No Pedro, No Party

It’s the end of season 27 and that of course means it’s Euro 2024. England head to Portugal having won Euro 2020 and World Cup 2022, which begs the question would our media still got mad for it if we were that good? Who knows. Elsewhere, Darlington’s promotion crusade reaches a pivotal end – will it be automatic promotion or the dreaded playoffs again? Let’s find out.

Why break a 26 season habit? Pointless Cup up first

League Cup

Everton vs Man Utd is a decent game historically, this is not one of them

LC Final 24

Silverware for Francis Jeffers, and who can really say they are surprised by that?

FA Cup

Semi final time first

FA Cup SF results 24

Hurrah for symmetry.

Sheff Wed are of course defending champions as Kieron Dyer brings the good times back to Sheffield

FA Cup final 24

For one year. Big Des wins the trophy for Arsenal.

Division 1

When I left you last, Darlington had rocketed up the table into a playoff position with an outside chance of going up automatically. Incredibly, with one game to go we’re still in with a shout

div 1 top 1 game to go

Liverpool’s run of form has been even better than our own, all it took was David Unsworth to go to Man Utd. The last game of the season sees both ourselves and Liverpool travel away. Leicester have half a chance.if they score a hatful away at champions Forest

last game

We do our bit…

chesterfield 0 - 3 darlo

Can Liverpool deny us automatic promotion?

oldham 1 - 0 liverpool

They can’t! We’re going up!

div 1 top final

Leicester winning 1-0 at Forest could have been a heartbreaker but we won through in the end. Crystal Palace win the playoffs, so it’s bad news all round for Liverpool.

In the Premier League, Leeds are champions. It’s a story, I guess, but it not of much amusement so I won’t dwell on it. What I will focus on is Beardsley being in 3rd and Scott Colcombe securing 2nd for Chelsea.

prem top final

Into the bottom half and I won’t be facing Derby, Burnley or Cardiff. Derby have been around in the top flight for a fair while, but not any more.

prem bottom final

In the Champions League, Milan failed to defend the title I won for them, losing to Hercules in a reverse of last year’s final.

CL Final 24

So all that’s left for us to do is hop over to Euro 2024. Here’s the England squad I have picked

england squad 24

Beardsley is in the mood, scoring the winner in a friendly against Scotland

scotland friendly

That form is carried over into the tournament, with an opening game win over Sweden

england 2 - 1 sweden

We injured Thor, which is quite an achievement considering he has a hammer. Another nation in yellow are defeated which pretty much guarantees us a place in the last 8

romania 0 - 2 england

Finally, it’s a game against Greece. Guess who?

greece 1 - 2 england

He might be 63 but he loves a 90th minute winner here to take us to 3 out of 3

Armenia do us a massive favour and stun Spain, leaving the groups looking like this

Euro groups

A last 8 game with Armenia suits me just fine

Euros QF Draw

We nearly mess it up but we were never in any real danger

england 2 - 1 armenia

The other quarter finals go to form

other QF

So it is the hosts Portugal in the semi finals, not an easy tie but we hang on for penalties…

Euro SF vs Portugal

The final awaits! We’re strangely good at penalties. However, there’s one man who really pays the penalty

Beardsley banned

Noooooooo! Anything but this. Facing Italy or France without the main man is a huge blow

italy 2 - 0 france

Italy it is then, and the great irony that many of the team played for me at Milan. No Pedro, no party though

Euros final 24

Ossari was my captain at Milan for a time, a midfielder no less but he’s kicked me in the nuts here. When substitute Stuart rammed in to take us to extra time I thought we were going to win it, but sudden death extra time has killed us. A huge shame. Would this man have helped?

Beardsley 63 end of season

Probably not, to be fair, but whatever. As we’re World Champions we qualify automatically for World Cup 2026 in Mexico, so there’s about 14 friendlies for Beardsley to enjoy.

Interestingly the game didn’t tell me where Euro 2028 will be, so it’s fair to say that won’t happen. The 30 season cut off point is looming large. Let’s finish with some awards

English awards

So on the plus side, Darlington will be back in the Premier League but on the negative side, there are, by my reckoning, only 2 seasons left to make them winners. The race is on! Join me again, won’t you?

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