Osasuna. They’ve only gone and done it again. I’m officially declaring them my bogey team. Forget Valencia, Barca, Real, Deportivo—when Osasuna are in town, I tremble. They’ve pulled off yet another one of their patented 1-0 victories over me. I was cursing the place down at ten o’clock in the morning. Is it ever too early to swear?
I think it’s the third season in a row that they’ve managed to do it, and each time the game has always played out the same way. They got their early goal and somehow resisted all two million of my subsequent attempts on their goal. Their goal came from a cross that ricocheted off my defender—Maldini, one of the top defenders in the entire game, whose astronomic stats were unable to stop him becoming a statue and letting the ball simply bounce off his knees, ignoring my repeated and determined hammering of the Square button to clear it. The ricochet travelled across the six yard box direct to the feet of Osasuna’s lone striker, who strangely blasted it back across the area instead of into the net. Happily for him, though, my other top-rated centre-back, Fernandez, was keen to deflect it into my net off his knees for an amusing own-goal. So that was fine.
The rest of the game, despite me having the regulation bazillion chances, was curious. Osasuna had some good possession and created further chances of their own. They had 12 chances overall, which is about 11 more than they usually make against me. I knew the game was going to end 1-0 to them almost from the start. Self-fulfilling prophecy? Perhaps. But no, probably not.
Newly-promoted AIK gave me a tough game. Who the hell are they, anyway? I literally cannot remember ever playing them before, although I know that I must have, even if the last time was down in Division 2 all those seasons ago.
After the Osasuna farce I really wanted a win to stay in close touch with the top of the table. So I really focused hard and set out to keep another very determined CPU team at bay. If I could shut them out at the back, that’d be half the job done. It worked and I was 2-0 up heading into the last ten minutes. Then, of course, they had to get their regulation, automatic CPU goal. It had to be 2-1 for the last few minutes. There’s just no way of avoiding it sometimes. (Too many times.)
I held on for the win. Then came the season’s first league fixture against Barcelona. I hammered them 6-3. Pulverised them. Andy Cole got a hat-trick in this game. Kim Cyun Hi got two goals. I forget who got the sixth. I was 6-0 up by 65 minutes. Again, the CPU started scoring automatic goals, but not even a script could threaten to overturn this result.
At the moment, the best all-round striker currently on my books is Andy Cole. He’s neck-and-neck with Kim Cyun Hi for top scorer. In the long term I suspect Kim Cyun Hi will easily eclipse him, but for now Cole is the main man. Giggs isn’t too far behind either. In fact, come to think of it, all of my players are great. I haven’t got one turkey. Even Larsson, who I’ve had for about nine seasons now but have left underused and thus underdeveloped, has started to come through. Perhaps only Donk is a weak link, but he never lets me down on the rare occasions when he stands in for one of the other CBs.