The Retirement Academy – Part 8: King of Kings

Good morning! Welcome back to the Retirement Academy, where season 3 has started in the typical “mixed bag” fashion. We’re 10th, which let me tell you I would snap your hand off for after surviving via the dreaded mega playoff league last season. We’ve got the regen of Ian Rush doing his best to keep our heads above water but with our self-set rules of 5 old & 5 young in every matchday squad, it’s always going to be difficult.

Things take a decided turn for the better when Cat Deeley and Rush Jnr score twice in four minutes to see off NAC. That’s more like it.

An away win at AZ is probably our greatest ever result. Is that an exaggeration? I can’t think of many better. Spoons is at it again with a second half winner and our usual hopeless defence holds firm in the face of adversity when Bakero is dismissed.

Our third win in 10 days concludes probably the greatest spell in our history. Bakero will be out for a month though and we don’t really have a backup, unless you count Mark Bowen (which I don’t).

Heerenveen are having a great season but we’ve won three in a row. I’m not going to back down and go all defensive, I mean why shoul…oh we’re 4-0 down at half time. That might have been an error. It finishes 5-2.

Common sense prevails at home to Ajax and we stick a third centre half in. The “Dave’s a genius” t-shirts are barely out of production when we’re 2-1 down. It finishes 4-1.

Well at least that’s over. Willem II are thankfully not as good but still better than us. We’re missing Bakero in front of the centre backs.

Utrecht away is going quite well when Rush junior gives us the lead but from the kick off they equalise and soon find ourselves behind. In chasing the game the roof caves in an we lose 4-1. That’s 4 defeats on the spin.

Roda JC though is a game we are capable of winning. We take the lead but once again concede immediately. However we rally and find ourselves 3-1 up after King scores for the first time in a while and some guy called Plet scores an OG. Lovely stuff. Then we concede 3 in 6 minutes. That shouldn’t be possible. De Wolf gets sent off, they score from the free kick and I flat out refuse to sing Duran Duran afterwards. A line has been crossed.

The cup will provide us a welcome distraction. Right? Wrong. We lose 5-1 at Groningen. Wow.

PSV away is one of the fixtures to avoid. Marc Degryse gets a hat-trick, which is humiliating for a few reasons. Firstly, they got him from Sheffield Wednesday and he only got 4 league goals for them in real life. Well he’s got 3 here already. Apparently he’s nicknamed “The Little One” which makes it all the worse. To round off a crap day, I rushed Bakero back from injury thinking he would solve all my problems. I now have more problems.

Thank goodness for Twente. It’s a win! More importantly, not a loss.

Clubs are in for big Marl. Big bucks as well, £1.2m. The rules are I have to accept but the silly man rejects the move. Good job I don’t need the money, Ike will be fuming though.

Feyenoord away is the third fearful fixture. Keeping it to just two is probably like a win for us.

It’s the mobile phone company away in the last match before the winter break. I love this country. We go 1-0 down in a tight contest before Spoons equalises and earns us a point.

Partick Thistle have released Moses. He’s alright but a defensive midfielder who can’t tackle probably isn’t the best. He’ll do.

Clemente is off as well. Two clubs came in for him and we pocket £250k for the young Spaniard.

Even more clubs are in for Marl. He says no to them all…what is wrong with him? Actually don’t answer that.

This old lad is in to increase the options up front. We have lots of young options but very few old options.

Back after the break and Rushy misses a penalty after 6 minutes but at least their goalkeeper has been sent off. That’ll help. Obviously we go 1-0 down but Mary equalises. Probably should have won that.

I don’t know where MVV is but I do know they are below us in the table. We’re behind but we quickly equalise and it becomes a tense evening. I think we need a win so I’m throwing on all the forwards we’ve got. The Micker arrives to score his first goal in a while to give us the lead with 13 minutes to go but as is our tradition it’s soon 2-2. Not to be deterred, young Lopez Vallejo pops up with the winner, my subs have won the day and the t-shirts go back into production.

On that rare high note, let’s see where that leaves us.

Er, exactly where we started the update. 10th. But importantly, 9 points above the playoff zone and with 14 games to go, I would be livid if we got dragged into it. We have the worst defence in the league, however. Ajax are somewhat better than the rest – but look at Roda and consider how we really should have beaten them.

Another of the old lads is off – Viv’s got the Chelsea gig. Lucky Viv.

With that, I’ll leave you to consider what has happened over the previous 900 words. See you next Sunday for the season 3 finale.

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