When Diego met Paul: Part 4

Ross is back with the fourth and final part of his experiment. Would Spurs have been better with Maradona and Gazza rather than Christian Gross? Two opposite ends of the fun scale there. Part 3 is here if you need to get caught up.

Hello, and welcome to what we all have dreaded. The final part of this story of when a lad from Lanus and lad from Newcastle met at a club in north London. It makes sense if you have read the previous three parts.

Any-hoo. When we last left you, the title was more or less gone, United on this game are a monster in the first few seasons, and now Diego wanted to follow in Ossie Ardiles’ shoes and win the cup for Tottingham.

First game back and it’s a tasty one vs those lot from Woolwich. Our first signing Bakayoko gets a start and doesn’t do half bad.


There will be dancing in the streets of White Hart Lane. Also, nice to see Iversen score a few.

Back in the days Newcastle paid a lot of money for players,


I don’t tell Paul, had to refuse this or this last part would just be called ‘When Diego met…’ not the same twang to it.


Came from him wanting more first team football, this means I have a spot free.

So, who to go for? Denilson? Thuram? Shearer?


Well done for anyone who guessed this lad. He was universally recommended by all three league scouts.

Young Scott wont play this season but a good buy for the future.

Next at the Lane is the big one. 2nd vs 3rd! Owen vs Klinsmann! Diego vs Redknapp! Gazza vs the urge not to wear a curly wig and a shell suit.

It’s a great game, we take the lead through Jurgen and young Owen scores after half an hour. With the game ticking away, our leading German puts daylight between the teams in the match and the league.


7 points between us and only 8 games to go.


Its semi final time. And it’s at Anfield. The locals are not happy, it’s the team who just snatched a victory against Liverpool last time out and Man United.

We start so so well. Either side of a Scholes goal Jurgen and Gazza score. We start dreaming. But you never ever rule out a Fergie side.


Oh the pain, Diego’s dream has gone. Gazza is in tears (again), probably didn’t help me accidentally letting slip about the Newcastle bid.

Our aim now is to finish second and get Champions League football. A first for this club.

Wimbledon womble in and we take our anger out them.


Gascoigne got himself injured trying a bicycle kick, wouldn’t have minded but the ball was no where near him and he was just trying to impress the crowd.

My usual nemesis Southampton turn up next, wow we have had a lot of home games recently. I speak to Diego before the match, he hasn’t been himself after the Man United game. I try and wind him up by telling him that Egil Ostenstad said his perm looked stupid.


2 goals and an assist prove my worth as manager.

We visit Man U again in hope of avenging that late defeat. Therefore the only to happen is…


Again? Oh I give up trying to beat this lot.

We bounce back with wins against Derby and Sheff Weds on a Saturday.

Our final game, also Diego’s for the club, is against Newcastle. Second will be sown up with a win. I give the little Argie the armband for the game and he responds with a great performance.


Sorry Dave.

The league was over in November to be honest. But 96 goals was a great achievement and even our defence wasn’t too bad.


Champions League will be fun.


Derby, Southampton (hahaha) and Barnsley are all relegated.

But this about really about one man. Lets look at his stats.


15 assists and 11 goals are a great return for the 36-year-old. But its only for one season. The guys in the squad have a whip round and by him a t-shirt which says ‘I’m sorry I cheated you in ‘86’ Luckily he can’t read English so smiles politely and walks away for the final time.

Ciao for now and thank you for reading this.

Thanks to Ross for a thoroughly entertaining series. You can follow him on Twitter @Riddley82

Remember to vote for your Greatest CM9798 Team!

When Diego met Paul: Part 3

Ross is back with another episode of the Gazza and Maradona soap opera from White Hart Lane. It’s January and both survived the Christmas party. Catch up with part 2 here

Hello, welcome back one and all. Maradona has rocked up at the lane. And he would only join if the man below joined.


Don’t let the look deceive you, it seems to be working.

We left last time in a place. Doing well in the league and only really Man Utd pulling away in first.

New year and its 3rd round FA Cup and home to Walsall time. Easy right?


Not a happy bunny. We score they score, we score again, they score again. A replay awaits us.


For some reason Kieron Dyer called me up about taking this job. Can’t think why, plus how did he get my number?

In typical spurs style, we put our struggles against a lower league behind us and beat a good prem side away.


This win gears us up nicely for the replay.


Yeah take that Walsall. Nice to see Rory Allen score. I had almost forgotten about Chris Armstrong as well.

Coventry feel the force of my anger next. Even David Howells scores. This did cause a few minutes of panic in the stands as people thought the world was ending. Managed to calm the situation and win 6-1.


Disaster strikes.


Tried a bicycle kick, only problem was it was in the car park. He asks if he could help with coaching, after crying with laughter for 10 mins I stop rolling on the floor and realise he wasn’t joking. OK I say, but no showing off.

We do miss his creativity in the next game (the dreaded champ man curse strikes)


Coventry in the next round of the cup next, again it should be fine as we blew them away only a few games ago.

Sadly my strikers have gone shy and the board aren’t happy.


You me both pal.

Another replay, maybe it’s how we are going to win the cup.

Word of warning NUMBER 36: Never let Maradona apply gel to your star keeper.


We continue our odd league/cup form by tearing Blackburn a new one. Sir Les even finds his scoring boots again.

FA Cup replay again, something about playing under the lights at the Lane that gets the players going.


Tough last ten mins but I’m not losing to a side with 83-year-old Gordon Strachan in their team.

More good news as Diego is passed fit for the West Ham, on the bench but it means I get my office back. Lad never took his shoes off and it stinks of cigars.


Nice. Even Judas (no I’m not forgiving or forgetting) gets a 10, plus Maradona get 20 mins.

Next up Barnsley away. Gazza winds Diego up by telling him the Barnsley fans will turn up with pitch forks and burning effigies after what happened 12 years before. I find Maradona in the toilets wide eyed and curled up on the floor.

Let’s say he didn’t have the best of the games.


Nor did anyone. The Zoo gets sent off and we somehow struggle to get near their goal.

This lets Man United go far ahead. Not happy.

Quarter-Final time, away to Newcastle. I tell the players they have a chance of winning this cup. And to actually win it in one game.

They actually can listen.


Remember Darren Anderton? Yeah, he was finally fit. And he scored. A chance for a semi for my players to enjoy.

I get an email while back at HQ. ‘YOUR PLAYER SAIB CAN’T PLAY FOR YOU ANYMORE’ stupid work permit was denied. Yet somehow, he gets a pay off of nearly a million.

Rules state I have to replace like for almost like. As Saib was an attacking midfielder this opens up a spot for another. Bakayoko will do. Diego asks ‘who this is?’ Gazza just wants to know if the local Ice Cream van comes to the training.

(Note the lack of screen shot, it was erm.. lost in the post)

So that rounds up part 3. The league maybe out of reach, but can we get Maradona to Wembley, to win the cup for Tottingham?

Top of the table looks like this:


And now the bottom:


Can Barnsley pull off a great escape? Probably not.

Anyway I have 43 voicemails from K.Dyer to deal with. Most of them just him talking in awful Italian.

Ciao for now.

You can follow Ross on Twitter @Riddley82

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When Diego met Paul: Part 2

Ross is back with one of our quirkier series’ – Maradona and Gazza together at last. Playing for Tottenham Hotspur. If you missed part 1, here it is.

Hello, and welcome back to this mini-series. If you haven’t read the first part then well done you on finding this without it.

So far, so good down at the Lane. Diego has rented an apartment near Soho, can’t think why. And Gazza has found his Gold suit from 96. Let the games begin!

I’m not a big fan of the League cup. No Europe if you win it, but Diego wants to play.


Yay! 6-2! Whoopy do! Bar Maradona the side I put out was weaker than usual. And yet we still go through.

The league is what I want. But before we kick another ball this surprise happens.
Normally does well but hey ho, not my problem.


Palace come to the Lane, we get off to a Dyer start but Sir Les takes over after.


Do love a hat-trick. Les seems to be loving having Diego play behind him. Two assists from the curly haired Argentinian and the fans love it.


Noooooooooooo. Not again. He has begun the season so so so well. He was even mistaken for Maradona because he grew his hair out a bit.

With England finishing runners up to Italy they will need a play off to get to France.


Yikes. But the second leg at home should make it easier.

Liverpool away and we have no Gazza or Carr. Not a good feeling about this one.


Hate it when I’m right. We barely enter there half. Thou Diego did visit the Cavern Club and get a load of Beatles memorabilia. Hard day’s night indeed.

Luckily, we are at home next. We play Wednesday on Saturday.


Stefanovic was so upset by that previous pun he lashed out on David Howells. How anyone would want to hurt David is beyond me. Good to see Nielsen and Jurgen on the scoreboard.

David was still raging about this on training. And as a experienced member and legend, I ask Maradona to give him some words of advice.


FFS Diego! What did you tell him? Lamping Euell was not ideal but we held on to take a point.

Now my rule on transfers is that I can only buy what I sell. Yet no one until this point wants to leave. Not even Judas Campbell. Until…


Laters Ramon. Just as long as someone wants you that is.

Pointless cup time. Hoping for a 90 min run around for fringe players and if we get knocked out then so be it. What I don’t need is pens.


Went on for hours. Diego kept texting me during the shootout asking what movie to rent from Blockbusters. He didn’t understand you needed a card. Anyway, Colin Calderwood misses the crucial pen, but we are out. Never mind.

The players go off to international duties. England struggle against the Scots. Andy/Andrew Cole scores what could be a crucial last min goal.


Sir Les wasn’t happy not playing against Scotland. I tell him to take it out on Southampton.


Good lad. Normally a bogey ground we never break sweat.

Why the second leg wasn’t played straight after the first is beyond me but here we are, and this time Ferdinand does start.


He sends 70,000 home happy and relieved.


This is what happens when you celebrate to much Paul. And just before Man Utd show up.


We almost take 3 points, but Butt (always wanted to write that) heads an equaliser.

The next game is away to Bolton. I not saying anything, bar this pic from full time.


So annoying.

I say we need to hit more goals to climb back up the league. The last few draws leave us 4th. We need more from our Argie magic man.

We take out our frustrations on Dave’s men.


And then Chelsea


I let the lads boys celebrate at Diego’s gaff.


Hmmm. Around Xmas? Well he has played well so I will let him off.

Anyway, here are the tables, both and top and bottom you lucky lot.


Which leaves…


Barnsley are pretty much doomed and we hang onto Man United’s coat tails just about.

Until next time, ciao for now.

You can follow Ross on Twitter @Riddley82@Riddley82

When Diego met Paul: Part 1

My good friend Ross is back in the guest bloggers chair with his latest idea. It involves Spurs, Gazza and an Argentine character you are all familiar with. I’ll let Ross explain further – enjoy!

Hello, it’s good to be back. Thank you, firstly, for all the positive comments regarding my previous Parma work. After Russia 18 (no one called it that though) I needed an idea. Then I saw this picture…


Maradona in a Spurs shirt, yes it happened – during an Ossie Ardiles testimonial in fact. So, what if he joined in real (CM9798) life. I made it happen, but he came with an unusual request.

I sit in my office near White Hart Lane, on the other side of the desk is one Diego Maradona. I say to him ‘Are you sure about this?’, ‘Yes’ he replies, ‘or I don’t join’. ‘Ok, I’ll make it happen’. I turn to my assistant and say, ‘Get me Paul Gascoigne on the phone please’.

Inside 3 hours I have a beaming Geordie yelling ‘I’M BACK!’

So, this is the story of when Paul met Diego.

First things first, I need to assess my squad. Diego and Gazza are in their 30’s and the front line will be Jurgen and Sir Les, who are also into their more mature years.


Diego forgets tell me he is injured. Nothing serious just a heel problem, will clear up in time for the start of the league campaign.

I’m going for a trendy formation, all the kids seem to be using it so I’ll jump on the band wagon to get success.


Sol Campbell will be the actual captain. Ian Walker wears too much gel to be taken seriously.

Our first game of the season is Chelsea. Been a while since we have beaten them. I tell the team they will need time to bond and it may not happen straight away but to keep it tight at the back.

I’m not sure they heard me…


Diego sets up one and Gazza was very strong. Our front 5 combined age is nearly 160, but 4 goals is something to keep them feeling young. The fans are happy and surely the board are too.

That same board call me up to say I can only buy when I sell. I can transfer list myself I have to wait for one to go and replace like for like. So far, probably because Anderton is injured, no bids have come in.

I go into the next match not sure what to tell the players. Diego just juggles a ball without doing his laces up during pre-match warm ups. I worry the lad will break his neck one day, or worse, Gazza ties his laces together.


Wow, what a team I have. Maradona scores, and provides more assists. Dad’s army are sticking them away. Wondering now if we could trouble the title favourites?

In a word, no.


And we had a goal cancelled out in the 88th min. Fuming I was, fuming.

Important to bounce back but a loss in our next game makes me think this team will be very 50/50.

I notice that we have been missing Steve Carr from those two matches. Maybe I’ve been focusing too much on the 2 big stars and not my little sprinting Irishman.

Leeds are next, Elland Road is never a happy hunting ground for Spurs. But with Carr back and some loud shouting from Diego, not sure what he says as it’s all in Spanish, we are up for it.


Lovely stuff. Gazza gets 2 and real life future player Richards helps us by lunging into Daveed.

After beating Bolton at home it’s Barnsley at WHL which should be fine…and is


Ginola playing alongside Maradona behind the front 2 is paying off.

Scales and Campbell are rock solid and David Howells is showing why he should be an England regular.

Blackburn do us in the last few minutes just after I thought we had nicked the game.


I tell the lads not to worry about it, but Gazza keeps yelling something in Geordie and I just smile and nod.

The next match is the North London Derby. I think Gazza got himself too wound up before the game. But how we lost against 9 men is beyond me.


I can’t let it go, 9 men vs 11. Adams was sent off early as well.

I’ll end this first part with the table.


A strong start but Chelsea have a game on hand on us. 26 goals are a lot but I’m worried the defence will cost us.


At the bottom and Everton and Newcastle have a lot to do. Though I reckon Newcastle will bounce up the league one Wor Al comes back after injury.

I’m still upset, 9 men!!!! Anyway, Diego is doing great and Gazza has promised to stop letting off fire extinguishers in hotels.

Join me next time, ciao for now.

You can follow Ross on Twitter @Riddley82

The Gialloblu Chronicles – Part 11

Ross is here on this wonderful bank holiday Monday to bring you the final part of the Parma story. They’ve had quite the time under his management, but can they add the Champions League to their trophy cabinet? Part 10 is available here.

Hello, we have reached the final furlong. Emotional I know. I’ll give you all a few mins to wipe away those tears.

Now you have got that nonsense out of the way lets win the champions League.

Firstly we have the visit of the mighty Juventus.


Mighty? Pah, move out of the way old lady. Saying that though what a cracking second half. Deschamps went two footed on Dyer, Kieron over reacted after by saying he saw a bright light and voices. Was just the physio standing in front of a floodlight.

We get brought back to earth next away to Bari.


Thorninger proves to be a thorn in our side…. I’ll get me coat.

The rest of January proves frustrating. And only one win in five drops us to 3rd.

The draw for the quarter finals of the Champions League provides some respite.


I’ll take a trip to Portugal.

That seems to provide to skip in the players step with the visit of Roma.


Losing Larsen will be a pain. He provides a lot of assists from dead ball situation. But I’ll take the win and send 42,000 fans home happy.

The top 3 looks like this, I promise it isn’t a copy and paste from previous seasons.


I’ll be honest I’m aiming for second and concentrating 100% on Europe. Inter and us have lost twice as many as Juventus and their defence is tighter than a duck’s behind.

We go to Porto knowing we are big favourites. I’m never sure how the players will respond to that.


C&C at your service. That should put the tie to bed but we have been up and down recently.

The second leg comes around really quickly and I want a professional performance.


Even with Crespo missing Erik proves an able deputy.

A good night all round for Italian clubs.


No Barca, Man United, Madrid and Now Munich. I really could do with playing Auxerre. Juve and Inter can knock seven bells out of each other.


Damn it. Now do I go attack vs attack against them?

Let’s get back to the bread and butter.


Absolutely hammered them, and after 3 wins in the league to drop points more or less hands the league to Juventus just when I hoped we may sneak it. Second and Champions League football is now the focus.

The first leg of semi final is away. I remind the players that we battered them in January and we can do it again.


YES!!! Big away win. Still no Hernan but Enrico comes up trumps. Also, I think this could be the first match I’ve not used a sub. One for the purists that.

Straight to the second leg. And I can tell the players are focussed, even Kieron Dyer is quiet. I ask him if he is ok, he says no and goes on to explain his Tamagotchi died that morning. I tell him to put his shin pads on.

Juve’s players start snarling in the tunnel, Zizou is shouts at me ‘What did you say about my sister? I’ll butt you!!’. Talk about wound up.


Take that and party. Del boy misses a pen, and Den puts us in the final. Lillian Thuram was a rock. Started slapping Buffon and Cannavaro. Whatever, we are through. We await to see if it’s Inter or Auxerre in the final.


We are doing this the hard way. And guess who we have next in the league


Good lad Bordin. Curtis getting on the scoresheet as well. A good omen? Who knows.

How’s the race for second going you ask?


OOhhh, tastier than a freshly cooked apple strudel with cold custard (guess what I had tonight).

Juventus miss out on the double after being thumped by Sampdoria at home.


Look at that aggregate score! People tell me Italian football is boring. Well, take a look at our next game.


Mancini, still playing in a light blue and white scarf, pegs us back twice. Forgotten man Fiore rescues us in a game that causes Cannavaro to lose his head.


With only 1 league game to go all we need is a draw for Champions League football next season.

I get Crespo back, just in time for the big final. Away to Verona and I start the Argentinian.


Nice one Hernan. At a stadium that sounds like a hair salon, we get a nice win to send us to the final with real hope. Inter will be down but dangerous. And they have Ronaldo.

The final table looks like this.


Clearly way back in second but we have been consistent and the title win last season was fantastic. But as previously said we want the big eared trophy.


Lazio are relegated which seems odd with the squad they have. But not my problem, next stop Germany.

Chiesa is Injured, so Nevland comes in for him. The biggest concern for me is the form of Sibierski. Not played badly just not scored much. I ask Dyer, who plays on the same side of the pitch, how he has looked in games. Kieron says ‘Tall’. Cheers lad.

It’s a bright day in Germany, good for football. I say to the team how proud I am of them to get this far, but the job isn’t done. Inter will want revenge for finishing 3rd. And we need to be strong in defence and brave up front.


CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!! Sibby comes good in the final and Nevland scores. Cannavaro goes up to lift the trophy they have all craved.

And what a way to end this story. Thank you all for reading, to actually achieve everything inside 3 seasons was quicker than I had expected and it’s been great fun to write about. Thanks to Dave for the opportunity. I’ll be back for the World Cup managing Denmark, I would write more but my assistant has just told me Dyer has his whole head stuck in the Champions League trophy. Lad will never learn.


Thanks to Ross for bringing us this save. You can follow Ross on Twitter @Riddley82



The Gialloblu Chronicles – Part 10

Parma time on this Monday lunch time and the Ross Revolution continues. He’s hired a birthday boy assistant for this update but will it help him through a tough Champions League group? Part 9 is available here if you need to catch up

Hello and welcome to a very special update. Firstly, its number 10 and still going strong, but also, I have a special contributor. After being told I ignore him while writing this up by my wife, it’s with great pleasure to introduce you all to my 5-year-old (it’s also his birthday today) son Owen. He will be giving his expert view on each game mentioned today.

So, onto the serious stuff. We left last weeks update after a cracker of a game against Milan. Our focus though if I’m honest is the champions League.

We travel to Wacker Moedling for next. And we ‘Wacker’ them for 90 mins only to get one.


Owen: Why are your players scared to score daddy?

Not now son Kieron Dyer has heard about a Y2K bug and wrapped himself in tin foil.

We go back to league duty for the start of October. Home to Roma is still a derby of sorts, and I let rip to the players about needing to score more. This upsets Erik Nevland, Owen offers him a sweet and cuddle and says he can take pens. I say ok, anything to stop him crying and we don’t get many anyway…


What a game! Has more or less everything. Cannavaro gets a silly red card but we hold on for a great win.

Owen: Maybe I should be manager person? Hahahahaha, you pooh-head daddy.

Harsh words son but yes you did get the Erik on pens bit right. Now bedtime.

Confidence is high within the squad and I even let them watch Scooby Doo on VHS instead of afternoon training.

Now as you may have noticed, we have started the league unbeaten. I stupidly let this slip during a meeting, as previously said none of the players read the papers, all hell breaks loose so I have to put scooby doo back on.


Damn it! We draw level and have a great chance to go ahead. But Nevland’s missed pen seems to stir Torino and Cerbone mainly into top gear.

Owen: Did you want Red team to win today daddy?
Owen: so why did you let them?
Go to bed.

The team seem a bit all over the place at the min. Sibby is my main worry. The goals and assists have dried up lately. Which is why Melli is playing more often than not.

But I need to remember what the aim is this season. Speaking of which we play PSV next and they can tricky.


Or not. Svindal Larsen goes all Henrik and slots home a rare hat-trick.

Owen: 6? Wow I can have McDonalds for dinner now?

Also, great to see Chiesa score some, he can go through hot streaks, hoping this is the start of another.

Ok, the next game requires some explaining to me…


No nothing to do with the actual score line but the fact we get knocked out for this? Seriously, I have no idea how the Italian FA come to this arrangement but we are out.

Owen: (shrugs shoulders and pick his nose)

We need to refocus for our next game. Away at Old Trafford and I decide to really drill the defence.


Seems to have worked. Really please we managed to keep a dangerous team like United at bay.

Owen: this is boring, why can’t you score goals?

Thanks for stealing my thunder there son.

But he has a point, yes, we have played two big teams but we never threatened their keeper.


Ahhhh, three games now without a goal and Udinese snatch a late winner.

Owen: your face is very red daddy, like tomato.

I lock the players in the dressing room after the game for an hour, real reason being I’ve lost the key, but I’m not letting them know that. I demand a response from the players against Napoli. If not some may need a new club.


That’s much better. Crespo scores for the first time in what seems like a million years. Napoli said we were a bit aggressive with our tackles and losing Taglialatela was ‘pasta’ joke…

Owen: Mummy says you’re not funny.


And again! 4 more as well.

Owen: yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Well put son.

We take our new-found confidence to Inter.


Bordin, if you’re asking, was a cheap freebie. And is starting to look a bargain. Crespo continues his scoring hot streak.

Owen: Why do you keep pestering that man called Ron daddy?

‘Ron’ still won’t join me here.

As we get closer to the turn of the century I know I need to keep the players grounded. They have a habit this season going great guns for a few games only to lose one.


Hey presto! It’s happened again.

Owen: They had 10 people and you had 11? Why didn’t you win?

No McDonalds for him. A very frustrating game.

We end our Champions League group stages with a routine win over PSV.


Not one goal conceded and 5 out of 6 games won. Sadly, Wacker do not register a goal.
I didn’t bring Owen to this game, Holland can wait for his 18th birthday.

We come to our winter break with our league form very odd and our European stuff red hot.

Something to think about during the turn of the century. For now, I leave you with some words of wisdom form the Birthday boy,

Owen: I like Cricket.

Lad will learn. Ciao for now.


The Gialloblu Chronicles – Part 9

Parma Monday has been a thing for…well this is the 9th episode so you get the idea. Ross has won Serie A but can he add the Champions League trophy to the cabinet? What will season 3 have in store? Let’s find out, or catch up with episode 8 here

Hello, and welcome to part nine of this Parma adventure. And what an adventure it’s been. If you remember, last week we had just won the league for the first time in the clubs history, I did let the players go out and celebrate. Just nothing too big I said, we have a champions league final soon.

The following morning, I get a call from a swiss police station saying they have a T Helveg in their cells. The idiot got on the wrong train, sadly dressed as a Viking which didn’t go down well in Switzerland. No sense of humour those cheese eating clock makers.

Anyway, we have a final to get ready for. Luckily, it’s in Italy and I can keep a tight rein on the players. We seem confident in training even Thuram shares a joke, was a bit close to the edge and he made Hernan cry, might be a reason he keeps himself to himself.

We start the game so well. But Juventus want revenge for losing the league.


Even them going to ten men doesn’t deter them. Everything we threw at them didn’t work.

Our captain Thuram gave the players a rousing speech in the dressing room. Only problem was he was naked and no one knew where to look. Not on the small side is our captain.

So, a summer awaits us. No World Cup or Euros. And to be honest I didn’t really dip into the transfer market. Which is odd for me. But this squad is a solid one.

Training resumes in late July and with no new signings to chant about its business as usual. I say that but Kieron walks to every member of the squad and introduces himself at the first session. I shake my head in quiet disbelief.

For the Supercoppa, charity shield for you and me, I decide to rotate to team a bit. Richard Wright has looked sharp in training. And Buffon seems happy to sit this one out.


The fact it hit him in the face as he just looked at it makes this lose worse to take.

But still, I want the big one this season and even the league can suffer as long as we get at least second.

With the league not started yet, we have the draw for Champions League, and it throws up a tasty group.




Why so many teams from the same country are being drawn with each other?

The smile gets slightly wiped off my face.


Man Utd again? Seriously!! FFS. I immediately regret shouting this out at UEFA Headquarters.

I rush back to Italy, we have Coppa Italia stuff to deal. My mood is improved knowing my dancing Brazilian is back. I put Den straight back in.


Sambas all round.

The fixture gods seem to be taking the piss. Juventus away is our first one. I’m having to throw an inexperienced striker Bordin in as Hernan is away injured.


Masterstroke from me I say. And sweet revenge for the final. But I want European success.

We make it two wins from two with an easy stroll against Bari.


I need another striker of quality. And after 2 years of chasing this lad he is finally mine.


A snip at £2mill. Welcome Erik, please don’t talk to Kieron Dyer.

Obviously, he can’t play against United in Europe, well not till the QFs to be accurate.

We welcome United to the Ennio to start our quest for the ultimate trophy in European football.


Why they bought Chris Armstrong I’ll never know. More so when he came on for Giggs.

A good start for that competition. Now we turn back to League, and Fiorentina are dealt with easily by C & C (doubt that will catch on).


Super Erik comes off the bench to snatch a winner in our next league game.


Seriously fixture guy?


I’ve never gone that far in this cup and its looks like I’ll struggle again.

As I’m allergic to cats I can’t kick one. So, I tell the lads to attack Milan. This nearly backfires spectacularly after 10 mins.


Buffon lamping out a Milan Midfielder wasn’t the aggression I was looking for. But a superb game for the neutrals.

Let’s leave this update here. I need to calm Gigi down with a cold shower. Not like him to be all hot headed but he is young and will learn.

Ciao for now.

You can follow Ross on Twitter @Riddley82



The Gialloblu Chronicles – Part 8

Part 8 already? Ross is back with the latest from Parma but is he having a Part A? It’s the end of season 2 and Parma are looking for the Serie A title and the Champions League to go with it. Can they do it?

Hey there, a more serious intro this week. My Parma side on the cusp of something great. We are going for both Serie A and Champions League. In all honesty I’d be happy with one but something tells why not go for both. Although later I work out it was Buffon whispering through the air vent.

Anyway, enough of that I have trophies to win.

We welcome Lazio to the Ennio, a tough team to break down.


Or maybe not. We are fast out of the blocks and 3 up within 15 mins. A few changes on 75 mins lets Lazio back in, but we stand up and are a step closure to the holy grail.


As you can see its tighter than ducks behind. Odd that with players like Ronaldo etc Inter haven’t out scored us. I’m not showing the lads this, as I’ve said in previous weeks the numbers will just confuse them all.

We host Rangers next up and training has gone a bit crazy. Like a bunch of kids in a school playground they are over excited. I tell them to cut training short and go have a sleep. Problem is, no one set an alarm and we were all still there at 7pm.

The semi-finals await us. I tell the lads to keep it tight and we will easily go through.


Odd game. Rangers barely came at us and Hernan just pocked on home.

Udinese are dealt easily; a 2-0 win and my pager comes up with the massage that Inter have lost. Two horse race? I’m not ruling them out.


The semi final draw for the CL throws us against the Mighty Barcelona. We have to go the Nou Camp or Camp Nou or whatever people call it, I swear it changes every week.


Wow what a match. Niclas stupidly went in two footed on Nadal, oddly Nadal was seething and decided to try and decapitate Crespo. Chiesa slams home the winner. What would I do without these two?

Someone must be laughing at Serie A HQ as the next game is Inter away. With them slipping a bit I’ll take anything bar a loss.


Two injuries on a already tight squad isn’t helping, but the draw I’ll take. Not seen who are playing next.

Who? Juve? At home? FFS. I need some strong minds out there.


EASY EASY EASY!!! Surely that will sew up the title. Leroy’s sending off really helped. Forgotten man Helveg helps himself to a goal. Dyer was rested, turns up in his PJs. Lad never learns.


Somehow still only 1 point in it. But as long as I can keep the squad healthy a I’m still confident. Next is the 4th big game in a row. 2nd Leg vs Barca.

A few more rotations. Dyer comes back in. I remind them not to panic, and the longer the game goes on with them scoring the more spaces will open up for us.


Oh yeah!!!! Final here we come. Never thought it would be as straight forward. But no parties yet. Much to the squad’s disappointment, a local McDonalds had offered a free burger for getting through, I’m not having that.

Next is another good performance, having to come from behind doesn’t do much for the worry.


4 to play and 2 points in it. I still can’t shake off the fact Inter may come back strong.


They do win the cup, maybe that’s their launch pad?


Ravenna prove tougher than previous games. But we have a happy knack of nicking games.


Mass celebrations in the stands when the fans get wind of Juve losing. A 6 point lead with 3 to go. Surely, we won’t throw this away now?


Damn it. 2 to play and the lead is down to 3 points.

Chievo at home is our next game. I’m starting to think maybe playing the top teams benefits us.


Or maybe not… at full time I’m being hugged and kissed, I know its back to winning ways but this is a bit ott. Chants of ‘CHAMPIONS’ start. I need to get back to the changing room to find out what’s going on.

I find the figure of Thuram smiling.


I could not be prouder. In only 2 seasons we have gone from a top 5 team to top of the lot. I dedicate this to the fans who have never won it.

We celebrate long into the night.

I leave you on tenter hooks. You will have to wait until next week for the Champions League final.

Ciao for now.

You can follow Ross on Twitter @Riddley82


The Gialloblu Chronicles – Part 7

Ross is doing rather well with Parma but is that a bump in the road I see? Catch up with Part 6 if you missed it.

Hello my fellow Parmesans. Cheesy intro I know but I feel like we are family now. We left off last time 3 clear of the chasing pack, well Inter and Juve. And we can’t rest on our laurels.

We win our next two games and the other two can only win one and lose one each to give us a tiny bit of breathing space.


We can’t let this chance to win the league slip and up next is a very winnable game at the Ennio vs Vicenza.


Like a flan in a cupboard we go flat, barely landing a glove on a very stubborn defence.

I want to inject some much-needed energy to the squad. The chairman is a big ballet fan so invites a local ballet school to help the players with mobilty.


This is what happens when you try to show off. What also didn’t help is Kieron Dyer trying to heal the leg with crystals. I blame late night TV.

Without our Brazilian wizard I call upon my dependable Swede to help us out.

Away to Milan is out first test without Den.


A real ding dong of a game. Sibby shows he will survive without his mate on the left.

Another away game, this time Bari. Don’t let the score line fool you. It was a lot closer than it looks.


But only one lose since the winter break gives us a good platform for the run in towards a title.


For some reason (Note from Dave: When the German league is loaded the German teams play their last group game in February) the above draw takes place well after the previous stage, but I’ll take it. We should be just about too strong for the blue side of Glasgow.

Yet another away game, not seen my family in ages, and for 89 mins Jesper is showing us why we shouldn’t worry about Denilsons broken leg.


Not sure what I’m more worried about, the last-minute goal or Sibierski’s injury. It shouldn’t be too bad, and I have cover just not up to that standard.

Finally we are at home, and we want to stay on this unbeaten run.


We send the 35 Sampdoria fans home empty handed. Nice to see Helveg score. Chiesa and Crespo are having great goal scoring seasons. Though if one of them got injured there isn’t much to come in. But we are getting a lot of away games out of the way. Speaking of away games…


Melli is the main man, on top of that the goals are being shared about. I can almost smell the trophy. This sets us up nicely for our trip to Scotland.

We touch down in Glasgow, oddly Dyer has been very professional all week during the build-up. Even wearing a club suit and tie, we don’t have one but its nice to see him put the effort in.


Seems as though it helped. He scores the equaliser after Rangers take the lead with a player I’ve tried to sign many times. Melli scores again and we can go into the home leg confident. Might suggest all the players wear suits and the made-up tie.

Can we do the double? I’m not sure. We are carrying a few injuries and I need to keep Kieron focussed on football.

I end this part early for reasons you will find out next time. You will want to read it.

Ciao for now.

You can follow Ross on Twitter @Riddley82

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The Gialloblu Chronicles – Part 6

Ross is back with more from Parma, the second season is underway but with trips to Juventus and Dortmund to come in this update, he’s got his work cutout to continue his success both domesticalyl and in Europe. You can catch up with Part 5 here.

Hello fans. How are we? Well we in Parma are doing fine. A strong start to season two and hope is in air.

Goals have been hard to come by recently, and our next home game against Lecce is no different.


Lack of goals aside, we are top. The defence of Thuram, Cannavaro and Curtis rotated when I see fit is working.

My only issue is the wingers of Sibby and Denny. Not many in the goals column. I send them both a video full of goals to get their confidence up. A week later Denilson gives me his back saying it was just what he needed. When I play the video back I find out he used it to tape some Brazilian soap.

But maybe some home comforts is what he needed. 6 mins in in Greece he scores and the floodgates open.


JC getting his first goal as well means our strong start to the campaign continues.

Now I don’t like to see a great player out for a long time, but I want titles and Juventus are a main competitor.


With their golden boy out for the remainder this could prove crucial.

Next up is away to Lazio and a contender for game of the season.


I know its October but Mancini was wearing a blue and white scarf during the game, odd from the lad.


Ah nuts. Juventus will know that its not as big a loss as Del Piero but still a consistent performer for me. Enter Niclas and a stint in one of the many many positions he can play.

Back to CL stuff and Kiev turn up to the Ennio, we come up against two Sevchenko’s yet I suspect the one who scores might be a robot clone.


Odd the rules state we have to wear our away kit at home when there is a clash.


Two draws in the first two games have meant we might not finish top. Dortmund looking strong as well.

Now, similar to Bologna, Udinese raise their game for our visits. But we run riot, only missing a few extra goals. These stats are from half time:



Sibby scores in the second half to highlight the fact we need to be hitting the net more often. More so as its Inter at the Ennio next.

And what happened next was craziest game I’ve ever witnessed.


Hernan should have had 4 in the game. I look on envy as Ronaldo scores either side of our equaliser. He will be mine one day. But our first loss of the season proves costly, and tightens things at the top.


We need to bounce back and quickly.


A few suspensions and little injuries mean Stanic and Melli start. Nervous last ten mins but all we need is a win in our last game and we top the group.


And we do.

Ravenna, no idea either, feel the force of a hungry Crespo. Fiore show too much fury and sees red.


With Hernan scoring plenty and Chiesa setting him up I feel like we have a settled 11 with players on the fringe to come when needed.

I feel confident when we play our usual bogey team at home.


Yes yes yes. Momentum is a big word in sport, to be fair anything over 4 letters is a big word for my players. But we send over 44,000 fans home happy. So happy we expanded the stadium.

The Stadio Delle Alpi is our next destination. Even without Del boy Juve should not be underestimated. I sense nerves in my lads, not helped by the fact Kieron Dyer has taken up playing the spoons.

Half way down the motorway I see two silver objects hurled out of window and Lilian Thuram saying ‘No More!!’

I give Blomqvist and Helveg starts, I need strong characters out there and some Scandinavian spirit should help.


What a win. We go into the Christmas break on a massive high, we even let Dyer bang out Live Forever on a couple of tea spoons.

We end this write up with the league table. As you can see those three points have shot us up to top.



Only 3 points separate 15th to Milan in 8th, but that’s not for me worry about. Ciao for now.

Ross will be playing as Denmark in the CM9798 World Cup. In the meantime, you can follow him on Twitter @Riddley82