The first time I remember watching Latics play “European” opposition was in February 1990 when Torpedo Moscow came to town. I doubt that I’d had any thoughts of us playing competitive European games before that stage but, after a frozen ninety minutes of with both teams turning out turgid football and serving up a nil-nil, you can be certain that I wasn’t hoping for it to happen again any time soon.
But here we are 23 years later with NK Maribor and the Europa League in town and it certainly feels more exciting than anything I remember from that cold Tuesday (?) at Springfield Park. We can only hope that the football tonight lives up to the anticipation, but just to make it that little bit more difficult here’s the return of the every so often regular feature where we pick three songs with a tenuous link to sommat or other.
I did try to find three Slovenian songs to mark the occasion, but it proved difficult to find anything that wasn’t Eurovision pap or rubbish rap. And whilst I’m sure there’s some good stuff out there, here’s hoping that Maribor’s football tonight matches the music that’s representing their country on YouTube. In the meantime here’s some other rubbish to keep you going.
Kiss – Crazy Crazy Nights
Ok, ok, so it’s hard to imagine that Slovenian music is any worse than this ‘classic’ slice of AOR, but what the hell. It captures how most Latics fans are feeling about our European adventure and, no matter how much you know you’re not supposed to like it, it’s as catchy as hell. Plus (calling on all the stereotypes I’ve got to serve me in this situation) I reckon this sort of stuff is massive in Eastern Europe.
And now you’ve got all that bouncing and ait guitar out of your system, let’s try and find something a bit more serious and European football related.
Half Man Half Biscuit – All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit
What? You didn’t think I was going to find anything did you? But I’m not shoving this in for the obvious reason (well I was, but I’ve come up with a convoluted alternative reason just so it looks like I’ve put some thought into the selection) no I’ve picked it because of the reference to the “headless centre forward” in the villain’s Subutteo set.
Latics are likely to go one worse tonight and the absence of Grant Holt and Marc Antoine Fortune could well see us start the game with no recognised striker. This tactic was also used by Pep “nearly signed for Paul Jewell” Guardiola last night as Bayern ran out 3-1 winners against Man City. People got giddy about that, but I don’t expect the same reaction at the DW tonight, neither do I expect the same outcome.
MGMT – Time to Pretend
Did I say DW Stadium then? Sorry, I meant to say The Wigan Athletic Stadium, because Europa League rules mean that we can’t be advertising the Chairman’s business, unless I imagine it’s one of EUFA’s “preferred” partners. I think Uncle Dave has missed a trick mind, he could have called it the “Dave Whelan Stadium” which would have meant that all those signs around the place would make sense.
I suppose it’s easier to take this sort of thing when what’s affected is something that you don’t like (the commercialisation of football grounds) but there’s a serious undercurrent here about how much influence world football bodies have when they’re hawking their competitions about “I know you’re a Muslim country, I know drinking is banned here, but we’ll give you the World Cup as long as you let our mates sell their beer here”. It’s easy to pretend that these things don’t matter, but surely they should?
And if you’re thinking “what’s in a name?” here’s a bonus video to remind you, and distracted from the ham-fisted way that I’ve just tried to make a serious point.
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