Europe On A Tuesday-Can It Be?
Whoopy-do,wakening up on a Tuesday and we have a group match European tie? Where’s that Zadok The Priest ringtone,so I can download it again!
Sadly of course,as we know all too well,we ventured into our CL qualifiers in our usual unprepared state and made an arse of it. An all too familiar litany these days,and one which we need to get out of the habit of doing. So this afternoon sees us lining up at the crazy time of 330pm for a Europa League tie against Ferencvaros.
We have two advantages over the Hungarians here,I think. We lost to them last season,so there should be some familiarity there,we should be aware of their danger men. They,on the other hand,won’t recognise many of our team from last season!
The other,more important,advantage is that we are playing the game at home. I very much doubt that the stadium will be rocking to its usual fearsome European atmosphere,as given the ridiculous kick off time there will be large numbers of the faithful unable to attend. That simply means that everyone else who is there will just have to shout that bit louder-and I don’t think any of us will be disappointed by their efforts to make up for absent friends.
We can only hope then that the players put in a serious shift,and give us a first victory in this group. As it stands,we seem unlikely to qualify for the next stage,but two victories in this double header could certainly put a different complexion on things.
We are going into the game on a marked uplift in form and in cohesion too. The new players are looking more comfortable in their roles,more settled with the ideas that AP has been driving into them. He said that the players who stayed behind during the international break had some very worthwhile and valuable coaching sessions and we can hope that this improvement continues,while the board start looking at his recommendations for additional bodies in January.
One thing that the board are unlikely to be looking at-or paying any heed to at all,in fact-is the ridiculous refereeing of certain games,and the reporting of “flashpoint” incidents by our beloved impartial media. Before the international break,Hibs had Ryan Porteous shown a straight red while John Lundstram got off scot-free for worse in the same game.
Not a dickie bird about the latter,while a witch hunt was organised against Ryan Porteous. Led,I might add,by the post match comments from Gerrard-who wasn’t even asked his thoughts on the Lundstram tackle!
Saturday gave us the sight of Aribo being booked for a clear red card assault,while Bacuna wasn’t even spoken to for grabbing an opponent by the neck. Neither incident deemed worthy of showing on Sportscene,nor of much discussion via the likes of Clyde or the papers.
Not so with the handball from Boli,which was a clear penalty-IF the incident that led to it is completely ignored! Which,of couse they did. In fact Sportscene went one better-they actually edited out the Motherwell player’s hand in the lead up by judicious addition of a white circle! This meant that the casual viewer would be unaware of it,and the pundits on the BBC weren’t for informing the viewers!!!
I’m way past getting pissed off about all this. We are getting the pish ripped right out of us on a weekly basis here. Of course it is nothing new,we know that. But it is getting bloody ridiculous now. Not a player sent off in two years when they’ve already had four dismissals in eight games in Europe? Get real.
And aye,I know I’m wishing my life away,but the board need to get to grips with this. Other teams need to start complaining about it too,but our voice needs to be first and loudest. But no,our board are too busy gerrymandering the timing of the AGM to maximise the difficulty for anyone presenting a resolution that is not to their liking.
Enjoy the match today,and let’s hope we never have to play at that time again. We’ve had some very strange kick off times already this season,but this one is a doozy…
Above article by BMCUWP