CM9798 Retirement Home – Part 10: The only way is up

Hello! Welcome to season 4 of the CM9798 Retirement Home. The old boys have done me proud so far, securing successive promotions to Division 1 and then just about holding their own in the second tier. The First Division is difficult to get out of, it hasn’t got any easier over the years either. With a set of 35+ year old veterans it is going to be a huge challenge. With a number of retirements last season it’s time to try and plug some gaps and hopefully find some quality – however, we have a huge debt and once again will be restricted to freebies…

A former England International is the first to sign up for this madness, although he last played for his country in 1988 so he’s not exactly at the peak of his powers. Dave Watson, everybody.

dave watson

Dave Beasant didn’t want to stick around for another season and has now retired, as has Peter Sirch. With just one goalkeeper on the books we desperately need another. Tommy Wright looks absolutely atrocious but rules are rules. Dave Seaman opts for Walsall instead.

tommy wright

We’re light up front after Ian Rush decided player-managing Norwich was more his kind of thing. Tony “the Edge is fine” Cascarino is sadly the best I can get. Him and Mick Quinn will pose a different kind of threat.

Cascarino

Only one more through the door and it’s yet another centre back. He last played for England in 1992 so again, I’m not expecting much but here is Gary Mabbutt.

Mabbutt

I’m going to have to stick with what we did for the second half of last season. It’s the crux of the main formation but with an extra centre half. It won’t be pretty but we just need to hang in until we have the money to attract a better standard of veteran.

S4 Game 1

It’s actually Rushy’s Norwich where we start our season. Drinkell gets us off to the dream start but we’re soon pegged back and go behind just after half time. We’re lucky to come away with a point thanks to a late Cascarino penalty.

S4 Norwich away

That pesky young Cambridge team is starting to show it’s potential. They might be in Division 2 but they beat us at the Bungalow to give us a lot to do in the return leg.

cambridge home S4

An average start gets even worse at Elm Park. Carl Asaba scores twice as we are thrashed, a reminder that we really aren’t very good.

S4 Reading away

42 year old Chris Hutchings puts us ahead on the night at Cambridge but we need two at least to advance. Cambridge get a leveller and we have no response. Another pointless cup exit.

S4 cambridge away

Another away day brings a mighty defeat. Sheff Utd ease past us and we’re really lacking inspiration at the moment.

sheff utd away S4

Newly relegated West Ham are far too good for us. From the first minute we are chasing shadows and we’re fortunate it only ends 5-1. Songo’o got twenty man of the match awards last season but even his magic seems to have waned. We’re in trouble.

west ham home

Chelsea take us apart. Viv Anderson sees red.

chelsea away S4

We briefly lead Sunderland but then that goes the same way as all the others. We are bottom of the table with a solitary point, if you’re keeping score.

sunderland home

Defeat at Derby did see us equalise for less than a minute. A goal before half time is meant to gee you up but it just makes Derby mad.

derby away

We do at least end our losing streak at home to Ipswich. Ratkovic is our best player by a mile.

Ipswich home S4

A late defeat at Barnsley ensures any progress talk is quashed.

Barnsley home S4

I think it’s time for a change. A check of the transfer list and some serious digging unearths a Togolese chap to boost our ranks. I need attacking players but beggars can’t be choosers.

Assignon signs

In a bid to change our fortunes I’ve had to change tactics. Direct just doesn’t work with such a poor crop of attacking players. So we’re going to have to keep it on the deck and pass our way to freedom. It’s a miserable formation, truly awful. But needs must.

new tactic

It just about earns a point at home to Wrexham. We have a glut of home games and I can’t imagine ticket sales will be booming.

wrexham home S4

Maurice Malpas! Our first win of the season comes in September but it’s so very badly needed.

Plymouth home S4

It’s followed by a second just three days later. An extra 1,000 on the gate to see Tony Cascarino edge us past Swindon. It’s effective, at least.

swindon home S4

It’s less effective against Bolton who escape with a 1-0 win. If we go behind we have so very little to offer.

bolton home S4

We’re well beaten at Walsall too. Early signs that our new formation would take us to safety seem to have been extremely premature.

walsall away S4

Bottom. Joint lowest scorers and highest conceded. This is a pickle that is going to take some resolving.

Div 1 bottom Oct S4

I suppose on the plus side we are one win away from being out of the bottom three. On the negative side we are absolutely awful. There’s nothing really available but in a little over one month, David Kelly can join our ranks. He’s not great but with a pace of 6 he immediately becomes our best striker.

David Kelly

Kelly helped Keegan’s Newcastle in the 90s so I’ll be hoping for a similar impact as long as nobody snaps him up between now and November 25th. A relegation wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would be a set back. Would I survive the sack? I don’t think I’ve ever had a relegation on my CV, I don’t want to start now. See you next week!

3 thoughts on “CM9798 Retirement Home – Part 10: The only way is up

  1. It looks like a few players (songo’o in particular) have that horrible feature where their ability drops to 1/200 just because of their age. I’ve noticed it more prominent in goalkeepers, which I think is why de goey, schmeichel, and seaman all go terrible after a couple of seasons when they hit their mid-30s

    Like

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