AFC United – Part 15: Chasing Shadows | @Matt_C_Wills

Happy Monday! Here’s Matt with the end of the season for AFC United…

Bank Holiday Monday – time for bbq’s, beers and tales of David Brown. We’re into the final Paul Furlong of Season 5 and when we left things last week, AFC united we’re battling to improve on 5th place in the table. We’re 8pts adrift and don’t look keen to make it up.

Father Phil decides to abandon our divine quest to glory, and take up a post in the parish of Gillingham…

One of Rob Tait’s players (possibly) tries to out do us in the FA Cup but King Erik makes the difference. Patrick Vieira playing up front with Rory Delap is an intriguing tactic.

Villa are just above us in the table but the chasm feels bigger somehow

Sharpie shuffles off to a good start against Wednesday but we have to Twiss and shout late into the game to come away with a point.

Better times against Leeds. I almost forgot we had Michael Owen

The ghost of Joan Rivers tries to take advantage of Hall getting his Oates early, but when he gets sent off I can’t go for that (no can do). When we play well, we’re great.

Heskey swaps title rivals late into the season

He’s not even on the bench when we visit Old Trafford and David Brown is the only difference between the sides. I’ve decided to switch to 5-3-2 and it seems to be helping.

That win lifts us just above Fergie and United in the table and suddenly we’re only 4 points adrift. Can we mount a late title surge?

While we contemplate our title credentials, rivals Villa dispatch Newcastle in the League Cup Final.

Newcastle looking good for a return to the big time after their shock relegation in Season 1. I really don’t want Leicester and Kasey Keller to face us again though.

Meanwhile, we learn we’ll be up against old foes Leeds in the FA Cup Semi’s.

David Brown seals another final date despite the best efforts of John Thaw and Dennis Waterman.

Fergie in the final – had to be, didn’t it?

Blackburn are duking it out for the title as well and this result only favours our rivals really. We haul ourselves back into it each but can’t seem to find that killer blow.

The 5-3-2 seems to make us a bit more solid at the back with veteran Blanc marshalling Duncan and Hall but we seem to shy in front of goal – Brown really has gone missing this season.

Nevland seems to be the only player who knows where the goal is lately and we should be doing better.

Nevland finds his groove against Wolves….

….but those dropped points more or less put us out of the running for the title. Even runners up spot seems too far away and a place in the Eufa Cup is the best we can aim for now

It’s good against Coventry but the damage is already done – where have you been hiding Brown??

Ooh, and that’s a bad injury…..

Bank holiday weekend and the boys go too heavy on the beer and bbq and Neil Shipperley makes us pay dearly…

Aston Villa are a win away from wrapping up the title while Blackburn are hanging onto 2nd place. Liverpool with a game in hand have an outside chance at the title, but it’s not in their hands at all.

That game in hand is against Liverpool and they’re not giving up without a fight as a Fowler double gives them a fighting chance.

Man Utd get done over too meaning we have a chance in our final game to move above them, but it’s not in our own hands.

Lazio dominate in the Eufa Cup Final. It was all over within half an hour for Rangers.

Final game of the season and this time around i don’t rest my first 11, but to no avail. We’re out foxed despite Bozzy’s best efforts.

That 9 million will certainly come in handy……

Man United win their last game and we’ll have to settle for 5th. It’s drama at the top though as Villa can only draw at Sheffield Wednesday and Liverpool fight past Watford to claim first place and the title. Emile Heskey must be absolutely gutted…

It’s not the best title defence ever, but maybe this is where we should be and last season was just a case of momentum? Liverpool snatching the title on the final day and end up winning it by a goal, incredible stuff…

At the bottom, Teddy’s Spurs survive but we wave goodbye to rivals City.

Liverpool can’t add to their title in the Cup Winners Cup final. They make it hard for themselves with a red card and they obviously haven’t been playing enough attention to Nikolai’s tactics test to get a tune out of Paddy K.

It’s FA Cup Final time and I decide to revert to the old 2-3-1-2-2 Direct

Man Utd never seem to deviate from the 4-4-2 passing and Beckham has obviously done something to annoy Fergie and get himself benched.

It’s a listless first half from both sides and not much action for the spectators

In the end it’s Ryan Giggs who settles matters and it all just sums up an underwhelming season after the highs of last year.

Juventus dominate the champions league final. Barca could do with Phillip in the dug out…

Cooke and Owen make the England Squad for the World Cup but unsurprisingly David Brown misses out.

His form has really dropped off this season. That’s what you get for randomised stats though….

The fact that Erik doubled David’s goal tally tells the whole story really. Henrik Larsson was was a bit of a let down too…

Danny Hall is still being overlooked by England – is he the new Steve Bruce? David Brown with a worse avergae rating than Clayton Blackmore……

No chance!

With the season over, a few of the old guard decide to flee and I can’t say I can’t say I blame them…

Hoggie couldn’t get a game and when he did it never went well.

Clayton was excellent for us. For about 12 games 2 seasons ago.

I decide to bring father Phil back into the fold for £275k less than I sold him for. Prophet on that.

We also welcome a fresh face through the door. The versatile Dube comes in and I’ll get a chance to look at him before the CM Cup starts this summer.

In the World Cup, England make it as far as the Semi-finals but Cooke and Owen are barely involved.

They do edge the 3rd place play off though and Hoddle’s job looks secure for now, unless he goes and says something stupid.

Italy go on to win it.

Time for the end of season awards and our only recognition is Erik getting top scorer in a season of general disappointment.

So there endeth Season 5. We started on a high but ended it like a wet fart. Still, we have European football to look forward to next season (I hope) and maybe Dion Dublin can be the catalyst for a revivial next season? Join me next Monday to find out…

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