Way back in the mists of time, there existed a book that described how you could have travelled throughout the European continent for the princely sum of $5 a day. Budget friendly thrills.
Having conquered England with Norwich, I took my £1m buying philosophy to the home of bratwurst, the 1516 Purity Law and Hachez chocolate. With colossal juggernault FC Bayern Munich dominating and, in these times, a once-proud team were struggling at the foot of the league…
There seemed to be only one team to pick. SV Werder Bremen
We were in Serbia, at their national stadium, for the 2027 UEFA Europa League Final. Werder had not been in this position since 2009, losing to Shakhtar Donetsk. Norwich were here a few years ago, under my stewardship, victorious in 2023. It was a breezy, cool evening at the Rajko Mitic. Werder have no injury problems and the teams are as follows.
3 Mins: A throw-in on the left found Johannes Eggerstein, who took a few paces and slipped in Hendrik Bohm who continued into the left-hand channel. Moving into the area, he moved the ball onto his right foot and sent a Rabonna-type cross in to a completely unmarked Nicolas Allard, who headed the ball straight at the keeper.
21 Mins: A ball out of the defence to the halfway line was headed down by Nicolas Allard, to Cameron Hope. He looked up and sent a raking 30 yard ball into the path of Hendrik Bohm, who outpaced the defence and fired in a hard shot, which the keeper had to parry wide. A lot of attacking so far, but no end product.
32 Mins: A first shot on target by Norwich as Cantwell is fouled by Kapp. He picks himself up, dusts himself off and fires a free kick straight into Bottcher’s waiting arms.
38 Mins: A speculative shot deflects off Uncuncu and goes behind for a corner. Cantwell stands the resulting corner up for a Norwich player to flick on and there is centre back Nathan Wood at the back post to head, unchallenged, into an empty net. Norwich City 1-0 SV Werder Bremen
43 Mins: Nicolas Allard picks up the ball on the halfway line and runs at the Norwich City defence. Not encountering any resistance, he plunges on until the edge of the box, where he checks and slips the ball sideways for an on-rushing Cameron Hope to hammer a shot at goal. The shot was hard, but De Gea was equal to it and turned it over.
55 Mins: I’ve seen enough. The strangely ineffective Cameron Hope (6.5 ) and left winger Christian Baumann (6.4 )’s numbers were called. They were replaced by midfield wonderkid Benjamin Frobe (Hope ) and wide striker Arda Gursel (Baumann )
62 Mins: A stopped attack by Norwich saw the ball cleared out to Arda Gursel on the left wing. He arrowed towards the opposition goal, riding a cynical tackle by a Norwich midfielder. Recovering, he beautifully slipped in Bohm, who had made an intelligent run away from the defence. One-on-one with De Gea, the goalie proved equal to his shot, but then spilled it to gift Hendrik Bohm a second bite of the cherry and he did not miss this one, finishing from a tight angle to the roar of the fans. Norwich City 1-1 SV Weder Bremen
74 Mins. Eggestein recieves the ball on the halfway line. He looks up and fires a 25 yard laser-guided through ball for marauding midfielder Benjamin Frobe to latch onto. He outpaces the defence and simply, beautifully, rolls the ball past the stranded De Gea, who just wasn’t quick enough coming out of his goal. An inspired subsitution! Norwich City 1-2 SV Werder Bremen.
76 Mins: A ball out wide to the left hand side of the field finds the Norwich winger ‘Vassi’ in acres of space. He hares down the right and Servet Kaya comes across to defend him. Kaya tries three times to get the ball off him and is done like a kipper on the third, going to ground too easily. Vassi drifts past him and cuts inside, but his shot in clear space is weak and is safely gathered by Bottcher.
82 mins: A ball down the left channel by Kaya was taken beautifully on his chest by Bohm, who was then off to the races with the full back nowhere to be seen. Wood, the Norwich goalscorer, comes across to shepherd him out wide. Bohm looks up and chips the ball across the area to be met with a bullet header by the on-rushing Arda Gursel, who slammed his header into the far corner of the net, beyond De Gea’s desparing dive! Both substitutes making an impact! Norwich City 1-3 SV Werder Bremen
86 Mins: A tiring Nicolas Allard was withdrawn, prompting a reshuffle. Goalscorer Frobe was moved out to the right wing and Salih Ozcan was brought on to shore up the centre of midfield.
90 Mins: Four minutes of added time. The Norwich players look despondent. The Werder players are nearly out on their feet!
94 Mins: THE REFEREE BLOWS THE WHISTLE! SV WERDER BREMEN ARE THE UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!! Man of the Match Hendrik Bohm collects his champagne and the team file up to the box to be presented with their medals. Captain Cameron Hope leads the players onto the pitch where they raise the trophy to the delight and roar of the fans!