Old Habits

The 07/08 season has reached boiling point and with a clutch of clubs in the running for honours, not to mention a European Championships on the horizon, it promises to be quite the end to the season

The only interesting signing of transfer deadline day sees cash strapped Leeds flog their star man to Boro

marteinsson to boroLeague Cup

The first domestic silverware is Man Utd’s, beating Keegan’s brave first division Blackburn. Blackburn do however rack up 108 points to gain promotion

LC final 08But can Fergie make it a double with the Premier League?

Premier League

It was a three horse race and with a game to go, we’re hanging in there but are very much outsiders

prem top 37 playedIn truth we’ve struggled for form recently as Marco got a 4 month injury and then, unfortunately, so did new man Austin Blades

blades injuredSigh. At the bottom, there’s a few teams who could go down still

prem bottom 37 playedHere’s the last day fixtures:

last day gamesIdeally I will take at least 2nd, but that will require a good result at Villa Park coupled with bad results for Man Utd or Bolton. Man Utd, at home to mid table Leeds, are red hot favourites. Newcastle could still go down so maybe they’ll have a go against Bolton

last day resultsBloody Clarky. My point at Villa Park in isolation is a good result but it needed Bolton to lose for it to be enough. They win handsomely, but not as handsomely as Man Utd, who stroll their way to the title. Cheers Leeds. Burnley, meanwhile, are relegated.

prem final top 08prem final bottom 08So a big failure for me, maybe I can put it right in the UEFA Cup?

UEFA Cup

uefa cup sF resultsNope. Bremen go on to win the trophy, which is of little consolation

uefa cup finalLeicester, however, do England proud and retain the Cup Winners Cup

leicester CWC winThat’s some result for Roy Evans.

FA Cup

It’s an all claret & blue final

FA Cup Semis resultsChelsea’s woes continue. Is Brian Little’s wonderful career going to glitter yet again?

FA Cup final 08Crafty Brian.

Champions League

CL SF ResultsJuventus stun Real Madrid, who just have to make do with La Liga (for the first time in 5 years) and Copa del Rey, whilst Barcelona will fancy their chances.

CL Final 08Juventus win on home soil, albeit in Rome, which is a bit of an upset. Maybe van Gaal’s reign of dominance is coming to a close.

Euro 2008

So after the disappointment of this season, I’m hoping Laurent Blanc fails msierably so I can have his job. Here’s the groups:

Euro 08 groupsIt’s a terrible group for Blanc, but hosts Spain have a decent group.  My old buddies France, reigning World Champions, should fancy their chances in Group B. Firstly though, England. Here’s the squad

england squad 08Good grief. Let’s see if the hosts get us off to a good start

Euro 08 openerOh dear. England’s first game goes well

england 0 - 1 slovakiaI’m amazed the introduction of Shaun Newton didn’t change the game. Game 2 is a lot better

denmark 1 - 2 englandBut game 3 is game over

england 0 - 4 germanyHere’s some headline results:

scotland 1 - 1 france germany 0 - 4 denmark france 0 - 2 hollandgroups a and bAll of means Spain, France, England & Ireland are all out in the groups. Scotland are the only hope

Euro 08 QF 2 euro 08 QF 1Denmark’s constant run is ended by Belgium whilst Italy beat the Germans. The big shock though sees Scotland put out Portugal.

scotland 2 - 0 portugalBut can they beat Holland?

SF resultsPoor Scotland. A good final awaits though

euro 08 finalItaly take it, despite Patrick Ax and Fabien Ho-a-Hing winning world’s greatest name. Also, Kiki Musampa of Man City game. What a team. All aboard for Norway 2012

norway 2012Awards time!

Awards 08Quite sensible for once, although Andreas Andersson must be tearing up division 2. Neil Finn is a very irritating goalkeeper, if you are wondering. Two huge losses to the game though

hodgson retiresroyle retiresMeans Roy will never get the chance to lead England to underwhelming Euro and World Cup campaigns. A great shame. Anyway, thanks for reading, we’ll be back with the first update of the 08/09 season very soon.

Three Horse Race

As the 07/08 season reaches boiling point, English football seems to be reflecting real life as the national team struggles for results and for the first time since this game began, there are no English sides in the Champions League Quarter final. Fortunately, the league is still very entertaining, so let’s focus on the positives.

Last time out we saw the usual jostling for position in the opening months of the season, whilst England appointed Laurent Blanc and things were terrible. Blanc’s career as the national manager seems to be reflecting that of Mike Bassett, as he has scraped through to Euro 2008 despite not winning a game in his tenure.

blanc england record

Grim. Rough draw for the finals too. I will get that job yet.

england 08 draw

Anyway enough of our failing national team – another manager under fire is Gordon Milne, who has failed again

toon sack milne

“What we need is a Geordie hero”
“Alan Shearer is busy”

clarky to newcastle

I was tempted by the job but I’ve got a good thing going with Liverpool, not only because I’ve signed the best named striker in the game

austin blades liverpool

But things are going well in general. I’ve also nicked my old mate (shocker) from Leeds, we won a World Cup and a Premier League together, we’re like brothers. Also he was out of contract in 3 months so, you know

Landreau Liverpool

I’m one of two English clubs still in Europe, as Leicester are trying to retain their Cup Winners Cup trophy, I’m battling away in the UEFA.

UEFA Cup QF results

Werder Bremen beating their fellow countrymen so handsomely is a bit of a strange one, but I have them in the semis so I guess I’ll find out just how good they are

UEFA Cup SF

Meanwhile in the Champions League, Juventus are trying to throw it all away again

CL QF

It would take a brave man to bet against Barcelona retaining their title, though Real Madrid are always a threat

CL SF

They could yet meet in a repeat of the 2001 final, whilst Juventus won it in 2003.

In the much less glamorous setting of the League cup, Division 1 Blackburn (still managed by Keegan despite relegation) have made it to Wembley

LC semis results

Brian Little is denied yet another League Cup final appearance by Man Utd, as Fergie surely nears retirement. Blackburn are in decent form it’s fair to say

blackburn div 1

One loss all season is incredible, with just 8 games to go. A people’s champion is on the way back to the Premier League at the age of 36

alexandersson to spurs

Whilst I’ve said yet another emotional goodbye to Erik Nevland, who I just don’t have a purpose for now

sell nevland

The league itself has been a topsy turvy affair, as is the norm nowadays. Bolton continue to lead but both ourselves and Man Utd have topped the table at various times over the winter months

prem top march 08

Fairly tight, though my next game is at Bolton which could really make or break the run-in. You’d like to think there are only 3 teams in it, though you can never discount Leeds. Meanwhile at the bottom, Chelsea continue to struggle without Tony Adams

prem bottom march 08

Perhaps Dalglish will be saved by their FA Cup run, incredibly 15th, 16th and 18th join 5th placed Villa in the semi finals.

FA Cup SF

All of this means that the final 2 months of the season should be very exciting – I am aiming to win at least one trophy, but why not have both? Until next time…

England firing Blancs

The 07/08 season is here, and despite England being well on their way to Euro 2008, the powers that be have decided that Glenn Hoddle is more like Glen Shoddle. Has that been used? Probably not. Anyway, terrible puns aside, here’s how the opening months of the 07/08 season have panned out. hoddle sacked Poor Glenn, all he did was fail miserably in England’s home tournament 40 years on from the scene of their greatest triumph. Why they’ve strung it out for a year, I’m not sure. Anyway, I apply for the job as I fancy my chances of taking these idiots to World Cup 2010. However, I’ve been overlooked for Laurent Blanc. blanc to england So we’ve got Tony Adams in charge of France and Laurent Blanc in charge of England. Modern football. Hilariously, Blanc’s blown it! slovakia 4 - 0 england What a disgusting result. The old Cadamarteri/Gallen partnership is just not up to it. Still, things will surely get better? england 0 - 0 israel Disaster. And a cap for Sam Aiston…obviously. Here’s Blanc’s squad – but qualification is in the balance england squad That’s quite enough of that. On the domestic front, I need a goalscorer to partner Bochenski so I’ve raided Leeds for Victor Marco marco to liverpool Good times. Few will have predicted this Charity Shield back in fictional 1997 when I started this game CS 07 Todd remains one of the few “original managers” – another one though has been given the boot coventry sack strachan He’s not the only one though everton sack hateley But as usual, transfers have gone crackers carreras to barca martens real morientes to real seedorf to valencia The managers are in on it too, Roy Evans is crawling his way back up the ladder Evans to Leicester There’s some other changes afoot too wenger to lyon reid to everton Peter Reid’s tour of his old clubs is back underway. Anyway, the actual football hasn’t been bad either. We start away to the champions – nice and easy champions 0 - 2 With the UEFA Cup to compete for too, I’m hopeful of this being a big season. Things are decent and my annual win at old club Leeds is very handy.leeds 1 - 4 liverpool It does help well the opposition’s World Cup winning keeper is sent off after 2 minutes. As we creep into November, here’s the tables: prem top nov 07 Tight table again but Bolton lead the way – they’ve just beaten me 3-1 at Anfield. It’s definitely a league where anybody can beat anybody, unless you’re Bradford. Chelsea are in the bottom 3, remarkably – whilst Burnley is the place to be for entertainment. prem bottom nov 07 Bradford, probably wisely, give their manager the sack bradford sack jones And to round this update off in a neat little package, Glenn Hoddle finds work at 1st division Watford. Bouncing back. hoddle to watford It’s going to be a ridiculous few months – join us next time to see if England scrape into Euro 08 as a best runner up or whether Blanc will be under immediate pressure