AFC United – Part 26: The Fake Treble | @Matt_C_Wills

Happy Monday! Here’s Matt to kick off the week with a season review from AFC United

Welcome back to AFC United, a world where David Brown is a goal king and China are the new power in international football. We’re rolling into Season 10 with my new 4Matt giving you a whole season on a Monday morning.

We’ve won a lot of trophies the past few seasons, but my side is still relatively fresh and hungry for more, plus David Brown is edging towards 300 career goals, so that will be nice to achieve.


There’s not much news in the way of transfer activity, the squad is pretty settled and well balanced, although i should probably sell some fringe players to ease the bank balance. Despite our success, Broadhurst Park still only holds about 25,000. European money is keeping us afloat, like some sort of Peter Ridsdale business plan. Anyway, we kick off in familiar surroundings, in a decidedly larger stadium against FA Cup holders Chelsea

Regens are starting to creep into the squad to keep us winning. Kremer is Schmeichel, Launders is versatile Denis Irwin, Love is David Platt (tenuous) and Podpalyi is Kanchelsekis reborn. We also have Dwight Yorke jnr, although his work permit is a worry!

It’s an up and down start to the league campaign, Blackburn more of a test than Arsenal


Duncan and Brown have been my centreback pairing of choice for many seasons now, the new Dolly and Daisy, but no defence is absolute. It’s Hart warming to know, that that goal on 4 minutes was David’s 300th of his AFC United career. Smillie’s all round.

However Polly and Parsley (Not sure that will catch on) can still not play that well and keep out the mighty Real Madrid. The £750k is very welcome

The first seasonal meeting with Fergie is an entertaining affair, just when you think you’ve cracked it, Ljung buster steals a point.


It feels like it’s going to be a strange old season. A 9-man draw against Panathinaikos is something I would have taken before kick off

Michael Bridges….


Michael Bridges seems to love scoring against us, but forgotten man Mark Wilson sends us through in the League Cup in our quest to retain the trophy. David Brown fluffed his lines. I think that poor showing against China has affected his confidence. Rival fans chanting ‘All your stats are fixed!’ not helping things really…..


Our league form is up and down. David Brown seems to have lost confidence and enthusiasm after reaching 300 goals, but he still has some in than tank for the cup games.

From Would Club Cup games in Japan to wet Wednesday nights in Stockport, there’s no rest for the successful. Tangen is Ronny Johnsen reborn, for those wondering. More interesting is Buffon on the Stockport bench…

We’re still fighting on all fronts, getting through our Champions League group to set up a Quarter Final clash with old foes Benfica.

It’s been a hard winter in the league though, lots of clean sheets, but scoring goals seems to be a constant struggle


We seem to be saving our goals for the cups

Hmm, looks like i spoke too soon. Crashing out of the FA Cup to close rivals City

Losing the Super Cup on away goals to Dortmund and Banica Jackson.


Spring may be brighter though, we’ve brought in a couple of A-lister players to bolster the squad.

Nicky Butt makes his debut and we’re through to another League Cup final after overcoming another recent rival in Aston Villa

Maybe Nicky Butt is the plug we we need in front of Hall and Duncan in midfield. I’m sure there is a phrase for a plug named Butt, but fortunately it escapes me….

Occasionally the free flowing football rears it’s head


Mostly though, our football is cautious and goals sparse

This is no more evident than in the League Cup final, a lone Nevland goal thankfully enough to win it

It’s Juventus in the Champions League semi-final, but when we go 2-0 down, there’s no Keane-esque comeback to get us into the final, and we limp out to their Scandinavian prowess


Still there’s always the league campaign to salvage our season and we’ve been quietly eating away at Derby’s lead at the top. This win at Barnsley hauls us to the summit, can we do it?


In a word – no. A fixture pile up sees us playing 3 league games in 4 days and coming away with only 1 point, this one being a particular kick in the Butt

That run in tells the whole story

A 2-1 win against Chelsea on the final day just about secures 2nd place and a palce in the financial life support machine of the Champions League

To be fair, we would have stolen it perhaps a bit unfairly, Derby have been worthy winners, following up on promtion two seasons ago, and 10th place last year. Spearheaded by Paulo Wanchope and Stoichkov’s regen.

At the other end, we bid adieu to Big Ron’s Sheff Wed, Stuart Pearce’s Ipswich and Tommy Taylor’s Watford.

Cup finals roll around without us, which after the last few seasons feels a little strange

Liverpool wipe away the mid-table blues with an FA Cup win. Gerry Francis overcoming David Seaman.

In th Champions League, Juventus settle an all Italian affair in Germany. Boring first 90 by the looks of it…

Chelsea seem to be in a 9 year time warp winning the Cup Winners Cup despite going out in the 4th round of the FA Cup last season….

But, it seems Derby are now a force to be reckoned with, adding the Uefa Cup to the league title. Not quite sure how they qualified after finishing 10th last season, but there you go…as bizarre as Chelsea….

Stats time, and well, you can see where the problem was….

A lot of players went out on loan last season. Dwight Jnr’s Work Permit expired, so off he went, the same with Andrei Junior, while Tangen wasn’t quite up to Ronny Johnsen standards. Mark Wilson has been with us since the start, but after 10 seasons as a bit part player, £1.8m isn’t bad business. I might spend some of that money on a goldfish tank.

David brown has had a poor season. How he’s now worth £11m is anyone’s guess.

Danny Hall is still my dependable captain though….

As it’s an odd year, no international tournaments and shock winners to chew over, so lets have a quick look at the top managers after 10 seasons

No huge surprises there, until you look at Cesare Maldini’s career resurrection after being sacked by Italy…

After taking Scunny up to Division 1 in the play offs, he ended up winning Serie A with Bologna before Inter and Ronaldo came calling. This season looked tricky though…..

Don’t you just love these little stories that happen in saves? Long may these little quirks continue…


Awards time, and for the first time in ages, AFC United are deservedly excluded

Fab has joined Edwin in being fed up spending time on the bench

While that one was inevitable, this one kinda hurts

That injury proneness stat never helps with Lee

Well, we won the Charity Shield, World Club Cup and League Cup – the kind of treble Jose would be proud of, but it’s not enough for me, so we’ll be back next Season/Monday aiming to get back on our perch, see you then!

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