October was a difficult month beginning with a 2-0 home defeat in the Champions League to Barcelona, then Young Boys inflicted our second league defeat of the season winning 1-0. With confidence seemingly low I organised a few friendlies with local sides and feeder side Osaka to try and build some confidence. The convincing friendly wins didn't carry on to the league however and Grasshoppers left St Jakob Park with a 3-1 victory in our next game. A late PSV equaliser denied Basel their first Champions League group stage victory and that was followed up with an insipid 0-0 draw with Neuchatel Xamax. A cup win over Schaffhausen saw the team back to winning ways.
November began with Zurich being the visitors to St. Jakob Park and the RotBlau defeated their rivals 2-1 before going to Eindhoven and putting in one of the best performances of the season defeating the Dutch team 5-0. Inconsistency struck again in the next match losing 1-0 to Luzern courtesy of a goalkeeping howler from Jonas Omlin. A trip to Lugano saw Basel leave with a 3-1 victory before drawing 1-1 with Inter which meant there would be European football at St.Jakob Park after Christmas but the last group matches would decide which competition. Assuming that Basel don't create any upset in the Nou Camp a draw in the Inter PSV game would put Basel in the First Knockout round of the Champions League. PSV or Inter winning would send Basel into the Europa League.
December opened with a good 2-0 win at home to Thun and Grasshoppers surprise win at Young Boys sent Basel back to the top of the table having fell from the summit after the draw against Neuchatel then came a 2-1 win against Sion who have been disappointing in the league and the match led to Sion dismissing their manager ex Basel player Murat Yakin. Then came the match at the Nou Camp. A Lionel Messi free kick put the Catalans ahead but then centre half Eder Alvarez Balanta equalised to make the half time score 1-1 and in the second half Samuele Campo blasted in a great shot and after some great defensive work the game ended 2-1 to Basel making Inter's 6-1 thrashing of PSV irrelevant in terms of the Champions League for them.
Once again there seemed to a hangover after playing a European match as St. Gallen took full advantage and won 2-1 and top spot was again relinquished just before the winter break but my transfer budget has just been bumped up to £35 million after only having £900,000 available to spend. Next league game is against Young Boys who have won 2 out of two against FCB so far and is probably a must win...
League table going into winter break