Hello there! Welcome back to another stint in the Georgian national team hot seat. We’re just stepping into our Euro 2004 qualification as the reigning world champions. You can catch up here. The problems I foresee now is that the players are going to be in their 30’s by the time the tournament comes around. We should end up 1st seeds, so hopefully if we qualify, we can at least get out the groups.
We’ve had a perfect start. But can it continue? Well, we’ve got Albania and Andorra so that should help.
Shota with 8 attempts and only 1 goal to show for it. Should have had more. The regens get some limited game time too. Rovaz’s regen now has a decent club.
We lose our talisman which is a big blow. He’s on the younger side of the players too which means he’ll be replaced by an older, less able man.
The Andorra game is the breeze you’d expect. Again Shota has 8 attempts.
We lose Zaza our right back from Ipswich so we’ll shuffle the pack for Belarus. Shot in midfield and big Kav up top does the trick.
We look weak against Ireland, and we only manage a point due to an own goal.
The FA tell us it’s a poor result. They’re probably right, but we’ve likely put ourselves in sack territory by raising expectations too much as the players get old. Inalishvili will be suspended for the next game too. We leave ourselves in a good position though, take a point from Slovakia and really that should be enough to get through by winning the remainder.
Our regen-regen keeper retires again after 1 season. What is up with that?
Here’s the regen-regen-regen:
Lobjanidze joins Srelia at Sunderland and Tskhadadze joins Santos. Ketsbaia is now without a club again and at 35, I think that might be it for him. Next Stop Slovakia.
A poor game. We concede against 10-men and are lucky to survive a late onslaught. Worrying ladzes, very worrying. We beat Albania but it’s very poor.
No Ladze of the match here, we need to do better. On a positive note, we’re through.
The FA are very happy. Our final game sees us go 6-0 up against Andorra at half-time, only to have an absolute turd of a second half where we also concede. I’d have expected 12-0.
Shota can’t shoot, I’m in trouble. 10 shots and 2 goals against part-timers from the Football Writers player of the year for 2002/3. Awful. The final group shows how much more quality we shockingly had.
We’re first seeds for the finals. But the group we get is anything but easy.
That said, England look shit. They qualified but lost 2 games. They’ve got a lad who was at Oxford in 1997/98 in the squad and his stats look woeful. Alan Rogers is still the main centre back and the keepers look shocking. Romania are, like us, getting old but they have some top players. Sweden should be beatable, but they could be the dark horses. Do come back for 2004, which might just be our last year…