Welcome back! Loads to update you on, so let’s get the League Cup out of the way
A sign of United’s ongoing decline. They never lose domestic finals, let alone getting outplayed by a team like Derby. To be fair to the Rams, they’ve established themselves as a top-6 side under Neil Warnock, so the result shouldn’t come as a massive surprise
Meanwhile, Rovers were getting ready for the big one. A Champions League semi against this
Multiple European player of the Year Morten Carlsen was injured for the two legs, but that’s still quite a team. Internationals from 1 to 16, led by Italian captain Roberto D’Aversa. Luigi Simoni’s men had won the last three Champions Leagues and were looking to become the second team since the legendary Real to win 4 in a row
I felt we could match them. Sure, not quite the same star quality, but our midfield and forward line is as good as anyone.
At half-time, it was going well. Daniel Sirakov had latched on to a Zizi Mattar knock down to put us one-up, a vital away goal
Two yellows and Zizi is taking a long lonely walk down the tunnel. We played on with no recognised attacker on the pitch
A fantastic, and well-deserved win! Ronaldo & co barely got a ick
The focus on the Champions League was affecting our league form however
The second leg was even better
Our right and left-back both went off injured, and one of our centre-backs Riccardo Ludlam took a bad knock but soldiered on. Michael Owen started in place of suspended Zizi Mattar and scored a memorable hattrick. Four goals from English players too…
Milan await, we’ve got to be full of confidence after becoming the first team in 4 years to knock their neighbours out of the Champions League
Our Italian cousins showed us how it was done
AZ pulled off a shock in the UEFA semis, thanks to a little known player by the name of Ruud Van Nistelrooj
And Birmingham continued their push for back-to-back Cup Winners’ trophies, while AGF shock Bologna
An injury crisis was threatening to tear our season apart
A series of shaky results left us on the edge
Arsenal and United’s game in hand was against each other. A draw or United victory would have been ideal
Hmm, Brian Little’s men are one game away from an incredible come back
Fair play. An amazing turn around by Brian Little. Arsenal had been muddling around in mid-table under Arsene Wenger. A watertight defence and some quality up front was enough for them to finish above us and win the league
We threw it away really though
Losing at Orient!
At least matters went smoothly in Belgium
That was Bruges’ Orient moment!
Finally….Oh and make that a double
Talking of throwing things away, let’s take a moment to admire the UEFA Cup Final
Guidolin has to be worried about his job. He has taken Lippi’s all conquering team and taken them to top-6 UEFA Cup wannabes.
Atalanta won a crazy Coppa Italia final
With Genoa looking good for a top-6 finish, Atalanta were going for a double. They had finished 2nd five years ago and had their team picked apart by the traditional big clubs. Modonico had rebuilt though, and they looked even better 5 years on
Last game agony for the Bergamaschi though, Italian international Bellucci’s miss cost them the title
Inter win the Scudetto again, some consolation after their defeat in the CL semis
Not bad for Genoa eh? By far our best performance and hopefully something to build on next season.
The FA Cup Final is a League Cup re-run, trophy to Toshack this time though
And the Euell-Ikpeba double act do it again
And so, here we are
Anelka suspended, same as our number one striker Zizi Matter. Here’s our XI
Mattar, Notman and our right-back Piacentini all miss the game. Michael Owen is just back from injury and only at 80% fitness, so it’s certainly not our strongest line-up
The first-half is eventful
I’m hopeful there’s another goal there if we keep playing. Trouble is, there’s not much on the bench to replace Owen when he starts to tire
Mikael Landreau gives away, then saves a penalty. In the end it is beyond us, it could’ve been a different story with a full strength 11
Runners-up in Europe and England. In the aftermath, this happens
Chelsea had crashed to a 4-1 defeat on the final day of the season and were relegated as a result. Could it be time to move on from Doncaster?
What to do?! It feels like an obvious time to leave Doncaster and take up a new challenge. It’ll be interesting to see how they fare without me, but will I be stuck in Division 1 for the next three years watching my Doncaster boys rule Europe?