End of season 1 – Everyone’s a winner (except Everton)

The 1997/98 season hurtles to a finish quicker than Neil Ruddock running down a hill, and with everything still up for grabs it’s an exciting end to the first season.

First things first, topically we’ve reached transfer deadline day. Back in 1998 there was no Jim White or shouting in general, there was just a Friday in March where there was to be no more business and that was that. Clubs had 8 months to refine their squads in fairness, so there was no need to panic with 2 months to go.Just a polite notice to let you know.

Deadline dayAnyway, Man Utd decide they need to sell an ageing Andy Cole to First Division Notts Forest and replace him with the world’s most valuable player

Alfonso man UtdThere’s little else of note and we’ll break down the remainder of this post into the various competitions in chronological order

League Cup

Lge cup final 98It’s a nightmare day out at Wembley for Man Utd, getting destroyed by Roy Evans’ Liverpool team. Paul Ince lifts the trophy against his former club.

Premier League

Manchester United retain their title, with great ease in the end, whilst Liverpool take the 2nd Champions League spot ahead of Dalglish’s Newcastle.

prem season 1 topAs you can see, my plucky Dons side finishes 9th behind Brian Little’s Aston Villa. I’m more than happy with that given the club’s size, or lack thereof. Wenger’s Arsenal fall very short of their real life accomplishments of the double, although Ian Wright has a great Easter Monday

Wright 5The bottom half of the table throws up some surprises. Crysal Palace, my landlords don’t forget, get relegated to nobody’s great shock, but established Premier League sides West Ham and Everton also face the drop

prem season 1 bottomEverton I’m particularly surprised at, they are usually a bit of a force in a few seasons. Their squad is getting on a bit though. I have every intention of stealing Rio Ferdinand from West Ham, let’s just make that clear right now.

The FA Cup

You may recall from a few entries ago that the Dons had made it to the FA Cup Quarter Final – well we went one step further with a win at Spurs.

FA CUp QF ResultsSadly though that’s where it ended, a beating off Arsenal at Anfield (Cup Semis weren’t at Wembley back then, which I’m all for) ended my involvement. The Gunners went on to beat Liverpool at Wembley in the final, so I suppose they were half as good as real life.

FA Cup Final 98The Champions League

Parma, flush with Crespo, Thuram and the like beat Man Utd in the semis to set up a final with Real Madrid. The Spanish giants prove too strong though, although they do lose Davor Suker to a broken ankle, meaning he can’t win the World Cup Golden Boot as the real life version did.

The UEFA Cup

Liverpool complete a sort of double by winning the UEFA Cup. Clearly Liverpool backed the wrong man by picking Houllier over this giant of the game.

UEFA cup Final 98

There’s also the now defunct Cup Winners Cup, which Vicenza win but it is of little interest. Barcelona win La Liga, and Monaco win Ligue 1.

So that’s that, season one is over and the World Cup is on the way. Crystal Palace decide enough is enough and sack Steve Coppell, appointing Trevor Francis instead. There’s still time to do some poaching though, and I move quickly to get young Rio on the books.

Rio inI’m also in for Heskey, released as per his contract by Norwich, but pathetically I forget my squad is full and Heskey opts to join Fulham, who have just won division 2. I can’t explain that one either. Silly Emile.

heskey fulhamNext time, I’ll cover World Cup 1998 blow for blow and prepare for the 1998/99 season. Until then though, here’s the final manager of the month tally

Managers of the months 1998

2 thoughts on “End of season 1 – Everyone’s a winner (except Everton)

  1. Not to blow my own trumpet, but I decided to start as Wimbledon too, and I finished SIXTH. Get in.

    Signed most my players from crappy lower division teams as well. Signed Maradona but that was a failed experiment. Thankfully he’s retired now.

    Anyway, one for your dodgy positions… Laurent Charvet the attacking midfielder / forward R/C raised a chuckle for me. I can only imagine what that would look like.

  2. Sixth! Great effort considering what Wimbledon start with. Funnily enough Charvet was on my shortlist for the strange position article but he got bumped out for Ian Harte.

Leave a Reply