Cheering Up Peter Reid – Part Four: The Biggest Derby In The County | @KingOfTheRooks

Well hello there marras! Here we are again at Sunderland. It’s the arse-end of the season, but if you missed the journey so far, catch-up from the beginning here. In similar circumstances to current life, nobody wants to sign, which makes me worry deeply about securing promotion. There’s a little way to go yet.

We keep going further than real life Sunderland as Tranmere are brushed aside, Dichio one step further to 40 goals.

Everything was coming up Newcastle…

But a shock means we’ll play Newcastle Lite aka Bolton. Back in the league, 24th placed Bury come undone against a Dichio double..

The man is a far cry from his real-life self in 97/98, a CM9798 revelation. We head to St. James Park on the Metro to save the lads legs. Weary and deflated with Ball still out, Summerbee banned and Stewart cup-tied. Given the difference…no, literally.

Not unassailable, but highly unlikely against an in-form Shay Given. The virtuous circle is complete, as we beat Bolton, defeaters of Newcastle, in the FA Cup.

The return leg at Roker Park is a 1-1 draw and Newcastle go through to the pointless cup final with additional and fully deserved bragging rights. “But we’ll be back again next year with Perez, Malkin, Melville, Clark, Ord and Ball…Stew-art, Summerbee, Gray, Quinn and Kev, Bridges, Danny and John Mullin…every Mackem’s on the….”

Being 5-1 up at half-time makes this a poor result. Norwich are defeated and we march onward. We’ll face West Ham in the quarters of a competition Sunderland didn’t really make it very far in.

The lads choke under the thick clouds of Middlesbrough in the Wear-Tees return. I’ll forgive them, but there’s only one more league defeat allowed before they become the underclass of 98! Disco and Dichio make amends at Portsmouth, the latter grabbing goal number 39 of the season.

The FA Cup is no place to hide, but we do in fact; it’s an incredible disappearing act from our strikers.

The pink slice is put away for another day. We’re 11 points clear of the playoffs, hopefully we aren’t dragged in. Wolves 4 points behind us. We proceed to get champ-man’d, the killer blow as we’ve lost more than in real life.

A draw with Ipswich follows as the stallion adds to his tally. We follow up with a complete performance against unlikely promotion chasers Tranmere.

We lose Perez at Charlton, and as ever, the lesson is, never play with a ‘keeper if you haven’t got one/your sub ‘keeper is rubbish:

Huddersfield are dispatched and we secure a dreaded playoff place. Please, not Wembley. We continue without a ‘keeper and West Brom are sent packing. We even make alterations in the next game to propel Dichio towards 50:

4-1 at Swindon and the goals are flowing. It is meaningful.

So, despite the losses, we are better. How do we prove that? Why yes, by losing to Oxford with a former Sunderland man scoring the winning goal (Gray). The next two results secure the title.

On our way, on our way, to the premier, we’re on our way. How do we get there? We know that now. On the back of a giant half-Italian goal-machine. Super Danny Dichio.

Charlton…Charlton who? What a relief, and not the result I’d immediately expected. We’ve had to play about, 2-3-1-2-2 let us down a lot (perhaps the players aren’t worthy?). And the big question now, will anyone even want to join our season earlier than anticipated Premier League escapade? The squad is okay:

Phillips was actually improving in the latter stages and got 8 goals in the end. Stewart managed 11 in half a season, probably not too dissimilar to his real life time at Sunderland, good but not great. Hands off our Richard!

Fredgaard, Butler and Flo arrive in the close season. A clubless cooking mogul rejects us again and Eric Roy is still not interested. Dichio is surprisingly not the highest scorer in the league this season:

And with that marras, we’re done for today! We’ve walked in Peter’s shoes, and we’ve certainly achieved more, despite facing similar defensive challenges. Will Dichio hack it in the Premier League? We’ll find out soon! See you next time for more Scouse cheer.

You can follow Andrew on twitter: @KingOfTheRooks

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