It’s March 2001 and other than a slight blip in 98/99 where we couldn’t get straight out of Division 2, things have gone really well at Darlington. To really top things off though, promotion to the Premier League is the next aim and we are just two months away from it being a reality. Elsehwere, Man Utd look odds on for their third title in four years, and Barcelona are gunning for three Champions Leagues in a row. Shall we continue?
For Darlington, we left the last update with the boys top of Division 1 but being chased by Forest and Palace. Not much has changed really, but we’re now just 8 games away. The big changes have been that bigger boys keep taking my things – young Alistair Craig is the first one out of the door
This is a blow because he & Nevland were forging quite the partnership and Devine has struggled with the step up. After much thought and waiting for the right man to be available, we finally get Notman permanently
This is a real coup for us, Notman plays for England Under 21s and has a huge future. We have him for barely one month – 6 games, 2 goals later…
Sunderland again start the bidding, but West Ham offer me Frank Lampard, which is a muh better off for me. Celtic & Blackburn are also in – I stand to lose £500k on his which for a club of our size is a disaster.
What a jerk. Back to the drawing board for the remaining months.
Fortunately for us the football has been pretty good and we’re looking to win this three horse race
My prediction that Palace’s Cup Winners Cup commitments would tire them out have so far proved very inaccurate. They do have Tore Andre Flo though, who is having a great time at this level. A huge 8 games lie ahead.
In the big world, the first cup final of the season is set
West Ham vs the always dominant Man Utd. To make things tougher for West Ham, Real Madrid have nicked their goalkeeper, for some reason
The new Steve Haslam? Probably. I like that he had the choice of Spain’s top 3 clubs. There’s some other transfers too, some more ridiculous than others
The FA Cup has a familiar look to it’s Semi Finalists
Man Utd & Liverpool will have to replay for the right to take on Everton. Man Utd & Liverpool are also still in the Champions League,,,
…though not for much longer. We could have a Barcelona/Ajax final for the third consecutive season, although Real Madrid might have something to say about that
So although the Premier League sides haven’t fared too well against Europe’s elite, it looks good for Man Utd to take back their title. Liverpool, however, are having a nightmare defense of their title
West Ham and Leeds continue to be the closest challengers, but it’s Man Utd’s to lose.
Sunderland are staging yet another great escape, although this is the past so we’re still in the heady days where the side bottom at Christmas couldn’t escape relegation. It looks like 3 from 6 will go down, but don’t ask me to predict who!
In the next update, Darlington will hope to clinch promotion so that they can play alongside these teams on a weekly basis – but can we hold our nerve? Joins us next time to find out.