World Champs!

Hello! It’s the second update of Season 4, but as 2000 becomes 2001 we have the chance to win two more cups, perhaps competitions that don’t really capture the imagination of the Amsterdam public but they are important to me and achieving the aim which I have dreamt of for the past 11 weeks. Is it only 11 weeks? I feel like I’ve known these guys all my life. Anyway, here’s what I’m on about.

An early blow as we head into the winter months’ is that Thierry Henry has broken his foot

henry broken foot

That rules him out until March, so hopefully he’ll be back in time for the Champions League quarter finals – if we get there.

Those hopes are in the balance a little bit after a stalemate with Real Madrid

0-0 Real Madrid

It wasn’t for lack of trying but that’s both group games against them where we haven’t scored and I have to say that’s a concern. A win over Rangers secures our passage as one of the two best runners up.

Rangers 1 - 2 Ajax

Seemingly nobody can score against Real Madrid.

CL group final 00

The quarter final lineup is typically packed with talent, and Gothenburg. We always seem to have to play Juventus but you know what, that’s fine. I’ll come back to the Quarter Finals later on.

CL QF draw 01

First up though we’ve got to play the World Club Cup in Japan. Ronaldo is actually suspended for collecting too many yellow cards during the Champion League group games but fortunately he has a pretty useful understudy these days.

Ajax 1 - 0 Vasco

It took extra time but we got there. It’s an absolutely packed schedule, not helped by our two toughest domestic fixtures following trips to Japan and a vital Champions League qualifier. Thanks, the Dutch FA.

xmas fixtures

Anyway, as you can see through the power of rotation we have survived until Boxing Day, still unscathed, but our usual month off is halved by the trip to France to face Auxerre in the European Super Cup first leg.

It goes really well.

Auxerre away

Their keeper gets man of the match but some of our lads desperately underperformed. We’ll need a recovery in the return leg

Ajaz 4 - 1 auxeree

Yippee, though a very nervous final 8 minutes where one goal would have beaten us. Still though, another trophy in the cabinet.

Having said that, the people of Amsterdam could not care less.

low attendance

Their loss. Still, at least we are keeping our rivals at bay

PSV 1 - 2 ROnaldoajax 3 - 1 feyenoord

I sometimes feel it’s not fair having Ronaldo in this league. But when he fails, Batistuta is around to keep our 100% record alive

batigol AZ

Twice.

bati 90

Lovely Gabriel.

All of that leave us one point from a fourth consecutive league title, and 6 games from another 100% season. Dreamy.

DUtch league top March 01

We’re also still in the lovely Dutch Cup, though we survived a scare to reach the final

Dutch Cup SF pen win

Dion cleared distracted by 90s model Caprese having her penalty saved but we got away with it. And the best thing is, it isn’t bloody Feyenoord away in the final for once

feyenoord out

What a game! It’ll be NAC in the final though

Dutch Cup SF Resulys 2001

Back to the main event then and that Champions League clash with Juventus, we’ve rushed Henry back (which seems to be a bad idea) and have a mad 5 minutes before half time.

Juve Leg 1

Sibbers gets an away goal and in many ways, I’d say that’s a good result.

Especially when you run through teams at the Arena

Ajax 4 - 1 Juve

Rare to see Richard Witschge in the goals but everybody else does it. That, by the way, is a record attendance.

It could be Barca, it could be Real Madrid…

CL QF results 01

Fortunately, it’s Spurs

CL SF Draw 01

With the greatest respect to Tottenham, look at their squad:

spurs squad

Still, going up against Zidane could be the making of Stephen Clemence. Sadly, Sol Campbell is injured for me or else I’m sure he’d get a lovely welcome.

Staying in England, the pointless cup final is ready

LC SF Results 01

Newcastle are in their third final in four years, they really love the cup with no prize.

Meanwhile in the FA Cup, it’s similarly random.

FA SF Draw 01

The Premier League table has a more familiar look to it, with Man Utd looking good to regain the trophy they lost to…Aston Villa. Where are Villa?

prem top march 01

Not in there…

prem bottom march 01

There they are! With last year’s runners up and my semi final opponents Tottenham loitering in the bottom half. Takes all sorts really.

That’s me done though for another week. Next week will be the last update before I take a summer break, so due to unpopular demand if we make the Champions League final I’ll do a live text. If we don’t make the Champions League final, I will resign in protest. Anyway, have a pleasant week and I’ll be back next weekend.

Three for Free

Good hello to you. Have I used this title before? I feel like I have but, in the words of Keane (not Roy), what do I knnoooowwww? Bedshaped. It’s November 2000 which is actually 4 years pre-Keane being relevant, but rather than replace the calendar based on Keane’s discography, we’ll move on without further reference to the 2005 Brit Award winners. This has been an odd intro. Let’s get back to what we know and love: Ajax.

I ended the previous update covered in trophies. We enjoyed ourselves, won the league, the cup and the Champions League and then lured Gabriel Batistuta here for free. I actually have little to no need for him, but if you had the chance to sign Gabriel Batistuta for free, you tell me you wouldn’t take it. Go on. Do it. See, you can’t. So, whilst the fans, board and any football expert will criticise me for ditching a formation that has brought us great success just so I can live the dream of a front two of Batistuta and Ronaldo, I say this to you: You are 100% right.

Some kind souls left some comments on the previous post asking what that formation was. I’ve been playing a ridiculous looking 3-1-3-3 in just about every game so far. Yes, there were some half baked pledges to play 5-3-2 in the difficult games but when you have Henry, Zidane, Sibierski, Ronaldo, Babangida, De Boer, Bisgaard and Laudrup to fit in, you’ll forgive me for not wanting to play 5 defenders. Here’s the 3-1-3-3

3-1-3-3 2000

With Batistuta’s arrival I’m already contemplating a 4-2-4. That way I’ll basically sacrifice a midfielder for a centre half and another for a centre forward. I rotate a lot as it is, so I’m sure it’ll be fine. We’ve also signed two more legends for the sum of nothing

bogarde signsblanc signs

Look at me being a responsible adult signing defenders. I have however sold Ronald De Boer.

RDB to Man Utd

He’s 30 now and gets injured a lot. Whilst I will always find a place for him, I can replace him for marginally more money but a much younger player

Seedorf signs

The Dutch International quota is maintained. Here’s how we lined up for the Dutch Charity Shield

new plan

I mean, it is quite nice isn’t it? However, it’s functional more than fluid

dutch CS 2000

With this Champions League group, it is not the time to be taking chances

CL Group Draw 00

So whilst we are too strong for Villa

ajax 3 - 1 villa CL G 1

Real Madrid give us a bit of a lesson

Real Madrid 2 - 0 AJax

Batistuta has a damaged achilles tendon and after a couple of struggles, I’ve gone back to 3-1-3-3 pending his return. He has 1 assist and 0 goals in his 4 games so far, so we’ll see how he fits in when fit again. The Champions League is in the balance

CL group 4 games 00

Remember only top of the group is guranteed to qualify, and the best two runners up. About 13 points is usually enough but you’re leaving it to chance really. 15 would more or less guarantee it but that would involve beating Real Madrid. Hmm.

The league, as ever, is a much simpler affair

Dutch league top Nov 00

That’s a pleasing goals against column.

Over in England, Man Utd need more goals to add to Shearer & Owen

man utd sign heskey

What would Juventus and Bayern Munich have done with Emile Heskey? Remarkably, Arsenal have done what many people want in the current day

Wenger out

They replace him with Roy Hodgson. I would love to see the reaction if they did that in real life. But stop everything a second…

Steve Coppell is top of the Premier League!

prem top nov 00

Inspired by England midfielder Jamie Redknapp but still with Neil Shipperley up front, it is inexcusable that the Premier League have allowed this to happen. Man Utd, with Shearer, Giggs, Cole, Solskjaer, Scholes, Heskey, Brian Laudrup, Sand, De Boer and…er, Bernard Diomede at their disposal will no doubt end up top eventually, but Peter Schmeichel has retired and is proving tough to replace. Taibi waits by the phone.

At the bottom, Aston Villa are having a good go at being the worst Champions ever

prem bottom Nov 00

It seems odd that Bury are in the Premier League but they might not be for much longer. Still, relatively early days all round.

That’s it for this week, my well of interesting anecdotes has run dry. Have a great week and I’ll catch you next Sunday as we cross into the dangerous waters of 2001. Who knows which of our Hopers and Fears will be realised. Urgh.

Ajax Clean Up

Hello! Welcome to the third and final part of the 1999/00 season. Things are going pretty well for us at Ajax, with our 100% league record still in tact and just points away from the league title being sewn up. The Champions League has seen us drawn against Barcelona and we’re struggling to get a team out, but that’s all part of the fun. Besides, we’ve always got the Amstel Cup to fall back on. Then we have Euro 2000 to look forward to, though England don’t, so maybe the less said about that the better. Let’s get on with it.

I suppose it would be rude to break tradition, I’m starting witht the pointless cup over in jolly old England

League Cup

I still don’t know why Derby are in this

LC Final 00

What a great day out for those Derby fans. 120 minutes and one penalty successfully scored. Still, they took first and were winning very very briefly.

We may as well stay cuppy and bring you the FA Cup.

FA Cup

The semi finals also pitted Derby against Man Utd

FA SF Results 00

OMG they just can’t be separated.

SF Replay 00

Oh, my mistake. So, onto the final, and Arsenal vs Man Utd is always a classic

arsenal 2 - 2 man utd FA cup final

Keith O’Neill of course turned down Barcelona to sign for Man Utd…played one game in 18 months and signed for Arsenal. Well, in your face Sir Alex. Now you have to play a replay

FA Final replay 00

Sir Alex is normally right. Paul Okon?!

We’ll check in on the Premier League table in a bit, I’m thirsty…

Dutch Cup

Time for our annual dose of ALCOHOL SPONSORSHIP. Would you believe it, we won it again.

Dutch cup final 00

It still seems rather unfair that Feyenoord’s ground is the neutral venue. Like, is PSV’s ground a dump or something? Zidane headed in a late winner and we all got smashed.

You don’t need to be Paul the Octopus to predict us winning the league but could we do it with the 100% record?

dutch league final 00

Well, yes we could. I just wish we’d scored one more goal, it would have given me a sense of completeness. Still, 34 out of 34 is no mean feat. I’m over the moon.

However, the prize I really want is the Champions League, and Barcelona stand in our way. The first leg, in Barcelona, sees us score the vital away goal but at the cost of three players.

barcelona 1 - 1 ajax

Cafu faces a race to be fit (he wins most races, in fairness to him) for the 2nd leg as Dyer is out injured for the season. Campbell and Litmanen’s Champions League campaigns are over. I’ll forgive Dion Dublin, you have to really.

Onto the second leg and the Amsterdam Arena was extended for nights like this

ajax 1 - 0 barca

Ronaldo knocks out his old club and let the party times begin!

Heroes.

ajax barca player ratings

That puts us in the final but Frank De Boer is banned, Dublin is injured and Campbell suspended. I have literally three defenders and the unhappy Ole Tobiasen, a right back, has to be fielded at left back with Curtis holding the fort and Cafu being Cafu. Our opponents will be Juventus, who knocked out PSG and beat us at the semi-final stage last year.

Not only is the team news against us, the final is being played in Rome which should be at advantage for Juventus. However, from the outset, we dominate the game. Peruzzi makes save after save and the woodwork is rattled. Just before half time, Victor Onopko cuts out a throughball with his hand. We demand justice and the referee obliges. Surely, our time is now. Cometh the hour, Ronaldo makes the breakthrough, sweeping home a cross on the volley. 20 minutes later, former Juve man Zidane heads home from a corner and that’s it – Champions of Europe!

CL Final 00

Of course it is one thing to win everything but it is another to retain it. We also have to add the World Club Cup and the SuperCup, so there’s life in this save yet.

This looks comprehensive

managers of the month

Over in England, their league season is coming to a rather exciting finish. This is the state of play heading into the final day

prem last day

All Aston Villa have to do is beat lowly Derby at home to win the league and also condemn Derby to relegation

last day results

Oh look, they did. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Villa/Spurs 1-2 in the 3rd season. Man Utd were unstoppable for a bit but now they’re 7th. Football.

Here’s the table

prem top 00

Toight. Only 9 points between 1st and 8th. At the bottom…

prem bottom 00

West Ham are down again, that defence is anything but toight. Derby have suffered more than most in this update, I’m sure they’ll be back.

Euro 2000 is in Holland! The concept of co-hosting with Belgium wasn’t included but England failed to qualify. Georgia made it though – cheers Glenn. Anyway, the Dutch can’t take pens. Still.

dutch cant take pens

It’s a tournament full of goals, even in the semi final stage

italy 0 - 0 france

portgual 0 - 1 norway

Why leave Figo on the bench for 120 minutes? Problem the same reason Norway left Solskjaer and to a less extent Erik Nevland unused. Stupidity, that’s why. Anyway, the final is at our stadium

euro 2000 final

Henry & Zidane were banned, but those two along with Sibierski have had golden seasons with 4 winners medals to add to the collection.

I am planning to switch to a 4-2-4 next season rather than the 3-1-3-3 that has served me so well so far. Why? Variety is the spice of life. Also, this:

batistuta signs

OH MY. Here’s some awards – we come out of it quite well

dutch awards 00

Maybe I’ll sign Pep. Ronaldo is loved, it’s pretty rare the same player wins two awards on this game

english awards 00

That’s all I have for you this time, but what a horn tooting update. We’ve won the lot but now we need to go one better and win everything again (plus the Super Cup etc) and then we can say we’ve done what we set out to do. Join me next time to find out if pairing Batistuta with Ronaldo is just plain stupid or whether it is the best idea anybody ever had.

Dedicated in loving memory to our family dog, Tilly, who sadly left us this week just short of her 19th birthday. A better assistant manager I could not ask for. Sleep well Hungry Till.

Tilly1

Tilly Black (1998 – 2017)

Three Four One

Hello! We’ve reached the year 2000 and despite rumours to the contrary, there were no Y2K bugs or problems with technology, the robots didn’t rise up and kill us all and it’s as if some of the world’s smartest people thought ahead that we might live to the year 2000 and program electronics accordingly. But how did we get from November 1999 to March 2000? Are Ajax still on form? You bloody bet. LET’S SCROLL (down)

Is greed a sin? This guy was available, I had the money, I didn’t need him but you could argue that every team needs Thierry Henry. What’s Dutch for va va voom?

Henry to Ajax

He’ll slot in on the left side of my attack, which is tough for Peter Hoekstra who has been brilliant but he has the obvious drawback of not being Thierry Henry. Also, Hoekstra went on to play for Stoke, whilst Henry went to Juve, Arsenal and Barcelona. So, you know.

Before we get into the Ajax life and times, England have only bloody failed to qualify for Euro 2000. What a terrible summer lies ahead. But don’t worry England fans, the FA have sacked Glenn Hoddle and poached the Dortmund manager. I’m sure that’ll work out.

England appoint Scala

Anyway, back to the main story here. You may recall PSV are going through some rough times, they’ve brought in Huub Stevens and they are in my Champions League group. Eat goals, you mothers

AJax 4 - 1 PSV CL

So, that was nice. We won the group, at a canter

CL group final

The quarter finals saw us come up against AC Milan, which is a tough draw in any world. We were beaten 2-1 in the San Siro, with Ronaldo grabbing the away goal. We need a performance in the 2nd leg, and by jove, we got it.

ajax 4 - 1 milan

We needed extra time but Ronald-o and Ronaldo (Ithankyou) see us through. However the draw is unfavourable…it’s Barcelona

CL SF draw 00

Bloody hell that’s going to be difficult.

Back in the hilariously unbalanced Eredivise, we travel to one of our two rivals

feyenoord 0 - 4 ajax

Sorry Johan, but we’re a bit too good for David Connolly this season. With the double over Feyenoord in the bag, that only leaves PSV. Those of you who like a pun will have realised what’s coming from the title of this post, but here we are:

AJax 4 - 1 PSV league

Three goals in the opening 9 minutes but then we ran away with it. Hurray for us. We are going to win the league but more importantly our 100% record is still alive

Dutch League top 00

6 games to go, a 16 point lead, not even Kevin Keegan could blow this. I made myself sad.

Not that it’s massively important but we’re also still going strong in the Amstel Cup. We’ve just reached the final, beating Willem II (pronounced ‘aye aye’)

ajax 3 - 1 willem dutch cup

GORRE! GORRE! GORRE!

paul heyman

Early 2000s wrestling references aside, we’re in the Amstel Cup final. Pints all round.

The problem is, my squad is absolutely knackered. This is what’s left to face Barcelona

Ajax squad march 00

Doesn’t matter how much you rotate, Kieron Dyer will always be injured.

Let’s call in on Dyer’s home nation briefly for a quick cuppa and a catch up

We’ve got our Pointless Cup finalists

LC SF results 00

Derby will face Man Utd in both cups, as the FA Cup semi final draw has pitted them against each other.

FA SF Draw 00

Derby are managed by Jim Smith and are in the relegation zone, so why this is happening I’m not too sure. I blame Y2K.

Man Utd though have gone from unbeatable to…er, very beatable?

premier league top march

Wenger’s men may finally realise their potential a few years later than planned, but holy Boa Morte, you wouldn’t rule out any of the top 7 winning the title. Except Tottenham. Sorry, Spurs fans. That was below the belt.

At the bottom, Everton are still boned and West Ham look set to be boned again after their first season boning. Stop saying boned in there.

prem bottom march 00

As I think I’ve gone slightly insane, now seems like a good time to file this update under “possibly inebriated” and head for a lie down. I’ve got to find a way of beating Barcelona and it’s probably going to involve Dion Dublin. We. Are. Boned. Until next time!

The New Ron (Ron Ron)

Hello! Welcome to Season 3. If my Ajax side are going to take things to another level (not Dane Bowers) it was apparent we were going to need some fresh faces. How do you improve a team that hasn’t lost a domestic game in two seasons? Well, you are about to find out. We’ve also seen off another rival, it’s all been happening. Let me tell you all about it.

At the end of the previous update we signed up Fabien Barthez as Van Der Saar is still young in goalkeeping terms and I don’t think he’s Champions League quality. You may also recall that Frank De Boer is knackered, and will be for at least half of the season. A new full back is required, perhaps one who isn’t shy on getting forward. I know just the man…

Ajax sign Cafu

£3m is a total pinch. It’ll mean Dyer operating at left back and then we’ll assess things once Franky boy is back on the pitch. Very much future Dave’s problem. I also need a centre half, as Dublin is getting on and Curtis is probably a bit young to completely rely on him. I’ll raid the only league I know…

Ajax sign Campbell

That’s all well and good but what about going forward? I’d like someone who can operate on the left, but also in midfield. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when he came up on the “Interested foreign based” list

Ajax sign Zidane

Hubba hubba. Three quality signings and plenty in the bank for one more if I need it. Our rivals have dipped into the market as well – all of a sudden the Eredivise seems like a good place to be again

bergkamp to feyenoord

Interesting that he picked Cruyff’s Feyenoord over Advocaat’s PSV despite PSV being my nearest rival in the two seasons so far. Speaking of which, it’s time for the cup named after Mr Cruyff…against PSV.

CS Ajax 3 - 0 PSV

My decision to stick with Ronaldo (tough, I know) pays off as he plunders a hat-trick against his former club. A little under a month later, the league season begins with…a trip to PSV.

PSV 0 - 1 ajax opening day

That’s our most difficult fixture done with and won on day one, and it’s only a few games until we get to see what Feyenoord have aspired to

Ajax 4 - 0 Feyenoord

It just goes to show, David Connolly helps no situation. With shots fired to both of our closest rivals by the end of September, it’s time for action

PSV sack dick

The world’s worst cocktail is sacked and PSV need a new hero. Ironically, they’re in our Champions League group too

Ajax CL Draw groups

It’s a group we should get out of, though the PSV element adds some extra spice. A win over Copenhagen is followed up with a draw against managerless PSV

psv 1 - 1 ajx CL

Absolute scenes with a late leveller. PSV opt for one of their stalwarts from the 80s

PSV appoint Huub

We’re having our usual good season domestically but it’s a good job I have a squad packed with talent. The injury situation is getting critical.

injuries 99

The main man has been Ronaldo. After an indifferent first season, it’s fair to say he’s a new man now. Fully adapted and back to his sensational best.

Roanldo November

We’re in good shape in that Champions League group, as you’d expect

CL 4 games 99

But it’s our league form that continues to be unbelievable, no defeats in two and a half seasons now and we’re looking imperious, if I may say so myself.

Dutch League Top 99

If we just take a trip back home briefly, it’s seemed throughout this save that Man Utd are matching us stride for stride. Here they are, taking a leaf out of my book by signing England’s finest (and Michael Owen)

Owen to Man Utdshearer to man utd

You’d think spending £20m on strikers would only make them stronger but, in a twist, actually getting rid of Alan Shearer helps

prem top 99

Two losses for Man Utd already having not lost at all last season. Oh well. It’s a lot tighter than it normally is. Meanwhile at the bottom…

prem bottom nov 9

Everton are surprisingly bottom of the table but they often don’t last long, they have quite a poor squad from the outset.

Anyway, that’s your lot for this week. I’ve essentially built a Galactico team, or the Dutch equivalent which I’m reliably informed is Godenzonen, which I think roughly translates to “sons of Gods” which is probably a bit strong but then Dion Dublin is one of them, so who am I to argue? See you next week.

 

 

Falling Short

Welcome! We’ve reached trophy time in the second season of this latest save, where I’ve taken over at Ajax in a bid to restore the glory days. Not just the odd win here or there, but my quest to win the whole lot. Domestically, I’ve got that covered, don’t worry about that, but my eyes are fixed on the Champions League now and our semi-final clash with Juventus. There’s also my 100% record in the league and a big Dutch cup final with Johan Cruyff’s Feyenoord. Let’s Dutch.

Amstel Cup

Lovely Amstel, may as well get the thirstiest part of the update out of the way. It’s a huge game against one of the two sides I feel can challenge us, especially now Mr Cruyff has taken over. Anyway, our task is made that bit harder by it being played at Feyenoord’s ground, I mean, is that normal? It doesn’t seem right to me.

Dutch Cup final 99

No matter, Ronald the boar pounces after an hour to retain the trophy. Whoop.

Over in England, the pointless cup final has an unusual look to it and an even stranger outcome/

LC Final 99

A rare cup win for Dalglish’s men, shame it is worth nothing in the grand scheme of things.

FA Cup

Seeing as we are doing cups, Stockport’s FA Cup dream sees them into a semi-final against Manchester United, at Anfield no less. Stockport’s stadium is actually the closest geographically to the River Mersey, so there’s a fact for you.

FA SF 99

They’ve only bloody got a replay!

SF Replay 99

Oh. Anyway, Man Utd vs Blackburn in the final and, well, I didn’t see this coming

FA Cup final 99

Martin Dahlin! But also Nicky Butt. Anyway, Man Utd still have the Champions League to go for, as indeed do I.

Champions League

Juventus then, and Henry scores a last minute equaliser in the San Siro but I’m still happy to take a 1-1 overall back to the Amsterdam Arena. But those Italians know how to defend. Just ask Barcelona…

CL exit

We couldn’t muster much pressure and it’s clear we’ll have to upgrade in certain areas if we want to become Europe’s best. In the other semi, Manchester United bow out too

CL SF 99 results

The final then is between two sides who have beaten me this season. Juventus dominate it and Di Livio scores twice on his final appearance for the club. Maybe Monaco should have brought on Salif Diao…

CL final 99

Alas they didn’t and we’ll have to try again next season.

At least we aren’t Dortmund, who suffer a heavy loss after the German FA insist on playing their cup semi-final when most of the team are on International duty

8-0

I don’t know why they didn’t even name a number 9, especially when they have 4 subs. Inexplicable

dortmund squad

League

Anyway, back in the Dutch league and the title is sealed with a win at the home of our biggest rivals

PSV 0 - 2 Ajax

The league looks nice, 100% record alive and well

TItle winners

However, a 0-0 draw at Herenveen destroys thats and we’ll have to settle for matching last season’s 100 point tally

Dutch League Final 99

Frank de Boer is knackered though, and it’s probably a wake-up call for me to sign some defenders at last

FDB knackered

Over in England, Man Utd go a whole league season unbeaten. Having only lost one last season, that’s quite incredible. Incidentally, Man Utd have conceded 17 in two seasons. Also, Leicester in the Champions League! You’ll never see anything like it ever again.

Prem top final 99

Down at the bottom, Ipswich were never in it but Coventry and Bolton went a little more gallantly.

prem bottom final 99

To awards time then but first I’ve decided to try and strenghten my goalkeeper. Van der Sar seems to let in most shots he faces so I’ve pillaged Monaco for Barthez

barthez signs

The Dutch awards up first then and it’s hard to argue against Luc Nillis getting the footballer of the year for his 40 goals. He’d fit nicely in the left forward role in my team…

dutch awards 99

In England, it’s a bit stranger. Magnus Hedman getting PFA Player of the Year in relegated Coventry’s team and of course Richard Dunne being young player of the year is a stretch by anybody’s standards. At least Martin Dahlin can point to his cup final goals for his award.

English awards 99

So with season two in the bag I’m already looking ahead to Season 3, as you can see with the Barthez signing. I also have the Ronaldo dilemma to solve, who just hasn’t been very good but maybe he’ll be better now he’s had a season to adapt. Or maybe I’ll just sell him and sign Robbie Fowler. Who knows. Either way, I need to improve to become a real force in Europe and the board have given me £20m to do it. Hubba hubba. Incidentally, Feyenoord won the UEFA Cup to further show the Cruyff effect and they’ll be much more of a threat next season.

See you again next week for more of the same!

I attended the BetBright FM17 Cup last week in Glasgow, my review of the event can be found here

Low Returns

Good day to you and Happy Easter. We’re back with another update from Holland, hoping to provide you the perfect side dish for your 2nd Easter egg of the day. You can have chocolate for breakfast, I won’t tell anyone. If you’re new to this, the aim of the save is to win everything with Ajax. I mean absolutely everything. There’s no doubt the Champions League had made us less prolific, somehow, as Ronaldo has struggled to adjust back to life in the Dutch League. Anyway, enough of this pre-amble. Let’s amble.

You may recall in the last update we saw off Feyenoord in their own back garden, one of the two fixtures I really don’t look forward to. Anyway, with their form less than impressive they have dispensed of their manager and appointed a real legend of the game to try and turn things around

JC Feyenoord

Although he’s an Ajax legend, he did finish his playing career at Feyenoord so it’s not a total surprise to see him back there. We have to wait a few months before he gets a great welcome at the Amsterdam Arena, and despite us falling behind Mr Sibon steps up to the plate to get us over the line.

Ajax 2 - 1 feyenoord

I only play one striker and it’s been a case of rotating Ronaldo, Litmanen and Sibon depending on who grabs their chance when it comes their way. Although we still struggle to put teams away with the style and conviction we did last season, every now and again we really get it together.

Twente 3 - 6 Ajax

We’ve also made the Amstel Cup final (anybody feeling thirsty again?) after seeing off our old rivals PSV

Ajax PSV cup semi

Lovely Jari. It’ll be Cruyff in the final though (not Jordi, who captained PSV here) after they saw off Herenveen

DUtch cup SF results

What an occasion that will be. Anyway, we’ve also had a Champions League campaign to battle through and after beating Monaco in match day one, it should have been quite straight forward. However defeat in Monaco left us looking over our shoulders and being 1-0 down in Kiev with 5 minutes to go, I was fearing the worst

CL Kiev 1 - 2 Ajax

Ironically Dyer’s injury forced my hand as Sibon came on for him to net a late winner after Hoekstra had levelled it up. A young Sheva had put us up against it earlier on. All of that meant we went through, in 2nd place, as one of the two best runners up

CL Group

The Quarter finals matched us up with Benfica, who inflicted what I think is my first home defeat, leaving us trailing 2-1 heading to Portugal for the 2nd leg

benfica 1 - 3 ajax

Litmanen! I should never have doubted him. He’s scored twice as many as Ronaldo, and is comfortably our leading scorer

goalscorers

Ronaldo seemed like a good idea but he just hasn’t ever hit form, he has about half a dozen shots a game and the keeper saves them all. Is that his fault? Well I’m blaming him. Oh, and we’ve got a 100% record in the league

Dutch League top March 99

How wonderful. PSV will feel hard done, having lost only once (to us) all season. We do still have to visit PSV, but I would expect the title is sewn up by then.

I neglected to show you the Champions League semi final draw as I got distracted talking about Ronaldo. Here are the Quarter Final results

CL QF results

It’s Juventus for us

CL SF Draw 99

Before I leave you, let’s have a quick pop home (it’s only an hour flight. Or we can get a boat) to see how much Man Utd are still dominant

prem top march 99

SIX GOALS CONCEDED!? They were good last season but this is getting silly. I hope to face them in the Champions League final. Also, Leicester in 2nd? We’ve seen stranger things…

At the bottom, two promoted clubs are in there with Ipswich pretty much gone. You can’t score only 18 goals and expect to survive.

prem bottom march 99

Amazingly, Man Utd aren’t in the pointless cup final. But Newcastle and Sheffield Wednesday are.

LC SF Results 99

Whilst in the FA Cup, what is this Mersey madness?

Liverpool 1 - 2 stockport

The Semi final looks a bit weird, but Man Utd will fancy their chance of another trophy.

FA DF Draw

Right, I’m out of things to show you now. Man Utd are basically coping us stride for stride but agaisnt better opposition, which annoys me a great deal. We’ll see if I have to face them next time around. Until then though, enjoy the rest of the long weekend and I’ll be back next Sunday. I’m competing in the FM17 Cup in Glasgow on Wendesday, and I have no idea what I’m doing. So keep an eye out on Twitter for my inevitable demise. Toodles for now.