Good morning and greetings to you. The Brits Abroad are going from strength to strength, having won 9 out of 9 domestically to start the new season. Robbie Fowler is settling in nicely and later on in this episode we’ll try and retain the World Club Cup and European Super Cup. But first, there’s some other important business that needs tending to.
You might remember last week, we lost in Italy to Juventus and that makes our progression from our group a little doubtful. A point would be ok provided we win our last 2, a loss would be potentially catastrophic. Winning would more or less sort us out. Kevin Gallen is very good at sorting things out and he gives us the lead after 10 minutes. Inzaghi scores an equaliser with a typically close range effort and that looks like that will be that…until practically forgotten about Michael Owen climbs off the bench to snatch three points.
Looking healthier now, very sure 15 will get us through in second if we can’t overturn the goal difference.
Gallen continues his good form with a double against Estrela. Pints all round.
He’s at the double again but this time in the colours of his country as he and Robbie Fowler see off Georgia.
Off we go to Braga and at 2-0 up, things look great. At 2-2 before half time, things are less good. Owen gets off the bench again and along with his old Liverpool team mate Fowler, the points are pulled out of the fire.
A routine win in Prague coupled with a trip to the Christmas markets makes it an exceptional Wednesday.
We’ll need a three goal swing in the last games unless Juventus mess up but I don’t think that’s likely. 15 will be enough, I am sure.
Off we go to Japan for what is becoming our annual tradition. Gallen and Fowler do the hard work and although a momentary lapse in concentration makes us sweat, Rob Page ensures it is just a 5 minute panic and we retain the not very coveted trophy.
How do you celebrate that? Steve McManaman for £2m. Just don’t talk.
He’s injured for a few weeks but we still have enough to ease past Porto. They’re definitely third in the top 3 pecking order. They injure Kevin Gallen for a few weeks in some sort of sick consolation prize.
Portugese cup! I want to win the lot and thanks to forgotten man Bridges and his replacement Fowler, we’re in the hat.
CSKA Sofia are brushed aside but we needed to score as many as possible and to declare at 3 for the final 62 minutes is probably not enough.
Second by a goal. Still, we’re through.
These buggers again. As usual though there’s not really an easy draw to be had. We’ll see Ajax in March.
Sporting really get on my tits. They are single handedly trying to ruin our fun and I’ve limited patience for it. We take the lead here but once Page is sent off it’s backs to the wall. Leandro equalises and we’re looking like holding on until our keeper is sent off and the Icelandic regen we all love steps up to take the pen against Richard Rufus…and misses! What a hard earned point.
For some reason our keeper has gone full bonk and gets sent off again away at Belenenses. This time Fowler equalises despite our numeric deficit but we lose our first league game of the season. Boo.
Newly promoted Malveira are next to cause us issues, we do briefly lead but soon find ourselves 2-1 down. Fowler snatches a draw.
Back to winning ways against Maritimo with an impressive 4-0 win. Gallen is fit and firing again and it makes a huge difference.
Another poor result follows though and we can only draw at Leca.
The first leg of the European Super Cup starts badly but Fowler is really proving his worth and the away goal equaliser sets us up nicely to retain the trophy in the return leg.
It’s so long to World Cup winner Steve Haslam. He deserves the right to go and play somewhere, even if it does end his England career.
Another away day shocker, this time against perennially annoying Academica. Without Abbey in goal we are worryingly leaky.
Michael Duberry arrives as the new back up centre half, for £900k.
He watches from the bench as our 10 men hammer Chaves. Our home form is good, our away form is a worry.
Owen nets twice and maybe it is less of a worry.
Right, let’s win the Super Cup. It’s a tense old night but we know a goalless draw will be enough and we unleash the pacey Owen when Inter come chasing. He scores and Darren Anderton marks his latest return from injury with the clincher. Another cup in the bag.
We finish with a comfortable home win over Boavista. Tougher tests ahead.
There we have it then, we might have won the World Club Cup and the European Super Cup but we’ve lost top spot. Sporting are showing some scary form, 10 wins and 2 draws in this update is a marker.
Gallen and Fowler boast identical scoring records but Gallen has 10 more assists to his name.
With all that in mind, it’s time for me to sign off for another week. Next week we’ll have the next chapter of Brits Abroad in Amsterdam, plus we try and hunt down that damn Sporting machine. I suppose there’ll also be some delicious European Championship qualifiers, all very exciting and I can’t wait to bring you the outcome. Toodles for now.