AFC United – Part 13: Linton Travel Tavern | @Matt_C_Wills

Happy Monday! They say retaining a Premier League title is the hardest thing in football. Ok, I don’t know who said it but I’ve heard it. Can Matt make it happen amidst a backdrop of Champions League football?

Division 3 Champions, Division 2 Champions, League Cup Runners Up, Division 1 Champions, FA Cup Winners, Charity Shield Runners Up, Premier League Champions, Cup Winners Cup Winners.

We did all of that in 4 seasons. All of that with ex-Man Utd players. It’s been amazing, but I’m hungry for more. I’ve grown to love these players. The goals of David Brown, the defensive rock that is Danny Hall. Terry Cooke and Jesper Blomqvist patrolling those inverted winger positions. George Switzer. Alan Tonge. These names join Nevland, Duncan, Notman etc…in the CM97/98 Hall of Fame for me. Can we go further, or is it all just a glorious peak and our experiment will be found out, lets see….

You’ll recall last time out no-one wanted to retire, we built 5,000 seats and in came Laurent Blanc and Juan Veron, so we’re looking set for the season ahead.

Sharpe is back from injury woes and David Brown has plundered 163 goals in 183 games so far. Could he hit 37 this season and make it a magical 200?

Its Man United again in the Charity Shield, but although it’s a tight affair, Sharp is not that sharp and Berg isn’t ice-cool enough to sink their penalties in the shoot out and it’s advantage Fergie in the season curtain raiser.

I’m sticking with Ince in the middle for the moment, but not forgetting my Work Permit faux pas with Quinton Fortune, I make sure to remember to give Veron a run from the bench

I decide to spend over half my transfer budget on a big name signing, this guys got a bright future ahead I reckon….

I turned down Italy in the summer, so they opt for gentleman Roy.

Hmm, bit of a shaky start here. No offense to City, but should be beating them here.

We always seem to lose to Sunderland, so this is a welcome turn around. Sunderland’s second scorer turns out to be equidistant between London and Norwich. 7pts from 9 isn’t anything to grumble about really

Draw time in the Champions League and we’re up against The Old Lady (who I know well), the Greek Trio and Sparta Prague

Leeds obviously weren’t keen on a United team from Manchester winning a European trophy at their place recently so hit out for some revenge

Bozzy puts on a show against his former club, but it’s an otherwise uninspiring stalemate

This doesn’t feel like the beginning of a dynasty. Are we Blackburn in disguise?

I like it when things just make sense in this game

It’s a bright start in Europe against the Spartans and the £750k will come in handy

Teddy was not ready for this

Roy-less Liverpool put up a good fight

Owen stakes his claim for a starting spot with the opening goal in Greece, but a couple of injuries worry me.

All ex United players scoring here

O’Kane is KO’d

Juan more for the treatment room

Hmmm, I tempted by this. It would cover our outlay on Michael Owen and Rodlund is getting on a bit, but I say no for now….

Suker-punched at Palace. Our form is a bit up and down at the moment, maybe 2-3-1-2-2 has run its course in this save?

It’s a bad day when Juventus come to town. Sibierski is ex-Utd in this save and it was always up hill after Ince got sent off. A Chance for Veron to stake a claim in midfield.

2nd place at the half way stage. We’re still in it.

Another blank against Man Utd. Something just doesn’t feel quite right at the moment

Only 5 shots on target out of 17 is a worrying return.

We’re a third of the way through the season already. Man Utd obviously want their crown back. We’re doing ok, but too many draws and I’ve noticed David Brown is scoring as regularly. I wonder if signing Michael Owen sent him the wrong message?

We’re conceding a fair few goals too. Is it the centrebacks? Is it Bozzy? Is Paul Ince finally showing his age?

Join me next Monday to see if we can get this title defense back on track or if we’ve hit the buffers already….

Cheers!

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