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A Crusade of Kings - We're Going Dutch


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March 2023 - A Rather Dramatic Change Of Fortunes

As we headed in to March I knew we had to improve on the pitch if I was to keep my job. First up was the far adrift at the bottom Yellow Boys and I reverted to two strikers with the return to the team of Leonel Landim. Leonel had done well in the U21s and had earnt another chance. We were in control throughout but couldn't find a way past the Yellow Boys defense in the first half.

At half time I assured the lads we were in control and the win would come. They listened and really turned on the style for the second 45. Denis Agovic opened the scoring on the hour mark with a bullet header following a free kick and four minutes later it was 2-0 as Jonathan Nanizayamo converted a penalty that Parreira had won. Hugo Mesbah powered in another header from a corner to make it three.

We switched off a little after the third and I was a little annoyed when we conceded with just over ten minutes to go. I ordered concentration and Leonel Landim returned my faith in him when he finished and Artur Abreu through ball to seal the win.

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I urged the lads to continue this form in our next match as we welcomed Rosport to the Stade Municipal. This match marked a continuation of my war of words with Alain Palgen. The Rosport chief had narked me with his words before our last meeting and I had made him eat those words with a 2-1 win. A similar thing happened this time out. Palgen was not too congratulatory of my efforts this season and I sent out the same team to make him pay.

We were by far the better team and Rodrigo Parriera got the ball running with a spectacular finish to an Abreu cross. Rosport were really not in the game and I was delighted when, in an effort to finish the game, I had bought on Noé Zimmer late only to see him score a late, late goal to seal the win.

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A week later would be the toughest of our three fixtures in March as we travelled to the team just below us in Swift Hesperange. I sat the lads back a little but stuck with the team that had been so good for the last two games. Rodrigo Parreira got us off to a great start with a lovely turn and finish in the 7th minute. Swift found themselves behind at half time then, and it spurred them on to be the best team at the start of the second half. They equalised with a belter of a free kick that Schon could only palm in to the goal.

We wouldn't be beaten though and it was Leonel Landim that grabbed the second goal of his return with a quarter of the game left. It had been a beautiful through ball from Lévêque to set Leonel up and marked the end of a great month for us.

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And we've moved up the table. We're now just 9 points off Racing in the final European spot. Dudelange are champions as of the last weekend of football.

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BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 19th March 2023

Youth Intake

A group of new youngsters progressed up the ranks to our U21s this month, and it's a talented bunch.

Pick of the group is Maximilien Prevot from Schiltigheim in north-eastern France. Max is a well rounded forward that is mostly at home on the left wing but who can play up front or centrally too.

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Rogério Roque is a Pétange born central midfielder that has a bright future. More attack-minded than much of my current team he could be key for the future of the club.

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Bruno Munoz is possible future replacement for Rodrigo Parreira. Born in Commentry in central France, Bruno is a reasonably pacey right winger, full of flair and with the ability to pick a pass.

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Coming Next

Can we continue this run of form in to April? That is the question on all our lips. Our run in is quite friendly with relegation threatened Hostert and Mondorf away. At home we face European challengers Differdange and Fola Esch. Fingers crossed that this time next month I'll be looking forward to the final game with Europe a real possibility.

Can I keep my job if we don't qualify?

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5 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

Do you believe in an european ticket or it is a long shot?

Oh, definitely a long shot...just don't trust my team to keep performing.

Convinced I'll get sacked at end of season anyway. 

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April and May 2023 - The Push For Europe

With five games to play and nearly ten points to find we had to win all our games in April and hope for others to slip up. First up were Differdange at home and a game I really believed we could win. Our opponents were also after that European slot and were in a better position than us. We were poor though and slipped to defeat via an early Differdange goal. We chased and chased but couldn't find the equaliser.

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Interlude, Courtesy of Our Youth Team

We had a little boost prior to the next challenge against Hostert. Our U21s have performed heroics all season and won their league at a canter. We seem to at least have quality coming through.

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Let's have a look at some of the young stars.

Frédéric Gomis is a cultured young attacking player that might just be best utilised in a role behind the strikers, though the fact that he scored 15 in 21 U21 Group 1 games shows he can score. Gomis is not the paciest but his technical skills are improving fast.

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Damir Begic is a left winger that looks a promising replacement for Abreu or Kerger with time. More direct and more pacey, Damir scored four goals for the U21s but assisted 8 times. He'll play more like Parreira, but on the left, and we have high hiopes for Damir.

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Ian Schmitz is the right sided equivalent of Kerger or Abreu, a winger that likes to cut inside and overwhelm a midfield, also allowing space for a wing back. It seems our right and left sided tactics could be in for a swap with time.

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Patrick Avdusinovic is a natural finisher who managed 7 goals in the U21 campaign. Good acceleration and natural fitness are sure to help Patrick realise his abilities. Only an unambitious nature could hold him back.

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Back To The League

As we travelled to Hostert I urged the lads to improve on lask week's performance and this time they listened to me, though it was not an easy game. Allan Hauguel got us off and running when he powered a header in to the net from a corner just before half time.

The second half was a tighter affair and we were struggling to put the ball away. We sealed the win late through substitute Edvin Muratovic as he bundled home a Parreira cross. Edvin has not had much time to impress, but he did well in youth team friendlies and earnt his chance.

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Next was a home game with Fola Esch, a team with half a mind on the cup final they would play in a couple of weeks. This was a very close game that we just about bossed. Jonathan Nanizayamo got the winner as early as the 11th minute but the true stars, as they have been in many matches was our defence.

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There were now two games remaining and we were 6 points short of Käerjéng and Racing. Next up was Mondorf in a game we had to win, and should win. Mondorf had just suffered the igniminity of relegation. Would they be downcast or out to show how good they could be?

The answer was definitely the latter, though we were woeful and handed them the win with a very poor display. The winner came very late but we were lucky it hadn't come earlier. It meant another meeting with the chairman despite our recent good form. I think they know we've just been inconsistent and that maybe a push for Europe was not an easy task. I'm certainly not happy with our patchiness though. I actually had an offer of an interview with Dutch third tier club Noordwijk recently. Though it would probably be a slight drop I really considered it. I clamour for players that give 100% every week.

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I've included May in this report because it was just the one game. We had no chance of Europe now, and indeed Fola won the cup final and made it just three league places that qualify. Could we end the season with bang and beat relegated Junglinster comfortably?

We were fantastic throughout and the only thing I could question at half time was the finishing of Landim and Nanizayamo. Rodrigo Parreira had given us the lead on the half hour mark as he pounced on a lose ball and slotted home. Other than that though we had all the play but no end product.

That was not the case in the second half as we blew Junglinster away. Leonel Landim scored a lovely second when he took down an Abreu ball over the top, swivelled past the defender and finished from the edge of the area. We then ended the game with a flurry, Noé Zimmer scored a cheeky clip past the keeper with seven minutes left and Artur Abreu slotted home a penalty four minutes later. The goal of the game came in injury time as Gary Bernard showed just how good he could be for us when he broke away from his defender and put in a wonderful cross that Leonel Landim did great to dive on to. That ability to cross from the byeline is something that Parreira struggles with, for all his great performances this year, so it was lovely to see a cross like that.

It was a delight to bang home five and seemingly will be enough to save my job. The board were keen to discuss our season and have decided to keep me on with reduced responsibilities, whetever they may be. If I find I'm not buying players or picking the team then I'm off. Nothing seems to have changed as I write this though.

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The Final Story

So a sixth placed finish to ensure the club's best finish since the 2019/2020 season in which they finished fourth. Early indications are that the board want top spot next season but I wonder if that's even possible. A good job offer would see me off.

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BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 7th May 2023: 2022/2023 Final Table

Jonathan Nanizayamo was our leading appearance maker for the season and finished joint top scorer with Leonel Landim on 12 goals. Rodrigo Parreira was far ahead in the voting for the fans player of the season and Allan Hauguel won the award for young player of the season. I have good hopes for Brian Rouffignac and Noé Zimmer for what they achieved in their few games this year.

Everyone I want to keep is signed up for at least another year now, and theyall seemed pleased to commit their future to the club. The only player up in the air is Matéo Lévêque whom I feel is just outside of regular selection and not homegrown. He's a good player but only had a small patch of continued good form. He is on an amateur contract but probably won't leave unless pushed.

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Coming Next

So I still have a job and now my task is to take this squad to the next level. There are a few players I might like to sign and my chief targets for the new season are;

1. Left Back

2. Central Midfield

Defensively, other than the left back position, I think we are solid. Kevin Kerger played left wing back at the end of the season there and formed a nice partnership with Abreu. If that is something I chose to persue I will need more depth at both left back and left wing.

That final match performance for Gary Bernard left me feeling he is adequate cover for Parreira but another youngster there would be a nice addition to the squad.

Midfield is where I want to persue a quality new signing. No one was really able to step in and secure a role in midfield this year. Agovic is my first choice in the more battling half of midfield but few stood out in the partner role. I am actually considering turning to an old favourite now he's been relegated. News on that if it happens.

It's nice to have a board that want to achieve, but they might need to lower their sights...or give me a better budget. The scouting budget is nowhere near big enough for me to achieve this really. I don't see how we can match what Dudelange did this season.

It promises to be an interesting summer of hard work.

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2023-2024 BGL Ligue Season Preview

It's that time again and the fixtures are out for the new league season in Luxembourg. We wave goodbye to Yellow Boys, US Hostert, Mondorf and Junglinster and say hello to Etzella Ettelbruck, Rodange, RM Hamm Benfica and Berdorf-Consdorf. Of those new teams I meet Rodange third and a final day decider will be against Berdorf.

The sad news is that I meet defending champions Dudelange on day one and face Käerjéng second. Not an easy start, but my chairman expects me to win the league anyway.

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As I said, my board think I should win the league, and the media believe so too. We were predicted first last season too and I never found it easy. I don't think the game takes in to account homegrown player rules when ascertaining which is the best squad because, whilst I might have good players, I struggle to fit them all in the same match squad. We're sort of string favourites too and this season will be a real test of my abilities. I need to get this squad playing week in, week out.

Whilst I certainly don't believe I am the best player at FM, I have never had a situation like this before where I am strong favourites with a squad that I don't see as being favourites. When I managed Bangor in FM20 I was one of the better teams in the league and found it easy. 

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It's early days, and my squad are not back from holiday yet, but I've signed a player. He's a young defender that I feel is best at left back and his name is Daniel Inocêncio. Daniel is young but he already looks a very good player and will certainly challenge Laurienté for our left back role.

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More improvements are needed.

 

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Good luck with your pursuit of the championship this season!  As I'm sure you've noticed, you need to chase down a side that earned a full point per game more than you did last season.  I'm guessing some Luxembourgers are putting some money on Dudelange, with those 10-1 odds.  

Inocêncio looks like a tough lad.  He's not very quick, but he's got a great feel for the mental side of the game already. Hopefully you can sort out your midfield and make a run at the title.  I'll be following along.

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Posted (edited)

Pre-Season 2023/2024 - The Eve Of Competition

I believe our transfer dealings in the summer window to date will surprise many. The fact is they have been so few, and that is despite us needing to win the league and my thoughts previously on what we needed. I had a long look at my squads and the truth is my young players are very good and many are now good enough for the first team.

I have spoken already of Inocêncio and he has been joined by two more new faces, both in midfield.

Firstly, Lucas Majerus joins us from Racing. Lucas is a young attack minded central midfielder and I honestly believe it is somewhat of a coup to sign such a talented young man from our rivals.

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For all his talent Lucas might only end up being back up to our last signing of the window. For me, Gianni Medina is a steal from Jeunesse Esch on a free and he has already shown his ability in a pre-season full of goals. I have high hopes that Gianni can be the dependable midfielder we have wanted.

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We trialled a very talented Indonesian-Dutch midfielder through pre-season that would have been immense for us. Sadly he chose to join Greek second tier side Aigaleo on a contract far beyond our means. THat just shows what we are up against in this division...and this country.

So going in to the new season we have a squad make up of the following (those in italics are reasonable backup);

Goalkeepers: Ralph Schon, Calvin Haïdara;

Full Backs: Anthony Vacheron, Yann Matias, Alexandre Laurienté, Daniel Inocêncio, Léon Duval (previewed), Kevin Kerger;

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Center Backs: Allan Hauguel, Hugo Mesbah, Bryan Gonçalves, Pit Proietti (previewed), Yann Matias, Denis Agovic, Daniel Inocêncio, Kakoko

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Midfielders: Denis Agovic (vice captain), Gianni Medina, Luca Majerus, Kakoko, Farid Ikene, Brian Rouffignac, Alexandre Müller (previewed);

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Wingers: Artur Abreu (captain), Kevin Kerger, Rodrigo Parreira, Gary Bernard, Kakoko;

Forwards: Jonathan Nanizayamo (Nani), Leonel Landim, Noé Zimmer, Kakoko, Gary Bernard, Artur Abreu, Kevin Kerger;

U21 squad members registered for squad: Robert Denker (CD, previewed), Bruno Munoz (MR), Rogério Roque (CM), Damir Begic (ML), Patrick Avdusinovic (AMR/F), Maximilien Prevot (F)

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And here is the story of the window up to the first game against Dudelange;

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In some ways the squad might seem thin, but with the young players coming through and utility back up I feel we have enough to make us dangerous. Kakoko has turned in to something of a very useful utility man. I started using the German both up front and out wide towards the end of last season. He is 33 now but could prove integral to this season for his utility.

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Kakoko's position map shows his depth

 

Up front, Noé Zimmer was the revelation of our pre-season friendlies. The young striker scored 7 goals in 6 appearances (4 as a sub) and I feel he must get the start against Dudelange. Leonel Landim was not so convincing, though he did score 4 and provide 3 assists.

It was a stunning record in friendlies for us, winning all but one of our games. We stuffed ASL Porto and recorded a great win over the second team of French Ligue 2 side Strasbourg. The doubles conceded against Steinsel and Hosingen gave me some cause for concern, but if we can score like this in the league then we can challenge for the top spot.

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So, can we expect anything else on the transfer front? Honestly I don't know. Modeste Duku, the young attacking winger I looked at last season, is now transfer listed at Molenbeek and he would be a quality addition to the side. Would he join though? There is little chance I can pay his wages or pay a fee so it would have to be a loan.

Remember I talked about an old star being a possible signing? Well, I also investigated a move for my old Schifflange stalwart Ange Viera. The Ivorian is at relegated US Hostert but they want £40k to force them to sell. That is too much and I'll keep an eye on his contract.

Then there is another Schifflange player, a youngster that came through in my first season named Sérgio Pratas. My scouting team rate him but I don't think he'd be ready for my first team yet. I'd loan him out so he might just be better off at Schifflange for now.

Thill is a surname synonymous with Luxembourgish football, with a number of men of that name playing for the national team. One of those, Sébastien, left Progrės in July. He doesn't want to join at the moment, but give him a few months without a club and us top of the table (sweet dreams) and I might get a new very talented midfielder.

 

Former Club Watch

So what about little Schifflange? How are they getting on?

Sadly it's not so good. They were in the Promotion d'Honneur relegation zone for much of last season but managed to climb out on the last day of the season to win a play off spot that might keep them up. In that play off they faced minnows US Feulen for what should have been a comfortable win. Football is a funny old game though.

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And Schifflange face 2023/2024 in Division 1.

 

Kick off is just around the corner...time to show what we're made of...

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Oh, by the way. I have no contract. The board won't give me one because they don't trust me. Need a good start.

Writing Life: CONNECTION Named Semi-Finalist in TVWriter's People's Pilot  Competition — Jace Lacob

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August 2023 - Couldn't Hit A Barn Door From Two Yards

With all the goals we scored in the pre-season friendlies I had high hopes of a good start in the league. What actually happened couldn't have been any worse.

First up, as I've said, were Dudelange and we started reasonably well despite a number of my players looking nervous. That all changed half an hour in when Dudelange knocked in a long ranger and we never found a way back in. Our finishing was poor beyond belief and Dudelange knocked in a second to secure the win.

I was expecting the sack but it didn't come.

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Next up was home to Käerjéng and surely a win to start the season. Despite all my hopes for Zimmer he had looked out of sorts against Dudelange. I was urged to select Landim and boost his partnership with Nani, so I did. He was terrible and Nani, despite a number of good chances failed to hit the target.

The game changd in the space of 5 second half minutes. On 62 minutes Agovic, already on a yellow, went in for a nothing challenge on the left and fouled his man. He was off. Five minutes later our opponents capitalised on our disadvantage and took the lead. I'd already replaced Nani with a central midfielder and despite tinkering we couldn't find a goal.

I must do something about our finishing. I'm at a loss for how we can be so free scoring against a good side like Strasbourg, all be it their second team, and then draw two blanks in the league. Our xG is fine so the chances we're creating are good. We're just not putting them away.

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BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 27th August 2023

Coming Next

Plenty of shooting practice...

I have to solve this inability to score. My thinking is it's the target man system but I used that pre-season and it has worked in the past. Switching to one up top with inside forwards is an option but that rarely suits Parreira. We have matches versus Rosport, Rodange and Differdange in the BGL in September and face tiny Noertzange in the cup at the end of the month. If we haven't scored by October I'll sack myself.

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4 minutes ago, abulezz said:

Early season struggles are always a pain to deal with - let it go on long enough and it becomes the norm for the season. 

Never been easy with Petange. We're definitely better than we show. I really don't understand why we're predicted champions.

Maybe it's just Luxembourg. So few quality players.

Can only get better.

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Posted (edited)

September 2023 - We Can Score...Or Can We?

We had to get our season started and what better team to do it against than Alain Palgen's Rosport, a team we hadn't lost to under my management. There was still a war of words being talked about by the media, or at least the media trying to stir things up between myself and Palgen. Ikene came in for the suspended Agovic and Zimmer was my choice up front.

Those decisions got us the first goal of the game, Ikene teeing Noé Zimmer up with a lovely ball over the top which the youngster finished well. Zimmer should have had a second before half time too. A shot from Ikene blasted off of a defender and fell in to the path of the young striker who finished easily only for his goal to be chalked off for offside. I had to question the rules of the game with the fourth official.

It wouldn't matter however as we scored twice in a good second half display to seal the points. First it was Jonathan Nanizayamo who converted a penalty won by Parreira and then Artur Abreu sealed the points with an easy finish from a corner in stoppage time.

We were off and running.

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Next up were BGL newcomers Rodange and a game that should surely have been three points. I kept the same team as had beaten Rosport and watched shocked as we failed to put away our chances. Defensively we were rock solid but in front of goal we were deer in headlights.

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Could we change our fortunes in our next match at home to Differdange? Patrick Avdusinovic would be the latest striker I would try after he had impressed me in the U21s and Agovic came back in to the team. 17 shots, 5 of them on target. Another blank sheet. If Nani sends another close range header over the bar I might completely lose my rag. Our xG in this game was poor and that I put down to the total inefficiency of Kakoko in midfield. There is a nother player I have never really seen the best of. Medina replaced him late and wasn't much better though. Tinkering is needed. Or just plain impovement from my players. I suggested the second point to them in a team meeting and got a good response.

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So after 5 games we're in a rather poor 11th on just 5 points. That needs to improve after next week's cup game.

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BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 24th September 2023

So just the aforementioned cup game to go in September and for that we travelled just east of my former club Schifflange to face Second Division FC Noertzange HF for what should really be a very easy win.

This would also be a momentous occaison for myself...

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I made heavy changes to the starting lineup, especially at the back, and Majerus came in to midfield and put in a solid display. Still, I was a little disappointed at half time that it was still 0-0. I ordered better for the second half and three minutes in Gary Bernard duly obliged as he finished a lovely little backheel from Majerus.

We were dominating now and Leonel Landim got the second of the game after a wonderful Laurienté cross. Jonathan Nanizayamo then finally got a goal from open play when he calmly slotted home a wonderful Majerus ball deep in to stoppage time.

It was maybe not the thumping I had wanted to see but a win is a win and will hopefully instill some confidence. I had tinkered a few elements of our game before the match and at half time. Perhaps the second half was a sign that I did well.

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In the Third Round we will face FC Blo-Wäiss Izeg away. They are a Division One side currently struggling.

Coming Next

October still needs to see signs of improvement from the squad as we entertain Racing, Hamm Benfica, Una Strassen and Swift. We need to move up the table if I am going to satisfy the board, though it is a slightly good sign that they seem to think a little more of me going in to October. Perhaps they look at September as unbeaten whilst i am looking at it as a month of missed chances.

One Does Not Simply Meme - Imgflip

Update - I was just moving into the new month, and our game with Racing, when I got a report of the week's U21 game. Our youngsters secured an outstanding 8-2 win over Una Strassen U21s. The youth are playing the same formation as the seniors so that suggests I'm on the right track. Either that or my U21s manager is some sort of encouragment guru!

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October 2023 - Frustration, Tweaks And Defenders Spoiling The Fun

After the safe win in the cup we welcomed Racing for a tie I wanted to win to keep our newly unbeaten form going. Of course, I want to win them all, but when you're on a roll why stop? We were back at full strength but never really got going in this game. Racing weren't a whole lot better but won the game courtesy of a stupidly given away penalty midway through the second period. I was more frustrated that we hadn't learnt our lesson from conceding a first - soft - penalty that Ralph Schon had fantastically saved.

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A week later and we travelled to face Hamm Benfica in the capital for a game I insisted to the boys that we must win. Patrick Avdusinovic was continuing to impress in the U21s  - the lad scored a hattrick against Union 05 U21s - and I decided to give him another chance up front. In addition I performed some tinkering. Time to slow things down a bit more. I was convinced we had the ability to outpass teams and the longer balls to a target man were proving fruitless. With that in mind I partnered Avdusinovic with Zimmer in a very attacking forward line up.

On 36 minutes I was a happy man. Laurienté - back in the team and playing better - burst down the left flank and put in a peach of a cross. First to the ball was Patrick Avdusinovic who finished with a sweeping left foot volley. It's nice to have faith repaid. I was just a little less happy at half time after we had allowed Hamm a soft equaliser.

In to the second half and I was finding the loss of the target man had shown some deficiencies and Nani came on for Zimmer. In a total two finger salute to my ideas it changed us as a team and we soon found a second. A free kick on the right was delivered by Majerus and Allan Hauguel was on hand to head home.

That was how the game finished and we were back to winning ways. In our post match analysis I came to the concludion that one little bit of tinkering had helped more than any other. For a long time now I have perservered with instructing my players to attempt to get their crosses in faster and it was abandoning that, in additioning to slowing down the speed at which we get the ball in to the box, that had most impact.

A manager never stops learning.

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As you'll see above there was one sore point from the Hamm game. We lost Rodrigo Parreira to an injury and I sat nervously awaiting the report of scans.

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I'll call the next story sod's law. A week later and my scouts suggested a Swiss-Luxembourger football who played on the right wing and was out of contract. I immediately offered him a trial hoping I'd found a replacement for our star man. Our new man started in a friendly midweek and tore his knee ligaments. It's not as bad as Rodrigo's injury, and the new man will only be out for three weeks. That's his trial period though.

I'll call him back later and have him train with us till January when he could register for the league. I won't tempt fate by spoiling his name.

Meanwhile, Gary Bernard has been doing well for a man for whom right winger is not the most natural. Gary prefers to play much more advanced than my preferred style requires, but he's done great.

~~~

So we welcomed Una Strassen next without our star man. The press previewed the game by highlighting the return of Matéo Lévêque to Pétange. He'd been ever present for Una Strassen this season and spoke of his great respect for me. Nice.

We started slowly and conceded a simple headed goal in the 8th minute that sparked crazy hand gestures from myself and shouts of disapproval. To give the boys credit they did up their game and we were rewarded with an equaliser on the stroke of half time. It was a lovely build up goal too. Nani, centrally, played the ball to Avdusinovic who calmly laid it in to the path of the onrushing Gary Bernard to fire home from the edge of the box.

In the second half we were brilliant and played Una Strassen off the park. Jonathan Nanizayamo scored another goal from open play on 52 minutes as he cutely swept home Bernard's pinpoint cross. Artur Abreu made it three in stoppage time when he converted a penalty that Kevin Kerger had won with a bursting run in to the box.

I'd say this was us at our most dangerous since pre-season. It is something to build on...

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Well, it would have been nice to build on that result. Something always likes to put a spanner in the works, of course. The spanner against Swift a week later was Hugo Mesbah stupidly getting himself sent off in a game that was starting to swing our way. It was a sending off for a second yellow, but it was a tackle that might have been more deserving of a red anyway. It was in a nowhere position on the field and left me rather fuming.

Luckily we managed to see out the game - more because of Swift's poor finishing - and got ourselves a point that we'll have to be happy with. It could have been worse.

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So, a reasonable month. It started poorly and ended on a less than fantastic note, but in between that we looked like a very good side. We've regrouped enough to be not all that far off the top of the table, but it's still tight enough that a slide could be disastrous.

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BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 29th October 2023

Coming Next

November sees us entertain lowly Ettelbruck, mid-table Jeunesse and top of the pile Fola. Sandwiched inbetween is a cup tie with Blo-Wäiss Izeg. Beating Fola will really signal our intentions. Can my new tinkering see us rise to the top? I'm encouraged by the way things are going and the board are now satisfied. Maybe it's time to ask for a contract again.

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November 2023 - Just Running On Auto

We started November with what should have been an easy tie against bottom of the pile Etzella Ettelbruck, one of the few clubs we ever face from the north of Luxembourg. I decided to go right for the jugular and we had most of the attacking play in the match. We couldn't have scored had the match lasted 900 minutes rather than 90 minutes. The Ettelbruck keeper was in outstanding form but we never got going really and made it easy for him.

It is in games like this in which we really do struggle, with the players in my squad lacking the desire to win these run of the mill fixtures. Or so it would seem.

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Start Of Player Troubles?

This club continues to make every effort to make my life hell. The latest problem was Kakoko. He's not played regularly this season because he simply never performs, regardless of where I ask him to play. I realy can't think of one game in which the German midfielder has impressed me. So call me confused when a group of players told me they thought their team mate should be getting more game time. I said no, and continued to say no. I was sticking to my guns on this one. Kakoko does not deserve to be first choice. I'd continue to give him chances but I'm not going to favour a player that has consistently underperformed over those that make the effort.

~~~~~

Talking of chances, I decided to give Kakoko one final chance in the cup game against Blo-Wäiss Izeg a few days later. This would also be a chance for Landim to impress me in partnering Kakoko up front.

In hindsight, I should have refrained and just left the angered German out. He was woeful and honestly seemed to bring the team down. We found ourselves two down to the amateurs with half time approaching and it looked like we'd have it all to do after the break. Step up Gianni Medina as he headed in his first club goal following a late burst from full back from Inocência.

We'd still have to be better in the second half and we were. We ran the half and equalised just after ten minutes in. It was Leonel Landim back with a goal as he chased down a Medina ball over the top. We tried in vain to find the winner in the final half hour of normal time and an extra half hour to decide the tie. Kakoko had run his last for the club (more on that later) and we switched formations in an attempt to end the tie before the lottery of penalties. It wasn't to be however with another keeper, this time Izeg's Verdy, denying us time and again.

So it would be the lottery of penalties, and this was where we showed the amateurs up. They missed two penalties and Pit Proietti ended the game for us with his decisive kick.

That was nervy.

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We'll face Una Strassen in the next round after we drew our fellow BGL team out of the hat.

Kakoko

I was furious with the lack of effort from the veteran and he is in the U21s. He can suffer out of my sight. I'll not have my job put under pressure by my players and I'll rely on those who want to perform for me. The sooner he leaves the club the better.

~~~~~

We faced a tough tie at top of the league Fola Esch at the end of the week and those that impressed against the amateurs would get their chance to further impress. Chiefly, that would be Medina but Landim would have to make do with the bench because I needed to be more defensive for this tie. This was one game in which I would be happy with a 0-0.

We got that result too. Fola were good and pressed us throughout but we did ourselves proud and almost snatched it a few times. My defence were mostly imperious throughout, as they've been all season to date. With us going in to an international break I'd like to build on this result in training.

We remain unbeaten in five league games, even if we're hardly destroying teams.

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Further Player Troubles

With my favourable words on my defence so ready in my mind what happened next might be the straw that destroys me. First it was Hugo Mesbah that came to see me to say he wanted a move to a bigger club. Not now, Hugo, I thought and told him he could go at the end of the season. He couldn;t take that and even the suggestion of a payrise was not enough to appease one of my key players.

Hugo would play our next game, looking less than interested throughout, but what really killed me was the visit of Allan Hauguel after that game. He told me the same as Hugo but was a little less forceful at first. I capitalised on this to suggest just what I suggested to his defensive partner. In this case I had to concede. I didn't want to but I can't have two of my key players, and best performers, unsettled.

~~~~~

"That" game was a welcome to Jeunesse Esch, a club above us in the table and knocking on the European places door. As I said, Mesbah played but we almost carried him. Thankfully the defender had his moments and didn't completely disappear as Kakoko had. This was prior to the Hauguel news above, and he was incredible again. Jeunesse were good throughout and really tested us. We showed some real quality at moments though to take the spoils.

Artur Abreu returned to form to score the first after a great Bernard cross and Nani knockdown for our captain to fire home just after the half hour mark. Bernard was provider for the second too. It was late in the game when he put in a wonderful cross for substitute Noé Zimmer to burst on to.

Ralph Schon had kept us in this game and was man of the match. Allan Hauguel had been almost as wonderful, hopefully not for the last time, and Gianni Medina had been pivotal throughout. It was nice to see a midfielder step up considering my troubles with Kakoko.

It was just nice to score twice and win after a tough month. Of course, I wasn't aware at the time of what was to come from Hauguel.

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That result continues our unbeaten run and moves us up to 8th in the table. Time to start turning the draws in to wins and challenge for Europe...at least.

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BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 26th November 2023

Coming Next

Hopefully there will be no more player troubles as we move in to December for a month in which we face two top teams in Progrės and Dudelange. It never gets easy.

Games against Berdorf and US Esch have to be must wins and we can hope to progress in the cup against Una Strassen. Remember we've never lost to them.

Let's signal our intentions!

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1 hour ago, Sheriff7 said:

Too many draw always cost..:rolleyes:

As a Bournemouth fan I'm incredibly aware :seagull:

They couldn't score for ages either...

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December 2023 - I Think It Might Be Clicking Into Shape

November ended, and December started, with bad news. We would be without Farid Ikene and Gary Bernard for a while after they both picked up injuries. That news left us terribly short at right wing and with no way to bring in a replacement.

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For the first match of the month, home to newly promoted Berdorf-Consdorf, I punted for Artur Abreu in the vacant right wing spot and our captain repaid my faith in him with a stunning performance to deliver us three points. We started on the front foot as Jonathan Nanizayamo scored a penalty after he had been bundled over attacking an inswinging corner. Around the half hour mark the game turned in to the Zimmer-Abreu show with two moments of counter attacking brilliance. First, Abreu, almost at right back, turned and swung a three quarters pitch length ball into the path of Noé Zimmer who finished brilliantly. Four minutes later it was three as Abreu intercepted a Berdorf pass and slotted the ball into the path of Noé Zimmer to again finish well.

I was a little annoyed as we allowed our opponets back in to the game with an easy goal before half time but Jonathan Nanizayamo made the points safe midway through a much slower second half when he converted a second penalty of the game.

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Next we travelled to Niederkorn to face Progrės and put in one of the best displays I have seen from this side I have assembled. Noé Zimmer was again on the scoresheet as he put away a wonderful Medina through ball in the 25th minute. We sadly allowed Progrės a goal back before half time and had to be content with 1-1 at the break.

I assured the lads that they had what it took to win the second half and they put in a wonderful display in thanks for my words. Ten minuts in to the half Jonathan Nanizayamo turned on to a lofted Agovic ball into the box to put us 2-1 up. Alexandre Laurienté came on to fire home his first goal for the club when he fired home a Brian Rouffignac lay off with venom.

Progrės couldn't match us in the second half and we took home a wonderful three points to lift us right up the table. I knew this team had it in them.

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That game had marked eight league games unbeaten but we all know good things like to come to an end. Against US Esch we really didn't turn up. I was shocked to see such a limp performance follow such a good win as we had had the week before. That is football though. Esch scored in the first minute and held on for three points.

We had almost closed the gap on the top spots before that game too.

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A break for Christmas was next and then a pause in our league campaign as we welcomed Una Strassen for a cup game. There was a slight reshuffle to the squad and a debut for our new signing. Yes, I had forgotten to mention that. You'll recall I spoke about trying to sign one of the Thills in pre-season and said he might be more open to joining when he'd spent a while without a club.

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I thought the fans might be more pleased that we had welcomed a Thill to the club, but it is the view of the press that Sébastien has never shown his true form throughout his career. He clearly has the talent so can I get the best out of the winger? He can't be registered for the league until January but can play in the cup.

Well, Sébastien did start well against Una Strassen. He swung in a corner that Hauguel headed home only for Landim to be flagged offside in the 13th minute and then again for Nanizayamo to head at goal six minutes later. Nani's header was saved but Leonel Landim was on hand to turn the rebound home to give us the lead.

We doubled that lead ten minutes in to the second half as Jonathan Nanizayamo looped a header home after determined work my Landim on the right of the box had allowed the poacher to get the ball to his partner.

I made a number of changes at that point with the goal of clinging on to our lead. It wasn't to be however as we allowed our opponents two goals in the last ten minutes to take the game to extra time. I was actually pretty furious at this turn of events but chose to remind the lads they'd been the better team and should be able to score to end the game in extra time.

Six minutes to go and queue Leonel Landim as he slotted home a delightful Abreu ball in to the box to give us the win and avoid the lottery of penalties.

We will meet Differdange in the Quarter Final.

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Just a few days later we ended the year with the daunting prospect of welcoming Dudelange to our home. I decided not to sit back and attempt to give the league chanpions a game. The lads duly obliged but our winner was one of the luckiest goals I will ever witness. It came ten minutes after the break and came of a determined run into the box by Artur Abreu. He was tackled by the defender only for that player's clearance to clatter into Leonel Landim and dribble into the net. I will take goals any way they come, but will also note that I had only just chosen Leonel over Noé Zimmer after the former's performance in the cup game. I went with momentum and was rewarded.

Dudelange went for us after that but the lads performed heroics and held on to secure for me my first win over Dudelange. Can I say "for me"? Am I getting all Jose Mourinho?

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And that result sees us end 2023 sixth in the BGL Ligue after a poor start. But for the shocker against US Esch it could have been so much better.

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BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 31st December 2023

Coming Next

Can 2024 bring a continuation to the great form we are showing? I certainly hope so. I will confess to a possible traitorous act though. Midweek after the US Esch game, and me feeling a little deflated, I saw that a couple of clubs in the Dutch second tier had disposed of their managers; VVV Venlo and RKC Waalwijk. I applied for both but I will say the victory over Dudelange has made me less sure that I want away. I didn't see that win coming. Could I really leave now? The board still ain't happy, presumably because we're not in the European spots, and I still can't get a contract.

I'll decide if the offers come in. It would be a jump up.

January sees a transfer window that promises to be busy and games versus Rosport, my nemeses Käerjéng (I just can't beat them), Differdange and Rodange. I am sure Hauguel and Mesbah will leave the club, and indeed I have already had a pitiful offer for the former, so I'll need to find quality replacements.

Bring in the new year.

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Not really, of course, but flair and all that...

 

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16 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

It seems that this injury crisis inspired your team!:lol:

I might injure a few more myself...:onmehead:

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January 2024 - Going Well, But Never Enough For The Board

Into a new year we went with a home tie versus struggling Rosport and as we were doing well I saw little need to change a winning side to any great extent. Calvin Haïdara had to start in goal after Schon suffered an injury in training and Thill came in for his first league start at right wing. We started okay but suffered an early setback as our defence opened up like a sieve to allow Rosport the opener. It didn't take long for us to level though as Leonel Landim arrived first to an Abreu ball for a simple header.

We took the lead fifteen minutes in to the second half, again through Leonel Landim. The assist was from the right boot of Thill. Landim possibly should have had a hattrick a few minutes later as he finished from close range, but the linesman flagged for offside. It was close.

We were having a lot of the ball and were creating chances that we were failing to put away. Rosport punished us for this in a fifteen minute period of a lesson in how to finish as we found ourselves 3-2 down with just about five minutes left. Both goals were efforts on the break that left us high and dry. It is something that has been creeping in to our game of late and will become a flavour of January.

I had fears of a slow start to the new year until up popped Alexandre Laurienté to rescue the day. Medina played the ball out to the wing back from a crowded box and Alexandre slotted it home with a calmness that I'd wished I'd been feeling at the time.

That was how the game ended and we had to be content with a point. We had enough of the game to win it and to only just rescue a point was frustrating.

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Midweek the inevitable happened and Allan Hauguel was snapped up. The worst of it was that it was Dudelange that snapped our star defender up. The champions offered him a contract I would never be able to match and he would be off in July. I wantd money though so offered Dudelange the chance to sign their man now for £50k. They took the offer.

I needed a new defender and with options within Luxembourg short I plumped for a Dutch-Surinamese center back that had been suggested by my scouting team. Scouting abroad with this club is difficult. Despite their lofty ambitions the board give me a pitiful scouting budget so I have a basic idea of these players they suggest. What we did know about this young man at Twente was good so I took a chance and offered a loan deal. Twente accepted and we had a new center back for the season.

Please welcome Elgero King to Pétange. Elgero is a left sided defender with strong physicals including pace. Hopefully he can impress here, and indeed I'd give him a chance in the next game.

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It's fair to say the fans, and Artur Abreu, were not too pleased that Hauguel was allowed to leave and I had to convince them that my hands were tied. Artur was thankfully convinced by the decision to sign King. Of course, Artur would later come to me with concerns for another player. More on that later though.

~~~~~

First, the match against my bogey team Käerjéng. In this one we actually took the lead via a lovely edge of the area shot from Jonathan Nanizayamo. We were pegged back just five minutes later when debutant King failed to stop a breakaway. It was not the only mistake in a poor debut for the new loanee and we allowed Käerjéng to take the lead on the stroke of half time from a free kick.

Despite two goals in the previous game Leonel Landim was poor in this match and I replaced him on 55 minutes. That replacement was Noé Zimmer and it was the young striker who rescued a point (again) with a header he should have been a poor favourite for.

We had been marginally the better side but were shipping poor goals.

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Things improved massively in our next game away at Differdange, even if it did take a lucky red card for our hosts to give us the advantage. I say that but were already 1-0 up when Differdange went down to ten men. Jonathan Nanizayamo had powered home a Zimmer header just three minutes before the referee produced his red card.

We were the dominant side in the second half and Artur Abreu secured three points with ten minutes left on the clock when he arrived late in the area to head home another Zimmer cross. I was impressed with the contribution of Zimmer after I had brought him in in place of Landim.

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To end January we welcomed newly promoted Rodange, a side going well in mid table. I think we underestimated them too even though we took the lead through a 9th minute Jonathan Nanizayamo penalty after Thill was fouled just inside the box. That new tendency of ours to concede on the break came to haunt us ten minutes later as we allowed Rodange a soft equaliser. It had been hinted to me prior to the game starting that the players felt we might be too open at the back so I dropped Mesbah back a little to deal with the counters. It worked well and allowed a young striker of ours to steal the show.

That young striker is of course Noé Zimmer and he gave us back the lead just short of half time with a lovely finish to Nani's wonderful defence splitting ball. We looked good at the end of that half and I told the lads to go out there and win the match in the second.

Noé Zimmer was the man of the hour when he ran on to another Nani through ball in the 53rd minute, and guess who scored our third. Yes, it was a certain Noé Zimmer again as he finished his first professional hattrick by being first to react to Artur Abreu's inswinging cross from the left.

Thatw as when the complacency crept in and we very nearly threw this game away. Rodange scored twice in four minutes to really scare us despite the fact that I had sacrificed Nani for more security in midfield. I was not happy with the lack of concentration and we were conceding goals on the counter despite having a more defensive outlook. It's not a higher line in the 4-4-2 at fault but the concentration on the park.

I do think we miss Hauguel and the goals we shipped in January have made me convinced a new keeper is a priority for next season. Schon's ability has really begun to slump in his thirty-fifth year and Haïdara is maybe not up to being first choice in the BGL Ligue. The endless search begins. I also mentioned a little player concern regarding a player earlier. That placer was Daniel Inôcencio whom a few players believed should be in the squad. Daniel looked good in spells but the whole defence suffered in terms of my opinion of them after we shipped two late goals to nearly lose a 4-1 lead.

Three points is three points though.

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We now find ourselves in the European place though. The board still aren't happy, but I don't believe we can win the league. If they won't stump up the money then they'll to be content. And they don't. Ambition is great, but back it. Had they done so I might have kept Hauguel.

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BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 28th January 2024

Coming Next

February sees a busy five matches in our attempt to challenge for this title and win the cup. In the league we face Racing, Hamm Benfica, Una Strassen and Etzella. There is also the tie with Differdange in the cup quarter final.

The transfer window closes a week into february so I'll cover that next week. We have an exciting young player currently on trial here that might mean some added flair to the team and there is my determined endeavour to get rid of Kakoko that isn't proving easy. I believe the board gave me £19k of the Hauguel money so don't expect too much.

You might be wondering how my enquiries to Dutch clubs went. VVV Venlo were quick to get back to me and say I wouldn't get the job. RKC took a little longer but I wasn't on their shortlist.

I'm in managerial limbo really and only a title win will get me out of it. I like the squad I am building but Luxembourg is a frustrating country to manage in. Almost as frustrating as this board.

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February 2024 - Standing On A Managerial Precipice

Before I begin a recounting of the rolelrcoaster that was February there's the small matter of finishing a Transfer Window.

Just one more new face came in in my efforts to replace the very influential Allan Hauguel. Please welcome Pétange's very only Brazilian regen, Eduardo Feijão. Eduardo is very a promising center back/midfield option that came to the club's attention via the efforts of his agent in trying to get Eduardo a move. I offered the young man a trial and he impressed me enough to earn his chance in Europe. He's on a good wage for an 18 year old, but there is enough about Eduardo to suggest he can be a good player for us moving forward. Maybe he can even make the club some money too.

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With a number of extra loans for my youngsters that concludes the transfer window. I couldn't get rid of Kakoko. We received a bid of £5k from US Esch for my unwanted German but despite wanting to leave the fool refused the contract offered.

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Back To The Action

With my mind fully on the football we travelled north to face Racing in our first game of the month. What followed was an entertaining draw that I was disappointed not to take all three points from. Jonathan Nanizayamo got the ball rolling with a penalty in the 29th minute that should have been the only story of a first half in which I thought we were the better team. Sadly, a long range effort from racing's defensive mid saw us level at the break.

In the second half we took the lead again through the in form Noé Zimmer as the young striker raced on to a lovely first time pass from Nani. Racing tied the game for a second time just four minutes later following a shockingly complacent throw from Yann Matias at right back. Some blame must go to Zimmer for failing to control the ball. A quick pass from the interception lead to one of the most shocking goals we'll concede all season.

I suppose a point at one of the title contenders is not such a bad outcome but to lose two points due to that goal was hard to accept.

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Midweek saw our cup quarter final and a welcome to mid table Differdange. We were awful throughout though and lost to a sole Differdange goal late in the game. The less said on that game the better, I think.

It's all down to the league for my Pétange future though.

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At the end of that busy week we welcomed Hamm Benfica for a game for an important game with the season's surprise side. Despite promotion Hamm were fighting for the European spots admirably. We were easily the better side for the first half and my new young starlet sent us in two up at the break. Yes, Noé Zimmer scored his eleventh and twelth goals of the season within six minutes of each other. On 23 minutes Noé was teed up my Gianni Medina for an easy finish and just prior to the half hour mark he knocked in a simple far post tap in after a mini goal mouth scramble.

Our second half display was far from as good and we were possibly lucky to only concede a stoppage time consolation. I've still not seen the best from Thill on the right wing and Inocência has not looked confident at left back despite his colleagues feeling he needs to start.

Three points was very nice though and it continues our winning run in the league.

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A week later we returned to action in the capital with an away tie at Una Strassen. As I've said before we have not lost to the boys in red under my tenure. We continued that trend with a tight 1-0 win thanks to the man of the moment, Noé Zimmer as he was first to react to a pivotal Nani flick on. It was quite a sight to see Noé finish surrounded by a perfect formation of Una Strassen defenders unable to stop him. Thirteen for the season now and us in fourth.

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Surely the final match of the month would be a formality that would see us better cement our position in the European spots. We would be facing relegation probables Etzella Ettelbruck at home and I wanted to see a bagful of goals to end what had been a tough month. The goals of January had dried up a little as had the performances of a number of my players.

We got off to a good start with a series of efforts at goal from an energetic looking Thill. Then the game changed on a sixpence. A long ball clearnance by Etzella was adjudged to have been brought down with his hand by Yann Matias and the right back was off for a second yellow. We were still on top but fell to two simple second half goals for a painful defeat.

On the positive side of things, Feijão got his first start for us and Elgero King played well in defence despite the two goals. We were seriously hampered by the red shown to Matias. To be honest, I thought the performance of referee Alex Kreuger was very one-sided. We should have finished Etzella off early in the game when we were dominant though.

Much to work on for the final six games.

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That defeat sees us in sixth place in a slightly detached group now chasing the European spots. Progrės have pulled away a little at the top but are not uncatchable.

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BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 25th February 2024

Coming Next

March sees us face fourth placed Fola at home to start the month before we travel to eighth and ninth placed Jeunesse Esch and Swift Hesperange. There is then a gap of almost a month before the last three fixtures in April and May.

The startling truth is we need nine points from March.

Imperative...

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March 2024 - The Only Way Is Up...Baby

Sorry, I had to after that title. :hammer:

Anyway. Remember how I said it was imperative we get nine points in March? First up was a tough game at home to Fola Esch and come back my big Burundian. After a tight first half Anthony Vacheron, replacing the suspended Matias, found himself free down the right. One of the most sublime crosses you will see all season found the head of Jonathan Nanizayamo and the ball hit the back of the net like an Exocet. What a beautiful time to get a first goal in five matches for the big man.

Fola Esch, truth be told, tested us but never looked like breaking through the defensive mastercalss of Mesbah and King. We therefore saw out a great 1-0 win against a challenger.

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The press chose the following week to run a feature highlighting the title run in in the BGL Ligue. Bizarrely, or inadequately, they left off the last game of the season for each team, but that Progrės game in April is going to be huge. We actually end the campaign at bottom of the pile Berdorf-Consdorf. I don't like those games against inferior opposition so hopefully we don't need that for Europe. I suspect we'd need to beat the bottom side to snatch the title.

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Of course, that all depends on us winning our final two games of March and we travelled up to Hesperange to face Swift a few days later. What followed was a masterclass from the big man and a moment to forget for our captain.

We started woefully and just seven minutes in Abreu collected a pass on the left and only had to boot the ball away to relieve a little pressure on our defence. Bizarrely he chose to pass the ball back to the unsuspecting Inocêncio, with the young left back unable to control a ball he wasn't expecting. Swift nipped in and slotted home from close range.

The half didn't get any better. Nor did it thankfully get any worse, but at half time I dragged Abreu off and demanded more from my troops. They delivered seven minutes after the restart, Zimmer bursting into the area only to be clumsily brought down. Jonathan Nanizayamo converted his seventh penalty of the campaign and it was all level.

Jonathan Nanizayamo was on hand again twelve minutes later as he turned in Thill's corner at the back post for the lead. Six minutes later and the turnaround was complete when who should turn home Zimmer's lovely box splitting center but Jonathan Nanizayamo again. It was a lovely finish with his right foot to complete a hattrick for the big man.

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Two down, one to go. Goal so far intact.

The final challenge of March would be away at Jeunesse Esch. We made the short trip with confidence after the second half demolition of Swift and started the game in scintilating fashion. Just nine minutes in and a cute Thill ball set up a breathatking dribble and shot for Noé Zimmer to score his fourteenth of the season. I was on the touchline stunned as the young striker rounded one man and put the ball in off the far post for a great goal.

On the half hour mark we went two up as Sébastien Thill scored his first Pétange goal when he knocked in Kevin Kerger's lovely searching cross at the back post. Jonathan Nanizayamo then made the game seemingly safe in the 51st minute, turning home another spot kick after he was fouled in the area.

I was a little disappointed that we switched off a little after the third and we allowed Jeunesse a way back into the game with what turned out to be a late consolation. I'd made changes to the formation in an effort to shut up shop and I think it might have had the reverse effect. We held on to secure a third win in three though.

Most importantly I'd met my own challenge and secured nine points out of nine in March.

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Sadly, Progrės keep winning and the title will need a monumental effort in three games, even if we beat the likely champions. The battle for Europe is still on though with a huge fight between us, Dudelange, Racing and Hamm Benfica. I want that spot!

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BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 17th March 2024

Youth Intake

Mid-March siganlled a fantastic day as we welcomed the new future stars of Luxembourg to the club. They seem to be a fantastic bunch with two players standing out for me.

First is a young goalkeeper that surely has a big future. Hey man, it's Tom Heymans. There is work to be done here but goalkeeper is a position at the top of my list for replacement next season. Ralph Schon actually heads the clean sheets in this year's BGL but the former Luxembourg international is tailing off in his career and Calvin Haïdara has not lived up to my expectations as of yet. Tom is unlikely to be ready next season but he is one for the future. A new national star? I don't think it's unreasonably to think so.

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The second player I'd like to highlight is striker Jo Stumpf. Natural finishing ability and the ability to be where he is needed make Jo a player to watch. Sadly he seems unambitious and I'll need to rectify that.

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This year's intake has seen us draw in talent from as far afield as China and India and is soemthing to believe in at this club. Now I just need to stay here. We're building something and I'm hoping the board choose to keep the faith in me.

Coming Next

The 100% record in March certainly helped my board to think better of me. If we can secure this European spot then I think I may just about meet their requirements.

We have a 28 day break before the final three games of the season and a chance to build some confidence with some friendly ties, I think. Progrės are first up in mid-April before we finish with trips to US Esch and Berdorf. I really think we need to win at least two of those ties. A win against the probably champions would be nice but maybe i'd take a draw.

Should I be more expectant? Probably.

We are...

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32 minutes ago, Sheriff7 said:

European football is coming...:brock:

I do hope so. I love playing the early rounds in Europe.

40 minutes ago, abulezz said:

Both the prospects look quality, but if you can get Stumpf to develop well, he will be a star. 

It was a nice selection of players all round really. Hope for the future if I can just stick around at Petange.

 

I should actually confess to all that I did actually apply for another job. The Cambur Leeuwarden job became available and I put in a cheeky application. It was laughed off and the board did comment on it.

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