BBC BLOGS - BBC Sport: Chick Young
« Previous | Main | Next »

European hangover set to linger

Chick Young | 16:54 UK time, Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Waifs of the European storm, that's what we are.

Tortured souls staring into the football abyss, denied first by the spoilt little rich kids and, ultimately, by those not even as well off as ourselves.

Scottish football is in skid row.

Gary CaldwellIn 13 attempts, five clubs - Hibs, Rangers, Queen of the South, Motherwell and Celtic - have between them failed to record one lousy victory.

It's a miserable return. Maybe even shameful.

And the fall-out? A diminishing return in the co-efficient, the currency which allowed our champions to strut, like owners of an access-all-areas pass into the group stages of the Champions League.

But, soon we'll be skulking in the back door like an errant husband in the wee small hours, hoping that the good lady won't be pacing the floor with the rolling pin.

It's a sorry, embarrassing state of affairs.

And there is little point of seeking salvation at international level, for the journey to South Africa is a ghost train ride.

The noise in the stalls is nervous coughing.

What a shambles, from Hibs' half hearted assault on the Inter Toto Cup, through the representation of the nation by a team who cannot even climb into our top league to Rangers' catastrophe in Kaunas.

And what of Celtic? They say that Guinness can't cross the water, but compared to the Parkhead club it is a traveller of Phileas Fogg proportions.

Murdo MacLeod was the last Celtic player to score the winning goal in a European Cup or Champions League game away from home and that was 22 years ago against Shamrock Rovers.

That is a scary statistic.

Good luck to Queen of the South, but when will we end this madness of the cup runners' up being allowed to fly the flag for Scotland?

Answers on a postcard please to Uefa.
In fact, when will we see an end to this flying of the Scottish flag at half-mast.

I've not yet bought my Christmas tree but already I've made my plans for the post New Year phase of the Champions' League and the Uefa Cup.

I'm putting my passport in the drawer and filling the fridge with beer.

Aalborg, if truth be told, were outrageously lucky against Celtic with a deflected shot and a bagatelle own goal by Gary Caldwell who performed brilliantly in the chill Danish night air.

Gordon Strachan's side should have been three up and out of sight at half-time, but then, taking your chances is a basic skill of the game.

Celtic ran out of luck in Denmark, but they had been using it up at some rate on the domestic front.

There is not a Celtic player who would get into the Manchester United side, but then there is not an Aalborg player who is more gifted than those who populate the home dressing room at Parkhead.

But still they crashed and burned.

I feel deflated and frustrated by it all, angry that we have to spend the rest of a season which is not yet at its midway point looking at domestic issues, pressing our noses against the European sweetie shop window.

You can slice it and dice it any way you want. You can analyse and tell some lies. You can spin the truth and put your head under the blanket.

But you know something?

Confession is good for the soul. And here's mine. We're not very good.


or register to comment.

More from this blog...

Topical posts on this blog


These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

    Latest contributors

    BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

    This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.