeper coach a heads up and look over the report in a couple of minutes.” Alex replied as Roel left. He was pleased he had got Brice and turned back to his training plans forgetting about the scout report. He remembered it half an hour later and after just seeing the name he was on the phone “Roel sign him now.”

Roel laughed “Took you long enough I’ll get on it. Also Santamaria has all but, signed he’ll travel up tomorrow and we will announce it in the afternoon.”



A decent player now and good potential for the future should justify the fee
Alex was sitting in his office mulling over his day his side had returned from Serbia and a 4-2 loss against Partizan. He had held meetings with all of his players wanting first team football and the defenders dropped it but, he had to guarantee Gedoz first team football as he didn’t want to upset this squad this soon into his job. The goalie he had been recommended Kevin Sousa had signed a deal so overall a good day.



Alex’s reverie was interrupted by a player barging into his office. “I quit, I retire I’m done playing.” The player Alex vaguely recognized yelled “I’m retiring and I’m going to coach somewhere other than here.”

Alex was startled by the interruption but, tried to stay cool. “Right, are you sure you want to retire, I still wish I could play” Alex was interrupted

“I’M RETIRING NOW” The player yelled.

“Okay” Alex conceded “get your agent here tomorrow and we can go over everything and finalize it” With that the player turned and left leaving Alex bemused. “Jean-Claude?” Alex’s personal assistant “Who was that and should I be concerned they are retiring?”

The response was simple “Nope, Michaël Cordier a goalie who played for the U-21’s at 31 and hasn’t played since signing.”



“Godzijdank” Alex muttered using his recently learned Flemish.
Would Cordier want to become a coach???
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MJK46 He did but, he wasn't very good and would have to be a GK coach where I am well staffed. Also after the way he went in my office he isn't working here
It was three days before Alex’s first game, which was away to last place Charleroi, and the pre match meeting was being held with Stan presenting a report in the opposition. “Despite being last we have to be wary Charleroi have done well against bigger sides. They’ve beaten Anderecht and drawn with 2nd and 3rd place Genk and OHL. Anyway they are weak at the back so we should look to exploit that, we should be careful at the start though as they score early frequently but, don’t score late often.”

“Good” Alex was pleased with what his scout had to say and hoped his attacking players could get him a good first win. “Thierry any new injuries concerns”

“We just have one, Mechele with his head injury earlier in the week won’t make it but, other than that everyone is fit and should be fine.”



“Great” Alex stated “anyone got anything to add or are we done here.”

After a couple of seconds silence Philippe chimed in “I think I speak for us all when we wish you a good first game and hopefully it is the first of many to come.”

Two days later Alex was facing the press and the first question didn’t surprise him. “How do you feel about the comments of Marco Been who said he felt you weren’t good enough for the job.”



“Well” Alex started “that isn’t what he said exactly but, I am inexperienced I can’t deny that. However, everyone here has faith in me and that matters more than what opposition managers think of me.”

He spent the rest of the press conference refusing to talk on transfer admitting some nerves for his first game and what he hoped to achieve for the rest of the season.
Unlucky about that injury mate, but sure you can hit the ground running this season!
mgriffin2012 Yeah it wasn't ideal. That is the hope and plan for the first game
It was a 1.5 hour drive to Charleroi and Alex spent the time sleeping, a trick he learned in his playing days. He had also been up late trying to decide between a suit and a tracksuit to wear on the sidelines he had gone with a suit but, the weather made him regret it.



In the dressing room he went back over the first 11 and tactic that he had picked with the help of his staff.



Alex walked down the sideline in a Wenger-esque coat to deal with the near freezing temperatures and hail. He exchanged a quite handshake with Been before settling in his seat for the game.

He was out of it again after 5 minutes to yell some encouragement to his team who were playing poorly and struggling to string passes together. “Come on pass the ball, to one another. Focus” He yelled from the sidelines.

Charleroi pushed forward on 15 minutes two passes from a throw in and Pollet had space on the edge of the box, Alex thought it was going wide but, the keeper pushed it away for a corner. This was one area Alex was concerned with he hadn’t had a lot of time to train on how to defend them. The first corner Denswil headed out for another corner but, on the other side. Claudemir headed it away and Charleroi couldn’t push forward again.

After 25 minutes Baby went on a run down the wing and despite Alex yelling to close him down no one did until he was fouled wide of the 18 yard box to give away another free kick. The ball was hit in and Perbet escaped his man to head in between the keeper and the man on the line, a poor goal to concede and Alex as furious. He also was somewhat regretting into management freezing, getting hailed on and losing when he could be swearing at the T.V. or as he knew Graham would add counting the money in the heat of Saudi Arabia.

Two poor fouls in as many minutes led to two bookings from Club Brugge that Alex couldn’t complain about. Just as he was planning out his words for half time the pitch grabbed his attention again, the ball was played wide to Joao Paulo and he passed to Izquierdo just wide of the six yard box and he squared the ball to Vossen who had an open goal from 6 yards out but, totally missed the ball and it was hit behind for a corner. Gedoz hit in a good corner and Engels rose high and his header looked to be going in but, it hit the corner of the bar and post and went out for a goal kick. Alex couldn’t believe they hadn’t scored once.

Both sides hit some poor passes and the ball was with Claudemir at midfield and Vossen was making a great run but, the pass was over hit and Alex turned away as the defender took a touch. The gasps of the crowd made Alex turn around an awful back pass must have let Vossen get one on one with the keeper but, he hit his shot right at the keeper who pushed it behind for a corner and left Alex with his head in his hands.

Alex let the team know how he felt at half time and took of Gedoz, who had been poor, for Lior Refaelov. They looked a bit better at the start of the second half but, hadn’t created much so Alex moved to a 4-4-2 by pulling off the poor Claudemir for a fellow Brazilian, striker Leandro Pereira.

A poor tackle that was high, from behind and two footed after 65 minutes on Pereira got the Brugge coaching staff off of the bench calling for a red card. The referee only booked Ninis and while Alex went to “politely enquire” with the fourth official why it wasn’t a red card his player took a quick free kick to Izquierdo he cut inside and passed to Vossen who flicked the ball out wide to the overlapping Joao Paulo. Paulo fired the ball into the box with his first touch and just after the bounce Pereira thumped the ball in at the back of the net leaving the keeper no chance. A very good equalizer and Alex was sure the fourth official appreciated it as it had distracted him.

As the game was heading into the last ten minutes Alex told his team to keep pushing for a winner. Following an offside call Charleroi got the ball and moved it quickly up the pitch Pollet with a neat pass with the outside of his boot to Tainmont and to Alex’s disbelief he beat Joao Paulo to get into the box and despite Alex’s yells to pick up the late man Pollet was unmarked and unlike Vossen did fire in from 6 yards out to leave Brugge chasing a point.

Alex’s day got worse after 90 minutes, as a catalogue of errors allowed Charleroi to grab a third goal no one closed down Marinos near the halfway line and he chipped a ball forward that Denswil should have intercepted but, didn’t. This played Pollet in on goal but, at a tight angle. His shot was poor to the near post and managed to beat Butelle to make it 3-1 Charleroi.

The final whistle was pleasing to Alex as the result couldn’t get more embarrassing and he ripped into his team after. “That was awful, I have no idea how you are eighth playing like that. Watching that game I would have thought you were the ones in last place. It could have been a cricket score out there you could hardly pass the ball 5 feet.” Alex realised no one got the cricket mark but, kept going. “We created some decent chances but, they are last we should be scoring them and not allowing them to make so many. We play again in four days and many of you have to impress me in training to start again.” With that off his chest Alex left the room to face the press.



Alex was bitterly disappointed with his start at Brugge playing the last place team in the league was the best chance he had to start his career with a win but, it hadn’t been taken and he knew the match against 5th place Lokren would be vital.



Brugge fall two places in the table after Alex’s first game in charge.
Alex held a meeting with his staff to try and figure out what went wrong in the game against Charleroi and fix things for the rest of the season. Especially for the game against Lokren in mid-week. Alex started off the meeting, “Stan I see what you meant about Vossen we need a new goal scorer who did you have in mind when you talked to me about it earlier.”

“Yannick N’Djeng a Cameroonian striker with 5 caps and he currently plays in Tunisia and I think that we can bring him here for a small fee and he would be better than anyone we currently have up front. I think given the form of our wingers has been poor we should also look to find a new one.” Stan had been right about the striker and Gedoz hadn’t impressed him so he agreed.

“Have a look and update me and we will also go for N’Djeng.” Alex continued “Anyway onto Lokren what do we change and what do we keep I want a positive result this time.”

Philippe spoke up “We have to be more willing to shoot and less like Arsenal trying to pass the ball in. It will help us get more goals and make the most of the time we have the ball near the opposition goal.”

“Okay” Alex conceded “We will cut out the fancy stuff up front and shoot more often. Anything else?”

It was again Philippe who spoke up and his complaint was a common one from defensive players turned coaches. “We have to keep our shape better, we were all over the place and Charleroi took advantage of it to score there goals and created chances that better teams would score we have to work on it.”

Alex was poor on defensive coaching so made a snap decision “Philippe tomorrow they are all yours do with them what you want. Anyway I have to go to a signing to go to so that is the meeting adjourned lets win on Wednesday everyone.”

Alex was back to make signing number three and for the first time someone he had played against. With a couple scrawls of a cheap pen the Ivory Coast’s all time leading appearance maker had become a Club Brugge player. Alex shook the hand of his newest signing Didier Zokora who joined on a free transfer and returned to Belgian football since he left Genk in 2004 where he scored his last club goal. Alex was thrilled with the signing even if it wouldn’t add goals it would add professionalism and quality to the squad on a free transfer.



Cheap enough wages and no transfer fee means that Zokora is a good signing for Brugge despite his advancing years.
N'Djeng is a quality striker, would be a real handful for opposition defences. Good luck in landing him!
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Lippo You've heard of him. Wow. Yeah he looks good hopefully the DoF can get the job done in landing him for us. Vossen is on a massive run without scoring I just realised around 8 games without a goal so I need someone in form


If there was one thing Alex was loving about Belgian football is was the short journey times so far despite being right on the coast journeys were nothing compared to those in England. His second match was a game in hand away to Lokren who had knocked Brugge out of the Belgian Cup.



Despite being three places behind and away Brugge were favourites. Alex laughed the bookmakers clearly hadn’t seen his teams last game. They arrived at the small stadium, it held less than ten thousand in the bottom half and Alex wanted out of it as soon as possible.



Alex had made a number of changes from the game in Charleroi Zokora made his debut, Pereira’s goal had earned him a start and Meunier moved up to right wing and De fauw came in at right back. Playing against the same formation Alex was confident but, Lokren did have a classy striker who could cause them problems.

It was cold and drizzling as Alex walked to the bench to take his place for the game. What he saw early on encouraged him, crisp passes hitting the target and the defence staying solid.

A piece of skill got Alex out of his seat, the ball was passed along the defence and got to Meunier. He hopped an early tackle and then sprinted past two defenders out wide and had a chance to get in a cross it went across the face of the goal and fell to Izquierdo and from a tight angle his shot was blocked and went out for a corner Joao Paulo hit in a poor corner and it was volleyed by a defender into the back of a teammate and the keeper had to scramble to keep the ball out. He pushed the ball away but, it fell to Engels and he passed the ball into the back of the net to get Club Brugge ahead thanks to lady luck.

Not a lot happened for the next 20 minutes Engles got booked for Brugge and Overmiere for Lokren. Brugge continued to probe moving more down the left and after Izquierdo was tackled the ball was won back and Simons sprayed it out to Paulo and he whipped in a cross for Pereira who rose above his mad and hit a powerful header goalwards. Alex thought it was in but, again his side had hit the woodwork and the rebound was hacked away by Lokren who were on the ropes.

Brugge continued to press but, had to foul to stop a Lokren counter and Alex reminded his team to be smart and not overcommit. The free kick was awful and Butelle easy grabbed the ball and launched it long to Izquierdo Brugge continued to pass the ball around Lokren and Pereira hit a cross field pass to an open Meunier he took a big touch then hooked the ball back in front of goal and Izquiredo arrived to turn the ball on target it then hit the turning keeper in the chest and went in to put Club Brugge up two goals and in the drivers seat.

Alex told the team how pleased he was, to play the same way and be smart in the second half. From kickoff the first half seemed to be on repeat as Brugge again launched waves of attack on Lokren. After 47 minutes Meunier lost the ball and it was hit up to Harbouai who brought it down and ran at the two centre backs. Alex could see exactly what was going to happen just before it did. Engels showed his inexperience and on a booking dived in for the ball and missed. Harbouai went down and Engels was sent of leaving Brugge with ten men for almost the entire second half.

Lokren won a corner after 51 minutes and Alex was concerned as they still couldn’t defend them well. The ball was headed clear but, fell to a Lokren player and he played it back out to the corner taker. His cross to Harbouai was perfect cutting out Denswil and leaving him with a tap in from six yards out until somehow despite not being ball side Mechele was able to slide across and push the ball from Harbouai’s toes. The ball then fell to another Lokren player and from six yards he looked sure to score but his shot smashed off of Butelle’s legs, more out of luck than skill, and the rebound was hacked away for a throw in with the two goal lead somehow still intact.

It prompted Alex to change to a 4-2-2-1 with two defensive midfielders to help them hold onto the lead.

Brugge continued to launch attacks though and Izquierdo was the next to get Alex off of his seat with a nice run beating two players and getting into some space 20 yards out and hitting a shot. It was poor and easily held by the keeper though.

Brugge then easily held out to get Alex’s first win of his career and it was a good performance to get it as well which pleased him.



The win moved Alex’s side back up to eighth place and the top half where he was expected to keep the team.
Good victory mate, keep it up and that title will be coming home!
First win! Congrats mate, many more to come I'm sure!

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