The CM9798 Retirement Academy – Part 3: Marathon Men

Welcome! We’ve already arrived at the final part of season 1, the Dutch second tier has been a tough nut to crack for our old/young squad but we’re in the mix, and isn’t that all you could ask for at this stage?

19 games doesn’t sound like a lot does it? There are 15 remaining, just the Dutch calendar is crazy with all those cup games at the start. We also have a month off for Christmas, which is am fully behind. During that time, the Dutch transfer window closes and Chris Waddle is sacked by Burnley. Sounds ideal.

As if that’s not enough, I opt to bring in Bryan Robson to take our squad to the maximum size. I’m thinking of a switch to the MW.

We actually have a lot of injuries which confirms my decision to move to the MW

Whether it’s temporary or not will depend on how we perform at home to fellow playoff chase Dordrecht ’90. Sometimes the clothes do not make the man

Well that was a disaster. Robson gets an early red on his debut and we’re 2-0 down at the break. We revert to our tried and tested formation, albeit with one forward, and we’re soon level at 2-2. We look the more likely to win it but Hoogendorp goes down the other end to seal the points. For goodness sake.

Against my better judgment, we stick with the MW for the trip to AZ. The more youthful Arthur Kox is in for Captain Marvel but the result is much worse. Well you can’t get worse than no points but with 22 shots to our 4, we’re lucky to get nil

We’re somehow still in the playoffs but we’re in atrocious form. Back to the tried and tested I think!

Back to winning ways! Kerry Dixon and Micky Quinn lead from the front but who gets a perfect 10? Captain Viv Anderson. 41 years young.

Right then, as the news that Mark Chamberlain has picked up a 3 month injury filters through, Mick Quinn starts a 2 match suspension for disciplinary points, probably down to yellow cards but the misdemeanours could be anything really.

We really miss him. Katie Price scores the only goal and the TOSS keeper gets man of the match. One step forward, two steps back.

It’s an absolutely crazy start to the game against Zwolle. Three goals in a little over a minute. Two for us, one for them. Dixon makes it 3-1 just four minutes later and Twiss puts the game beyond doubt. He’s attracting interest from Arsenal, which worries me.

I’m so sick of the injuries these guys keep getting

Dixon also has bruised ribs, presumably the same incident, so both sit out the trip to RBC which makes me think it’s a dry city or something. Young David Alain is thrust in to the limelight and he doesn’t let us down

A couple of months for Sirakov is absolutely dreadful news for everyone except Chris Waddle.

Honestly man, you brittle old b*stards. Your son Jonathan wouldn’t be like this.

Life without Sirakov gets off to an inauspicious start as we fall behind at home to playoff chasing Cambuur. Even though we level straight away the delightfully named Gregory Playfair puts us 2-1 behind. We’re so stretched for old lads at the minute Hennie Meijer climbs off the bench to claim us a point only for Twiss to nick a winner in the last minute. Lordy.

Probably won’t earn that Dutch national recall but he’s done us a solid today.

Er, I legitimately have no idea who this is.

Turns out, he’s a goalkeeper. Betterton has been very average so maybe it’s time for Robertino to get a go, I’ve always rated him. Honest.

That rushing out stat seems like it will be costly. Nevertheless, against my better judgment, he makes his debut and concedes 3 at Den Haag, who are just above us in the table.

He retains his place for the visit of Den Bosch. He has little to do and we labour to a 2-0 win. At this stage, points are more important than performances.

Telstar next. I’ve already made the “phone company” gag but get this…their manager is called Harry van den Ham. Funny name or not, we slip to a 3-2 defeat. The goalkeeping situation is killing us.

Bottom of the league Excelsior take the lead. This just isn’t working for us. We do eventually get our arses into gear and end up winning 3-1 but bloody hell, lads.

With 4 games to go, we’ve got a playoff place pretty much nailed down. I have no idea how it works mind but it’s a 6 team playoff.

Maybe I should start planning for these big games and so we switch to the 3 centre back version of this formation for the trip to third place Veendam. It actually works…

Twiss is out for a few weeks and the Micker a month. Please recover for the playoffs…

Emmen offer little and we defeat them quite easily.

That secures us a playoff place and oddly, manager of the month. Must have been a quiet month.

We’ve hit some form since going to these three centre halves. VVV get hammered.

We finish the normal season at Go Ahead Eagles, who are the team with all the forward lefts. We rest most of our team and they win easily to finish 2nd. I don’t really want to play them again in the playoffs.

Third it is then

So here’s some news. 16th and 17th from the top division are also in these playoffs.

We play each of these buggers twice. That’s 6 more games. Why is everything so drawn out? I’m assuming the two group winners go up? The top two division sides are in the same group which seems unfair for them. The longer this goes the more chance there is of us picking up injuries and although Twiss and the Micker have recovered, Sirakov is out for 3 months.

So then, off to Emmen and 2-0 down. The old lads are made for this. Kezza scores twice and the Waddler rifles one in from 30 yards. That is a brilliant start.

These games take place so late the game is doing that bloody shortlisting thing. We host the Eagles when it eventually finishes and…I hate these guys. Nothing about them suggests they should be any good but here we are

Obviously the red didn’t help.

Why now? We’re a bit busy.

The tribunal gets us an extra £150k

Veendam away and I think we need at least a draw. At 2-0 down it’s as good as over but somehow the lads claw themselves back into it.

Eagles lost at home to Emmen! It’s all to play for.

Melgarejo has been called up to the Paraguay World Cup squad. He’ll probably have to go to that before this nonsense finishes.

Thankfully he stays and plays the game of his life at home to Emmen

Veendam draw 0-0 with the Eagles, we’re top!

Presented without comment:

Always nice to see this rare screen:

And indeed this little icon

Off we go to the dreaded Eagles and we are begging for a draw. If I ever see Jan Kromkamp again, it’ll be too soon

I think I hate him. Twiss out for a few months now.

It’s out of our hands. GAE will go to Emmen and probably win. If they can just do us a favour, I’ll write you every day Chandler Bing. 15, Emmen Road, Emmen. Meanwhile, we have no Twiss (injured), no Duncan (suspended) and no Melgarejo (playing in a World Cup).

We do our bit


There is absolutely zero confirmation of what any of this means.

Twiss leaves on the old big club release

Scotland win the World Cup. Yup.

I’ll level with you. I’ve badly misjudged the number of games in this update and my word count target has been obliterated. So I’m going to leave everything in suspense and pick up next week with hopefully confirmation of our promotion and how on earth I’m going to replace Michael Twiss. Bye for now!

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