So, by the end of last update, I was plodding along happily in 4th place, although we’d hit a bad run against the big three of Real, Barca and Atletico. We sneaked past Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League 1st knockout round on away goals, Jorge Ruiz getting the all important goal.
This sparked an incredible 14 game unbeaten streak. In Europe, Koln were pushed aside 4-0 on aggregate, former Koln man Ahmed Musa scoring two away goals at their place to a chorus of boos. Then in the quarter final I took my side to Ajax, Armand Pater’s former stomping ground. I rested him for the away trip as I didn’t want him getting ideas about getting homesick for prostitutes, homemade clogs and tulips for breakfast. We got through with a 3-2 aggregate win.
In the league, things were just as rosy. Atletico came to the Mestalla, and left with a 0-0 draw, chanting “Where’s your Lego now?” in a reference to the Legogate scandal from our last match. I can’t explain the events that took place or say any more, on the advice of my legal team, but anyone who read my last update will be fully aware of the alleged incident. Espanyol, Levante, Betis and Athletic Bilbao met with defeats, Renteria and Musa banging in regular goals during the run. Sevilla eventually shut down our unbeaten run in the league, but I couldn’t care less as we beat Stuttgart on penalties after two 2-2 draws to get to the Europa League final!!!! I then found a magical regen, who I don’t think I’m going to sign, but with a name like this, I had to have a look.
Spotting ThankGod must have been a good luck omen, we finished in 4th again, where we’d been pretty much all season. So I will be getting Champions League football, even if its just for the qualifiers.
Now, it’s time to iron the club suit. We are the underdogs against a resurgent AC Milan side, who include Gabriel Barbosa in their lineup. After at least 5 minutes of staring glassy eyed at my tactics board, I go with the tried and trusted. Tiny Tim Nederburgh leads out the side as captain, club captain Sebastien Rode doesn’t make the squad. We take an early lead as Renteria scores, celebrating by miming the signing of a new contract. If we win this thanks to you, Andres Renteria, you can have whatever the hell you want. My joy doesn’t last long though, Milan are back level in less than 10 minutes. It becomes a game of metaphorical ping pong. both sides transitioning between attack and defence as quickly as the LA Lakers in the NBA. At half time, I hold aloft a perfect Lego replica of the Europa League trophy, and pass it around the team to give them the feeling of holding the cup. Surprisingly, Renteria skips this particular team bonding activity, due to “personal reasons”. I can’t imagine what his issue is.
Milan must have had their own replica trophy to play with, because they came out just as determined as my lads did. The floodgates remained shut though, thanks to Tim Nederburgh and Kostas Stafylidis, whose status as Valencia’s unsung hero is mainly due to the tricky spelling. If his name was Geoff Williams, the fans would sing of his glorious deeds, and I would talk about him a lot more.
While I’m pondering legally changing Kostas’ name to something more suitable, full time comes and goes. My assistant hands out words of encouragement, while I flick through the ABC Baby Book Of Names. In the 98th minute, a goal finally seals it. Musa and Renteria team up again, Musa latching on to the through ball and bending it past the keeper. The rest of the match passes in a haze of glory. I scribble a new contract on a match programme and hand it to Renteria as Tiny Tim lifts the trophy. Renteria adds an extra zero to his wage and signs, thinking I won’t notice the addition. I draw eyes and a mouth on the extra zero, turning it into a smiley face.
I’ll gloss over Switzerland’s Euro 2024 campaign, as I generally tend to forget Switzerland exists until they ask me to pick a squad. We qualified easily, got through the group stage and met expectations by being raped continually by Portugal in the second round.
For my next update, which hopefully will be a bit more detailed than this one (I got a bit carried away and played on and on without writing anything up) you can follow me on Twitter @JDdwerryhouse or follow this blog right here on WordPress!