An Offer You Can Refuse

Good greetings to you, and it is with a tinge of sadness I welcome you to the first update of season 29, the 2025/26 season. On the one hand, it is a World Cup year and Peter Beardsley is struggling to contain his excitement – he’s even broke back into his own Man City team, but more on that later. However, it’s also the final season the game will allow us, for you see back in the 90s it was impossible to comprehend a saved game lasting more than 30 seasons. Well, that and store wasn’t quite what it is now and it was probably a vital facet to make the game work. Anyway. that tangent aside, let’s press on.

One of my old clubs is in the news to kick off the season, Newcastle finally losing patience with Damien Johnson

newcastle-sack-johnson

It’s a fair sacking, I had them as league and European contenders. They’ve just finished 12th. I’m not even remotely interested in going back – I’ve done my bit, it’s not my fault they can’t maintain it – but they come calling anyway

nufc-job-offer

So despite the chairman singing the Jackson 5’s Want you back down the phone, it’s a no from me and they’ll have to go elsewhere.

Now remember, Everton legend David Unsworth has no affiliation to anybody and made his name in management at Liverpool, before embarking on a fairly successful career in Spain. He went back to Liverpool before shockingly moving across the North West to Man Utd. Well, the latest wad of cash has tempted him up north.

unsworth-to-newcastle

I am more than a little disappointed they didn’t go for Beardsley, that would have been a good story. Man Utd turn their attention to a more handsome man

mufc-job

No thanks. There’s work to be done at Darlington. Attention is turned to former England centre half Kevin Ablett, for reasons I’m not really sure on.

man-utd-appoint-ablett

There’s more changes to come, but first, the season opener. The last ever Charity Shield. We’re in it! I almost forgot.

cs-25

My, what a filthy game. We are second best throughout and 9 men makes no difference. Hmm.

Our first European game is a bit of a scare, and these injuries are getting out of hand. The unflappable Marcus Carbon holds his nerve and is one of my favourite ever free transfers

first-european-game

We’re relying very heavily on him now, as want away striker Joel “Bakayoko” Domoraud suffers a Save game ending injury.

domoraud-done

It’s a new level of injury when you can say he will not feature again in this save. It’s a big loss, he’s played a huge part in getting us back in the big time. Be that as it may though, we’re in the Cup Winners Cup quarter finals

cwc-qf-draw

Anyway, back on the merry go round you all go. Italy have had enough.

italy-sack-mlt

Italy have qualified for World Cup 2026 but like many who have gone before him, that’s the trigger for a change. Matt’s out, and…

des-to-italy

Good old Des. I hope he’s utterly crap in the World Cup though. Remember, Steve Haslam is Spain manager, but neither have a 64 year old at their disposal, so I’m not worried. Arsenal lure reigning Premier League champion Pat Graham from Leeds.

graham-to-arsenal

It’s like a reverse George Graham. Scott Colcombe, who is another who seems to jump ship at the slightest wave of a ten pound note, goes to what is quite a cushy job.

colcombe-to-leeds

Chelsea are the latest to look me up in the yellow pages

chelsea-offer

NO DEAL! You’ll need to find someone with even less work ethic, if you can

mlt-to-chelsea

Fair enough. So, as an update of much change and very little football, let’s look at some league tables.

league-top-nov-25

Thirs is very much a best of the rest type scenario. Leeds & Arsenal are runaway leaders, but both are under new management so we’ll see if that de-rails them. Arsenal seem fairly unpenetrable, whereas we are one of the most porous sides in the league but fortunately we also have an eye for goal. I’m not even playing the crazy 3-1-3-3,  it’s the old favourite 5-3-2. Anyway, at least we’re not Stoke.

league-bottom-25

I’ll leave you with my favourite free transfer find. Mr Carbon is pushing for an England call.

carbon-skills

Not a bad career average

caron-career

Have mercy on us if he gets injured. With that though, another update comes to a close. Two to go 😦 As ever, I’ll leave you with the main man, closing in on 100 caps and having forced himself back into his own lineup, however that works

pb-64

Cap 99 will come in a friendly vs Brazil with cap 100 due to be away in Switzerland. I might save that honour for the home friendly with the USA in March. He deserves a capacity Wembley crowd for the big 100. Until next time…

After a new book? Give The World According to CM9798 a try! Good reviews welcome 🙂

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