Back once again with the ill behaviour, whatever that means. Our ill form in front of goal threatened to scupper this season but we’re somehow third, a mighty 9 points off the top and in a real scrap for Champions League football. Goals generally seem to be hard to come by, which I was warned about in the out of the box version we frequent here. Anyway, let’s try and make it a competitive ending.
This is the ideal start. Despite falling behind to toe-bother Scholes we rally thanks to Laurent Charvet before the unlikely figure of old man Matthaus coming up with the winner.
Now for something very different – Glanford Park in the FA Cup 5th round. Ra Juhl is this weeks unlikely scorer, not once but twice, and despite a late surge from the underdogs we end up in the quarters.
Swindon or Charlton? Done.
A tough game with Spurs made all the more tricky when goalscorer Solano is dismissed at 1-1. We do trail but TSL levels for the 10 heroic Barnsley men.
Easy win at struggling Millwall. Beppe rolls back the years which isn’t hard to do in Millwall where it is always 1963.
We have to settle for a point at Goodison. Broomes’ injury means we have to pair Dublin & Purse in the Champions League.
In case you were wondering, Koch is the PSV keeper. His balls up after two minutes gives us the perfect platform to put one foot in the semi finals, despite our Dutch opponents continuing to attack in the face of adversity. The Nev gives us a two goal cushion.
Oh, HELLO! Someone has been in the oxygen tent.
Swindon are bypassed. It has been the kindest of cup draws.
I guess it could be worse.
Off to leaders Leeds next and it’s a great time to throw in our best performance of the season. Barrera has been the main culprit of missing chances but he sets us on our way before the dependable TSL seals it, despite a late consolation.
Still an 11 or 8 point gap to the top but at least we’re into second.
Baka is back! PSV are blown away. The only sour note is Tommy’s injury, which turns out to be a two weeker.
Oh it’s an all English and all Italian affair in the semis. Could be worse.
Forest are no match for us.
Villa really should be but missing an early penalty costs them dear.
Newcastle’s team is ridiculous. Ignore the ratings, this was about 10 minutes in.
A feisty affair finishes 0-0. In with a shout.
Are Leeds feeling the pressure? This late loss at Leicester opens the door a little.
An early lead in the FA Cup is good but the smillie is wiped off my face with a late leveller, which brings 30 minutes extra. It’s still deadlocked after that so it’s off to the hotel for Free Willy and a replay in 3 days.
Obviously we win that easily to make the whole thing a waste of 210 minutes.
Meanwhile…is it a shock to lose to 3rd place who have Batistuta?
Oh and Henrik Larsson. Sakes.
I’m not sure we really deserved to lose you know.
Still, with the two games in hand we can get within 2 points.
There are so many games in a short space of time though.
3-0 up and cruising and Fenton, Jesus Christ Fenton, he nearly brings my title dreams to tears again. Not this time, Fenton. Bakayoko a big difference maker.
We’re in the Champions League final too after this casual destruction.
Juventus will be our opponents.
In Norway, of course.
This win over Chelsea is the last we’ll see of Barrera this season. Two months out.
Still, Leeds have absolutely bottled it.
Confirmation of his injury. He’ll also miss the World Cup.
An ill-timed International break gives us chance to assess what we face going into the final sprint. We have a busy May to say the least, with this run in plus FA Cup and Champions League finals.
Middlesbrough are out next opposition, they’re 19th so we should win. It’s not the game in hand as Leeds are off to Highbury. No time to worry about that though, we’ve got a job to do – and we pretty much complete the task in the opening 40 minutes. We can rest a few and win 3-1. Momentum continues.
What has happened to Leeds? It’s a Newcastle 1996 type collapse.
There is a chance that Arsenal are just really good. Marc Overmars nets a 26 minute hat-trick.
Leeds scramble an unconvincing point away at Derby to re-take top spot but we have game in hand.
Two days later and a well earned win over Liverpool hopefully gets that out of our system.
Leeds defeat Blackburn. Game in hand is up next.
Nevland has quietly gone about his business this season so it may come as a surprise to learn these goals were his 20th and 21st of the season. Top of the table!
One game to go, two points clear. Even a point should be enough.
Derby away is tricky but of course winnable.
It’s nervy but we can’t find a way through. It should be enough though.
Leeds win but they needed to win by about 7.
Fractured ribs in the celebrations. No FA Cup final for Nobby.
It proves to be costly as Newcastle have too much for us.
There’s no Solano still for the Champions League final and that helps contribute to our 3-0 deficit. However, Nevland and Bullock show there are signs of life and make it 3-2. Charvet’s red card should end our challenge but with most of the team up front, Bakayoko slams in a leveller. Istanbul before Istanbul! A furious re-shuffle to try and keep us in the game for 30 more minutes not only succeeds but surpasses even the wildest of expectations as Tommy pops up with a winner. What a man.
Smash and grab. Call it what you want. We’re the Champions of Europe…in front of nearly 200,000 people, which seems fanciful at best.
I’m sure you are.
So, that’s all turned out quite nicely hasn’t it?
It was at this point I made a video if you wanted to have a look around the save with me:
Back to what we’re good at and let’s capture the average ratings which are actually pretty unremarkable.
The goals are fairly low too.
Tommy Svindal…one assist. 55 games. What can’t be underplayed is Bakayoko’s contribution of 12 goals and 7 assists in 19 games.
Some strange things happened in the summer. Marlon Broomes made his England debut in a friendly loss to Portugal. Martin Bullock got his first England goal in a win over Belgium.
We said goodbye to our original goalscoring hero.
Brazil lost to Trinidad & Tobago.
France won the World Cup – Charvet is a World Cup winner!
Awards season was great news for me and Gabriel Batistuta.
Nobody retired. So that’s the end of that.
Next season we’ll have the World Club Cup, the European Super Cup and the Charity Shield. We also don’t have to qualify for the Champions League for the first time, so that’s exciting. See you next week!
Was he always this good?
Just a quick editor check this week to find out why we played the Champions League final in front of 200,000 people. The Lerkendal Stadion is Rosenborg’s ground and has a capacity of 36,000 with 12,000 seats. So that’s going to be crammed.
A quick editor check for Lerkendal throws up another result though…
Clearly this is the same Stadium given the X & Y co-ord but who are Strindheim, and why do they have a capacity of 200,000?
The answer is that they are just another team who aren’t particularly good. Checking on the patched version…(forgive the change of layout in the editor as covered previously)
Corrected! That pesky extra 0. Another mystery solved.
And that’s the end of that chapter