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The retirement of Alex Taylor Part 2

That really wordy story that you kinda skim read is back!!
Started on 18 October 2016 by ninjaskill
Latest Reply on 4 December 2016 by mgriffin2012

Alex made two changes for his first Champions League match as Sulley Muntari stepped into central midfield and Jedvaj stepped in for his first start of the season at centre back for the match against Legia. Legia had gone for a similar 4-4-2 formation which Alex hoped would allow them to control the midfield and he backed his defenders to deal with their strikers better than how the Legia defenders could deal with his attacking players.

After two minutes Wendell threw the ball into Brandt deep in the Leverksuen half. He passed the ball back to Wendell, he lofted the ball into the box and Guilherme rose highest to head the ball out of the box. The ball fell to Bender 20 yards out he pushed forward a bit and squared the ball to D’Ambrosio. He passed the ball up a couple of yards to Volland who fired the ball low into the middle of the box. Chicarito had made himself some space in the box and made no mistake firing low into the bottom corner to give Leverkusen an early lead.
It was just what Alex had hoped for to dent the confidence of Legia and Alex hoped they could put the game to bed early on.

After 5 minutes Guilherme fired a free kick into the box. D’Ambrosio headed the ball away up to Chicarito, he played a great pass up to Calhanoglu. He drew the outside defender towards him and then played the ball out wide to Volland. He passed the ball back inside to Chicarito who played in Muntari with a one touch pass. Muntari took a touch and then fired low across goal. It was out of reach of the keeper and went just wide of the of the post.

After 15 minutes Legia launched a rare attack towards the Leverkusen goal and Muntari ended it by sweeping in and winning the ball back for Leverkusen. He then launched the ball long and it was misjudged by a Legia defender to play in Chicarito. He took a touch and tried to beat the keeper at the near post only to see his effort bounce back off of the post and then get fired clear by Guilherme.

Just before the twentieth minute Jedvaj intercepted an attempted through ball and hammered the clearance long. Chicarito had the speed to beat his man to the ball and brought it down with an exquisite first touch, he pushed forward into the box and fired high to the near side of the keeper and squeezed the ball in past the keeper to double Leverkusen’s lead.

Two minutes later Leverkusen had a corner that Calhanoglu stood over. He whipped a ball into the box and the keeper came out to claim the ball. Tah got to it ahead of him and was able to just head the ball into an empty goal to put Leverkusen three goals up and pretty much kill the game off. Alex was pleased with the first quarter of the game and just wanted his team to see it out professionally.

After 26 minutes Legia hit a long ball up out wide and Vako ran onto the ball. He took a couple of touches and whipped a ball into the box. Despite containing 4 Leverkusen defenders it was a perfect cross and the only Legia player in the box got to it and powered a header back across goal leaving Leno helpless and cutting a goal out of Leverkusen’s lead.

With two minutes left in the half Leno collected a long cross and quickly punted the ball forward. Chicarito flicked the ball on and Calhanoglu got to it first. He passed back to Bender who squared the ball to Muntari. He hit a long hopeful ball into the box. Guilherme headed the ball back towards goal and it was underhit which lead to confusion between him the goalkeeper and the other centre back. Calhanoglu read what was happening and simply ran in and smashed the ball between the keepers legs from close range to restore Leverkusen’s three goal lead.

Alex told his team to stay focused at half time and try to grab another few goals to try and pad out their goal difference in case they needed it. He also pulled of Calhanglu who looked a bit tired and put on Berbatov.

Just after the hour mark Brandt stood over a free kick thirty yards out. He passed the ball up to Muntari just outside the box. He squared the ball to Chicarito and ran into the box, Chicarito passed the ball to Berbatov in the box and he passed the ball into the run of Muntari who hit a low shot that was blocked almost instantly. The ball rolled back to him and Muntari calmly fired the ball into the opposite corner leaving the keeper who was sprawled onto the ground no chance to save it.

Leno made a couple of easy enough saves late on as Legia pushed for a consolation goal but, it was nothing to challenge him as Leverkusen got a big win to start off in the Champions League and Alex had a very good first game in the competition. It was a good performance and an important three points to start out before the run of three tough games in the competition.

PSG won against Dynamo Kyiv to join Leverkusen on three points but, couldn’t match the margin of victory so were in second place. Leverkusen hosted Kyiv before they would face PSG twice in a row.
what a victory!
Good win against arguably the weakest side in your group but sets you up nicely for the Kyiv game!
MJK A good win but, nothing less than that would have really been acceptable

mgriffin Yeah just have to make sure that we pick up the easier points before the tougher games
Alex’s Thursday evening was not going how he had thought it would earlier in the day. He was stuck on some maths homework. The only thing that was slightly comforting him was that it was at least Lauren’s homework he would have felt very bad if he was unable to do the homework for a child under ten. He decided to simply give up on it with the excuse that the German clearly taught maths in a different way and so that was why he would be unable to help. Despite the fact that she went to an English style school and Alex was pretty sure there was only one way of doing maths the excuse worked. Alex was doubly pleased with himself when he was able to fend off the requests to still try and help by dumping Rachael in it as she did maths at school.

The excuse worked and Alex left them to go and mess around with the twins Jake and Ellie. A depressingly short time later they were joined by Rachael and Lauren with the announcement that the homework was all done. Alex then moved the discussion away form his lack of knowledge about maths with the classic fake throw of a ball to a dog, Humphrey fell for it and looked very annoyed with Alex when he worked out what had happened. Alex tried to make it up to him with a treat for sitting but, the plan was ruined when Humphrey reacted quicker than Alex had expected to grab the treat and scoff it down.

He glanced at his watch and realized that he was running late. He quickly got changed and dashed to his car to head back to the club training ground by the Bay Arena. He was their to watch over the under 9’s and 8’s teams practicing. He arrived just before it was due to start and made some rather awkward conversation with some of the parents in a mix of German and English before he was thankfully called over to help by the youth coaches.

A large number of shouts went up and Alex figured that the big stars of the show had arrived. Henrichs, Kai Havertz, Julian Brandt and Bernd Leno had all been roped in to help out at the sessions but, they all were far less interesting than Chicarito who arrived a couple of minutes later and totally distracted the kids from the drill that was being explained to them. After they were all calmed down and what they had to do was explained Alex sat back and laughed as his players faced the same issues with nine year olds that he faced with them during training every day. He stepped in to help in a few drills and was also involved in the friendly that they had at the end of the training session with all of the kids. He scored once with a low strike that beat Leno but could do nothing to stop his side from falling to a tight loss.

With most of the kids wanting autographs and selfies from the players Alex was able to leave before any of them and got back home at a decent hour which he celebrated by falling asleep on the sofa to some show that was in German and he was struggling to understand.
Haha its not anything to be ashamed of to not be able to do that level of maths man dont worry :P
MJK I wholeheartedly agree

mgriffin If I could count the number of times maths learned above the age of 10 has been useful, it would be one of those non-even numbers I think :P

Leverkusen were going away to Wolfsburg in a long trip against a good side who lost a cup game and drawn and won in the league to get a good start in Bundesliga and both sides wanted to get a big win to kick start the season.

Alex made a few changes from the side who played in the Champions League as Leverkusen looked to win three games in a row. Wolfsburg boasted Mario Gomez up front and also had Draxler and Rodriguez on a very strong left side for them that Alex would have to be wary of.

The game got off to a quiet start and Wolfsburg started to push forwards after a quarter of an hour. Arnold picked up the ball in a lot of space 35 yards out from goal. He pushed forward and passed the ball up to Blaszczykowski just on the edge of the box. He played the ball out wide to Trasch on the overlap. He whipped in a cross to the back post and Draxler headed the ball down but, it hit off of D’Amborosio and fell to Gomez. On the half volley he smashed a ball goalwards down low. Despite the power of the close range shot Leno was able to get down and push the ball behind for a corner.

That was all that happened in the first half and to try and invigorate his side to produce something Alex made a double substitution pulling of Baumgartlinger for the more creative Kampl and Calhanoglu who had been quiet went off for Berbatov.

Just after the 50th minute Berbatov got the ball on the halfway line and passed the ball back to Volland. He took a touch and chipped a pass up to Chicharito who had found himself in a great deal of space between the two centre backs. He couldn’t get the ball out of his feet to take advantage so dropped the ball back to Bender. He squared the ball to Kampl who played the ball up to Bellerabi. He passed inside to Chicharito who was again in between the two centre backs just inside the box. This time he made no mistake, one touch got him past both and then with his second touch he poked a low ball past the keeper and in to put Leverkusen ahead.

With five minutes left Alex put on Bender to try and kill off the dull game and win three points. Leno hit a goal kick long that Volland flicked on to Berbatov. He pushed the ball wide of Knoche to go in on goal and from a tight angle fired a ball towards the top near corner. Casteels made a great save to push the ball away and Knoche fired the ball away.

It was a dull game but Alex was just pleased to come away with a win against a good side and hoped his team would use it as a spring board for the rest of the season. It wasn’t anything like a good game and Leverkusen didn’t play very well but, they did get the win so Alex wasn’t overly concerned with the performance.

Leverkusen were one of six teams with six points at the top of the table. Rasen Ballen Leipzig were top of the table on goal difference while Leverkusen were in 5th place ahead of only Gelsenkirchen on goal difference.
Performance doesn't matter when you pick up 3 points away against a rival, solid win!
Nice victory man
Narrow win mate but three points all the same!
Patrick Points are more important than performances for sure although it would be nice to have both a bit more consistent

MJK Cheers, nice to get another win hoping for some more consistently with them

mgriffin Yep a tight close game, good to get three points out of it
After the win against Wolfsburg in a tight cagey game Leverkusen would have to prepare for a different sort of challenge for the next game as they would be taking on Ingolstadt who were doing poorly and would set out to try and earn a point from the game.

Alex was drifting in and out of paying attention to the scouting report that was being given and after being shown the formation that they had used, a 4-1-4-1 and hearing that they sat deep, he guessed the rest of what was going to be said. They would only close down in their own half of the pitch, they would hit the ball long to the solitary striker and try to catch them on the counter attack in very rare attacks.

Leverkusen would monopolise the ball and spend a lot of time probing to try and find a way through the mass of bodies that would be between them and the goal. Scoring early would ruin their game and allow Leverkusen to keep some more players back so that they stood less of a risk of being hit on the counter attack. When Alex listened in to the meeting nothing was said that went against what he was thinking in how they should set up and how the game was likely to pan out.

With the meeting done on the players day off after it was finished Alex had a look over some scouts reports from Croatia and France. None of the French players who were good enough were within the tight budget that Alex had been given for the year, especially after he had spent quite a bit of it in the summer.

In Croatia, a place where you could often find cheap talented youngsters, the scout had been busy and had filed lots of reports, most of them weren’t good enough. One player stood out, and as he wasn’t at Dinamo he would be cheap enough as to where it would be possible to get him for a price that was affordable for the club. Leverkusen also had a couple of Croatians who could help him settle in a bit and meant he would be able to communicate with a couple of people from the get go which was a big help.

Alex phoned up the scout to get a more detailed overview of the player and decided that he liked what he was hearing about the player how they played and the effort that he put in. It was enough for him to decide to have the scout watch him more closely whenever they played. He would wait a month for an update and based on that and whatever footage he was see of him and use that to make a decision on whether they would try and bring him to Germany.

With that done Alex had a look through some other reports but found no one who was or could turn out to be good enough, although he did keep some reports for next summer as they were interesting and he would have the players re-evaluated when he had some more money to spend and they were realistic targets for the
Interested to see who this prospect is and whether he will be a Leverkusen player before long!

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