Thursday, May 24, 2007

When We Were Kings

These days it's often hard to get too worked up about the outcomes of major football matches. They generally involve two teams playing a single striker each, with the intention of giving nothing away in the hope that the opposition makes a mistake. Failing that, you play the odds at penalties. It's Russian Roulette football, without the excitement: eventually somebody will blow their heads off, and it might be the other guy.

One afternoon exactly 40 years ago tomorrow, football's biggest match had a more compelling narrative. On one side, even then, were a team successfully playing the football of fear and percentages: Inter Milan. On the other, however, were Celtic, a team that channeled all the game's most glorious characteristics, and for whom attack was not a tactic, but a compulsion. And sometimes the good guys do win.

Where have you gone Jock Stein? Our game turns its lonely eyes to you.


Anonymous PaddyC said...

I know I was just relieved by the fact that last nght wasn't a Manyoo v. Liverpool showdown. I haven't talked to a single United or Liverpool fan who was looking forward to that prospect.

No disrespect meant to pool fans, but I don't think Liverpool can really be bitterly disappointed with defeat to that Milan side. Surely Maldini and Nesta must be in the ranks of the all-time greats, with Kaka on his way to achieving the same. It might not have been a classic, but I reckon it was the right result.

12:24 p.m.  
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