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
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
Look at me being a responsible adult signing defenders. I have however sold Ronald De Boer.
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
The Dutch International quota is maintained. Here’s how we lined up for the Dutch Charity Shield
I mean, it is quite nice isn’t it? However, it’s functional more than fluid
With this Champions League group, it is not the time to be taking chances
So whilst we are too strong for Villa
Real Madrid give us a bit of a lesson
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
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
That’s a pleasing goals against column.
Over in England, Man Utd need more goals to add to Shearer & Owen
What would Juventus and Bayern Munich have done with Emile Heskey? Remarkably, Arsenal have done what many people want in the current day
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!
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
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.