CM9798 Academy – Part 32: It’s not unusual…

Hello! Welcome to Season 11 of the Academy. 31 weeks ago, I started out on a mission with a brand new club in division 3. We had no players and the instruction to sign only players who are under the age of 23 and available for free. On top of that, all offers for players must be accepted. Somehow, ten seasons in, we’re now a Premier League club with two Cup Winners Cup trophies and an FA Cup to our name. Our 7th place finish in season 10 has, thankfully, ensured we’ll play European football again this season:

UEFA Cup seeding

More importantly, there’s a good re-gen haul. Let me introduce you to the class of 2007:

Alfonso regenEadie regenAnderton regenalbertini regen

Perez Munoz Alfonso has regenerated and I couldn’t be happier to have snapped him up. Speaking of snapping, Darren Anderton has come back as Don Miller whilst Maurice Larmour is Darren Eadie. Emiliani Pastine is the new Albertini. It’s a good bunch to add to my already reasonable bunch. I am happy.

Sir Alex has had enough of life as Italy manager.

FErgie quits

What’s Italian for no?

offered italy job

Some managerial merry-go-round ensues and Fergie ends up as Arsenal manager. Good grief.

The season starts and we’re 2-0 down after 8 minutes. This set of idiots get us level only to fall behind again two minutes later. Start as you mean to go on lads.

3-2 hull away

A win over Aston Villa is marred by Lukic missing a penalty. He won the golden boot last season.

2-1 villa S11

There’s plenty to suggest he will again this year. He scores the winner at Molineux to keep us ticking.

1-0 wolves away

Glenavon of Northern Ireland is a fairly kind draw, all things told. I’ll be able to blood many youngsters.

uefa cup R1

Off to Sheff Utd then and amazingly Steffen Iversen doesn’t score. A topsy-turvy game ends all square thanks to Eadie junior.

2-2 sheff utd

Leeds are then defeated thanks to Alfonso junior getting his first goal for the club. Lukic is only out for a few weeks, most of which will be an International break.

2-0 Leeds S11

No explanation here. Training? Walking down the stairs? His shins hurt. Deal with it.

Lunt shin splints

Errr…

Little Brian

Michael Owen doesn’t score against us but we still lose at Old Trafford. The fact it’s only 1-0 is sort of encouraging.

1-0 man utd

McBride is out for 3 months so Alfonso has been starting and his double against Glenavon shows he’s starting to come good. On the negative side, we had 26 shots here.

2-0 Glenavon

Spurs are brushed aside. We’re quite good.

3-0 spurs

A home game with Palace should be an opportunity to extend our good form but we can’t add a second goal to Alfonso Junior’s opener. Typically, Chesney Hawkes scores with their one and only shot on target. I wish that was a lie for comic effect but it’s not.

1-1 Palace home

Ally Armstrong. Remember him? Little Dunc made no impact at Newcastle and following their relegation was sold to Bolton. He reduces the deficit for Bolton here but we still win. Lukic back in the goals and a happy Dave.

Bolton 3-2

It’s a much changed team for the trip to Northern Ireland. Lunt scores a hat-trick as the part timers wilt in the closing stages and it’s a comfortable passage. Quaranta will be out for a week.

5-2 Glenavon

Ooh Belgium. I’ve managed there. I like our chances.

Genk R3

We batter Derby and eventually score. Then we concede. So annoying when that happens. Canas is the latest centre half to be ruled out. A month this time.

1-1 derby S11

Garcia Pimienta celebrates his call up to the Spain squad (where he didn’t get on) with a double to see off Coventry. Lunty is injured again.

2-1 coventry S11

Genk are typically cavalier. Three away goals should be more than enough to see us through and a missed pen from our opponents only helps matters.

Genk 1-3

Ahh Ewood Park. We’ll never win there. Japhet N’Doram junior scores yet again as we slip to defeat.

2-1 blackburn away

As far as Pointless Cup 3rd round draws go, this couldn’t have been much worse. We play quite well but no goal is forthcoming after Lawrie’s early own goal. Ah well, I won’t miss it.

1-0 man utd LC

Hello, what’s this?

Lavin off

Bizarrely, 4 clubs bid for Alan Lavin. He’s on loan at St Johnstone. I have to accept them all and in an even bigger twist, Lavin says no. Arsenal, Tottenham, Sunderland and Chelsea. All declined.

Everton are a bit of a force and in fact are the current European champions. It looks like being a 1-1 draw but Everton win it in the last minute. Or do they? McBoyaBoy equalises in added on time and it’s a point our overall performance deserved.

2-2 everton

Lunty loves Europe. Genk dismissed.

2-0 Genk

This is a rough draw.

4th round draw

Some very good teams in there. Curse the UEFA Cup, it’s going to take a big effort to go deep in this tournament.

UEFA Cup 4th round

Those who say finish on a high have never managed this club. Here’s a 0-0 draw.

0-0 west ham

We never used to draw 0-0. It was always 6-3 this or 4-4 that. But we’re an older, maturer side now. A side that is 5th in the league.

Prem top Nov S11

HULL! We’re on the coat tails of the title chasers but we’ll always take being 5th at this stage. If I had a goalkeeper who could catch, I would be happier.

That’s all for this week. I think we’ve turned a corner…but we’ve been here before. In Alfonso Ribeiro we’ve got a real superstar to go alongside the various idiots I’ve cobbled together to date. The future is bright. As long as nobody bids…

Graduate of the Week

Remember Simon Buckley? He was the creator in chief for 5 seasons, partnering such heroes as Chris Pearson and Steve Williams. He got a good number of goals himself but he laid on many more and made his pals look good.

buckley career S11

When he no longer commanded a place in the team, he was sold to Altrincham. Back down to Division 3 he went, where he’s scored double figures in every season and looks set to do it again. He partners Trevor Sinclair up front and has Jamie Carragher in central midfield behind him. He’s always welcome back to watch his former team mates.

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