Good day! Welcome back to the Academy, where things are bleak as ever. The season hasn’t exactly got off to a great start but with a young side still finding their way, I’m always hopeful of improvement.
Here’s a reminder of where we re-join the action.
First though it’s Cup Winners Cup time. A 1-1 draw in Deportivo was admirable, so if we can find a way to get it done at home then we’re in the quarters.
We more than get it done. Lukic, over the moon with his U21 call up, runs the show. A fantastic win.
Brann will be a test, the Scandinavian nations really come on strong.
A negative of that result is Lawrie getting a three month injury. He’s averaging just under 8 so he’ll be a miss. We head to Fulham in good spirits but two goals are offset by two injuries, including the in form Lukic. It’s just a few weeks for him but Hool will miss 2 months. A blow.
With our two centre halves out of action, I’ve had to sign Les Heddle. That’s French for The Heddle.
Against bottom club Birmingham we’re 3-0 up after half an hour and that should be us clear of the bottom 3 for a bit. What’s that? We’ve messed it up? Of course we have.
That’s followed by a whooping at Arsenal. We’re missing those centre halves.
It’s a right old ding dong with Everton in the League Cup. We lose but frankly, who cares? It’s the pointless cup for a reason.
What it’s really all about is staying up, and Charlie McBride has a knack of getting vital goals. Sheff Wed somehow fail to score.
Another injury though sees 18 year old Toby Hammond in to the middle of the park. He last 9 minutes before he goes off injured. His replacement, Gazza jnr, departs 2 minutes later. What on earth is going on here. Oh and we lose 4-2. A rough day.
We do at least get revenge for the FA Cup final. Lukic continues to impress.
Meanwhile, real Gazza is swapping one former club for another.
We’ve taken some big hits from Leeds so this feels justified. We’re scoring goals like we used to, it’s nice.
Our FA Cup run starts at home to Norwich. It’s a struggle but we get it done. Sunderland in round 4 is a tough draw though.
Off we go to Everton, who are top of the pile. Not our strong suit, to be honest.
Now Hull at home, that’s more like it. They still play Cambiasso and he’s hopeless. Billnig finds some form and Shearer junior makes it 3. Faulconbridge pulls one back to ironic cheers.
Then we get humped at Bolton. We’re just so weird.
We’re nearly out of the cup but Finney gets a late leveller. That gets us a replay but having seen the 5th round draw, I’m not bothered about that.
Yeah…not something I’d look forward to.
Oh Lazio want my back-up left back. That’s a shame.
He’s gone the same day. No messing about for Faglioni.
We don’t need him. Adam Lukic is dragging us up the table by scoring the winner against Villa.
Here’s the replacement for Faglioni. He looks decent but probably isn’t.
We do briefly make a go of it in the replay but the haunting image of Stamford Bridge gets to us and we go out. No Europe next season barring something very strange.
Like…winning at Tottenham. We never do that but Lukic, my new hero, ensures we do.
We’re 13th but only 4 points clear of the bottom 3. I laugh in Steffen Iversen’s face.
Remarkably, we are only 6 points from 4th. It’s the tightest table I’ve seen for a long time. If we can keep this form up who knows where we’ll finish.
Probably 17th. It’s what we’re good at. No matter which way you look at it though there’s a lot to look forward to next week – the end of a season where we’ll either achieve our highest finish or be relegated. There’s also the next chapter of our Cup Winners Cup adventure, I’d like to win then we can play in the Super Cup. That’s always been the dream. Anyway, I’ll see you next Sunday for the end of the season, toodles for now.