The Retirement Academy – Part 38: St Mickerlas

Jolly old St Mickerlas, lean your ear this way, don’t you tell a single soul, what I’m going to say…

Ahhh how did we get here? This should (SHOULD) be our last visit to the Retirement Academy, a once proud institution with a philosophy of playing 5 young lads and 5 old lads. One of the old lads bought the club, and now it’s him plus 10. The “him” in question is Mick The Micker Quinn and he is rampant for trophies. Amongst other things. You can catch up with last week’s efforts here.

With us second in the table I want to try and stick to the “only important games” narrative but every game feels big at the moment. Old man Laudrup sees us past Fortuna Sittard.

The Micker is 47 and his illustrious career takes another upward turn as he nets the winner in the Amsterdam Arena. Sports personality of the year beckons.

That’s the Christmas break but of course the price of success is that we have to go to Denmark in early January. An awful performance is rescued by Samways getting that vital away goal 7 minutes from time.

Take that, PSV. They were rivals once but they are brushed aside by the now young & talented squad.

Another crucial win in the cup keeps us battling on all fronts.

The last thing we can afford is to go behind to OB but we do…only for Samways to level it up straight away. Hendriks gives us the lead but Onopko is sent off for windmilling in the celebrations. The one-third full stadium witnesses a fairly woeful penalty shootout where three of their lads miss and even after Laudrup fluffs his lines, it doesn’t matter. European Super Cup is in the bag.

Vitesse Daly are moved aside. That front 3 is quite devastating.

Obviously not in Groningen.

Or Roda. Some things never change.

The mini wobble is addressed as the unlikely figure of Popescu scores the winner. He’s 42.

Revenge is extracted on Roda in the cup. The…however many trophies we’re still in for dream is alive.

It’s Feyenoord in the semis. To be honest it’s probably the kindest draw given our defeat to Groningen recently.

Champions League time sees our old mate Rombouts peg us back to a 2-2 draw. Away from home, I’ll take it. Samways likes a big game goal.

This defeat to Willem II is potentially damaging but also David Alain is one of our originals from about 12 seasons ago. I’m so pleased he made a career for himself…

Anyway, AZ are still fighting for the title so this win eases us ahead.

The Q school get us past Milan. Micker still fighting with all he’s got.

Red Star. Wolves. West Ham. What an awful future (past).

Wolves it is.

NAC are knacked. Title getting closer.

This cup semi final win at Feyenoord is as impressive as it is costly. Our best player, player-chairman and Hierro regen are all going to miss vital games.

Gronigen in the final though…

A month! That’s about 50 games at this rate.

Without our precious Micker we can only draw 0-0 at home to Wolves.

The Gazza regen steps in for Albesa and he’s a talent. This win puts us on the hill.

One point from three games is all it will take.

We turn on the style in the West Midlands. Where was this in the first leg? We’re in the final anyway. Red Star will be our opponents.

The title is ours, two defenders seeing us through.

Yay.

We go on to win one and lose one of the remaining games. We’ve got our eyes on other prizes.

Like the Pints Cup! We make hard work of it from 4-1 up but 5-3 is still a win. Hurrah.

How have Red Star got here? Well, they clearly can defend. Like beavers, in fact.

They prove a tough nut to crack but Albesa is the hero in his home country and we retain the Champions League.

I thought I’d check out the keeper who kept out so man yof our efforts and…my word. Those are some impressive average ratings. 25 man of the match awards out of 36 for an average of 9.11…I mean what? That’s just absurd.

Speaking of absurd, here’s our chairman. Despite surrounding himself with better players, he managed to score fewer goals. So I guess you could say this was all a waste of time.

I think some of his extremely early career games drop off, which is annoying. Maybe I’ll count it up one day.

Albesa and Hoogy tied for top scorer.

Albesa won the assists race though. So that’s nice.

Here he is, approaching his prime. Just can’t tackle.

Nice for Samways to win such an accolade.

Ooooh lovely.

The awards…

Only two retirees. Stimac was ok when called upon.

I forgot we even had Nerlinger. He won’t be missed.

Well that’s it. Our Christmas story has come to an end. The Retirement Academy were just as good with 10 talented players alongside the Micker, certainly some games were more comfortable but the Micker was somehow less prolific, though maybe age is finally catching up with him.

The advent calendar will continue into next week but this is the last blog of 2021. It’s been a fantastic year for content here and the focus next year will be on the 25th anniversary. I haven’t been very well for the past month or so, thankfully I’m starting to feel better now so I can get back to creating content, I was enjoying the old video games on YouTube series but I’ll get back into that when I’m able to in the new year. If we end up under government restrictions again after Christmas Zak and I will bring you another lockdown challenge, obviously I don’t hope for that but a few of you have expressed an interest so more than happy to try and help.

As ever, thanks for your support and following. The day you all stop reading we’ll stop producing blogs, so don’t go anywhere anytime soon please 🙂

Have wonderful Christmas times all of you and I can’t wait to bring you more CM9798 goodness in 2022!

Dave

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