European football forever shocks, never more so that when Hibs and Hearts eliminate two teams you have heard of. Rosenborg’s star rises and fades with the clock, but they are still vastly more experienced in Europe than Hearts. Coming from two goals down in the tie to win last night was an heroic result.
The ground under Easter Road has been rumbling since the season kicked off. Defeats in both league games to St Mirren and Motherwell, on top of the away loss in Andora in the last Conference League qualification round, suggested Hibernian would lose to Luzern, with Lee Johnson packing his bags before the Festival ends. If he could win next week’s home leg against Aston Villa, they would erect a statue to their diminutive manager – or maybe a life size figurine.
Tottenham’s Irish hero from the 50s and 60s, Danny Blanchflower, once said, “We aim to equalise before the other team score”. It’s a brilliant quote and I forever see echoes of it as teams prepare for a loss. They look for an easy headline, something that shows them on the front foot, before an impending defeat.
For evidence, just look at the headlines Newco have made for themselves this morning. They’re all ‘demandy’ – for tickets to Celtic Park, proffering faux grievances. 700 tickets is not a safe allocation for these games, I have been there and can testify. That lot really need to take crowd safety more seriously.
7,000 is the correct allocation. 700 is an arbitrary nonsense. If forced, I would offer 19 tickets, nine each representing our two nine-in-a-row campaigns and one for our European Cup win. Let 19 of them honour Celtic in this unique way. I am being ridiculous, of course, but they started it.
All we need to see a resolution here is patience. When I first started going to Ibrox, Rangers were rubbish and Celtic fans were welcomed at three sides of the stadium. The Broomloan Stand, half the Standing Enclosure, a third of the Main Stand and the unsold part of the Govan Stand. You can see the stars aligning again!