Welcome back! If you missed part one, you’re going to find this very odd. Long story short, I set about creating an all British team to dominate the Portugese league. I chose Benfica as the “beneficiaries” in this scenario because Graeme Souness had already laid the foundations, with Brian Deane and Scott Minto sitting waiting for me like particularly poor housewarming gifts. That’s the gist, but if you want to be totally caught up CLICK HERE for part 1.
This is where we are at the moment:
Money isn’t a problem, the stadium is so large home games generate quite a bit of money to keep the coffers going. We have one squad space but I’m loathe to fill it with rubbish – it’s got to be somebody worthwhile.
A tough trip to Estrela is up next, where some British grit gets us out of trouble.
Considering they are 2nd, I can take a lot of pride in salvaging a draw. Billy Mac – who later went on to star in Love Actually – smashing in a late leveller.
Well if it isn’t the Luton Laudrup…
Yes after an earlier rejection I’ve swallowed my pride and convinced TT to join the revolution. His debut comes at home to Chaves, a game we could do with winning.
A good debut and Noel-Williams’ first goal for the club, a satisfying day.
The board are getting a little bit annoyed, probably because this great club has just spent £4m on Tony Thorpe, but basically I need to string some wins together. In many ways, I regret starting at such a large club. My motto, as ever, is blame Souness.
A rare away win helps our cause no end.
Robert Dunn is loving life. Then super-sub Brian Deane makes it 3 wins in 8 days.
Whilst I consider who the next idiot will be, we’ve only won a fourth in a row.
After about 100 re-arrangements, it’s finally time to make our bow in the Portugese cup, or the Taca de Portugal if you speak the lingo.
Despite Haslam’s early red card, at 0-0, we score twice just before half time and survive a late onslaught to secure a place in the quarter finals. That was remarkably easy.
Unfortunately, Christmas is ruined by a defeat at Porto.
No Christmas break in Portugal though, we’re straight back into it just 2 days after Santa has been for a visit.
This is not a great way to start 1998.
I do wonder what these idiots get up to in training, there’s an awful lot of fractured ribs about. Fortunately, we don’t feel his absence in our latest away triumph.
That’s Gallen’s 14th and 15th goal of the season, at this rate he’ll be going to World Cup 98. Brian Deane probably won’t be.
That takes us to the half way stage, and the rather strange sight of Estrela Amadora being 4 points clear.
Javier Margas, who went on to be very angry at West Ham later in the 90s, is the lynchpin keeping Estrela top of this table.
This is 2 points dropped though.
This is odd, no matter which way you look at it.
Tony Tony Thorpe, Tony Thorpe, Tony Tony Thorpe.
This is a kick in the teeth.
Get it up you, sicknote. Do all these England internationals usually go abroad? I’m not sure they do. I’m a trend setter.
Two more out the door which means I’ve got space for 3 newbies.
Say what you want about big Deano, but he is a big game player.
There’s just not many games big enough for him. Here he is getting Robert Page out of trouble.
We’re still rumbling along in the cup too, a semi-final place is secured.
The transfer deadline in Portugal in closing in, and those three spaces aren’t going to fill themselves. I still can’t lure Le Tissier away from the Dell.
His contract is running out, so unless he agrees a new one soon I’m confident I’ll get him for nothing in the summer.
Huge game against Sporting Lisbon, so you know who stepped up for us.
To end this update, it’s time for that transfer window to slam shut. Portugese Jim White is going off it as one of our few remaining non-Brits is shipped out.
Whereas this comes out of the blue.
This is just weird, Penafiel want both Soares’.
Deadline day itself sees another one for the future through the door.
But as the clock ticks down – we’ve got him! Jim White needs to be scraped off the walls, Le Tiss in Portugal.
So, things are actually coming together. The ship has been steadied and if we finish in the European places, we should be ok. A Champions League place would be incredible but, let’s be honest, I don’t think Brian Deane is ready for that. But we’re in with a shout with 11 games to go!
The squad is nearly entirely British now:
I have to say I’m looking forward to seeing how Le Tissier adapts, if he has to run there is a risk he’ll die in this heat so we’ll just try and get him on the ball.
Join us next time for the run in to the end of season 1, as not only do we hope to finish the season on a high there’ll be other average English players to attract! See you there…
Don’t forget, you can follow David on his actual blog which is www.cm9798.wordpress.com or even go as far as buying his first book (published by us here at THTP) and follow him on Twitter @www.thehighertempopress.comcm9798