United World 2022/23

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Champagneblade

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Starting a thread to consolidate the United World stuff for the new season by looking back on the summer for the European based teams.

Two contrasting pre-seasons. First off at Beerschot where it has been all change.

A new manager has arrived in the shape of Austrian Andreas Weiland. He favours a pressing style and by the looks of summer recruitment will be playing 5 at the back.

A mixed bag in preseason, similar to our own where Beerschot recorded wins against Westerlo and Sparta Rotterdam, defeats to Leuven and Dessel and a penalty shootout win against FC Eindhoven.

In terms of the squad, a reprieve for Vanhamel (32) in goal which saw Biebaw retire and LeJoly drop a division for regular football. In came 22 year old Bill Lathowers from Beveren, Saturdays opponents to provide back up.

After the debacle of last season’s United Nations recruitment it is back to basics this time with the theme being young and Belgium and by young you’d also presume relatively cheap.

Defensively the fullbacks all left. Dom joined OH and stayed in the Belgium top flight, Halaimia went to Algeria and De Smet returned to Reims. In came right backs Quirynen (20) from Deinze and the Swiss Leo Seydoux (24, not the James Bond actress!) on loan from newly promoted Westerlo. On the left money was paid - €100k - to bring Nzita (22) back to Belgium from Pescara backed up by 26 year old former Beerschot youth Marco Waymans who was unattached.

In the centre of defence, Lemos ended his loan and returned to Fenerbahçe and Bourdain left after his deal expired and has yet to find a club. To the surprise of many, Van de Bergh (27) remained. Konstantopoulos (22) will also hope for a breakthrough after being on the periphery last year. Frans, the elder statesmen at 33 will also be looking to out a nightmare injury period behind him. Radic (22) wants to leave but is still held to his contract but has been absent preseason. Newcomers continue the local theme with 26 year old Hervé Matthys coming in from Ado Den Haag. Wieland’s compatriot, 23 year old Luca Meisl joined from RV Reid in Austria.

Into the midfield, one positive was the retention of Ryan Sanusi, 30, as captain, signing a new deal. He was joined by 23 year old Dante Rigo who agreed to extend his stay. Central midfield options were extended with the recruitment of Andy Koshi, 21 from Cercle Brugge, a former U19 international. Former Nigerian International Ibrahim Alhassan, 25, joined form Nacional of Portugal where he spent the past 4 years. They join 20 year old Abraham Okyere who will also be hoping for a breakthrough year. All this was necessary due to further players exercising relegation release clauses seeing Holzhauser be the forerunner to Dom at OH and Pietermaat drop a League to join Patro Eisden as well as Coulibaly coming to the Lane.

Further forward, there still seems work to be done. Sebouai, 20 and the Bolivian Vaca (23) will hope to provide creativity, supplemented by Verlinden (23), the one time stoke wide man. The winger Soumaré craved a return to the place of last year’s loan and went back to France with Ligue 2’s Quevilly Rouen. Leon Krekovic’s stay was mercilessly put to an end with a return to Croatia and HNK Sibenic for a small fee.

The striking department is still very light with Vaca and Sebouai expected to greatly supplement. Incoming - 20 year old Thibo Baetin on loan from NEC Nijmegen and just 18 year old Romano La Morte. The expectation amongst fans is certainly that more is needed here else there is a lot of pressure on the rest of the team. This is part because the following have all left - Shankland (470k, Hearts), Eleke (nominal, Kashima Antlers), Noubissi (freedom of contract, Valenciennes), Suzuki (foc, Gamba Osaka), Placca (foc, Shakter Olygorsk), Trouet (foc, Gent), Avenatti (end of loan, back to Standard Liege).

Overall a squad of 22 including the just 18 La Morte and Radic who they can’t count on looks quite light.

Positives, it’s a young squad that can grow. It has a Belgium core of 13 local players. There is experience and capability through the middle too - Vanhamel, de Bergh, Sanusi, Vaca/Sebouai.

Negatives, a lack of depth in terms of experience and a lack of focal point up front. Though he wasn’t prolific, Avenatti as a presence would have made a difference up top. You feel even as a loan, the right one in the forwards could make a real difference.

First game is tonight against Beveren and unfortunately like the next game, will be in an empty stadium. This is as a result of overzealous fan behaviour last season. Not easy when you are having a poor season. The fans want more investment and a better team. On the Board side, they could easily state that the fan behaviour has cost maybe €300,000 in lost revenue that could have been spent on the team. Either way there is still time in the window to add a decisive loan and with Van Winkel now leaving United World this may lift the mood. He was very much seen as the architect of the poor recruitment from last time so perhaps this signals a fresh start with a mainly local young team and new manager.
 

To the less turbulent world of Chateauroux.

Having missed out on promotion last year this is a crucial one for Chateauroux. A third season if I am not mistaken means a return to semi-pro or amateur status.

Presently they will have been buoyed by the reprieve of Bordeaux who were originally relegated to Ligue 2 then pushed further to National. This would have made promotion harder. In the end they remain in Ligue 2.

This means Chateauroux sit with the second best budget of around €7m, only eclipsed by recently relegated Nancy with €10m.

The perception seems to be they were moving in the right direction under coach Mathieu Chabert. A poor start under Diego Simeone meant they ended up finishing 11 points shy of second and automatic and 10 behind third placed Villefranche who lost a play off who lost the promotion/relegation play off to Quevilly Rouen 3-1 and 2-0 over both legs, with Soumaré scoring twice. Dropping 8 points from the last 12 also gave a wider margin than existed most of the season.

Chateauroux unveiled their new training centre right next to the Gaston Petit, stadium where they play their home games. A few videos on their twitter. Looks neat, self contained and in close proximity to the ground so very good for a club of their size.

In terms of personnel very little changed.
Management decided to operate with a smaller squad of 26 including two promoted from the youth ranks and one returning from loan. Ten players left the wage bill - 5 defenders, 2 midfielders and 3 forwards - including 2 loans returning to their parent club giving the squad a far less bloated look.

It looks like they will be playing with a back 4 judging by just 8 defenders in the squad and an initial 3 in midfield and up front.

3 keepers are in the squad with the experienced Paul Delacroix first choice backed up by Killian Le Roy and your product Plumain.

Aloys Fouda was the first of three signings in the window as a right back who can also operate on the left coming in from Caen in Normandy. The second was a loan of 6’4” Ivory Coast left footed 18 year old centre back Ahoussou from Nice.

Midfield sees a long awaited return from injury of 34 year old Romani Grange who you can see emerging to be their attacking play maker. This adds to the 8 other midfield options they have, 5 from the prior season supplemented by 22 year old Baptiste Canelhas returning from a loan at now tier 4 Créteil plus two players promoted from the B and youth teams; 20 year old Tarek Baïch and intriguingly 17 year old, 6ft tall France U16 defensive midfielder Kenan Toibibu.

Up front there was an anticipation that Sirine Doucouré would depart but Ligue 1 Troyes could not agree a fee. In anticipation of this Yannis Germouche, a 6’3” 21 year old Algerian U20 forward from Montpellier was borrowed. That concluded the incomings. The main man is still expected to be Tommy Tap, Thomas Robinet who finished the season with 18 goals last year. He’ll be further supported by veteran target man Nolan Roux plus a couple of other young players.

The fist match is already underway and Chateauroux are off the mark of sorts. A somewhat underwhelming 0-0 home draw with Gobelins, which is a suburb of Paris, not some Halloween themed team (or Paris 13 Atletico as they are also known).

They opted to line up with 4-3-3, Robinet, Doucouré and Germouche all in attack. Apparently dominant but failing to score.


So 33 games left to snare top two.

I’ll endeavour to keep you posted how these things progress!
 

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Good analysis CB. As always.

1-0 win today, good start for the new lads. 2, 3 new signings needed to really have a competitive team. Very light up front.
The stats make ut look like you thrashed them. And with 10 men for some of it.
 
I think it might be a challenge this season to see the matches with the descent to 1B so I may find myself paraphrasing the various online media when these games are unlocatable on line.

As expected and as PurpleRain confirmed Beerschot got off to a positive start at the weekend.

A lovely goal by the new left sided centre half Matthys was enough.



The game was not without incident as Ven den Bergh took one for the team and gave away a professional foul when it looked like Beveren were going to break clear. Got to applaud that. He looks like missing a couple of game on the back of it, but important to get off on the right footing. There was also time for the opposition to drop down to 10 men late on but it was Beerschot who had to play for 20 minutes with players in arrears. Ironically Vanhamel did himself no harm to regain the affections of the fans with a Man of the Match display. A bit quirky but you look at the pictures on Twitter and it seems he is wearing the 3rd kit as the keeper kit. Is this normal or just a quirk of the colours for that day? Or even availability of kits?

As mentioned previously it looked like Beerschot would line up with a back 5 and they did so. On loan Swiss Seydoux on the right Nzita on the left flanking a central three of Meisl, Van den Bergh and Matthys.

Further forward they had Sanusi and Koshi as the midfield anchors and Vaca and Sebaoui playing behind Baeten.

There were run outs for Rigo replacing Koshi at half time and then second half appearances for Waymans, Verlinden, La Morte and Frans with Nzita, Vaca, Sebaoui and Baeten all stepping out as they looked to preserve the lead. A solid if unspectacular start.

Some transfer news this week saw the 4th choice pick of Antwerp linked to further bolster the keeping ranks. Not clear if a fee would be involved. But he is 6'2" former Croatia U-20 keeper and adds sensible depth to that department. It doesn't do anything for the greatest need up front but I suppose it does at least show they are still active. Only a fortnight left to see if they are active enough!
 
I think I'm one of only a few that can see united world being beneficial in a few seasons who's to say the French team won't find the next Zidane thst we can get fof next to nowt
 
I think I'm one of only a few that can see united world being beneficial in a few seasons who's to say the French team won't find the next Zidane thst we can get fof next to nowt
Try to come over. The city is worth a trip and if we don’t have a stadium ban (that’s a big if though) you can see us live. Play offs in March-April probably the best time and most exciting games.
 
I think I'm one of only a few that can see united world being beneficial in a few seasons who's to say the French team won't find the next Zidane thst we can get fof next to nowt
Because of the level they play at (and Brexit of course) no foreign player from the French team would get a work permit to play in England.

(same applies (roughly) to any player from Beerschot)
 

Try to come over. The city is worth a trip and if we don’t have a stadium ban (that’s a big if though) you can see us live. Play offs in March-April probably the best time and most exciting games.
I used to go to a lot of games in Belgium.in the 80/early 90ies and have a great time looking around the country.Went to Beerschot-Anderlecht one time which Beerschot won.I followed Anderlecht in those days as they had some great players and the old stadium had a cracking atmosphere on Saturday night games
 
Because of the level they play at (and Brexit of course) no foreign player from the French team would get a work permit to play in England.

(same applies (roughly) to any player from Beerschot)
Sure about that? Burnley recently signed a Brazilian who only played for cercle Brugge. We should get back into the first division asap.
 
I used to go to a lot of games in Belgium.in the 80/early 90ies and have a great time looking around the country.Went to Beerschot-Anderlecht one time which Beerschot won.I followed Anderlecht in those days as they had some great players and the old stadium had a cracking atmosphere on Saturday night games
Apart from Antwerp Anderlecht is our arch rival. We really hate them.
 
Apart from Antwerp Anderlecht is our arch rival. We really hate them.
That Antwerp stadium in those days was one of the worst I ever went to,really run down and needed pulling down and renovating.
 
Sure about that? Burnley recently signed a Brazilian who only played for cercle Brugge. We should get back into the first division asap.
Belgian Pro League is Band 2, any player starts with 10 points, needs another 5, for eg play half of all games
Any other Belgian League is Band 6, any player starts with 2 points, needs another 13, but for eg playing all games only gives another 2, still 11 short.

The ready reckoner is Belgian Pro League, surprisingly easy to get a Work Permit.
Any other Belgian League, essentially impossible to get a Work Permit.

(Cercle Brugge are Pro League I believe)
 
Belgian Pro League is Band 2, any player starts with 10 points, needs another 5, for eg play half of all games
Any other Belgian League is Band 6, any player starts with 2 points, needs another 13, but for eg playing all games only gives another 2, still 11 short.

The ready reckoner is Belgian Pro League, surprisingly easy to get a Work Permit.
Any other Belgian League, essentially impossible to get a Work Permit.

(Cercle Brugge are Pro League I believe)
Thanks for clarification. It means that it only make sense if they get us back promoted asap. 2 decent forwards should do the trick. The rest of the team is looking solid enough.
 
Was trying to think which one it was,but it was an afternoon kick off,Sunday must have been.
 
It was a United World double header last night with Beerschot away to the intriguingly named SL16 FC which sounded a bit like one of those Miami gangs. Sadly it turned out they represent Standard Liege U23s. Now given Beerschot themselves, we’re in the same division as Standard Liege last season, I find the whole concept of having to play someone’s kids only one division down at least a little demeaning.

It is what it is, just a pity if they wanted to extend the division, that they couldn’t find a few more genuinely independent Belgium clubs rather than a subset of the bigger ones in Belgium. Given differing names Anderlecht (RSCA Futures), Club Brugge (Club NXT) and Genk (Jong Genk) make up the league with 8 other ‘proper’ clubs.

You’ve also got the dubious restriction that these 4 former clubs cannot get promoted and should their parent club suffer an injury crisis, then they’ll be the ones to feel the full effect.

Anyhow, Beerschot lined up in the Vanhel in goal, the same back 5 as before, Seydoux, Meisl, Van den Bergh, last week’s match winner Matthys and Nzota. However there seems to be the suggestion that they lined up as in a 4-2-3-1 with Nzota instead operating on the left of the three next to Vaca and with Verlinden providing natural width and Sebaoui dropping out. Sanusi and Koshi were the deeper lying midfielders and the line forward was Baeten once more.

The game seemed to be edging towards a stalemate, with SL16 by accounts the better team and in the 41st minute SL16 took the lead through through a header from the midfielder Kuavita.

Immediately after the restart, Beerschot were looking the better team and equalised through Seydoux after a lay off from Verlinden. The former’s involvement wasn’t done there.

On 59 minutes Rigo replaced Nzita and 5 minutes later Sebaoui and Alhassan joined to replace Baeten and Koshi. At this point I’m assuming Vaca went further forward as this only served to highlight the lack of striking options.

After having gotten in the ascendency, Seydoux gave an unfortunate penalty away for a foul on Guluc, with the spot kick dispatched by 18 year old El Fanis. Comments suggest it was a bit soft but that is the standard of refs at that level.

That was to be Seydoux’s last involvement as the final cards were played with Waymans and La Morte joining at the expense of Verlinden.

Far from playing like Fanis (I know, sorry!), Beerschot were able to restore parity with Sebaoui setting up Alhassan to equalise with a header 4 minutes from time.

It’s an away point. You’d take that under most circumstances if you can win your Home games. I’m just not clear how these B teams will pan out. I’d prefer they lose every game though clearly the bigger clubs have decent depth. By all accounts there were few fans at the home ground which I believe may be the Standard Liege training base with just 600 turning up to watch.

In some welcome news the striker search is still active. They are linked with a player from Kosovo, Albion Rrahmani, a 21-year-old who plays for KF Ballkani in Kosovo.


He’s on a decent scoring run in the Conference League and at 21 seems to be improving. At 1.87m he’s a decent height too. So potential keeper and centre forward on their way perhaps.

Now hopping (unintentional Frog pun) over to France and Châteauroux…
 
Châteauroux recorded their first victory of the season after a disappointing match nul last weekend. The went up to Normandie to play Avranches who finished 12th last season. To give them their full name, L’Union Sportive Avranches Mont Saint Michel. Their motif is the Mont Saint Michel which is described as a tidal island and a place I’ve actually been to. One of my French friends from University is a SM Caen supporter and I visited his family and we went there. Lovely place. Link below:


To the game, I’ll be quite honest I can’t quite work out how and why Châteauroux line up a they do.

Their squad boasts apparently 3 right backs and they all started last night!

According to the official website they played a 4-1-4-1, that went at times to 4-3-3. Ouaneh being the actual bona fide centre back played alongside Fofana, no relation to the Leicester player. On the left Youssuf preferred to the more recognised left backs on that side and on the right Fouda, the summer signing from Caen.

In midfield Basque sat deeper behind Naham and Mexique with Ntolla and N’Goma flanking Thomas Robinet.

Châteauroux in their resplendent third kit took the lead in the first half. (The race is on now to see which team uses all three kits first!)

Al lovely pass by Mexique to Robinet got the finish it deserved in the 29th minute which you can see below:



That is how it remained until a controversial penalty award after a tackle by Ouaneh on Sacko led to a spot kick in the 51st minute which Sacko converted to draw parity.



A player I’ve had an eye on to make a difference this year is a guy called Romain Grange who was out the whole of last season. He has played 274 Ligue 2 games as well as a foray into Ligue 1 as well as the Belgium top flight covering a range of clubs including Nancy where he played in the top flight (now uncharacteristically dropping to National also), Grenoble, Chamois and also Charleroi in the Belgium top division. Prior to this season his 150
matches for Châteauroux have all been in Ligue 2.

Nursing him back, he was the first change on 62 minutes. Within one minute this happened:



A few further attacking changes as Guermouche replaced N’Goma on 71 and ten minutes later, another ‘one to watch’ (if not distracted by transfer speculation), Doucouré also got some game time at the expense of Ntolla.

Back on track and up to joint top in the two match fledgling table.

Next up is Martigues which as a place is described as Nicknamed the "Provençale Venice", Martigues is a point of passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Martigues (now Etang de Berre), close to the Côte d'Azur. The charm of its canals, its docks and bridges made it "The Venice of Provence". Martigues possesses also its cooperative winery "La Venise provençale": Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, rosé, red and white wines, fruit juices and natural oils in the region. Main varietals: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, Clairette.

I’m sure la Firme Sac en Plastique de Châteauroux have some cracking away games!

Beerschot similarly occupy joint top of the fledgling table and get respite from the league with a tie in the Belgium Cup against yet to be determined opponents.
 
Châteauroux recorded their first victory of the season after a disappointing match nul last weekend. The went up to Normandie to play Avranches who finished 12th last season. To give them their full name, L’Union Sportive Avranches Mont Saint Michel. Their motif is the Mont Saint Michel which is described as a tidal island and a place I’ve actually been to. One of my French friends from University is a SM Caen supporter and I visited his family and we went there. Lovely place. Link below:


To the game, I’ll be quite honest I can’t quite work out how and why Châteauroux line up a they do.

Their squad boasts apparently 3 right backs and they all started last night!

According to the official website they played a 4-1-4-1, that went at times to 4-3-3. Ouaneh being the actual bona fide centre back played alongside Fofana, no relation to the Leicester player. On the left Youssuf preferred to the more recognised left backs on that side and on the right Fouda, the summer signing from Caen.

In midfield Basque sat deeper behind Naham and Mexique with Ntolla and N’Goma flanking Thomas Robinet.

Châteauroux in their resplendent third kit took the lead in the first half. (The race is on now to see which team uses all three kits first!)

Al lovely pass by Mexique to Robinet got the finish it deserved in the 29th minute which you can see below:



That is how it remained until a controversial penalty award after a tackle by Ouaneh on Sacko led to a spot kick in the 51st minute which Sacko converted to draw parity.



A player I’ve had an eye on to make a difference this year is a guy called Romain Grange who was out the whole of last season. He has played 274 Ligue 2 games as well as a foray into Ligue 1 as well as the Belgium top flight covering a range of clubs including Nancy where he played in the top flight (now uncharacteristically dropping to National also), Grenoble, Chamois and also Charleroi in the Belgium top division. Prior to this season his 150
matches for Châteauroux have all been in Ligue 2.

Nursing him back, he was the first change on 62 minutes. Within one minute this happened:



A few further attacking changes as Guermouche replaced N’Goma on 71 and ten minutes later, another ‘one to watch’ (if not distracted by transfer speculation), Doucouré also got some game time at the expense of Ntolla.

Back on track and up to joint top in the two match fledgling table.

Next up is Martigues which as a place is described as Nicknamed the "Provençale Venice", Martigues is a point of passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Martigues (now Etang de Berre), close to the Côte d'Azur. The charm of its canals, its docks and bridges made it "The Venice of Provence". Martigues possesses also its cooperative winery "La Venise provençale": Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, rosé, red and white wines, fruit juices and natural oils in the region. Main varietals: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, Clairette.

I’m sure la Firme Sac en Plastique de Châteauroux have some cracking away games!

Beerschot similarly occupy joint top of the fledgling table and get respite from the league with a tie in the Belgium Cup against yet to be determined opponents.

According to that Wiki article the population of Mont-Saint-Michel is 29!
 
I wonder why we haven't played any in pre season
 

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