2021/22 – Premier League – End of Season Review
Twenty twenty-two. The year that everything came right. The year that everything we’d been striving for, happened. In just twenty-one years, the club has gone from not even existing, to becoming winners of the two biggest competitions in European Club football. We became the first, and fastest (as of 3/12/2013) club to complete the FM14 Dafuge’s Challenge!
Get results for every game as it happens by following @EnfieldTown_FC on Twitter!
Barclays Premier League (stats)
I was surprised at how easy this season went. For most of the season we were in the top two, with only Manchester City and Arsenal pushing us. I expected more from clubs like United, Chelsea and Tottenham, but they were rather disappointing opponents. Regardless of their performances, we still had to take advantage of the situation presented to us and we responded magnificently to it. Next season I doubt will be as easy.
UEFA Champions League (stats)
Courtesy of our Premier League finish last season, we didn’t need to qualify. But we were fourth seeds, which meant we were probably in for a tough draw. And any group containing Barcelona is going to be a tough one. Throw in Ajax, and the top two spots in the group start to look unattainable. I knew Shakhtar were beatable as we overcame them on the way to Europa League glory last season. We came second in the group despite only winning two games, but we secured vital draws against Ajax and Barcelona which assured our passage to the Knockout Round…
Juventus were one of the worst draws we could have got at this stage. We were therefore surprised to dominate the first leg on the way to a 1-0 win. At that point, I was pretty sure we’d still get done over at the Juventus Stadium. An early red card for their winger allowed us to dominate possession (62%) but we just couldn’t score. It didn’t matter, as neither could they! We beat Benfica without scoring a single goal, and though Benfica dominated both legs, our defence was brilliant. Our determination saw us through on penalties, winning 4-2. With PSG and last years’ winners Man City in the semi-final draw, Valencia were the team to get. The first leg was almost easy. Two nil up after 40 minutes, and we held on for a clean sheet. The second leg looked like it was going to go wrong quickly. We couldn’t get a sniff of the ball, and they were one up after only 12 minutes. They dominated the game, but they were restricted to long shots after that goal, and we held on for a 2-1 aggregate win.
The Final. Paris Saint-Germain. The biggest game in the club’s history. And within thirteen minutes, we were 2-0 down. We got through to half time without conceding again, and we were even on top by the whistle. In the second half, we switched to attacking, and by the hour, the comeback was on! Aaron Lacey, the young Irish midfielder that signed for us in League Two for £250k, smashed it in from just inside the box. Fifteen minutes later, with PSG putting everyone behind the ball, Mike Briggs received the ball out wide, whipped in a cross which David Lessman headed in. We were back on level terms! We were dominant in both shots and possession. Could we do this? Ninety minutes came with no more events, but the momentum was with us. Extra time it was to be. Eight minutes after the restart, Briggs received the ball out wide again, and in a carbon copy of the second goal, we were winning! Each minute after that was torture. With three minutes to go, we won a penalty, a chance to put it beyond all doubt. Up stepped vice-captain Isaac Okoronkwo to the spot, a man who has scored all three penalties he had taken previously. He skied it! Those last three minutes may as well have been years. But we held on, and we WON THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE!
FA Cup (stats)
We had an easy run through to the sixth round, playing the reserves all the way. Unfortunately because of our Champions League run, we had to play the reserves against Chelsea, but they just weren’t good enough.
Capital One Cup (stats)
This was poor, even for the reserves. Nothing else to say.
UEFA Super Cup (stats)
We earned our spot here by winning a European competition. Then we play like complete s**t. I know City have been a dominant side domestically and in Europe, but we can give anyone a game these days, and we just didn’t show up.
FA Community Shield (stats)
With our training camp not leaving much time for friendlies, we had to treat this as one. We opened the scoring, and were winning until near half time, but City got the equaliser before dominating the second half and comfortably winning.
Al-Shammari, Morales and Hope have been great players for us, but they were replaced with better players and we got good money for them. The rest just weren’t good enough for us any more, which is a shame as Cameron was our first youth product and was a star in our non-league years.
Still no-one worth signing.
I can’t expect next season to go half as well as this one did. If we can get through the group stage of the Champions League and finish top four in the league, we’ll have done well.