The Retirement Academy – Part 31: The Elite

WEEE ARRE THE CHAMPIONS, MY FRRIIIEEENDDDD. It’s been a celebratory time here at the Retirement Academy after landing our first PTT Telecompetitie title – you can see why they call it the Eredivisie these days. Let’s just remind ourselves of our best days:

There’s work to do in pre-season and it’s unfortunate that our best player is out of contract and is refusing to sign another one. Ajax, who probably don’t even want him, offer a measly £1.7m which sparks Europe’s elite to bid.

We can do nothing.

I know what will help – Dominic Matteo’s regen. Yeah, that’ll help placate the fans.

Given the choice of Dutch giants, Barcelona, Juventus or Milan, Rombo picks the latter. How do you replace the irreplacable?

Marc Overmars junior, that’s how.

We are at least in the Champions League for the first time. The Micker is still here of course so what can go wrong?

We’ve also got Ajax in the Dutch charity shield. All in all, we still have a lot to loo forward to.

The squad is full to the brim. Obviously Rombo’s departure is a problem but Hoogendorp (van Hoojidonk) and Samways (no idea but plays for England Under 21) will be expected to fill the void. I just hope they know how to score goals.

For goodness sake. Gullit-junior wants out. No.

Rory Robinson is so far down the pecking order now I don’t mind this bid. It creates a squad space.

I’m a bit sad to see Andy Bellamy getting poached. He’s been with us a long time. It’s not great money and he’s been reliable. Good luck to him.

There goes Rory, who had many suitors.

Andy Bellamy had some great options yet picked Derby. Turns out beggars can be choosers.

Without the abundance of Pints Cup group games we start our season against Ajax in Rotterdam. The game finishes 1-1 in 90 minutes despite Fuchs’ red card and penalties goes the usual way. Larra misses and Finidi has his penalty saved against his former club. Pity.

It’ll be an early reunion with Rombo in the Champions League. We’ve got our work cut out to get through that group.

Igor Stimac is available on a free. He’s 40 but that’s never stopped us before.

Hmm.

The league season starts with a hopeless home defeat. If this is what life after Rombo is like, I don’t think I am going to enjoy it.

Kenny has had enough of the Dutch life. Strange he’d resign during a qualification campaign…

ONE WIN in 8 and behind Albania in the qualifying race for Euro 2008. Obviously, they’re already out. So long, Kenny.

Our first Champions League game couldn’t go any better. Hoogy and the blow fish is just one of the names we go by but old lads Degryse and the Micker are the real stories. Fantastic.

The Micker gets a quickfire double away at AZ but it just inspires AZ to score two of their own in an eventful 12 minutes. A draw is treading water.

The poster boy of this team scores the winner against PSV to get us moving. It’s not vintage.

I didn’t even apply for this gig but I don’t want it.

Guess who rescues a point at VVV? He is timeless.

In the Champions League we are quite clinical. CSKA are brushed aside despite an early setback.

We go down to 10 men against Utrecht but that just seems to inspire us on to better things and maybe we’ve turned a corner.

Real go and appoint Barcelona legend Cruyff. He was their manager until 1996 after playing for them in his pomp. Football would be in uproar. Hopefully that ends the Feyenoord threat.

Back in league action and we just about win at NAC. Hoogy is doing quite well, as is Degyrse.

Janssen at Sparta isn’t right and he opens the scoring here, I would assume he doesn’t celebrate. Michael Laudrup snatches a point against our nemeses.

The Rombouts reunion turns sour inside two minutes. His direct replacement puts us in front with a double but Huard equalises. We’re going to need Milan to faulter if we are to top this group.

Micker sees off MVV. The real MVP.

Jack Charlton gets about doesn’t he? He’s the new Feyenoord manager, of course.

At 3-1 up we should really beat Heerenveen but instead we concede two late goals and have to settle for a point. Two injuries won’t help.

Something just isn’t right. Twente give us a mighty beating. Yes, that is Paulo Wanchope.

Clearly, there’s an issue with our goalkeeping here.

Twice lead Parma through the Micker only to be pegged back for a point.

It’s advantage Milan in the group, we’ll have to win in Milan to stand any chance of guaranteeing qualification.

We sit 9th in the league and already looking unlikely to retain our title. Ajax are back to their imperious best.

Micker update:

We’ll leave it there for now. It’s been a real mixed bag as usual but we’ve been in worse positions by November in previous seasons but we need a mighty winter to try and pressurise Ajax. Next aim though is to get through our Champions League group. See you next week!

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