Hello! Welcome back to the Retirement Home, where we have enjoyed 5 months as a Premier League club but the trap door back to Division 1 is wide open. With 1 win in 23, it’s hard to make an argument for these old lads finding a way out of this one but it would normally be about this time Mick Quinn would roll back the years but with him long since retired, who will be my Micker now?
With 15 games to go we need about 8 wins, which would be somewhat of an upturn in form compared to the previous 23 outings. We defend manfully at Arsenal but Veggard Heggem scores the deciding goal and it’s yet another loss.
Fernando Couto is out for a few months too, it never rains but it pours.
Solskjaer is a nightmare. He does at least get sent off but Nigel Quashie finishes the job. What a disaster.
19th placed Hull is pretty much a last chance saloon. If we can’t win this we should give up. It’s not convincing but Bernard Lambourde heads a winner and our largest crowd of the season believes in miracles.
Wolves get a man sent off early doors and that should be a great chance for us to cause some problems. As usual attacking isn’t really our thing but cometh the hour and a half…Batistuta gets on the end of a corner and the Bungalow hasn’t seen a day like this since double bingo night.
Sheff Wed give us a thrashing to remind us we are still doomed. Steffen Iversen has taken 10 seasons to meet us but obviously he scores.
10 games to go and it’s 7 (effectively 8) points to make up.
Man City also ease past us, which won’t help.
Ipswich I’ve noticed are dropping like a stone. They have games in hand but they never seem to win. Despite Tony Hadley’s best efforts the usually useless Torneberg scores twice to give us some hope.
Hold on a second. An early lead at Palace is backed up by 88 minutes of stoic defending. The gap is down to 4 points and we’re off the bottom!
If we can just beat 4th placed Leeds…no. Damn. We could have done with that.
Spurs away is another tricky game but we’re in it, and we stay in it throughout. We just can’t score the vital goal though and although it’s a point that would have been useful in isolation turns out to be a let down.
Results aren’t going our way. Ipswich are still the target I think but there’s only 5 games to go.
High flying Everton are not the team I want to face. We barely lay a glove on them and that hope has disappeared.
We pretty much have to win at Old Trafford. Torneberg has found some form and his early goals keeps our slight hopes alive. The time ticks on and the great escape remains on until the very last minute when damn Patrick Kluivert glides through and scores to all but relegate us. NO NOT THIS WAY.
A home game with Newcastle is where our fate will be decided. That man Torneberg briefly threatens to prolong the agony but Rojas hammers in the final nail. Back to Divsion 1 we go.
Two days later a much changed since gets hammered at Huddersfield. Don’t care.
Dugarry, who has been worse than useless, does score on the final day but we have to settle for a point.
Draw a line under it. The disastrous first 23 games probably cost us.
Seems like a good time to review the times we have had. 10 seasons of frolics but nobody came close to replicating Kerry Dixon’s heroics at Port Vale in August 97.
Amazingly, Luke Weaver wins PFA player of the year for his 8.07 average rating. That’s probably fair.
The other awards are good news for Joe Kinnear.
Well, fame has gone to somebody’s head. (Please don’t go)
That brings us to the end, for now. I’m taking a break for the CM Cup and the summer but we’ll definitely be back. I’ve already started making some moves in the transfer market and I’m going to announce signings on Twitter over the summer on the day they happen, just for the fun really.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a series so well received so I feel it is my duty to carry it on, I just need a few weeks to recharge. Division 1 will be another slog and I don’t know if we have the ability to get out of it again but I’m looking forward to finding out. Thanks for all your support over the previous 31 episodes and I’ll be back in the Retirement Home after the summer. Toodles for now!