Hello Champers. Welcome to Season 13! Leeds are the Champions of England, and qualify for the European Cup. Niall was also given a dilemma after Sir Alex retired from United…
Could we swap #DirtyLeeds for the Scum of Man Utd?
Of course not! Let’s give the European Cup a good go!
First order of business is the new total… Neil Warnock’s work at Huddersfield is done. He managed to escape relegation and add another 16 games to Niall’s target – that now stands at 1619 games in 29 seasons. As we are now 13 seasons in, it’ll mean just shy of 1 extra game per season to squeeze in (and a rolling average required of 54.2).
I don’t change the squad too much pre season – though do add some regens. Here’s a list of the youngers in the squad (as far as I can tell); Spanish regens Patino Artexe (Jordi Lardin), Juan Yosu (Fernando Hierro) and Manuel Portillo (Abelardo), Italian right back Guiseppe D’Angelo (Christian Panucci), Irish Striker Kwame O’Donnell (not sure) and an English contingent comprising of left back Alan Kozluk (Phil Whittam), versatile full back Adam Andrews (Phil Neville), Daniel Valentine (Tony Adams), central midfielder Laurie Mitchell (Jamie Redknapp), central midfielder Luke Foyle (Darren Caskey), attacking midfielder Drewe Crichton (not sure), winger Mervyn McKenna (maybe Trevor Sinclair) and Strikers Matthew Barrett (Alan Shearer), Ian Walling (Robbie Fowler), and Colin Bell (David Hirst).
Our first game of the new season is a chance of revenge at Wembley, and a chance at early silverware. Crystal Palace beat us in the FA Cup final last season, so the lads are up for this one.
It’s a tight game in front of a muted half-full Wembley crowd. Last season’s heroes Trezeguet and Kluivert cannot get into the game, so it’s down to younger Colin Bell – a £750k signing from Stockport – to seal the win.
A first trophy of the season, and new silverware for our spreadsheet!
Our league defense starts with a tricky tie against rivals Argyle. After going behind, the French duo of Trezeguet and Giuly help keep us in the game either side of a George Weah goal. I’ll take a draw.
Our next game is away at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland. Our old foe Franny Jeffers scores against us for the fourth game in a row. We have no reply, and lose. Maybe I should sign Jeffers?
Our sticky start continues with a draw against newly-promoted Blackburn. Austrian Leo Rosenegger has a goal cancelled out by my former pupil Matt Gooden. Godden is Teddy Sheringham reborn. As Argyle manager, I sold him to Man City for £14 million. City then didn’t play him, and sold him to Blackburn for less than a million a couple of seasons later. What a waste and typical 97/98 AI behaviour.
At least the #dirtyLeeds faithful are getting behind the team.
We start brighter against Brentford going ahead on 11 minutes and again on 31 minutes. It crumbles as we pass the hour-mark and concede three goals to lost 4-2.
With results not going so well, I decide to go with youth, in a new-look line up; Putting Shearer and Lardin’s regens up top.
Alan Hansen goes for me in the BBC studio when the teamsheet is read out.
It actually works, and it’s Deja-vu for Hansen. Both young forwards score and we beat Norwich.
I also add Jorge Campos’ regen to try to shore up the backline.
Though he won’t be able to take part on the Continent.
Campos junior gets off to the perfect start against the Scum of Man Utd. No goals, but a shut-out at the back. [Hallgier Thoren is the Alfie Haaland regen and playing right back].
Luis Enrique’s regen has had a very colorful start to his career. What happened at Genoa in 07/08?! Can we get it on track at Elland Road?
The fledglings lose against Arsenal. Icelandic forward Gislason was one of my players at Kidderminster, signed for £9k and sold to FC Porto for £3million 18 months later. Nice to see him back in England and giving me grief!
The loss means we are in the relegation zone with six points from our opening 7 games.
I fear the worst as we make our Champions League bow. Elland Road is bouncing as Leonardo’s regen Adilson gives us a narrow 1-0 win!
Back in the league, another 0-0 and another goalkeeping masterclass. This time from Newcastle stopper, Carlton Otto.
We follow up with a vital three points against my former employers Nottingham Forest. I’m rotating strikers in the hope of someone finding some form. Kluivert hasn’t scored this season, and Trez only has two goals in ten games.
We should change our name to #boringLeeds. It’s our tenth league game, and we are flirting with the relegation zone. The positive thing is it’s a fourth straight clean sheet. Tony Adams junior is playing out of his skin.
The lads go 2-0 up against Slovakian champions, Slovan Bratislava, and are cruising. We then lose concentration, after the restart and concede. We are comfortable until an 88th minute set-piece and are left holding our heads in our hands.
Young Jamie Redknapp, Laurie Mitchell, helps us to a point against the ten players of Blackpool. My former player Warren – Mick Duxbury’s regen, if you remember – tries to help us out. It’s not good.
Mitchell scores again four days later as Inter are given a #dirtyLeeds welcome. Tony Adam’s regen can hold the phenom Ronaldo. I guess we have to take this as a good result.
We are in pole position in Group A after the opening three games.
We close the episode with a European hangover. Bolton play more than an hour with ten players and we need a last minute Barrett (Shearer) goal to secure a draw after injury to Trez.
Here is the table a third of the way through season thirteen. It’s not pretty!
Join us next time as Niall and his fledglings try to haul themselves up the table and continue their European adventure.