Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Brugge Have Plenty Going Forward,bur Fear Magpies; Part One of Our New Series Sees Philippe Albert on United's Europa League Opponents Brugge - PART TWO TOMORROW the Chronicle Has Recruited Some Top-Level Spies to Run the Rule over Newcastle's Europa League Opponents. in the First of the Series, Belgian International Philippe Albert Gives Us the Inside Info on Brugge

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Brugge Have Plenty Going Forward,bur Fear Magpies; Part One of Our New Series Sees Philippe Albert on United's Europa League Opponents Brugge - PART TWO TOMORROW the Chronicle Has Recruited Some Top-Level Spies to Run the Rule over Newcastle's Europa League Opponents. in the First of the Series, Belgian International Philippe Albert Gives Us the Inside Info on Brugge

Article excerpt

IT'S always special when Newcastle come back to Belgium, and Club Brugge are a good draw for them.

If the Magpies play to their level, winning home and away shouldn't be a problem.

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Brugge are top of the table over here after six games in the Belgian league, but the rhythm of the game and the quality is not as high as in England, France, Spain or Germany.

We've got a very, very good squad for our national team, but we don't have the money to keep our best players.

That makes it very difficult for our clubs to do well in Europe.

It's not like the 70s and 80s when we were able top buy the best players from France and Holland.

Brugge bought Jean-Pierre Papin in 1985 and Anderlecht signed Robbie Rensenbrink in 1971.

Papin was European Footballer of the Year in 1991, and Rensenbrink is one of the best Dutch players ever.

Now, Belgian clubs can't compete financially with the top European clubs, and certainly not the Premier League, where there is more money than any other league.

Brugge haven't won anything for the last five years - they won the cup in 2007 - so they've bought some players in the last couple of years to try and do something about that.

Newcastle will find they're a very organised team with a manager who's been in the job for 25 years. Georges Leekens has probably worked for 20 teams in that time so he's got a lot of experience.

Alan Pardew has said he will rest players in the Europa League this season, but I don't think Leekens will.

Brugge have a good squad by Belgian standards, so they will be able to play their strongest team in the Europa League without having to worry about their title chances Newcastle need to be careful about Lior Refaelov, Brugge's left-sided midfield player.

Victor Vazquez was a young player at Barcelona and the two strikers, Mohamed Tchite and Carlos Bacca, are dangerous. …

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