CM9798 Academy – Part 14: Tough at the top

Well hello there. Welcome back to the CM9798 Academy where we’ve just about come down to earth after securing promotion to the Premier League. A great run of form to finish the season saw us steal the second promotion spot and save us the lottery of the playoffs, but now reality sets in. How am I going to survive in the Premier League with this set of morons plus the next batch of young freebies? Let’s hope those freebies are good…

Chris Woodcock was good in the Newcastle save. I consider this a good deal.

woodcock signs

In other news, the stadium is bigger! Our finances are ridiculous and Ike realises he can seat 5,000 more scouts this way.

stadium expansion

The new youth intake. Make your own jokes about Willi Serena.

 

Brabin and Lukic can go out on loan, Fulvio looks good enough to play now whilst the others will be squad backups. It’s hardly going to win us the league but frankly survival is the aim for now.

The season hasn’t even started man!

spurs woodcock

Obviously he goes. Snake.

woodcock leaves

Life imitates art.

capello to england

Anyway, free transfers assembled, it’s time for the opening day of the season. We’re off to the Reebok where Jeff Brazier is a sub. Our team is the same as what finished last season with some new subs available. It’s a novelty being able to name 5 now.

team day 1 S5

Some things never change as we play out a 6 goal thriller. We did lead for a bit before going 3-1 down but Irwin jnr and Ugo Howard earn us a point.

3-3 bolton

Chelsea pipped us to the First Division title and it’s a return to the Arena for Michael Twiss. Well he’s a sub anyway. Denis Deary nicks us all 3 points and this Premier League lark is easier than you think.

2-1 chelsea

Even at Wolves, we score three times in the opening 20 minutes. Falco gets his first for the club – rock me amadeus. It could have been 8.

0-4 wolves

It’s rarely dull as we contrive to go from 1-0 up to 2-1 down in three stupid minutes. We’re soon 3-2 up again only for it to finish 3-3. If we could defend we would be dangerous.

3-3 mackems

Remarkably we’re still unbeaten, and a trip to Nottingham Forest sees us frustrated by Peter Schmeichel. CM legend Erik Nevland briefly equalises before Billing slots past big Pete to get us the win. Unbeaten and top of the table, somehow.

2-1 Forest

West Ham are our next visitors and that’s where we find Anthony Betterton. We can’t handle Emile Heskey though Buckley levels immediately, only for Renou to…renew fears that we aren’t good enough for this league.

2-1 west ham

Look who gets man of the match

betterton MOTM

Grumble. We ship 4 at Old Trafford the following week – yes, that is Norwich City failure Marc Libbra – I never really expected to win here so we’ll move on.

4-2 man utd

League Cup time and we have a bye to the 2nd round for the first time. Oldham are in the third division and frankly I just want to get back to winning ways. Naturally we blow a 3-1 lead and lose one of our strikers to injury. I even had to play Nicky Byrne here due to a lack of available right backs.

3-3 oldham

Uh oh, bids ahoy. See you later, Chris.

Johnson to PV

Sometimes I hate the rules I have in place.

Johnson leaves

We’re short of attacking options for the visit of Tottenham. Chris Woodcock is on their bench as if to rub it in. We injure two of their stars (one of which sees Woodcock introduced) before falling behind. Makeshift striker McBride earns us a point. Phew.

1-1 spurs

Sam Shilton also leaves for £275k. He barely played and I don’t care. He’s replaced by Paul Perry.

perry signs

Two goal lead after 9 minutes? Doesn’t matter. Lose 4-2. That is Robert Dunn, by the way.

4-2 sheff wed

Oldham time again and I’m desperate for us to end our bad run, so it’s our strongest team plus newcomer Perry. We thrash them but Heritage gets a red card. That will mean a league debut for Willi Serena.

5-1 oldham

Newcastle are somehow reigning champions, though Kenny Dalglish left to manage Italy. Yes, really. He was replaced by Des Walker, who was at Chelsea, and as you can see it’s thrilling.

0-0 newcastle

Serena makes his league debut at Ewood Park. We lead for a minute. Dion Dublin, Danny Murphy and Chris Sutton inspire a media based comeback and despite us briefly being level at 2-2, we end up 4-2 losers. Boo.

4-2 blackburn

Unsettled by having to use Nicky Byrne, an injury to Irwin junior has lead me back to the free transfer market. Gary Dods, come on down. We’ll try and find you another D.

Dods signs

He might be our good luck charm as he makes his debut in a delightful 2-1 win over Liverpool to end our indifferent run of form. Get us to 40 points as soon as possible.

2-1 liverpool

All of that leaves us 12th after 12 games. TWELVE. We are top scorers and worst defenders in the top half.

table October S5

…and the bottom half. We’re as midtable as it gets, perhaps unsurprisingly given those facts.

table bottom S5

Survival is the aim and on our current ratio, we’ll just about do it. We’ll just keep plugging away, at least with goals in the team we’ve got a chance. The nightmare scenario would see somebody come in for Billing, as I just don’t know how we’d fill that gap from the free transfer market. At least with the two new strikers out on loan they might be ready in a season or two.

I’ll be back as usual next week with part 15 so once again I bid you farewell. Have a pleasant week.

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