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
Everton vs Man Utd is a decent game historically, this is not one of them
Silverware for Francis Jeffers, and who can really say they are surprised by that?
Semi final time first
Hurrah for symmetry.
Sheff Wed are of course defending champions as Kieron Dyer brings the good times back to Sheffield
For one year. Big Des wins the trophy for Arsenal.
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
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
We do our bit…
Can Liverpool deny us automatic promotion?
They can’t! We’re going up!
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.
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.
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.
So all that’s left for us to do is hop over to Euro 2024. Here’s the England squad I have picked
Beardsley is in the mood, scoring the winner in a friendly against Scotland
That form is carried over into the tournament, with an opening game win over 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
Finally, it’s a game against Greece. Guess who?
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
A last 8 game with Armenia suits me just fine
We nearly mess it up but we were never in any real danger
The other quarter finals go to form
So it is the hosts Portugal in the semi finals, not an easy tie but we hang on for penalties…
The final awaits! We’re strangely good at penalties. However, there’s one man who really pays the penalty
Noooooooo! Anything but this. Facing Italy or France without the main man is a huge blow
Italy it is then, and the great irony that many of the team played for me at Milan. No Pedro, no party though
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?
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
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?