CM9798 Retirement Home – Part 40: Abide with me

Well hello there. Part 40, that means you’ve been reading this for 40 weeks. Yes, there was a break in the middle but still, that takes us close a year of this concept. The Retirement Home are currently enjoying (or at least participating in) only their second ever season in the top flight. Naturally, we’re in the bottom 3 but this time we’re only 2 points adrift of safety. We can do it!

prem bottom feb S13

Oh we’re also still in the FA Cup. An away game to a First Division club gives us the opportunity to go further than we have ever gone in the nation’s oldest and therefore best tournament. Fernando Couto, who is 40, scores the winner.

barnsley away S13

We draw one of the few teams below us in the quarters. Consider my interest piqued.


We get a practice run against them in the league. We could probably do with winning what looks like a tremendously winnable game but instead we limp to a 0-0 draw.

spurs home S13

Not to worry, seemingly we like to pull off surprise wins away from home. We turn up at  Ewood Park with less expectation but we have a great time. The best time.

blackburn away S13

It’s the old six pointer at Goodison as 18th host 19th. C-Lo gives us the lead but we can’t hold on. A point away from home is usually welcome but that’s two chances to put relegation rivals to the sword and we’ve missed our opportunity.

everton away S13

Nevermind, we’re a cup team now. Marc Overmars remembers he’s got Arsenal in his blood and knocks out his former North London rivals. Into the semis!

spurs fa cup

We get the semi-final draw I wanted. Huddersfield are around us in the table whereas Sunderland, Leeds and Sheff Wed are all in the top 5. We get to play at Anfield, which isn’t much of a treat.

SF draw

Another point on the road. It all counts towards something.

villa away S13

We fire some warning shots to Huddersfield. Beating them in the league actually drags them into the relegation scrap. Bild a bear gets us off and running and OGS seals the points.

huddersfield home S13

We actually lead Sheff Wed, making a mockery of my previous comments, but Billy Gunn equalises and it’s downhill from there.

sheff wed home S13

If we can win at Bristol Rovers, I’ll start to believe we’re a cert to stay up. They’re right down in the scrap and when Leonard gets sent off, it’s ours for the taking. Bild is basically my hero and I’ve got a class pun lined up about BILDing a statue but Midgley equalises in the last minute. Why I oughta…

bristol rovers away S13

Neutral venue klaxon! Whoever thought we’d get here. Pick please me Mr Kearns gives Huddersfield the lead but Solskjaer equalises. We go through all the rigmarole of extra time which remains deadlocked. All of this means we’ll be sequestered at Old Trafford in 3 days time for the replay – free room, free food, free swimming pool, free HBO. Ooh. Free Willy.

huddersfield FA S13

THREE WILLY MORE LIKE. We’re going to Wembley. Tell me nurse, me nurse.

huddersfield FA SF S13

It turns out we’ll face Sunderland in the final, which by my reckoning means if they finish in the top 2 we’re already in Europe. Hubba hubba. We face their title rivals Middlesbrough next and…lose 1-0.

boro away S13

These bank holiday weekends really take it out of us and a trip to another title hopeful in Leeds is not one for optimism. However, we take an early lead, an Australian misses a penalty and we get the three points. Crikey.

Leeds away S13

These are the best of times, the blurst of times. Bild plunders a hat-trick including being the only man in the Bungalow capable of taking a penalty. 40 points! Bild that statue.

wolves home S13

As you can see, we’ve dragged some others into it.

bottom 4 games to go

Sunderland managed to lose at home to Tottenham and have barely won since I needed them to. Meanwhile we get rinsed by 10 man Arsenal.

arsenal away S13

A point at home to Liverpool should be celebrated but results are conspiring against us.

liverpool home S13

A point from either of the two remaining games will be enough. Surely…

2 games to go S13

Home to West Ham. The day the Bungalow saw history. The best 0-0 draw ever.

west ham home S13



Away to Derby and I change the entire team. We’ve got a cup final to prepare for. Bizarrely, the second string go 2-0 up inside 25 wonderful minutes before normality is restored and we draw 2-2. Who cares?

derby away S13

Lovely stuff. 16th is our highest ever position. I would describe us as semi-competent.

prem table final S13

Speaking of semi-competent, Sunderland finished 4th. That means we have to win to get into Europe, I think. I’m pretty sure the game treats the Cup Winners Cup ahead of the UEFA Cup so runners-up get nothing. We’ve had two pastings off these and ironically we need to summon the energy of Sunderland in 1973 when they beat Leeds. As a Newcastle fan, I just want to win. Hopefully the old lads have it in their locker. We absolute belt out Abide with Me. Help of the helpless is practically our slogan.

Lopez! What is this unfolding before my eyes? We’re getting battered but Keith B-Real is keeping everything out. This is our day. More and more is thrown at us but with time ticking down, Ole runs through and dinks the keeper. Hand me that trophy.

fa cup final

Oh it’s a shocker for sure.

shock defeat part 2

Ladies and gentlemen, your FA Cup winners:

squad end of season

We had a goal scorer, which helped.

goals S13

40 year old Fernando being the star man is the type of story we all love.

averages S13

No awards for anybody…but who expected a player from a little known Swiss club to take the European Footballer of the year gong?

awards S13

Not too many retirements either. Zarpy will be a miss, Crespo helped us to get here whilst Loko picked up £10k a week for little to no reason.

zarp retiresLoko retirescrespo retires

What a season. We’ll be playing European football next season whilst somehow trying to keep this lot afloat in the Premier League. It’s going to be a whole new experience but I do hope you’ll join us for it, starting next Sunday. Toodles for now!

2 thoughts on “CM9798 Retirement Home – Part 40: Abide with me

  1. I love this blog, every Sunday im refreshing my inbox at 11am. Highlight of my week! Really looking forward to reading about the European adventure. Well done and good to see you reap the rewards of some serious hard graft! Enjoy!

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