Whilst it’s an international week, the week after no fixtures were played bar the cup final, I thought I’d look at the Pro League and mainly focus on the goals.
After talking to a couple of players now who not only play in Belgium’s top flight, but are English, they are adamant to say it is a good league. I know their word isn’t everything, and I know mine isn’t either, the league is honestly better than people will give it credit for.
Now, I said focussing on goals, goalkeepers and defences saw a total of 658 goals fly past them. That’s about 2.74 goals per game, which i think is decent. Without goals, as much as 0-0 is the football purist result, goals are what win matches. The old ‘….And defences win you titles’ that’s only true up to a point. Without Lukasz Teodorczyk for example, the leagues top goalscorer, Anderlecht may not be in the position they are in. Teams go up and down due to goals scored and conceded, it proves goals can be as vital as points in that way. It is also the thing that everybody speaks about after the game and the children copy on a Monday lunchtime.
I may be talking about goals and not the excitement, but with those 2 figures I gave, average goals per game and the amount so far this season, you can watch matches, leagues and teams where the term ‘can’t buy a goal’ may be used a lot, but not for Belgium. Of course some weeks there isn’t a gluttony of goals like the last 4 weeks of the season where 23 goals was the lowest return, because in weeks 3, 24 and 25, it didn’t even work out a goal per club, which isn’t the best, but these things happen.
But goals don’t always guarantee quality. But with Belgium you have quality, you have untapped quality. People are still asking ‘who is Youri Tielemans?’ after his 2 belters against Oostende, the same side who have Nany Dimata who has been fantastic this season, especially Saturday, and those 2 are not only 19, but may not be mentioned next year at the Belgian football awards.
Amongst all the goals there’s passion, suspense, fight and desire, and to be honest, a lot of fun. And also, competition. A team is going to miss out next season on Europe, where right now, the Pro Leagues stock may never have been so high due to the Europa League, and they deserve to be the talk of that competition. You’ll most probably have Club Brugge, Anderlecht and Zulte Waregem involved for certain, but then some real quality may miss out like Oostende, Charleroi and Mechelen this season, as well as former champions Gent, Genk and Standard Liege. Someone has to miss out but look at the depth of that pool.
Regarding player quality, how long before the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A etc pluck another talented player out of the league? I’m certain again another one will be playing in one of those nations for sure, and I wont be surprised.
At the end of the day, this goal scoring league, where it’s cup final that lasted 2 hours and gave us 6 goals in that time has proven it’s credentials and will continue to show even this season, that the joke firmly isn’t on them, but on you!
Til next time