If Scottish football was on life support then it finally died last week when Celtic, Rangers and Hearts all exited the Europa Cup on the same night. Hearts put up a credible fight in the second leg against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, but having lost 0-5 at home they were only playing for pride. Celtic lost to FC Sion (who I hear you say) and Rangers went out to Slovenian side Maribor. In the last 10 years both Celtic and Rangers have played in European Finals and made it through to the last 16 of the Champions League. The current state of the SPL means it will be a long time before either club, or any Scottish side for that matter, ever reach those heights again.
Thomas DiBenedetto, a Boston native finally completed his purchase of Italian club Roma last week. He joins the growing list of American investors who have purchased or bought into European soccer clubs. How long before we see a summer series involving all the clubs which have American owners? Expect to see Roma, Liverpool, Man United, Aston Villa and Arsenal in a city near you next summer.
At the end of the 2010-11 English Premier League season there was a sense that this year’s campaign would see six teams compete for the title and the four Champions League places on offer. That is no longer the case. Only two teams, Man United and Man City ’08 will fight it out for the title. Both laid down big markers of intent last weekend with emphatic wins against Arsenal and Spurs respectively. Chelsea ’03 might think they can remain in contention, but are a team that looks like an aging boxer who has gone one round too many. They will probably finish in the top four, but will be closer to Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal than the new big two.
Samir Nasri is an idiot if he thinks that fans of every club, other than Man City ’08, believe he joined Oil Money FC, because they are bigger than Arsenal. Samir, you joined City for the money, pure and simple. You may win something along the way, but at the end of the day you are just as greedy as everyone else that pulls on a blue shirt. Even this Spurs fan will admit that Arsenal are a bigger and better club than City.
However, I think Nasri was spot on when he said that Arsenal fans lacked passion. It wasn’t called ‘Highbury the Library’ for nothing.
How in God’s name did John Wilson, the Hearts fan who assaulted Celtic manager Neil Lennon, walk from court with a ‘not proven’ verdict? The incident, when Wilson ran on to the field and attacked Lennon during last season’s game at Tynecastle, was shown on live television, was shown and re-shown on sports and news programs all around the world. Somehow Wilson walked free despite the evidence against him. Were the jury members all Rangers supporters?
The WPS Final was played in Rochester last week. If anyone watched the game live on television can they please email me the score?