Yep I know, 4 months is a long time..real life got in the way a little bit there, but I’ve been playing on and off and I’ve got an entire season to update you all on..
Those of you who can remember back to November will know that Big Al wasn’t pulling up any trees in charge of Liverpool.. One month into the new season, this happened
Steve McManaman back at Anfield after a couple of seasons at Northwich Vic.
Is this a record for the longest ever injury?
He’ll be a big miss for Luigi Simoni, not like they’re short of decent players though. Talking of which, here’s a definite record as I raid the piggy bank (and put myself into debt)
Oooh, he’s a player…
A quick look at the leagues early on..
The only surprise in any of that is seeing Doncaster down in 9th, oh and we’re doing OK in Belgium eh?
And not just in Belgium…
Jorg Seitz with a World Club Cup Final goal to go with his World Cup Final goal 5 months ago (and he’s still not my first choice striker…Erik Nevland gets the nod ahead of him most weeks)
In a normal league, 32 points from 14 games and a draw away to your main rival would mean you were in a great position, but Serie A in the mid-2000’s ain’t a normal league
We got a 0-0 draw away to the best team in the Premier League too, and halfway through our first season in the top flight it looks like a year of consolidation
Doncaster back on track. Over at Stamford Bridge, a top-6 finish and European qualification is the limit of our ambitions for now.
Anderlecht’s target of winning every single league game came unstuck 17 matches in, in unfortunate circumstances
But we did add the European Super Cup to our trophy cabinet, it’ll go nicely alongside the Champions League, World Club Cup, League and Belgian Cup trophies.
The trophies weren’t just being won by our Belgian cousins though..
A win over Brian Little’s Arsenal gave me a first League Cup win of the game so far (I didn’t win it in 8 years at Doncaster).
Arsenal had fallen behind Doncaster in the league by this point, but had their eyes on another trophy
Brian Little’s old club, relegation threatened Aston Villa, stood in their way, managed by Gerry ‘the perm’ Francis.
As we reached the end of the Premier League season, a 4-1 win at Liverpool meant we were in with a shot at a UEFA spot
As for Liverpool, how was player-manager Stevie Mac working out?
Out of the top-flight for the first time in 45 years! Successive catastrophic managerial appointments and a mediocre squad have resulted in a spectacular collapse. The rats waste no time in leaving the sinking ship. Denilson on a free is definitely worth having a look at..
Anyway, there’s a UEFA cup place to win. Our last two games are against the top-two, Arsenal and Doncaster. Arsenal must have their minds on the upcoming FA Cup Final
A quick word of praise here for our captain Richard Flounders
A £3.2 million purchase from Everton last season, that’s some performance for his first season in the top-flight with us.
Another 0-0 draw with champions Doncaster means we finish in a creditable 6th place
Drama down at the bottom though. It’s a great day for the Midlands as Villa and WBA both win on the final day and escape relegation, but look who’s going down with Liverpool!
From 2nd to 18th in one season. I did say that £7 million for Eidur Gudjonsen seemed like a strange pre-season transfer choice
It’s not like the money helped Liverpool much either though
Aston Villa’s momentum continued into the FA Cup Final
Arsenal’s season – 2nd in the league, FA Cup runners-up, League Cup runners-up. Maybe they are regretting cashing in on Joilton earlier in the season.
Serie A and the Jupiler League did not throw up any shocks
Nor did the respective cup competitions
What about Europe? Well, first up here’s some UEFA cup action. Holders Juve rounded off a miserable season by crashing out in the semis. They finished 12th in the league (the first time they have been out of the top 6) and Guidolin (of Swansea fame) must be fearing for his job
Leeds, still managed by George Graham, have managed back-to-back 3rd place finishes in the Premier League, but they came up short against a strike-force of Crespo and Montella.
The Cup-Winners Cup saw arguably the two favourites reach the final
Atalanta proved a long time ago that they are no mugs, and fully deserved their win in the final.
Having sold their star striker to Inter earlier in the season, their 2 goals in the final came from an unlikely source
Pellegrini has not even got on the pitch once for Inter since his transfer, he’s got Ronaldo, Trezeguet, Del Piero, Giuly and Vieri ahead of him!
Inter of course, are competing in the Champions League alongside Anderlecht and Genoa
There’s no easy games at this stage, but even so Doncaster and PSG are just about the toughest games you could get besides the men from Milan.
Or at least they sound tough on paper
It’s an Italian derby in the semis!
The low-countries derby was a bit of a mis-match
This is the scale of the task facing i grifoni in the other match-up
Anderlechy are the only team to knock them out of the Champions League in the last 6 seasons! At least they’ve got a few injuries.
Unfortunately we couldn’t follow up a 1-1 draw in the San Siro with a good result at home
And so a rematch of last season’s final
Both sides missing the star-strikers (Ronaldo and Nevland). Multiple European PotY Morten Carlsen is also injured.
The turning point of the match came in the 2nd half when last year’s hero Kim Ottesen was sent off and a penalty awarded to Inter. There was no coming back from that
Kim can’t beat himself up about it though, he had a great season
So a treble for Inter, a double for Anderlecht and a 4th title in 5 years for Doncaster. Total dominance from the big 3.
For Genoa, Christophe Eberl showed he had recovered from his 12 months out injured
We’ve got a settled and balanced squad, with a lot of younger players like Vitiello and Daino confirming their ability. It’s just a case of adding a bit more quality and waiting for half of Inter’s team to retire!
A good season for Chelsea, similar to Genoa, we need a few big signings and then hope Doncaster fall apart next year
Anderlecht have got quality all over the pitch, as well as World Cup winner Jorge Seitz, France captain Jason Revelles and Uruguay star Alvaro Recoba, we can count on players like these
As for England, we should have no problem qualifying for the Euros
And as for Alan? A picturesque north-Italian town is his next, bizarre, stop