Thursday, March 13, 2008

How we used to be

UEFA, take note. Get rid of those daft group games and get the UEFA Cup back to the way it was. Up-and-coming sides standing toe-to-toe in a battle of footballing philosophies - just like we got at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.

If the game in Italy was all about Fiorentina's technique then the return match was all about Everton's passion. They threw everything at the Viola who eventually held on - just - to win the tie on penalties. But what a thrilling night.

It was just like the old days when old-fashioned English attitudes of commitment, strength and tempo clashed head on with Italian technique, tactics and invention. What compelling viewing it made. In the end, it was only the cool heads from the penalty spot that made the difference. Everton were a team transformed from the pale imitation which turned up in Florence. It wasn't how I like to see the game played but, by God, it was effective.

Now the Viola go into the pot for the quarter-finals and, with the way they clung on to win in England, must have a chance of going further. See you in the City of Manchester for the final?

5 comments:

TrentToffee said...

It was a great game fella. As you say real toe-to-toe stuff. When Arteta's sublime long range drive skidded past Frey I really thought Everton would go on to take the tie. However, as as hard as they banged at the door, Fiorentina wouldn't yield. It was a great tonic for the much maligned UEFA cup. There is a great symetry between both teams. Let's hope they can meet up in th CL next year. Congratulations to Fiorentina. I hope they go on and win it. I really do.

Brian said...

Yes well done to the Viola, any prefernece as to your last eight opponents? A trip to Glasgow? As for Everton, fair play to you! Trenttoffee your team were a credit to you and I only wish that my team would show as much convictions as you did.I hope we meet you both in next years CL ;0)

martinobhoy said...

Ginkers if we get to Manchester I'll be there. I got the taste for going to UEFA Cup Finals in 2003.

I agree on getting rid of the group stages. I'd even cut down on the number of teams in the Champions League to further boost the UEFA Cup.

Aussie Romanista said...

Congrats GR.
Did you notice the steward push over the Fiorentina player (not sure who) after the final penalty as the team was trying to run to the Viola fans?
If it had happened in Italy it would have been a scandal.
See it at the end of this video.

ginkers said...

Trent

I really feared for our survival at regular intervals but we held our nerve best on the penalties. PSV is a tough draw but here is hoping.

Brian

Looks like it could be Rangers in the semi-finals if we both progress. Mind you, I'd prefer to avoid having their fans set foot in Florence!

Martino

You are on old boy. One place on the supporters bus for you!

AR

I thought they were a bit heavy handed but all's well that ends well I suppose.