Greetings! We’re coming up to the end of the season here on cm9798.co.uk and we’ll be having our traditional curtain closer (is that a thing?) to round off an incredible year of writing.
This is the 2021 CM Cup – and it’s live! (it’s not)
This will be the 5th instalment of the illustrious competition, which I set up as a thank you to those who contribute and help along the way. It’s been a ridiculous year, the pandemic has undoubtedly put a huge strain on lives and many of us have found solace in this great game, whether it be 9798 or one of the many other games in the series which you can read about at champmanfans.co.uk
Cheap pops out of the way, the contributors here have come up with incredible ideas, add-ons, tactics, challenges – you name it, we’ve done it. I’m pleased to say nearly all line up in a 24-strong field going for glory.
Regular readers will know there’s usually a theme for these events. Last year we did Euro 2020 with the 97/98 squads, then Euro 2020 got postponed a year. We did it anyway. This year I decided it would be REALLY FUN to create 24 custom teams who all have the same combined total ability. So all the teams are as good as each other. In theory.
The draw took place in episode 13 of our CM Podcast which you can listen to here (easy Mick) or in the less glamorous surrounds of the graphic below.
I’ll break these down by Group but to give you the gist, I sorted the player database by ability and then randomly assigned them in order to each team. Every team is made up of 21 players – 2 goalkeepers, 5 of the best defenders and midfielders and three of the best forwards. We then added three veterans, a pundit, a specialist who reminded me of the manager and a leveller (basically somebody to round the overall total ability off)
Nathan, Andrew and Ash (2018 Champion) are back in action whilst Harry makes his debut in the competition. The specialist players are Maradona, Dundee, Collymore and Gudjohnsen.
I think this is the group of death in the sense that we know what these four are about. Nick’s exploits have been well documented, Nikolai is a tactical genius, Dave is in his third event and Deano has been tearing it up with Wrexham and Ajax in CLM.
Specialists: Barrett, D Baggio, Reuser, Newsome.
In this group we have Philip making his debut after gracing our Saturday mornings this season. Tom and Dan have actually played every tournament we’ve had, with Dan winning the very first edition in 2017. Zak debuted last year and will be putting the challenge spreadsheet to one side as he gets back in the dugout.
Specialists: Tom Youngs, Emmers, Veron, Deschamps
We find two of the blog squad in Group D. People’s champion KingOfTheRooks will be looking to match his remarkable run to the semis last year with Wales of all teams. He has somewhat of a better side this year. Matt is armed with the Micker but also Steve Wigley – the draft process gave some great scenarios. Friend of the blog Paddy by his own admission will play for fun which can make him a dangerous opponent whilst newcomer Charlemagne can call on Del Piero, Scholes and Pat Nevin.
Specialists: Aimar, Phil Neville, Denilson, Valderrama
Mark is another ever present having been runner up in the first ever event. With Shearer and Gazza forming a Geordie axis and Luis Enrique playing everywhere, this is a very handy all round squad. We also find current champion Rob Tait lurking here who will be hoping Asprilla and Beardsley have good days. S4ooter (Dan) drew the Ronaldo trump card but looks a bit light at the back. Jakob is back for his second year and with Peruzzi in goal, there’s always a chance. A tough group to call!
Specialists: Lee, Merson, Leandro, Molnar.
Last but not least we have Group F. Quickly Kevin have an impressive squad going forwards but will need Schmeichel to be on his game. Ross is a former a champion and will be delighted to have a myriad of Germans suppling Robbie Fowler and Tony Yeboah. Dan Barker’s RetroFootyGames will be glad the injuries are being cleaned up but it somehow seems weak at the back. Tom rounds off the squads with the delightful Alfonso/Jardel strike force.
Specialists: Slater, Yeboah, Solskjaer, Page
As ever a trophy will be the main prize for the winner, here’s the roll of honour:
2020: Rob Tait
2019: Ross Bell
2018: FPL Hints (Ash)
2017: Winkveron (Dan)
When does the tomfoolery begin?
Monday May 31st is when this all kicks off, with the final on June 13th. It slightly overlaps with the real tournament but that’s life. There will be a blog every day featuring four games up until the semi final stage when things start to spread out a bit. Who will be our fifth champion? I can’t wait to find out.