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[Retro DB - FM21] Back to The 90's: Save the Arsenal, Save the World - and bring Football Home!


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2 hours ago, DaneBramage said:

Good to see Steve Bruce get some caps in this timeline.

I'm interested in seeing who can become a star for Arsenal, who never quite made it in real life. Only a few years until Franny Jeffers should be available!


I think the main difference in this timeline should see an improved career for anyone who was crippled by injuries or personal problems. Gascoine seems to have had a better time of it, but should be some more interesting ones like Ledley King, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere, Owen Hargreaves, Kieron Dyer, Michael Owen, even Wayne Rooney I’d expect to play at the top level a little longer. 

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11 hours ago, PaulHartman71 said:

 

Indeed, my bad, maybe he will be the man to finally fix their defence :D 

 

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He looks pretty awesome actually. Just might the fix their defence needs.

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8 hours ago, PaulHartman71 said:


I think the main difference in this timeline should see an improved career for anyone who was crippled by injuries or personal problems. Gascoine seems to have had a better time of it, but should be some more interesting ones like Ledley King, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere, Owen Hargreaves, Kieron Dyer, Michael Owen, even Wayne Rooney I’d expect to play at the top level a little longer. 

Ronaldo (original) definitely should be better then, and play longer.
Joe Cole could be added to the list, Torres as well. Hargreaves too! Darren Anderton?

Edited by Sonic Youth
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On 10/07/2021 at 01:48, Sonic Youth said:

Ronaldo (original) definitely should be better then, and play longer.
Joe Cole could be added to the list, Torres as well. Hargreaves too! Darren Anderton?

 

Torres is a very good shout actually, should stay in his prime longer. Adriano another one that should be interesting. 

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A very difficult run in the League Cup, with the two hardest sides in the competition back to back, but we saw off both of them, including a second string Liverpool side that were horrendous against our own second string, a Semi Final with Charlton awaits!

 

 

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4 losses by Christmas not really what you want, we got unlucky against both United and Liverpool losing 1-0 and 3-2 respectively, we also lost to Southampton and QPR in difficult away games following European nights. 

United top at Christmas, but there's only 7 points to make up, given we still have to play them at home I think it's definitely doable. Spurs having a good season, on course for Top 4 too, with Southampton flying in 5th. 

Leicester having an absolute nightmare of a season, looks like the mid-week UEFA Cup matches have hindered them more than helped them as with 7 points from 19 games they look doomed to go down. Chelsea having a nightmare too, as they look set to be in a relegation battle alongside Newcastle and Ipswich. Blackburn having a decent first season back in the top flight. 

Chelsea have already sacked David Pleat and replaced him with Don Howe, whilst Newcastle have binned Iam McFaul for ex-Ireland manager Jack Charlton. David Pleat eventually took over at Ipswich once they sacked Bobby Ferguson, who has, just days ago, took over at Leicester from Gordon Milne. It will need a miracle for Bobby Ferguson to keep them up, even with David Beckham it looks like some doing - hilariously, in Europe they've actually done pretty well: 

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Over double the points in UEFA Cup than they've got in the First Division :D 

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A perfect European Cup group stage as we win every game, albeit the PSV away game was a bit tight and we left it late, but a perfect result all the same. 

 

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Milan and Celtic make it through their group at Porto's expense, with Dinamo Zagreb ultimately the whipping boys. Group B was the most interesting as any 4 of those could quite easily have made it through, it was Monaco and Napoli who ultimately did, with Ajax who won this European Cup in the real timeline, now only able to settle for the UEFA Cup, with Leverkusen out completely. 

Leeds smashed it in their group with Bayern, Gijon and Red Star, I thought Gijon might make it through given they won the UEFA Cup last season, but clearly Leeds are no mugs and get a place in the knockout stage as a reward. Rangers and Inter made it through, with Kevin Keegan's RC Lens losing out and now in the UEFA Cup. Man United and Barcelona make it through their group with Dortmund quite disappointing, whilst Juve are joined by Valladolid in Group H, with Stuttgart crashing out at the narrowest of margins. 

 

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Some crackers in the next round.

Celtic will take on Man United, Liverpool have Monaco, Real Madrid and Napoli, we have a tough side as we take on Inter Milan. Barcelona have Rangers, Bayern and Milan probably the biggest clash of the round, with Leeds and Valldolid probably the most interesting one and a real chance for Leeds to make the Quarter Finals you would think. I didn't think too much of Benfica and think Juve should get past them really. 

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A relatively quiet January, although it did see Barcelona splash out big time on young Christian Vieiri from Atalanta with a £20M deal for the 21 year old. 

 

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It will be interesting to see how he does for them, I think in real life he just stayed in Italy, but maybe he will be a big hit for Barca in this time-line. 

 

Christian Wuck joins Bayern for £15M from Kaiserslautern, whilst Carlos Secretario joins Juve from Barca for £11.5M. 

Chelsea snap up a young Stan Collymore in a bid to save themselves from relegation, whilst Djalminha, a left winger, joins Man United from Monaco. I assume the young Brazilian will only be a back up to Ryan Giggs. David Batty, who signed for United only 2 years ago in January for £14M, a combination of injuries and Paul Scholes being better than him has meant he's not really done much there and now leaves for first-team football at Blackburn, the side he joined in the real timeline anyway :D 

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3 hours ago, PaulHartman71 said:

A relatively quiet January, although it did see Barcelona splash out big time on young Christian Vieiri from Atalanta with a £20M deal for the 21 year old. 

 

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It will be interesting to see how he does for them, I think in real life he just stayed in Italy, but maybe he will be a big hit for Barca in this time-line. 

He did play in Spain, I think with at least Atletico Madrid (possibly one other). Is he Italian or Australian? He was born in Australia to Italian parents.

3 hours ago, PaulHartman71 said:

Djalminha, a left winger, joins Man United

:lol: I wonder if he’s as crazy as he was in 00/01’s version (think that was the one ), good but nuts!

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Paul, what an amazing and fascinating idea! I loved the read very much and can't wait til we get to circa 2000 - time when I really started following football. Something I have not really noticed in FM are tycoon takeovers that really make the team number 1 - Chelsea, City or PSG kind. Will be interesting if some of these happen :)

 

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12 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

He did play in Spain, I think with at least Atletico Madrid (possibly one other). Is he Italian or Australian? He was born in Australia to Italian parents.

:lol: I wonder if he’s as crazy as he was in 00/01’s version (think that was the one ), good but nuts!


Yeah him being Australian rings a bell. 
 

Interesting thing with this save is whilst they’ve programmed the nationalities right, I don’t think if you put someone in pre game to appear later you can necessarily have them declared for a set nation, so the game currently seems relatively geared towards nations players were born in. 
 

I think if it’s a proper small nation they will still gear towards the bigger one, for example in my Liechtenstein save most the half decent players would want to play for Switzerland when the Liechtenstein reputation was rubbish, but I think if like Vieira they’re 18, born in a mid table nation like Senegal and not got French interest but have Senegal interest they will go for that. 
 

Vieira the most obvious example I’ve seen so far, but I recently noticed Switzerland beat San Marino like 6-0 in a qualifier with Olivier Neuville, German striker in the real timeline, getting a hat trick. Personally I don’t mind it as kind of adds to the butterfly effect chaos theory type element of the new timeline :D 

Interesting ones that could happen later on I guess would be Podolski for Germany, I imagine Klose should be knocking around by now so will have to see if he’s gone for Poland or Germany. 
 

Another extremely random one is Italian international Simone Perrota, who I had no idea was actually born in Manchester and could’ve played for England :D 

I often browse the U21, U19 squads for England as they pop up when I announce the main ones and I like to see how Beckham, Nevilles, Fowler etc are getting on, had to do a double take when I saw Perrotta in one! He’ll probably end up playing for Italy anyway I imagine as given the depth of quality we have at central midfield barring an injury crisis I’m not sure we will need him. 
 

Think that Owen Hargreaves was born in Canada, so I’m really hoping that by the time he comes through Canada reputation is still bad enough he won’t want to play for them, as an injury free Owen Hargreaves would be a huge loss for the England side in the mid to late 2000s. 

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2 hours ago, scarp said:

Paul, what an amazing and fascinating idea! I loved the read very much and can't wait til we get to circa 2000 - time when I really started following football. Something I have not really noticed in FM are tycoon takeovers that really make the team number 1 - Chelsea, City or PSG kind. Will be interesting if some of these happen :)

 


Yeah, I think it’s an interesting element that’s probably quite hard to program so would imagine the likes of Blackburn and the 3 sides you mention having a tycoon takeover are unlikely, although I do remember in previous FM around the time City had shambolic ownership the game was kind of set up so City’s owners wanted to sell the club, so there was generally a 50 percent chance they wound up with a tycoon when they soon got a takeover anyway. 
 

I’m not sure in how much detail the ownership of these clubs are set up so it could be that at some point the owners become old enough that they sell and a tycoon or big consortium takes over. But at the same time I guess in a realistic re-do of the timelines anything could happen and small things could change what happens, so we could see a random tycoon takeover of say Gijon, Ajax or Crystal Palace instead. 

I think PSG are set up to be in with a good chance of becoming a big side anyway as in the 90s they were still a decent emerging side who if they recruit wisely could go on to dominate in France, although at this moment France seems nicely balanced with Monaco the best side and 3-4 other strong sides knocking about including PSG. 
 

From what we’ve seen so far in England it seems to be a Top 3 and then 6-7 sides who could feasibly get that 4th spot and the other 2 UEFA Cup spots every season. Will be interesting to see if anyone can cement that as their own and a Top 4 does emerge, obviously a tycoon takeover of any of the sides would probably see that, but at this point could be pot lock. 
 

Weirdly I imagine if Chelsea get relegated this season they would likely see massive financial problems given their wage bill and transfers they’ve made in recent years not really suited to the 2nd tier, which could eventually trigger the board selling and a new buyer coming in. 

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Just checked and looks like Miroslav Klose will indeed represent his native Poland instead of Germany. Could be a big boost for Poland if a few others follow suit, also seems highly unlikely Klose keeps the World Cup goal scorer record of all time with Poland instead!

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End of Season 1994/95

 

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Blackburn didn't quite win their first title like in the real timeline, they did have a decent season coming in 11th which for a promoted side is pretty good going. Wenger's Arsenal came back in the second half of the season to crack on and win their 2nd title, with Liverpool actually surprise 2nd place over Man United who ended up 3rd. Tottenham got 4th place, although fair play to West Ham, ending up 5th and pushing Spurs for 4th towards the end of the season. Leeds got UEFA Cup too, with Sheffield United, having a very solid season under Brian Clough, managed to get into the Europa Conference League.

An absolute disaster for Chelsea, who despite spending some decent money in January and having a much bigger wage budget than many of the clubs down there with them, ultimately go on a really bad run that sees them get relegated. They sacked Don Howe at the end of the season, with Graham Taylor the man backed with getting them back up from the Second Division. Taylor himself was sacked by Everton in March and replaced by Peter Reid. 

Bobby Ferguson took over from Gordon Milne at Leicester in December and my word did he have a good time of it, he helped keep them out and as we will see shortly, alongside loanee David Beckham, led Leicester fans to a huge victory... 

 

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The Team of the Year dominated by us, with our entire back 5 including Seaman making it, with Makelele, Petit, Merson and top scorer Andy Cole also making it toom alongside Alan Shearer and Chris Waddle. 

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We won the League Cup, with our second string coming out on top against both Charlton and Palace in the Semi and Final. 

 

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A nice clip of a Pires/Henry link up goal in the Charlton Semi Final. 

 

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A famous victory at Wembley sees us sink Liverpool to secure a domestic treble!

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A dominant display against Inter Milan had us super confident in the next round, even when we drew Real Madrid.

 

 

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A 3-0 smashing at Highbury of Real Madrid, with an Andy Cole hat-trick had Gunners fans and Arsene Wenger dreaming of a quadruple that would far outweigh any domestic achievement in the previous timeline. 

 

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But it had to be that man, Wenger's once favourite son, George Weah, who took it upon himself to score 4 famous goals to sink Arsenal and pull off one of the European Cup's most famous comebacks to knock them out. A sickening blow to Wenger's dream of finally getting his hands on a European Cup. 

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Giovanni van Bronckhorst actually broke his leg in October, which saw him miss all of the rest of the season, which saw Gareth Southgate retrained as a make-shift left back in games where Lizarazu was too tired to play. Southgate to his credit did quite well there whenever called upon. Everyone had a pretty good season in all honesty, back-up players like Brad Friedel, Thierry Henry, Robet Pires, Parlour, Keown etc all stepped up when needed. 

 

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An incredible season from Andy Cole, with his 29 in 33 1st Div games, as well as 43 goals in 47 games in all competitions. 

 

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Manu Petit having a very good season in midfield. 

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  Wenger's Career Record

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club                  League                Position           Achievements/Other
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1990/91     Arsenal FC            First Division          2nd              N/A
1991/92     Arsenal FC            First Division          1st              First Division & League Cup winners
1992/93     Arsenal FC            First Division          3rd              FA Cup & Charity Shield winners
1993/94     Arsenal FC            First Division          2nd              FA Cup & Charity Shield winners
1994/95     Arsenal FC            First Division          1st              First Division, FA Cup & League Cup winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Arsenal's Trophy Cabinet in the Original Timeline

 

First Division/Premier League - x4 (1990/91, 1997/98, 2001/02 & 2003/04) 

FA Cup                        - x9 (1992-93, 1997/98, 2001/2, 2002/03, 2004/05, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2016/17 & 2019/20) 

League Cup                    - x1 (1992/93)

Charity/Community Shield      - x9 (1991/92, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2002/03, 2004/05, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2017/20 & 2020/21)

UEFA Cup Winners Cup          - x1 (1993/94)

 

 

Trophy Cabinet in the New Timeline

 

First Division             - x2 (1991/92 & 1994/95) 

FA Cup                     - x3 (1992/93, 1993/94 & 1994/95)

League Cup                 - x2 (1991/92 & 1994/95)

Charity Shield             - x2 (1992/93 & 1993/94)

 

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Nottingham Forest, managed by Howard Wilkinson, are back in the First Division again, alongside fellow relegated sides Wimbledon (who have George Graham at the helm) and Coventry, with all 3 sides dominating the division and deserving to come back up on the balance of play by the looks of it. Bristol City, Lincoln and Gillingham all relegated. 

 

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Preston win the Third Division and are promoted under the leadership of former England legend, Peter Shilton, with Bolton and Milwall joining them in getting promoted, with a young Sam Allardyce's Bristol Rovers side losing the in the playoff final. 

Shrewsbury, Carlisle, Burnley and Birmingham are all relegated. 

 

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Milan's dominance in Italy continued, with Roma 6 points off of them in 2nd, whilst Inter and Juve continue in the European Cup next season at Napoli's expense. 

 

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Barcelona back on top in Spain, after 2 years of Madrid dominance. Valencia make the European Cup for the first time in this new timeline, with Valladolid in again, but Gijon miss out on Europe completely after a poor season for them compared to the previous few. 

 

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Bayern Munich win the Bundesliga again, after a close fight with Stuttgart who of course won it last season. Werder Bremen and Koln will join them in the European Cup next season, with Dortmund and Leverkusen having to settle for UEFA Cup and Conference League respectively. 

 

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Kevin Keegan's RC Lens side couldn't retain their title, but the competition was still won by an English manager, with Terry Venables' Monaco team getting the win, with Marseille in 2nd. PSG settle for UEFA Cup next season alongside Auxerre, with Bordeaux in the Conference League.

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Louis Van Gaal's white and red army of Ajax retain their title, with Bobby Robson's PSV side just behind in 2nd. Feyenoord also get European Cup next season finishing in 3rd not all that far off the two bigger sides either. 

 

 

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Celtic, no doubt with new striker Henrik Larsson's help, win their first title for a few years, knocking rivals Rangers off of top spot. 

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An absolute fairy tale for Leicester City, who whilst fighting a relegation battle also manage to navigate through a very strong UEFA Cup knockout stage to eventually pip strong favorites Ajax in the final :D 

 

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Russel Hoult, Paul Kitson, Joey Craddock and of course on loan David Beckham among the heroes that helped get them there. 

What an achievement. 

This of course also means they will be in the European Cup next season :D 

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It's Real Madrid, who knocked us out in the Quarters, who ultimately take the tournament, beating last year's winner's AC Milan in the final. They smashed past Juve and Napoli too to be fair, so suppose no real shame in losing to them. 

Liverpool had a solid run to the Semis before getting smashed a bit by AC Milan. 

 

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Since we're 5 years in now I'll do a small cap of a few things: 

 

Top 10 transfers of all time (some fees may differ to originally reported fee if were clauses etc) 

 

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Overall XI for Arsenal: 

 

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Ian Wright is now only 10 goals off of Cliff Bastin's 178 goal record which he will surely break next season. 

 

Other First Division best Overall XI's: 

 

Man United: 

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Liverpool: 

 

 

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Tottenham: 

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Leeds: 

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Southampton: 

 

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Chelsea: 

 

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Barcelona: 

 

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Real Madrid: 

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Bayern Munich: 

 

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Monaco: 

 

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Ajax: 

 

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Celtic: 

 

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Rangers: 

 

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International XI's: 

 

England: 

 

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Italy: 

 

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Brazil: 

 

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Argentina: 

 

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France: 

 

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Germany: 

 

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Netherlands: 

 

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The big dramatic transfer of the summer saw Real Madrid, champions of Europe, snap up Zinedine Zidane. It was for a world record fee and given he always intended to treat the club as a stepping stone it's not a move I didn't see happening at some point, would've been nice to keep him a bit longer though as I don't think we ever saw the best of him. He was good last season and a big help, but he certainly didn't carry us or perform at the level I'm sure he will for France and Madrid in the next few seasons. 

 

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Zidane I would usually play on the left, but also in the middle too, I think on the left I'm happy with Merson and Pires as options there, but in the middle it did leave us a bit short to some extent, so we've gone out and bought Edgar Davids from Ajax! 

 

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Davids looks very promising, with him, Makelele, Petit and a young Vieira we have some really great options in midfield now. 

 

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We've also invested in the future too, with Sol Campbell obviously not looking likely, I thought it important to try and invest in a centre back of the future, today. The obvious English choice was Rio Ferdinand, and thankfully I managed to snap him up from West Ham for a pretty good fee. £10M initially, with £13M extra in add-ons, £3M after 50 league appearances, £5M after 20 England caps and £500K after each of his first 10 league games, so they will get the full £23M just not for a while. Weirdly despite these add ons they only agreed to the deal with a loan back option for a year, which worked out alright for me as if I'd brought him in I'd have had to shift Keown on to give him any game time. 

 

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At 17, he's still quite raw, but looks like he will still be some player in his day. 

 

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I didn't have a great deal of cash left over after that, around £5M, but my scouts in South America notified me of young Gilberto Silva in Brazil, whilst we don't need him right now, I thought it would be a good investment to get him in as he looks like he will still be some player when he reaches his potential. To help him achieve this he will spend the season on loan at Nantes in Ligue 1. 

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Part of the reason we didn't have a particularly high net spend again is that in Wenger's wisdom, with European Cup money more or less secure indefinitely, he's managed to talk the Arsenal board into building a new stadium 10 years sooner! 

The very imaginatively named "Arsenal Stadium" which we will imagine as the JVC Stadium in this timeline for now, is a bit smaller than the Emirates Stadium, but maybe by 2006 it will have been increased to the real time-line capacity.

 

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A fairly quiet June, with on the surface the biggest move seeing Dutch midfielder, Aron Winter, join Man United for £15M possibly rising to £20M, with a 19 year old Ludovic Giuly ditching Lyon for PSG in a £10.75M deal that you imagine will be very good business for the Paris based side. 

Perhaps the mots exciting deal though was one you'd have missed at the top, as Diego Maradona, at the ripe old age of 35, leaves AC Milan to join Liverpool at Anfield. I don't know why, but I just love that as a transfer :D 

Maradona at Anfield/Liverpool just seems right. 

 

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Given his age he probably won't start every game, but undoubtedly still a big talent and personality, if I'd have known he was available I probably would've put a bid in even just to have him for a couple of years against my better judgment.

 

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July got a bit more hectic, obviously you've seen the top two which involved us, but Ajax also lost their main keeper, as Edwin Van Der Sar, who also had interest from Inter Milan, eventually joins Barcelona for just under £20M. 

Real Madrid going full Galacticos after winning the European Cup, as they also add Brian Laudrup and Alessandro Costacurta alongside Zinedine Zidane, spending like £50M on 3 players in a proper spree. 

Tottenham pay big money for a young Vladimir Smicer, with a young Pauleta joining PSG, who are putting together a pretty decent young side. Bruno N'Gotty leaves PSG though to join Liverpool, with Real Madrid selling some players to fund their purchases, as Robetr Jarni and Gianluca Vialli both join Inter Milan in a combined £22.75M which could rise to much more. Barcelona improve their defence further after signing Van Der Sar, with a young Nuno Valente also joining them, whilst Attillo Lombardo leaves United to return to his native Italy and join Juventus. 

United sign another Italian though, with young Italian right winger Daniele Berretta joining them from Roma. Roma themselves bring in Diego Simeone from Sevilla. 

 

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August nowhere near as exciting, although it did see Man United spend big on David May from Norwich to add to their defence, Bebeto leaves Everton for Sevilla and elsewhere Slaven Bilic swaps Nottingham Forest for West Ham. 

 

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A handful of deals on deadline day saw Leicester City spend most of their European Cup money on Michael Goosens, whilst Inter swoop for a young Juan Sebastian Veron for £12.5M which looks like a tidy deal. Relegated side Chelsea lose their skipper Dennis Wise to QPR in a £7M deal which won't help their bid to go back up at the first time of asking. 

 

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Forgot to get a screen grab before the games started, but the European Cup draw this season was: 

 

Group A: Inter Milan, Valladolid, Dinamo Zagreb, Leicester City

A tough draw for Leicester City as Inter are strong and Valladolid are no mugs, but they beat some hard teams to win the UEFA Cup last season, so they could well make it through alongside Inter. 

 

Group B: Ajax, Porto, RC Lens, Werder Bremen

A very exciting draw that could go pretty much any way really. I imagine Ajax are favorites, with Keegan's RC Lens my bet to follow them, but a real open group where any 2 teams could make it through I think. 

 

Group C: Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Anderlecht, Red Star

Hard to see any upsets here, but Liverpool/Bayern should be a good couple of games at least. 

 

Group D: Barcelona, Juventus, Tottenham, Steaua Bucharest

Tottenham have gotten themselves a real stinker of a group here, Barca and Juve both very strong, I think Juve won the 95/96 Champions League in the real time-line, fair play to Spurs if they get through this group. 

 

Group E: AC Milan, Celtic, Stuttgart, AC Horsens

AC Milan the clear favourites, but either Celtic or Stuttgart could join them in the next round. I highly doubt any upsets from Danish side AC Horsens. 

 

Group F: Real Madrid, Sporting Lisbon, Koln, Olympiakos

Real Madrid the obvious side to win this, especially given their crazy window. Don't really think any of the Greek sides have done much in any tournament, seem to recall Koln doing alright in the UEFA Cup or Conference League in recent times, so I'd fancy them to join them, although Sporting Lisbon could well do too. 

 

Group G: Arsenal, Roma, Marseille, Dynamo Kyiv

Probably the toughest group we've had so far. Roma and Marseille both pretty decent sides who will give us difficult games I imagine. Not expecting much from Kyiv.

 

Group H: Monaco, Man United, Valencia, PSV

A very tasty group. Sir Alex's strong United side will face off against Bobby Robson's PSV, Terry Venables' Monaco and Valencia in their first European Cup of the new timeline. I think United probably top the group, but any of the other 3 sides could make it through which makes the group itself very much in the balance to be fair. 

 

 

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Mid-way through the season and well, so far, so good. 

We top the league at Christmas, with Arsenal and Wenger possibly on track to retain a title for the first time, although Liverpool are having a great season too, only 1 point behind despite the fact we're still unbeaten :D 

Hilariously, the game Liverpool did lose, was 7-1 to United at Old Trafford :eek:

United themselves not really on it that much this season, although 11 points at this stage is still very doable for them. 

I've not really thought too much about an Invincible season, it was only really the last few games where I'd sort of clocked we were still unbeaten in the league. I personally don't think we can do it as we still have Liverpool, United to play, as well as some other decent sides in the top half who on their day can beat us as we've seen in the past 5 seasons losing random games here and there.

 

Newcastle sacked Jack Charlton as manager in November, replacing him with Paul Cooper. Sheffield United dumped Brian Clough a few weeks ago, with Gordon Milne now in charge there. Whilst Everton sacked young Peter Reid, who'd been there less than a year or so, hiring Don Howe to turn things around with the Merseyside team currently on course to get relegated which they obviously don't want. 

Leicester looking very strong, the UEFA Cup win clearly not a fluke as they're on course to get Top 4, with Southampton duking it out with them, Blackburn and Leeds up there as well with Tottenham currently on course for no European football next season as things stand. 

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We won the Charity Shield, beating Liverpool in the final with Paul Merson putting in a MOTM performance with 2 goals and an assist. 

 

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Blackburn the only English side to have beaten us this season, with our second string side losing 2-1 at Ewood Park despite an early Thierry Henry opener. No regrets in playing the second string as we've won this trophy with the second string before, so even though I knew it would be a tough game it's worth doing as they need minutes. Fair play to Blackburn for beating us. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, PaulHartman71 said:

I've not really thought too much about an Invincible season, it was only really the last few games where I'd sort of clocked we were still unbeaten in the league. I personally don't think we can do it as we still have Liverpool, United to play, as well as some other decent sides in the top half who on their day can beat us as we've seen in the past 5 seasons losing random games here and there.

I’m pretty sure Arsenal felt the same way during their invincible season.

Well positioned at the halfway mark :thup:

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Again, the Invincibles thing in the league is unlikely to happen as we can be beaten on our day. We lost home and away to Marseille, which I didn't see coming, but fair play to Jacques Santini's side, they're a very impressive team and deserved their win both games. Away from home they kept possession well and Edilson scored late on to give them the win, but at the JVC Stadium, despite us taking the lead, they came back and were very impressive. Steve Marlet and Fabian Barthez in goal both had very good games, with Barthez especially we would've scored 2 or 3 more goals as we had good chances.

Thankfully we still make it through, although going through as 2nd seeds is never ideal. 

 

 

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Leicester show their UEFA Cup win wasn't a fluke and make it through to the knockout stages at Valladolid's expense. Ajax and RC Lens make it through an open group, whilst no surprises in Group C as Liverpool and Bayern progress. Group D sees the biggest shock as European giants Barcelona crash out, with Tottenham pipping them to 2nd place to join Juventus in the knockout stages. A real blow for Barcelona who are regularly in the final and competing to win it outright, maybe they will now go on to UEFA Cup glory. 

Celtic and Milan get through a difficult group at Stuttgart's expense, with not much separating the 3 sides in all honesty. Real Madrid and Koln get through their group, whilst Man United and PSV are through in Group H the Group of Death, which sees Monaco in 3rd and Valencia knocked out completely. 

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Main takeaway is of course that we've got Juventus, which is not great as they're a pretty strong side who usually get to the business end of the tournament, they're also top of Serie A this season which given AC Milan have won it 5 in a row shows how good they are at the moment. 

Leicester/Celtic is a pretty interesting tie, PSV/Marseille as well be one to watch as I'm not really sure who will win that, Marseille looked good against us though. Tottenham now face Inter which will be tough for them, whilst Keegan's RC Lens must navigate the reigning champions Real Madrid. 

AC Milan vs Man United is another huge tie that could go either way, with Bayern/Ajax a very interesting one too. Liverpool should get past Koln I imagine. 

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A fairly busy January for the market. 

Milan snap up Alexander Zickler, Olaf Thon leaves Southampton for Inter and Gianluigi Lentini has gone Torino to Barcelona. 

Ze Roberto leaves Bayer Leverkusen for Real Madrid, whilst Patrick Berger joins Liverpool from Dortmund. Liverpool have shifted a few players on, with David Thompson joining Sheffield United, Michael Thomas joining Blackburn and Steve McManaman who has been shifted on to Valencia in a surprising move for him. 

Further down the deals, Dunga has joined Fiorentina from Inter, with Phillip Cocu leaving Real Madrid to PSV. 

 

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A few more transfers in February as Emil Kostadinov joins Liverpool from Atletico, Diego Tristan joins Tottenham from Las Palmas and Efan Ekoku leaves Spurs for Southampton. 

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On 23/07/2021 at 17:42, the_hdk said:

awesome read!

 

funny to see Rzasa...guess he will never end up at Feyenoord. How is Jerzy Dudek doing? and Is Marek Citko in the game?

 

Dudek is currently first choice keeper at Feyenoord, with an interesting defensive partnership of 18 year old Martin Laursen and 32 year old Nigel Pearson ahead of him. 

Doesn't look like Marek Citko is in the game

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A nightmare week in April saw us haunted by Nottingham Forest and Stuart Pearce penalties putting an end to our Unbeaten run and our Cup run. Our 33rd match of the season, with the Invincible title well and truly on the cards, we drop a loss to Forest with Pearce blasting his penalty in during the first half, with the same fate dooming us in the FA Cup just a week later.

Nightmare. 

Just hope he's very confident with his penalties going into Euro 96 this summer :D 

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End of Season 1995/96

 

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United won the title in the real time-line, but in this one they couldn't get anywhere near either us our Liverpool in the end, ultimately finishing 20 points off top spot in what will be a disappointing campaign for Fergie.

4 teams ended up scoring more goals than us, but nobody came close to matching our impressive defensive record. We only lost to Forest on match-day 33 and at Anfield on the last game of the season, which if Liverpool had been closer to us could have been a repeat of the crazy end of season title decider in 89, but despite their 101 goals Liverpool couldn't match Arsenal in the end. 

Southampton's impressive end of season form sees them pip Leicester City for a spot in next season's European Cup, with Blackburn finishing in 6th and getting Conference League football next season as their reward due to Forest's exploits in the Cup. 

Good years for both QPR and Man City, who finish above Leeds and as you can see much further down the table, a Tottenham side who have been fairly decent in recent times finishing 4th just last season.

There were actually some pretty massive manager moves as well. Spurs sacked Chris Nicholl in March and replaced him with none other than Kevin Keegan, who joined from RC Lens. One of his first games in charge was actually against us in the league when we were still unbeaten and I was convinced that he would be the one to break it, but thankfully we drew 1-1 :D 

Leeds is perhaps even more exciting. They sacked Kenny Dalglish after 5 years due to their 10th place finish, and to replace him they've hired the legendary English manager Bobby Robson, who at 66 years old has left PSV for one more shot at the big time in England. 

3 teams who are out of the big time are Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Norwich, who have all been relegated to the 2nd Division. 

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