Beat in the heat
So the Big Cup tournament went well. What a spectacle, a joy to behold, jubilant supporters everywhere, beer galore and songs aplenty in the sun. No, not that Qatari fiasco, rather the Sydney Super Cup festival of football which obviously outshone it’s more expensive counterpart.
The contrast could not have been clearer. One match had the lucky attendees mesmerized until the very end, the other produced an empty stadium by the 70th minute.
In the Middle East the chant was ‘we want beer’, Down Under the chant was Hail Hail, The Celts Are Here.
Now of course we didn’t win the bloody thing, but we should have. Sloppy finishing prevented that, and as ATOB already explained jetlag will have played a part, it can take up to a week to fully adjust to the new time zone. Not an excuse, just a simple fact.
However in many ways the Down Under Tims actually won. In scenes that would make a dead man weep, they came out in their thousands to create a green and white army unrivaled by the native soccer teams, an army that was always going to party the weekend away in style no matter what occured on the park. And so it proved. They got their long awaited top-up if not silverware, and made us all proud whilst doing so.
Put yourself in our players shoes for a moment. They all know by now we are a giant club but after crossing the globe discovered fresh legions of fans who just can’t get enough. Such events tell you the true size and scale of the famous Glasgow Celtic. It was basically a home match some six thousand miles away, and there’s few if any could honestly stake that claim.
The players must have been impressed, I sure was.
Then put yourself in the Everton players and even supporters shoes. The representatives of the globes biggest league fully outshone on the occasion, shove your millions there’s only one massive club here. And just to rub it in they were outplayed on the day, emerging lucky victors this time but had the occasion truly mattered (for instance had this been a Champions League clash) I for one feel they wouldn’t be taking that trophy home. We would have raised it another level, a level they were incapable of finding to put us away. If the Toffees hadn’t realized it then, they will now, that despite their extra millions and Premiership status, they were second best in almost every department. I wouldn’t be surprised if our club won a few admirers in that squad, and likewise I wouldn’t be surprised if some of our players gained some new admirers from that league.
Everton themselves might now put Ange at the top of their wishlist, after all he almost bettered them on a fraction of their budget and clearly has more to offer than their under pressure rookie in charge.
I my humble opinion the tournament will serve everyone well,,, sunshine and some R&R is always welcome, the size and scope of the worldwide support has been reinforced to everyone involved, Ange gets to see the old friends/sights/family which is always nice, and at the end of the day we proved more than a match for an EPL club which makes me happy. Given the money and hype involved they can be arrogant at facing perceived lesser opponents, yet we somehow tend to emerge with our head held high when we do clash.
Finally an apology.
A while back I questioned the hiring and role of a certain Australian, Mr Harry Kewell. This was during a low scoring period for the team, which seemed to end when our Captain (of course he went on the tour injured or not) was sidelined.
That is why it was so very heartening to read Daizen Maeda singing his praises and learning how he is impacting the players.
That comment is music to my ears.
Sorry Harry, keep it up son.
Up the Hoops