Guest writer Matt, is back with his latest edition or the Belmondo Diary.
SATURDAY October 3rd, 2015
Game day. From the dizzying heights of beating PSV, we dropped to a home draw against Den Haag, also known as The Hague. Is that a weird name for a city? Yes. There was not a lot to write home about in this game. Lots of shots from both sides missing the target. Some of my guys really struggle with the whole aiming thing. One shot crossed the sideline for a throw. 0-0, but I’m not too broken up by all of this. On the back of three loses, a win and a draw are welcome.
MONDAY October 12th, 2015
It’s the international break, so mostly boring. One of my reserves got his first cap for Iraq, which was a surprise, I have to say. I didn’t even know we had an Iraqi at the club. Maybe I need to spend some time with the reserves.
Iceland held the Netherlands to a draw in the Euro qualification game. And we know who keeps the goals out for that Iceland team. Thor to the rescue. He’s going to have a hard time coming back to play in front of the Dutch crowds this weekend. We’re heading to league leaders, FC Twente.
SUNDAY October 18th, 2015
Game day. I can see why they’re league leaders. Although, to be fair, 4-1 is not an accurate reflection of the game. After I yelled at the guys for not being able to hit a barn door with their shots last week they came back with six out of eight on target. The two that were designated off target both hit the goal frame. I’m going to be approaching league officials to request that two shots off the woodwork should count as a goal going forward. I don’t need it to apply to this game, the rules are the rules, but come on!
My on loan left back had a terrible game, but otherwise I was pretty happy with everyone. Ritzmaier was very good and the Scot was equally impressive. The midfield appears to be clicking and we’re certainly getting some shots. Eight shots on the road to the team at the top of the table is nothing to cry about.
The press described Twente as lucky, so that’s nice of them. They also reported that the fans were upset that I kept the left back, Woudenberg, on the pitch despite him sucking it up. The fans can shut up. I only say that to you, dear diary. My head would be on a spike if I shared that with anyone else.
SUNDAY October 25th, 2015
Game day. There must be a better way of working out who wins a soccer game than just using goals. We lost 0-1, but really, anyone watching would have said we were the winners. Groningen might have scored the goal, but we had twice as many shots, 10% more of the ball, some great woodwork targeting, and frankly, some amazing haircuts. And yet, today goes down as a loss.
Gijs Kuipers knows what’s up. He works for the Groningen Football Messenger (not sure I believe that’s a real thing) and asked just how robbed I felt after that game. Very, Gijs. The answer is very.
Philip Cocu was apparently in the stands at today’s game. The theory is that he was watching Ritzmaier because he’s on loan with us. That loan was news to me. Sad news to me. However, I’m pretty sure Cocu was just there to steal a bit of tactical knowledge after we (I) beat him last month. That’s obvious, right?
Feyenoord fired their managed today. That was an alarming jolt to the system. Teams are firing managers this early in the season? They’re in 18th and we’re in 13th. That’s worryingly close. The positive news is that with this announcement, the press have listed the odds for the top three most likely managers to be fired next, and my name was not among them. The “Sack Race” they call it. Heartless bastards.
MONDAY October 26th, 2015
My third choice left back came into the office today to discuss his lack of playing time. He’s obviously against it. I told him I understood and that I’d find a new team for him as soon as possible. He responded by telling me that there was no need for that and he’ll just train hard and hope to gain a spot. Am I missing something? Isn’t that what he’s supposed to be doing anyway? And not complaining while doing so? He’s 34 anyway, so doesn’t fit into my Olympic-qualifier team.
The ex-Liverpool player (as he constantly reminds everyone) Emilsson came in shortly after and asked for the same thing. I gave him the same answer, but he agreed to go. Bam. I can do without his $1,500 a week salary. Maybe I can hire a centre back.
THURSDAY October 29th, 2015
Watched a few Dutch Cup matches today and yesterday. Also watched a few press conferences. I now realise that I was supposed to say, “Being out of this competition just allows us to focus our energy on the league, which has always been our main priority.” I’ll know for next time.
FRIDAY October 30th, 2015
Press are running with a story that my third choice left back is angry with my treatment of him. It’s so good of him to keep this in-house and work it out with me face to face. I terminated his contract. Mess with the bull and you’ll get the horns, Jeffrey.