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The retirement of Alex Taylor

Started on 15 May 2016 by ninjaskill
Latest Reply on 14 October 2016 by ninjaskill
Another big result picked up against Liverpool! The quarter finals will offer no respite, but your team should be able to carry on the momentum!
mgriffin Yeah going to be a really tough draw no matter who we get

Justice Two big results for us, not going to be favourites but think we will have a chance against anyone
Just after the big win against Liverpool Brugge would be back in domestic action in their first game of the Championship Group and it would be against their big rivals Anderlecht. Usually it would be the other way around with Anderlect at the top but, they had fallen off the top in the last few years and had gone through a few managers and changes in formation that Alex though would likely have hurt the team.

Anderlecht now played a 4-4-2 with Tielmans still a key player but, oddly being used as a striker by the current manager and Alex was pleased with that as Tielmans had pulled the strings and created a number of chances from a deeper role and his passing impact would be likely limited by having to stay forwards although Alex would play close attention and change his plans if Tielmans was really playing as an AMC despite being named as a striker.

Alex was concerned about the number of injuries that they had and it would enforce a number of changes on him in this game and some in future games. Centurion, Andre Martins and Luciano would all miss through injuries and Emerson was to tired for Alex to want to risk him getting an injury in the game.

With Alex having to change over a third of his team and lots of tired players he faced a decision on whether to just change his entire team for the game as they faced second place Standard Liege on Wednesday with the game against Anderlecht on the Sunday. Alex thought that the fans would be more than likely to turn on him to a degree if he were to throw the game with his line up. It was an away game which meant that he might have less of a reaction to his decision than a home game where there would be thousands of fans to turn on him.

With the size of the rivalry though Alex felt that he couldn’t play a back up team and risk a hammering that would live long in the minds. Even with a match soon after it would not go down well if Alex let Anderlecht get a win in the rivalry game. Alex decided to make sure that for the seven positions that he had first choice players he would use them and do everything he could to make sure that they had every chance possible to get the win over Anderlecht even if they did have to face a massive game against Standard in mid-week. At home Alex hoped that they could get wins in both games and be in a commanding position in the league.

Philippe confirmed Alex’s thoughts that anything other than a best team available would not go down well with fans and his players would just have to fight through the fatigue as it was impossible to consider not doing everything to win a game against a team that they only had a two point lead over at the top of the table. After that Oostende who were not to far behind and would be played on Saturday meaning that they had almost no break and no game where they could rest players.

Of all the injury enforced changes that would have to be made. The change that worried Alex the most was putting Thiago Ribeiro for Luciano who had been scoring lots of goals and very important ones at that. Ribeiro had scored some goals but, not as many and he would have to step up and provide some more if Brugge was going to be able to have a good season as he would start in at least three of the ten games in the Championship group and against the teams two and four points behind them.
Tough break but I do agree with Philippe, if I was a fan I would not be pleased if my manager played a 'rotated' side in a potential title deciding game! But I believe with the squad you have, the fatigue will not be enough to damage your efforts in the long run :)
Have ti play the strongest side possible man! Big big game!
BeanyUnited Yeah, out of all the games in the Championship Group it is likely the east important for the title as they are in last. Always want to win though.

Mgriffin Yeah lots of unhappy fans if I don't take that option

Tielmans and Okaka were leading the line for Watford. Alex was pleased to see Tielmans there as it limited his ability to influence the match. Trezeguet dropping into central midfield was the only surprise. Ribeiro led the line for Brugge while Ebert was promoted to the bench with Centurion out injured. Santamaria also came in at central midfielder and Schonheim came in for Emerson. Other than that Alex had gone for a full strength line up.

After two minutes Anderlecht won a free kick that was whipped into the box by Colazo and headed back to him. He ran inside and passed to N’Sakala on the other side of the pitch and he slipped in Okaka who smashed his shot high and just inside the far post to give Butelle no chance.

After 17 minutes Schonhiem cut the ball back to Izquierdo on the edge of the box. He squared the ball to Vanaken who hit a low shot towards the far post. Proto pushed the ball away out wide and Gedoz was first to the ball and beat a man and put in a cross which was headed away to Santamaria at the edge of the box. He played the ball square to Vanaken who played it out wide to Meunier. He ran inside towards goal and from a tight angle fired the ball across the face of goal. Proto tried to push the cross away but missed it and Ribeiro cushioned the ball in with a simple header to level the game up.

After half an hour Izquierdo was tripped by Preat just inside the Anderlecht half to give Brugge a free kick. Gedoz played the ball to just outside the box where Engels flicked it on. Izquierdo tried to run onto the ball but, was tripped blatently by Dendoncker and Brugge got a penalty. Gedoz stepped up and after a short run up hit a weak penalty not far away from the middle of the goal. Fortunately, Proto dived the other way and Brugge were ahead after half an hour.

The half ended with Preat firing well over from 35 yards out and Brugge went in ahead despite letting in an early goal. Alex could tell his team was tired and that he had to make changes. Vormer came on for Fejsa and Ebert made his comeback from injury replacing the tired Izquierdo.

After 65 minutes Praet brought the ball forwards with him as Anderlecht attacked. He played the ball up to Okaka just outside the box and he turned and got by Denswil far to easily. Engels came over as Okaka shaped to shoot and the ball took a small nick of his leg which slightly changed where the ball went and it was enough for it to wriggle past Butelle and get Anderlecht level in the match.

With 82 minutes left Santamaria hit the ball up to Ribeiro but, Kara came in and headed the ball up front. Okaka, who was behind Denswil but, level with Engles ran onto the ball and was in on goal with the chance of a hat trick. His first touch was just ouside the box with Butelle a couple of yards away he slipped the ball under the keeper and it rolled just wide of the goal.

It was a golden chance and the last one of the match as the game ended in a two all draw. As Anderlecht were last in the Championship group Alex wasn’t thrilled but, they were still a good team and everyone would drop a lot of points in the group.

Standard lost while AA Gent and Oostende both claimed wins. Club Brugge had a one goal lead at the top of the table and would face Oostende needing a win to be sure of staying there.

Denswil picked up a knock in the game and would have to get a face mask for the next few games as Alex didn’t want to have another player missing for the run of games.

Good result man, keep it up and you'll have some silverware!
mgriffin Yep still top but, very tight at the top. Hopefully we can come out on top
It was the day where players that scouts had found and players in the youth team were selected for the more competitive under 18 teams and Alex had already decided to take whoever his youth coaches recommended.

Last year Alex had learned one issue that you got with your youth teams when you brought players in from all around Belgium they didn’t all speak the same language. Given where the club where most players spoke Flemish however, some spoke French and oddly enough the best language for them to communicate in English as for political and historic reasons that Alex couldn’t quite get his head around the French schools wouldn’t teach Flemish and vice versa. Fortunately only three players spoke no Flemish and Alex arranged for them to all get Flemish lessons so they would be able to easily speak with their teammates as easily as possible.

Alex headed down to training field to watch the youth team take on the players that were just about to get into the youth teams. It wasn’t a very tight game and the existing youth team players handed out a hammering to the players about to join. The new players team had some talented players but, being younger was one disadvantage and there was also a lack of talent in quite a few positions that was taken advantage of by the existing youth team players.

Only two players really impressed Alex. Some of them were alright but, Alex felt that only two would have a chance at featuring in the first team regularly and had formed a decently solid spine in the game.

Kobe Vandaele was an attacking CM who wasn’t the fittest guy on the team by a decent margin but was good when he had the ball at his feet and also was football smart. For young players it was the way Alex liked them as it was easier to make someone who was good with the ball a bit fitter than to try and teach an athlete how to read the game which demanded multiple coaches spent a long time and could only be done very rarely.

Cas Verstraete was a very tough tackling centre back who had been very uncompromising with the striker. Not great with the ball at his feet he was though a nightmare to face as a striker and Alex felt that he could learn from Engels a great deal who was also a tough tackler but, was also very good with the ball at his feet. At 6’0 he wasn’t tall for a centre back and would have to work on his jumping to ensure he couldn’t be bullied by a tall striker.

Standard went with their usual unusual formation for the match with Yattara up front the top scorer for the league and main reason Standard were doing so well. Alex also kept his usual formation and with the game being played on Wednesday still had a very fatigued squad. Vormer and Emerson came in as the only changes as Emerson was fit enough to start so reclaimed his spot and Fejsa wasn’t so Vromer came in for him.

After the tenth minute Izquierdo went on a good run beating a couple of players before wasting it by firing weakly right at the keeper from 25 yards out.

Just after the twentieth minute Vormer passed the ball to Emerson out wide. He ran past a defender and then whipped in a beautiful cross to the back post where Gedoz had made a run that wasn’t tracked and was able to just get to the ball in time to poke it in at the back post and put Brugge ahead with a goal that was due to the wonderful cross from Emerson.

Gedoz wasted a good chance to cross on a counter by firing miles over the bar from a tight angle in the only other piece of action before half time. Santmaria and Ribeiro were replaced by Fejsa and Luciano who was fit enough to return. Vormer moved up to CM and Fejsa took up the DM role.

Just after half time Fiore hit a long ball up and Yattara chested the ball down and passed to his strike partner Tetteh. He hit a long ball over the top to play in Yattara at a tight angle. A couple of extra touches made the angle ever tighter until he suddenly ripped off a powerful shot that Butelle reacted quickly to and was able to push away. The ball was loose right in front of gaol and Emerson got to it first and casually passed the ball to Vormer who blasted it away.

After 64 minutes Cools intercepted a Yattara pass and played the ball up Gedoz. He played the ball up to Fejsa who sprayed the ball wide to Izquierdo on the other wing. He ran poast a couple of defenders and fired a low ball in front of goal towards Luciano. Kosanovic slid in to stop the ball from getting to Luciano and poked the ball under the keeper and in for an own goal which doubled Brugge’s lead.

After 75 minutes Gedoz stood over a free kick forty yards out and instead of putting it in the box played it out wide to Cools who was in miles of space. He then hit in a cross to the back post where Izquierdo was unmarked and had an open goal. His header came back off the post and was cleared away.

Brugge saw the game out and claimed an important win that ensured they stayed top of the league and left Standard six points off the top of the league.

AA Gent also lost so when Brugge played Oostende at the weekend they could end up in second place or they could have a four point lead at the top of the table and with seven games left that would be very handy.

Standard may have parked the bus, but they couldn't stop your rampant side!
Hugely important win dude those six points are looking more and more decisive!
Justice Yeah got through them important win for us hopefully we can carry on

BeanyUnited Yeah I think the title race has gone back to a three horse race now
Friday was a big day as Club Brugge would find out who they would get in the Europa League Quarter Final. The draw was being held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. A small town near Geneva and the French border on Lake Lucon.

In the room where the draw would take place Alex made some small talk with all the other managers who he was sure would be wishing they could see him soon in the opposite dug out for the quarter final. A few small words were exchanged with the president of Uefa before he went up to do the draw and what was in essence the dress rehearsal for the far more important Champions League draw.

The teams were all named before the draw took place. “AS Roma, Club Brugge, Dynamo Kyiv, Inter Milan, Juventus, Leicester, Manchester United and Olympique Lyonnais.” Alex wanted to avoid Manchester United and Juventus desperately and felt that they would have a good chance against any other team in the draw. He wasn’t sure which out of the rest of the teams he would prefer as they all seemed quite even and he knew that every other team would want to Club Brugge in the next round.

The teams were all put in the bowl to be picked out for the draw. The balls containing the team names were pushed around and the first one was pulled out and opened up. “Olympique Lyonnais will face…” there was a pause as a second team was pulled out. “Club Brugge” Alex was pleased enough with the draw and it was nice to have missed out all the big names and be able to relax for the rest of the draw.

Manchester United got Inter Milan, Roma got Dynamo Kyiv and Juventus ended up with Leicester. All in all a good enough quarter final draw for Brugge. Alex quickly looked up Lyon’s recent form and was pleased to learn that they had lost their last three games in a row, it was some form he hoped would continue.

After a short break the draw for the semi finals were made and Alex wasn’t sure again exactly which teams he wanted. The best case was probably Roma and Kyiv and neither side was as strong as Manchester United and Juventus.

Brugge and Lyonnais were first out of the hat and could face anyone. Dynamo Kyiv and Roma were the next two teams drawn and the teams in both semi finals were instantly decided. There was a chance for a rematch of a group game or neither team could be involved in it.

After some more small talk with other people at the draw Alex found Roel and they headed to the airport in Geneva to get back to Brussels and then Brugge. Annoyingly the flight was delayed and they got back to Brussels later than was planned.

Overall the trip wasn’t bad some good free food and two not that bad draws meant that Alex was pleased and looking forward to taking on Oostende in the weekend.

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