CM9798 Retirement Home – Part 41: European Cruise

Well good day to you and welcome to yet another season of the Retirement Home. This will be a season with a difference – not only did we stay in the Premier League with our old lads, we only won the bloody FA Cup. Somebody call Rob Brydon because we’re going on a European cruise.

prem table final S13

The board aren’t daft. We’ve got some money in the bank and a discount on seat installation means we get 5000 new ones for just £1.8m. So that’s nice.

new seats s13

We’re in business. £275k will buy us…more than you’d think. But almost £10m in the bank is a sign of how far we’ve come from those seasons where we were up to our necks in debt.

275k cash injected

This says more about the standard of the Cup Winners Cup than it does us. Will it help? Who knows.

CWC seeding

Anyway, we need some more recruits. The fourth Joonas brother will help.

kolkka signs

Ricardo Sa Pinto probably won’t feature much but look at that technique.

sa pinto signs

Versatility is the name of the game here, not least because his name has too many letters for my liking. He’s actually a bit crap but you know the club motto by now.

bjerrer

This fella might be alright.

Almeyda signs

Giggs shows his famous loyalty and leaves to manage Leeds. I’m sure the Man Utd legend will be well received at Elland Road.

Giggs to Leeds

As fun as fighting relegation is, I’ve decided to treat myself to a carer. Paolo Zola, who looks not dissimilar to Daddy Gianfranco, is the man for the job. £900k is a steal, and £50k more than we’ve ever spent on a player.

Zola

Another ridiculous scenario here is that we’re in the Charity Shield. What’s more, we only bloody win it. I didn’t expect that (or Middlesbrough to win the league).

charity shield

That’s more like it, starting the season with a heavy loss at Huddersfield.

hudders away s14

…quickly avenged with a home win over Southampton.

southampton home s14

…and then wiped out with a humping from Hull.

hull away S14

Calm things down with a 0-0 draw. That’s my boys.

west ham home S14

Our first cruise will take us to Sweden in a few weeks. Can’t wait.

CWC R1

Man Utd bounced back from their relegation by finishing 2nd in Division 1, sticking with Fergie throughout. Two former/future Man Utd players put us 2-1 up but we have to settle for a point. I’m ok with that.

man utd away S14

We manage to blow a two goal lead at home to Derby. Butt Plug equalises and Couto gets himself a ban. Not a great day.

derby home S14

Another pesky 0-0, this time at Villa Park. It could be worse.

villa away S14

Europe time! I’ve decided to go full strength for leg 1 with promises of a rest in Sweden if we can win handsomely. And with that promise of a cruise in two weeks, the lads put in one of the performances of…the season? Year? Club’s history? Not sure where to draw the line.

AIK home

Another 0-0. The increased capacity aren’t always getting value for money.

mackems home S14

The travelling fans though are rewarded for being insane enough to follow this collection of journeymen around the country when Juan Veron takes aim from 30 yards. What a time to be alive.

toon away S14

Errr

bruce

Off we go to Sweden then and with the first team afforded extra time on whatever you do for fun in Sweden, three reserves make names for themselves including first goals for the club for Almeyda and Gallen. Into round 2…

AIK away

To Cyprus! I’m fine with that, it could have been a lot worse.

CWC R2

Favourite score? 0-0 with Blackburn.

blackburn home S14

An International break might help us rest some weary limbs but it makes no difference, 0-0 with struggling Walsall.

walsall home S14

Same formula for the first leg as we did in Sweden – win handsomely and enjoy some Cyprus sunshine. Is it hot in Cyprus in October? That isn’t my problem. We win 4-0 and I’m starting to realise the only thing that motivates these ageing warriors is the promise of a cruise.

larn home

This is an excellent win. Our defence is fantastic these days but we get the added bonus of Solskjaer netting what turns out to be the winner.

sheff wed away s14

Sheff Wed are kind of a big deal these days, so we get the shock defeat graphic. Bit strong.

sheff wed shock defeat

All of that leaves us 11th, with more games played than goals scored. The Micker will be turning in his…house.

prem top October S14

Still, we’re 6 points clear of the bottom 3 and hard to beat. It’s the stuff of dreams. We’re still in Europe and donuts are plentiful. This is our utopia.

Join me next week to see how we mess it all up.

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