The team that just keeps on giving. Welcome back to the Retirement Home, where you join us 12 games into season 14 and for once we aren’t clinging on for dear life in the bottom half of the table. I mean, let’s not go crazy, we’re still 11th, but 11th is not 18th and in the words of Take That, we’re still so young and we hope for more.
We have come a long way, but we’re not too sure where we’ve been. Penalties have proven to be our Greatest Day in years gone by but apparently a 3rd round League Cup tie just isn’t enough pressure for us.
We’ve had success, like Veron scoring this winner against Leeds.
We’ve had good times, like this trip to Cyprus where we were 4-0 up from the first leg and Moreno had to come off with sunburn from having too much of a good time.
But remember this – Nantes in the quarter finals will be a much tougher test.
An away trip to champions Middlesbrough is our chance to Shine and once again we defy the odds to get a valuable point. We are mostly battered but Veron proves it Only Takes a Minute to score a goal (to score a goal).
Shay Given! He’s not quite 35 yet but he soon will be and you have to sign these lads when you have the chance.
Remarkably, Given is thrust into action as Keith B-Real gets injured on International duty. Given spends most of the match holding back the flood but we still succumb to a 2-1 defeat in what I hope is a rare defeat.
We then go to Arsenal and really the cornerstone of this team is giving young Zola a free role behind the striker. “Do what you like” I said to him and he rewards me with a late winner as he completes a double against the Gunners. Couto’s injury is less good.
With our Portugese stalwart out, Everything Changes at home to Leicester. We can’t stop Cox when he’s in this mood and we’re well beaten.
Thankfully Couto is back for the trip to Wolves and he Re-lights our fire as we storm to an easy victory. We have a strangely good record at Wolves.
Solskjaer loves scoring against his former employers and he denies Liverpool all three points. I suspect they’ll want him back for good but he’s doing a great job.
Huddersfield turned us over on the first day of the season so this is a great result for us. They’re up in the European places so maybe we aren’t terrible after all. We score early on and despite getting battered, we Pray for full time and three more valuable points.
We’re the holders of the FA Cup, a title that I’ll never get tired of. People were saying the FA Cup isn’t what it used to be and there was no chance for us in the final against Sunderland, but we won didn’t we. Could it be magic?
A rather more low key affair sees us edge past QPR for a place in round 4.
Two days later and Southampton come from behind to beat us. That’s a blow but we never do well in the quick turnarounds.
3-0 down at home to relegation threatened Hull? It’s like the good old days. We do get it back to 3-2 but it’s all for nothing.
A point at West Ham will do. Just keep ticking towards 40 points!
This is handy too. We have an awful record at Burnley over the years and we trail early on but Lopez and the often forgotten Kevin Gallen get us into round 5. I sometimes think I’ve Said it All in this blog but Bild a bear and Lozano injure each other in the 29th minute. Idiots.
Veron scores against his future employers but Man Utd score a late leveller. Some things never change.
Away to Derby and a right old ding-dong to finish with. I ran out of puns a few games ago but a point on the road is always welcome. Let’s look at the table.
11th. Just where we started. We’re probably not going to go down and we’re certainly not going to win the league. Even our goal difference is zero.
We’ve been on this path of life for so long. We’ll head into the final part of season 14 next week with a European Quarter Final to contend and we’re still in the FA Cup, though we have to face Newcastle which looks awkward at best looking at the table. Still, never pretend that it’s not real. Someday, this will all be someone else’s dream. See you next week.
*With apologies for the Take That puns. It just happened.