Greetings and welcome back to the Retirement Home. In a rare turn up, we aren’t in a relegation scrap at this point of the season. The league table makes you realise we’re up against teams who have conceded three times fewer goals than we have. Let’s see if we can look up rather than down.
That’s a good start. Moreno and Blinker get on the scoresheet and Wolves are tamed. Do you tame a wolf? Well, we have.
Regi Blinker is a man re-born. To be honest, the big change I’ve made is putting Santos in as a DM, something I threatened to do in last week’s update but I completely forgot. He scores our 4th and unveils a “Dave is a dope” t-shirt which is justified.
What I like about us these days is we are quite capable of fighting back when we go 1-0 down, a point illustrated at Home Park. Moreno drags us level but our penalty woes continue when Lopez blazes over the bar. Maybe Moreno should take them?
Possibly the most positive start to an update in recent memory is wiped away by Bradford City. A bad day at the office or a sign of things to come?
Hold the phone, we’ve thrashed a team. We’re already 1-0 up when Rushy gets fouled by their keeper for a penalty and a red card. That never happens in our favour. Lopez nets the pen this time and we go on to get 5. FIVE! Everybody get up, sing it.
A generally good month ends with Rushy scoring a late winner to see us through in the League Cup. These old lads are finally playing a bit.
I’m manager of the month! That is my first one of them since November 2002 when we were in the 2nd Division. Stats.
Our young goalkeeper is good but he’s erratic, his latest tomfoolery sees him red carded and it seems likely we’ll go on to lose to Millwall. That was the old us though, the new old us excel with 10 men and Rushy and Regi end up winning us the game. Mint.
Refs are busy in our games, this time assisting us as Barnsley are down to 10 early on. Goal scoring isn’t a problem, despite years of it being a gargantuan struggle.
Tony Hadley scores after one minute. For goodness sake. Chuck Berry and Lisa Manetti finish the job and we get thrashed by high-flying Ipswich.
So, the most realistic thing ever has happened. Everybody’s got the flu. Also my goalkeeper and striker are banned. This was the Thursday…
A mixed bag by the Saturday, where we have to scramble a team together that includes Torneberg & Lozano as wing backs.
Somehow, we win 1-0. Incredible scenes.
It would be even more incredible if we’d held on against Burnley. A 91st minute header costs us two points but I’m proud of the lads. We’re 5th.
Liverpool are a high flying Premier League club and we have no business being on the same pitch as them in the League Cup. We do at least score but we’re out.
Amazingly after 12 seasons, this is our best ever showing.
December is always a month where you get a good idea of how your season is going to pan out. Well, don’t get too excited.
Or excited at all.
A loss at Leicester at least breaks the tedium, they’re top of the league so I’m not too upset.
Danny De Vito! We haven’t been scorned by him for a while. Our first goal in 4 games turns out to be for nothing. Happy bloody boxing day.
Back to the tedium, this time in the FA Cup.
Oh and in the league.
We edge past Barnsley in the cup, the reward though is Arsenal away. So we’ll not be going past round 4 this year.
We finish with a useful win at Port Vale, I feel like we haven’t won a league game in a while. I could scroll up and tell you how many, but I prefer to look forward.
With 16 games to go we’ve fallen to 13th and you’d be forgiven for thinking that I should have made more of that set of results.
But wait, it’s not all bad. We’re only 3 points off the playoffs as Division 1 lives up to it’s ridiculous reputation. The fact that the separator at this level is goals scored also works in our favour as we are inexplicably the top scorers of the division.
It does mean next week is set up to be a belter. We’ve got work to do and we’re back in debt for the first time in a while. Young Len (would you call a baby Len?) is worth £6m though so he must be doing something right and as long as he understands he will be sold if push comes to shove, we’ll be alright. Sergi has also torn his hamstring, so no him for 3 months. See you next week!