Ross is here on this wonderful bank holiday Monday to bring you the final part of the Parma story. They’ve had quite the time under his management, but can they add the Champions League to their trophy cabinet? Part 10 is available here.
Hello, we have reached the final furlong. Emotional I know. I’ll give you all a few mins to wipe away those tears.
Now you have got that nonsense out of the way lets win the champions League.
Firstly we have the visit of the mighty Juventus.
Mighty? Pah, move out of the way old lady. Saying that though what a cracking second half. Deschamps went two footed on Dyer, Kieron over reacted after by saying he saw a bright light and voices. Was just the physio standing in front of a floodlight.
We get brought back to earth next away to Bari.
Thorninger proves to be a thorn in our side…. I’ll get me coat.
The rest of January proves frustrating. And only one win in five drops us to 3rd.
The draw for the quarter finals of the Champions League provides some respite.
I’ll take a trip to Portugal.
That seems to provide to skip in the players step with the visit of Roma.
Losing Larsen will be a pain. He provides a lot of assists from dead ball situation. But I’ll take the win and send 42,000 fans home happy.
The top 3 looks like this, I promise it isn’t a copy and paste from previous seasons.
I’ll be honest I’m aiming for second and concentrating 100% on Europe. Inter and us have lost twice as many as Juventus and their defence is tighter than a duck’s behind.
We go to Porto knowing we are big favourites. I’m never sure how the players will respond to that.
C&C at your service. That should put the tie to bed but we have been up and down recently.
The second leg comes around really quickly and I want a professional performance.
Even with Crespo missing Erik proves an able deputy.
A good night all round for Italian clubs.
No Barca, Man United, Madrid and Now Munich. I really could do with playing Auxerre. Juve and Inter can knock seven bells out of each other.
Damn it. Now do I go attack vs attack against them?
Let’s get back to the bread and butter.
Absolutely hammered them, and after 3 wins in the league to drop points more or less hands the league to Juventus just when I hoped we may sneak it. Second and Champions League football is now the focus.
The first leg of semi final is away. I remind the players that we battered them in January and we can do it again.
YES!!! Big away win. Still no Hernan but Enrico comes up trumps. Also, I think this could be the first match I’ve not used a sub. One for the purists that.
Straight to the second leg. And I can tell the players are focussed, even Kieron Dyer is quiet. I ask him if he is ok, he says no and goes on to explain his Tamagotchi died that morning. I tell him to put his shin pads on.
Juve’s players start snarling in the tunnel, Zizou is shouts at me ‘What did you say about my sister? I’ll butt you!!’. Talk about wound up.
Take that and party. Del boy misses a pen, and Den puts us in the final. Lillian Thuram was a rock. Started slapping Buffon and Cannavaro. Whatever, we are through. We await to see if it’s Inter or Auxerre in the final.
We are doing this the hard way. And guess who we have next in the league
Good lad Bordin. Curtis getting on the scoresheet as well. A good omen? Who knows.
How’s the race for second going you ask?
OOhhh, tastier than a freshly cooked apple strudel with cold custard (guess what I had tonight).
Juventus miss out on the double after being thumped by Sampdoria at home.
Look at that aggregate score! People tell me Italian football is boring. Well, take a look at our next game.
Mancini, still playing in a light blue and white scarf, pegs us back twice. Forgotten man Fiore rescues us in a game that causes Cannavaro to lose his head.
With only 1 league game to go all we need is a draw for Champions League football next season.
I get Crespo back, just in time for the big final. Away to Verona and I start the Argentinian.
Nice one Hernan. At a stadium that sounds like a hair salon, we get a nice win to send us to the final with real hope. Inter will be down but dangerous. And they have Ronaldo.
The final table looks like this.
Clearly way back in second but we have been consistent and the title win last season was fantastic. But as previously said we want the big eared trophy.
Lazio are relegated which seems odd with the squad they have. But not my problem, next stop Germany.
Chiesa is Injured, so Nevland comes in for him. The biggest concern for me is the form of Sibierski. Not played badly just not scored much. I ask Dyer, who plays on the same side of the pitch, how he has looked in games. Kieron says ‘Tall’. Cheers lad.
It’s a bright day in Germany, good for football. I say to the team how proud I am of them to get this far, but the job isn’t done. Inter will want revenge for finishing 3rd. And we need to be strong in defence and brave up front.
CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!! Sibby comes good in the final and Nevland scores. Cannavaro goes up to lift the trophy they have all craved.
And what a way to end this story. Thank you all for reading, to actually achieve everything inside 3 seasons was quicker than I had expected and it’s been great fun to write about. Thanks to Dave for the opportunity. I’ll be back for the World Cup managing Denmark, I would write more but my assistant has just told me Dyer has his whole head stuck in the Champions League trophy. Lad will never learn.
Thanks to Ross for bringing us this save. You can follow Ross on Twitter @Riddley82