Hello! Welcome to season 8 of the Retirement Home, where we’re looking to build on the…success? of finishing 21st in Division 1 last season. If we can recruit well we can move on up the table, so let’s see who is available. Here’s a reminder of how last season ended.
We have been busy in the market. Patrick Valery costs us £80k!
Oberg is a tackling Swede. His passing suggests he can play a bit too, your classic defender/midfielder centre.
Jaime looks like a reasonable but angry centre back.
Garitano once cost Valencia £4.8m! Stats wise he’ll be one of our best players.
Dolan was released by Preston but should do a job for us.
Vinny Jones wanted £4k a week and I’m scared of him so he’s got it.
Some more depth in the form of Gerard Kelly – he turned 35 the day after.
Grossi was available for free and again looks pretty good. Hopefully he adapts quickly.
Bjorn won’t turn 35 until September but I’ve signed him now. He won’t play until he’s 35, I promise.
Exhausted from all the recruiting, we prepare for life in Division 1 with a full 32 man squad. Now, I’ll say it because I know you’re thinking it.
That’s a whole lot of sh*t.
Be that as it may, I think we’ve got some decent players on the books now. Maybe time to try and be a bit more expansive? We’ll lineup with this at Port Vale and we’ll love it.
It turns out, we won’t love it. New season, same old (old) idiots. Back to the old formation I think!
At least we show 2nd Division Blackpool we can still mix it with teams a league lower than us. Little wins.
Back to the league and a second consecutive away games ends with us getting our second consecutive thrashing. Grossi at least gets off the mark.
The return leg with Blackpool is an eternal struggle. We go 3-2 down on the night but Grossi and Poyet score a quickfire double to end their amusement. Scunthorpe await in round 2.
A third away game and despite actually equalising, it’s another 4-1 loss. Jesus Christ Fenton.
A home game sees the crowds flock in and we reward those that bothered to turn up with a toothless display against Brucey’s Tranmere. Great days – a clean sheet.
Leicester have just been relegated so should really thrash us and looking at their squad, it’s clear Martin O’Neill has a type of player…
Somehow we overcome that versatility to take the lead thanks to the Micker. Their holding midfielder equalises which sums it all up really.
Another failure of a home game, this time it’s Wimbledon who overpower us.
We lead 2-0 against Preston and surely THIS will be our chance to get 3 points on the board…no, we switch off in the last 20 minutes and have to settle for a point. Never try.
Reading sees Bjorn Johansen make his debut, lovely Bjorn has been twiddling his thumbs since signing but he must be fresh here and I’m sure his presence helps us on the way to our first three points of the season.
Have we turned a corner? No, of course we haven’t. Sean Devine helps Walsall defeat us. Sigh.
We edge the first leg against Scunny, setting us up for a nervy return leg. Grossi is enjoying playing against lower level opposition which is useful as it may be a regular occurrence next season.
Defeat on the south coast. We really are a lifting football team sometimes.
A point against fellow strugglers Ipswich is ok on the face of it but they played the last 32 minutes with 10 men and we still couldn’t score.
By contrast, Barnsley are top and flying so the world is shocked when Maurice Malpas gives us an early lead. We miss numerous chances to extend our lead and pay the price just before half time. Surprisingly, the onslaught never comes and it’s a vital away point.
Scunthorpe naturally take the lead against us to make it level on the night but two Quinn goals look to have secured our place in round 3. Sadly though this is us, and we conceded two even later goals to take it to extra time. Nothing happens, we win on away goals but are 30 minutes more tired. Grossi out for a few weeks to boot.
It’s been a while since we played Carlisle but there’s no time like the present. Proctor sticks away a pen after their keeper is dismissed and this looks like our chance. As usual though it ends in heartache and the 10 men equalise to keep us in the deepest of trouble.
DON’T LOOK DIRECTLY AT IT
A thoroughly miserable start to the season then. 9 goals in 13 games, 22 conceded although when you think 12 of those were in the first 3 games we’ve practically been water tight since then. I really thought we’d be better this season, turns out recruiting 35 year olds is every bit as problematic as it sounds.
Another fine mess then and another relegation scrap is on the cards. Join me next week to see if we can try and find a way out of it. Toodles for now.