New Beginnings

Hello! Welcome to Season 6. I had a great time at Aberdeen, but from the shrill peep of the full time whistle in the Champions League final at the end of season 5, I knew my time was up. The Scottish League has been good fun, but after taking Aberdeen to the title in season 1 we have barely suffered a defeat domestically. With a side good enough to win the Champions League, it is perhaps no surprise that the likes of Motherwell and Dundee couldn’t lay a finger on us – no disrespect. With every trophy in the cabinet, in some cases retained, I had little motivation to carry on. But I like this save, it is nicely poised, so now it’s time for a fresh challenge for the 2002/03 season. But where will I pitch up?

Waregem

I’ve wanted to go to Belgium for a while – why else would I load the Belgian league? But with none of the top jobs available, 7th placed SV Waregem (now Zulte) is perhaps the perfect club for me. Even if I am ranked as the top manager in the game, I think this might be my spiritual home.

Waregem info

Firstly, the play in a ridiculously named stadium. It even has Regen in the title. I think I’ll call it the roogy boogy. I love that a 15,000 capacity stadium  has only 7,000 seats. Old school. Anyway, as you can see they were promoted in 97/98 and have finished 8th, 7th, 5th and 7th. It’s good, but there’s room to improve. I like that. Here’s the squad:

Waregem squad

The most famous in there is probably Par Zetterberg, a Swede who is an obvious key man. Outside of that though there’s not much to shout about, although a striker called Dammann will lead to lots of opportunities for me to ask just who the man is, whilst this man is called Lesmond.

nass

I’m going to want to put my own stamp on the squad so this will be a slow burner, so I’ll be happy with a top half finish as long as we find a team that works by the end of the season. I want to use the same formation I did at Aberdeen, which will mean signing some players. People like Dan Petrescu and Mark Schwarzer.

Zulte In

Kumar is one of the “super” players I found when I signed David Tucker for Aberdeen – he has 19s and 20s for everything except technique. You can’t have everything.

I lost this guy to Club Brugge – he had a big club release and I am £325k richer at the loss of our Macedonian midfielder.

babunski

That is definitely not the strangest signing of the summer though

shearer to palace

Before I get into the life and times of SV Waregem, I need to tell you what is happening at Aberdeen because it’s ridiculous. I like to think the Aberdeen board asked me who I would pick to replace me (please note this reflects purely on the previous exploits of Beardsley on this blog and not on the recent real life allegations against him)

Beardsley to Aberdeen

Chortle. I’ve got a lot of time for Pedro’s approach to transfers, as he immediately weakens his rivals

negri to aberdeen

Then blows £13m on Robbie Fowler

fowler to aberdeen

It’s a time of change in Scotland though, as Rangers smell blood and see this as the chance to dominate again.

Rangers sack Smith

Rangers appoint Kenny Dalglish, it’s not like he spent a lot of his early career at Celtic or anything.

kenny to rangers

Newcastle appoint Walter Smith just to complete job swap. It’s a great time for the Scottish management scene, as Gordon Strachan is appointed at Liverpool, and of course Fergie is still dominating the Premier League. It’s a three way tie at the top of the SPL.

SPL top Nov 02

Poor East Fife. Anyway, enough of that. That’s the past. The future, or at the very least the present, is SV Waregem, and it’s time for our first game away at La Louviere

first game season 6

Lovely stuff.

5-2 win

A typically quiet affair for one of my teams but very encouraging. Maybe everything will work out. Our first game at the Roogy Boogy is against Oostende

4-0 oostende

Who’s Da Man!? Good old Rene. We’re the greatest team ever, as long as we continue to face below par opposition

Sadly Anderlecht are not sub par. They are very good.

anderlecht 3-0

A reality check if ever there was one. We do need more options and the opportunity to loan a man called Casanova is not one to be sniffed at. Can I borrow a feeling?

Casanova

Can you lend me a jar of love Yordan Letchkov?

Letchy

The visit of Aalst is a chance to get us back on track.

Waregem 3 - 2 Aalst

Lesmond is a bit of a boy. I like him.

What I don’t like is our goalkeeping situation. I firmly believe it’s the most important position on this game, the way the match engine works. Schwarzer isn’t really very good. A 2-0 loss to Club Brugge – who have Esteban Cambiasso – is another reminder that we are maybe the best of the worst but nowhere near the top clubs.

0-2 brugge

Further defeats to Antwerp and unfancied Harelbeke suggest my honeymoon period is over.

antwerp loss0-2 harelbeke

I’m desperate for a win so when Lesmond puts in a late winner at Lierse I do a lap of the house. It was never like this at Aberdeen.

win at Lierse

I’ve seen enough, it’s time to reinforce. We have a small amount to spend and I revisit Aberdeen to get one of the youth goalkeepers I found. He looks incredible apart from the fact that he is as weak as a kitten.

van fessemmusrri

Musrri has unreal stats and if he can deliver on them, he could be a hero here. There’s no non-EU rules in Belgium, so there are no shortage of options for us if we can find other bargains. We’ve also managed to shift two players for £450k, which means we’re up on fees. I notice we had Dennis Bergkamp in February. I don’t know how they pulled that off but fair play.

Out

Musrri gets off to the best possible start. Him and Lesmond could be great together.

waregem 2 - 1 lommel musrri debut

We get nothing off Standard Liege, who are repeated champions, but it’s nice to see my centre half getting man of the match. Everyone else was rubbish.

standard loss

Always finish on a high

3-1 dessel

That leaves us 8th, with a win/loss record BBC 5 live would be proud of. It’s the usual problems – scoring goals is not an issue, stopping them very much is. Hopefully my new goalkeeper can help that.

Jupiler Leagye top Nov 02

That’s all I have to say but this is sad news from Aberdeen:

Bakayoko injury

That leaves Beardsley with just Nevland, Owen, Fowler, Martin, Tomlinson, Negri, Nalis, Dadason and of course himself to pick from up front. How will he manage?

More to the point, how can we build on this start? Is Musrri the new Salas or is it just a flash in the pan? We’ll find out next time. Sorry for the long update, it’s all happening. See you next week.

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