The Retirement Academy – Part 14: Dutch Pizza Hut

Hello! Season 5 is heating up for the Retirement Academy after we started a season by not being horrendous. We sit third, though there are 27 games for things to go tits up. We’ll witness roughly half of them today.

I can already see the unravelling beginning. A home draw with Veendam is scarcely deserved but Uncle Bulgaria’s late leveller is better than nothing.

Den Haag also comfortably beat us. It’s only 2-1 but again we’re thankful to Betterton for keeping us in it for large parts of the game.

The misery looks set to continue as we go down to 10 and labour against Sparta but Spoonz pops up with an injury time winner to lift the gloom.

Well look who came crawling back! Sacked by Oviedo, we can bring Bakero back to protect our defence.

Groningen have given us some goings over and the most Romanianly (not a word) named man alive has us trailing again. We’re awarded a penalty and basically every player we have has missed one for us over the history of this wretched club. Chris Waddle expresses a desire to right some wrongs but instead ends up fielding calls from the Dutch Pizza Hut during half time.

We lead against Roda and they go down to 10 so that’s good news isn’t it? No, Ratoslav Mores scores a hat-trick despite having a shooting stat of 4. Great.

Clearly, a change is needed and Nikolai has come up with a new tactic. At this stage, it’s got to be worth a go.

Holy Rowbotham, take a picture because we’ve won in the FUJIfilm Stadion! I hope it isn’t a fluke.

Oh off he goes, back to manage Elche. See you when you get sacked again.

Utrecht are swatted aside. We’re coming back strong like Mystique.

Another old defensive midfielder has become available. Actually the perfect man for this new formation, welcome aboard.

He’s very inconsiderately playing a World Cup playoff for Poland on the day of our Pints Cup game. For once, we’ve drawn a second tier side but once again we go behind. We’ve never been past this stage in the previous 4 seasons of our miserable existence but Boaty equalises and we hang on for extra time and fundamentally penalties. As is the way, we can’t score penalties in 90 minutes but in a shootout scenario we’re like prime Germany.

Hmm now this is interesting. We win 1-0 away at PSV and I worry this tactic is going to change our lives forever.

Hold the phone. We only just manage to sneak a point at home to Vitesse and the celebrations are cancelled.

Norwich bid for McPherson who has scored 10 goals for Cardiff. I can’t say no, such is Ike’s law. Goodbye.

We’re back on the hype train with a 3-0 win over Fortuna Sittard. Even old Michael Laudrup scores twice, watch out Europe we’re coming.

Behind to Heerenveen? Who cares. Down to 10 men? Actually a plus. Rudy gets two yellows in the opening 8 minutes but all it does is inspire Deeley-Watt, which sounds like a unit of measurement. Spoonz late winner is well received, it’s always nice to win before Christmas and more importantly, a month off.

We have a squad space but the transfer deadline is in the middle of January, before his 35th birthday. As he’s still playing in real life I want to get him now. I promise I won’t play him until he turns 35.

OH MAN ANYBODY BUT HIM. A whole month too, that’s rubbish.

SHIN SPLINTS!? Lisa needs braces. That’s a double blow.

As I loaned out Paul Heald junior and the deadline has passed, I can’t recall him. So rather embarrassingly we’re down to old Songo’o, whose arms have fallen off. He ships 7 against Feyenoord. A month of this, ffs.

It will presumably end our Cup run too but somehow we turn into classic Brazil away to AZ and secure a quarter final spot. I did not expect that.

5th! That’s brilliant but it could have been even better before that Feyenoord mess. They’re 15th too, a true fall from grace. What we need is Betterton to be fixed as soon as possible.

The squad is full. It’s horrific really, horribly unbalanced but there’s plenty to be positive about.

One last item of news is that we have been drawn away from home yet again and this time it’s Roda JC. They’re good. I don’t look forward to it.

Well that was a full update. A lot has gone on there, a brief slump in form that was immediately fixed thanks to Nikolai’s latest tactic. If Betterton recovers quickly, we might achieve our aim of European qualification. Do join me next week to see if we manage to do just that. Toodles!

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