AFC United – Part 23: Heroes and Villans? | @Matt_C_Wills

Happy Monday one and all. The International break may be front and centre but Matt is still here with your weekly dose of AFC United…

Good morning to you all – it’s back to school for many this week, but we’re always old skool here

Last time out we were making a good effort to wrestle back the Premier League title from Aston Villa but although we were 2nd, we’re 5pts adrift of Fergie’s revitalised United. Will this season be a tussle between the originals and the upstarts?

A reminder of how the table is looking

We come away from Stamford Bridge having led, been pegged back, behind and then salvaging a point. Corporal Jones the original Chelsea Pensioner?

It’s all a little more straightforward against 6th placed Arsenal to ensure we don’t lose further ground on Fergie’s team

It’s time to pick up Champions League group action, where 75% of the teams are from England. Carragher, turning out for his boyhood club, almost ruins our party and I thought we were done for when Juan Seba was given his marching orders, but it’s the hero for the ages, David Brown, who pops up with a timely equaliser.

Brown may have earned us a point and £250k last time out, but he’s useless away to Wolves

Thankfully, we fair better just 2 days later in the World Club Cup Final. I’m guessing we flew to Japan straight after the Wolves game?

It’s all a bit pedestrian until the final half an hour when I remind my tired lads the last thing we want is extra-time and John O’Kane is the unlikeliest of instigators to add to our trophy cabinet.

Because of the mad-cap CM9798 fixture computer, we’re straight back on the plane for a League Cup visit from Barnsley – it’s basically my second string that overcome them 2-0 with Twiss and Dwight Regen getting the goals on a wet Wednesday evening.

More shuffling of the pack to allow the troops to recover and Owen helps himself to a hat-trick to remind me he’s still got something in the locker. Maybe the Ispwich goalie was only 12….?

With Veron and Notman finding staying on the pitch a bit of a impossible task lately, I swoop to add some options to our midfield

Although not really a true Fergie Cast Off – I couldn’t stand seeing him turning out for Liverpool. They were basically wasting him anyway.

Maybe we can get him back in the England squad – impressive goals/game ratio…

Scholes in ineligible for Europe until 2005 but we have plenty of options to see off Brugge. It’s a late show to claim the 3 pts. Forget S.A.S – we have N.O.B.

We’re through. Villa and Everton didn’t do enough to claim a runners up spot.

Our prize will be a match up with Ronaldo….

Back to bread and butter stuff and we rock up at Old Trafford like the delinquent upstarts we have always claimed to be. I’m not sure how we would have fared without Peter’s regen in goal though….

Turns out that was the proverbial 6 pointer – had we lost we’d have been 10 points adrift, but we’ve narrowed the gap to 4 – the title challenge is on!

If we’re going to knock Fergie off that perch, we need to make sure we get the basics right and no slip ups, starting with Belinda’s Boys

Sunderland next and Patrick Vieira doesn’t get a sniff. B.O.W. before our might, Mackems.

Everton obviously didn’t like us ending their European adventure, but a K.O. by B.O. is salt in their wounds. EX-AFCer Berg with their goal there.

Robbo gets himself back in the game. Southampton are back in Division 1 after a few years in the third tier – big job there…

Here’s one for Zak in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Scholesy gets his first for the club and it’s all textbook from there.

3 days later and it’s European Super Cup time. As Bucks Fizz once sang ‘ My Cammarata never lies’ – not sure that makes any sense, but there you go.

Watford annoyed me last season – but the so did a lot of teams as we were crap in the league. No such problems here though

I’ll be straight – I forgot we were still in the League Cup, so it’s a pleasing result against West Ham. Wellens and Blomqvist seem to be getting a lot of goals this season down the left hand side, perhaps a metaphor for….Aha!

While Richie and Jesper pass the duchie on the left hand side, Terry ‘Sue’ Cooke does it for me on the right

I’ve lost track of how many times we have played Villa this season (I think this is the 5th so far?) but we don’t seem to be able to overturn our first leg deficit. We were heading for penalties until two late, late lapses in concentration deny us the European Super Cup

Borrelli is at it again in the league. That’s six times we’ve played them this season – a record?

We’re on a replay in the FA Cup (I’m not sure what happened in the first tie?!)

We eagerly await the draw for the 5th round. Fu#@ing Hell.

The cup games are coming thick and fast now – we’re in danger of becoming victims of our own success. It’s all square in the first leg on the League Cup against Leeds

In the FA Cup, Cooke doesn’t pull out, but nor do Smicer and Borrelli and it’ll be a replay to decide who progresses. I’m sick to the back teeth with Villa now!

While we await that replay (which will probably be a Monday morning the way things are shaping up) we have the return League Cup Semi-final leg with Leeds to contend with. Notman scores, does himself a mischief. Brown puts us into cruise control but we falter in the second half and do just enough to make the final of a competition we’ve yet to win.

And who, I hear you ask, stands between us and getting our three hands on the cup? Oh for FFS….

We’ll have to do it without Alex – it was more than a mischief…ouch.

Brown’s goal against Leeds turned out to be his 250th for AFC United by the way

That’s a goal every 124 minutes for the statisticians out there.

That stat will stretch a bit after this showing against Orient. 250 goals is all well and good, but if you can’t beat Bobby Mendonca, Eddie Scales and Marcus Le Tissier you might find yourself up Slack Alley.

It’s been barely 72 hours since we last played Aston Villa (or it certainly feels like it anyway).

Anyway, Brown hits No. 251 but we have to go all the way to Penalties to edge past them finally – luckily we score all our spot kicks. Have that Smicer.

Hull next – probably the best draw of the lot

Huddersfield gave us a beating in the season and they do it again at their place. I have no explanation for this. Jon Dahl at it again. I probably used a few too may second stringers – but to be fair, they’ve played a lot of games lately….

We HAVE played a lot of games lately – this is mammoth part really so well done for getting this far readers. We’re about 2/3 the way through the season now, so a good time to check the tables

Had we beaten Huddersfield we would have been 6 points clear of United, but as it is we’re only 3. We do have 2 games in hand though – mostly due to playing Aston Villa in every bloody cup going.

Join we next week to see if fatigue will catch up with us or we can finish with a flourish. Cheers!

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