Stuttgarter Kickers: Road to Tokyo – Part 8 | @Winkveron

Happy Hump day! The descent to the weekend starts here with the soothing words of Dan, as the Kickers look to…Kick On.

We draw in Dortmund early in the season. Correa is already two thirds towards last seasons paltry total of three.

They always say a manager should pick a chairman, not a job. Mine kills me time and again. (We’ve got £13m in the bank, by the way.)

After three league games we’re winless. What was I saying about getting a better start? Now we’re out of the cup to a second division team.

It’s happening again. Why do we feel the need to give other teams a head start? 1860 must be rubbing their hands together at the poor start from us and their city rivals, Bayern.

Our first league win of the season arrives in some fashion. Pizzi did the pointing-to-his-name-on-the-back-of-his-shirt thing when he scored but I had the last laugh and told him to grow up in the player’s lounge after the game.

Absolute scenes in Frankfurt. I thought we’d blown a 2-0 lead against ten men but Skar – the Norwegian D/M/S who is becoming a key figure in the #9 role – popped up with a dramatic late winner.

Modest opposition, but we’re off to a good start in the UEFA Cup.

We’re on the rise again!

We comfortably finish the job off at home.

Then land a tougher draw in the third round.

We win away at third-place Cologne in an 8-goal thriller.

The goals continue to fly in, and we’re racking up the league points.

Then we lose 3-0 and Wes Brown picks up a four-month injury.

A solid draw at home to a tough team, but the Italians go home with an away goal. Mermet picks up a three-month injury, joining Brown in the treatment room. Our three best central defenders are now all crocked.

We lose two league games on the bounce before hammering Hamburg.

We win an incident-packed second leg in Florence. Anderlecht await in the fourth round.

Another good result in the league.

Exciting game in Europe against the Belgians.

I’ve only been waiting four years and four months for this!

Good win in the league with McCarthy’s 88th-minute goal.

We sign off for the winter break with a thumping away win.

Catching 1860 seems unlikely but we’ve done well to rise to second after a dreadful start.

The home side’s two late goals give the score an air of respectability but in all truth it was quite an easy tie.

Next up…Austria. Of all the teams left, that’s a favourable draw.

We have a good winter in terms of transfers. Marc Emmers’ regen comes in.

And we finally land Guardiola. He’s not getting any younger but his quality will be invaluable over the next 18-24 months.

What’s that saying about London buses?

As we move into 2002 we’ll look to secure second spot as well as land the UEFA Cup.

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