Good afternoon guys and welcome to a new season of Thursday blogs which will run on a Thursday obviously except this Saturday special. There has not been much happening within the Kinnear family these past days with almost everything going smoothly. Everyone is back at work. I am bus driving, which isn’t going great due to a certain person that sorts out the shifts. In a nutshell, he is out of his depth and making a mess of everything and upsetting a lot of people. I would think more of him if he just held up his hands and admitted he couldn’t do the job and went back to his job in the traffic office. Anyway, there is not anything interesting in that. Alison, my wife, is back at her job of assessing people who claim for PIP or as it used to be known DLA. She is a nurse by profession but just doesn’t have the legs to be pacing the wards anymore so when this opportunity arose, she grabbed it with both hands. The girls are also back at work with Elise working in the offices of Jewson, the DIY place, taking payments from companies with accounts, as well as trying to look after her dressage horse, and Janene continuing with her horse stuff of groom to show jumper Martin Arnott and, of course, competing in competitions of her own.
Talking of Janene, I fell out with her after she angered me during the week. As you may remember she has this new boyfriend, which is now official she says (yeah, and that helped my mood with her), Ross/Russ/Shrek or whatever his name is. On Wednesday he was over in the house again and as always they went into her room to watch TV and once again he was here to stupid o’clock. That is all fair and well I suppose, except, yip except that she didn’t go to work Thursday morning. Now, I didn’t even realise this for a while. Thursday is my day off and here was me thinking I had the house to myself for the first time in ages. I had set out my day already, which was having a long lie, then lying in bed fixing out my SM teams for the Thursday night games. In the afternoon I had a couple of errands to do, being putting a cheque into the bank and picking up prescriptions for Alison and Janene. Tidying the house was also on the list since it hadn’t been done much since Christmas. Everything was going to plan. I had finished doing the team selections and was now getting up to do a bit of tidying. I done the kitchen, pretty well I might add for a bloke, and was now folding the clothes that had been washed and dried. Once that was done I would take each pile of washing up to the relevant bedroom. I was taking Janene’s pile upstairs and opened her bedroom door only to see her lying in her bed. What the…? She was half awake and I asked her why she wasn’t at work. The standard answer of ‘I’m not feeling well’ followed but I knew that she had been too tired to get up to go. Her ‘not well’ answer was of course followed by the usual cough and splutter as if to prove that she wasn’t well enough.
I knew she was faking but what can you do. It’s no use saying if it happens again then her boyfriend wont be allowed to stay so late as I will be overruled by ‘Mummy’ who treats her like she was at death’s door every time she says she is ill. To be fair, this is because Janene has brittle asthma and about 8 years ago she had a respiratory arrest and was rushed to hospital. It didn’t take long to get her back to breathing but it is still a thing that will stay with Alison forever. I, fortunately, missed the majority of the drama as I was doing a backshift but one of the managers actually came out to me and finished my shift after telling me what was going on. By time I got to the hospital everything was steady and she made a good recovery. Ever since this night, Alison panics if Janene gets so much as a cold or anything that can affect her breathing. Steroids are usually the best thing for her when she is struggling with her inhalers. Anyway, I still wasn’t happy that she didn’t make work and she knows it. Of course, then I am told that Ross/Russ/Shrek is officially her boyfriend now which didn’t help matters. I will get used to it eventually but it takes time as I am very overprotective of her.
Apart from that, there is nothing else of interest and the only other new thing is that we have booked our holiday for the summer. We have been to Marmaris in Turkey for 5 years in a row with a one year break somewhere in between but we have decided to try somewhere else this year. After looking through some places, with the only stipulation being nowhere with the Euro, we have booked up for Bulgaria. Never been but it looks ok and the hotel looks nice. Sunny Beach is the resort and that seems to be the most popular. If any of you have ever been to Bulgaria it would be helpful if you could tell me anything about it.
So that’s real life until next time and, hopefully, there will be a bit more happening in our life.
I had the opportunity to go to the World Cup when Romania offered me the chance to manage them at GERMANY2015 but I decided to turn it down due to wanting to try and get some deals done at Club Brugge for the new season. I did, however, go to games in Germany to run the rule over some players that I thought could improve the team. My first stop was Berlin where I went to watch Ghana v Estonia. There are not many Estonian players known throughout the world but if they were good enough to qualify for the main tournament then maybe I could unearth a rough diamond. This was not to be however with Ghana winning 2-1 and dominating the match. Estonia’s players looked to be shocked at even being here and I am sure did not play to their capabilities. Players like Asamoah and Ayew impressed for Ghana but they are well out of our price range. Now, that was my first game and as it turned out, my last. I met an old buddy from my younger days and we went for one beer, I am telling you it was one beer, or that was what the plan was anyway. It turned out to be 6 day bender as we rolled from pub to pub. I don’t remember much about it and if I met any of you fellow managers out there then I apologise for whatever I called you.
One thing that does come to mind though was a couple of German men coming over to us and asking me to sober up because some guy Adolf was a great fan of mine and wanted to meet me. Now, normally I would only be too happy to meet any fans but this was 4 days into the bender and who the hell was this Adolf guy anyway? I told the guys in my best French to fuck off and tell Adolf that I was far too drunk to be nice to anyone. It was when I was back in Belgium that I seen the video that Beddows had produced that I realised who Adolf was. He looks a grumpy bastard but is probably harmless. It was a good World Cup that was won by ermmm, some team that shoudnt have won it. My adopted homeland, Belgium, lost on penalties in the Final and I am very disappointed to have missed that game and give the team some support. Maybe if Gareth Crisp had selected a couple of Brugges players they would have won the damn thing but c’est la vie as they say in the Cameroon.
Pre-season at Club Brugges has went quite well and a lot better than trying to bring new players in for sure. One thing about this Top 100 set up is how difficult it is to bring in any quality. Good external players are very hard to find and it is really all about approaching other managers in the hope of tying up a deal. Unfortunately, my escapades at the World Cup meant I didn’t have much time to search for possible additions and I actually expected to be called into the Chairman’s office to explain myself but since the Chairman spent the off season in a Texas whorehouse, he is none the wiser. I have managed to bring in two players so far. The first one was Danish international Lasse Schone. He is 29 years old and has a wealth of experience which can only help us on and off the park. He played 27 games for Ajax last season, scoring 7 goals and I will be looking for at least the same off him in what is a lower division. After the play off Final defeat to River Plate, a game we deserved to win in my opinion, I thought the players chins would be down but Lasse has been a breath of fresh air around here and his enthusiasm has rubbed off on the other players and they are dying to get out on the park and determined to make sure that this is a promotion season.
The other player we have brought in is French youngster Wesley Said. He is a 20 year old striker and I have brought him to the club to spearhead this seasons Youth Cup challenge. I have high hopes for this kid and I received glowing reports about him and if he scores a few goals in the Youth Cup then it will be money well spent. I have no finished in the transfer market but budget restrictions means I will have to sell first. We have already spoke with the players that we feel could do better by moving to another club and if that can happen quickly then I should have another one addition to the squad in a week or two.
The pre-season friendlies have not brought great results but I never take these games seriously and leave it to my backroom staff to take the reins for them. For the record we have lost 3 to Napoli (0-2), Chievo (1-2) and Hellas Verona (0-1) and have won 2-1 against FK Partizan. All 4 games have been away but tonight we have our only home friendly and I will take charge for this one with Sporting Lisbon providing the opposition.
The new season proper gets underway tomorrow night and we could not have asked for a tougher start as far as I am concerned. Standard Liege are the visitors and the game is a sell out already. We have the added pressure of starting the season as favourites for the title at a ridiculous 1/8 and we will be a big target for other clubs. We didn’t score a goal against Standard Liege last season, drawing 0-0 at home and losing 2-0 in Liege, and that is something we will have to rectify. A win is important in the opening game to give the players a lift but we do have a history of starting slowly and are usually somewhere between half way and bottom of the table after the first few games. This season would be a good time to change that and we will be going all out for three points tomorrow night.
Before I go I would like to credit David Senior for a superb first contribution to the blog. His journey through SM certainly brought back some things that I went through and I am sure many of you have been through the same. It’s good to have David in this world and I look forward to reading future contributions from him.
That’s it for today and I would like to wish everyone luck for the new season and hopefully we can continue to make the Top 100 as good as it already is. SM themselves certainly know about it and it has made it onto their twitter feed and their facebook page so let’s keep it as one of the best, if not the best, world in the game.
Thanks for taking the time to read