The Retirement Academy – Part 21: Happy Hour

Ahh the end of Season 7, the most finely poised of the seasons. Granted we are nowhere near achieving our aim of overhauling Ajax at the top of this infernal league but we are above PSV, so that’s a start. I’m not even sure the gap to Ajax is getting smaller year on year but nevertheless, we are still in the hunt for a European place next season either by league position or, if you will suspend reality for a minute, winning either the Pints Cup or the UEFA Cup. I won’t hold my breath.

But Dave, why so negative? This is why. We have these games against admittedly decent opposition where we just go insane. Watt equalised for a minute but that was as good as it got. There’s a lot of work to be done.

The Micker though is scoring in back to back games. He’s 42. His partner in crime goes off which ends any threat of a second goal but 1-0 will do.

Oh for the love of…

The Micker is joined up front by young Quarter, a nickname afforded to him by his moustachioed strike partner for obvious reasons. They both score and everybody is happy.

Here it is again, the old “lets go 2-0 down inside 5 minutes” performance. We are well beaten by an opposition we will play again in 4 days in the cup.

We are behind and staring down the barrel of a Pints Cup exit until young Rory Robinson equalises and forces extra time. With Gerry Imbruglia and Uncle Bulgaria off on stretchers we’re unable to freshen anything up for extra time but against the odds old Mark Bowen smashes in from a corner to put us through. Micker is sent off for celebrating too wildly.

We avoided Ajax in the semis which is great news but we get Sparta, who turn into Ajax when we play them. Hmm.

David Platt junior is off to Leeds. I liked him but when we stopped playing central midfielders his days were numbered.

Our annual rogering from Ajax is made all the easier by an early red card for Bellamy. Cheers.

We fair better in Madrid, where Cruella and Rudy score vital away goals and we come away with a draw. It’s a good result, in my view.

Off we go to Sparta in the league and maybe we’ve broken the curse? Young Rory is quite useful whilst Rudy’s run of scoring is ended by an injury.

The squad isn’t in the greatest shape…

Quarter Pounder is at it again with a brilliant hat-trick to see off MVV. It was level at half time but the lads pulled together a wonderful second half.

Sadly the Micker gets over excited in training talking about quarter pounders and pulls a hammy.

YES! We hold off Atletico with a rare solid performance, partly down to injuring Juninho and we’re into the semis.

No easy ties at this stage so let’s see what Napoli make of us.

All the old lads score away to De Graafschap. What a time to be alive.

That sets us up nicely for the Pints semi with our old rivals Sparta. It’s a close game, tense with so much on the line as you might expected. Roger Rabbit finally breaks the deadlock and if we can just hold o…it lasts four minutes. Off it goes to extra time and just as penalties loom, Goldbaek smashes in a winner three minutes from the end. YES!

Double yes! Roda see off Ajax. A slightly more palatable final.

The big games keep coming for these lunatics. Napoli are obviously pretty good and at 2-0 down we’re basically out but Quarter pulls one back and sets up an interesting second leg.

Uncle Bulgaria! Groningen are no match for our new found confidence. We’re consolidating the top 5.

I think Vitesse is one of those games we usually lose but a strong defensive performance ensures a hard earned point.

Right, Napoli. Can we overturn a deficit in San Paolo? THE MICKER! We need one more. Fraser gets sent off and that ends that. But what a run.

More dullness away at AZ. It’s all eyes on the Pints Cup final now.

PSV are chasing us down so this draw does us no harm in holding them off.

Two days later we’ve got Roda away and the squad is knackered. I rotate and we end up shipping 6. Viveros is a nightmare. Gazza junior goes off injured for good measure.

We finish with Fortuna Sittard at home, which we should win but we don’t really turn up and we lose. Bellamy gets sent off again and will start next season with a 3 game ban.

Fifth should be enough for UEFA Cup qualification. But the Cup Winners Cup would be equally fun.

Unfortunately Quarter is going to miss the final, as will Cruella and old man Bowen. Still, plenty of lunatics available for the big game.

What to do then? I’ve gone left field and brought in Melgarejo to play behind the front 2. He’s played in the World Cup for Paraguay so I’m hoping his big game stat has been improved. See, no stone unturned here. I’ve gone with Goldbaek and Rudy too so I can have cold arse as extra insurance – I forgot to take the tactics screen before we kicked off so you can ignore Bellamy’s greyness.

Thankfully Viveros is cup tied. Castillo has 33 goals this season, so that’s not good news.

Here we are then. The biggest game in our seven season history and the odds are stacked against us. We manage to keep Roda at arms length but by half time we haven’t had a single shot – Bellamy got a slight knock so Gerry “don’t call me Gary (Pallister)” Chivers comes on. The second half is going nowhere so I decide to match up with Roda’s 3-5-2 (wingbacks and stuff) with one of my own with Sirakov on for Bango. To the surprise of everybody, Sirakov drops a shoulder and gets to the byline and stands one up to the back post where The Micker pounces with a header as firm as his love of horses. It’s in. It’s bloody in. We’ve won the cup!

It was our only shot. We had as many on target as Roda though so read into that what you will.

Watt is an absolute king. No wonder he wants to leave. How have we pulled this off?!

I don’t know, but we have. We’ll be in the Cup Winners Cup next season.

Time for a quick bit of recruiting before we say goodbye. Marc Degryse has been a regular for AZ despite being nearly 39. So we must have him.

Paulo Bento will turn 35 in June so will qualify for our next competitive game. Bento and Bango is a dynamic duo if ever there was on.

Chapuisat always has garbage stats but plays at a high level. We are the home of garbage.

Danny Blind is 42. He’ll be 43 when the new season starts. His physical stats are atrocious but he can tackle and is usually in the right place..

All that is left to do is to see the awards and count the retirements…

There are 0 awards for us.

There is only one retirement! The Micker lives on!!

Some housekeeping ahead of the new season. We’ve landed a CWC seeding, which means little.

We still have to play the group stage of the pints cup – we didn’t when we were in the UEFA. No idea.

We also have to play the Dutch Charity Shield. That all sounds like a nightmare August.

That brings us to an end of this update and indeed the series. For a while? Forever? I haven’t decided. I think it’s fair to say I’m fatigued by everything at the minute and that’s part of my reasoning for taking a break. The CM Cup will be here from tomorrow for 13 days (let me tell you, I love doing it but the whole project takes a month or so of constant work and organisation) but after that there’ll be nothing at all on the site until July. It’s been a strange 18 months for all of us and the blog has ran consistently throughout including last summer so I feel everybody needs a bit of a break. We’ve got a great team blogging here who continually come up with new and fresh ideas, they deserve all the credit in the world for their efforts. I hope they will all be back.

Hopefully I will feel refreshed after a small break and will decide whether to continue with these lunatics or start something new. Let me know what you want to see, it might help make my decision.

Enjoy the CM Cup and the Euros and whatever else you do this summer. Look after yourselves.

2 thoughts on “The Retirement Academy – Part 21: Happy Hour

  1. Please bring it back. I feel like you haven’t even started yet! You at least need to win the league before you write it off! Have a good summer too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Friendo, I used to use the CM editor to create an all-star retirement team: Maradona, Peter Shilton, Lothar Matthäus and players taken part in 82,86, or 90 world cup and start the season in a division 3 league – seeing the fading stars shining again is very entertaining!

    Like

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