CM9798 – The Greatest Team: Attacking Midfielders

The deadline to vote for your greatest CM9798 team is drawing ever closer. You have until October 30th to cast your vote ahead of the game’s 21st birthday on October 31st. Does a game celebrate a birthday? Never mind. The time has come to consider our attacking midfield options and you need to select TWO please, in order to fit into out 2-3-1-2-2.

Here are the contenders:


Phil Mulryne

That’s Father Phil Mulryne to you. It’s yet another member of the Man Utd youth team…

mulryne start

I guess the annoying thing here is that although his potential is locked in his stats are somewhat random. It’s unnoticeable on a lot of stats but set pieces is one where it can change a lot. Anyway, I’m a big fan, I signed him on my very first blog save as Wimbledon and many games since. Here he is on the Aberdeen save:

Mulryne future

mulryne career

That 98/99 season was quite something. If that doesn’t show you the power of what he can achieve then nothing will.

Denilson

The CM9798 researchers must have been patting themselves on the back the night Denilson signed for Real Betis for a then World record fee of £21.5m. His CM9798 equivalent certainly had all the credentials:

denilson start

Aged just 19 and available for as little as £2m, if Sao Paulo were willing to let him go he was a great option to have. Capable of playing up front as well as his more natural attacking midfield positions, it’s a shame Denilson didn’t live up to his transfer fee.

Ibrahima Bakayoko

Hello old friend. Perhaps the most notable CM9798 gem, Ibrahima Bakayoko would set you back about £6.5m.

Baka start

From the moment I signed him to replace the stricken Alan Shearer, 9 year old me was always impressed by Bakayoko and that bond has grown year on year. Whether you play him up front or in the attacking midfield position, expect high average ratings and goals galore.

bakayoko history

We recently had some Twitter chat with a chap who worked at Everton during the Bakayoko era and the consensus is that he wasn’t as bad as was made out. Sadly he didn’t live up to his CM credentials but he’s been nothing but heroic to me and that’s all I care about. But is it enough to get your vote?

Finidi George

Another of the Betis brigade, George Finidi/Finidi George is a bit under appreciated. Just look at those stats.

Finidi start

Even his injury proneness is low. An absolute belter of a player but he is tricky to tempt away from Betis. Supplying the bullets for Alfonso and Oli is a good job though and Finidi excels at it. Just like someone else…

Sanchez Fernando

There was something in the air that night and looking at his stats it’s no surprise the stars were bright. Fernando.

Fernando start

He usually gets a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid within the first few seasons but, like Finidi, he’s got things pretty sweet where he is. That 20 for shooting comes in handy.

Alex Notman

One of the youngest players in the voting, Alex Notman could feasibly give you 20 seasons if you get him early enough.

Notman start

Yet another of the Man Utd youth team, he usually ends up on loan for a few seasons before moving around the lower divisions on a big club release clause. He can play in attacking midfield or up front but he lacks pace which is why I normally play him in attacking midfield depending on who else I have. Because he’s so young it might be 10 seasons before you really see the best of him but he usually ends up playing for England at some stage.

Antoine Sibierski

Sibi!

Sibi start

This man’s versatility makes him particularly useful. As you can see his stats are pretty good all round, but his shooting being at 15 leads me to pick him in an attacking midfield position rather than a striker. He was an integral part of my Ajax team along with many superstars but he never really hit those heights in real life. Will he make your greatest CM9798 team though?

Remember to vote for your Greatest CM9798 team here

CM9798: The Greatest Team – Left backs/wingbacks

The vote for the Greatest CM9798 team ends next week which means you don’t have long to make your choice. With over 2000 votes so far, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support on my latest project. Today we are looking at left backs or left wingbacks depending on the formation you play. We’ve set them up based on the famous 2-3-1-2-2 but you can of course play any formation you want.

Here are the runners and riders:

 

But who to choose?

Roberto Carlos

I’ll be honest, the wingback category (both sides) is a bit of a noodle scratcher. Getting somebody to play there a whole season and average over 7 is surprisingly difficult, with midfielder (left) Brian Pinas making a reasonable go at it in the Newcastle save whilst the Academy have had a few youngsters have a crack at it with no success. Anyway, like Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos is really one of the most iconic players of this era. He was already a fantastic player before he moves to Real Madrid but his physics defying free kick in Le Tournoi shot him into prominence.

His stats are ridiculous.

roberto carlos

I’d actually be curious to see how he got on in a more forward position because his stats, aside from heading, suggest he’d do well. One for a rainy day. Anyway, statistically he is obviously up to scratch but I guess the one downside is that he’s at one of the biggest clubs in the world so unless you are them you might struggle to get him. He usually gets released several seasons down the line by which point he has declined but for now, enjoy him for what he is.

Bixente Lizarazu

Twitter loves Lizarazu. I asked for suggestions in the left back position and Bixente got plenty of nominations. It’s hardly surprising as France’s starting left back but either way he’s excellent. Bayern Munich seem to love selling their players too so you can probably get him in the first few seasons but as he turns 28 in the first season, he doesn’t have the longest shelf life.

Lizarazu

Niclas Alexandersson

There are two ultimate utility men in CM9798. One is Luis Enrique, one of the greatest players in the game. The other is Niclas Alexandersson of Sheff Wed. Fun fact – Alexandersson was only moved to Sheff Wed in the patch so if you’re playing the out of the box version you can get him from Gothenburg for a small fee. Sheff Wed are less keen to sell him.

Alexandersson

As you can see from his stats he’s actually quite handy but such is the relative dearth of left backs that’s where I’m putting him. He gets even better too, as we saw in the Aberdeen save.

NA career

Is versatility enough to get your vote?

Darren Young

What makes Darren Young an anomaly is that he is actually a wing back. The others are are all left backs or left midfielders. Not Youngy though. He is a one position man.

young start

He has the big club release clause as we found out in the Aberdeen save (curse you, Rangers) but he usually ends up moving on to bigger things in every save, though he made poor decisions in my example. Anyway, as a natural wing back he is one of the few to thrive in the position but is he your pick?

young career

Lee Hughes

I swear, if I ever meet the Norwegian researcher of this game I have SO MANY QUESTIONS. Lee Hughes of Hodd is available for about £50k and is often the go to in the search for a left wingback.

lee hughes

The problem is, I have no idea who he is. Nobody does. It’s not helped that another Lee Hughes played at the top level and had some trouble with the law so he dominates a Google search but this Lee Hughes is always highly rated by the scout and does a job at just about every level. For Aberdeen he played in the Champions League for me, so a job well done.

Hughes future

Robert Jarni

The Croation Roberto Carlos, Robert Jarni is part of the rather tasty Betis team. His stats show just how good he is and one day I’ll do a Betis save to see just how good they can be.

Jarni start

Jarni went on to star in the 1998 World Cup and secured his dream move to…Coventry. Yep. He then moved to Real Madrid without making any appearances for the Sky Blues in a totally legitimate transfer that wasn’t a ruse at all. No further questions.

See all the nominees for the CM9798 Greatest Team here

 

CM9798 Academy – Part 12: Flying the nest

Welcome back to the CM9798 Academy. The middle update of any season is usually the most pivotal as it shapes what exactly we will be playing for in the final few months of the season. The Academy – made up entirely of free transfers signed under the age of 23 – endured a rough start to season 4, dropping into the First Division relegation zone before briefly recovering to reach midtable.

Div 1 bottom S4 October

There’s a lot to get through in this update so I’ll crack on with our home game against Shrewsbury. 16 shots to 8 in our favour and it needs Buckley to snatch a point against a relegation threatened side. The struggle continues.

1-1 shrewsbury

Sometimes though you have to take a step back to take two forward. I’ve decided to restore Stevey Morrison to the backline, last season’s captain, and it pays immediate dividends. West Brom are brushed aside.

WBA 0-3

He mught not be as good statistically as Fleming but it works.

3-0 bradford

Dr Death is in good form. Two more goals from him see off Vinny Jones’ Wimbledon.

2-0 wimbledon

Maybe try singing…

vinny jones sacked

Actually, don’t.

VJ

Shudder. Williams beats Wimbledon’s neighbours a week later and we’ve finally turned it around. Are they still neighbours if they share a house? More like flatmates. Anyway…

0-1 palace

We head into our League Cup tie with Premier League Spurs full of confidence. Williams is the greatest living human and he puts us in the lead – twice – beofre Spurs eventually break our resolve with a second half onslaught. Leon McKenzie is a boxer now I think. Ole Solskjaer will always be a baby faced turd.

5-2 spurs

Angry? Just let Williams loose on Tranmere. Billing is back with a bang too and we’ve got a potent pair up top now. Just try and stop us like poor old Eggiman did.

6-1 tranmere

Then we lose at the Dell. We always lose at the bloody Dell. Against 10 men as well. Nigel Quashie. Let’s move on.

2-1 southampton

Time for a departure. Cox out.

Cox to Brighton

Those 4 games he played must have been really good. A load of average teams, mostly in the Lancashire area, come in for him. They love Cox round there.

Cox to Stockport

To the relief of many, he’s gone now. Then we beat Swindon to celebrate.

2-1 swindon S4

Ah, now this is more of a problem. McCormack is Scotland captain and my starting right wing back. He is however on £40k a week and has a big club release clause. I’ll miss him.

celtic mccormach

Derby offer up a token bid but the Scotland captain was always going to sign for Celtic.

McCormack Celtic

As if that wasn’t bad enough, both of my centre halves get sent off at Coventry. Paul McVeigh, who has been scoring goals against me for years (he was at Torquay) puts Coventry ahead but my 9 men recover to equalise and it’s a good point in the end.

1-1 Coventry

A third departure? The fact he’s going to Scottish 3rd division Clyde speaks volumes.

Clyde Pearson

It’s a bit strange. He was unbelievable for us and got 101 in 160 games for us but nobody ever batted an eyelid at him. He only made 7 appearances this season at an average of 5.85…mad really.

Pearson signs for CLyde

My new right back arrives. He can also play left back which I’m sure will have some use.

Finnan signs

A home game with Port Vale is our chance to get revenge for them essentially costing us a playoff place last season. They lead after 6 minutes and Shaka Hislop saves everything. Cambiasso eventually rams in a leveller. Phew.

1-1 port vale

We’re such a weird team. Here we are having our arses handed to us by Wrexham for the second time this season.

wrexham 1-3

Sigh.

wrexham stats

Then we head to Huddersfield and thrash them. I have to say though, their squad was decimated by a flu virus for some reason. It is December I suppose.

4-0 hudds

Bury are the next to feel our force. By force I mean we turn it on when we can be bothered it seems. 3-0 doesn’t flatter us.

3-0 bury

We’re afforded Boxing Day off for little to no reason and then welcome Chelsea to the Arena. We got toe to toe with Twiss and his friends and finally we get the break when Le Saux handballs a corner. Buckley is denied by Charbonnier. He’s too good for this league. Gazza gets man of the match. I…don’t know, right?

0-0 Chelsea

We now play Birmingham twice in 3 days, firstly in the league in the Boxing day game that was held over for reasons I’m still not sure of. Anyway, long story short they are awful and we run riot.

5-0 brum

Playing them in the cup at home should be a piece of cake. Right? Wrong.

fa cup exit

We were level for 5 minutes and it was beautiful. But we’re out now and I guess it means we can focus on getting out of this mad world.

Oh look, we’ve scored 5 again. I don’t understand what motivates these boys.

5-1 Charlton

Williams is now on 26 for the season. There’s no interest in him just yet thankfully and he and Billing see us to win over much fancied Everton.

3-1 everton

That brings an end to a quite incredible update where we’ve rocketed up to 4th. We’re top scorers by a mile but our defence is still poor, though you have to say it has improved immeasuraby this update with the return of Morrison.

Div 1 top January S4

He’s not even that good…

Stevey

Williams has 27 in 33 and Billing has 20 in 24. Buckley has 20 assists. We’re in great form heading into the last 16 games of the season, or maybe more if we get into the playoffs. Join me next week to see how we get on!

Graduates

A bit of a half arsed graduate update but totally necessary because Ryan Morrison has signed for Man Utd!

Morrison Man Utd

Loves a move does Ryan. Will he play for the Red Devils?

Bolton are 7th in the Prem, with Simpson and Brazier both involved. However they have Romario and Brian Deane, so what’s not to love. Colin Todd is a genius.

Bolton S4

Gerard Lyttle is unhappy and wants to leave Leicester. He’s just been on loan at Scunthorpe so who can blame him? Betterton is a star player for Barnsley but they are bottom of the Premier League. James Stones has broken his leg and has only played 5 times for Blackburn this season, he’s 3 months from recovery yet.

Of those recently graduated, Will Davies has already secured a move to Dunfermline. McCormack has barely played for Celtic whilst Cox is doing well at Stockport. Pearson has 4 in 11 for Clyde. Lee Norfolk is still at St Johnstone but Fulham are interested and he has a clause.

Short Stories: Kaiserslautern – Part 3

Guten tag! Welcome to the final part of the Kaiserslautern story, where I’m in with an outside chance of replicating one of the more unlikely stories of the 1990s. 12 games separate us for achieving our target, though it is essentially out of our hands as Bayern (and I suppose Bielefeld) have games in hand to overhaul us. You can see part 2 here.

22 games

We have the perfect opportunity to keep the momentum up as we host bottom of the table Duisburg. We get off to the perfect start thanks to Kuka trooper before missing about 20 chances. The Czech star eventually wraps up the points and we keep rolling on.

2-0 duisburg

It’s a tough fixture away at 3rd place Bielefeld. We struggle to lay a glove on them and when Fink gets sent off with the score already 1-0, it’s downhill from there. A heavy loss. Goodbye top spot.

bielefeld 3-0

Bayern win their game in hand during the week to pile on the misery, but they are the next visitors to the Ballroom Fritz. We’re up for it from the start and hound our more illustrious opponents to take a half time lead. Then it gets really fun. Larry Rob makes it 2 before Marschall takes over, netting a pen and rounding Kahn for 4-0. Rizzitelli pulls one back but Marschall completes his hat-trick in injury time. What a day. What a club.

5-1 bayern home

Not now, Pavel. Ffs.

Kuka request

Borussia “don’t make me type it out” MGB host us but they’ve had a rough season. We’re 2-0 up inside 10 minutes before being pegged back to 2-2. Fortunately we are strong finishers and Larry adds two plus another for Kuka trooper and it’s a handsome win.

5-2 BMG

We keep the pressure up with a thrashing of Cologne. When we’re good, my word we are good.

4-0 koln

Every now and again though we throw in a minging 0-0. This is one such occasion.

bochum 0-0

Then, such is the way of this game, we thrash Leverkusen 6-0. Another hat-trick for Olaf. If only Bayern didn’t have those games in hand.

leverksuen 6-0

Dortmund are reigning European Champions and they’re coming up on the rails in 3rd. It’s make or break really, we can’t afford to lose to a rival. It’s a tense affair, 0-0 at the break. Then, Kuka gives us the lead. What a hero. Dundee slots a pen to level it up but Kohler scores an OG to put us back in front. We can only hold out for 5 minutes before that damn Sean Dundee levels it up, before Kohler pops up (pun intended) to score the winner and sink us. Booo.

dortmund 3-2

It’s followed up by the most one sided 0-0 you’ll ever see. I think the dream is dead.

0-0 berlin

Two 0-0’s in 3 days. What a treat.

0-0 stuttgart

Do not resuscitate.

1860 3-0

We do at least finish with a win thanks to a late Sforza goal. It secures us 3rd place.

2-1 Werder

Bayern win the title on the last day – Dortmund ran them oh so close. I am quite pleased with 3rd, after a dodgy start I didn’t really expect to have been top at any time but nevermind. We outscored the whole league, which is like winning.

final table

Marschall is a hero and I sort of regret not playing Kuka earlier in the season.

goals

The front two were exceptional, though there were many strong performers as you can see. Only the wingbacks averaged under 7, which is no surprise. Those ratings are always a struggle.

averages

That brings us to the end of this short story series, I’m going back down to just the Academy from November and for remainder of the year as I fear I have become a nuisance. See you then!

Remember to vote for your favourites as we search for our CM9798 Greatest Team

CM9798: The Greatest Team – Strikers

Strikers are perhaps the most revered of all the candidates for our greatest team. Traditionally, it will be these guys who will plunder the goals that win you leagues, cups and awards, the only difficult thing is trying to pick two from the list. So much so that we put Bakayoko in the attacking midfielders and poor old Mjelde didn’t even make the list. He wasn’t the only one.

We’re looking for two from the below candidates:

Erik Nevland

As with most of the Man Utd youngsters, they are loaded with potential and with a sprinkling of game time, that potential can be unlocked.

nevland start

Man Utd aren’t short of options or money, so good old Erik the Nev is usually available at the end of the first season. If you’re lucky, you might be able to loan him during the first season but they usually keep him around because Scholes, Cole, Sheringham and Solskjaer just isn’t enough. You’ll get yourself a top striker for about £1m and he basically guarantees goals. Just take a look…

Nevland careernev stats

Is it enough to secure your vote?

Perez Munoz Alfonso

The most expensive player on the game is Perez Munoz Alfonso of Real Betis. Everything was expected of this kid and he did get his move to Barcelona, but it didn’t really take off for him.

alfonso start

In game he usually moves to Barcelona or Real Madrid in the first season – Betis have a great team that features throughout the nominations here – where he will continue to score goals for fun. Not one for those on a budget but if you want the best, you have to pay for them.

Jardel

Let me introduce you to 8th place – Porto’s finest.

Jardel start

Jardel is popular because he is a goal machine. That much is obvious. But he’s also usually available at the end of the first season if his contract expires and as Matt Porter showed, he’ll even sign for Stockport. You can’t get vexed at that.

Graeme Tomlinson

Everybody’s favourite freebie. Released by Man Utd at the end of 96/97, their loss is your gain!

Tomlinson start

If you’re in a lower league save, Tomlinson is your man. Keeping hold of him is often another matter but he will go on to play for England is he is getting regular game time, as you can see here:

tomlinson career

Good old GT can do a job at just about any level. As he’s free he is typically a lower league signing but as we saw in some of the blog saves he can do a job certainly at First Division level and he was excellent in the Scottish Premiership. Will that be enough to secure your vote?

Andrew Mainwaring

Another lower league legend, Mainwaring can be found in Non-League for just £5k.

mainwaring start

He will be available regardless of who you are as he’s effectively out of contract and whether you pair him with Tomlinson or just add him to your squad, he’s capable of going to the very top. The problem usually comes for him when he moves on for his first big move and can’t get regular game time. The story goes that Mainwaring was rattling in the goals at Newport and it was expected he would get a move so was included in the database. For whatever reason, it never transpired, but he’s been a hero for so many of us.

Ronaldo

I didn’t want to include too many genuinely world class players but Ronaldo is an exception. For me, Ronaldo was the best player in the world at this time, but had just joined Inter Milan from Barcelona.

Ronaldo start

This is before Ronaldo got his serious injury and before his World Cup 98 performances and I remember being so excited to be able to see Ronaldo on Channel 4’s Serie A coverage. I always wanted to sign Ronaldo on this game and when it was apparent I wouldn’t be able to do it for Newcastle, I had many games as Inter Milan. He might not be a CM icon in the way some others have cult status but I associate him with the game more than most others.

Sean Devine

Back to the bargain bin and Sean Devine of Barnet will set you back £1m or so.

Devine start

You may recall way back on the first ever blog save I signed Devine for Wimbledon. He was reasonably good. He went on to be player-manager of Liverpool which was quite surreal. He was also amazing for Aberdeen before he left for Rangers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him stay at Barnet, he usually goes on to play at First Division level or higher whilst playing for Ireland for many years.

Tom Youngs

Some people call Youngs the budget Alfonso. Those people would be correct.

Youngs start

Like a lot of the Cambridge squad, their development seems somewhat random. If they get regular game time they will get moves to the Premier League but a bit like Mainwaring, sometimes their big move comes too soon. With Trevor Benjamin, Jamie Barnwell-Edinboro and others for company, Cambridge can be quite a force in Division 3 but they can’t defend. That’s by the by though. Youngs is a typical purchase for a side in Division 1 who can take advantage of his big club release clause and nurture him to realise his potential.

Youngs career

Remember, we need you to select two when you vote!

You can view all of the Greatest Team nominations here

CM9798 – The Greatest Team: Defensive Midfielders

Welcome back to our search for the greatest CM9798 team. So far we’ve discussed goalkeepers and centre backs, but you are able to vote for all positions here. Today though we’ll be focussing on defensive midfielders, a position integral in the 2-3-1-2-2 we’ve found to be the best formation. Let’s see who is up for nomination?

Matthias Sammer

It should be of no real surprise to find Sammer in this list – afterall, he did win the UEFA Best Player award at Euro 96. He’s at European Champions Borussia Dortmund and starts the game much sought after.

Sammer

He’s usually courted by Barcelona to play the DM role for Louis van Gaal, obviously helped by his passing stats. He has a lot of very good stats but nothing higher than an 18. He turns 30 shortly after the game starts so unless you are managing one of Europe’s best you probably won’t be buying Sammer, however his average rating wherever he ends up is usually pushing 7.50.

Bjorn Heidenstrom

The man, the myth, the legend. A hero of mine after his interview last year, just look at these stats:

heidenstrom start

Absolutely incredible, the only stat lower than a 12 is injury proneness. He’s equally adept in defence or midfield which is why I’ve placed him in this category, his passing stat means he is probably more useful in the centre of the park. He only played four times for Leyton Orient in real life, so quite why he is rated so highly I’m not sure. Orient are in Division 3 so generally available for £100k or sometimes less and he’ll do a job for any club at any level. If you think of all the blogs we’ve had, he’s turned up in most of them. Including Aberdeen. I keep his hand written letter of encouragement in my notebook at all times but will he get your vote?

Martin Lauchlan

If our first two candidates were all about the here and now, how about one for the future?

Lauchlan start

There aren’t many players in the game aged just 16 but Lauchlan is wiser than his years would suggest. The fact he is left/centre means he also does a reasonable job as a left wing back, but he can only improve from his already pretty good stats. In the Aberdeen save that is now 8 seasons in, Lauchlan is a star player for Scotland and you can see his stats filling out.

Lauchlan stats future

A seal of approval from the interested clubs…

Lauchlan future

He has a big club release clause so he can be signed by most sides in the First Division or higher for a couple of hundred grand. When you consider you can get 15 seasons out of him, why not?

Billy MacDonald

Not Billy Mac from Love Actually, sadly. Partick Thistle’s youth team would seemingly give the class of 92 a run for their money, so what does Billy Mac have to offer?

billy mac start

He’s your typical holding midfielder, loves a tackle and is very determined. Again using the Aberdeen save as an example, Billy Mac has done ok for himself.

billy mac future

Like Lauchlan he has the big club release clause and can be acquired for less than £200k.

Martin Djetou

If the previous entries have been bargain buys, Martin Djetou is pure and simply a legend of the game. Like Heidenstrom he can play equally well in the centre of defence or midfield but at just 22 he is already playing for one of the best clubs on the game. Just look at these stats:

Djetou

As a result, he’s not that easy to get a hold of. Your best hope is that his contract is running down as Monaco often have financial difficulties owing to their small stadium and massive wage bill. But if you can get him, he’s a Champions League quality player who constantly averages highly.

djetou future

Arnor Gudjohnsen (Icelandic Hero)

The Icelandic hero has a name, it’s just he isn’t normally around more than a season or so. With no fewer than six 20’s he’s already quite good, but at 35 going on 36 he doesn’t have great physical stats.

Icelandic start

However, his re-gen is easy to pick up as there aren’t many Icelandic DM/FC’s and there are even less with stats like this. What an absolute hero. Here he is after 7 seasons of development:

Dadason

Heading off somewhere?

Dadason career

Play him wherever you want, the man is a hero. If you can wait a season to get him, he’ll slot right into your team and stay there for as long as you want him. Whether you’d waste him in DM is another matter…

Who gets your vote? Don’t forget to check out the other positions here

CM9798 Academy – Part 11: Defending for Dummies

Hello hello! Welcome to Season 4, where the CM9798 Academy will have to find a way to bounce back from the disappointment of missing out on the First Division playoffs last season. I promised a squad overhaul but with nobody to keen to buy from us, I’ll just crack on with the new blood. A reminder of the rules:

  • Free Transfers
  • Aged 23 or under
  • All bids accepted by Ike Mashley.

Here are my 6 new faces who are going to propel us to glory…I hope.

Williams signsshilton signsmccormack signsOlneyflembodeary

Fleming will come in as captain, whilst Deary will be the new starting left wing back. McCormack will be the right sided wing back whilst Williams will compete for a start up front with Billing, Howard and Pearson, though Pearson is entering the last chance saloon.

I might not be able to shift players but one former Academy player on the move is Michael Twiss…

twiss to chelsea

What’s stupid about this is that Chelsea have just been relegated. They will surely win the league and with also-relegated Everton in the mix, getting out of this division has never seemed tougher.

We start away at newly promoted Wrexham and…we get stuffed. Bit of a concern, I won’t lie.

4-2 wrexham

A weird twist of fate (not you, the Hardy Boyz) means we face Bury three times in a row. Twice in the League Cup and a league game sandwiched in between. The home leg is a comfortable win and Dr Death Steve Williams is off and running.

2-0 bury

Our defence is going to be a problem this season. Call it a hunch. At least Bury are equally leaky and we win 6-4. We’ll see them again in 3 days for the second set.

6-4 bury away

Three more shipped. Unbelievable tekkers man Andy Ansah gets two more but we get away with it. That’s 11 conceded in 4 games but we won’t play Bury every week.

3-3 bury

We will however play better teams. Like Chelsea.

chelsea 3-0

Twiss doesn’t celebrate his 30 yard rocket. Look at this squad man. It would be competitive in the Premier League but under the watchful eye of Des Walker (who got them relegated) they are in good shape to go straight back up.

chelsea squad

Huddersfield at home. Should be a laugh? It isn’t. My word we are rancid.

0-3 hudds

3-0 down to Everton inside 32 minutes. That makes it only one match this season where we haven’t conceded three goals. Some half time home truths see us restore some pride but we’re in all sorts of trouble here.

everton 3-2

At least Billing is still scoring goals. He did briefly interest Leicester but they settled on Des Hamilton instead. That’s 100% true. Anyway, Billing nets twice to help see off Birmingham before departing on a stretcher. That’s cruel.

3-1 brum

Two months out. An expensive day for us.

billing 2 months

Never mind though, a home game with QPR will give us the…ah diddly hell dong crap, can’t you morons do anything right?

2-1 QPR

I’m sure we had good intentions but we’re in the relegation zone. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Another home game, another disaster only just averted.

2-2 charlton S4

It’s not hard to see where I’m apportioning the blame. Heritage not having a good time of it.

CAFC stats

When things are going badly, I do what I always do. I put Cox in. Immature jokes are all I have.

Cox in

In Cox we trust.

2-0 ipswich

I would go as far as to say I love Cox.

Reading leg 1

Cox out.

4-3 hull

Literally that second half at Hull was like playing without a goalkeeper. Every shot flew in. Come back Heritage, all is forgiven. It also brings an end to those sorts of jokes, to the relief of everyone.

Off to Southend on sea and Dr Death is really coming up with the goods. Buckley has been moved alongside him and they’ve formed a reasonable partnership. We’ve never been good at defending but it’s also never been so vital that we are capable of scoring three or more to win a match.

4-2 southend

Peterborough are the only team in the league to have scored more than us, so our visit there should bring goals, goals, goals. They are 4th yet somehow we cancel each other out into a 0-0. Heritage weeps at full time, his first league clean sheet of the season.

0-0 Peterborough

After seeing off Reading 1-0 at Elm Park it’s rather more comprehensive at the Arena. At least if we get relegated we know we can still smash the second division.

4-1 Reading

Well, this my sting a bit.

Spurs away

A clash with 2nd placed Middlesbrough will bring this update to a close. We have to dig deep after going 2-0 up and an onslaught from Noel-Williams, Merson and Griffiths is withstood. A much needed three points that just about keeps our season going.

2-1 boro

Let’s look at the table. A few things…Chelsea’s defence is outstanding, Everton somehow are only 9th whilst QPR are looking well placed to go up even at this early stage. Our losses to Huddersfield, Wrexham and Chelsea don’t look so bad all of a sudden. You will notice though that we aren’t in the top half…

Div 1 top S4 October

There we are! Just 6 points off the playoffs which at this stage is not too bad. Obviously the goals against column is a concern, as is the fact that Bury got 7 against us across two games. They’ve just sacked their manager. Poor Stan.

Div 1 bottom S4 October

Billing is just a few weeks away from a welcome return but the obvious concerns for us are at the other end of the field, where we’ve totally forgotten how to defend. That’s an itch we are struggling to scratch. Do join me next time to find out if we can salvage something from this rocky start. Toodles!

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