Welcome back to the Ladeze’s on Tour! 2001 saw us qualify for the World Cup for the first time, matching England for points in our group, including beating them at home – you can catch up here. As it happens, the World Cup draw was in 2001, but I’ve saved that joy for you now, and what joy indeed!
Have that England!
That means our group should give us a chance of escaping it. Should…
I’m actually pretty happy with that. Australia and Switzerland are beatable. I’d be delighted with a point from Argentina. As chance would have it, we’re first seeds for the 2004 Euros. And I see no reason why we shouldn’t finish top, other than some key players will be pushing mid-30’s.
We’re without some key players for the warm-ups, but as long as they’re back for the main event I don’t care.
It doesn’t seem to have much of an impact.
Mr Chips regen gets man of the match but it’s a little kink that gets us the win. A great test of where we are as a squad. However, the next game shows why we desperately need our strikers back.
Elsewhere, the Dinamo Tblisi team have played at least 119 games so far this season…
Jamarauli injures himself getting out of one of his fast cars in a poncy hat.
While the Swedes prove undercooked (tough to chew on that joke yeah?), France obliterate us for the second time in 5 years and beat us for the 3rd time on the bounce.
Their squad is ridiculous. Hopefully someone can beat them for us. The opening day arrives. It’s the Argies, I just don’t feel confident…
What. A. Result. Downsides; Schkeidze will miss two group games the idiot. Inalishvili’s World Cup is over. Brutal. Our squad has the depth of a paddling pool. The King of Kok comes in for the remaining group games. The Swiss can’t beat him enough times.
And with that, we’re through early! No time to go on the lash-vili. Lets keep it together.
We need to avoid too many bookings in the final game. Shota and Kinkladze are a card away from suspension. F***. No right back or left back. Joy.
We shuffle the pack, and the Aussies win 2-1. It doesn’t put them through, and it doesn’t lose us top spot.
The inevitable happened though.
Revichvili is back though so we’ve bolstered the defence at least. It’s Spain in the round of 16. We drew at the Euros. But we’ll be without our stars. This could be the end.
Kav goes up top carrying all our hopes. A man who hasn’t played any club football since 1996/97. Oh me. Oh my. Big Kav is a hero. Spain, stacked full of talent, just can’t get past Schkeidze.
There’s bad news around the corner though.
Nemsadze’s World Cup is over too. That makes me very sad…ze.
I’d say that’s a bad draw but with any luck the Netherlands will do a Netherlands and choke.
For f**** sake. Can we catch a break please!
The hairs on my neck are standing up. It’s 2-0, we concede but we hang on in there. Big Kav at it again and Malbaz the stand in penalty taker.
Our semi-final draw is kind as we avoid France who have to beat England. England are terrible. But I hope they can pull off a miracle as we know we can beat them.
Down to the barest of bones now.
Does it matter? Does it f***. Go on you ladzes!!!! Get in there. A second major final. If this was a song it would be Coldplay mind.
Portugal had a nightmare. They were absolute dog eggs. Didn’t create anything of note. How they got here I’ve no idea. Malbaz the unlucky man who’ll miss the final.
Srelia is back. We put the best side out we can and retain our attacking intent with our 4-3-2-1. It all seems lost as we concede late in the game, but big Kav pulls us back from the brink then wins it with a golden goal!
WE. ARE. WORLD. CHAMPIONS!!! This England line up is bizarre and terrible.
Now that is something I never thought I’d see. Quarterfinals would have been a great outcome here. What makes this even more special is the rotation we had to put up with. I’d say its time to retire after that but screw it lets keep on going!
Kav and the unstoppable Shota have been tremendous.
While this lad has grown over 5 seasons into a fantastic ‘keeper.
Well, the rest of 2002 is going to be relatively boring now. Euro qualification up next. Rovaz Arveladze, the oldest of the brothers retires. And the King of Kok lasts one season, retiring as a schoolboy after winning the World Cup.
Aside from that, we’re now the 2nd best manager in the world. Which means I’ll stop getting stupid job offers every week.
Gela Revichvili (Rovaz Arveladze) and Otari Grigorian (King of Kok AKA Zaidze) are the regens. Big Kav has moved to River Plate, Ketsbaia is now at Dinamo Moscow and Malbaz is residing at Panathinaikos. Zaza picks up an injury, so we’ll be a decent player down for our homecoming. It matters not one bit.
The Rovaz regen picks up a knock so we’re two down for Ireland. It’s a tricky tie but we scrape through.
As ever, bad news is just around the corner in Champ Man.
Playing an 18-year-old regen in goal is bad, but this:
We’ll have to mix it up against Slovakia in our final game of the year. A win takes us top ahead of them (having played Andorra, their goal difference is better). The regen concedes but we get the points.
Old Ketsbaia is flying. He’ll be 36 by the time the Euros arrive. Our year closes in a comfortable place.
I’d like to think qualification is all but assured. But as Keegan once said, you know what’s round the corner, you just don’t know where the corner is…see you next time. Ladze, over and out.