The Retirement Academy – Part 33: Yes Sir, I Can Hoogy

Hello! Welcome to the end of Season 33. We trail Ajax by 12 points and we really need to channel Manchester United 1996 and hope Kevin Keegan is in the dugout in Amsterdam. It is unlikely, I admit. But you just never know.

Hat-tricks from an old lad like Degryse can only help matters. VVV are picked apart thanks to the former Sheffield Wednesday man and the Gullit regen also chimes in. A fine start to the update.

Utrecht won’t lie down and despite us getting 2-0 ahead they get it back to 2-1 and 3-2. Hoogy thrives whilst hat-trick hero Degryse is injured.

His replacement is Gilles De Bilde. Can he fix it? Yes he can!

That sets us up nicely for the trip to AZ in the cup. Or at least it should. A fairly insipid performance sees us lose 2-0 and there will be no more Pints despite our best efforts at injuring those around us.

One of the last opponents I would want to try and bounce back is Sparta away. Not a happy hunting ground but Hoogy is at the double in an entertaining 11 minutes. Well done us.

Bayern Munich are the current Champions League holders but it seems they have not experienced anything quite like De Bungalow. Hoogy is in the form of his young life. Yes sir, I can Hoogy. He gets all 4 here and we put one foot in the semis.

What’s Dutch for After the Lord Mayor’s show? A dull 1-1 with MVV in front of a half a crowd. Thanks for your support.

Heerenveen are brushed aside in their own back yard, again not something we can usually say but Hoogy is incredible form. The wisely named Niwankpa scores an own goal.

The second leg in Munich allows me to rest a few. Cheeky I know but we’ve got old legs. We lose 2-0 but through 4-2 on aggregate.

Real Madrid in the semis. Ajax loom large in the other half of the draw.

Seriously, what is in Hoogy’s drink? His hat-trick sees off Twente whilst the Micker departs for a few weeks. He hasn’t scored in months.

Poor Micker.

After the International break it’s back to Champions League business and that man Hoogy equalises and captain Watt wins it. On the night at least. Something to hold on to.

Crikey, Ajax choked badly in Munich.

Things are going quite well but the majority of the squad are miserable. Don’t you want to win the Champions League, lads?

Off we go to Roda for a 0-0 draw. Nobody cares.

The fixtures are brutal. Three games in 5 days with a trip to Ajax before the biggest game in our history.

ADO are dealt with, we’ve gone full strength here.

Obviously we risk a thrashing from Ajax with our reserves but we will take a 2-0 defeat. They can have the league, we’ve got other matters.

We’re 3-0 down after 27 minutes in the Bernabeu. That’s a problem. Samways arrives at half time along with Stimac to maintain the 5&5 quota. Somehow it inspires our very own Istanbul. Corey Samways in an England Under 21 International but he’ll not have had many better days than this. Hoogy also scores because he’s fantastic.

What a turnaround.

Ajax very nearly overturned matters but it’ll be 1860 Munich in the final.

We struggle to a home draw with struggling Heracles. It is matterless. Well, almost. we can still get caught for second which would deny us Champions League football.

Thankfully Samways’ late goal means that won’t be an issue. Job well done.

PSV now can’t catch us and Feyenoord are 6th, so there’s nothing riding on our last game of the league season. I rest the entire team. An injury to Hoogy now or any of his 10 colleagues would be a disaster. We lose 1-0.

Ajax won every game since we beat them in October. That’s absolutely wild.

The Nou Camp has seen some great things. 116,000 people are in for the 2008 Champions League final. About 25,000 of them are singing Yes Sir, I can Hoogy as he plunders a hat-trick on the grandest stage. Is that Wrestlemania? Debatable. The Micker has a fourth ruled out for offside and he will finish with a goal drought stretching back to January 26th.

Shock defeat my foot. This is Hoogy’s world. The Pierre van Hoojidonk regen.

Straight onto new business. Popescu signs.

As does Sonny Anderson.

I hope this isn’t the last we see of the Micker. His form is non-existent but his partner has been prolific. I like to think of him as Heskey to Owen.

399 all out? We await the retirements.

Meanwhile Wesley Ooijer is off. It never really worked out for him.

Nerlinger signs, an upgrade on Paulo Bento I think.

Some mightily strong performers, impressive to see the old lads like Finidi, Degryse and Onopko averaging above 7. Even Uncle Bulgaria from his handful of appearances. Your European Champions:

50 goals for the front 2.

38 goal involvements each. A lot to like about the squad.

Naturally I get manager of the year for taking this lot to European glory.

No players worthy of a gong though. Seems harsh.

Cocu won’t be missed.

Maguy never really got a chance. His retirement won’t be particularly felt.

Everybody else lives on! Remarkable.

What now then? Well we’ll obviously try and retain it. Do we go on until the Micker retires? I don’t think we can leave things without being domestic champions. I know we did it once but we need to do it again. See you next week for more!

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