Month by month
A new hope
The Mariners strike back
Return of the Geordie
Great, kids - now don't get cocky
All too easy
Watch out for those fighters
Stay on target
The emperor's March
Let's blow this thing and go home
About this series
Mat's computer vs real life
It's a good job the pre-season friendlies are about to kick off, that's all I can say. I don't know how your summer is going, but here at Cod Almighty this is the low point: desperately checking Ceefax several times a day, in spite of ourselves, to see whether Jorge Valdano has uttered another sentence about how Beckham will fit right in at the Bernabeu and do really well next season. Just the possibility of three lines about the retained list at Macclesfield has us hitting page 312 every hour. And, hey, isn't it ridiculous that Channel 5 are screening Liverpool's pre-season friendlies? Not that that'll stop us getting a crate of Stella in and painstakingly adjusting the aerial for the least rubbish reception of their incisive pre-match analysis.
It is out of this sorry state of affairs that CA's new series arises, to guide you – and us – through the remaining bleakness of the close season. Pretend football, we figured, is better than no football at all; and with most of the CA team wasting their lives this summer on Championship Manager 4 it'd be a double waste not to get any material out of it for the website.
Over to Mat Hare, then. You may remember him from such series as CA's 2002-03 human vs monkey betting challenge, in which he pitted the wits of his cunningly constructed football gambling system against the random pin-sticking of Coco the Chimp, and – credit where it's due – whupped the the imaginary primate's sorry ass. Now he's set up his PC to run next season on Chammy Manager with no human interference. Will the simulation agree with Paul Groves' decisions on which players to keep and which to release? Will the synthetic Town can make it back to Division One at the first time of asking or plunge helplessly to the depths of the third? If the virtual Mariners manage a season of mid-table respectability, after all, then serious questions will be raised about the realism of the game.
So, in case you think you've read that wrong, yes, we really are running a series where Mat commentates on a computer game with no human players. But hey, it's Grimsby-related, and he might get some swearing in. Click here for episode one – August 2003: A new hope.