2019 CM9798 Cup – Day 1: Defending champions get tournament underway

Welcome! For the next month, this is your life. Or at the very least, this is my life. You’ll have seen in the preview blogs that our 20 managers have been working for this moment for several weeks. Drafts have been drafted, torn up and then drafted again. Four players were accidentally drafted twice. Steve Potts was inexplicably included. Kinder eggs were used for an unnecessary draw ceremony. All of that lead to this moment – the beginning of the 2019 CM9798 Cup.

Without a host nation to speak of, what better way to start than our defending champion FPLHints?

Group D

Taking the frankly unlikely step of starting with the last alphabetical group, my logic is that the defending champion deserves to open up proceedings. If it’s good enough for the Crucible (and World Cup 98 for that matter) it’s good enough for me. It is nothing to do with how long it took Group A to get their games played.

Here’s a reminder of the group:


Criterion Club vs FPLHints

Every team has two home games and two away games which was randomly drawn. As it happens, our champ is away in the first fixture, so let’s take a look at his opponent first – much loved guest blogger, Matt Wills.

He’s rolled out the famous formation for his squad in what I would say is one of the most difficult to predict groups.

CC tactics

FPLHints did fantastically well with Italy but his squad is not as good as that this time around. He’s opted to match up formation wise and has Raul, Laudrup and Yorke to rely on for goals as well as a pair of attacking wing backs.

FPL hints tactics

Every game has been recorded, you can watch it below or scroll on past for the old fashioned write up.

Jean-Pierre Papin was brilliant last summer but FPLHints had the last laugh with his Italy side beating France in the final. The ever green Jean-Pierre set about causing mayhem from the off, keeping Bosnich busy before bundling home the opener on 11 minutes. The Frenchman made it two just before half time, latching on to a loose backpass to cap an impressive half for Matt Wills’ side.

HT stats

FPLHints made two changes at half time but it made little difference. Papin completed his hat-trick just after the break before Finidi added a fourth. Bosnich was subbed for John Filan to try and stem the flow of goals but he couldn’t prevent Knutsen making it five, even if a linesman flag had denied him moments earlier. Dion Dublin did pull one back but it was a humbling start for the defending champions.

FT stats

Still, a long way to go and both sides will next be in action on Thursday.

Rewind Rovers vs Bells United

Dan Barker – The Football Rewind – has got possibly the most 90s team of all the competitors. That might sound like a stupid thing to say for a video game full of players that played a big part in the 1990s but just look at this side. Two wingers, two target men and Anelka to pick up the scraps. Tony Adams sadly misses out here due to injury but Martin Keown deputises. Such are the injuries in Dan’s side, there are two keepers on the bench.

RR tactics

Ross Bell has spoken privately of his desire to make up for the disaster of last summer. His Germany side were the surprise flop of the World Cup but despite a lack of right sided defenders, Ross has vowed to come out on the attack. With Jarni filling the gap on the right, it’s left to Ray Parlour to try and tidy up in midfield. That front four though…oh my.

BU tactics

As usual, the video is available here or you can scroll down to read my various witticisms.

Attack really might be the best form of defence. Ariel Ortega was having the time of his life here, ably assisted by Hasselbaink and Bakayoko running amok. Three goals in 11 minutes effectively had this match won by half time. Ortega was the protagonist in chief, netting twice before Hasselbaink got in on the act on 27 minutes. Ruthless.

HT stats

Hasselbaink added a fourth just after half time and although Rewind Rovers huffed and puffed, they found Barthez in great form. There was still time for Andreas Moller to score a fifth, prancing around in front of the home fans such is his want in life.

FT stats

This was a devastating start from Bells United, a marker certainly laid down for the rest of the group. Ross will take on FPLHints on Thursday, whilst Dan will next be in action on Tuesday 11th.

Even though only one game has been played, Group C has an ominous look about it:

Group 1 Game

Group D will return on Thursday, but for now let’s drop in and see how Group C is getting on.

Group C

Two guest bloggers, two avid fans and a 90s podcast. Group C has a lot going on:


We’ll have to wait until Thursday to see Sporting Po-Taitos but lets see how the other four teams start their campaigns.

Quickly Kevin United vs PSG Mashup

Michael Marden is steering the Quickly Kevin ship but his plans were hindered slightly (ok, massively) by an injury to Matt Le Tissier. That put Lars Bohinen in the coveted Le Tissier free role, except he has maybe a quarter of the talent. Supplying the bullets for Ravanelli and Totti should be like shooting fish in a barrel. With Deschamps, Sousa and Southgate patrolling behind him and Madini and Desailly at the back, everything should be fine. Right?

QK tactics

Tom Reed had hoped for a heavily influenced PSG side. He’s got Rai, Goma, Le Guen and he would have Jerome Leroy except he’s out injured. Par Andersson deputises. It’s an interesting side, a bit of a wildcard. Purk and Mpenza have a lot of potential whilst Nicky Butt often ends up being better than Roy Keane. I promise I will never say that again.

PSG tactics

Here’s the game in video form, or you can scroll down for the written version.

This began as a cagey affair, with few chances early on. The first major chance of the game though fell to the always reliable (and in this case, very young) Francesco Totti. His composed dink over Stefan Klos ensured a half time lead for Quickly Kevin.

HT stats

That hard work was undone just seven minutes into the second half, when Rai finished a chance presented to him when Vitor Baia could only parry Mpenza’s shot. Both sides made changes in search of the winning goal, with Kirovski brought on for Quickly Kevin and Andy Cole climbing off the bench for PSGM. The game turned though when Nicky Butt went off injured. Having marshalled the midfield with an authority only previously seen in the 2002 World Cup, his departure led to Paulo Sousa strolling forward to score an 84th minute goal that turned out to be the winner.

FT Stats

In the end, a deserved win for the home side but Tom will be pleased to only narrowly lose an away game. We’ll see Tom back in action on Thursday whilst QKU have a bit of time to bask in their victory.

QK PSG scoreboard

Exeter Gently vs Real Mathdrid

The final match of the update sees Exeter Gently take on Real Mathdrid. I’ll…explain.

I asked the managers to pick a team name that made them recognisable, a concept some people just chose to ignore. To be fair, Exeter Gently is probably the most amusing name I’ve seen for a while. They are managed by Ross Jacobs, who you will know from various guest blogs down the years.

He’s opted to tweak the famous formation a little but with an Argentine duo up front and a Scottish duo at wingback, this is a very random (and talented) side.

EG tactics

Dave Mathieson once made the shortlist to be Fulham manager. In real life. Here he is playing a direct 4-4-2 with a very solid side which I fancy to do quite well. How will he get on here?

RM tactics

Video time. Words below.

Real Mathdrid got off to a great start, Luis Enrique bombing on from midfield to give his side an early lead. Ross may have been fearing the worst from here, with memories of his Denmark’s side early exit last summer looming large. His side dug in though and one of that side, Morten Bisgaard, equalised on 34 minutes. Only poor finishing prevented the home side going in with a half time lead.

HT Stats

Real Mathdrid improved after the break but struggled to hit the target. The game looked certain to be a draw until Hernan Crespo hammered home a shot from outside the area to give Exeter Gently the lead, but the drama didn’t stop there. With four minutes to go, Diego Simeone raced through on goal and chipped the keeper, a truly beautiful finish – ruined only by the flag of the linesman. Ross spent several minutes trying to batten down the hatches and thanks to old man Ogrizovic, he held on to pick up an important looking win.

FT stats

That leaves Group C looking like this after one game:

Group 1 Game

Plenty of football to be played there.

Phew. What a first day. We’ll be here every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday throughout June, so we’ll see you back here on Tuesday for Groups A and B getting underway.

Group Draw portrait

1 thought on “2019 CM9798 Cup – Day 1: Defending champions get tournament underway

  1. Pingback: 2019 CM9798 Cup – Day 2: Groups C & D get underway including an 11 goal thriller | CM 97/98

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