Jump to content

A Crusade of Kings - We're Going Dutch


Recommended Posts

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.

03BGLM23YellowBoys5323.png.b4a2007a0782b83732c1dec0c950a0e0.png

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.

03BGLM24Rosport12323.png.bc21fdf09bfbdffe0f6f0e990587a74e.png

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.

03BGLM25Hesperange19323.png.1067a66882e65aa154d77500dd66a7ef.png

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.

03BGLMar23.png.de8169a462a0b74e667d31f5b0e9ff87.png

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.

1724319553_03_MaximilienPrevot.thumb.png.5d2f0ba147dc3a7264dedfbf85142a31.png

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.

1596081272_03_RogerioRoque.thumb.png.70bb8b389bc18029bc9dae72894439d2.png

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.

739852804_03_BrunoMunoz.thumb.png.2c69fcf84bc13066ba56937e64aed5da.png

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?

Precarious GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

03BGLM26Differdange2423.png.36dbaff282fa2c7be966976508b692e0.png

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.

03_TitusU21_winG22323.png.28700d758ba31f7e431ef435c785bf0a.png

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.

1710919353_04_FredericGomis.thumb.png.72c3175fb63e7784a419e9456260b10e.png

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.

1429562719_04_DamirBegic.thumb.png.d0d6368970c266312472bb0d49907301.png

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.

93630462_04_IanSchmitz.thumb.png.fb30cc07c12968790d9d78cb127f3027.png

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.

1704231162_04_PatrickAvdusinovic.thumb.png.09b16b06241c85b8e974b613727a7d20.png

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.

03BGLM27Hostert9423.png.0aaf3ca6239da05bc4d40048be3fd260.png

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.

03BGLM28FolaEsch16423.png.8d50ad6cdceed510d1e99490594f5d56.png

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.

03BGLM29Mondorf23423.png.c5a7ee8315e3b62c5765a6a83be8f560.png

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.

03BGLM30Junglinster7523.png.4967227ae643cb6280be1c434d9a512f.png

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.

03BGLFinalTable2223.png.f5d6fac9a7ffc33148c5fb1e267445f6.png

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.

03_Petange_PlayerStats2223.png.b1fddf58026798f328f17757ddfa6d73.png

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.

X, X Everywhere Meme - Imgflip

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

04_BGL_Fixtures_2324.png.0f168e06ae4b45efe21d9e79d7fda7e2.png

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. 

04_BGL_SeasonPreview_Odds_2324.png.b4e20baff6cd575563c615e569024389.png

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.

04_Innocencia_signs.png.1dc36598f2eb29a6bcc798403d9c66e6.png

865729648_3_DanielInocencio.thumb.png.7c6ef31ac55ec9e78ee0a9b7c16fa3ad.png

More improvements are needed.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

184203781_04_LucasMajerus_signs.png.4297fde05daff40af3b332cc271766b1.png

54556417_4_LucasMajerus.thumb.png.ca56bae5528ee45ec172ec26e6df9b2d.png

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.

92724928_04_GianniMedina_signs.png.bf6ce0ea088583040139eed5e5a08648.png

1807420935_4_GianniMedina.thumb.png.f2d86855fce4b9fcd17709833964b65a.png

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;

1792988976_4_LeonDuval.thumb.png.410f76d4eb95f31e51543f8242e92ce7.png

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

188105955_4_PitProietti.thumb.png.bfdb62e6567e48bd44e427291836289b.png

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

594804417_4_AlexandreMuller.thumb.png.3006a6ac33abf0831b72879b794a7d89.png

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)

2102515644_4_RobertDenker.thumb.png.332a5f6bc63356d20dd8a6b164fcd859.png

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

04_Petange_SummerWindow_InsOuts_2023.thumb.png.bfea7c9147b279f647331cde1bb13a90.png

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.

04_Kakoko_positionmap.png.d299898e0cb2a8ae7d35e5a74922423e.png

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.

04_Petange_PS_friendlies_2324.png.a227bcefcf0a163289b7c0d747ffd1ce.png

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.

 03_PdH_relPO.png.f093f8b25c4f98ca18de0d235199cd4c.png

And Schifflange face 2023/2024 in Division 1.

 

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

image.jpeg.b806b0763dc3077cf98e0735b4d2efc7.jpeg

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

Edited by anagain
Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

04BGLM1Dudelange20823.png.9d2ef7db986a8e91ff4c646cb622d2b3.png

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.

04BGLM2Kaerjeng27823.png.fa75dfaffc0fbf31b29967686924df08.png

04BGLAug23.png.33f634fe28dddf595d95f589a75d16b1.png

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.

image.jpeg.4450b5d6a5388cdaffca972c73385956.jpeg

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

04BGLM3Rosport3923.png.2aaae1c30f2fa770722654dfc4eb8c5b.png

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.

04BGLM4Rodange17923.png.110025a02265ebe64cc820db05877147.png

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.

04BGLM5Differdange24923.png.b9a4de8e667896da06e95250ee6bb764.png

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.

04BGLSep23.png.fd7bbafb92ef9c3289172a3ab4649bb0.png

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...

04_Nid_100games_26923.png.48a846a4fe711da257be76b1097e1705.png

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.

04CdLR2Noertzange27923.png.4cd830d051e8a845563eb2e64443f8ad.png

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!

Edited by anagain
Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

04BGLM6RacingFC11023.png.a57755c1d3252ade568aa40521d2e505.png

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.

04BGLM7HammBenfica81023.png.386ab68ceed2704c18b79b7aa0dcf623.png

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.

04_Titus_Parreira_Inj_67mth.png.498adfd0254bea429a4cfa234a72ac92.png

image.jpeg.dd1fdb2dcf4c93da3eedad012fdd4f82.jpeg

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...

04BGLM8UnaStrassen221023.png.d30411ef930bc5518510d16e4e60bf25.png

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.

04BGLM9SwiftHesperange291023.png.a6daefa9d2fe5dc24f591f65d1b191ef.png

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.

04BGLOct23.png.6c21f1324bf6ae79c3938da9f34779f3.png

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.

59 Encouraging or Funny Memes ideas | funny memes, funny, memes

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

04BGLM10Etzella51123.png.9e4c90530d1bb5254e6f8811dca1790a.png

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.

04CdLR3Blo-Waiss81123.png.b8ae89bb20c8436c468a854061263cdd.png

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.

04BGLM11FolaEsch121123.png.24ec7093046c66165c99752b744621e4.png

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.

04BGLM12JeunesseEsch261123.png.5521b5bd4dbac4e21f41129460bc6f1d.png

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.

04BGLNov23.png.f65f3415250ea1a371a53d59e208ab9a.png

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!

Excited Season 4 GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
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...

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

04_Ikene_Inj_4-5wk.png.38146f044940fdc60bc59ff535fff6b9.png04_Bernard_Inj_3-4wk.png.d360e7e57c532e4dd0a5c9823a34eaaa.png

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.

04BGLM13Berdorf-Consdorf31223.png.e22f7fed6e74a9f78c2ea05851449def.png

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.

04BGLM14Progres101223.png.aba7fea2cb20a69f06691b3fec59bad3.png

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.

04BGLM15USEsch171223.png.6204e87eea7407cf053c1ce5588d4801.png

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.

929725819_04_SebastienThill_signs.png.c273894e613ccc9445b27859f4f82553.png

1499888792_4_SebastienThill.thumb.png.96fff50ab11c825fd18acc4cf6f3bbb3.png

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.

04CdLR4UnaStrassen271223.png.4e792716ea3fbd13ec5797c1113523b4.png

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?

04BGLM16Dudelange311223.png.192047de62967e41693ded1eca44fb3a.png

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.

04BGLDec23.png.03329af93f01ac7d8018542d7f8c8f4a.png

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.

Happy New Year GIF by Ghostbusters - Find & Share on GIPHY

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

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

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

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

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

04BGLM18Rosport7124.png.30055671edda1debe5615985f092adff.png

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.

204388231_04_ElgeroKing_signs.png.a9f3b4025082bb8e74949867f5c50dd7.png

903055703_4_ElgeroKing.thumb.png.15c17491cf209b482f9871b273709037.png

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.

04BGLM17Kaerjeng14124.png.889ba556d1732b679d61c9cb3dacc8c8.png

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.

04BGLM19Differdange21124.png.ec59f7e28995034cae13ebe56de73559.png

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.

04BGLM20Rodange28124.png.12703122f81df202914b7f5f743dac49.png

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.

04BGLJan24.png.50e8b8ce281dd52bd357b8f490122782.png

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.

Frustrated Head GIF

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

1506721913_04_EduardoFeijao_signs.png.cdf7ac8250b6b1218020dc9eeaf93e8c.png

59933930_4_EduardoFeijao.thumb.png.54f3d2dbb9da8f6dd79ffd749e87eb0a.png

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.

04_Petange_January24_TransferWindow.thumb.png.72ba8e510a579162caeb8f4f356754d8.png

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.

04BGLM21RacingLuxembourg4224.png.14098e4d82ce1cb154e8773df2838fce.png

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.

04CdLQFDifferdange7224.png.50d1c28bf55a1af773c62bc3c0064918.png

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.

04BGLM22HammBenfica11224.png.a1fd01b23347bb582e03d74729533985.png

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.

04BGLM23UnaStrassen18224.png.58c35d2e83a5dce0edb8aea7ea21ebee.png

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.

04BGLM24Etzella25224.png.aba60e76342430609af1c7db32891d6e.png

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.

04BGLFeb24.png.5b59979e89c2822ecde5ce42d0ca61f2.png

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...

eric cartman chalkboard GIF by South Park

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

04BGLM25FolaEsch3324.png.db245c013e3387057a293b1978a6ed36.png

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.

04_BGL_TitleRace_Mar24.png.0016726062232ccafde94c9174a20c7b.png

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.

04BGLM26SwiftHesperange10324.png.e79118f3d87746dc2e6cd7bf615bfec3.png

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.

04BGLM27JeunesseEsch17324.png.129f819777c4250bd4023e6ffa0a58a2.png

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!

04BGLMar24.png.5183c4ae68797a5b7ee39a0d2a577c9b.png

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.

1694651177_4_TomHeymans.thumb.png.51598e924246bafdc56d0577cb243bdf.png

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.

2046965718_4_JoStumpf.thumb.png.6e0eb33c47aacd3ebe33312ff47635e6.png

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...

Awesome Futurama GIF

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

April And May 2024 - Well, That Was A Ride And A Half

So, three games to decide my future. Three games to attempt to bring glory to this ambitious little club.

Firstly, we won the U21s again. I hope it says good things for this club and not that I'm the only club allowing my young first team stars to play in the U21 league. Towards the end there Noé Zimmer was causing sensations in the BGL Ligue and then scoring five in a Group 1 game versus Progrės U21s.

04_PetangeU21_Group1_win_2324.png.f83691403a70b057713d17a293bca695.png

If my first team was to equal the achievements of the U21s then we'd have to continue our form against Progrės to have any hope. There was a bumper crowd of 808 to welcome us for the biggest game in our club's history and boy did the players turn up. We started on the front foot and Noé Zimmer got the ball rolling on the half hour mark as he nutmegged a Progrės defender to nip in and open the scoring. Ten minutes later and it was two. A great ball from Medina saw a race to the ball and Jonathan Nanizayamo beat the Progrės keeper to give us a wonderful advantage at the end of the first half.

In the changing room I just asked the lads to keep it going. Jonathan Nanizayamo did just that. An hour in and Denis Agovic looked a speculative ball in to the box that our big striker was the first to react to. Nani slotted easily past the keeper and we had a dream three goal lead.

We held on for a remarkable win that closed the gap at the top and left us still in the race.

04BGLM28Progres14424.png.6512ac8e1f061693c13d11119e92761d.png

Next up was US Esch, a club in danger of relegation. I'll take no pride in it but we made that relegation a reality with a dominat victory over my former club's bigger neighbours. Maybe I'll take some joy in relegating the club that we couldn't beat whilst I was at Schifflange.

Denis Agovic got the ball rolling with a looping header from the penalty spot before Jonathan Nanizaymo scored his nineteenth of the season to put us 2-0 up. At that point Noé Zimmer stepped up to show just how good he is. The young man got our third just before half time and went on to add two more goals to our tally, and complete his hattrick, in the second half.

04BGLM29USEsch28424.png.01d037144766bdf6d813704f5eaa68df.png

A dominant 5-0 win was therefore our contribution to the BGL story for 2023-2024. Progrės were at Käerjéng and a win would hand them the title.

04_BGL_wknd28424_results_table.png.397b0e75b1c3388c4e62e6d61df1d652.png

BGL Ligue 2023-2024: Penultimate weekend results and table

Yes, they lost! That meant the title race would go down to the wire. Only us or Progrės could win the title, but the European race was wide open. Racing would have to travel to relegation threatened Una Strassen and Dudelange faced a trip to...wait for it...Progrės!

2023-2024 BGL Ligue Final Day

(This is all for effect only - times are approximate. Hey, I'm a showman)

14:00

Welcome to the Luxembourg Football Gazette's final day coverage of the final day of a breathtaking BGL Ligue season. I'm Bob Sabotic. Just one hour till kick off and these are the matches that matter:

Union Berdorf-Consdorf 01 vs Union Titus Pétange

FC Progrės Niederforn vs F91 Dudelange

FC Una Strassen vs Racing FC Union Luxembourg

Anything less than three points for Progrės and a win for Pétange will likely see them grab the trophy. Should Dudelange or Racing win and they can both still grab second place ahead of Pétange.

It promises to be an amazing day. Can Pétange complete their rise up the table and snatch the title on the final day? Can Progrės halt their slide of recent weeks to claim what many believe should be theirs? Can the holders Dudelange grab that second European spot to make up for the heartache of not holding on to their title?

All the action is here, courtesy of the Luxembourg Football Gazette.

---

15:00

We have off. The final day of the BGL season kicks off.

---

15:07

Goal! Antonio Luisi opens the scoring for Dudelange at Jos Haupert. The champions move up to second.

Progrės 0 - Dudelange 1

---

15:52

The half time whistle has gone at all three key matches. It is as you were at the top as Progrės, despite losing, will take home the title. Pétange have had all the ball at Berdorf but can't find the back of the net.

Union Berdorf-Consdorf 01 0-0 Union Titus Pétange

FC Progrės Niederforn 0-1 F91 Dudelange

FC Una Strassen 0-0 Racing FC Union Luxembourg

---

16:18

Racing jump Dudelange and Pétange. Mattia Comisetti gives the capital team the lead at Una Strassen.

Una Strassen 0 - Racing 1

---

16:30

It's looking bad for Progrės now. Luca Duriatti heads home to give Dudelange a 2-0 lead but the holders are still behind Racing on goal difference.

A goal for Pétange now and surely the title is theirs. They can't find a way past Berdorf though.

Progrės 0 - Dudelange 2

---

16:34

Goal! We have a goal at Berdorf...

...Jonathan Nanizayamo.

The big Burundian may have handed the title to the late surgers. They top the pile now. Progrės have it all to do.

As for Racing and Dudelange, well unless already relegated Berdorf can find a way back in to a match they've not been in then They'll have to settle for third at best.

Berdorf-Consdorf 0 - Pétange 1

---

16:39

Progrės have a lifeline. Belmin Muratovic has pulled a goal back for the long time leaders of the league.

Progrės 1 - Dudelange 2

---

16:50

Penalty!

But where is it?

It's gone to Berdorf. King bundles a Berdorf player over on the edge of the box and the ref points at the spot!

...

...

Missed! Silva Marques misses by a mile. Pétange boss Nid Rijkstra can breathe again. They're still top.

Berdorf-Consdorf 0 - Pétange 1

---

16:52

Luca Duriatti scores a third for Dudelange to leave Progrės needing a miracle.

It's too little too late for Dudelange though as Racing have gone 2-1 up at Una Strassen. Dudelange will probably finish fourth on goal difference.

Progrės 1 - Dudelange 3

Una Strassen 1 - Racing 2

---

16:55

It's late in the day and Progrės have a very small lifeline with a late goal. It's Muratovic again. They need a miracle two goals to overturn Pétange though. Their goal difference is so inferior.

Progrės 2 - Dudelange 3

---

16:57

It's all over in our three key games. Pétange have done the unthinkable. They have overcome a huge Progrės lead in the final three games and they're champions!

Union Berdorf-Consdorf 01 0-1 Union Titus Pétange R

FC Progrės Niederforn 2-3 F91 Dudelange R

FC Una Strassen 1-2 Racing FC Union Luxembourg R

04_BGL_breakingnews.png.31fbeed12e5f19ce94bbe6a761015b94.png

~~~~~

Yes, we did it! That was one hell of a nervy game at Berdorf. I nearly died when they got a penalty as I'd gone super defensive. It was a nervy game by my team but the big man got us the winner late in the day to steal the title.

04BGLM30Berdorf12524.png.33ca928f4227fe177f4996a26d6a0820.png

I am in total shock! I can't believe Progrės lost three straight to lose the title like that. Six straight wins at the end there with just two goals conceded for us. Nani and Zimmer on form.

04_Petange_EndOfSeason_2324.thumb.png.e99c30a47b1ee240b0be11fb09622c34.png

Ironically, Van, we got off to a bad start.

04_Petange_BGLtitle_2324.png.a5cf1ee10229a612c81204ef9cb55728.png

Coming Next

I have to sum this up fast - took me longer to write than I thought and am running late - so more to follow.

Where do we go from there? 

Partyyyyyyy!!!!

Party GIF - Party Minions Dancing GIFs | Evil minion, Wallpaper iphone,  Iphone

 

 

 

 

Edited by anagain
Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing!Who would imagine this 1-2 months ago!Tha'ts football(without European super league)!:D

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, TelcontarTargaryen said:

Congratulations, it was time, finally.

 

8 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

Amazing!Who would imagine this 1-2 months ago!Tha'ts football(without European super league)!:D

That's guys!

Really thought we'd blown it in that final match. That penalty very nearly gave me a coronary.

Couldn't make up the events in this game sometimes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

End Of Season Catch-Up

In my haste to finish last night I left a few things out.

04_BGL_FinalTable_2324.png.ae925f5a8204edf26799e9e7134681fa.png

BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 12th May 2024: FINAL TABLE

So we see Progrès and Racing in to the Europa Conference League. Dudelange, despite their final day heroics at Progrès, miss out and Differdange take their place in the ECL thanks to their Coupe De Luxembourg win.

Had Nani not scored that late goal, or Berdorf scored that penalty, then Dudelange's fate would have been ours. Such a turnaround on the final day. That is what football is all about.

Una Strassen, US Esch, Etzella Ettelbruck and Berdorf-Consdorf suffer the ignominity of relegation. Rosport will have to play off against the fifth placed team in the Promotion d'Honneur. With one game left that will be US Hostert, FC Medernach, US Feulen or Bastendorf.

Final Union Titus Pétange Player Stats 2023-2024 Season

04_Petange_Stats_2324.png.a6e686257fa174dfa7907c34309870f2.png

Does not include 17 appearances and 1 goal for Allan Haguel or 7 appearances for Kakoko

Jonathan Nanizayamo won the Fan's Player Of The Season as well as the club Golden Boot.

Past Club Watch

Schifflange have had a good season in Division 1. With a game left they are second in the table. They play bottom of the table Kehlen in a final day game to seal promotion back to the Promotion d'Honneur. Schieren have been boosted to division winners with the help of Pétange youngster Ibrahim Kouadio with six assists from left back.

04_Division1_Serie1_Schifflange_Top5OneGame.png.bff8c6133e4e116d8b4dee90c646f825.png

Sadly, Schifflange could only manage a 0-0 draw with Kehlen and finish third. They will face a play off to achieve promotion.

04_Schifflange_Kehlen.png.8a73a33263f89e24cbb5f78876743d96.png

Good luck to them.

Coming Next

Still hungover on cheap champagne, I faced a long next day at work. I had a meeting with the chairman to ask for a contract after the title win. Apparently I still hadn't done enough to earn one.

Still confused on the above, a few days later I met with the board and got the following news:

04_Me_JobSafe.png.0e75efd8706e810da941ba1df446a571.png

I still don't really know what that meant, but at least they like me now.

04_petange_CL.png.93104e8b63bb1066f447ea5c40c7302d.png

Yes, we will have Champions League football next season. Amazingly, and living up to their ambitious nature, the board expect me to reach the First Qualifying Round. I am not sure when we enter. If we enter in the Preliminary Rounds then we'll have to win two ties. I suspect we enter in the First Qualifying Round actually. Maybe not as ambitious as I first thought.

I assume we also drop down to the Europa League or the Europa Conference League if we lose.

Let's just hope we get a nice tie and have some fun.

56m8py.jpg

We're back in training July 8th. Better go boost that squad...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Early Pre-Season 2024/2025: Pre Europe

I received mixed news shortly after the campaign. As well as being honoured as the manager of the year in Luxembourg we were informed of our record as fewest points total for the champions of the BGL.

04_Me_ManageroftheYear_2324.png.788d20d6f85b157c724794e1a64a5c43.png

04_BGL_FewestPoints.png.96e8870b0a4f8df3beb694ed1cee6109.png

They're all clearly just worried that we're too good, hence their trying to make us feel inadequate. I actually felt I was less deserving of the manager of the year award that, say, Dan Huet who kept Rodange up with a magnificent seventh placed finish.

I believe the lads were already back in training when we received news of the fixture list for the 2024/2025 season. The downside of a European campaign is that we lose holiday time.

It's a relatively easy start as we don't meet any of the bigger sides in the first five weeks. Can we beat Käerjéng this year though? We don't meet any of last season's challengers until early October when we visit Progrès.

05_BGL_Fixtures2425.png.1eb2fc2e33e3fd19e6863fb922db3902.png

The press have us 5-4 favourites to defend our title win and Eduardo Feijão, Daniel Inocêncio, Artur Abreu, Denis Agovic and Noé Zimmer are in the media dream eleven. There is also an inclusion in that eleven for our first new signing. More on him soon.

05_BGL_Preview.png.c4f6d8891b4f411b9017ce683d95c514.png

~~~~~

Next came the draws for our first two rounds of European competition. I don't know that it is good news.

05_ECL_1QRDraw.png.59ceaf1ee784b008652f7caf0eee0e77.png

Universitatea Craiova are probably clear favourites for this tie. Their top wage is about £7k. Ours is around £200. Should we get through it won't get any easier.

05_ECL_2QRDraw.png.638c5040a180b225f68a50b5729bc1e8.png

We can only give our all.

~~~~~

Transfer Window

Out

We made a nice £275k late in June. Hugo Mesbah still wanted to leave the club and I decided not to stand in his way. I offered Hugo out for a reasonable price and after some trying to get a sell on clause opted for the £275k offered by FC Thun of Switzerland. To be honest I am surprised that Hugo could be first team there but good luck to him.

We have a hefty squad now and many young players in the last year of their contracts have been offered out on loan. Maximilien Prevot is a lad I value highly and he has been snapped up by BGL Ligue side Rumelange for some high level football. Most will be playing in the Promotion d'Honneur or lower though.

Kakoko and Calvin Haïdara have been released. Kakoko's future looks set with a number of offers and I hope Calvin's future is also secured before long. I just saw no future for him here with the big incoming player.

Leonel Landim was out of contract but I have made the decision to offer him a contract as a squad player. He has been offered a contract elsewhere so let's see what happens there.

In

You will recall I mentioned my big desire this season was to find a new keeper. It's a loss for Progrès and a win for Pétange. Please welcome Luxembourg international Youn Czekanowicz.

1378395787_05_YounCzekanowicz_transfer.png.b32998062e8b9831ef86bfce9f09182c.png

283128463_5_YounCzekanowicz.thumb.png.e8df69973469ff9b85cef0094b63f22e.png

Youn is quality and I think the fans were happy too. 

05_Czekanowicz_FanReaction.png.054af35f172d31cff287481026d578dc.png

I have made one other bid for a player, one that will shake up the BGL, but I am still waiting for a decision from the player in question.

The CL squad is set and the big kick off is just a few hours off. Anyone who is not at the club yet will not be playing for us against Craiova. Those up for the fight are as follows (U21s not included as they don't have to be registered):

05_ECL_Squad.png.8679d4b9ff5fd04e1f094646a71ff036.png

Wish us luck; we might need it!

Good Luck Need It GIF - GoodLuck NeedIt StarWars GIFs

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

European Catch-Up

With Euro 24 having just taken place in Germany I thought now would be a wonderful time to go through the various winners in Europe for the 2023/2024 season. I'll start with the Euros though.

The big loser in the First Round would probably be Russia, finishing bottom of their group and facing a flight home early. Switzerland surprisingly also lost out to Ukraine in this group. In Group F the Netherlands just about squeaked through to the next round.

05_Euro24_GroupStage.png.61113d46da735cbe0ef0e4891f575a4a.png

Greece became one of the shocks of the tournament in beating Belgium before bowing out to a good run by Sweden. Germany suffered the massive shock of losing on penalties to Slovakia on their own turf. Spain, one of the favourites after a great first round, lost to the magnificent Ukrainians before the easterners just missed out on the final when they lost to England.

05_Euro24_Rounds.png.b38da0cc36c2b388e9fa1506926b38c3.png

So the final would be a contest between Italy, penalty winners over Sweden, and the English. There is drama in Berlin as seven players miss penalties on route to Italy becoming champions.

05_Euro24_Final.png.b2dbe6214deeb7adf3f656fccb9f93cc.png

That just leaves the awards, and a great haul for Mason Mount.

05_Euro24_BestPlayer.png.0b8855e163f707ff9becabb52d2d679c.png 05_Euro24_GoldenBoot.png.a292aeb30ea159f4d0a32b104d25de3b.png 05_Euro24_YoungPlayer.png.555b162ac7d13afcc2e5d2b13b760eff.png

European Leagues Round Up

05_PL_2324.png.d7f4b4b6f7a75d27a5763b90cc758ce0.png 05_LaLiga_2324.png.010a71202541f8cfa364a4ebaeb007fc.png

*Brighton also won the FA Cup

05_L1_2324.png.fa1a6dbeb3d9e9e4b6e159f624be3e50.png 05_SA_2324.png.1ca71bc2c8f23c0f7e611c6bd01058f9.png

05_B_2324.png.238b1a465826070d3c5916d413b977dc.png 05_LN_2324.png.7ba3645f7b92071e7fae23a9d9e0415c.png

05_ER_2324.png.1cdcade9e0d99bb756d84e71436385b0.png 05_JPL_2324.png.6183d092c61c31845bfd86f8839a5f78.png

Few surprises amongst the winners, but you might notice:

Everton topping Spurs and Arsenal;

Brighton winning the FA Cup to enter Europe but then getting relegated;

Lazio coming out top in Italy;

Atletico Madrid having to be content with 8th in Spain.

~~~~~

Barcelona lifted the Champions league beating Machester United 2-0 at Wembley.

Lille won the Europa League beating Real Sociedad 2-1 in Paris.

Hertha Berlin beat Fiorentina 2-1 to lift the Europa Conference League in Vienna.

Past Club Watch

Lastly I will fill you in on the progress of Schifflange in their bid to return to the Promotion d'Honneur. They eventually faced Sporting Bertrange in the play off final for Division 1, coming up trumps to make an immediate return to the Promotion d'Honneur.

05_Schifflange_POWin_2324.png.2b5423fee4dc3a3c28054db303fb4c17.png

~~~~~

And back to the grind with the second leg of our Champions League tie. The score poised at...

...nah, you'll have to return to find out.

Eddie Murphy Shut Up GIF by Bounce

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Sheriff7 said:

Greece won Belgium?:eek:

Yep. Greece had a good tournament.

Link to post
Share on other sites

July 2024 - De Europäesche Groussen Tour vu Péiteng 

With our pre-season almost entirely taken over by a focus on our European match the attention in friendlies was on the youth. This gave me a chance to look at the likes of Jo Stumpf and Bruno Munoz, among others. Jo scored a lovely goal in an earlier friendly and performed well against Dutch lower tier team Venray.

Of course, the main focus on July was on the first team's journey across Europe. First up would be Universitatea Craiova and we were a huge longshot for anyone wishing to hedge a bet on us. For the home leg (played at Stade Jos Haupert in Niederkorn) I went with a far more defensive formation that I have used in an age. I pushed both central midfielders back and played to get the ball quick to my front men. My wingers would be key to bomb down the flanks and break fast.

Eduardo Feijão moved up to play a creative defensive midfield role alongside Denis Agovic. In defence we would be relying on the less tested partnership of Matias and Inocêncio. We did so much better than I expected us to, but it was not without a concern for the scoreline when Craiova opened the scoring in the fifth minute.

We weren't to be dismayed however, and we got back on level terms half an hour in. Sébastien Thill burst down the right and put in a lovely ball. Jonathan Nanizayamo was first to react and he powered a header home.

Craiova were the better team out and they continued to pepper our goal in the second half. We held on though for a great draw.

05ECL1QRUniversitateaCraiova10724.png.f3d1cad0ea9a50de2a08e59e47c4b897.png

Transfer Business

We completed two signings during the week. Firs was a defender whom I had coveted after he did great on trial. At first he was not too willing to sign, but given a little time he soon came around. This deal has cost us though. I am a little concerned I might have spent too much of a wage on this center back, but he's good.

Joshua Veeckman is an all round defensively solid talent from Belgium and signs after he was let go by KAA Gent of the Jupiler League. This is a coup for the club, even at £750 a week.

985933312_05_JoshuaVeeckman_signs.png.d0342bb38893df02c4c662ad862dfcac.png

949424964_5_JoshuaVeeckman.thumb.png.8022dfdeea66b1d68abdf81e1f9b747f.png

I also picked up a young Luxembourgish star on a load deal from Duisburg in Germany. Andrea Malget is an already full international 18 year old defensive minded player that is probably best utilised in midfield but is by no means lost at center back, if a little short. Andrea is a star of the future and I am very pleased to have him here on loan for the season.

129791341_05_AndreaMalget_Loan.png.aa6bc014ac4328946af6e45cd302771f.png

545774430_5_AndreaMalget.thumb.png.5c1512523a384ed11153239b99aea6f5.png

Our dealings at the end of July were as follows. This is last chance saloon for a number of my young stars. For all but Prevot it is a chance to prove themselves to continue their time at our club. Prevot can do wonders with Rumelange in the BGL Ligue and really make a name for himself.

05_SummerTransfers_toEndJuly24.thumb.png.07db7ae4787eb05135a62c112c9970e8.png

~~~~~

Sadly it was too late for Veeckman or Malget to make the squad for the Craiova return. I went with pretty much the same squad, just switching Gonçalves in for Laurienté.

We started great. Vacheron finding Jonathan Nanizayamo with a ground skimming delivery from the right. The big man couldn't miss and we had a surprise lead in Romania. Our lead didn't last long as the Romanians hit back just two minutes later.

At half time we were well in the tie and I tasked the lads with continuing the effort and seeing what might happen. The big man made it happen as so often he has in my teams. Sixty-six minutes in and it was Vacheron that got another cross in from the right and Jonathan Nanizayamo met the ball to head home and give us a lead and a second away goal. Craiova would have to score twice now to win the tie.

Five minutes later and it got even worse for the Romanians. This time it was Zimmer who fed Jonathan Nanizayamo and the big Burundian made no mistake with a third header to complete a hattrick and surely send us through.

I still can't believe we won that, even at the time of writing this; nearly two weeks later. What a fantastic day for this club.

05CL1QRUniversitateaCraiova17724.png.c3dd4e4ed8dd259e744db2cc7b3f1555.png

Our next challenge would be BATE Borisov of Belarus (again played at Niederkorn's Jos Haupert). They had beaten TNS 4-0 on aggregate and would be even better than the Romanians.

Veeckman and Malget were able to be registered for this tie. Bernard missed out on the squad to make room for the new guys and this caused the winger to become quite upset at the situation. Sadly, sacrifices have to be made, I had told him.

For the home led Malget and Veeckman slotted in easily, with Agovic switching to center defence. Again we conceded an early goal, Uzbek striker Umarov firing past Czekanowicz.

We had a fair amount of the ball but looked like we might never find an equaliser. I'd switched up or formation early in the second half to be more atatcking, Gianni Medina making his European debut. This made us look a great deal more dangerous but our front men were failing to find the net. Queue our captain. Artur Abreu received a Parreira corner on the edge of the box and let lose with a stunning right footed shot that went straight through the palms of the outstretched BATE keeper.

The game ended that way and we had snatched another home draw in Europe.

05CL2QRBATEBorisov24724.png.9d0c58213ad93bd1d9160bb90e471d30.png

For the return leg I stuck with the defensive 4-4-2, hoping to snatch a goal like we had in Romania. We were truly outclassed by BATE though. The Belarussians took the lead just before the quarter hour mark and any attempts we made to get the ball forward were met with frustration as our passes were not hitting the mark. We got lucky shortly before half time. A long punt down field was chased by Noé Zimmer. The keeper was favourite but his clearance could only rebound off his defender. Noé was quickest to the lose ball and he tapped in an equaliser. Could we pull off the unthinkable again?

The second half was a different story though. We conceded a second on the hour mark and a third just five minutes after that. BATE were a lot better than us and even a switch to a more attacking set up failed to find us back in the game.

Our Champions League journey was over but I thought we had acquitted ourselves well.

05CL2QRBATEBorisov31724.png.c4c6392526af332a002017eed6e6be01.png

Kudos to the two fans of ours that travelled to Belarus!

The European journey is not over however.

05_EL_Draw_3QR.png.d181ef8d8b02d557b3c52c4d9d78fa7d.png

Europa League now. Does this mean we still get to attempt the Conference if we lose?

Dinamo Tbilisi are an unknown element. I know they were a big team in the old Soviet Union but Georgian football is not what it was. I suspect we might be looking at another close tie when we kick off in just over a week.

We march on...

jimmy fallon dancing GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work against Craiova!Congrats!:applause:Also this joshua guy looks an amazing sign for yours club level!:applause:

Edited by Sheriff7
Link to post
Share on other sites

August 2024 - You're Not Going To Believe This

Amazingly we were still in European competition. I never expected to beat the Romanians and then we weren't convincingly beaten by the Belrussians of BATE. In early August we would meet a famous European club in the next round of the Europa League. Dinamo Tbilisi had been a top side in the old Soviet league and the break up of the Soviet Union had seen them even more dominant in Georgian competition. That dominance had tailed off a little over the past few seasons, though they had won their league in 2023.

We would have to be at our best to beat the Georgians in the first leg that would take place at Stade Josy Barthel in the capital. Call me surprised to see us take the lead in the twentieth minute then. It was a first goal in a Pétange shirt for Joshua Veeckman as he was in the right place at the right time to turn home a Denis Agovic shot that had deflected all over the place. Tbilisi equalised almost immediately but we still managed to go in ahead at the interval. On the stroke of half time Rodrigo Parreira showed glimpses of before his nasty injury of last season to be first to latch on to a lose ball and drive a goal home.

Things got even better midway through the second half as Noé Zimmer turned home a Parriera cross from close range to make it 3-1. And that is how the game ended. I was delighted with the win but the true test would be to hold on in Georgia.

05EL3QRL1DinamoTibilisi8824.png.6a514f42fcdede562580b91d2a9e6265.png

I naturally went very defensive for the return, aiming to keep the score down and sneak a miraculous aggregate win. We were truly outclassed however in our worst display of the season so far. We never got going and I may aswell keep things succinct and just say they thrashed us 4-0.

I was annoyed with the poor effort of the players. It was a long way to travel for a tie, but that performance made exit from the Europa League a hard pill to swallow.

05EL3QRL2DinamoTibilisi15824.png.6262ec31b15858c306674e68771fadac.png

We weren't out of Europe, of course. We now gained entry to the Europa Conference League. Our match in the Fourth Qualifying Round would be against...

...you might like this @Sheriff7...

05_ECL_4QR_Draw.png.a35649393334b1d70ede73743125546b.png

The BGL Ligue 2024/2025 Kicks Off

Before we could travel to Latvia there was the not so small matter of the BGL Ligue starting a few days after the Tbilisi match. Our opener would be away at Swift Hesperange and I toyed with making some pretty serious changes prior to the Riga tie. In the end I decided four days rest would be enough if I could make changes in this match. I therefore had a pretty strong team out but never would have expected the result we got.

What we produced was a result beyind my expectations. We destroyed Swift in a first half in which we looked like one of the top teams of Europe. Noé Zimmer was up first with a hattrick in the first twenty minutes. Then Jonathan Nanizayamo showed he wasn't to be outdone as he fired in two goals in a minute. Joshua Veeckman had snuck a header in between the first and second Zimmer goals to put us 6-0 up by the 26th minute. Our new center back then made it 7-0 at half time with yet another goal in the 34th minute.

How could we top that in the second half? Well, the answer was that we couldn't. Swift managed to tighten up for the second forty-five and the match ended 7-0.

What a way to start our campaign.

05BGLM1Swift18824.png.709c3533257a4ea8c59a5aaf83e6be7b.png

Europa Conference League - Leg One

Our second league game would come sandwiched between our two games against Riga. The schedule would be exhausting but I actually believed we could do this. I didn't think the Luxembourg and Latvian leagues were all that different in terms of level and I was proven right by a crazy two-legged tie.

For the first leg I decided to not plump for my super defensive line up, but my midfield would be required to not be too gung ho. I didn't expect to be 2-0 up within nine minutes though. Jonathan Nanizayamo and Noé Zimmer scoring the goals that made me wonder if we were on for a repeat of the Swift game.

By the twentieth minute the answer was undeniably "no" as Riga battered us aside to level the tie with two quickfire goals. Noé Zimmer was having none of that though, and the young striker made it 3-2 at half time with a 30th minute goal.

The second half was a tighter affair and just one goal was scored. That goal went to the marvel that is Jonathan Nanizayamo to win us the tie 4-2 and give us a huge advantage for the home leg in a week.

05ECL4QRL1RigaFC22824.png.c9e2fe61d6d631b83baf25bd5e292122.png

Transfer Update

I'm a little out on timing with this one but the transfer window closed between the Swift tie and the Riga trip. We made one signing but he didn't get to feature in the first leg.

Please welcome our new left sided utility player, on loan from Red Star FC in France, Aristode Youlou. Aristode is a naturally left sided player with a better right foot. This means he will cut inside from the left wing back position and compliment our midfield. The Congolese U20 international can also play a defensive midfield role and could be crucial for us this season.

910384643_05_AristodeYoulou_Loan.png.190abf68bbead7639d56ee6245d9ecb8.png

1455337920_5_AristodeYoulou.thumb.png.c2ec2ccc580957519223609a77aae91b.png

We also allowed youngsters Rogério Roque and Michel Bouché to go out on loan to Wiltz and Oberkorn. This is a big chance for Roque to impress in the Promotion d'Honneur.

And that was it for the summer window...time for a...

...BGL Ligue Interval

Well, I guess the BGL is our primary concern this year, but this European ride has been a blast. Our next opponents would be Mondorf, a team that had had a very impressive promotion campaign last season, topping the Promotion d'Honneur by 21 points.

The tie was at Stade Municipal for a change and we went all out for the win against a team we kept hearing we had not beaten. It proved to be a tight tie and was 0-0 at half time. I urged the lads on and we got our breakthrough on 50 minutes, Jonathan Nanizayamo heading home a cross after Rodrigo Parreira had managed to get behind the Mondorf defence. It was Nani's ninth goal of the season and it was only August 25th.

We were struggling in front of goal, if truth be told, and I was becoming disappointed with the performance of Kevin Kerger who was standing in for the rested Artur Abreu. Seeing his replacement standing with the subs board must have been a trigger for Kerger though. He got on the end of a lovely passage of play to fire home a wonderful winner from the left side of the box. I cancelled my sub immediately.

We hadn't be fluent but a 2-0 win kept us top of the league at the end of August.

05BGLM2Mondorf25824.png.2a1d816f0b671140260bebaea85b643c.png

05BGLAug24.png.bc646935f0efe7882dcbdcf8e29864db.png

BGL Ligue as at 17.00; Sunday 25th August 2024

Europa Conference League - Leg Two

And so to the big match at the end of the month. If we could beat Riga we would have a place in the group stage of a Europan competition. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that could be possible. Could we make it so?

The team I went with was reasonably attacking. We would have to make do with Andrea Malget. The loan signing had picked up a ban for yellows in the first leg and had then been taken out harshly against Mondorf. The sad news was that Andrea would be out for up to three months. The Mondorf player didn't even get a yellow, I believe. Mister reliable, Denis Agovic slotted back in to the ball winning midfielder role with the task of breaking the play up. It is a role he has done since I came to Pétange.

The game started as frantically as the first leg had. Four minutes in and we were 1-0 up. Jonathan Nanizayamo got the goal as he headed home a lovely little Zimmer center. Annoyingly we switched off after that and Riga equalised just four minutes later. Jonathan Nanizayamo was clearly up for the fight though as he headed home his second of the game, and eleventh of the season, just a minute later to give us the lead again.

On the half hour mark I thought the tie was over as Artur Abreu found acres of space in the box. Thill found him and our captain slotted home a third. Surely we couldn't throw it away now.

Football is a funny old game though and Riga put the tie back on a knife edge either side of half time with two goals that carved our defence open and the leg was level at 3-3. The tie was still in our favour but I was in no doubt that Riga could find two more goals to nick the tie.

Never count out Noé Zimmer though. With thirty minutes left the young star took a Vacheron cross on the volley and fired it in the back of the net. We were now 8-5 up on aggregate and Riga would need three goals in half an hour.

To cut a long story short, we shut up shop and denied our opponents to queue in the celebrations. We had qualified for the group stages of the Europa Conference League!

05ECL4QRL2RigaFC29824.png.54a90a942112834006bd885dadbad025.png

Phew! What a ride. Ineeded a lie down after that.

I think the draw was meant to be the day after the second leg but it seems another tie must have been delayed. Rennes are due to play Lech Poznań in a few days. I am sure the draw will be after that. The news of our fate will have to wait.

Coming Next

We have four BGL fixtures in September as well as a cup game against Wiltz. The first ECL match day is scheduled for 19th September so it's going to be another busy month.

Who will we get? All I know is it is going to be a tough draw for us. Just a look at some of the teams that seem to have qualified gives me goosebumps.

Arsenal, Vitesse, Dinamo Moscow, Partizan Beograd, AZ Alkmaar...

...need I go on? I am sure there are teams to come down from the Europa League that will be even tougher. I think it's the losers in the EL play off and that includes the likes of Feyenoord, Hibernian and Maribor. There's also a few familiar teams named Universitatea Craiova, Dinamo Tbilisi and BATE Borisov that should be in the draw.

confused bugs bunny GIF by Looney Tunes

I'm thinking quite excitedly of the money though. After just a few ties we have a million in the bank and my transfer kitty is close to £200k. Not that we could sign anyone worth that.

My reputation is improving:

05_Nid_Profile_31824.thumb.png.7033c0ddb52e5f6143c4b2076ce0927f.png

Draw soon...

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am glad you won them.:lock:They are a rich team(for latvian level) and always had a stong team in my save.They were(and are) a very strong team and i had to collect 90+ points every season to win the league...

Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Sheriff7 said:

I am glad you won them.:lock:They are a rich team(for latvian level) and always had a stong team in my save.They were(and are) a very strong team and i had to collect 90+ points every season to win the league...

I thought you'd like it. I don't believe I have Latvia loaded in my save, so they're probably a little diminished by that. When they turned the pressure up they were good and I really thought we might lose the tie at some points of that second leg.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Europa Conference League Special

Despite there being a league match I haven't covered I felt the draw for our appearance in the group stage was worthy of a special update.

For some reason the game didn't give me a draw screen...and that spoilt the enjoyment a little. I wanted to watch the teams be drawn...

It could be worse as were drawn into Group D.

05_ECL_GroupStage_Draw.png.ada83ac5dd3d8613eb6583404a75da2d.png

FC Dinamo Tbilisi logo.png

Dinamo Tbilisi - Dinamoeli have won the Crystalbet Erovnuli twice since its inception in 2017. The forerunner to the current competition, the Umaglesi Liga, they won yearly between 1990 and 1999 and then won 6 times between 2003 and 2016. By far the most well know team from Georgia, Dinamo are a team we have already faced twice this season. We stunned the Georgians with a 3-1 win at Stade Josy Bartel but lost 4-0 in the Georgian capital.

Dinamo's manager is the former Spain internation, Xisco and they will rely heavily on former Spanish U21 international Carlos Castro up front.

To get to this stage Dinamo had the following run:

Champions League 1st Qualifying Round:  vs FK Krupa, won 6-3 on aggregate;

Champions League 2nd Qualifying Round: vs AEK Athens, lost 1-7 on aggregate;

Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round: vs Titus Pétange, won 5-3 on aggregate;

Europa League Play Off: vs SK Brann Bergen, lost 0-6 on aggregate.

US Sassuolo Calcio logo.svg

U.S. Sassuolo Calcio - The Neroverdi have been regulars in Italy's Serie A since 2013/2014 with a best finish of 6th three times, including last season. Managed by Roberto De Zerbi the famous names in their squad include Dominico Berardi, Andrea Conti and Filip Kostic. Sassuolo surely must be favourites for Group D.

Sassuolo played just one tie to get to this stage:

Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round: vs Dinamo Brest, won 5-1 on aggregate.

KV Mechelen logo.svg

Yellow Red KV Mechelen - Malinwa are one of the biggest sides in Belgian football having won the top division no less than four times. Three of those successes came in the 40s but in the late 80s Mechelen had one of their most successful periods. They won the Belgian cup in 1986/1987 before going on to win the European Cup Winners Cup the following season. Another season on from that they won the Belgian league and defeated PSV Eindhoven to win the European Super Cup. Success has not been so great since then for Mechelen but the last couple of years have seen a rise in their fortunes.

Mechelen are managed by former Ukrainian international Sergiy Kovalyov and can count among their ranks Daniel Podence.

Mechelen have faced two rounds to get to this stage:

Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round: vs Legia Warszawa, won 3-2 on aggregate;

Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round: vs FC Baník Ostrava, won on away goals after 2-2 aggregate draw.

Finances

This incredible European run has had a dramatic effect on our finances. Our overall balance reportedly stands at around £4million now and the board have allowed me a £196,268 transfer kitty. I have asked for an upgrade to facilities but was told they're not needed.

We are undoubtedly well set for the future.

 

 

 

Edited by anagain
Link to post
Share on other sites

Propably tou didn't show any draw because some games of EL or ECL arranged later.Anyway finances could launch you in top Luxembourgian clubs.:applause:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...