Welcome back. So we’re well into the 01/02 season, all three teams in their respective top flights, no danger of getting sacked (famous last words..) and things are going particularly well in England for us.
First up, here’s a taste of the transfer market
I decided to cut my losses on Fabio Nene, it can be hard to find buyers for players who need a work permit. I didn’t think he would be a regular for us next season so I didn’t want to end up having to free transfer him because his work permit got withdrawn.
Will Claude Makelele be the player to transform Liverpool from a Cup team to a team that is consistent enough to win the league?
Juventus and Inter have plundered last years’ surprise packages Atalanta. By halfway through this season, all their star players have been sold and they found themselves in mid-table
Meanwhile, some massive managerial changes were afoot
Yep, early season shock as Sir Alex walks out of Old Trafford to take up the reigns in Italy. We’ve now got Lippi in change of England and a Scot in charge of the Italians. Italian managers are famed for their tactical know-how, they can’t be happy at a Scot coming in to take over their national team.
But more importantly for me, will this spell the end of United’s dominance? Who can possibly step up to fill the gap at Old Trafford? Well. the answer is obvious…
Yep, it’s Tosh. He didn’t have a great record at Chelsea, so it’s a bit of a surprise. He does have European experience though, and maybe that’s what the United board are looking for, they’ve dominated England for years, but never done it in Europe.
The managerial merry-go-round keeps turning
Joe Royle has done a great job at Citeh, big shoes for Roy Evans to fill. Wimbledon are struggling early on in the season, so a big job for Andy Clarke in his first managerial post.
Oh and big Jack is back in England. I don’t think Germinal Ekeren was ever the right fit for him.
How about some actual football then? Good start to the season in England eh?
Over in Belgium, Bruges only dropped 5 points in the first 24 games!
Not much chance of us competing with that, but in a one off cup game, you never know
In my first full season in Serie A, Inter sent a message out in the Super Cup
To be honest, I’ll be happy with 14th place this year and a chance to buy a few players in the summer. Look at Bologna though! They’ve finished in the top 7 every year so far, so this is no fluke. The next game could be decisive, a top-2 clash with Milan
Yes, a 4-1 home defeat in the Derby della lanterna is probably not my finest hour. But Bologna are now red-hot favorites for the title.
Over in the Premier League, we had managed to build on our good start
United, even with a new manager, just keep winning, so I think the title is beyond us, but we’ve still got a chance of qualifying for the Champions League.
We have put in some great performances though, not least against 4th place Blackburn
Our situation isn’t helped by our goalie leaving on a big-club release clause
I bring Nathan Munson, last year’s player of the season back to the club to cover the GK position. Mark McStay’s first game is a cup final
Another cup for Joe Kinnear and Liverpool
In the European Cup, United faced Ajax in the quarters. After a decent result in Amsterdam, they were favorites to make it through, but….
They could do with signing that Ajax goalie
The semis looked like this. Bruges are having a monster season at home and in Europe, but Barcelona is a step up for them. Ajax face a difficult trip to the San Siro after dispatching United in the last round
The other European semis are as follows
Napoli knocked out last year’s heroes AaB in the quarters.The Neapolitans are in their 4th successive Euro semi-final. Three Italian teams, two English and two Spanish. If I were a betting man I’d go for a Monaco – Fiorentina and Milan – Napoli final.
As well as the UEFA Cup Semi and League Cup win, Liverpool find themselves in another semi-final. Blackburn are having a big season too. Fourth place in the league and two semi-finals. Their opponents in the FA Cup look easier than their draw though.
So all to play for then. Doncaster aiming for top-2. Anderlecht going for the Belgian Cup and Genoa just hoping to survive. Oh and a World Cup too, will Sir Alex lead Italy to glory?….Join me next time…