Champions of Europe

Here we are again, the 2005/6 season is done and dusted and there’s a lot to talk about…

ITALY

Starting in Serie A, we pulled out a big performance to defeat Inter and knock them off the top spot in early Feb

genintseries

We were still alive in Europe after a tight two legs against Derby

uefaqfd1qfsecondleg

We also got arguably the best draw in the Semisuefasemi

But we were beginning to struggle with a crippling injury list. Games like this didn’t help

andriaaway

A monumental effort to grind out 3 points with 9 men on the pitch by the end

The injuries and suspensions were beginning to take their toll. We were one up in Holland until our goalie was sent off and Paciorek put away the penalty

feygeno

Two more injuries and we were struggling to put a fit team out. In the end we fell short

genfeyuefafinal

Juve didn’t have much problem with Feyenoord in the final, although the red card helped. (Florio was released on a free at the end of the season despite his heroics. I put in a generous contract offer, but he ended up at Inter – like everyone else)

Talking of Inter, another cup win for the neroblu

coppaitalis#

Our crippling injury list and fixture backlog meant that Inter narrowly beat us to the league. Another double for Luigi Simoni’s unstoppable force

afinal

Still, year-on-year improvement for i grifoni…maybe next season…

genoarecord

Freddie Kanoute is the goalscoring superstar we had needed to take us to the next level

kanoutegenoave

The likes of Christophe Eberl, Daino, Valois and Sandreani missed large parts of the season through injury. Hopefully keeping them fit next year, our youngsters getting a year older and a couple of big signings will be enough to win us the scudetto

ENGLAND

Man United reached their sixth league cup final in nine years. A tight match was decided by penalties. Alex Martin, ex-Anderlecht striker missed the decisive spot-kick

leaguecup

As expected, we cruised to promotion, a run of defeats near the end made it look closer than it was

div1final

The real excitement for us came in the FA Cup. After seeing off three Premier League Clubs (Boro, Birmingham and Hull), this happened

dasemidraw

A semi-final against my old team. Doncaster were well clear at the top of the Premier League, and still had basically the same XI which I left them with.

A massive task was made even harder when we got a red card after just 8 minutes

10men

Despite being a man down and a goal down at half-time, we fought back in a courageous second half90mins

Extra-time couldn’t seperate us, so it was up to the Stadium of Light for a replay

semis1che1donc3

Doncaster’s class told in the end, but a hugely encouraging cup run showing that we can mix it with the best in the Premier League already.

Rovers made short work of Spurs in the final

doncfa

Remember Alan Shearer took over at Liverpool? Let’s check in on him quickly

liverpool1liverpool2

The less said the better

Joe Kinnear completed a double in his first season in charge. A first league title for Cup specialist Kinnear

prem38

Under Bryan Robson’s management, Spurs have established themselves as a power in the Premier Leaguespuors

Not sure about his first transfer market move of the close season though. What has Eidur ever done to justify that fee?eidureidur3

We’ve got a few good players (mostly Doncaster bench warmers) who will definitely be good enough for the Premier League, we need to strengthen our defence though and Mikael Landreau has been a real disappointment in goal

cehsleasuad

BELGIUM

Excitement in Brussels was building about our European cup run. Arsenal were dumped out at Highbury thanks to a late goal from German striker Jorge Seitz

clwfslegpsgaway

PSG have knocked us out before, but we’re a better team now and I don’t think they are as good..

As it turns out, we battered them at the Parc des Princes. Our captain Dmitri de Conde ran riot

psganders

A memorable night, and even better than one of our few Belgian players made the difference

The second leg was a formality, and of course we all know who we will be playing in the final

clsemis

The League and Cup were wrapped up with minimum fuss

jupilerfinalwintitleaalanderlecht

De Conde again, as Aalst are blown away in 5 first-half minutes

So it’s Belgian double-winners against Italian double-winners. A fitting climax to the club season.

They’re fearsome opponents

interavrintereurope

My Doncaster team last year were the only team to beat them in Europe for 5 years.

We’re not bad either though, we came into the game on the back of one defeat in 47 matches.

Here’s my starting eleven. More or less at full strength, bar an inury to Rio Ferdinand

anderlechtxi

Jason Revelles is the rock of our defence, 25 years old and captain of France. Angelo Sala is just 23 and often captains Italy. Erik Nevland scores close to a goal a game and you’ve all seen what De Conde is capable of. Kim Ottesen in goal has developed into a world-class player (as you’d expect from Schmiechel’s regen)

In a season of unfortunate red cards, we got another on in the second half. Andrea Gennari against his compatriots (I end up selling him to Inter in the summer).

Not only is it a red card, but a penalty and a chance for Ronaldo to put his side one nil up..

Incredibly he skies the penalty! Then when multiple European player of the year Morten Carlsen does have the ball in the net five minutes later, it is disallowed.

Is this going to be our year? After 120 minutes, this is the final score120minscl

And so to penalties.

I’m fairly confident with our penalty takers, the only issue is who will take the all important 5th kick. In the end I go for Jason Revelles, he may be a centre-back but he’s got a shot on him and I think he’s the man to turn to when we’re under pressure

Inter’s penalty takers are just as good. The first three up for them are Ronaldo, Carlsen and Trezeguet. Ronaldo doesn’t miss a second penalty, but Kim Ottesen pulls off a great save from countryman Morten Carlsen!

Our penalties are flawless, and with the score tied at 4-4, Jason Revelles has the chance to win us the cup with big ears for the first time.

What was I doing giving a centre-back the responsibility?clfinalwinners!

Champions! Kim Ottesen and Revelles are the heroes of the shoot-out as we become the first Belgian team ever to win the biggest trophy of them all!

Here’s the squad which led us to glory

andersquad

De Conde was our star performer, but everyone played a part.

And here’s my new man crush…revelles

When it comes to goal-scoring, it’s all about one man

andersgoals

All this and a World Cup hosted in England still to come! Before I leave you, I nearly forgot the Cup Winners Cup. cwcsemicwcfinal

AIK continuing the strong Scandanavian showing in Europe, but Sporting Lisbon winning the final in Glasgow in a role-reversal of the Lisbon Lions..

Here’s the squad which I hope will emulate the legends of 1966 and take us to World Cup victory

engsquad

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Champions of Europe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s