Hello and welcome back to another episode of CM9798 Summer Specials. You can catch up with last week here. If you haven’t already attempted to keep Barnsley in the Premier League then you may not know how rubbish poor old Georgi Hristov was in the Premier League. But that leads me to the question nobody has ever uttered…could FYR Macedonia have made it to France ’98 and won the world cup with Hristov leading the attack? Well it sounds stupid doesn’t it? And that’s because it is. He couldn’t land a girlfriend in Barnsley so how could they even qualify? Here is the task at hand:
Overhauling Romania isn’t in our hands, and given they haven’t conceded a goal and have us and the bottom three to play I’d guess our best luck is a good draw in the playoffs. Here is the star man (no it’s not Hristov).
Currently plugging away in the Faxe Kondi Ligaen. Hopefully this next guy doesn’t turn out to be a nightmare. The Juri is out…
An injury crisis is not what this thread bare squad needs.
We have the joy of playing Lithuania twice which means, other results going our way, two wins could just about do it.
Our first test and we dent Romania’s perfect defensive record. Dan goes off injured for Romania he’ll be out for a bit relying on his TV Show Pet Rescue for income…
The old prune in the sticks getting man of the match tells the story you need to know…we are as lethal as old Georgi across the field.
Goal difference is on our side, for now.
Meanwhile Wales make one hell of an appointment.
We go to Lithuania without our main centre backs and boy it doesn’t matter…it’s the Georgi Hristov show…if only he could play them every week!
Learning from the Romania game we tweaked things a wee bit.
Hitting the weakest and exposed player with multiple runners appears to have worked. We’re practically through to the playoffs thanks to some favourable results. Lithuania would need to thrash us to usurp us and our GD is one better than Ireland.
The return leg is a more placid affair and we secure the point that guarantees our trip to the playoffs in November. The man from Vejle he say ‘okay’.
The draw is probably the kindest it could have been. As can be seen from the other fixtures.
We rock up at the Luzhniki in fine fettle but Ovtchinikov repels shot after shot and we go behind. We continue to dominate and in the 59th minute the man from Antwerp makes his mark and we take a draw back to the Gradski!
With suspensions and injuries more plentiful than skill and ability the return leg is with a depleted side and a MC playing at right wing back. It’s a cagey affair, but a penalty seals the win! We’re off to France!
Our adopted Mackem Markovski gets man of the match for keeping Mostovoi shackled.
Again, we won’t complain about the group. Two beatable teams and a probable thrashing from Brazil await.
The warmup gives us a load of differing performances as we test the squad. The Holland result (whilst without two key players) suggests Brazil will spank us.
Terrible news, as Markovski ‘The Mackem’ will miss the crucial opener vs. Tunisia.
THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT! Hristov turns into Miss-tov as he does at club level and we come away with a poor result that means we need beat South Africa comfortably and likely avoid a trumping from Brazil.
South Africa are disposed of 3-0 but it really should have been at least 6. Our strikers couldn’t light the way out of a paper bag at the minute, never mind start a fire.
That said it was an accomplished performance leaving the group on a knife edge:
We lose our only right-sided midfielder and capable captain for Brazil. “Siiiiilly, silly sil, siiiiilly silly sil, siiiiilly silly sil, silly Siljanovski”
F****** come on!!!!! We hammer Zetti’s goal all game long and come away with a famous 2-1 win against Brazil. We top the group having been the away side in all our group games. Hristov with the all important 2nd goal.
Micevski is turning out to be an unbelievable find.
We lose Markovski ‘The Mackem’ again, this time his two yellow cards lead to a one game ban. It will make the next round tough given we only have two good centre backs! We adjust the formation to play with a sweeper and one attacking midfielder. AND WERE THROUGH!!! THE DREAM GOES ON!!!
We draw England in the quarter finals, a date with destiny for Hristov. Micevski saves from Shearer at the second attempt after Angelov gives away penalty number two of the game. As if it was written in the stars, we come back and Hristov slots in the winner! NAH NAH NAH, HRISTOV IS A HERO! He’ll definitely not get an English girlfriend now!
Bringing back Darko Privaljvic has been a game changer for set-pieces where we are now more threatening.
We come up against Italy in the semi-finals and it is a step too far for our Macedonian Marauders. Hristov just couldn’t find a way past Peruzzi.
The 3rd/4th place playoff is as equally a one-sided affair as Spain put us to the sword in 28 first half minutes. With Hristov dragged off on a ‘4’ for missing a number of sitters we grab a consolation late in the game.
The reliance on Micevski in goal is fairly obvious. But with that it is the end of another CM9798 Summer Special. I’m calling that one a massive success, taking a small nation with barely enough players to fill a squad to the semi-finals of a World Cup with Georgi Hristov leading the line…wow! I hope you’ve enjoyed this experiment, why not try on of your own and tell us all about it? See you next week for the penultimate Summer Special.
You can follow Andrew on twitter: @KingOfTheRooks