So here we are, play-off finals of the 2006/07 Championship season. These next few games will make or break my time at the club. We turned around our poor form that almost saw us fall out of the play-off spots all together and we now face Derby County – who in real life would go on to win them and become the worst Premier League team of all time.
It appears time travelling technology has spread to American ‘soccer’, as Nashville become the latest team to show up trying to poach a prime PAFC player and take him back to the future. I see they have already succeeded with Rab Douglas. It’s a good premise for a movie – Clueless American soccer clubs owners have perfected time travel and have gone back in time to steal professional footballers to make American Soccer the best leagues in the world. A bit like Space Jam, but with confused Hungarian footballers and a Scottish goalkeeper no one can understand. Instead of signing a 14 year old Neymar and 5 year old Mpbappe they end up with Marcel Seip and Robbie Earnshaw. A smash hit.
In the other game between Leicester and Southampton, it’s the foxes who gain the advantage.
In reality, Leicester finished no-where near the play offs in 19th.
The first leg is upon us.
The biggest team-selection choice I had was Luke or Romain. Luke had the better record, but Romain was better rated – just. I gave it to Ro for sentimental reasons mostly. The rest of the team picks it self. Carey who has hardly done anything in a green shirt since I bought him is the only questionable choice.
For Derby, the are playing two players named Smith, one a 16 year old newgen, the other a 20 year old youth player. Lupoli and Giles Barnes the danger men in what is a beatable team.
Not much to say about the first half. We are playing cautiously as to not to throw away the game in the first game. We can take them back to Home Park and beat them.
Especially if they continue to foul us the same way in the second half, 6 yellow cards in one half!
Finally some action to talk about in the second half. Aljofree out wide, put’s in a cross that Ebanks-Blake can’t win, headed away by Malcom…
..falls to Wotton on the volley..
TOP CORNER. WHAT A GOAL SGERDFGVDFGBASTDNBGSB
WHAT A MOMENT, NEVER IN DOUBT FROM THE MINUTE IT LEFT HIS FOOT.
That’s all she wrote! Captain Wotton is sending us back to Home Park with a 1 goal advantage.
Fortunate? Pfft. It was all part of the plan. He’s been scoring them all season, and I’ve been ensuring he get’s in those positions with my tactics. It was a master-class in ‘Up-and-Wotton’ football ( okay the name needs work ).
Quite literally one of the most fun players I’ve ever managed in FM.
I get into a little spat with Derby manager, D.Adams – no, not that one.
Real life Sheffield United coach David Adams, who also seems to have come back in time… due to the lack of managers in the database.
Home Park will be rocking.
Halmosi signs a new contract despite the interest from across the pond.
And just like that, the second leg is just moments away. The summer sunset lingers over Home Park as the names are read out of the tannoy. Confused cheers meet the name of Paul Gallagher, who replaces favourite Scott Sinclair, who is our only change. Gallagher and Sinclair need swapping out just to kick the other one up the ass, no doubt this will spur Sinclair on.
Derby make wide scale changes, deciding against bringing the 16 year old Freddie Smith down on the coach.
We have a one goal advantage remember, and I am actually quietly confident of booking our spot at Wembley, Home Park has been a fortress for us this season.
42 minutes into the first half, and we have had the majority of good chances. If we could just get that one goal that will give us some breathing space. A wide free-kick from Derby comes in from Derby’s McNamee – a goal just before half-time could completely spin the momentum in their favour…
Bolder has all the time in the world to nod it down to the unmarked Derby man.
Not one, but two goal saving blocks from Larrieu and Timar keep the ball out.
0-0 at the break.
10 minutes into the second half and Oakley rips a low shot on the edge of the box..
What heroics from the French keeper as he tips the ball onto the post and out, taking a whack himself.
Moments later, Gallagher rises high in the box.
.. hits the post and Bywater shows great reflexes to tip it out mid-dive.
Big chance. Great goalkeeping at both ends.
Giles Barnes some how slips through 3 Argyle players and crosses to Howard.
He has the ball on the goal-line, all he has to do is poke it home…
But he kicks it against the post!
The ball falls straight back at his feet and he has another goal, but it hits Larrieu, and again.. and then again before its cleared.
How has not scored, what a calamity.
The reaction of a man who has given away a penalty in a play-off second leg.
Timar apparently shoves a Derby player.
Matt Oakley then, ( an Exeter legend? I don’t know ) with the penalty to bring this game all level, 67 minutes played on the clock.
Romain Larrieu has saved penalties already this season. Remember Arsenal?
And like a graceful cat, he dives to his right and pushes the penalty away with ease!
This will go down in history, what a performance from ‘le Keeper’.
Oakley with the ball, shaken after his penalty miss. The last person you want breathing down your neck is Paul Wotton, he robs Oakley easily.
Paul surges forward, and in a moment of clarity, turns down the chance to score a trademark screamer. Instead he opts for a through ball as Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and subsitute Stephen Dobbie race into position…
THE 50 THOUSAND POUNDS SIGNING SCORES HIS MOST IMPORTANT GOAL YET! WELL ONLY HIS SECOND EVER GOAL FOR THE GREENS, BUT WHAT A DAY FOR DOBBIE.
QUE SERA SERA.
WE ARE GOING TO WEMBLEY.
I have goosebumps imagining a reality in which we did make it to the Championship play-off final in 2007 at a packed Home Park.
Our opponents are Leicester. They have smashed the favourites Southampton 4 – 0 over two legs.
Found it interesting how Leyton Orient want Sawyer, a team that he would go on to play for.
A little knock for Graham Carey, but he will be fit in time for the Final.
I have set up a couple of reserve games between now and Wembley to try and get some fitness back into David Norris who has recovered from his injury.
Jeez, a sell out at Wembley.
Fun fact, in real life, the 2007 Championship play-off final was the first one to be played in the new Wembley after it opened in March of 2007. It only adds to the drama of the occasion.
Oh god, this could actually happen.
We could win promotion.
Welcome to London. This new stadium is alright isn’t it. Scott Sinclair is back in, Stephen Dobbie is on the bench and is unfortunate to be missing out. I want Carey on that pitch. Time to redeem his future self.
The foxes have two uninspiring wingers up top and a cast of players that I have little knowledge about. No wonder Ollie took this team down.
Scenes. The game has only just kicked off. We are 30 SECONDS into the match, Scott Sinclair has scored.
Dropping him for the last game made him hungry, and boy was he hungry.
Of course it was Halmosi with the assist.
That was on a plate for the Chelsea loanee.
Not even a minute on the clock before we kick off again.
Its SEB 1 on 1…
Off the upright!
What a start.
Sinclair dances past two players, Ebanks-Blake jostles in the six yard box for the cut back…
24 minutes gone, too early to say it’s over?
At some point during the game, the name Mike Dean appears above the Referee as if he was announcing his presence. It followed him around all game.
Half-time and we have been clinical to say the least. 7 shots. 3 on target. 2 goals.
10 minutes into second half Sinclar receives the ball in the box with his back to goal.
He spins quicker before a blue shirt can close him down and gets off a low shot.
That has surely put Plymouth Argyle into the Premier League.
3 – 0.
A McCarthy header from a corner beats 3 of our players and Romain in goal and its suddenly 3-1.
Surely they can’t?
Would the game do this to me.
Nope, thats me holding the trophy.
We are promoted to the Premier League.
What can I say?
I thought it was above us, but we’ve been unstoppable now for the last few games.
It’s still sinking in.
How Paul Wotton doesn’t get into the team of the season I don’t know, but Hasney does. Remarkable season he’s had.
So there we are.
History officially changed. Plymouth Argyle will start the 2007/08 season a Premier League team opposed to a Championship side about to lose one of their best ever managers which would set the team on a downward spiral tumbling down the football league and even out of existence.
But we won’t have those problems in the Premier League, we are rich! No one has ever overspent in the Premier League and then tumbled down the leagues into near-administration. Oh..
The board have offered me a new contract and £22 million pounds to try and survive in the Premier League, linking up against the likes of Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kevin Nolan.
But my time here is done, I am packing my play-off winners medal to return to the year 2020, I hear nothing bad has happened since I’ve been gone and it’s been largely uneventful.
On second thoughts, I’ll stay. 2007 ain’t too bad. We’ve got YouTube now.
I’ll post again in the summer of 2008 and tell you all how Plymouth Argyle’s first season in Premier League went down.
Thanks for reading.