The Retirement Academy – Part 34: New Hope

Welcome back! We are the European Champions! Quite how that happened, I’m not sure, but it did and now we go into season 12 hoping to win the World Club Cup and ideally get the better of Ajax domestically. Here’s the squad as it stands:

On to new business then and the usual searching of the regen list. This looks like Robbie Fowler and according to Destiny’s Child, it’s 11.30 and the club is Duncan Duncan.

Hmm. De la Pena? It can be De la Soul as far as I’m concerned, 20 for creativity and passing is tremendous.

I don’t know who this is. One of the many good Spaniards called Fernando? Maybe the Betis one.

Real Madrid bid for Querella. That’s a shame. Luckily, they have a full squad by the time the deal concludes so he stays.

Ahh Spoonz. We love him. He’s gone to Man Utd and he is Brian McLair afterall.

Time for the season to kick off and with Captain Electricity suspended we turn to the regen of Frank De Boer. It’s a risk, I admit.

Quinn finally breaks his goal scoring duck stretching back to January to give us the lead but PSV come roaring back. That’s a bad start to any season. Hopefully we’ll look back on this in 33 games time and LAUGH. But we probably won’t.

A pair of German teams in the Champions League draw. Well that’s dull. Oh and Grasshoppers. It’ll be tough to get out of this one.

Oh GOOD. Sparta in the cup. I really hate them.

Off we go to Fortuna Sittard and we’re behind after 6 minutes. What a season we have in store. We do equalise but then we’re behind again. The Micker rescues a point against 10 men.

Bayern is a repeat of the Champions League final. What a ridiculous state of affairs to be in the same group. We lead three bloody times and have to settle for a point. Give me strength.

We’re behind to Twente. It might be easier getting relegated you know. Degryse equalises and despite pummelling the Twente goal, there’s no further success.

It’s a classic Champing without the sucker punch. At least they let us have one.

Away at AZ we’re behind after five minutes. Our luck turns when De Witt gets sent off and the lads score three times. Finally, we’re up and running.

MVV are absolutely filthy. We score two goals and they have two red cards. Maybe we should win more than 2-0 but I just want the points.

Off to Switzerland and our groove is temporarily rediscovered as we storm into a 3 goal lead. Then it goes a bit tits up as they score two in 6 minutes. We hang on.

Off to Sparta in the league and our old mate Janssen. Paulo Bento is so pleased to see him he gives him a handshake followed by a Stone Cold Stunner. We’ve got to stop watching Attitude era wrestling pre-match. Anyway, it doesn’t seem to bother us as we go 3-0 up. We’re so great. Then it’s 3-2 again including Janssen getting on the scoresheet. Samways settles the nerves.

We’re in something approaching form as three goals in 13 minutes sees off Groningen. Querella goes off injured though and it doesn’t look good…

A huge blow to lose our versatile winger but we’ll have to promote one of the regens to the mix.

In the short term his replacement is Michael Laudrup, allowing us to bring in a younger lad into the midfield in Ortega. Laudrup actually scores the fourth as we see off Veendam.

It’s a real struggle trying to break down Dortmund but Samways eventually does the job. He’s a bit of a supersub really, he’s a big game player but there aren’t enough games big enough. Do you believe that?

Lovely Finidi sees off Willem II. Well recovered.

NAC do manage to slow our momentum but a point away at one of my least favourite grounds will always come in handy.

Likewise Utrecht. Larrazabal’s goal is a beautiful free kick which doesn’t get you any extra points.

What a result this is though. Ruudy junior heads in from a corner to give us a win in Munich. He’s the new Jeremy Goss.

It’s a significant result. We’re guaranteed at least second now and with Grasshoppers at home to come, we should be able to get the 2 points we need to get us through to the last 8.

The league table isn’t looking too bad either. Those draws have cost us top spot but Ajax are looking ominous having only been breached four times.

Annoyingly we play them two days after we play Portugesea (of Brazil) in Tokyo for the World Club Cup. It’s in Amsterdam as well. That’s not good news.

That is next week Dave’s problem though so for now I will leave you on the positive note that so far, everything is not bad despite a terrible start to the season. Next week we head to Japan. Bye for now.

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