1.04 – Off to the Races

So here we are, Sylvan has two full months of managerial experience under his belt, thus surpassing Alan Shearer in his mission to prove that playing experience isn’t everything. In this update we’re going to focus on what we’ve learned from our early experiences in the third tier of Belgian football. But before we get into the boring stuff, lets have a look at how Sylvan has handled his first month of competitive fixtures.

There are plenty of reasons to be happy with that start as we chase that sacred top six, but there are still a number of areas we will look to improve/keep an eye on as the season progresses.

The key positive we’ve taken away from these opening fixtures is that we’ve been capable of controlling possession and dictating the pace of the game quite well. As ideally this is how we’d like the team to play anyway, it is promising that they’ve shown they are naturally comfortable with it and hasn’t had to be mandated upon them by the tyrannical Sylvan. To get an idea of this here’s how we stack up against the rest of the league in terms of possession/passing (note that the total passes completed might be somewhat skewed by the teams who currently have a game in hand).

 

Now this is all wonderful, but it hasn’t been all sunshine and lollipops, if we’ve been controlling games so well why have we conceded all these goals? Two things in particular appear to have been the cause of half (5 of 10) of the goals we’ve conceded in all competitions so far, goals from corners (2) and individual player mistakes (3). While this isn’t great, it is important  that we keep things in perspective, players always will make mistakes that lead to goals (especially in the lower tiers) and goals are going to be scored from corners. What is important to find out is whether these stats are because we’re poor in these areas or whether we’ve just run into a bit of bad luck over a pretty small sample size. So we’ll be keeping a close eye on these two particular areas for now hoping to see them regress back to the league average before we start having the lads working on defending set pieces for 3 hours a day in training and start slapping ‘if in doubt kick it out’ posters around the changing room as a means to drive out the possibility of defensive mistakes. So as of right now nothing changes, but we’re watching, always watching.

 

We do have one brief off the field update for this post. Rupel Boom FC are happy to announce a partnership with AA Gent of the Juliper Pro League. Manager Sylvan Paulsson is thought to be excited by the agreement and is excited at the possibility of testing his abilities against the Champions League side in future preseason friendlies. As part of the deal, promising central midfielder Sad’eeq Yusuf Ahmat will spend the season on loan at Rupel Boom. Ahmat has yet to appear for Paulsson’s side after arriving at the club nursing a mild back strain but sources within the club are said to be enthusiastic about the youngster from the little they have been able to see of him at the training ground so far.

Screenshot 2016-07-17 13.22.56.png

So now we’ve had a chance to settle into Sylvan’s crazy new life in Belgium we’re ready to get down to business and really make a fight for these top 6 spots.

If you look at the numbers:

  • Currently 3rd/4th in the table depending on Overijse’s game in hand,
  • 7th in the league in salary per annum (yeah Sylvan is a Soccernomics guy, what upcoming young manager isn’t?)
  • 8th in media prediction
  • 4th in average attendance

While those numbers don’t mean making the top 6 is a given, I think Sylvan’s first season in management could be considered a disappointment by many of his critics if Rupel Boom finish any lower than 8th. The time for talking is over. Sylvan has some doubters to prove wrong and that can only be done on the pitch. In the next post we’ll see just how that’s going for him as he (hopefully) reaches 4 months in management.

Until next time, GAAN BOOM!

 

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