Góðan dag my fellow heathen followers. Velkomin to the second installment of our 5th season in our attempt to conquer England.
Last time out we’d made a tremendous start to the league and for the first time ever, sat at the summit. We’re also top of our champ league group with a 100% record, still in the cups and have a world club cup final to look forward to.
First up we travel to Ligeraceater for a league fixture.Novakovic gives the home side the lead in the 14th min out of nothing. CBA equalises and then puts us in front in the 20th & 35th minutes. Brandal extends our lead 6 mins later and we’re comfortable. We have the majority of the chances in the 2nd half but can’t add to the scoreline. Hayes gets his marching orders in the 71st min giving Leicester an uphill battle to take anything from the game.
The 3rd round of the league cup sees Wic sail up the Humber and Ouse to take on the might of Jorvik. I make a couple of changes to keep some of the fringe players happy and to maintain their place in the cup runs and they don’t disappoint. Ivar opens the scoring in the 5th minute to give us an early lead. We keep Hull’s front 2 of Yalcin and Wanchope quiet all game and coupled with a 70th min strike from Liisberg, we’re into the draw for the next round.
Staying at home for our league tie with Sutton. It’s not quite a ‘Champ Manning’ but it sure feels like one as we batter Plymouth from start to finish. Tony Gooding put’s in a stellar perfomance to keep it at 1 goal and the inevitable happens when we concede with their only shot at goal. I hope this doesn’t bite us in the bum later on in the season. The board rub salt in the wounds by chiming in with an abysmal result of their own!
Away in Milan next as we look to secure our way into the knockout stage. It’s a frantic first half with proper end to end action but somehow it remains goalless at the break. That changes just 2 mins after kickoff when Laudrup follows up Albertini’s blocked shot. Albertini then gets himself on the scoresheet in the 63rd and we’ve a mini mountain to climb. CBA halves the deficit just 5 mins later and Brandal completes the comeback in the 73rd min. A 2 – 2 draw is a fair result and one I’d have snapped your hand off for in the 64th minute!
Back in the league and we travel back into Mercia to take on Cofantreo. Shooter McGavin is selected ahead of Oliver Kahn in the Coventry goal and we make them pay. TSL, Brandal and Bergdolmo all contributing goals in a 3-0 victory.
1st vs 2nd as we host Liuerpul. It’s the away side who have the early chances but it’s CBA who breaks the deadlock in the 13th min. George reminds us he’s still playing by doubling our lead in the 25th and it’s all us for the rest of the half. George is at the double as he gets his second in the 68th min and we set down a real marker for the season.
A break from domestic action sees Dinamo Kiev in town. A win for us should guarantee we progress into the knockouts although Barca may need to get something in their game with Milan.
We hammer the hapless Ukrainians from start to finish but make hard work of it by typical wayward shooting. It takes an own goal from Kropivkin to open the scoring and despite having 12 shots on goal, we don’t extend our lead until the 71st min thanks to a strike from CBA.
Barca batter Milan 3-0 and with that we’re guaranteed to finish top of our group with a game to spare.
Back in Mercia for a trip to Beorma’s Ham. With one eye on our travels to the far east in just a couple of day’s time I ring the changes and hope for the best. Winston gives the home side the lead in the 19th min and I’m just hoping our 2nd string aren’t going to get routed and it ruins our morale. However we finish the half strong are unlucky not to be back on even terms at the break. Ivar gets our deserved equaliser in the 62nd minute and Canals scores an own goal in the 78th to give us all 3 points. That’s a great result given the circumstances.
Tokyo, Monday 3rd December 869. We somehow sail to the other side of the world in 2 days to face Sao Paulo in the World Club Cup Final. We’re dominant from the off and fully deserve our lead when CBA scores just after the half hour mark. We’re unlucky to have not put the game to bed by half time but i’ll take a slight lead going into the second half. Skoglund equalises with their first shot on goal and I’m beginning to rue all those missed chances. Brandal has other ideas and fires us back in front in the 67th min. CBA gets his second in the 74th min, George goes off with a knock in the 87th and Ivar – his replacement, puts the cherry on the cake with a 90th minute strike. Chants of “Kæmpe ór sá Heimr” (Champions of the World – sorry to the Norse speaking readers if this is wrong) ring around the ground.
We thoroughly deserve the plaudits and are unlucky not to win by a greater margin, however I’m not greedy. Even the board rouse themselves to be ‘Pleased’ by the result! On another note, TSL picked up a yellow card and is now banned from our final Euro group game. I’m glad it’s a dead rubber but it’s poor that this game counted as a European one.
Just 2 day’s later and we’ve managed to make our way home for the visit of Cofantreo in the 4th round of the cup. It’s our 3rd game in 5 days and the boys are shattered. I make 9 changes from Monday nights’ heroic team and I’m not holding my breath for this one. It’s impossible to fight on all fronts judging off this scheduling. A Change in formation will hopefully make us hard to break down and it works as we don’t concede in 120 mins of football. Unfortunately it isn’t conducive to us scoring either and we’re into the lottery of penalties. We choke – missing every other one. Karlsen blasts over the first pen in sudden death and Vaughan makes no mistake sending Coventry into the next round. They didn’t even manage a shot on target throughout the whole game and they’re through!!
We manage a few days’ rest before we host Monkwearmouth back in the league. We start decent enough but shoot ourselves in the foot by conceding a penalty in the 13th minute which Cadamarteri converts. We are totally wasteful once again in front of goal only getting 3 of our 14 shots on target. It’s not enough and we suffer our first league defeat of the season. The amount of games and recent injuries are starting to take their toll on our limited squad. Even though Sunderland are 4th, the board class it as another Abysmal result.
We need to pick ourselves up for the final group game against Barcelona. Even though we’re through, we need to nip this mini rot in the bud. It’s not the best start as Raul gives Barca the lead in the 6th min. It’s a joke how the players move between Real and Barca in this game. Brandal scores a minute into the 2nd half but it’s short lived as Ruiz puts the home side back in front just a minute later. George in his first game back from injury equalises for the second time in the 72nd minute and despite late chances for both sides, it finishes 2-2. We’ll face Monaco in the quarters.
We sail up the Thames to take on Celchyth and hopefully get our league form back on track. George opens the scoring in the 17th min but it only lasts 3 mins as fellow heathen Soren Andersen restores parity for the home side in the 20th. TSL puts us back in the lead and even though it’s a relatively open game, the scoreline doesn’t change. Once more we’re wasteful in front of goal, just 4 of our 16 shots being on target.
We get the perfect present for Christmas, Molnar is back from injury 2 months ahead of schedule.
Last game this week places us against 2nd placed Sceaf Weds on Boxing Day. It’s a quiet start to the game but once TSL puts us in front on the half hour mark, we don’t look back. Brandal makes it 2 in the 56th min and George 3 in the 64th. Another 3-0 victory in the top of the table clash. Can we play 2nd every week?
We’re 15 points clear at the top of the league so surely it’s ours to throw away now! We’re world club champions, into the quarters of the champions league and are yet to make our bow in the FA cup (where we’ve been drawn against Estone for the 500th millionth time). Our only blot getting knocked out of the league cup on penalties (ensuring we play at least 1 more season). Next time out we’ll also have the European Super Cup Final where Lazio will find out who the real champions of Europe are….or so I hope!
Until then, Morna!