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Pitch Perfect…Well…Almost

Yesterday I once again received notification that 6 of the 8 football pitches used over match day 10 were given perfect scores by some sort of committee. The thing is, the life of a football groundsman is long, arduous, and in some ways, underappreciated.

Usually starting their day before the sun comes up (in winter) they get to the stadium and have to constantly be meticulous perfectionists everyday. If we work our way from the morning after the night before, a groundsman will firstly sweep the pitch. I know, they actually get a broom and drag it up and across the pitch, removing any thatch on the playing surface.

They then tend to not cut it, but run something that looks suspiciously like a lawnmower. Basically a big, heavy petrol powered vacuum that sucks up what wasn’t swept. Then the cutting begins, but before that they mark out the stripes on the pitch and cut as close as possible to the string, going up the inside and outside, up and down. 

Then they cut it or double cut it. Day in, day out apart from when they treat it. And the point of this explanation is that to play good football, you do need a good groundsman. They work more hours than the players and a pitch is only as good as it investment. For example, Arsenal have a semi synthetic pitch where the root is around about a foot below the surface. Nothing will ever rip that out. Whereas Lokeren last season had mud, grass and sand to aid with drainage. In this case, more money, less problems.

When you look at football pitches, I do believe grounds staff are getting the praise they deserve, and a poor pitch tends to be due to lack of investment. To have the score regarding pitch quality that the league received is outstanding, and I’m sure Sint Truiden’s astroturf pitch isn’t rated? At the end of the day I wrote this as it isn’t my usual post, plus if fans didn’t give enough thought into how much work is done for your benefit come Friday, Saturday or Sunday, now you have some idea, even though it was brief…

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Is an Assist Really All That?

Randomly out and about today my phone went off. It was an update on how well Ruud Vormer has done as he has now created 9 goals in the last 10 Pro League matches this season. Yes, great achievement although I’m sure I’ve counted 10, and through a reliable source it is ten as I’ve seen them. To be that consistent in his position, for a big club, aiding towards the success of the team. Very good. But who thinks an assist is worthy to talk about?

When I was younger, and I’ve heard Cesc Fabregas say this recently that he felt more joy assisting a goal rather than scoring. I used to oddly feel the same. To thread a ball through a defence inch perfectly or weighting a ball to the striker, crossing a pinpoint ball on to your teammates head was a thrill. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to view an assist in a different way.

 As lame and boring as I am, I actually looked at all Club Brugge matches this season where the playmaking Dutchman has assisted in. You can obviously give your opinion if you have 10 minutes to kill because it doesn’t take long to find. The thing that is extremely helpful is that if you’re the set piece taker, well…it helps. To be fair he can flight a ball into the box. What’s even better is that a Blauw-Zwart head gets onto the end of it.

Out of his 10 assists, half of those have come via a corner or free kick, not only showing the importance of a set piece, but taken correctly you can in fact gain an advantage from it. Sprinkled amongst those are ‘assists’ that aren’t exactly threading the needle type of passes. Against Charleroi, the ball basically nicked off of the outside of his boot, a square ball versus Gent and essentially a tackle against Eupen where Dennis Bonaventure did the rest. 

The only time I have sympathy is that against Mechelen he wasn’t given an assist for Wesley’s goal. But, as much as it sounds like I feel what he has done so far this season isn’t good, it really is. But look back against Charleroi, Eupen, even Sunday for the winner versus Oostende and tell me if that’s worth his assist bonus (assuming he gets one). But if a throw in or goal kick, a hoof downfield towards the furthest attacker up the pitch can be classed as an assist, then sorry, my perception has changed. 

Along with this, if a goalkeeper can claim an assist from his own six yard box, then we should really take some time to appreciate Colin Coosemans cross for Mechelen against Mouscron. 

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This and That and…Corrie? 

I was going to chat about international football on this post. I even wrote 2 paragraphs and was hoping to try and get everyone’s opinion. I was going to bring up a lot of countries. From Iceland to Italy, Spain to Germany and definitely England. But I scrapped it. Mainly because in my head it would’ve turned into a book as well as who knows how it would’ve read.

For those who have read my posts before, you know my feelings on international football. I actually care more about Belgium’s under 21s because the vast majority play in the Pro League. At the moment Belgium are very good. That goes without saying. People in England have compared them to England’s golden generation of Terry, Ferdinand, Lampard, Gerrard and Owen where I felt they should’ve won something, yet flattered to deceive. 

But I have also stated that I’m not a fan of the Red Devils because the majority play in the Premier League yet not for my club. But if they click they could well win the world cup. But with the lack of Pro League players, I’m never interested. 

Back to the league, I’ve actually turned my attention to the Proximus League because it’s club football and I’m intrigued by Beerschot and their rise to the top of the table. I keep looking out for matches and potential interviews with ANYONE as I have contacted Beveren today after they said they’d arrange something this season. I am also going to Vitesse vs Zulte Waregem in the Europa League too. 

Because I’m watching Coronation Street I’ve lost all trail of thought at now 23:36pm. Erm…I’m hopefully also going to try and do a podcast soon because talking in a quiet room is far easier than typing in a noisy lounge. But back to whatever I were saying. I have so many ideas bouncing around my head but putting them on a screen is tougher than I thought.

Writers block has well and truly hit me here. Like I said, I had the international football idea in my head and there’s no point putting it out there as it’ll either be totally wrong or genius, but I’m not a genius…FACT. All I’m happy about is my perspective I do put across whether through comparisons or experience. 

But I’ll end this drivel now and hopefully write something that isn’t utter nonsense and rubbish (I promise). 

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I’ve Missed the Pro League

This edition of my nonsensical babble is already within the title. International football has lost its edge in my opinion. The only worthwhile groups include the Dutch who just seem to constantly fail, and without being too harsh, they are the best international football nation never to have won an actual tournament, yet other than the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, they have gradually gotten worse, including in that tournament where they finished 3rd, and have simply underperformed since.

Beyond that domestically, the problem with international football is that it slows down momentum and can revitalize everything. I am English. A nation who thrive on underdog titles and can come out fighting. Maybe that’s why outside the Premier League bubble we live in, there are leagues where if you take notice, you think ‘WOW’ simply because the favourites aren’t already running away with the rest trailing behind. 

Other than Brugge, it’s a guessing game. It’s made me look ridiculous, yet, it’s embarrassed bigger organisations than me (not that I am one of course) and those being Anderlecht, KAA Gent, Genk and others who just seem to from bad to worse. Okay, not so much Anderlecht where Frutos did actually do something good before Vanhaezebrouck has come in. 

But international football may have now changed Gent’s and Anderlecht’s fortunes and could turn their form around. However, Mouscron, Antwerp, Sint Truiden amongst others all faltered before this weekend. Hopefully they could regroup and go back to why they have at least stolen my heart so far this season. Overreaction? Maybe. The good thing is that these 3 teams, as well as others I know, don’t have a plethora of players flying around the world. That could mean that they’ve had 2 weeks to train, rest, rethink, or get back on track.

One of the most famous titles wins in history, Leicester City, had hardly any internationals in their squad at the time, played 42 matches that season and regularly rested in their run in to the title. Now I’m not saying there’ll be a new name on the league trophy, but maybe a fresher team in Europe other than the usual clutch of names. Maybe I’m a dreamer. Maybe because I’m married, as a man, my dreams are now wasted on 16 top flights Belgian teams rather than, well men will know. But regardless, new names now and again stir up excitement, different fans, perspectives and which other words you’d like to chuck out there. 

As per usual my laziness, along with World Cup qualifiers have caused me to slow up recently and then I vent again about why I really enjoy writing, Belgium and football and then squash all 3 together. But I’m hoping to write more often (honest) and hopefully give my same honest assessment with whatever goes on across the Channel/North sea corridor.

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For Why I L _ _ e this League

Fill in the blanks if you will. I know which word I’m thinking of using. But anyway…to my point. The Jupiler Pro League this weekend, in my opinion, sprung some surprises. I decided to do a prediction. A prediction for the matches played and even though I am horrendous at gambling, even though I have quit altogether now, I wouldn’t dream of doing an eightfold bet in Belgium’s top flight.

Getting the scoreline correct is always tougher than getting a correct result. But this weekend would’ve and in fact did embarrass me. I managed to get 2 results right out of the 8 matches. Lokeren surprised us. Oostende managed a win away at Kortrijk. Mechelen fought hard away at Mouscron amongst others. It goes to show how unpredictable this league is going by form, whether it be recent or over the season so far, this is why I L _ _ e this league!

The problem with the season too is also the reason for why I’m so enthralled by it. All the ‘bigger’ and ‘better’ clubs are suffering. Some are again finding their way back to form, but that has caused me to rethink every match. Mouscron, who I genuinely thought would faulter have surprised us all in a brilliant way, along with Sint Truiden and Antwerp. Because, as the season is just over 2 months old, they haven’t slowed down, maybe levelling out into a mid table position, but neither of those 3, along with Beveren, have flirted with the idea of relegation.

The only teams who haven’t shocked are Club Brugge, Zulte Waregem and, unfortunately at the other end, Eupen. But 13 clubs have contested matches in every way in that they have either suffered or succeeded. Without going back and looking I thought Anderlecht would walk the league, with Brugge, Standard Liege and Gent fighting for the Champions League qualification place. So far, Brugge look set on at least a top 2 finish and the rest are hoping that 2018 sees better days. With one of those 3 managerless, with another snatching a manager from the other and now doubters are looking at Ricardo Sa Pinto, those 3 look likely to miss out on at least a top 3 finish because Zulte Waregem have been fantastic, regardless of that defeat on Sunday, and Charleroi have been outstanding. Not impressive but at least competitive in every match.

(As I write this, Vanderhaeghe has become assistant at Anderlecht)

But back to Charleroi. I love that Felice Mazzu has progressed this club this season. Missing out on Europe last season seemed to have spurred them on. I felt if the league went on another fortnight they would’ve been in Europe at the expense of Oostende, but this year they seem stubborn and relentless to do well, with Brugge and Beveren being their only setbacks.

As I no longer no where I’m going with this I’ll end by saying I’ve been challenged with predictions this Friday by a good friend who knows his football and I’m desperate to at least not lose, even if I just get 1 more correct!

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Pro League Football is Back!

I’m glad it is for a number of reasons. I’ve had a stressful time recently regarding my professional life. Something positive but still stressful. Along with that I have become disillusioned, as I’ve already mentioned, with football in general. I played football for 15 years and have watched football for 24 years now and sometimes I just think ‘whats the point?’. People may say that’s not a true supporter but with the way football and footballers have gone I just lose touch with what I want out of a sport I love.

Football is the getaway from the working man and woman’s week. It is the thing we turn to to relieve us from the toil of work and even personal life. People say that once players step over that white line they only focus on the match. I guess the same can be said for the fan. You become so involved in what you’re watching that for 2 sets of 45 minutes, you forget your troubles (to a point) and put all your efforts in trying to influence a match you’ve attended when in fact, all you’re doing is willing on those players to do something to make you feel better.

Football is a passion, somebody’s entire life. I believe Eric Cantona said you can leave your wife, your religion, your job, but never your football club! I 100% agree. For me to not support my club who I’ve invested in for years would unthinkable. I could only support the club I’ve loved even if somehow they no longer existed, and if they were to be reformed at the bottom of the football pyramid, I would support them too!

What this has to do with Belgium? Nothing frankly. I guess Belgian football is my release as I have no affiliation. It is a world which is a million miles away from what I’m used to. A league where right now, I look forward to watching as this weekend, as was the case the last matchday weekend, every match is vital, and not just to the fans involved. With the way either clubs have started like a runaway train, or have halted in terms of progress or results, each team, manager and sets of fans will feel pressure to gain any positive. I shall leave this post as is because I’ll write another regarding the actual fixtures rather than depressing everyone again about how I feel about football right now…

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Team of the Season…So Far

In Belgium, there have been five match days played and let’s just say…it hasn’t gone to plan. It has been a terrific season actually, and with 2 teams with 100% records (one you may expect, and maybe one you wouldn’t) there will be some names on this list you may not have picked out after the first month of the season. This is subject to opinion and obviously, if anyone reads this, there will be disagreement. Along with that, I don’t get paid a thing, so unlike experts in Belgium, it is difficult to keep across every player in every match as I don’t have the time or technology.

And to begin, why not start in goal? I had 2 goalkeepers in mind and only 2 as they have a better record of conceding under a goal per match. Out of these 2, one has conceded less goals than the other, yet the other has kept more clean sheets. But if I’m honest, I’ll pick Ethan Horvath ahead of Nicolas Penneteau because he has conceded less and has made less mistakes. I’d say at least two goals conceded by Charleroi could be down to the experienced Frenchman, so I’d pick Horvath in goal.

As this is a team, do I go by what would suit a team or do I do a ‘Dream Team’ situation where you pick the best in those brackets of positions? Well…regardless of which I choose, I would put Brandon Mechele at the back. I don’t want to make this a Club Brugge side, but the young Belgian has been part of that best defence so far in Belgium right now, and, has scored 2 goals from defence in the process! I feel it’d be unfair if he wasn’t picked.

I have decided to pick 4 at the back, although I did think about 3 but the team this player plays for has conceded 9 goals (nearly 2 per match) so that’d be unfair as that is pretty poor, although Antwerp have had the toughest start too. I did think Frederic Duplus because I think he has done well, but if you pick from a leaky defence, this would lose any credibility.

Two players I have picked though both play for Zulte Waregem who complete 50% of the defence. I have gone for Davy de Fauw and Michael Heylen. I feel both have been very good so far this season defensively and have also chipped in with a goal each too. It would help if this were an actual team as there are club partnerships in this team so far and would be strong enough at the moment too. And to round the defence off would be Dorian Dessoleil. Another defender who has scored, but, has also kept 3 clean sheets. I did originally consider 3 at the back. I even retyped the last couple of paragraphs until I thought it would be totally unfair if I didn’t have a Charleroi player at the back, or in any defensive setup whatsoever.

Going forward, in midfield there is a lot of quality who miss out because the likes of Oostende, Anderlecht, Gent and Genk haven’t quite done well. I would love to put poor Pieter Gerkens in but I can’t. Same for Alejandro Pozuelo, Sebastien Siani, Edmilson Junior and Damien Marcq in but I just can’t. But as I’ve said this is a dream team set up because I believe certain players deserve certain mentions.

In this case, you have to put a double Kortrijk in. Jovan Stojanovic and Christophe Lepoint have to go in. These 2 have been brilliant so far and have been the catalyst for the club who can be very sketchy. They’ve chipped in with goals and assists for each other and other players. They have each proved their worth to De Kerels and to this team too.

Another player who makes this team in my opinion is a Mexican who has also shown quality this season and has influenced a team who I thought was relegation fodder. They could still go down of course, but Omar Govea is helping the club not only keep their top flight status, but has tried to help the club push on to a different level. I’m not saying they’ll be in the Championship play offs come March, but may well finish top 10 which would be a huge achievement in my opinion, and Govea so far has been pivotal.

Lastly in the centre of the park, I’ve gone for the leading assist makers this season who has also scored a couple too. Ryota Morioka has hit the ground running for Beveren, much like a Japanese player last season who hasn’t really shown up so far, but Morioka has been superb. He seems to just keep playing. Really bringing his Japanese to the pitch every game where their make up is to work, work and work some more, and that hard work is paying off with fine performances and quality too!

Up front I’ve gone for Henry Onyekuru and Lukasz Teodorczyk…wait…I’ve doubled check which season I’m writing about. It isn’t the 2016/17, my mistake. Scrap those 2 and put in Zinho Gano and Dennis Bonaventure. These 2 have played magnificently well. I’m still upset for Beveren fans as they haven’t won since the talisman striker has left and has already scored for his new club who he helped demolish about 3 weeks ago…?

Zinho could be the difference in a lot of matches this season for Oostende now and will probably chip in with a winner next time out against Mechelen as Mechelen can’t buy a win themselves either. With Dennis Bonaventure, I just think what a player. What a signing. He has come in and settled quicker than snow. Not only is he proving his worth against the lesser sides, but I feel he could be the difference maker against the better sides too.

And that’s my team. I did think about Louis Bostyn in goal, and even Mats Sels, but the 2 aforementioned keepers deserved to be the options as they’d conceded the least rather than who’d kept clean sheets. I know I mentioned Frederic Duplus too, and another was Bryan Verboom as a possibility too at left back, but he hasn’t completed every match due to injury. Every other player picked has played in every match so far so was only fair. In midfield, I did think of Ruud Vormer in there, but the 4 I picked, in my opinion, deserve all the praise they’ve received from me as they have performed so far this season. Other names could’ve been Dimitri Mohamed, Nill De Pauw and Sander Coopman too I felt, but as I stated, the 4 picked have played well. And up front I could’ve picked a plethora of players including Aaron Leya Isaka, Yohan Boli, maybe Teddy Chevalier and Mbwana Samatta but one was picked through goals and the other was a bit of favouritism.

So there you go. Open to debate. No Guillermo Ochoa. No Uros Spajic. Not even a…well…I can’t mention Jose Izquierdo, Yuya Kubo or Ishak Belfodil as 2 have left the league unfortunately and another just hasn’t turned up! But if anyone reads this and wants to add a name please suggest. As I’ve said, this is opinion but what I’ve been able to see and through stats too. Football is always up for debate, just asked the players. But as fans, without debate you don’t have conversations about the sport we all love!

Posted in Pro League in Europe, Transfers, Uncategorized

Random Ramblings

This blog post is a post where, like some I have done before, I spill my thoughts onto a screen via my thumb as I’m having to use my phone. I am @currently in Luxembourg, mainly because flights were cheap, along with accommodation, and I have worked a lot in 2017.

It’s tough for me and whoever may read this because it’s a reality check in some ways. I managed to go to the stadia of the 2 biggest clubs in Luxembourg City. Their capacities aren’t big and in all honesty, they resemble a non league ground in England. How they’d be able to play in UEFA competition is beyond me, and furthermore, how did Glasgow Rangers get knocked out by Niedercorn (if that’s correct).

I then think about the Pro League. A league where people in England scoff at the players, league and clubs. Where the other night on what is the biggest sports radio station in the world, they said they’d keep us abreast of all goals as they go in across Europe. Belgium apparently isn’t in Europe because Oostende vs Antwerp wasn’t mentioned at all. As I’ve said many times, I find Belgian football entertaining, fascinating, and with most clubs, approachable in that you can contact the clubs and ‘converse’ I guess.

But every club have their problems and expectations. The club I actually support is in total disarray on and off the pitch. The players want to leave, the manager won’t and the fans basically want everyone to go! If you know who I’m on about you will say that I don’t know how lucky I am. But because if all this I have become disillusioned. The negativity is beginning to wear me down and I no longer have the affinity with my club anymore.

I have Belgian Football as my release. I see that Standard Liege are almost capitulating in some ways. I see a big name in Jordi Clasie has come across from Southampton. But as much as I try to keep up to date, I tend to give my opinion of the facts or rumours that I’ve read, whether it’s immediate or later. I have played and loved football since I was 4 years old and 23 years later, that relationship is hanging by a thread because of who I support and the money thrown about. 

In England, money from fans no longer pay wages. When you see £30-£40-£50 million + deals made between July and September and then in January, you are no longer surprised. When you see insurmountable wages thrown about and players say THAT’S NOT ENOUGH! You almost need to question the parents. 

I don’t know. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, the Lokeren press officer said don’t compare us to England. But we invented football and have over 100 professional football clubs. To not make a comparison with what I know…Well…I have nothing to go by then. When I saw 2 managers sacked after 2 matches in Belgium I actually got worried. It gave me something to write, but I was hoping Belgium was better than that.

It is. It gives you Mouscron, Kortrijk, Antwerp and Sint Truiden looking down at Oostende, Anderlecht, Gent and Standard Liege and it shows that things can be different if team ethic and hard work comes into play. I hope this continues, at least til Christmas because it gives clubs hope that togetherness is more important than individualism. Especially in football…

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I’m Worried with One Week to Go!

In one week, the transfer window slams shut for another summer and I was going to write this last night, but Family Guy and American Dad prevented me. Then I wake up to the reason for why I was contemplating this blog post with a week left. With the Belgian League almost a month old, even with 5 matchdays completed compared to other countries. Other leagues may begin to poach players as Pro League players are raring to go.

I’ve woken up to the news that Stoke City are bidding a reported£8.5 million for Club Brugge defender Bjorn Engels. Without sounding selfish, it doesn’t bother me if Pro League players move within the country, because we want quality within the league, like Zinho Gano moving to Oostende for example. But if players leave the league altogether then we have to start again. Engels going to Stoke doesn’t bother the Potters in one way, and I’ll explain.

If you’re Brugge, Gent and Oostende, even though tonight Club Brugge can complete the hat trick of Belgian clubs out of Europe, their players leaving the league for Europa or Champions League clubs are unlikely due to being cup tied. However, the lure of Ligue 1 or the Premier League right now may be too strong. Considering Kalifa Coulibaly and Jose Izquierdo have gone to Nantes and Brighton respectively, these clubs aren’t always guaranteed top flight status come May. Other examples include El Ghannasy and Stef Peeters also moving south east to France as well with clubs that are mid level.

But instead of focusing on those who have moved, think about those who haven’t. Tony Pulis recently said that every player has his prices when Manchester City considered a move for Jonny Evans. As money talks, in Belgium, every player certainly has his price. With bigger wages in England, or elsewhere, clubs can’t resist a transfer fee from these countries. I know I said I’ll focus on who’s still in Belgium, but when Youri Tielemans moves to Monaco for a pitiful £20 million (I think) then you know any money can buy anyone in Belgium as they are that far off the pace in Europe by some distance.

For example, in one way or another, the entire Genk squad is up for grabs. If Timothy Castagne can go Atalanta, who over achieved last season, the Pozuelo, Samatta and Trossard would also be good elsewhere. Especially Siebe Scrijvers! Then you have Yohan Boli who has hit the ground running scoring poachers goals and lifting Sint Truiden up the table! Mats Rits could be another. Already had a taste of a bigger club and I really rate him. With Zulte Waregem not playing in European competition just yet, and the way they’ve played in the league, any of their players are up for grabs too. The list goes on…

And that’s my worry. When you have players earning good money and they’re happy, that’s all fine. When they get offered a 5 year deal with a pay rise and signing on fee with job security for them and their family, that’s when you have to slightly panic. A footballers career is short, and unless theirs things beyond the pitch, like Mbaye Leye with his media work, then there’s no guarantee where these players will end up. But with their wages doubled or tripled in France, Italy, Germany or England, then every summer, and Belgium has always had this, we’ll run the risk of losing top talent, just in this window, maybe we’ve lost more than we thought…

(All Pictures courtesy of Getty Images)

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Forwards are the Order of the Season

I switched up day to season of course. And they are. They always have been and always will be. Strikers will always and for ever be the need for every club anywhere and everywhere, and of course, that applies to Belgium. Whether it’s fresh faces or familiar faces, teams will acquire players, especially in the forward positions, and particular strikers will always be needed. Once you feel the small, quick striker is out of favour, they come back, to replace the tall, strong striker who heads everything. Then there’s the wide attacker who drifts in. The ‘false No.9’ which apparently Spain invented in Euro 2012 or whatever. There’s a partnership, no wait, one on their own, or gung ho with 3 up top with all different qualities.

Now onto my point. Yesterday saw a key striker who had a trial match on Saturday and passed the test. The club he has now joined stupidly signed him days after he clinically put them to the sword twice. Oostende have signed Beveren talisman Zinho Gano. I am truly gutted for Waasland Beveren who will have to rely on Olivier Myny and goals around the team, which isn’t a problem, but without Gano they’d be 4 goals worse off right now.

Eupen have signed Mbaye Leye after his release from Zulte Waregem. I and a good Belgian football fan predicted he’d go somewhere like Eupen. We both concurred that he’d be good for a young team, and the Senegalese Aspire Academy influence would probably come into play too. A three year deal which will most likely see the rest of his career out with the Pandas makes me think what else could progress from this deal long term after Leye’s playing days?

Then unfortunately you see the Golden Shoe winner of 2016 leave the league in Jose Izquierdo. I really wonder how Club Brugge fans feel losing such a quality player AND their title winning manager in the same season? I’ve actually just thought of that. Losing 2 key men from that dressing room and both leaders in their own way, on and off the pitch. The Colombian joining Brighton gives me mixed feelings. Firstly, in a positive light, he is deemed good enough for the Premier League, meaning players in Belgium, and there are, are considered Premier League quality. But in a negative light, he is deemed only good enough for Brighton (no offense) where technically, they were the 22nd best team in England last season, and second best in England’s 2nd tier. Same of course applies to Matt Ryan, but this is a striker post, so less said the better.

And of course, other signings have been made as these players must’ve been deemed surplus to requirements, or forced their way out, and players have been already signed into their place. Nicolas Verdier has common up top for Eupen too, with Henry Onyekuru going on loan to Anderlecht via Everton. The brilliant Dennis Bonaventure has come in along with Jeremy Perbet at Club Brugge and Zulte Waregem have signed Ivan Saponjic on loan from Benfica. Obviously other teams have invested in attack, but with this merry go round of strikers within the league or Europe, one move then sparks another.

Going back to the beginning of all of this, the Zinho Gano move to Oostende, probably filling the gap left behind by Nany Dimata, will mean there’s a place to fill at Beveren, meaning that’ll create funds or space at that club, and the domino effect will carry on until September the first. We all love a deal, especially when it’s a name, and I’d be excited if I were a Kustboy right now meaning they may just get their first points this weekend, although at Eupen, the likelihood is pretty big, even with Mbaye Leye.

To cap off, I’m glad that there are very good strikers in Belgium, meaning anyone can beat anyone, which has already been proved, and that if there is a chance, the likelihood of it being taken is greater than it missing, and goals is what fans want!

(All pictures courtesy of Getty Images)