The Unexpected Champions – Part 10 | @Verbist_Philip

Merry weekend to you all and a big welcome back to Philip after his short break. Now, where was he?

Hallo allemaal!

Happy Saturday and after a job-driven break welcome back to the great city of Lier. Time flies and we are already in season 4 with the “Pallieters”. In the league we became the team to beat after 3 titles in a row. In the Belgian Cup however we didn’t shine just yet and that becomes our domestic focus this year.

Our number 1 goal remains the same and that is winning the Champions League by the end of season 5. How realistic is that I hear you think? It’s for sure ambitious! This year we have to get at least past the Group Stage, if not it’s just a lost cause. Do we have the team to do that? I believe we do: it’s balanced and we have sufficient depth. Will this be the year of Lilian & Lokonda? If they’re on fire, the sweeper keeper formation can and will be lethal.

Unlike the previous 2 seasons, the board didn’t slow us down. On the contrary they gave us a nice early Christmas present. 2.3M is not exactly loads of money, but it at least offers perspective.

My wife and I both love shopping. She goes for clothes (and shoes!), I go for interesting bargains in cm9798. Despite 3 domestic titles, top players don’t fancy a move (yet), so we’ll have to dig a bit deeper.

The first one to come in is the regen of German international Lothar Mattheus. Welcome Dirk!

Next we bring in a familiar face. The name for sure won’t ring a bell, but this Miguel Angel Nadal’s regen, my defensive stalwart in the Barcelona ’92 squad during the CLM9798 blog.

Do I even need to introduce this guy? If you just look at the name, you know who I am talking about. As a Beveren fan I don’t like to admit it, but did you know his career outside Iceland started at Beveren-rivals Lokeren?

After the departure of Brian McClair, we needed a new Scottish player in the team. Welcome Nigel “McAllister” Dalglish. He is only 22, so he joins the team with hair.

A serious injury to our Russian stalwart Ivanov means we’ll have to reshuffle our defence.

Is that a marriage that will work? Walter Meeuws for sure will install discipline at the borders of the Maas.

At least we are able to sign 1 big name. Welcome Lilian “number 2” Laslandes. If he performs as he is doing with Nick’s Basque Boys, this should be a good transfer.

Again that’s a lot of young talent coming in. But that’s what we have to settle for. They’ll need time no doubt, but can they help us becoming a great team?

It’s a pity to see you go Filip. But you deserve a transfer.

No f*** way! Will we even make it to the Group Stage?

Who will take Ivanov’s place? Drawing Atletico must be some kind of divine sign: it’s Jesus, aka the Nadal regen. That’s how we start the season.

We start the season in the Super Cup against Standard. Lilian “number 1” Compan demonstrates how good he is. We win our 3rd Super Cup!

Winning the Super Cup is good fun, but it’s just a game compared to the stakes again our next opponent: Atletico Madrid. Inspired by God, euhm Jesus, the lads wipe the floor with Atletico: 3-0!

When you do that against Atletico, the home crowd expects a big win in the season opener against Sint-Truiden. And the lads deliver.

It’s back to reality at Charerloi: 2 red cards and our first defeat this season.

Order must be restored! Cercle is the unwilling victim.

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can purchase … Lilian Compan.

We suffer and struggle at Vicente Calderon, buts thank to Eddy (De Coninck, our goalie in case you were wondering), we even get the win in the return match against Atletico.

Let’s go for one of the best second places?

Esteban, Esteban, Esteban? What are you doing? The fans love you and they even have a song for you. Is that loyalty?

If Waregem had any ambition to get points against us, we took away that hope after just 1 minute.

Antwerp, a big mouth alright, but not enough to stop us.

We open the CL Group Stage against PSV. They have no clue what hit them: 4-1!

Sala (Del Piero). You probably all knew already that he excels at the forward/support line, but I wanted to state the obvious.

Lokonda picks up a nasty injury, but I am not concerned: we bring our “Lilian striker combo” into play. Hmm, it may need a bit of time though before it excels.

One word is appropriate here: recognition.

We started great against PSV, but then this happens. If we don’t make it past the Group Stage, this will be the main reason.

Bringing in new players takes time, but let’s be honest: Laslandes hasn’t been a success so far. Thank goodness there is still Watkin (Mark Hughes).

That’s it for today. Let’s have a look at the standings. We are not leading! They were already good last season, but Anderlecht will be a fierce competitor for the title this year!

Can we make it past the Group Stage? Can Anderlecht keep up this form? Stay tuned! Enjoy your weekend!

Tot volgende week!

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