Bonjour! Welcome back to France where I’m trying to transform the fortunes of Mulhouse. As you’d expect, I’ve brought in a lot of players with mixed results so far. After 6 games, we sit 8th, a respectable start but there’s a lot of work still to be done. Let’s get back to it.
We’re at home to Troyes – or A. Troyes Aube Champagne to give them their Sunday name. They are managed by Alain Perrin who inexplicably ended up as Portsmouth manager in 2005.
Stop the clocks – Pearson is off the mark. A less than prolific start to his career in France has been marginally improved by scoring the opener here. JV adds a second late on. We’re not pretty but we’re effective. Sometimes.
A home cup game should give us further chance to keep our new found form going. Our opponents are Sochaux, three points worse off than ourselves. Three is the magic number as we take the lead three times, including twice in extra time. It goes to pens where we lose, with Bobo Balde and Andrew Duncan the villains.
It’s a very midtable affair as we travel to Laval. Nothing interesting to tell you about them but they do score after one minute. Tumba, who is only in the team because of injuries, equalises shortly before half time. His first name is Zico so he must be good.
That’s followed up a tame home draw to unfancied Beauvais. Butthead must be proud.
All of my right backs are knackered so I’ve signed a young Noe Pamarot, mainly because I’ve heard of him. He’s average at best.
Another draw, this time at Toulon. Ait Alia is a French Titus Bramble.
We looked set to fall to a defeat to promotion chasing Lille but two more injuries give chances to Tumba and Bobo Balde and they respond in style. Two late goals snatch us a deserved draw.
The injuries though. So many injuries.
So the last thing we need really is two red cards but, here we are. You idiots, stop kicking people!
ANOTHER ONE. This is getting embarrassing.
It’s looking like another defeat as we trail the home of the film festival 3-1 after 22 minutes. It’s a late show though and Larry David is at it again.
Back to normal at Sochaux though.
Then yet another red card sums up our current plight. Misery. Lack of talent. Take your pick.
It’s the end of November and we’re 13th. 19th downwards will be relegated so that’s an obvious concern. Some of the injuries are clearing but we need some fresh faces. The problem is, nobody wants to play for us. We can attract the desperate and the old. Kavanagh returns from injury. That’ll please the fans.
Gueugnon may have a monopoly on two vowels but they can’t hold on to a lead. Kavanagh claws us back into it befor Vareille and Olivero steal the show. They supply each other for four goals and despite the French Bramble getting his third red card of the season, it’s a comfortable away win. Life is good.
More goals have been ordered. Some would argue that’s not really solving our weakness but what can I say? He has 1 for influence.
He makes his debut at home to Le Mans. Hopefully this lasts less than 24 hours. After one hour, we’re 2-0 down but the debut boy pulls one back, Kavanagh QC equalises and Olivero wins it at the chequered flag.
There’s a mad rush to sign Gautier – the midfielder, not the left back. I’ve made all the Gautier jokes I can manage so I’ll take the £550k.
I am moving for defensive cover. Ait Alia has aggression 20 which explains his three red cards in nine games. This man is old but boy can he head. And tackle. Not so good on the technique.
An away game with Amiens looks promising as we lead twice but a man with a name that looks like diabetes makes it 2-2. So close.
This is anything but a Nice Christmas. We are 4-0 down after half an hour and even though they go down to 10 men, Gautier (yep, the man I just sold) makes it 5. We get it back to 5-3 but we lose Duncan for 6 weeks. A bad day.
6 weeks out means I need yet more defensive cover. Matthew Bound will probably do.
He makes his debut away at Wasquehal. They are 5th. Bound apparently was the missing link as not only do we win, it’s a clean sheet and an all round great performance.
Olivero has 16 in 20. It leaves us 11th at the half way stage. Fitting, because we are exactly half way down (or up?) the table and the same points from top as bottom.
We are joint top scorers in the league but one of the worst defences. I am focusing on building a squad for next season, I don’t think we have a run in us to go up this time but if I can shed some of the garbage and find a goalkeeper who can catch, we could go up next season. There is a fine line between love and hate and let me tell you, this set of idiots really pushes that line.
Join me next week to see if we can climb the table at all. Goodbye for now.