We could dance Nobby’s dance…

…we could dance it in France. The lyrics from Baddiel & Skinner’s Three Lions 98, as England prepared to travel to France for World Cup 1998. Here we are in 2020 and the lyrics are relevant again, as France prepare to host the 2020 European Championships in this fictional but captivating universe. Before all of that though, this will be my last update as Newcastle manager as I prepare for pastures new but can I go out retaining the Champions League? Will one of Europe’s biggest clubs get out of the relegation mire? Is this the longest introduction I’ve ever written? Get on with it!

We start, as ever, with the pointless cup

League Cup

It’s the final everybody wanted to see – Sheff Wed versus Norwich. Although I suppose if you want a back story, Sheff Wed appointed Norwich manager Dean Chandler back in the summer so maybe there’s some bad blood.

LC Final 20

Great scenes as the first division club get the win. My former club of course…

FA Cup

So whilst a First Division club win the pointless cup, Division 3 champions Colwyn Bay are in the FA Cup semis!

FA SF results

Bryan Robson shoots down Bambi – see you later, no mercy. But we need a replay to separate Man Utd and Chelsea. Good of the FA to hav Man City play at Old Trafford and Man Utd  at Anfield. I bet there was no trouble at all.

Anyway, Le Tissier gets the better of his former club and denies the world a Manchester derby final.

FA SF replay

And so to the final then, and more white hot action

fa cup final 20

Le Tissier is actually chasing the double, which is where we’ll head next.

Premier League

I have outside hopes of making it 3 league titles in a row but with a 12 point gap to bridge we don’t really get close. Fortunately there are stories at the top and bottom with one game to go

prem top 1 game to go

It’s a nice story that David Platt has gone to Arsenal and done so well, and it’s a decent side note that Matt Le Tissier manages Chelsea, having been relegated with Arsenal but also won a league title with them.

prem bottom 1 game to go

It’s been a real fall from grace for Darlington. After blowing the quadruple in his frist season things have got steadily worse for Steve Haslam and they are surviving on goal difference alone with one game to go. To make matters worse, look who my last match is against…

last day fixs

I made Darlo a Premier League club so I don’t really want to relegate them, so playing out a 0-0 draw might not be enough. Meanwhile, that title race has gone right to the wire. Chelsea can seal the double with a win at Villa

villa 2 - 1 chelsea

Goodness me, drama! The door is ajar for David Platt’s Arsenal. All they have to do is beat already relegated Burnley

arsenal 0 - 1 burnley

Oh my days. Wenger out. Platt out. Everybody out.

Darlo survive as Everton edge past Preston.

last day results

Leaving the final table looking like this:

prme top final

Leeds’ first season in the top flight for 7 years sees them finsih a surprise 4th, but it’s a real hodge podge always. At the bottom…

prem bottom final

Bad seasons for Darlington and Liverpool but they live to fight another day.

Champions League

So as I’ve failed to retain the title on a domestic level, can we at least do it in Europe?

CL SF results

West Ham ran us pretty close after a terrible 2nd leg performance but we hang on to book a final with Serie A champions Fiorentina.

So to the final, also in France to fit with the theme of this update

CL final 20

Woo and yay. That is my last match as Newcastle manager, and on my birthday no less.

There’s nearly a hat trick of English success

CWC final

uefacup final

Bryan Robson going nuts in…Finland. I don’t know why.

In the final domestic action before we head off to Euro 2020, Barcelona are fighting for their La Liga lives. They’re making a fist of it too, and it all comes down to their final game.

la liga 1 game to go

Who are they playing?

la liga last game

Well it’s only their huge rivals Real Madrid, who under David Unsworth now have the chance to relegate their enemies whilst being presented with the La Liga trophy. Good grief.

barca relegated at madrid

Carnage. Barcelona will play in the Segunda next season, alongside Barcelona B. And Real Madrid B.

la liga final

With that, let’s get to France. Here’s the England squad for Euro 2020

england squad 2020

Euro 2020

I really want that England job, so I hope they depart in the groups. Sorry.

So this is a pleasing start.

eng 0 - 1 portugal

Anybody who left this early is an idiot.

spain scotland

Back to England though and despite my centre half getting an early red card, England find a goal and keep themselves in the tournament. Rats.

austria 0 - 1 england

Can Denmark get the job done for me?

denmark 1 - 2 england

Rubbish. It’s a quarter final for England, hopefully that’s as far as it goes. Here’s the final groups

euro groups

I bet Spain are pleased they sacked their manager. Quarter final draw is out

QF draw

Germany! You can always rely on them to get the job done

germany 0 - 3 england

Germany lose their discipline and England run riot. Fuchs.

SF draw

A re-match with Portugal then, who beat England in their opening game. Repeat please.

First though, Holland and Italy thrash it out and shock horror, the Dutch lose on pens

holland italy semi final

But who will face Italy in the final?

england 1 - 0 portugal

England are in the final! They couldn’t, could they? Italy won in 2012 and 2016 so they’ll be hungry for a hat trick

italy 0 - 1 england

So, I’ll never be England manager. But really this is a momentous occasion, England have won the European Championships! A sign of things to come?

Off to Portugal in 2024

portugal 2024

Let’s hand out some awards

awards 20

It’s time to win manager of the year, hopefully that works in my favour when I murder Manuel Gagno and take his England job. Antonio Carlos (Ronaldo) is a worthy winner of football of the year.

Retirements time, and thankfully Beardsley isn’t one of them.

pedro 59

Look out for Beardsley at 60 in the coming weeks.

I didn’t even know Trapp was still managing, but as he’s jsut turned 81 I think this is for the best

trapp retires

Former Spain manager and current AC Milan manager Delio Rossi also quits

rossi retires

And, having failed to save Barca, Chano calls it a day. Again.

barca manager retires

But that’s it, in just over 1000 words. Sorry about that. What will the 20/21 season bring? I dread to think. But I’ll be starting a new job, so that’s something. See you then!

For more CM9798, catch up with my Classic Championship Manager series or check out the book out now

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