So here we are in May 2010, the country has just to gone to the polls and a new coalition government have been voted in, volcanic ash from Iceland hangs over the continent, Scouting for Girls are riding high in the music charts and another season of football is reaching its peak.
Let’s take a trip back in time to the previous Autumn. First some managerial moves…
Finally! Our chance to take over a second international team. Tosh was long overdue the sack.
Then a series of crazy, crazy moves.
OK so Cardiff are bottom of Division 2, so that’s not so surprising right? But look who is going to be Big Al’s new midfield general
Matt Le Tissier’s previously unknown brother takes over from Al at QPR
I have no words for this
They weren’t going to miss out on the other side of Stanley Park either, as ex-Liverpool legend Rob Jones takes over at Goodison
So we’ve got Shearer managing Bellamy, Neville at Liverpool and Jones at Everton. The world has truly gone mad.
Meanwhile, one of my proteges is striking out on his own
Good luck Andy
How about transfers?
Big moves for my boys in blue.
Oh and let’s check in on Alan quickly..
Oops! Never mind, one day later this happens..
Chelsea, bouyed by their new signings, hit the top early on
But we were hit by a proper injury crisis..What are my coaches doing to them in training??
Ouch! As a result, we slipped to 2nd behind Joe Kinnear’s Arsenal
We reached the FA Cup semis, but once again came up short. My ex-Doncaster youngster Karl Watkin (Mark Hughes) has become the most valuable player in the league and put us to the sword in a thriller
Notts F really could have done without that extra-time, look at their fixture backlog!
Stuart Pearce still didn’t make any substitutions until he was forced to, running his players into the ground
They played cup experts Newcastle in the final. Mark Madigage continued his Didier Drogba level cup final record with another winning goal for manager Bryan Robson
Back in the league, our injury list cleared up and we secured the title with this win at our main rivals
Jansenn has returned from his slipped disc in top form
Arthur Mann has put together a decent team at WBA. Blake is the Ian Rush regen, Tom Youngs is the one and only Tom Youngs. Bradley and Barton are both in my England squad and Kenny Lunt used to be
Paul Scholes hasn’t been a great success at Donny
But not as bad as Rob Jones who takes Everton down to Division 2! Rumours that the ex-Liverpool star is intentionally sabotaging the Blues..
7-1 defeat at Man City? Ouch
It was a year to remember for Anderlecht, as we went head-to-head with Standard in an extraordinary title race. Erik Nevland was a little wasteful at times
But that didn’t get in our way, have a look at this. Two great teams or a very weak league?
The clash of the titans took place in April and didn’t disappoint. Standard saving a point with a late equaliser
The pressure began to tell on Standard as we marched on relentlessly. 100 points!
We never seem to be able to win the Cup though. Rio let us down
We laid down a marker early on in the Serie A season with a great come back against 10 man Bologna
A month later, we smashed our perennial rivals
We could be playing in the Belgian league with that kind of form. Our strength in depth was such that we could sell our 3rd choice striker to Inter for a fortune
Didn’t stop us beating them in the return game either
Remorseless.. and sure enough
We may have more of a challenge next year with a few of the big boys coming back up from Serie B
There’s a story to tell here too…
First up, we took care of the Super Cup
And, after our 3 teams comfortably qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals, we had a rematch on our hands with Marseilles
A clean sheet at home put us in the driving seat and sure enough centre-back Revelles made up for his penalty miss at the Velodrome
Chelsea were still in the midst of their injury crisis when Bruges came calling and crashed out thanks to a late equaliser and a winner in extra-time.
Not happy with Geli..but he did have a decent season overall to be fair
Genoa faced an Aston Villa side who were a decent cup-team under Gerry Francis
Led by star Italian striker Elio Di Fabio
It was a total stalemate, the teams only seperated after 210 minutes and 18 penalties
The two favourites were drawn together in a mammoth semi-final clash
Anderlecht drew first blood and made themselves clear favorites
Both keepers had a blinder, but Anderlecht clearly the better team.
The second leg took a decisive turn after just three minutes when the oddly-named Belgian international Sortiris Van Kerckhoven saw red. Anderlechy had 83 minutes to hold out, but surely one goal would see them through right?
Not when Zizi Mattar is around, this man loves the big occasion and he came off the bench to score two screamers which sent Genoa through 4-3 in a memorable tie
German international Christof Eberl with yet another man of the match performance and Anderlecht lose a Champions League tie for the first time in 3 years…
And so here we are. Genoa more or less at full-strength for the final
Eberl, Conca (Baggio) and Mattar (Weah) are unplayable on their day. 4 of the back 5 are Italian internationals and Calderaro is first choice French centre-back.
Inter aren’t bad either. Ronaldo is still banging them in at 33 and Pellegrini is arguably Italy’s star forward. Multiple Euro player of the year Morten Carlsen runs the midfield and Italian captain Andrea Gennari plays at the heart of a back 3
Genoa were too good for Inter in Serie A and the final went true to form
A new name on the trophy, is it the start of a new dynasty?
All that and we’ve still got a World Cup to come. Before I leave you, here’s a quick recap on the other Euro tournaments.
Notts Forest and Stuart Pearce made it to another final. Not young Karl Watkin this time, but old Patrick Kluivert
An all English affair
Stuart Pearce UEFA Cup winning manager.
Cup specialists Newcastle got to the CWC semis before running into Real
In turn, Madrid were blown away in the Netherlands by Udinese who follow up last years UEFA triumph with another European trophy
Oh and how could I have forgotten our annual trek to Japan?
See you next time in Argentina for the 2010 World Cup Finals, where I’ll have two teams taking part. We should both be making it out of the group stages
Till next time!