Ditching Donny

And so the decision was made, the dice were cast. Here is my new squad

chelssquad

Yep, turning my back on a young, motivated world class group of players for this lot… At least there’s a couple of decent central midfielders, and Isiah Rankin played for me at Doncaster during our rise through the divisions. The only player left from the original Chelsea squad is, weirdly, Bernard Lambourde

Who would replace me at Doncaster? A media frenzy ensued, but in the end there was only one choice…

doncnewmanager

To be fair he did a great job at Wimbledon and has had some cup success at Anfield. He plays a 4-3-3 direct system, which will be interesting to watch with the likes of Owen, Mattar and Sirakov up front

donctacts

And look who takes over from Joe at Anfield…

sheraer

Big Al at Liverpool. It didn’t take long for him to start selling their best players

rio

Shocked that I got him for such a great price to be honest. He’s a nailed on starter in the centre of our defence.

Talking of managers, early in the next season this happened

fergie tosh uniuted

Yep that’s Neville Southall, back to back UEFA cup winner in the Old Trafford hot-seat. After Sir Alex’s failure in charge of the Azzuri, the Italian FA controversially turn their back on domestic managers and go for Ferguson’s replacement at United. Hmm…

So the English big 3 are now managed by Southall, Shearer and Kinnear, who would’ve predicted that 10 years ago? Also Sir Alex is unemployed, so there will be a few managers around the world looking nervously over their shoulders

And those managerial changes aren’t even the wackiest thing to happen

mcmcmamamna

Yep that’s Steve McManaman, still a regular in my England squad. The prospect of being managed by Shearer must’ve *really* frightened him. I’m not picking him for England again, out of principle

Oh yeah I forgot the end of season awards

awards

An Anderlecht clean sweep, and Anelka’s Champions League record winning him the prestigious European award

Another record-breaking transfer in the summer

trans

Josico’s a striker with a goal a game record for Spain. Real need someone to bring back their glory days. They’ve been knocked out in the CL group stage in 6 of the last 7 seasons

real

Meanwhile we had another flying start in Italy

lazgen a13

We’ve finally got a proper striker, so we’ve got a better chance of keeping our form going

sandreani

(Not all those goals were for us mind, we bought him 6 games into the season)

Let’s quickly drop in on the Championship, first time I’ve been managing there for a few seasons, and hopefully we won’t be there for long

div1

We’ve brought and sold half a squad so far, channeling my inner Harry Redknapp

chelsaesquaf

A few returning old boys in there, including Champ Man regular Tom Youngs, as well as Justin Slade, Alec Barron, Kris Pihaama and Mikael Landreau from Doncaster

Anderlecht were, inevitably, drawn against Doncaster in the Champions League group stage… with surprising results

donc0ander4 groupc

Not an easy group, but we dominated it. Our reward is a home time against the English champions

qfsdraw

Oh and we navigated the first few rounds of the UEFA cup easily enough as well

uefaqfdraw

Neil Warnock’s Derby are second in England and will be a stern test in February.

Meanwhile, the excitement was building for the 2006 World Cup Draw. England, you remember, are hosting and I’m the manager tasked with winning our first international trophy in 40 years.

engseed

I’m not sure if that means we’re the 3rd best team, or in the third group of seeds.. Either way, we got lucky when the names were drawn out

wcdraw

There’s no easy games at this level and all that, but seriously, if we don’t win that group then I need to resign.

Before I go, a few managerial changes in Italy to update you on

laziosack lazionewmanager torocarlo

Toro have been a much better team in recent years than Lazio, so I’m surprised Silvio made the move. Even more surprised that Carlo was managing Norwich. When did that happen? And how did that happen? Back in a big job now though with back-to-back UEFA Cup Winners Torino as they attempt to regain some ground on runaway leaders Genoa…

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