Happy weekend! Philip is here to resume his Belgian journey with Beveren but can the national side take a step towards World Cup 98?
In my first ever blog I took control of my hometown club Beveren. After 1/3rd of the season we find ourselves in an unexpected 4th position.
Before we pick up the action again, we have the first legs of the 98 WC qualifying games. Belgium gets a 0-1 victory over Scotland; this should not go wrong!
Our first game this update is against RWDM who find themselves in last position. This also should not go wrong. And it doesn’t.
So far we didn’t have too many injuries yet. But of course, this has to end one day.
In the return match of the WC qualifying game Belgium gets a beating from Scotland. In cm9798 Belgium will not be going to the 98 WC!!
Our next match is a home match against Club Brugge who are so far dominating the league: 12 victories in 13 games. They have been very active on the transfer market. Not only Valencia, also Vos, Ljung and Lantignotti went to Bruges. They will probably end the season with a deficit, and then be rescued with a cash injection going into season 2 (which is so annoying!).
It is an even match and both teams have their chances to win. Bruges goalie Verlinden is man of the match, but a draw is a fair result.
The first half of the season is approaching quickly. Another 3 points, but if we keep having so many attempts off target, this won’t last.
Our 2nd most valuable player thinks his time has come to move to a bigger club. This may be a good thing. Slowly but surely our cash position is moving towards the red. We are consistently losing money each month, so we do need to make a sale this season to have a bit of buffer.
Another big win closes the month of November. The board is very pleased, and I can only agree, the team is performing very strong!
The first offer for Sterckx comes in sooner than expected. 825K is too low, but Charleroi has competition. I am going to consider the offer, assuming the price will increase!
AZ and Antwerp make an offer as well. 925K is still lower than his current value of 1M. Our cash position is only a little over 300K and with the winter break coming up soon, I decide to accept the offer. I don’t like selling below price, but sadly we need cash and we need it soon. See you Gunther, you did well.
I move Rubinelson up one line to number 10 and bring in Dutchman Torken on 11. With our only shot between the posts we get the victory.
We are now halfway the season. Club Brugge & Standard are way ahead; one of them will win the league for sure. We are comfortably in 4th place. European football next season, it is not impossible!
Let’s stop dreaming for now. Up to our first cup match against 2nd division squad Tielen. This time we have 10 shots on goal but we score only once. We advance to the next round, that’s what matters.
The Belgian cup is something special. I am quite used to the Belgian league, and I often had the feeling the away team in the final wins the game and the cup. And they don’t just win, they smash the other team. I am going to play this league until the end of the 2006 season, so that’s in total 9 cup finals. We’ll see how crazy my feeling is.
One last game before the winter break. A game that we should have won but didn’t. Again a loss against Charleroi.
During the winter break I get a ridiculously low offer for Van Den Eede. No way that’s going to happen. His contract expires at the end of the season, but if I can, I plan to resign him.
We resume the action in the year 1998 with our 2nd cup match. The draw was in our favor: a home match against Aalst. It is a difficult match though. We go into overtime and it’s Van Den Eede who scores the winning goal. Of the Big Three only Standard manages to reach the quarter finals.
Then this happens… I hope we won’t feel the impact too much. His morale is low and his rating isn’t impressive, but the man scores goals.
Next match is against Standard. In the final minutes Rubinelson gives us a point!
So far so good. We get the 3 points against lower ranked teams Lommel and Westerlo, which moves us up to 3rd position.
With a lot of confidence we host Anderlecht. They are struggling this season and they need points if they want to move up the standings. Fine by me but couldn’t you guys have waited until next match?
It’s time for Cup action. Bart Van Den Eede goes back into the squad after his injury. Gérard scores the opening goal, then gets a red card. Harelbeke dominates us in the second half and ends our cup adventure.
We get a point against Antwerp and we are already at transfer deadline day. We refused an offer for Bart Van Den Eede, and all players will stay on board until the end of the season.
Our last match for today’s blog is a home match against Sint-Truiden.
One of the goal scores is Tristan Peersman. The last couple of games I had several injuries and he got into the line-up. Not the greatest of starts, but with a big-club release clause and a contract expiring at the end of the season, I will try to resign him.
This is it for today’s blog. We are 24 matches into the season, and we are still in an excellent 3rd position. UEFA cup next year?
Tot de volgende keer!