A hugely entertaining evening took place this weekend at the exclusive ‘Manhole’ club in downtown Brussels as the top players and coaches from Belgium’s three Top 100 clubs gathered for the seasonal ‘Belgium football writers, manager of the season’ award for season 2.
The award was presented to Anderlecht’s Prince Michael William.
PMW took over the reins of the club midway through the season as the club finally lost patience with manager IIPacKMasteRII following a 5-0 thumping by Independiente, their 7th straight defeat which left the club near the bottom of the table in 18th place.
The impact PMW made was immediate as they won their first game under his control, an impressive 3-1 victory over title hopefuls Stuttgart.
In the 20 matches PMW presided over they lost just 4 times, setting new club records along the way and climbed the table to finish in 8thposition just missing out on a playoff spot by 5 points and finishing the season as the divisions most inform team.
This season has been a transitional one for all three clubs with new managers being appointed at each of the clubs at different points of the season.
Club Brugge KV where the first for a change of management, replacing last seasons award winner Gordon ‘Gino’ Kinnear following his departure to Liverpool with local coach Davy Vandendriessche.
It was a largely disappointing campaign for Brugge however. After the club reached last seasons playoffs, automatic promotion was the aim and hope of the fans but Vandendriessche failed to deliver finishing the season in a disappointing 11th place and never really putting a run together.
Then it was Anderlecht’s turn, appointing PMW, acting quickly following his release from an Italian asylum where he had been taking a short break from football after his Dalglish style breakdown while in charge of Italian giants Inter.
Standard Liège where the last to make a managerial change this season, with 8 games to go and following a 2-0 home reversal to Celtic, their 4th defeat in a row, Frank Luca was told to ‘Luca’ for a new job ! In came the passionate and very confident James Foster.
He managed to turn their fortunes around in the final 8 games of the season losing just once with 4 draws and 3 wins, finishing the season in 12thplace.
And to conclude, a lot will be expected from the three teams in season 3 with all three expected to challenge for, at the very least, a playoff place, then we’ll be back here at the lavish ‘Manhole’ club once more to see who will win the Belgium football writers Manager of the year award for season 3 but for now it’s congratulations to Anderlecht and their manager Prince Michael William, the BFWMOY season 2