Kevin Keegan’s return to the Premier League may have been the headline of the last update, but it’s been a strange old three months as we approach the final (Paul) furlong on the 1998/99 season.
1999 starts with another Anfield legend is on the move, this time young Michael Owen is used as bait by Liverpool so they can land…Riccardo Scimeca. I can’t explain this. Roy Evans has bought Gordon Durie, 32, and obviously prefers him to somebody who would go on to score 40 goals for England. Whatever.
Starting with the league cup, Kevin Keegan’s Blackburn blow a 2-0 first leg lead and get turned over at Anfield to put Liverpool in the final. You would expect them to face Man Utd in a re-match of last season but Bryan Robson’s Middlesbrough pull of a huge upset to win on penalties and book their place at Wembley. With Marco Branca banging them in, Boro are well clear at the top of Divison 1.
Meanwhile in the FA Cup, we’ve reached Semi Final stage. A kind draw saw the mighty Dons drawn at the lowest ranked team left in the tournament.
With Norwich brushed aside, I’m left crossing my fingers I draw anyone except Liverpool. Fortunately, the draw gods are on my side and it’s Leicester
Man Utd went on to win the treble in real life but the best they can achieve is a double, as Boro actually knocked Man Utd out of the FA Cup too. The league though is taking a very interesting turn, it’s a three horse race for the title.
The Keegan factor has Blackburn right back up at the top of the table, 4 years after winning their first Premier League title. Brian Little has Aston Villa up in 4th, whilst new boys Sunderland are the surprise package up in 7th. At the bottom, Stoke & Southampton look doomed but any one from 4 could join them.
The Dons are ticking over, as you can see from the losses column we’ve become very difficult to beat but could do with turning a few of those draws in to wins. Chris Casper has the nerve to leave for Celtic, the “big club release” clause in his contract meaning I have no option but to move him on for £1m, though Kenny Lunt has arrived. Nevland is the club’s top scorer, with 16 goals to his name. Devine has 12.
For a change, here are the top average ratings of the season so far. Southall has played 26 games, so for an average of 8 he makes A LOT of saves. He’s also their manager.