The Retirement Academy – Part 20: Deal or No Deeley

Hello! Welcome back to the Retirement Academy, where a team of 5 oldies and 5 youngies (and a keeper) are trying to take over the Dutch League. Toppling Ajax was the original target but frankly getting anywhere near them would ne a start. We sit 10 points adrift as we pick things up in season 7…

First things first, we’ve got to go to Vienna to protect a 5-4 first leg win. I’m not sure why we’re so weird in Europe but Spoonz gets a hat-trick and we win 5-2.

Espanyol will be a tougher test for sure.

It’s a squad that looks full of familiar names but who knows if they’re any good.

I’ve moved to bring in a youthful striker. He has the vital stats I like.

A good win at Groningen will hopefully reignite out league form. That front three are purring.

Some teams just dominate us. Forever and always. Vitesse are such a team.

27 shots. It was a siege.

An average draw at Fortuna leaves very little to talk about.

Off we go to Spain where we turn a 2-0 lead into a 3-2 loss when Watt goes off injured before half time. That’s a concern.

Luckily Volendam are awful. The most comfortable of 3-1 wins sees us advance to further Pints.

Oooh you flatter me. No, really, you do. This is purely down to our European exploits.

Feyenoord, under Johan Cruyff, are miles clear at the top of the second tier. We will travel there in the third round of Pints goodness.

They are undefeated. I’m not sure we are the men for the job.

AZ take an absolute hammering from us. Even Oceano scores which is the greatest insult of all. This team has more good days than some of our previous efforts.

PSV away remains a huge game and Chimenti’s early red sees them introduce an untired 18 year old Englishman in goal. He’s useless and we are ruthless. A huge result.

And another follows 3 days later. Espanyol are edged out thanks to Roger rabbit.

Atletico Madrid. I think at this stage any tie would have been brutal. Except maybe Bordeaux.

Roda are going really well this season and they bring us down to earth with a bang. Viveros is always good.

We knack NAC. We seem to hand out our knackings fairly frequently these days which is nice. It’s also our last game before the lovely winter break so we’ll enjoy our turkey and subsequent weeks off. Let the transfers begin…

Gazza junior will be off to sign for Spurs who obviously have an affinity with Gazza. I hate these self imposed rules sometimes…until he rejects and we’ll have Gazza forever more.

I couldn’t care less that FJLV is off.

Everybody wanted him in the end. Even Los Angeles.

Oh not Spoonz. I like Spoonz

Weird that seemingly only the French want him. Do the French love spoons?

I let the tribunal decide and for once it works in our favour.

Here’s old man Bjarne Goldbaek. The fans will be so pleased.

We return from our hibernation to edge out Den Haag thanks to a man who prefers nags to hags, the Micker.

Cup time then and the pints are costly in the sense that we lose Janssen and Laudrup. We do however win despite managing 5 shots to Feyenoord’s 19. Still, into the last 8…

…where we’ll face Willem II. That’s not the worst. Ajax obviously remain there, the Goldberg of this league.

We get awful flashbacks of the early days when we go behind to Go Ahead Eagles and Konterman who I seem to remember scoring against us before. Him and Krompkamp or whatever he was called. Still, we had Micker then and we have Micker now. Where would we be without him?

Don’t answer that. He had a real bounce back last season in the MW and hopefully he can get double figures this season – undoubtedly his record has been damaged by the lack of Pints cup nobodies.

All of that leaves us 5th. Now 13 points behind Ajax, a new target might be to get second place and Champions League football. MICKER IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. I would enjoy that immensely. Him, probably less so.

Janssen and Laudrup are only out for a week. Here’s the squad as it stands:

Bellamy and Watt think they could do better. They’re probably right. Betterton signed a new contract so that’s a relief. For once, things aren’t terrible. We’ve not been knocked out of anything season which is a first. Join me next week for the last update of the season!

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