Welcome back! Last week, the Retirement Home made a surprisingly decent start to the season and sit just four points outside the playoffs. Is this the start of a new, spectacularly successful Retirement Home? Let’s find out…
Stimac likes a last ditch handball. Unfortunately we’re already 2-0 down when he does this one and bloody Woodgev puts us to the sword with a hat-trick. Curses.
We look set to bounce back with a decent away performance at Coventry but despite Mostovoi’s best efforts, Coventry equalise 6 minutes from time.
Preston briefly threaten to cause us problems but the Young Fella dents their hopes and Mostovoi destroys them. It’s strange having competent strikers.
Off to Nottingham and the wonderfully named Deniol Nogan scores a double to consign us to defeat. Bjorn Johansen, who has been surprisingly competent, briefly gives us parity but it wasn’t to be.
Highbury was a great ground, Arsenal haven’t been the same since they went to the Emirates. Anyway, my wistful nostalgia aside we’re 2-0 down at half time. A spirited second half showing sees Crespo bend in a free kick and although we have a flurry of corners late on, we are out but not disgraced.
A hangover from that sees us trail Fulham 2-0 before Fellenger gets one back on half time. The Waddler finds an equaliser and again, we’re going all out for a winner that never arrives. Frustrating.
QPR are a playoff rival though and I honestly don’t know how they aren’t 100 points clear. Flo, Johnson (of Ipswich and Nottingham Forest fame) and James Scowcroft batter us to death and poor Slaven is a casualty. A poor result.
Back to basics and a 0-0 draw with Bruce’s Tranmere. Probably could have won that.
Our home form is vital so it’s pleasing to make up for two dropped points with a good win on the road. Old man Dave Watson heads home the second as we continue to defy the odds.
We never win at Wimbledon but we’ve not had the Russian sensation until recently. His goal gives us the win and gets Brian Little the sack.
Then, we lose at Millwall. Bilic off injured again but his replacement, old Davey, scores. We’re such an odd team.
Bradford have been our bogey team for a while and so it’s a nice change to take the lead. That joy turns to despair when Watson is sent off for a last man foul on Patrice Loko (who is 35 and needs to get a grip). They score the pen and we lie all remaining players on the goal line. That is until three minutes from the end when Poyet hears someone in the home end mention the time he got sacked live on air for sh*tting on the dressing room floor. He sprints to the opposite end of the field, slots home the winner and then mimes wiping his arse. He’s a character.
Conceding two in two minutes at West Ham seems like the type of thing we’d do before losing heavily, but somehow we stay in this fight long enough for Fellenger to do the same to West Ham. His pair of goals earn us a point and the belief that it could be our year after all.
Boxing day delight! Stimac heads in a corner and the Bungalow can’t believe it. Free mashed up bananas for all.
In a bold move, the FA play the FA Cup 3rd round on New Year’s Eve. Not exactly fan friendly and we last even less time in the competition than usual. Premier League Leicester have far too much for us.
Two days later and it’s off to Plymouth. That’s a trek at any time of year. Alun Armstrong keeps Plymouth in the promotion hunt whilst we fall away from the playoff pack.
A win over Kidderminster would be nice…we’re only 8 points behind them heading into the game but by full time it’s 11. Grumble.
A rather quick fire update ends with us in 11th. 17 games to go and 5 points adrift of the playoffs. Just don’t look down.
What is interesting though is that Gabriel Batistuta’s work permit has expired. From experience, they will release him eventually. He’s 36 so I’ll be all over that. It could be timely as Fellenger is attracting some interest, I’d like to restore the balance of the Retirement universe by having no young lads (except in goal, where it is seemingly imperative). He is available to buy but keeps rejecting, I’m hoping if they release him he will lower his standards sufficiently. Here’s to hoping…