Hello there! Welcome back to Georgia on My Mind! The ladzes have a ton of friendlies to play owing to our winning the World Cup in 2002 and automatically qualifying – you can catch up here. So, there’s no table, no pickup. But at least we can say, its looking gloomy from the friendlies we’ve played so far. HOWAY THE LADZES!!!
We open 2005 in a blaze of glory, and by glory, I mean shame.
With our main ‘keeper out (although at nearly 36 he’ll also be useless now) we get a good hiding. We actually had more chances than Portugal we just couldn’t finish. Our result against Gabon does not inspire either.
Joni says ‘no papa’ but then scores anyway, what a d***. Big Kav rescues the result. We follow up with a draw against lowly Russia.
The season closes and in come the retirements.
Both our long-serving attacking full-backs retire. Unexpectedly, King Of Zaidze retires too. It was all too much at 18 years old.
The all get a call up as, who else do I have? Nobody. A lack of real football has killed our reputation.
A lob to the groin sees Nugrari out for a rest. Time for some ball control son.
Ketsbaia gets another move and is somehow, at 37 years old, the star player in a squad including 37-year-old Maldini.
Next up its Latvia, and a tweak to the formation we’ve trusted for seasons gets us back on track.
The adjustment allows us to make use of all our good midfielders and get two up top. Ignore the backline, due to injuries and the dreaded ‘Clu’ sign, we had to field fullbacks and midfielders across the defence.
Kinkladze picks up a knock, its just as well these are all friendlies. We also get the dreaded news we’ll have to turn to our sub-keeper.
At his age, that could be terminal. We go ‘keeperless in the second half and defeat Colombia. 37-year-old Ketsbaia turning back the clock with a magnificent rocket.
We retain the ‘keeperless nature against Japan and let Kinkladze have a rest. Big Kav is the man to make things happen.
Kav’s goalscoring record reads 44 goals in 57 games. Superior to Shota Arveladze. Yet at club level, he’s scored 10 goals since 1995. As soon as we face real opposition, the slow decline of our team is laid bare.
At least our draw for next years World Cup sets the stage for a chance of getting into the knockouts thanks to being seeded first. England are seeded third.
Wales beat Holland to get there so they’ll be dangerous. If we can’t beat the other two then I guess its game over. Do join us again in 2006 for our final go at glory with all the ladzes from the golden Georgian generation.