The World Cup might have only finished three days ago, but the 2010-2011 season kicked-off for Linfield supporters tonight with a visit to Windsor Park by Norwegian side Rosenborg.
Rosenborg have been Champions League regulars since the competition was rebranded, reaching the Quarter-Final in 1997, but are perhaps best known in the UK as the team that got a draw at Stamford Bridge which ultimately led to Jose Mourinho’s departure as Chelsea manager.
By that definition, tonight’s result means that officially (or technically) David Jeffrey is as good a football manager as Jose Mourinho. Being such a grounded down to earth chap, i’m sure Jeffrey would shrug off any comparison.
Repair work meant that the North and Railway Stands were out of bounds for supporters, as was the Kop Stand, though I don’t know wether that was for repair work or because they wanted to compress the crowd together to create a better atmosphere.
European games are generally enjoyable apart from the result. As someone who is oppsed to the idea of summer football, I do like the warm evenings heading down for a game, against different opposition who rather shamefully bring more away fans than a lot of local teams despite the distances involved travelling.
Unfortunately, being in the South Stand, trying to get photos was a bit of a nightmare. Got some photos, nothing Flickrable, but i’ll post them up.
The game itself was a 0-0 draw, but not a dull 0-0, and it was certainly a far better than the snoozefest in Johannesburg on Sunday, as Linfield set themselves up for their inevitable (I say pessimistically) heroic defeat, either 1-0 or 2-1 with a last minute goal.
It was a deserved draw as Linfield held their own against their more illustrious opponents and sometimes as they attacked you thought that maybe, just maybe, this might be the build-up to the winning goal in a famous 1-0 victory.
By playing a 4-5-1 formation to stifle the opposition, it meant that when attacking situations arrived, there was often a lack of bodies to pass to. Even more infuriatingly, when there were players in positions, the Rosenborg defenders always seemed to get a part of their anatomy in the way to divert it away from the Linfield forwards.
That said, Rosenborg had their attacking moments as well, with the often erratic Alan Blayney having one of his best performances in a blue (well actually, red) shirt.
Interested spectators in the crowd included players from HNK Cibalia, a Croatian team who play Cliftonville in a UEFA Cup tie at Windsor Park on Thursday night.
As enjoyable as the World Cup was (at times), it was great to be back at Windsor for a match, although I won’t be back (European Cup progress permitting) until the start of August.
Never has ‘Wake Up’ by Arcade Fire sounded so good.
PS : Keep any eye out for a World Cup blog, looking back at the tournament as I saw it. I’d decided to leave it for a day or so to let the dust settle, but I then got lazy and the BatBlog took priority. Holy Editorial Decision!!!!!