Welcome back! Last time out we had a brief introduction to the class of 2000 and World Cup qualifying. We’ve beaten France and Germany with Nicky Culkin in goal but couldn’t stop the Czech’s. You can catch-up here.
I think we could be in for a tight group finale with both Germany and Finland and ourselves potentially tied on points. We’ll see. With Paul Rachubka turning 19 we can finally nip him from under the noses of USA. Champion.
Elsewhere…woah. Simeone getting wild.
Our next fixture is a home, home game.
Worryingly it takes a late David Beckham free kick (doesn’t it always?) to get the points required.
After tough away assignment we went with a diamond at home. It did the job, but we won’t be experimenting with it again!
Chubster gets a 10 on his debut too. We pull out the Wonderkids formation (4-1-3-1-1) against Albania and its much plainer sailing. Well…after introducing king Cole.
So, that leaves us top of the group for now having conceded just once, even with Nicky Culkin:
Clegg comes in for the Germany ‘friendly’ as Big Phil takes a knock on Champions Cup duty for Man Utd.
Needn’t have worried, another comfortable 2-0 against the Germans.
Next stop Athens. They held the Germans to a 2-2 draw, and they have Machlas so not to be underestimated. Andy Cole is still out with a groin strain so won’t be risked, even at 90% fitness.
In the end it was all over in 10 minutes and the game went into its shell and closed out a boring affair. That leaves us top of the group, game in hand, next opponents Germany (again!). Third time lucky for them? I hope not.
Satisfied??? Talk about the impossible job.
Unfortunately, we have to give up Ronnie Wallwork as he is released.
Our competitive return fixture with Germany sees Wilson have a goal disallowed and the game ends all square. Old David May costs us the 3-points.
And with that, our qualifications hopes are largely on-track; we have a game in hand on Germany, 2 points over Finland, and only have the bottom two left to play.
Sheringham gets released and picked up by Notts Forest, which means his time as an International is over.
After the struggles against Germany, we make an alteration to our tactical approach.
However, we certainly don’t miss Edward against the Albanians. Cole and Wilson withdrawn at half-time for Webber and Davis with Greening dropping into the centre does the trick.
Rose gets his first goal deputising in a back three and Davis gets goal number 3 of his fledgling international career. It’s all in our hands. A point against Greece would see us through, even defeat could be acceptable.
We stroll into a 2-0 lead against Greece, but as our last meeting, we just can’t get the best of them over the 90 minutes.
The FA are unhappy in the level of performance. We did what was necessary, we’ve qualified. Who cares?
I wouldn’t be surprised to get sacked before the World Cup here. It is done. No loses, only conceding 6 with a combination of the Chubster and McCauley. I’d say that we’ve worked a miracle. Do join us again next time as we ramble through the lead up to the major tournament. Hopefully Man Utd don’t ruin us by releasing a load of players pre-World Cup!!!
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[…] Well, we qualified for the World Cup! It was a tight squeeze as we had draws with Finland, Greece (twice!) and Germany. But we didn’t lose! You can catch-up here. […]