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!