Totti’s Team: Part 9

It’s the end of Season 3 for Rob Tait’s Roma, so just how many trophies will he end up with? Can anybody stop Totti’s Team? Previous update is available here

At the end of part 2 we were still on for a six trophy season. The Super Coppa Italia, World Club Cup and European Super Cup are all sitting on my mantelpiece in my City Centre apartment. We are 11 points clear in the league with nine games to play and we have made the final of the Coppa Italia.

That leaves us with the Champions league and our quarter final tie against European super power Real Madrid. This could be where we become unstuck and the away leg is the first game up. I haven’t messed around with formation changes at all this season we live by the sword and die by the sword attacking all the way. I think this takes Madrid by surprise as we silence 100,000 Spaniards, I’m assuming the rest are our fans, with a stunning victory.

1

After the game Totti pops by the office, he is still on his youth contract and thinks it is time for a pay rise. Of course I say, how much?

2

I can’t really tell him to jog on, maybe he knows this. I wish I hadn’t installed that wage patch!

The league is all but won as we notch another win.

3

However we can only draw with Sampdoria.

4

Next up it’s Madrid again, they have to attack as we have two away goals which plays right into our hands.

5

Totti is clearly happy with his £97,000 a week and we are into the semis but who will it be?

6

7

We are going to have to win this the hard way. I think I like playing the away leg first, it seems to suit our attacking approach.

Derby day, Lazio’s turn to take the home dressing room and they will want revenge for earlier in the season. They don’t get it, in fact they don’t even make a game of it.

8

Totti not only scores goals he makes them too. He reaches a club landmark.

9

Milan next and they too are brushed aside after a very brief scare.

10

We head to Old Trafford on a strong run, but it is Old Trafford and Schmeichel still seems to be going strong. We play pretty poorly and go a goal down on the stroke of half time to the Baby Faced Assassin. I make a triple sub in the 53rd minute to try and rescue something.

11

Landreau is immense and Ortega gets us a vital away goal, they are so tough to beat, especially when you only have four shots on target.

It’s another straightforward league victory, 2:0 against Cagliari before the first leg of our Coppa Italia final. We are at home first, which I don’t like.

12

For good reason, Landreau again keeps us in the match and we have played two very poor knock out football matches in a row. 0:0 is flattering for us.

13

He was a bargain at £5 million.

We host Bologna with a chance to win the league if all goes well. There are five first half goals, four of which are ours.

14

We have done it. Two left, can we do it. Normally you would be happy with four trophies but we are getting so close to a clean sweep I really want it now, and the two cup ties are on a knife edge.

15

It’s the second leg of the Champions League, we have the away goal to force Utds hand but the truth is they don’t even turn up and it is all a little bit of an anti climax. Totti and Telli do the business for us.

16

The final is against

17

A rematch from last season where we were crowned surprise champions. This year we have, bar one strange Voodoo curse been amazing. So it stands to reason we will somehow lose this one, but I really hope not. Capello has reached the Cup Winners Cup final again too so if we win he can try and take back the European Super Cup trophy.

18

The league is over now but we win again to increase our points total before travelling to Turin for the second leg of the final. The game seems really close as I read the text but we take a lead through Telli in the 36th minute. That calms us down and we finish off with a 77th minute goal from old hot sauce himself Pirri.

19

5/6, it’s down to the Champions League can we do it? We breeze past Fiorentina in the league 4-0 but they clearly have other priorities.

20

Even though they could get relegated. Our final league game is away to Udinese, we round off the campaign in style, with 10 days rest before the big one.

21

Fiorentina are relegated, despite UEFA Cup success I don’t think their manger swap five games into the season has worked out like they were hoping for. AC Milan win the Cup Winners Cup.

22

Can we make it a double clean sweep in a weeks time, 6/6 for us and 3/3 for Italian teams in Europe? Our opponents win the Amstel Cup on the Sunday before the game, something they couldn’t manage last year. Is it a bad omen?

We are playing the final in Holland at De Kuip Feyenoord. The ref is clearly Dutch and dismisses Iuliano in the 23rd minute. It was an omen, I knew it, ahh well 5/6 aint bad. The sending off blows the game apart and 13 minutes later it has gone from 0:0 to 2:1.

23

It’s amazing and I can’t quite believe it. This season has been amazing and I wasn’t expecting to get near this for a while longer. The team have been so consistent, everyone has played really well but I don’t feel like anyone had a truly stand out season. What am I going to do next? I have the summer to decide.

Five days later and some sad news.

24

It can only mean only mean one thing, the fairy tale team are back down to Serie C. My attention turns to Euro 2000 and I’m torn. I really want the chance to manage Italy so I want Pappa Maldini to be sacked but for Totti and a lot of my team I want a victory.

I pick up Italy’s story at the Quarters, where they beat France on penalties, not a great show from the Roma boys, but Pirri is a serious lad.

25

In their semi against Slovenia?! It’s close but Telli gets the only goal.

26

It’s Germany in final, a tough tie, what a game, I wish more international finals were like this.

27

Looks like I’m not getting that job any time soon. Before I go and think about how to approach Season 4 I will leave you with some stats from the season.

Three special young players.

282930

An award for me

31

But nothing for any individuals as I said it was all about the squad this season.

32

Oh and finally, the best news since I started this save.

33

Not sure why he didn’t stick it out for one more year till his contract expired.

Hopefully I’ll see you all for season 4, I might change it up a bit, I’ve always wanted to play with a sweeper.

Thanks to Rob for his stellar work over the past few months. Rob will be representing Ireland in the CM9798 World Cup so join us on Sunday for a preview of groups A-D. In the meantime you can follow Rob on Twitter @Taitanator

Advertisements

The Gialloblu Chronicles – Part 11

Ross is here on this wonderful bank holiday Monday to bring you the final part of the Parma story. They’ve had quite the time under his management, but can they add the Champions League to their trophy cabinet? Part 10 is available here.

Hello, we have reached the final furlong. Emotional I know. I’ll give you all a few mins to wipe away those tears.

Now you have got that nonsense out of the way lets win the champions League.

Firstly we have the visit of the mighty Juventus.

1

Mighty? Pah, move out of the way old lady. Saying that though what a cracking second half. Deschamps went two footed on Dyer, Kieron over reacted after by saying he saw a bright light and voices. Was just the physio standing in front of a floodlight.

We get brought back to earth next away to Bari.

2

Thorninger proves to be a thorn in our side…. I’ll get me coat.

The rest of January proves frustrating. And only one win in five drops us to 3rd.

The draw for the quarter finals of the Champions League provides some respite.

3

I’ll take a trip to Portugal.

That seems to provide to skip in the players step with the visit of Roma.

4

Losing Larsen will be a pain. He provides a lot of assists from dead ball situation. But I’ll take the win and send 42,000 fans home happy.

The top 3 looks like this, I promise it isn’t a copy and paste from previous seasons.

5

I’ll be honest I’m aiming for second and concentrating 100% on Europe. Inter and us have lost twice as many as Juventus and their defence is tighter than a duck’s behind.

We go to Porto knowing we are big favourites. I’m never sure how the players will respond to that.

6

C&C at your service. That should put the tie to bed but we have been up and down recently.

The second leg comes around really quickly and I want a professional performance.

7

Even with Crespo missing Erik proves an able deputy.

A good night all round for Italian clubs.

8

No Barca, Man United, Madrid and Now Munich. I really could do with playing Auxerre. Juve and Inter can knock seven bells out of each other.

9

Damn it. Now do I go attack vs attack against them?

Let’s get back to the bread and butter.

10

Absolutely hammered them, and after 3 wins in the league to drop points more or less hands the league to Juventus just when I hoped we may sneak it. Second and Champions League football is now the focus.

The first leg of semi final is away. I remind the players that we battered them in January and we can do it again.

11

YES!!! Big away win. Still no Hernan but Enrico comes up trumps. Also, I think this could be the first match I’ve not used a sub. One for the purists that.

Straight to the second leg. And I can tell the players are focussed, even Kieron Dyer is quiet. I ask him if he is ok, he says no and goes on to explain his Tamagotchi died that morning. I tell him to put his shin pads on.

Juve’s players start snarling in the tunnel, Zizou is shouts at me ‘What did you say about my sister? I’ll butt you!!’. Talk about wound up.

12

Take that and party. Del boy misses a pen, and Den puts us in the final. Lillian Thuram was a rock. Started slapping Buffon and Cannavaro. Whatever, we are through. We await to see if it’s Inter or Auxerre in the final.

13

We are doing this the hard way. And guess who we have next in the league

14

Good lad Bordin. Curtis getting on the scoresheet as well. A good omen? Who knows.

How’s the race for second going you ask?

15

OOhhh, tastier than a freshly cooked apple strudel with cold custard (guess what I had tonight).

Juventus miss out on the double after being thumped by Sampdoria at home.

16

Look at that aggregate score! People tell me Italian football is boring. Well, take a look at our next game.

17

Mancini, still playing in a light blue and white scarf, pegs us back twice. Forgotten man Fiore rescues us in a game that causes Cannavaro to lose his head.

18

With only 1 league game to go all we need is a draw for Champions League football next season.

I get Crespo back, just in time for the big final. Away to Verona and I start the Argentinian.

19

Nice one Hernan. At a stadium that sounds like a hair salon, we get a nice win to send us to the final with real hope. Inter will be down but dangerous. And they have Ronaldo.

The final table looks like this.

20

Clearly way back in second but we have been consistent and the title win last season was fantastic. But as previously said we want the big eared trophy.

21

Lazio are relegated which seems odd with the squad they have. But not my problem, next stop Germany.

Chiesa is Injured, so Nevland comes in for him. The biggest concern for me is the form of Sibierski. Not played badly just not scored much. I ask Dyer, who plays on the same side of the pitch, how he has looked in games. Kieron says ‘Tall’. Cheers lad.

It’s a bright day in Germany, good for football. I say to the team how proud I am of them to get this far, but the job isn’t done. Inter will want revenge for finishing 3rd. And we need to be strong in defence and brave up front.

22

CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!! Sibby comes good in the final and Nevland scores. Cannavaro goes up to lift the trophy they have all craved.

And what a way to end this story. Thank you all for reading, to actually achieve everything inside 3 seasons was quicker than I had expected and it’s been great fun to write about. Thanks to Dave for the opportunity. I’ll be back for the World Cup managing Denmark, I would write more but my assistant has just told me Dyer has his whole head stuck in the Champions League trophy. Lad will never learn.

Ciao.

Thanks to Ross for bringing us this save. You can follow Ross on Twitter @Riddley82

 

 

Totti’s Team: Part 8

Rob’s back with the middle edition of series 3. Roma are Serie A and European Champions but can they add the one everybody wants…you know, the World Club Cup? Let’s find out (Part 7 available here)

We finished part 1 with an unbeaten league record and some strong cup performances, the only negatives were some unhappy players and a couple of annoying draws. November begins with highly prized Jody Morris switching Tyneside for Old Trafford, I can’t help but think Newcastle have done some good business here, making up for that Lee Clark debacle in Season 1.

1

We are still on song however, and, at a for once well attended Champions League game. It still annoys me that less turned up to watch that magical semi final second leg against Juve last season. We see off Porto with a solid 2:0 the ever faithful Totti and Pirri with the goals.

2

If you were wondering how the fairy tale story of Chievo Verona was going after their surprise Coppa Italia victory last season then a) you have a good memory and b) not so well, Celtic have just knocked them out of the Cup Winners Cup in the 2nd round, 2:0 after two legs. They did manage a 0:0 draw at home though so they haven’t done too bad really. Chievo can now focus on staying up.

3

We continue with a champions 1:0 victory, the classic play badly and win game. Juve and Lippi decide that despite having one of the best keepers in the game in Peruzzi they are going to sign another, it’s an incite into the future, of sorts. Maybe they are working on a two keeper formation.

4

Thor is out again, he’s been injured so frequently I can only assume he keeps going to play round Bull’s house rather than focusing on his proper job as a striker come holding midfield player. Priorities!

5

Another victory in Serie A, another brace by Double K. All our main rivals Inter, AC Milan and Juve slip up with ‘Shock Defeats,’ meanwhile we are skipping along nicely. We don’t need that silly injury prone God of Thunder anyway. We have our 5th CL group game next and a victory against Steaua would see us qualify.

6

Panucci gets two from right wing back and that means we are through with a game to spare, Juve are not looking great in 2nd and their final game is against us so we could effectively knock them out.

7

Our next match gives us the opportunity to pick up the second trophy of the season, it’s World Club Cup time. We face a side I have never heard of, Basanez. A bit of research tells me they have only been in the top flight of Uruguayan football for two seasons since they were formed in 1920. The 1994/5 and 1995/6 seasons before being relegated in 1996/7. Quite how they ended up in the World Club Cup I don’t know.

8

In truth it’s another easy victory but disappointing that Double K gets injured at the end. Pistone get himself suspended in the Champions League by getting a yellow card in the final, which is a blessing as we are already through so he misses a nothing game. All these victories mean I’m manager of the month again, I’m just waiting for the wheels to come off.

Next up and it is another cup game, Coppa Italia quarter final time against a previous bogey side Sampdoria in my bogey tournament. Just before the game begins I notice that it is a two leg affaire, I wonder why I didn’t realise this earlier until I remember I have never got this far yet! I haven’t played £15 million man Ortega so he gets a rare start and scores, I hope this continues as Morty B needs some competition to keep him sharpe. We win 3:2 but the score line makes the game seem closer than it was.

9

Before our final Champions league game against Juve we travel to Fiorentina who sacked their manager after five games but really aren’t doing any better because of it. It’s a super boring draw where hardly a word of game commentary is spoken. Last year we would have lost a game like that to a last minute goal so I’ll take a boring draw. The game against Juve is equally as dull however we do lose that 1:0 to a Raul goal. I can only assume the boys were too relaxed as I played a strong team in the hope of knocking them out. The final table in the group looks like this.

10

I do a quick check of the other groups and their second place teams. Real Madrid have 15 points (through) and Ajax also have 13 points. Another check and Ajax’s goal difference is +7, Juve are out. I can’t quite believe it because last year we made it through in 2nd place with 10 points. We must have been really lucky. Here is the draw, Man Utd vs Barca is a big one, good to remove a strong side early and Real will be tough for us.

11

It’s another cup game next and the home leg of our Coppa Italia quarter final. We are leading 3:2 with three away goals so I feel confident of progressing. Inzaghi gets us off to a flyer and then it is all quite till just before halftime. A 5:3 AG lead at the half and I’d say we have done enough, and we had. Our defense seems a bit leaky at the moment and I hope this isn’t a trend developing.

12

The balls are drawn for the semi finals and it’s not a bad tie for us. Winning all six trophies could actually happen still.

13

We have a couple of league games left before the Christmas break.

14

Three minutes of excitement and 87 minutes of dross, I’ll take it though. This however is disappointing.

15

This on the other hand is brilliant, Panucci is becoming a free scoring right wing back, I think he is my favourite right back on the game and he really plays well in the wing back position which is a bonus.

16

We have the local bragging rights again. That result takes us to the midway point in the season (almost) and we are sitting pretty. The stats suggest that the defensive revamp has worked a treat with 3/4 Italians now as regular starters. We are not as free scoring as usual but I think lots of teams are now playing Ultra defensive when they visit the Stadio.

17

Tough break, glad I got rid, If only he was a little stronger this never would have happened anyway it’s Capello’s problem now.

18

After the Christmas and New Year festivities we are back in action against Capello’s Milan in the European Super Cup. We are away for the first leg and if we don’t want Milan to play one of their strikers as a sweeper in the home tie we need to get a goal here.

19

Another 3:2 win in a cup tie, yes. I don’t know what to say, we keep pulling results out of the bag and I’m not quite sure how but I’m loving it. Our league form is just immense at the moment as you can see by the next three matches.

20

I was about this time that I started to think we were going to manage to go unbeaten in the league. The whole season unbeaten, I’m not sure I have ever done that before I thought to myself. Then Youri Djorkaeff gives me a quick kick in the baby makers and it is all over in a slow drawn out flashing of text. He scored in the 2nd minute.

21

I know it happens but I feel really hard done by. It seems the board want to give me a little kick while I’m down.

22

Are Inter really that bad?

23

No they are not, they are in second frickin place, the board are bunch of ………..

We host AC Milan in our next game, it’s the second leg of the European Super Cup, can we secure trophy number three of the season.

24

Yeah we can, Double K is back on form. Transfer deadline day passes at the end of the month and after buying Ortega I stick with who I have for the rest of the season. In hindsight I should have bought Alberto Savino. Who’s that you say, you know, hattrick hero Alberto Savino. The Venezia right back who scored a 15 minute hattrick to rescue his side from the jaws of defeat when they were 4:1 down, away, at defending Champions Roma.

25

Savino’s hat trick is the beginning of a pretty bad run for us, I can only assume that other teams saw him score his hat trick and started to believe that they too could take us on. Alberto Savino has broken our MoJo!

The curse of Savino means we can no longer shoot and we are lucky with a 0:0 draw in our Coppa Italia first leg match.

26

In the league against Parma we are mighty but Savino has said blessings for the Parma team. Seriously, if I wasn’t bald I’d be tearing my hair out right now.

27

It takes two weeks to finally shake the Curse.

28

And it is just in time for the second leg of the Coppa Italia.

29

Abelardo has been amazing since he sighed at the start of season 2 for a cheap £1.7 million. He always looks good stat wise but he is really delivering on it. Nesta can’t get a look in at the moment. The game was so close but we have just edged it, we are in the Final.

30

Juve in the final, the Milan teams are good but Juve have been our main rivals the whole time and if we want to get all six trophies it is only right we should face them at some point. With the Savino curse well and truly broken the last two games in February and the end of this update are business as usual.

31

Looking at that maybe Juve have played Venezia recently and Savino has cursed them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a bad performance from such a good team. The league table after 2/3s of the season and I don’t think we are getting caught now. As a final present I get the February manager of the month too.

32

Next week we have the final 1/3 of the league, the Coppa Italia final and our Champions League adventure. We are halfway to the six trophy mark that I said was my aim at the start of the season. If I’m honest I didn’t think we would still be in with a chance with at this point.

Rob will be back next week with the final part of season 3 before he heads off to manage Ireland in the CM9798 World Cup. Follow him on Twitter @Taitanator

The Stockport Diaries: Season 2 – Part 11

What a feat this could be for Stockport. In their first season in the Premier League, they stand three games from European football. Matt Porter is well on the way to having a statue built in his honour. That’s if they can get over the finish line…(Part 10 available here)

Well here we are, it’s d-day. Do or die. I feel like I am being slightly overdramatic but I also feel I am totally allowed given our performance this season. One final push boys, I mean it would be silly NOT to be in Europe really given how close we are to Manchester Airport?? Just to recap, well, I’ll let the table tell the story….

1

Just 3 games to go, and I am hoping we can cling onto top 5 which I THINK is enough for Europe… this may end up as a bit of an anti-climax as I don’t really know how many qualify. Liverpool won the League Cup with Blackburn as runners up and the FA cup final is between Newcastle and Liverpool, but to be quite frank who knows!

Newcastle are still leading the way and it is the slightly less emotional Kenny Dalglish in charge, although I’m sure he’d ‘love it’ just as much if they do prevail. If they do I’m sure the signing of Trevor Sinclair and Alan Stubbs will be looked upon as the key…

2

Talk about timing, I mean, 3 more games you absolute dickhead…

3

He can go, we’ve lost big names before. No man is bigger than Stockport.

Anyway, it’s game day and we need this…. We’ve got a lot of knackered players and 2 games in 3 days so I rest Carlita, Jarni and Bound. I could do with resting more as our next game is Man U, but I need the result so I’ll worry about that one when it comes around.

4

For 40 minutes we are awful and I mean dreadful. Dave Lucas performs miracles to keep it down to 2-0, but then we wake up and are brilliant for 5 minutes, score 1 and nearly equalise. If we carry on like that we can turn this one around.

5

This may be petering out… we get battered and deserve it. It may be a step too far but I have nothing but praise for my team, how could I have anything else? Having said that it was awful today, It is no exaggeration to say that it could have been double figures, Dave Lucas was superb.

6

Next up is the small matter of Man U, and are team are knackered. Changes coming, hopefully they will do the job, and I’m going to play an extra centre midfielder to shore things up. I have a bit of an injury/knackered player crisis too, to the extent I only have Tom Youngs available as a right sided player to play at wing back plus a very very average looking back 3…. I’m worried!

7

Well talk about making things difficult… We play pretty well but are 1 behind in both goals and players… This could be a long second half.

8

David Lucas is a football genius, but even he can’t stop Jardel inexplicably overhitting a chip and scoring an own goal. Is he auditioning for a big move to United? Words fail me…. 3-0 and even Gary Neville scores, although I don’t think that’s too bad against that lot with 10 men for over an hour.

9

Well We are at least guaranteed top 7, I’d have taken that at the beginning of the season! It’s all about perspective… The title race is so so close, and Man U probably think that actually 3-0 against us was a poor result, they needed more goals! Only 2 difference in goal difference between them and locked together on points… Man U have Leeds at home last game which could be tricky, Newcastle slightly easier Wimbledon at home, but they do have the UEFA cup final the midweek before…

10

Final game is away at Bolton and I can still get higher…. I can put a full strength side out, let’s show them what we can do!

11

Well that was a cracking first half! We edge it and are 3-2 up at half time and deservedly so…

12

Well if Jardel is leaving, he’s saying a fantastic farewell… I keep on getting a weird sense of déjà vu, seeing Jardel at the Reebok, except he’s fatter in my visions and he certainly never scores… Weird. Anyway! Not a bad way to finish.

13

Newcastle have done it! They’ve held their nerve and everyone outside of Man U is delighted. That’s secondary to the main news though… we’ve finished 6th! Sheffield Wednesday were outrageously rubbish, and so we have sneaked in… what a season, well played lads! I think we’re in Europe, although can’t be sure yet, but sod it, we’re going to celebrate in Bolton and pub crawl all the way across Greater Manchester to Stockport, it may take a couple of weeks but we’ve got the time!!

See you on the other side folks, if we make it past Levenshulme without alcohol poisoning. Ian Gray is planning the route, so it may take a few months not a few weeks…

Matt will be back after the World Cup with season 3, but you can keep up to date with him on Twitter @PorterMatt

The Gialloblu Chronicles – Part 10

Parma time on this Monday lunch time and the Ross Revolution continues. He’s hired a birthday boy assistant for this update but will it help him through a tough Champions League group? Part 9 is available here if you need to catch up

Hello and welcome to a very special update. Firstly, its number 10 and still going strong, but also, I have a special contributor. After being told I ignore him while writing this up by my wife, it’s with great pleasure to introduce you all to my 5-year-old (it’s also his birthday today) son Owen. He will be giving his expert view on each game mentioned today.

So, onto the serious stuff. We left last weeks update after a cracker of a game against Milan. Our focus though if I’m honest is the champions League.

We travel to Wacker Moedling for next. And we ‘Wacker’ them for 90 mins only to get one.

1

Owen: Why are your players scared to score daddy?

Not now son Kieron Dyer has heard about a Y2K bug and wrapped himself in tin foil.

We go back to league duty for the start of October. Home to Roma is still a derby of sorts, and I let rip to the players about needing to score more. This upsets Erik Nevland, Owen offers him a sweet and cuddle and says he can take pens. I say ok, anything to stop him crying and we don’t get many anyway…

2

What a game! Has more or less everything. Cannavaro gets a silly red card but we hold on for a great win.

Owen: Maybe I should be manager person? Hahahahaha, you pooh-head daddy.

Harsh words son but yes you did get the Erik on pens bit right. Now bedtime.

Confidence is high within the squad and I even let them watch Scooby Doo on VHS instead of afternoon training.

Now as you may have noticed, we have started the league unbeaten. I stupidly let this slip during a meeting, as previously said none of the players read the papers, all hell breaks loose so I have to put scooby doo back on.

3

Damn it! We draw level and have a great chance to go ahead. But Nevland’s missed pen seems to stir Torino and Cerbone mainly into top gear.

Owen: Did you want Red team to win today daddy?
No.
Owen: so why did you let them?
Go to bed.

The team seem a bit all over the place at the min. Sibby is my main worry. The goals and assists have dried up lately. Which is why Melli is playing more often than not.

But I need to remember what the aim is this season. Speaking of which we play PSV next and they can tricky.

4

Or not. Svindal Larsen goes all Henrik and slots home a rare hat-trick.

Owen: 6? Wow I can have McDonalds for dinner now?

Also, great to see Chiesa score some, he can go through hot streaks, hoping this is the start of another.

Ok, the next game requires some explaining to me…

5

No nothing to do with the actual score line but the fact we get knocked out for this? Seriously, I have no idea how the Italian FA come to this arrangement but we are out.

Owen: (shrugs shoulders and pick his nose)

We need to refocus for our next game. Away at Old Trafford and I decide to really drill the defence.

6

Seems to have worked. Really please we managed to keep a dangerous team like United at bay.

Owen: this is boring, why can’t you score goals?

Thanks for stealing my thunder there son.

But he has a point, yes, we have played two big teams but we never threatened their keeper.

7

Ahhhh, three games now without a goal and Udinese snatch a late winner.

Owen: your face is very red daddy, like tomato.

I lock the players in the dressing room after the game for an hour, real reason being I’ve lost the key, but I’m not letting them know that. I demand a response from the players against Napoli. If not some may need a new club.

8

That’s much better. Crespo scores for the first time in what seems like a million years. Napoli said we were a bit aggressive with our tackles and losing Taglialatela was ‘pasta’ joke…

Owen: Mummy says you’re not funny.

9

And again! 4 more as well.

Owen: yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Well put son.

We take our new-found confidence to Inter.

10

Bordin, if you’re asking, was a cheap freebie. And is starting to look a bargain. Crespo continues his scoring hot streak.

Owen: Why do you keep pestering that man called Ron daddy?

‘Ron’ still won’t join me here.

As we get closer to the turn of the century I know I need to keep the players grounded. They have a habit this season going great guns for a few games only to lose one.

11

Hey presto! It’s happened again.

Owen: They had 10 people and you had 11? Why didn’t you win?

No McDonalds for him. A very frustrating game.

We end our Champions League group stages with a routine win over PSV.

12

Not one goal conceded and 5 out of 6 games won. Sadly, Wacker do not register a goal.
I didn’t bring Owen to this game, Holland can wait for his 18th birthday.

We come to our winter break with our league form very odd and our European stuff red hot.

Something to think about during the turn of the century. For now, I leave you with some words of wisdom form the Birthday boy,

Owen: I like Cricket.

Lad will learn. Ciao for now.

 

Totti’s Team: Part 7

Who’s ready for season 3? Rob guided Roma to a Serie A and Champions League double in season 2, so how can you top that? Get the chequebook out…(Catch up with Part 6 here)

The aim this season is to win everything and keep my fingers crossed that Papa Maldini gets sacked and I get the Italy job. That said winning everything isn’t that easy. I quickly check the manager ratings to find I am Superb, though still not quite as good as Gazza?!

1

I use my ever increasing reputation to try and entice Del Piero and Figo to join us. They persistently decline my frequent advances which is a little annoying. So I go looking elsewhere and strengthen my squad with the following.

2

3

I’m going back to how we started season 1 with 10 central defenders in the squad. There isn’t much attacking talent available and we are quite strong up top so I’m going to hold out for real quality only. To buy all these defenders I have to let some of the originals go.

4

5

Since Capello and I are friends now I tried to warn him off Petro but he was having none of it and in truth I’m glad to see him go. Capello does make a really good signing though.

6

I was tempted by Vieri by didn’t want to pay the high price because I’m a little bit tight. A few other things of note happen in the off season. Param have had enough of Ancelotti so he is history. He’s only out of work for nine days though, he is on is way to Holland to manage FC Twente.

7

Man Utd and Liverpool do some indirect player swapping.

8

I can’t believe nobody else went in for Fowler, I can’t believe I missed getting him for free. I was clearly too preoccupied with Figo and that silly bid I made for Rivaldo.

Ok so that briefly sums up the summer break, I organise a few friendlies just to get the condition of the players back up to scratch when the Supercoppa tie comes through. I had completely forgot about Chievo and the chance for a rematch.

9

Before Nesta can kick a competitive ball.

10

Maybe those friendlies aren’t such a good idea after all or maybe there was a Lazio fan playing for the opposition. I’m excited for the Coppa Italia draw and despite wanting to win all six trophies I would just like to get past the third round. This competition has not been good to me over the past two years and I can only assume that is why I’m not quite as good at managing as Gazza is.

11

Right our first competitive match of the season rolls around and it is our Coppa Italia round two rematch from last season. Chievo have a new manager and I’ve bought a new back four, although one is injured.

12

13

What a game, what a crowd, what a performance. One down, five to go. I think it might get a bit more difficult than this and I can’t help thinking that maybe it was better the devil you don’t know for Chievo as the new guy isn’t cutting the mustard.

We don’t need to qualify for the group stages this year as league winners and reigning champions of Europe. However when the draw comes out I can’t help but feel they could have done a little bit of a better job.

14

15

Three groups with two teams from the same country, don’t they have rules and procedures to stop that happening? Our group isn’t so bad, we have inside knowledge of Juve, the other two are military medium and I’m acting very confident so I expected disaster.

Coppa Italia round two, job done. Telli has low moral, I’m not sure why after last year’s success, so Inzi is leading the line and doing a good job at the moment.

16

We’re hosting Bobbie Baggio’s Bologna side in round three which doesn’t happen till October.

17

It’s a late start to the league in Italy and only a 34 game season, which I love. Our first league game is away to Genoa. Two thirds of the team is largely unchanged from last season but the defense has been revamped. Panucci is in for Cafu, Iuliano takes the place of Santos and Pistone plays at left back for Lauchlan. Abelardo keeps his place for now but Smoje and Nesta are excellent options, I hope. I feel a little bad as Santos and Abs were excellent last year but they are both 29 and I have a funny thing about playing over 30’s.

18

A great start to the season and a clean sheet. Iuliano really knows how to make a good first impression but he makes it up to me in our second game. After talking about not playing over 30’s Oceano is still going strong at 38.

19

No Thor, Iuli, what the hell is going on in training.

20

21

Our third game of the season is against Inter and it is a reunion with Di Biagio. He was a great player for us in Season one but limited opportunities and the emerging Tommasi, Pirlo and Black Star meant there was no longer a place for him. I’m determined to give Kanoute a bit more action as he seems to score in every France U21 game.

22

It’s another good result and we seem to have picked up where we left off last season. The defensive reshuffle doesn’t seem to have unsettled us and we might have found another gem in Kanoute. As a little bonus Nesta returns from injury the next day.

Tommasi has been the subject of approaches since I started, there is no way I’m selling him to Capello.

23

Champions league action starts for us mid September with a trip to sunny Porto. There are no selection issues as all my signings were made way before round one. As I said before, Juve will be tough but I’m hoping for 12 points from the four other games.

24

It’s all going to plan, King Kanute (Double K) on the score sheet again and three points in the bag. We have a lazy day on the beach Thursday since we don’t play our league games till Sunday. The beach was a great idea, some 5-aside beach football helped our first touch and we dispatch Venezia 2:1 away on Sunday, Double K scoring again. In fact it is all going so well that I decide to buy

25

It is an absolutely unnecessary purchase for a stupid price for a player who plays in a position that I don’t need, so much for being tight. I really can’t explain this purchase, just a £15 million whim.

It’s only five games into the season when…

26

It does seem a bit early but then they are bottom of the league with two points and 10 goals against. At the other end of the table we are on fire.

27

Steaua really try to make a game of it in the Champions League.

28

and Verona are no match for us…

29

Double K just can’t stop scoring at the moment. So we head to our main rivals Juve in high spirits ready to put them to the sword. Lippi has other ideas and in a close game we manage a draw, unable to hang on for a victory.

30

But then another disappointing draw follows. Sometimes this game drives me mad, I guess it does add an element of realism, f*#k realism.

31

Our next game is against Juve again but this time it’s CL group stage action. Telli is a bit upset that Double K is getting more games, in an effort to keep him sweet I give him a start and he repays me. We have such strength in depth now.

32

We win in the league again, away to Sampdoria before hosting Bologna in the Coppa Italia 3rd round, interestingly the winner will travel to Sampdoria in the quarters. I’m a little worried about this tie as we have not played well in this competition over the last two years.

33

There was no need to worry. Our last game of this update is against my old fr-enemy Capello. He’s gone for a regular formation again which is worrying. Pirlo then gets himself sent off in the 23rd minute. A rejig of the team to bring on Tommasi is needed and in the 66th minute he hits a stunner past Rossi for an amazing 1:0 victory. I’ll take home draws against Atalanta for victories like that.

34

That’s the end for Part 1, we haven’t lost a league game and are flying on all fronts. I’m worried that we won’t be able to keep this going but for now I’m all smiles. Can we become the Italian invincibles? For good measure I am also the October manager of the month.

35

36

Rob will be back next week but in the meantime you can find him on Twitter @Taitanator

 

The Stockport Diaries: Season 2 – Part 10

We’re well into Season two now for Matt Porter and Stockport, but has Spring sprung? Or are the legs starting to feel a bit weary in the unlikely quest for European places? Catch up with part 9 here

The final push, well the penultimate one anyway, for our unlikely European wishes to come true. Stockport has every reason to be a proud town at the moment, and it’s not just the league table…

12

I was sent the below by post, second class, postmark Hazel Grove, no idea what the thumbs up or the little yellow face is, but it’s another feather in our cap. Question is, will AC Milan or Barcelona be visiting next season?

Back to the football, and April will be a make or break month, by the end of it we’ll have a better idea of our fate, with only 3 games left after it. Aston Villa away first up, mid table and with a somewhat dubious forward line of Savo Milosevic and Stan Collymore, but these are the type of players who will suddenly turn brilliant when playing your team, so I am cautious with my optimism, but can name an unchanged side as Duberry and Youngs are not quite fit enough.

3

Julian bloody Joachim. I’d forgotten he even existed, which is funny because so did Robert Jarni who was supposed to be marking him. 2-0. Urgh.

4

We batter them in the second half, and I mean batter them. 2-1 after 55 minutes, surely we will score again? No. No we can’t. This game is cruel! I take solace in the fact that Villa have a quite superb centre back partnership, in fact we can only score thanks to Michael Oakes attempting to pass back to himself and surprised that he wasn’t there to receive it, own goal. I just hope Liverpool suffer from the fixture congestion as they have 3 games in hand on me now.

5

An uneventful week lets me check a bit of paperwork and I realise to my surprise that 4th choice goalkeeper and class clown Ian Gray still has 2 and a half years left on his contract, what was the chairman smoking when he gave him a 4 year deal?!

Chelsea at home next and Walton is dropped for Duberry and Youngs returns to the bench, it gets no easier but at least it’s at home, one more big push boys, they don’t like our freezing changing rooms or pre match bread and dripping these Southern pansies!

6

A very decent first half, Tomlinson scores early to send the home fans mad, and we should score again but don’t, hope we don’t live to regret that.

7

We don’t live to regret that. Edgeley is bouncing and we are unlucky to only win 3-0. I want to say keep my feet on the ground, but sod that, let’s celebrate boys!

8

We’re back in 4th we’re back in 4th we’re back in 4th we’re back in 4th…

9

Everton have 2 games in hand but one of them is against Man United who have only lost once this season so I’ll be fine.

10

Bugger. Can’t rely on those buggers to do anything right.

Sheffield United at home next and it’s a game we should win. They are 19th and only ahead of abject Drby who are on a laughable 12 points, but of course they will be scrapping for their lives. We are also missing Mario Jardel to a one match man for totting up yellow cards so in comes the fit again Youngs, and I can also put Carlita on the bench to fill up my non EU quota.

11

What a first half that was! We go 1-0 down early on, but then we batter them, Tomlinson scores 4 times but 2 are disallowed, then John Ebbrell takes out Tom Youngs when he’s through on goal and doesn’t even get a booking, the second time that has happened after Staunton against Villa. So of course Ebbrell scores an equaliser before half time. I’m confident though, surely Alan Kelly can’t play that well in the second half?

12

Alan Kelly can play that well second half. 20 shots, 15 on target. Seriously. This game.

13

One game left this month, but that draw could really damage our season though. 4th, but for how long? Come on lads, let’s not let this peter out…

14

Games in hand have evened up a bit now…5th

15

Liverpool away to finish off, nice and easy right?! Jardel returns from suspension but Dario Simic is injured and Heidenstrom has come back from international duty knackered.

16

Once again we are comfortably the better team in the 1st half, and we deservedly lead. Who said the race for 4th place is over?! It really is atmospheric here, fair play to the Liverpool fans for making such a noise to support a team with Scott Booth unfathomably leading the line.

17

Best performance of the season bar none. We absolutely destroyed them, I know they are probably tired having squeezed in their games in hand but frankly I don’t care. 3-0 at Anfield, the dream is well and truly alive, what a way to leave it for the last month of the season!

18

Shock my arse…

19

The table looks interesting, especially for Big Kev, he’d love it, love it if Newcastle could get over the line. For us, we do have a slightly better goal difference than Liverpool so if they draw their game in hand we have the advantage… Every place is a triumph, but we are now guaranteed to finish in the top 7, I think Stockport would probably take that!

20

Matt will be back next Tuesday with the end of Season 2 but you can follow him on Twitter @PorterMatt