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.
We now have to wait and find out what kind of group will trouble us in Japan next year. While we wait, we get beaten easily by the Netherlands:
When I need Beckham and Scholes to turn up, they just aren’t there. Also, as we weren’t seeded, the group is a tricky one:
Expectations aren’t too high.
We’ll be without David May however, as he’s leaving on a jet plane. Also known as a Bosman.
Our friendly prep continues but goes reasonably well.
That’s 2 friendlies against France and 2 victories. The press reacts and we indulge them.
What happens next makes me look a bit of an idiot.
Well. Now to face Brazil, Chile and Gambia. Easy. Here’s the who’s who of getting on the plane to Japan. As David May is still yet to be released, he gets a seat.
After a terrible start, we somehow find ourselves ahead after a fantastic 3-minute period for George Clegg and Jonathan Greening. Alas, Ronaldo is too good and we end up sharing the spoils.
We get an icy reception from Chile…ahem…but we eventually find our way to put them to the sword.
However, Gary Neville (our captain) is out for the tournament. Arise Sir Wes Brown.
Well…we struggle to break down a resilient Gambia. In the end the draw sees us through in 2nd place.
Our 2nd round opponents are…France. Excellent news. The FA have set us up well.
A late scare as Danjou is unchained, but we hold on to evict the reigning champions from the tournament. Whoop! The FA are pleased. Stuffy old buggers can’t raise much excitement. It’s Turkey in the quarters. Sounds favourable, but they have some quality players like Suker.
It takes a golden goal from Scholes to see us through in the 1st minute of extra time. Brown is now out for the tournament so we will have to revert to untested midfielder/defender Kris Taylor. It will be a very young back 3. At least Lee Roche is one of them:
That one season at Wrexham in 00/01 has done him well. Our semi-final opponents are Croatia. Yes, England fans, Croatia. It’s a very England type of game. We find ourselves 3-1 up, only to squander the lead and lose on penalties.
We’ll face of with Brazil in the 3rd place playoff. Manager less Brazil at that. Excellent.
My 2 players on long shots, bury 3 of them totally against the run of play and Brazil are completely diddled. Chubster has a blinder in the sticks keeping Brazil out. WE ARE BRONZE HEROES!!!
The board are as excited as ever about us overreaching their objectives.
So, I’d call that a pretty good outcome to this blog. One that I did not expect at all. 3-5-2 seemed to get the most out of the right players, and the younger ones came of age at the right time. It’s just a shame our defence was so inexperienced for the key games due to injuries. Oh, and the final?
In the end we can take comfort in being knocked out by the eventual winners. We’ll see you again soon for another #oneclubmentality, b-bye!