Hello Warnock fans! It’s Season 9 and Niall Warnock is considering his options fresh from Promotion and League Cup success with Plymouth Argyle.
Leeds and Watford are big hitters in Division 1 and Nottingham Forest have the Division 2 specialist George Ndah back in their ranks.. its tough…
I decide to do a vanity season in the Premier League with Argyle… (sorry, not sorry!) I’ll be honest, I ballsed up here. I thought as holders of the League Cup we’d be in for a Cup Winners Cup campaign, but alas… that’s reserved only for the FA Cup winners. Fek!
Here’s our squad ready to attack the Premier League.
If you need reminding of the regens…. New signing Phil Leitch was Bruce Grobellaar. Owen Wilding was Neil Ruddock; Cec Dunnet was Craig Short; David Valentine was Tony Adams; Andy Atkins was Gary Bowyer; Alex Bull was Tim Sherwood; Michael McClare was Paul Gasciogne; Kevin Clarke was Matt Le Tissier; Freddy Asprilla was Tino Asprillia (I think); Jason Wilkins was Brian McClair; and Jonathan Nagbe was George Weah. Phew. There are a few others I don’t know, but are good – the Pallisters and left back Daryl Reinelt.
I have no idea who youngster Tim Bissett is, either, but he looks like he has the right stats in the right places for a striker!
Right, the Premier League.. here we go. This is how we’ll line up for the season. The experience of Edgar Davids joining in place of Cambiasso/Westley I hope will add to the team. Leitch fills in for the erratic regen of Cameroonian goalkeeper Jacques Songo’o. The rest of the side is as per Division One promotion..
Its a hard lesson, as the misspelt Andriy Schevchenko and Jon Dahl Tomasson humiliate us in 10 minutes. We’re 3-0 down after 26 and it’s a long road back… Fortunately mother keeperless formation means Anelka and Asprilla make the game feel less once sided, but we still lose.
We follow with a 2-1 win at Derby. Neil Pallister – in for Kev Clarke – scores with Nagbe to help break our Premier League duck.
We are then held 0-0 at Huddersfield before a Nagbe/Asprilla combo sees us beat Midlands side Wolves.
Edgar Davids – moved into central midfield at the expense of young Irish player Lynch – scores his first goal for the club in a crazy 4 mins against the Crazy Gang. We are acquitting ourselves well at this level!
I make a purist signing in the hope of filling in the attacking midfield berth, and supporting Nagbe.
Brian McClair’s regen scores against Sir Alex Ferguson to prove the League Cup result was not a shock. We could hear SAF’s hairdryer through the concreted corridor of Home Park. Oh, the joy!
We’re S**t and we’re beating you!
We follow up with a 2-1 win over fellow-promoted team Spurs, then fall to a 3-2 defeat at Blackpool down at Bloomfield Road. Two late goals sealed our fate there.
In the league cup, our reserves beat Colchester 2-0 over two-legs to progress to round three.
We then bring up our tenth Premier League game by comfortably beating Bolton 3-1. Fish was on the menu at Home Park, it would seem.
I’m not holding my breath, but dare-I-say-it … it’s going okay!
We then draw 1-1 with Blackburn (no shame, as they are on our tails) and 0-0 with 10th placed Sheffield Wednesday.
Unbelievably, we – the holders – are then dumped out of the league cup on Penalties. I thought Nagbe had done it in extra time before we fell asleep at the re-start and conceded right away. Five perfect penalties later… and… FFS.
We’re then done by Sunderland. Wunderbar.
Then draw another game 0-0. This time Chelsea. We slip to fourth in the table. Still respectable.
It’s Man City’s turn to beat us – this time 2-1. Maybe the regens of Division One need some help!
No matter. The lads turn up for the big occassion.. Home Park is bouncing again as Arsenal are stunned!
Nagbe scores again to silence Filbert Street – this time we’re into Warnock time.
We have a break, due to lack of cup competition so have to wait until new years eve to host Aston Villa in the FA Cup. New signing Cristiano Frati – and Italian striker on loan from Udinese – scores his first goal for the club. Scott McAteer is also in the side – regen of Paul McGrath.
As we move into the new year I am tempted by a fresh challenge… The Houdini
Crewe are 12 points adrift at the bottom of Division 1 and in need of a manager. My Argyle side are not in Europe, but are going well in the league. I’d be mad to consider it at this stage of the season. Right?
It’s hard to concentrate on Plymouth with my head turned… alas, we still manage to beat Newcastle thanks to George Weah’s beautiful regen. Jonathan Nagbe is fast turning into one of my favorite signings,
With that, we bring up the 20 game marker…
I must be nuts. I wave goodbye to Home Park, halfway through the season and 1 point off the Premier League summit.
I leave Argyle in the capable hands of… John Barnes! How will he fair without King Kenny for guidance? Well.. He has this squad to work with, they are still in the FA Cup and have the chance at league glory! Good luck!
Join me next time as we attempt the Houdini with Crewe! 😅