I dont Adam and Eve it!
That was my first impression upon reading our rivals have booked themselves a place in another European final, never an easy feat.
I suppose one could look at this a number of different ways. For starters it shall be an even bigger feather in Ange’s cap when he conquers the league, the fact a decent outfit were overcome is always pleasant, and adds weight to the title win. Ronnie Deilas two titles minus a strong rival were a given, this league trophy was anything but. Ange can take a lot of solace he bettered European finalists over the course of the campaign.
Another final appearance helps blow away the myth Scottish clubs just cant compete at that level. That’s three finals in under twenty years for both giants, which isnt that bad when one considers the Austrian and Turkish leagues are stronger and richer but they can’t make such claims.
It’s encouraging for football fans everywhere when an outlier is still able to claim continental success (reaching a final in itself is a success) and should help inspire others. At least I hope so.
The coefficient is boosted of course, another good thing. With one club in a final, another dining at the top table next season, the games profile is raised more than usual. The national sport could do with a long period of positivity following it’s most rockiest decade, the income shall be most welcome across the city, and if this extended run helps deliver a better standard of player into the league there’s another benefit.
When wondering how exactly this feat was achieved, it’s not hard to pinpoint the underlying foundation.
A settled system.
Their current manager walked into a working system and tweaked it rather rather rip it up, smartly as it turns out.
Walter had his Wattenachio, GVB a slightly more adventurous style of play, it’s undeniable familiarity and being comfortable with individual roles helps hugely. On this front, it’s pleasing to witness our own club of choice firstly hire the man with a plan and secondly invest into that plan. Bouncing from one philosophy to another is not the ideal recipe for success. It can’t be claimed the light blues have fantastic players at the moment, they are a collective of journeymen nearing the end of their cycle.
One can’t buy their way into a European final, just as Pep, but Scottish clubs can evidently develop effective way of playing helping overcome individual deficiencies.
It’s not easy, it’s also a lengthy process, but it’s there to be aspired to and something to work towards.
Please take note Dermot and Michael.
For myself, the most intriguing aspect of this upcoming final involving a Scottish club is the opportunity to witness and compare the fanbases of both giants.
You don’t need me to tell you how Seville found the travelling Tims in 2003, voted best fans in the world after their journey.
No one in their right mind expects the same this time, given the Manchester riots and recent behavior that’s a stretch way too far, but it’s a fact Scottish supporters shall once again travel and once again be judged. Or should I say Old Firm supporters shall once again be judged.
One half passed that test with flying colours in Spain years ago, now it’s the other side’s turn.
I’m apprehensive to say the least.
Should ugly scenes arise, you just know the phrase ‘Old Firm fans’ shall be bandied about. Should our business partner of choice become tarnished once again, our boardroom shall be placed between a rock and a hard place, the support shall demand we publicly distance ourselves as a club, yet the suits have deemed the rivalry essential for the balance sheet and maintaining interest.
At least two boardrooms shall follow events closely, praying supporter behaviour does not cause financial or reputational ripples.
Another quirk is the fact both teams are one win away from the Champions League group stages. Whilst we can’t enter the same group, a knockout tie is possible.
Should that scenario ever come about, it could stake a claim as the biggest derby ever.
Finally, does anyone know how to say ‘make sure the big screen tvs work’ in Spanish please?