So what now for Scottish football?
English football fans regularly have a laugh at Scottish football, completely forgetting the fact that the English population is about 10 times the size of Scotland’s. It is easy to see why Scottish fans and players cast envious glances at their neighbours who get ridiculous money from Sky to inflate their egos and overpaid league but the English have always had a strange fascination with the Scots, at least until now. Scottish goalkeepers made English fans laugh but the real jealousy came when the first British team to lift the European Cup wasn’t English; no it was Celtic, featuring a team all born within a 30 mile radius of the Parkhead stadium. This has always left England feeling a little jealous of Scottish football but at the moment, the gap between the two nations couldn’t be wider.
League of Ireland better than the SPL?
The fact that Irish team Shamrock Rovers have progressed to the Group Stages of the Europa League while no Scottish representative has says it all. Scottish champions Rangers have been bundled out of two European competitions this season and funnily enough, before both ties their management team, players and fans expressed great confidence that they would progress. Attempting to build confidence or unbelievable arrogance in the face of the truth is hard to say but it is fair to say that Ally McCoist has a job on his hands.
With no European money, new owner Craig Whyte will surely be getting an itchy trigger finger and he knows that Billy Davies is waiting in the wings. This could see McCoist out of a job sooner than he thinks; perhaps Sue Barker will give him his old job back at A Question of Sport.
No fun in Glasgow
It is no laughing matter on the other side of Glasgow either but at least Celtic fans knew what was coming. Celtic don’t travel well in Europe and it doesn’t matter who is in the jersey, you can usually rely on a few stupid mistakes and a penalty for the opposition. Amazingly enough, Celtic got the first one over and done with inside a minute in Switzeland with Desperate Dan Majstorovic giving away a penalty and picking up a red card inside 50 seconds. Don’t ask…he is a bomb scare of a defender and someone of his experience really should know better. The game then followed the similar pattern for Celtic away in Europe, get lucky defensively a few times, start to fight back, do something silly again, give yourself real hope of progressing and then just when you think the tie is right back in the mix, they do something stupid and kill the tie stone dead.
There is a chance that Celtic will progress to the group stages due to the fact that Sion have allegedly been using illegible players in the two legs but that will be decided on Tuesday. Some will say that Celtic shouldn’t take their place but if Sion have been found to have broken the rules, Celtic will have every right to line up against Athletico Madrid, Udinese and Rennes. Rangers fans will show their usual level of rage if Celtic progress but they may comfort themselves with the thought of the defeats that will likely come Celtic’s way in the group stages.
Hearts managed a credible 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane against Tottenham’s reserves but the 5-0 Spurs win in the first leg rendered the second leg null and void.