Bonjour and welcome back to season 3 of Everything’s Coming up Mulhouse. Taking over the worst team in Ligue 2 seemed like a good challenge and here we are, two and a bit seasons later in Ligue 1 and in the top half no less. Nobody really wants to sign for us which is why we have Nathan Blake in the ranks but success will change opinions – just ask Man City. Here’s where we are as we resume (Catch up with part 8 here):
Guingamp is really satisfying to say whether you say it in French or pathetic English. Either way, this was a struggle of a match against a team higher than us in the league settled by a Natigol penalty.
The same player tries to rescue us a point away at Lyon but it was a short lived parity and we pick up yet another injury. Both fullbacks on the shelf now.
Who needs fullbacks? Nancy live up to their name as they get utterly smashed in the face by our rampant front four and Nathan Blake. If only it was always like this.
Troyes came up in the first season and I’m a little surprised to find they have survived. They can’t cope with Natigol and they finish with ten for their trouble.
Ligue 1 has a winter break, probably because there’s only 18 teams whereas Ligue 2 has to slum it all winter long with it’s 22 team league. When we return it’s PSG in the cup quarters which goes about as well as you would imagine. Preparation for this was harmed by Vareille picking up a 2 month injury on the eve of the game. You’ve had a month to get injured, why wait until we need you?
We look likely be fine as Caen turn up at the stadium of illness and are soon 2-0 down. Yet for some reason we go missing for the last 15 minutes and throw it all away. Boo and hiss I say.
Red Star get smashed though there’s a brief fall out when Olivero wants to take a penalty at 2-0 for his hat-trick. Natigol says no, misses and Maraval scores from the resulting corner. Nathan Blake gets the fourth and everyone has a good old chuckle about it.
Film festival time and Blakey gets us off and running. We are momentarily pegged back but Olivero gets what turns out to be the winner. I wish he’d sign a new contract.
The schedule is stupid. We play league games on Friday’s and cup games on Sunday. Laval come with a plan to kick and kick hard. It costs them two players plus an injury whilst Blake is the latest of our lot to be ruled out.
Strasbourg are second and beat us way back in August. We take an early lead and I’m thinking we’ve finally cracked it. Then it goes wrong rather quickly. We’re being before we know it and we’ve got no answer. A thorough beating. Who’d have thought Strasbourg would be my first enemies in France?
It’s a tough fixture list right now. Nantes are pushing the top two and although we hold our own for a while, we lose 3-0. Alarming, yes, but we are newly promoted remember. It might improve.
Lens at home. A chance to get things back to normal but we’re behind early doors. Natigol sorts it out with help from young Trezeguet. Back in the habit and hanging on to a top 6 spot.
The cup has given us a chance to get revenge on my new least favourite team. Strasbourg, how I loathe you. I’ve been winding the lads up by singing off key since Friday and it really gets to Boundy, who comes out of the traps with a judo throw to Baticle. Both men are out of the game – Bound permanently whilst Baticle is replaced. Anyway, playing 89 minutes with 10 men goes about as well as you would expect especially when you factor in Natigol’s injury after half an hour. All in all, a thoroughly terrible experience which has seen us lose 5-3, exit the cup and lose two key players.
4th placed Montpellier will be our final opponent of the update. We show great heart considering what has gone before and even at 2-1 down, recently turned 37 year old Pennyfather finds that magic in his left boot to equalise and Vareille wins it on his return from injury. Phew.
All of that chaos has left us 5th, in contention for a UEFA Cup place which would surely open doors to players who are better than Brian Deane. It’s tight at the top too, stupid Strasbourg are perhaps too powerful of an enemy for me.
We’ll bring the season to a close next week as we try to secure European qualification. The transfer window has passed and we haven’t lose any of the big lads so hopefully the injuries will ease and we can get the full team out. We’ll see. Goodbye for now!