© Val Wagner
As the league heads into the last international break of the calendar year, we can now pause to reflect on how the season has been going so far, and whether any foregone conclusions can be drawn this early on…
Two consecutive matchdays in the BGL Ligue have concluded without all eight matches being played successfully.
For years, a full table with the same number of games played for every team was the norm by every Sunday evening, thanks to eased fixture scheduling complications when F91 Dudelange refrained from lengthy Europa League duties.
However, as early as November, four teams currently have a game in hand on the rest of the pack due to two different games being canceled in the last fortnight.
Firstly, Marisca Mersch’s home ground was deemed insufficient for football earlier this month during a yellow alert. The FLF informed Jeunesse in due time, leading to the postponement of the match, sparing them the trip to Mersch.
Then, last Sunday, the list of postponed games doubled when the US Mondorf – Victoria Rosport encounter was abandoned at half-time with the score tied at 1-1. Despite favorable weather, the game could not continue due to electricity issues affecting one of the floodlights at Stade John Grün.
With a quarter of the field now having one game less on their tally, the table temporarily loses some relevance. A more representative view of teams' positions will be possible once all teams have played the same number of games.
FLF has not provided official dates for the rescheduled fixtures. They are likely to take place during the upcoming international break or shortly afterward in November.
The first two sackings
It is uncommon for BGL Ligue clubs to part ways with their head coaches before the English Premier League's revolving door of managers opens for the year. However, this year saw two managers, Carlos Fangueiro and Marc Thomé, leave their posts after last week’s matchday with immediate effect.
While both decisions surprised Luxembourgish football circles, Fangueiro’s mutual contract termination was especially unexpected. Despite early successes, including a close match against Slovan Bratislava and victory over Welsh opponents The New Saints, his tenure at Swift Hesper came to an end after just a few months.
Central to his sacking was a strained relationship with the club’s owner, Flavio Becca. Fangueiro preferred a squad of 20 to 25 players for healthy competition but faced constant arrivals during the transfer window. Becca's intention to craft a squad capable of facing tougher foreign opponents backfired, leaving many players on the fringes from week to week.
Fangueiro’s squad became so depleted that a former Tunisia international midfielder chose to leave the club only two months after signing. Despite some new additions bringing value to the team, the constant need to rotate the squad left many players unable to secure regular playing time.
Jeunesse Esch’s Marc Thomé also left his post on the same day, with his contract mutually terminated. The record champions, languishing near relegation places, parted ways with Thomé after his team lost a lead to Schifflange last weekend.
Jeunesse’s current position is only clear of relegation playoff places due to a superior goal difference. Thomé joined Jeunesse this summer after coaching then-promoted Käerjéng last season.
Arnaud Bordi, 38, will take over until the board decides on a possible replacement.
Around the pitches
Fola Esch and UN Käerjéng remain in the race for survival after horrid starts to the season. UNK defeated Rosport and Niederkorn in consecutive matchdays, providing cause for optimism to turn the tide.
Fola registered their second win of the season over Racing Union but are still four points behind Käerjéng. Despite their most recent loss, RFCUL has reason for enthusiasm as their top scorer, Edvin Muratović, has been called up to the Luxembourgish national team for the first time since June 2022.
Swift Hesperange midfielder Clément Couturier faces changes on both club and international levels. In addition to a change at the club level, he accepted a call-up to represent Madagascar at the international level. Born in France, Couturier is eligible for both France and Madagascar due to his Congolese-Malagasy wife. He is expected to make his debut for Madagascar later this month.
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