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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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It was a huge, loud crowd at the Jan Bredylstadion as first place Club Brugge took on second place Oostende in a match that would have a large impact on the rest of the season. Both teams went with their usual formations with Oostende having a 4-4-2 with two DM’s. Gohi Bi was by far the biggest threat of Oostende who would have to be stopped. Schonheim and Fejsa both came back in after missing out the midweek match as Alex still was very concerned with the fitness of his team, Meunier also came in for Cools at right back as he was to tired.

After 3 minutes Fejsa brought the ball forward and passed the ball up to Santamaria 25 yards out. He passed the ball up to Santamaria on the edge of the box and he turned and played the ball to Izquierdo who passed the ball further outside to Schonheim. He hit in a deep cross and the keeper reacted slowly in moving across and Gedoz was able to get ahead of his defender and scored a simple tap in to give Brugge an early lead and it was just what was needed.

After 9 minutes Gedoz was over a corner and whipped it in. It was headed away and Ribeiro got to the ball first and got it back out to Gedoz who had acres of space out wide. He passed the ball to Santamaria. He squared the ball to Fejsa thirty yards out who unleashed a shot from about thirty yards out and was unlucky to see it come back off the post. The ball went back across the face of goal and Izquierdo who reacted quickly and shoved a foot out to poke the ball over the line and in to double the Brugge lead early on.

After 13 minutes Gedoz stood over a free kick thirty five yards out and took it short to Engels. He played the ball up to Vanken who played it out wide to Meunier. His cross was headed back out and Meunier headed the ball to Santamaria, he played to Vanaken inside who got the ball up to Ribeiro inside the box. He turned his defender and absolutely blasted the ball towards goal and left the keeper no chance and the ball flew into the roof of the net before he could move to try and save the shot.

Three goals inside thirteen minutes and the game couldn’t be going any better than Alex could have hoped realistically. He couldn’t see them losing and would give them a nice buffer at the top of the table.

After 25 minutes Oostende had free kick just inside the Brugge half. Milic received the ball and passed the ball outwide to Musona who cut inside towards goal. He slipped the ball up to Junior Tallo who was forced to pass the ball out wide to Capon on the right wing. He fired in a cross. Denswil rose and couldn’t quite reach the ball as it grazed off his head and hit Engels in the leg before rolling past Butelleand into the goal to pull a goal back for Oostende with what was the first real attack of the half.

Just before half time Gedoz stood over a corner for Brugge and whipped in a corner to the back post. Fejsa rose up high and headed the ball back across goal, the ball hit a defender in the back just before Denswil was able to shoot and fell to Santamaria 8 yards out. His shot was blocked instantly and fell to Engels six yards out and he and he blasted the ball between the keeper and man on the line to score a fourth goal just ahead of half time. It was Engels fifth goal of the season which was impressive for a centre back and three had been in the Europa League.

At half time Alex couldn’t tell his team how pleased he was with how they had done in the first half and told them to try and kill the game off and try and keep the game slow so that it was harder for Oostende to get back in the game and score the three goals they needed.

Five minutes after half time Varga got the ball out wide on the left and hit a great pass out to Musona in space on the right wing. He took a touch and whipped in a cross which Denswil headed away. The ball fell to Varga on the edge of the box and he passed to Tallo in the box. Engels came over and tried to win the ball and missed taking down Tallo in the box to give away a penalty.

Capon stood over the penalty for Oostnde and Butelle bounced around the goal making himself look as big as possible. He took a long run up and hit his penalty low to the keeper’s left. Butelle guessed the right way and was able to push the ball away form goal at such a tight angle that to score the rebound would have been impossible. It was academic as Meunier blasted the ball away into the crowd.

After 77 minutes Meunier took a throw in deep in the Oostende half. He threw the ball in to Gedoz who took a touch and then fired in a low cross. Luciano made a good run and fired a powerful volley that smacked off the bottom of the bar and in.

The goal sealed the hammering of Oostende. Brugge got five goals from five different scorers and five different assisters as well. Gedoz was the only person to do both in what was an incredible team performance that blew Oostende away.



Brugge had a four point lead over AA Gent and Oostende and with 8 games left to go that was a strong position to be in and Alex hoped that they could see the season out on top.

Great result mate, the title is getting closer!
mgriffin Thanks, shocked with how well we did in it. Hopefully we can claim the title
After all of the matches in a row Alex was pleased to have the international break where most of his players had some time off and he gave them a few days off before they had to return to training.



One player who wasn’t at training was Dion Cools who had been called up to the Belgian national team and picked up his first cap for Belgium. It also ended any hopes that Malaysia had of calling him up and Alex knew that the Malaysia manager had been desperate to try and convince Cools to join them. Alex had steered Cools in the direction of Belgium and was pleased to see him make his debut for them and hoped he could have a better career for Belgium than he had for England.




The international break had another advantage for Alex as it allowed him to have a fully fit squad for the next few games and every one was also fully fit and not fatigued for their upcoming matches. For reasons Alex couldn’t understand they weren’t playing on the weekend after the international break but, were playing in midweek against Standard.

The disadvantage of the long international break was that it killed off the momentum that Brugge had got after hammering Oostende in the previous match that they would have carried with them if the game was only a week away.

The Tuesday before the game and the action over the weekend had changed the importance of the game as Standard had won while AA Gent had drawn and Oostende hadn’t played which meant that Standard were back up in second place and it would be another first against second game and Brugge could give themselves a very big lead at the top of the table and a position where they would have to see out the title.

Pressure was growing on Brugge to deliver a first title since 2005. It was easy to see the rise in expectations and anything except a title would be unacceptable to the fans. Alex was trying to reduce the pressure as much as possible but, the results at the weekend had put more pressure on them and everyone who could write about Belgian football had already made Brugge the champions and Alex while reducing pressure on his team had to make sure he also made sure they knew they they would have to do more than just show up to claim the title.

With a fully fit squad Alex felt that his side was more than capable of getting a win which would add to the pressure of getting the title. A win to rebuild momentum heading into a match at the weekend against Anderlecht who would love nothing more than hurting Brugge chances of winning the title so that even if they had a bad year they could still hold something over Brugge.

While all this was going on Alex was also having to draw up plans for the match against Lyon which was just over a week away and they would face the first match in Lyon’s still quite new stadium. The plan for that game was the opposite to most of the plans for games in the league and Alex and the coaching staff all felt that the best plan was to play on the counter but, try and grab an away goal late on. A push to more attacking in the final fifteen minutes would likely be used as an away goal would make the home game that bit easier.


Surprisingly for this time of the season both sides had fully fit squads and played their usual formations for the big game. The only somewhat change from a normal side was Santamaria kept his place as he had been immense in the place of Martins while Centurion came in for Izquierdo on the left wing.

After four minutes Milec was running down the wing and passed inside to Santini thrity yards from goal. He squared the ball to Alpasan who passed to M’Poku on the left wing. He passed up to Yattara and his touch got him past Engels and from a tight angle he hit a powerful shot to the near post. It was a surprise choice but, Butelle reacted quickly to push the ball out for the corner that came to nothing.

Just after the twentieth minute Thuram-Ulien hit the ball long from his box. Denswil headed the ball forwards and Peuget took the ball and squared it to Alpasan. He chipped a pass up to Santini to play him in on goal. Santini took his first touch just outside the box and then with the outside of his right foot he produced an exquisite chip to loop the ball over Butelle and into the back of the net. It was a moment of brilliance from Santini to open the scoring and it was all Alex could do to not applaud.

After 32 minutes Gedoz stood over a corner for Brugge who had been a threat from set pieces all season. Gedoz hit the ball into the near post and Denswil made a good run and jumped higher than his man to flick the ball in at the near post and level the game with Denswil’s fourth goal of the season.

Just after the 35th minutes Gedoz stood over a free kick just out wide of the box. He whipped in a cross that was headed a long way away and Gedoz was the first to get to. Gedoz tried to whip in another cross and it was underhit and went right to Alpasan who passed up to Yattara out wide in the halfway line in miles of space. He turned and ran up the line before passing inside to Alpasan. He passed the ball back to Peuget who passed it up to M’Poku just outside the box. He hit a poor shot in front of goal and it was of no concern until Santini made a move and stuck his foot out to re-direct the ball. Fortunately Butelle had recognized the danger and the ball went right to him and ended the chance.

At half time the teams were level and Alex implored with his tem to find the extra bit of effort and that the next half would make a large impact on whether they could win the title or not.

Ten minutes after half time Vanaken played the ball to Meunier wide at the half way line. He moved up the line a bit and then passed up to Santamria who had moved out wide. He played the ball inside to Fejsa who passed the ball back out wide to Gedoz. He played the ball up to Meunier on the overlap. He got right to the byline and drilled a ball across the face of the goal. Centurion had got the run on his man and was able to poke in a simple tap in at the back post to put Brugge in front.

With fifteen minutes Cezar won the ball for Standard to start a counter attack. He passed up to Alpasan who passed out wide to M’Poku, He passed inside to Yattara at the edge of the box and slipped in Santini. He hit a low first time finish towards the far post and Butelle got down sharply to slow the ball that was looking close to going either side of the post. Emerson took no risks and blasted the ball as far away as he could.

It was a close win that provided Brugge with three more big points in the title race. It was another win and Brugge were finding some good form and Alex hoped it would continue into the next game against Anderlecht.



Brugge got into a commanding position in the table after the win. Six points ahead of Standard and AA Gent with a game in hand and seven points ahead of Oostende with whom they had played the same number of games. Anything other than the title now would be a huge disappointment to Alex.

Great result man and brilliant to see the players coming back from injury!
You are storming away at the top of the table it is looking good :)
The league title will be yours soon :P
Mgriffin Yeah, big win. Good to see more players back always.

Beany Decent lead at the top, have to be sure we hold onto it

Justice Hopefully, although not if all the players take that attitude :P
Alex was on the phone with Graeme, his agent, Alex was hoping to get a new deal to tie him down in Bruges for a few more seasons as he felt that he had a good young team and would be able to create a team that would dominate Belgian football and be able to be a consistent presence in Europe.

To his annoyance Brugge seemed to have no interest in extending his contract they said that they didn’t want to extend his deal anytime soon as it still had over a year to run. Alex had been around the game long enough to know that if you had an interest in keeping someone you never let their deal run to less than a year as they can leave for very little or nothing at all.

The lack of commitment was worrying and Alex felt that the loyalty he had shown in turning down Everton wasn’t being reciprocated despite the good work that he was doing with the team. Everton had only appointed a caretaker manager and Alex was told by Graeme that Everton would still be more than interested in giving him the job if he wanted it.

Some other big names were also rumoured to be getting rid of their managers and while Alex had been planning on staying at Brugge he felt that he had to consider his option as he was concerned by the lack of interest in him by the board, especially as some of his coaches had been given new deals recently so it wasn’t as if they weren’t offering staff new deals. Alex didn’t want to get caught without a job as it is hard for managers to get back into work after they lose their first job and he was enjoying managing and didn’t want his career to come to a sudden end.

The next day Alex got a call from Graeme, when contracts were involved he was always happy to be around. “No idea if either is true or not but, there is some chatter that will be very interesting to you. One good and one bad, take your pick.”

“Hit me with the bad then.” Alex said wondering what it would be.

“Some very, very, very loose chatter has indicated that Club Brugge are considering changing to a Belgian manager and they have contacted a couple of potential replacements for you.”

Alex was shocked by the news. Not extending his deal right now was one thing, but actively looking for other managers meant that he was likely to be out of a job come the summer.

“I have to point out that it is very loose chatter and could have no substance at all but, no smoke without fire etcetera.” Graeme was trying to cover over the cracks but, Alex wasn’t happy at all about the news and decided that he would have to consider leaving Bruges and Brugge in the summer hopefully with another job lined up for him.

“What is the good news then?” Alex asked recalling the start of the conversation.

“I’m not the only person who has heard the news” Graeme said conspiratorially.

“Which means” Alex wanted some elaboration which wasn’t forthcoming.

“Some teams are interested in you with some very solid interest so I don’t think that you will be unemployed for very long. A few teams around Europe and some in England as well so you will likely be able to choose from a couple of teams if you do have to leave.”

Alex ended the call and was furious with the Brugge board and was tempted to call them and try to figure out if it was true or not and simply resign on the spot if they said that it was true. After a couple of seconds he decided it would hurt his chances of finding a new job and he also wanted to have some trophies to put on his CV.
best of luck for Alex. Damn you, Brugge!
FabioK Not pleased with them, but it is just rumours so who knows


It was the final game of the season against Anderlecht and Alex wanted to end it with a home win. Unfortunately Schonheim had to be moved into centre back as Denswil was to tired and with big games left in the league and the Europa League and he didn’t want to risk losing Denswil for all of them just for a couple of points. Meunier was in at right back as well as it was a first team side Alex named for the game.

The game got off to a slow start and Anderlecht offered the first threat of the game just before the half hour. Colazo stood over a free kick out wide of the box. Engels headed the ball away after the ball went just past Dendoncker’s head, Defour tried a volley that was blocked by Santamaria and Meunier ran onto the loose ball to start a counter attack. He ran a decent way into the Anderlecht half and played the ball out wide to Gedoz. He took the ball wide in the box and just before the ball crossed the line for a goal kick he cut the ball back across the face of goal. At the back post Centurion fired a volley that was well pushed behind by Proto.

Gedoz stood over the corner kick and floated a cross into the penalty spot. Fejsa got up highest and powered a header goalwards, Defour was able to blocked the header on the line and push the ball into the box. Engels reacted first and drove the ball down the open middle of the goal to put Brugge ahead with his sixth goal of the season.

Four minutes later Gedoz stood over another corner, this was was to close to the keeper and Proto easily came and claimed it. He hit the ball long and wide up to Galhardo on the left wing. He played the ball up to Tielmans who ran through the middle before squaring the ball to Iseka. He was forced to play the ball back to Praet. He got the ball wide to Galhardo who played a one-two with Tielmans to get some space out wide. He drilled a low ball across the face of goal and Iseka had a tap in until Engels slid in and stopped the ball but, was only able to put it in his own goal. For the second time in quick succession Engels head scored at both ends in a game.

It was level at half time but, Brugge had dominated the game and Alex told his team to keep playing the same way and they would get the three points.

Brugge also dominated the second half but, were unable to create any chances as Anderlecht were very disciplined in their 4-4-2 and all Brugge mainly threatened from range and never came overly close Izquierdo went on a good run but, all he could do was fire miles wide from outside the box. It was annoying that Anderlecht managed to get a point out of the game despite not getting a shot on target in the game. Brugge dominated the game totally and it should have been three more points in the race for the title.



Despite the draw the table actually looked a bit nicer for Brugge as all three games had ended in a draw so they had the same points advantage as the week before and one less match for all the other teams to catch up on them with. AA Gent were only three points behind Brugge but, had played two more games so would face a struggle to overtake them.

Even after your story, the Belgian league still confuses Me!
mgriffin I'm still not totally up on it some very odd rules, just got to play and learn

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