The Unexpected Champions – Part 8 | @Verbist_Philip

Hallo allemaal!

Welcome to the mid-season update in our 3rd season with Lierse. Despite being low on cash we did make a few good additions to the squad. We have to if we want to win the Champions League in our first 5 seasons. We had a superb win over Barcelona last week, but in all honesty we need to get stronger, otherwise we’ll never even survive the Group Stage. Domestically we are good and we are where the supporters expect us to be: on top!

We start off against Genk. Dirkx gives us an early lead, but truth is that Genk is the much better team. De Coninck (Bodart) saves our ass a couple of times, but he doesn’t stand when Strupar scores after a deflected shot. Why do these equalisers always come at the end of the game?

Against Waregem it seems we are having an easy match. Until the 70th minute. Out of the blue they score twice and we are very lucky to still grab the 3 points.

We miss a few players for our 2nd CL match-up against Ajax. But after our great win against Barcelona, should that be a big concern? And on top of that the Mark Hughes regen (Watkin) makes his first appearance in the Starting XI. What could go wrong? Everything. Just everything. A disappointing 0-4 is the verdict. If we were still playing Raimond, we probably would have lost 0-6, or even worse. I am thinking this is our worst match of the season by far, and maybe even the worst one so far in the blog.

The difference in quality between Lommel and Ajax is too big to use the word redemption, but the lads needed a big win to boost morale after this beating.

We grab another 3 points against Sint-Truiden, but the only thing the lads can think of is the Champions League.

With away games at first Rangers and then Barcelona, is there still a chance for us to grab points? After an early goal from Negri I am about to give up hope, but we still have Lokonda. If Nate were in charge, no doubt we would have lost. Luckily for us he isn’t and we get chances to win the game. It makes them lose their cool and they pick up 2 red cards in just 2 minutes. Too bad we can’t take advantage! But similar to last week, I happily take 1 point.

Hmm, it’s not as I was expecting anything different.

Citko is injured and that gave me the opportunity (again) to start Valencia and Kanchelskis in the same game. Our Russian wingxer however is lacking form and Watkin (Hughes) goes back in. Anderlecht is leading the league at the moment and are much stronger than the previous 2 seasons. We’ll have to be top in order win. The lads are and we dominate the match from start to finish. Unfortunately we are robbed of 2 points!

Gent is a perfect confidence booster for our final CL Group Stage match against Barcelona.

We travel to Nou Camp without Lokonda. And Leekens is to blame for that. Lokonda didn’t get a call-up for Belgium and is away for the U21 instead. Pedersen however is the perfect substitute. VALENCIAA! Our fans go crazy when he opens the score, but it is short-lived. At the final whistle we lose 4-3. No points, but a respectable loss.

Cup time! Citko is back from injury, but like Kanchelskis is struggling. Watkin (Hughes) understands that this is his chance to shine. Actually the entire team shines after a strong 2-0 win against Antwerp.

He came into the Starting XI sooner than I expected at the start of the season. And it’s of course too early to say, but he is always good.

The last one before the winter break is against Mechelen. A 2-1 victory puts us back in the lead.

After our annual skiing trip we go shopping on the French market. De Gier and Pedersen aren’t getting any younger and we need some young blood. Welcome Lilian! As most of the French players, he comes with great stats. I have had him a few times in earlier saves and he usually turns into a good player. He is worth the risk!

Cup time again and for the 2nd round we travel to second league squad Tielen. There ain’t a better way to resume competition. Quarter Finals here we come!

Time to introduce our second winter addition: welcome Rigobert! I hesitated a bit as he is non-EU, but he is good and I couldn’t resist. And very important: he plays the anchor position which makes him even more valuable.

I am worried for a bit when Bijl is sent off after just 6 minutes, but the lads fill the void easily. A great 3-0 win!

The game has barely started against Charleroi when we lose Sala. Citko makes a great entry and leads the way to a 1-2 victory. We only get Sala (Del Piero) back at the very end of the season, so Lilian it’s your time to shine!

I actually forgot when our minus guy asked for a transfer. This is the biggest offer we got so far. What would you do this in this case? My decision? He’s simply too good to let go, no matter the price.

I don’t know why but all of a sudden I am having second thoughts on Lilian. Did I perhaps take a rush decision? Was he even worth almost 900K? A boring 0-0 draw against Antwerp won’t give us the answer.

Our last one for today is against Westerlo. 2 goals and a perfect record give me a bit of reassurance: Lilian Compan could become a force!

Are we still on top of the league? Yes we are! And on this bombshell I am wishing you all a great Saturday and a wonderful weekend.

Will we go for thee-peat? And can we (finally) go for a double? Stay tuned!

Tot volgende week!

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