Tales From Wales – Part 9: Lost in France | @Matt_C_Wills

Good day! Welcome to a new week here on cm9798.co.uk, where we head to Wales somewhat earlier than Ant & Dec did for this year’s I’m a Celebrity. We’ll find Matt trying to make an all Welsh team a success in Cardiff with Division 1 being a tough nut to crack…

Hello, and welcome back to Wales on this fine Monday morning. Cardiff are stuttering through life in Division 1, but for now, that doesn’t matter because we’ll be leading Wales into Euro 2000. Lots to discuss and much to look forward to. Shall we?

Here’s where we are at present, not going down, not going up by the looks of things.

Ho, ho, whats all this? Not on your Nelly (Furtado) Fulham. There would be mutiny at Ninian Park if I let Dale go.

Phenomenal in our rise to Division 1, I’d struggle to replace this guy

In the FA Cup though its his strike partner that takes the plaudits against Coventry and we’re nose bleeding into the 5th round.

I’ll be keeping an eye on Rob Page.

Another date with the Premier League and it’ll be Glenn Hoddle’s new charges.

Oh bollocks.

He’s definitely going to be missed. Busy day for Crocodile Mundee.

Time for the World Cup qualifying draw and another round of games with Bielorussia. Luckily these are the days before Maxim Tsigalko.

While Graham is out, I tell Scott Morgan this is his big chance to fill the void and he doesn’t disappoint against Charlton.

FA Cup time rolls around again and Wigg cancels out veteran Rai and we’ll have to do it all again at Elland Road.

Young Morgan is on the double again against Bury

Lots of goals, clean sheets – is this really us?

Ah, there we are…we were in dream land for 51 minutes, but there you go.

Welsh manager on the move alert

Our travels to Loftus Road after our FA Cup ejection are low key and we come away with a point against 10 man QPR. I put my Shakin’ Stevens cassettes on in the coach on the way home to cheer everyone up, but they just swear at me.

More single points on our travels

But at home our form is unravelling

We’re not much better away either

Back at home we fall narrowing to Sunderland although it would probably have been more were it not for Martyn Margetson. Riedle rolling back the years for the victors

This is a double blow for club and country

We don’t notice too much though as Kuwait take a pasting

Injuries are mounting up now

Spongebob’s abode puts us under at the gap

League Cup final time and QPR somehow find themselves in the last 2, but who has a chance against Shearer and Ronaldo?

Spurs come along to take my versatile midfielder from me. He wasn’t getting any games and Pat van Den Hauwe had told him great things about the ale near White Hart Lane.

Another Welshman on the move is Craig Bellamy to join John Toshacks Welsh contingent. Villa used to be Irish in my day, McGrath, Staunton, Townsend, Houghton, Cascarino. Maybe I should find out if Erik Nevland has a Welsh grandmother….

Someone who definitely has a Welsh grandmother is Iwan Roberts who comes in to fill the front line gap created by Graham’s injury.

He’s no help against Oxford and we haven’t scored for 5 whole games now. 450 minutes. 7 and a half hours of football. That’s the equivalent of listening to This Ole House by Shakey 175 times, and I should know.

Goals, look at them, lovely goals, and goals mean points, and we definitely need those right now.

More goals, and a clean sheet to boot!

Goals? Check. Clean sheet? Check. Lovely stuff.

Young Haworth takes centre stage against lowly San Marino and we’re in fine form all round.

Have we broken the International Weekend curse?

Iwan gets his first goal since joining and its against his old club, you can’t write that narrative.

It’s our final league game of the season and we beat Hampions Man City 3-1 at home. We finish 11th, but in my excitement I forgot to screenshot it before the end of season update. Man City and Watford promoted. Man Utd with the Premiership, if you’re wondering.

In the Uefa Cup Final, Leeds, our foes in the FA Cup overcome a Ronaldo-less Inter and thats not a bad season for ex-England manager Hoddle.

Real Madrid dominate Spurs, hard luck Marc Williams.

In the FA Cup, Division One champs do a double of sorts. Newcastle missing the goals of Shearer I’m guessing.

The Champions League is a tight affair, but Juve prevail.

With all that excitement out of the way, it’s time to prepare for the Euro’s with some warm up games. Andorra are no match for our Red Dragons.

Big Kev has been a great servant after coming out of retirement, but time to put him out to stud.

Holland are a bit more of an opponent compared to Andorra. There’s no shame in losing to a Bergkamp hat-trick though, is there?

Rhys Wilmot follows Big Kev out the Green Door.

Giggs gives me a fright. He might be back for the latter stages of the tournament – if we are too.

Our first match is against EIRE (or Aston Villa as I used to call them). We have a great chance to claim all 3 pts and set us in motion, but it’s spurned. Do I Knott like that?!

Oh bloody hell.

It’s a brave fight against Italy, but Inzaghi was probably onside for the goal. Probably.

The group makes for simple reading. Win or bust against the Czech’s.

Cash that Czech! We’re heading out, even when Griffiths equalises, but Bellamy swings us through to the next round like a Nine Iron on the Liverpool training ground.

Confirmation we’re through while the Irish take the ferry home.

Quarter final draw and we’re up against the mighty Frenchmen.

Danny Coyne slides into our squad to replace the departed Wilmot and that’s a lovely bit of business.

Well, the screenshot says it all really. We were a bit better in the second half but really it was all over after 15 minutes.

Lost in France as Welsh songstress Bonnie Tyler sang and the title to this part kinda makes sense now, although we actually lost in Amsterdam. Its hard coming up with songs by Welsh artists that fit the narrative, ok?

Roger and out for France, Spain the victors.

I think the goals scored says everything about our 11th place finish.Would we have made the playoffs if we hadn’t had lost that run of games? Maybe.

Average ratings make for grim reading really. Lets not dwell on those.

Instead lets admire the goalscoring prowess of Cardiff legend 103 goals in 3 seasons at a rate of a goal every 1.38 games or every 124 minutes – the same length as a Shakin Stevens concert…

I really should have given him an international cap.

Awards time

And now he’ll never get that cap. Shame on Bobby Gould (me)

Another Welsh striker hangs up his boots

And another. Regen hunting in the off season then for me.

In comes Kevin Ratcliffe’s stunt double.

Cassandra’s old man joins us with the same skill set as Mark Hughes

Rushie Mark 2 joins the ranks.

That’s it for the end of Season 3, but don’t worry, I’ll be back next Monday for another tilt at promotion to the big time, especially now I have the regens of Hughes and Rushie to bed in. Hope we won’t miss Carl Dale’s goals too much, what a legend he turned out to be, cheers!

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