Hello and welcome back to the CM9798 Wonderkids to CM0001. Here we are in the big time. It’s fair to say it’s been cruise control all the way here, but we’ve lost some soldiers on the way, and some just haven’t lived up to their 97-98 billing 3 years on. Here’s how we’ll start:
A reminder that we’ve bolstered our squad with another 97-98 Wonderkid to help us settle and give us more options:
This part of my life is called pre-season:
We’ve been trialling a wild tactic which has worked well at times:
We draw with St. Pauli thanks to an Uwe Rosler goal. And then realise, against real opposition (and with 10 men) that this formation is now dust.
Second-half was actually very even, maybe it was the 10 men that did it?
The big day arrives and, rather than introducing Leeds to a lump of cheddar cheese, we introduce them to Mr Balling – what a way to make your Premier League debut!
We started out in a 3-4-3 and returned to our 4-2-1-3 for the second half. We’ll stick to what we know I guess. We should have destroyed Watford. CM legend Helguson pegging us back for a time.
Hust misses the televised match against Bolton thanks to his pre-season red card. Vogel will get to give his chords a stretch. Bolton park the entire travelling fans buses.
It doesn’t take long to receive recognition:
Balling gets his second cap and his second goal, proud.
Ultimately, he’s dropped again for their second game which they lose and fail to score. We’re off on a late summer break in the League Cup (Blackpool) but before that we’ve Southampton, our old adversaries, and Arsenal to get through.
So many jokes. Butt we’ll rise above it…Southampton had 3 disallowed for offside all Lee Hendrie’s fault. The next result is really disappointing having kept Arsenal’s front two of Henry and Palermo quiet.
Five games in, we’re sitting pretty. I’ll admit there are plenty with games in hand, but we’re mixing it with the big boys and have beaten sides that finished 3rd and 6th last season already.
The second string get a run out in the Cup and its celebratory donkey rides all round when we make the return leg.
Back in the league the big boys come to town. Keano lashes out early but even with 10-men Man Utd are trouble.
A 93rd minute equaliser from Giggs is brutal and hard to take. Back up in Blackpool we’re absolute pony.
Our reward? The tightest team in the league so far.
In a game of penalties we scrape a draw with Leicester, Weaver the hero saving from Clegg.
But it’s a sign something is up. TZM and his boys at Derby inflict our first defeat.
How do you break out of a rut like that? Like this:
We bring Youngs in after a lack of goals from the sun god, and his pace troubles the Everton back line time and again until its eventually rewarded.
And that was your lot. 1-0 at rock bottom isn’t really inspiring.
Ten games in, we’re up there competing but its going to take something special to get on top in this league.
We’re going to add another to the mix as the juice guy becomes available…if he’ll join us.
At this stage the shouts go to Balling. Somehow, he just can’t break into the Denmark side despite his exceptional performances both for us and in his international cameos.
And with that we’re quarter of the way in – it’s been tight at times, but we’ve never shown ourselves up but I’m not sure we have enough to bring the PL trophy home. We’ve experimented tactically but the old faithful has been most productive. Stick around, I wonder what we’ll be up to next time out?
You can follow Andrew on twitter: @KingOfTheRooks