In the absence of Tony I
have been handed the opportunity to write a note highlighting last night’s
First up, shockwaves
around Luxembourg as the final whistle is blown at the regular time and the
referee does not exit Benny Hill style, chased around the pitch by angry old
The match itself was as it
should be, competitive, agreeably physical and generally good-natured. Mark and
Colin arrived last and quickly drew up a cunning formation that made for a
solid back line with the kg of a rugby pack, a midfield of battlers and
grafters and a lightning quick attack. Oh yes, and me on the bleeding bench.
It was a cagey start,
Marcelo had an early chance that whistled wide and generally we had more
possession, but did too little with it. The closest anyone came to a goal was
Bous, however. A very speculative punt looped over Nico and pinged against the
bar. Speaking of punts, Mark was vocal in the middle, with shouts of ‘kick
it/him’ and ‘boot it up to Marcelo’. This summed up the half as we were comfy
in defence, solid in the middle but wasteful with the ball. At half-time there
was an attempt to address this until dinner numbers had to be counted. There
was an odd incident when a Bous player flopped over with a (we later found out)
nasty Achilles tendon injury. Mr Edmonds was in the vicinity at the time, but
oddly enough not guilty on this occasion.
Second half Bous brought
on an Unlucky No13 (for us). He looked quite decent and threatened on occasion
to boss the midfield. Still we had chances, the Latino front line now passing
the ball around. Marcelo went close again before Alfredo politely declined a
goal-scoring opportunity and passed the ball wide of the post when we were all
wheeling away in celebration. The back-line held up well, aerial dominance from
Geoff and Peter denying the Bous attack any joy. JM and Roby were solid in the
fullback positions and Colin putting in a MVP performance as a midfield dynamo.
So it was a bit annoying
that, as soon as Geoff wandered off for a breather, Unlucky 13 took advantage
and curled one past Nico. 0-1, against the run of play. However, Munsbach are
made of strong stuff. The Mate-drinking front line would not give up – and
surely couldn’t spend the whole night in offside positions. Not sure who it was
to be fair but with 15 to go someone (Luciano ?) played a delightful through
ball to Juan-Pablo and he maintained his composure to slide past the Bous
keeper for an equaliser.
And there was more to come
as in the closing minutes Alfredo made amends for the earlier miss with a
‘scooped’ finish off a toe, 2-1 and game over. Well, almost. It did get
exciting as a ball pinged against Roby’s arms and body in the box,
but the ref probably got it right and waved away screams/whails for a penalty.
Thereafter it was all over and it was off for some pig.
The Bous supremo gave a
rather entertaining speech, notably pointing out that Mark could pass for 37 if
he had hair. Mark had a game of two halves over the pig dinner. After
prostituting himself to the opposition, angling for a deal with Bous (no offer
forthcoming) he generously took care of the collective tab. Bravo for that !
Onwards and upwards and looking forward to the Strassen game next week.
After the last couple of exhausting away fixtures that
involved going past several farms and even an international airport, it was
with some relief that the boys were drawn at home this week. Easier all round.
A healthy crowd welcomed a Canach outfit as the visitors to see what they could
muster up against an improving (almost in form) Munsbach side kitted out in a
(not always attractive) figure hugging white outfit. As usual, the opposition
found themselves to be pretty much alone come the scheduled 7pm kick off time
and as usual, this delay caused some confusion to the selection committee. Our
inspirational leader, Alain, had made a confidence building visit to the changing
room beforehand and having parted a few of those oh so important tactical
touches that he is becoming so appreciated for, he left. So, without his
knowledge it has to be conceded, he unwittingly passed over the match
supervising reigns to Colin and Tony, who were both sidelined with injuries.
Frankly, they had nothing better to do with themselves in any case.
Anyway, Munsbach started brightly enough and it was clear
from the outset that we meant business. Last weeks exploits were simply signs
of what was round the corner, it seems. Short, crisp passing was the order of
the day. The new substitute goalkeeper was clearly something serious and the
starting back line and midfield grouping of Jean-Marie, Roby, Peter, Geoff and
Ian as well as Tadgh, Simon and Mark, looked more than capable of thwarting
anything that Canach might build. With defensive duties pretty much sorted out,
Munsbach started to dominate going forward and with the Human Horse and Marcelo
both rampant from the off, it was clear to even the most neutral of supporters
(had there been any
there) that Munsbach's attacking quality was likely to
reap early rewards. And so it was that Marcelo slotted in two fine finishes
within the first 15 minutes to ensure something of a carnival atmosphere amongst
the local faithful. If only the buvette had been open. With so much quality in
depth in this squad, it was important to involve everyone equally and a rolling
substitution system meant that Khalid, Roland and Alfredo soon found themselves
in the thick of the action. A few good chances were created but went begging.
Notably, Simon found himself on a one on one with their rather large keeper
after a box to box run (sort of) just before the half time whistle. There are
good reasons why Munsbach have invested in a huge net behind the goal. Simon is
a one on one situation seems to be one of those reasons.
A 2-0 lead at the half time interval. Nothing really to
More strategic changes. The quality of team play and
passing produced by Munsbach brought a series of oohs and ahhs from the home
fans. Poor Canach were being taught something of a footballing lesson. The
floodlights were turned on. Not every substitution results in a change of
lighting so this in itself was moderately interesting. Munsbach went further
ahead after the Horse comfortably rounded the keeper. 3-0. A comfortable stroll
in the park. With about 15 minutes remaining, Roland broke away down the left
and elegantly lifted the ball over the advancing goalkeeper to put the game beyond
doubt at 4-0.
Confidence amongst the Canach chaps was starting to break
down and a few late challenges came in to their game. I wish that I could
report that the match finished with the referee blowing for full time.
Unfortunately, after a very poor/clumsy/provocative(?)
tackle in midfield by an Airport Customs Officer (as it turned out), Tadgh
opted to retaliate. No fists were thrown (and this is a good thing) although
Tadgh's reaction probably left the referee with no other option than to produce
a straight red card. Refusing to leave the pitch, the referee then opted to
abandon the match entirely with still 8-10 minutes on the clock and more goals
to be scored. Some words were said amongst our team. Not altogether pretty.
With the early finish, the electricity bill for the floodlights would have
resulted in some financial savings for the club presumably. Every cloud has a
silver lining, eh?
If we're feeling greedy, we can mark this one down as a
comfortable victory for the Mighty Munsbach. We played very well in fact. We
actually passed the ball around with some purpose. Hopefully, there will be no
repercussions over what happened at the end but we should all be aware that
this is not the first time we have been involved in awkward moments this
season. Munsbach is a football club that is important to the local community
and reputations are important. Perhaps we all need to be a little more
disciplined in our approach? Maybe let's all start trying to turn up on time, give
it our best shot, have some fun and keep the whole thing in perspective?
So...A win it was. A good, solid win.
In your Canach slums, in your Canach slums. You look in
the dustbin for something to eat, you find a dead cat and you think it's a
treat...In your Canach slums etc etc.
Following a few recent difficulties in closing games out
from a winnable situation and with several top players (Nico, Geoff, Colin
& Roby) being unavailable for selection, it was something of a slightly
revamped Munsbach side that set out to deliver defeat over a red & stripey
Hostert side on the lush green turf of the impressive Stade Jos Becker last
night. With the unannounced appearance of our inspirational leader, Alain, just
before kick off, it was made abundantly clear that nothing less than a win would
be acceptable to the management team. At this stage of the season, points on
the board are what matters of course.
With several players out of contract in the Summer and
the transfer window beckoning, this was an opportunity for certain individuals
to show their true worth to a wider audience. Tony turned up with a pair of
squash shoes only (a right prat, I know!). Anyway, the weather was glorious
& the sun was shining on the righteous and Simon was particularly keen to
show off some new Ronaldinhoesque trick moves that he'd been working on in the
warm up. What could possibly go wrong?
Glancing at the large Hostert squad doing their pre match
routines, there appeared little to concern even the most sceptical of long term
Munsbach supporters. interestingly, Hostert's warm up was efficiently
supervised by a proper trainer/coach/manager chap who definitely looked &
acted like the real deal. In charge at Hostert Veterans though?
Surely, there should be something more worthy to be doing
on a Monday evening?
As usual, the late arrival of the huge number of
committed away fans & potential crushing of people at the turnstiles (for
fans read players) resulted in yet another delayed kick off. Come on guys, we
can surely improve somewhat in this area. Marcelo - our relentless scoring
- kindly volunteered the goalkeeping duties and with a
defensive line of Ian, Mark, Jean-Marie & Peter, we still looked a little
short of something. Even with the extra 10 minutes allowed, we still needed to
borrow one of the Hostert (unwanted right back) stalwarts in order to start the
game with a full contingent. Juan Pablo, who could comfortably be described as
an Argentinian stallion in terms of both stature and manhood, made a welcome,
albeit rare, start up front. Big, powerful, athletic & confident in the
shower. Just what the doctor ordered. Opting to pack the midfield with every
other player available, a quiet confidence was in the air & almost visible
amongst the boys in black.
Some tireless efforts and relentless running from Alfredo
and Tadgh, in particular, some crunching tackles by Mark & Jean-Marie and a
series of intelligent runs (his words not mine) from Simon right from the off
soon gave a significant midfield advantage to the visitors. With the home side
playing a very high but totally illogical off side trap, it was only a short
time before the Argentinian Horse would break away to elegantly put Munsbach
ahead. Any pre match nerves about the new team formation removed in a jiffy.
Truthfully, Hostert threatened very little & Munsbach were good for a half
time lead. A couple of fairly easy chances were squandered (yes, I know, I'm
sorry) but come on, let's focus on the positives, eh? With the early departure
of our general master, Alain, Colin offered some reasonably productive insight
(sort of) at the interval break. This potentially useful
analysis was cut short with the critical discovery of Ian's mobile phone on top
of his car in the parking lot and by the time the finder was comfortable enough
with Ian's claim to hand it over, it was time to kick off again.
Fortunately, Jean-Marie had covered to the ever important
"who's attending dinner afterwards" aspects prior to the game so we
had a bit of extra time on our side to fill in any case. Another strategy
session over. Certainly no point in talking about the crappy football, is
The second half was notable for several events. Ian (a
speedy, head down type of winger) arrived & took the place of the borrowed
Hostert full back who, was returned safely with our gratitude. Some adjustments
in the formation required. Now we were all about our own identity. Hooray.
Eamonne, Tadgh's muscular brother, also became available
to join the action & duly did so subsequently. The game had opened up
It was still played at a general pace that suggested
excessive marijuana consumption by most of the participants, however. Another
excellent (this time headed) finish for the (hung like a) Horse who rose like a
salmon and a fine goal by Tadgh, after a comprehensive team move that involved
an incisive but deft lay off from Simon meant that Munsbach had scored three
away from home! Unfortunately, this attacking flair had been met with some sort
of resistance & a couple of Hostert goals caused by some ill discipline
& lack of concentration meant that Munsbach were up 3-2 with a limited time
We've been in similar situations recently. Please. Not
again! Jean-Marie took over the goalkeeping gloves unleashing a rampant
Marcelo, keen to make his mark. Eamonne hammered the ball home in a one on one
with their keeper after their offside trap failed again. Pressure off. With a
minute or so remaining, Marcelo slotted one in to give Munsbach a well deserved
5-2 away victory. Jean -Marie...A clean sheet. Unbeaten. Oh, how we
We won in the bar too. All in all, Hostert were
humiliated. They know their place now.
Next game is Monday 9th. At home to Canach. Kick off 7pm.
Everyone wants to play in a winning team. There could be a selection nightmare
Munsbach till I die, I'm Munsbach till I die, I know I
am, I'm sure I am, I'm Munsbach etc etc.
With any relegation fears averted and qualification for European football already a certainty for next season, the Mighty Munsbach Vets found themselves travelling to the small & unimpressive Portuguese colony of Dalheim, looking to bounce back to winning ways after a most unfortunate last minute defeat in their last outing. A grass pitch. Wet, cold, windy and muddy. Perfect conditions for one or two of our masculine, manly, grafter style men surely? Potentially less so for our more delicate, technically gifted ball players but a welcome change indeed from the usual plastic offerings. With the 7pm kick off only a few minutes away, the home team squad of 18 or so were alone carrying out their well rehearsed warm up training routines. Munsbach were still 6 short of a starting team and the referee, looking quite splendid in a spanking new outfit, made his displeasure abundantly clear. A delayed start & up against a buoyant bunch of Ports & an unsympathetic ref, the 9, then 10, then 11 Munsbach men, found themselves competing admirably, taking full advantage of the supporting winds to dominate territory if not possession. With the very late arrival of our top striker from Uruguay, confidence levels rose further. A couple of fairly good chances came & went. No need to play the blame game. You know who you are! Half time. 0-0. An opportunity to review strategy, make a couple of minor changes & refocus on what needed to be done. Time for inspiration & true generals to take the lead. Jean-Marie took control of the dressing room using his considerable linguistic talents to discuss tactics with each player individually. Total quality. The net result of this was that everybody agreed to join in with the after match dinner. Fantastic. Let's do it. We are Munsbach after all. The second half began. The Dalhaim Ports (who may possibly have spent the half time break discussing football matters) started making regular substitutions and with their general moaning and crying increasing, they also regularly tested Nico's goalkeeping abilities. Admirably, heroically at times, Nico kept them thoroughly at bay with a string of fine saves. Our defensive line of Roby, Jean-Marie, Geoff & Mark held strong. Through the mist, Simon arrived. A tad late after a two hour road trip. With 30 minutes remaining, perhaps a pair of fresh legs & an array of silky skills and stunning pace would provide a new impetus? Despite encouragements to stay & get involved (primarily from myself), Roby had other ideas. Competition for places perhaps? It transpires that Roby surreptitiously told Simon that there was no point in him staying so off Simon went...Back into the mist. A masterly (if slightly naughty) strategic move by Roby. Cunning in fact. Very cunning indeed. The last quarter. Some fearless & tenacious tackling from our midfield dynamo's of Tadgh, Colin, Ian & Peter eventually produced some increasingly agitated Ports (with the ref actually enforcing the substitution of one of them) as well as some space for the attacking threesome of Alfredo, Tony & Marcelo to duly squander a couple of pretty good chances. Tony & Marcelo, in particular, will have had a restless night thinking about what might/should have been. Oh dear. With a minute or two on the clock & the ball safely somewhere towards a corner flag, a blank draw seemed a fair outcome. Honours shared. Unfortunately, a Dalheim winger had other ideas & somehow managed a wonder shot from a very tight angle that beat the otherwise faultless Nico at his near post. Another sleepless night? No time to recover. How on earth did that happen? A frustrating loss. Oh poo. A pleasant after match session downing large quantities of paint remover (it's called Mateus Rose apparently) with ribs & chicken. At least we won in the bar. Again. Next stop is Hostert next Monday. We need to get back to winning ways. Colin out with a pulled calf. Nico unavailable. Some replacements required. Simon must be gagging for a run. What could possibly go wrong? We are the famous...The famous Munsbach da da da da, We are the famous...etc etc. Cheers,