Monday, 4 April 2011
Bernabeu, baby, Bernabeu
There are plenty of sound arguments for saying that the game against Stoke on Saturday is bigger than the quarter final against Real Madrid tomorrow.
Be honest though, five minutes before kick off this weekend you're not going to feel quite like you're going to at 7:40 tomorrow. Which, in my case, means sick with nerves.
And there are plenty of sound arguments for saying that Saturday's game against Wigan was bigger than the quarter final against Real Madrid tomorrow.
But if we play as poorly as we did against Wigan, do you think any journalist is going to say: 'Harry, was part of the problem that the players' minds were already on the Stoke game?'
And, finally, when Lineker pulled out Real Madrid and then us, you felt a bit funny, didn't you? Like when you used to slide down the rope in gym class? And you didn't feel like that when the Premier League fixtures computer churned out Stoke at home on April 9th, did you?
So, all points taken onboard about league position, about next year and about the race for fourth/struggle for fifth. They're probably valid and you're probably right. But, for fuck sake, IT'S REAL MADRID, PEOPLE!
Encouragingly, we should have something like a first choice side out there - not counting our central defenders. And it is genuinely quite hard to count our central defenders. Depending how you look at it, we could have six, maybe even eight, but at the moment we're struggling to find two.
As ever, I'm not going to bang on about possible formations or patterns of play. I'll leave that to real scholars of the game like Steve Claridge and David Pleat.
I will, however, say that there must be some glimmer of hope for a 0-0, right? Mourhino might be terrified of conceding an away goal, yet confident of picking us off at WHL. And if they get their nil, then I'm pretty sure our strikers can be relied upon to fulfill their side of the bargain.
Or it could be 7-3. Fuck knows.
Consider this though, gloom fans. What it could also be is the last time we're here. The last time we're here in the Bernabeu, the last time we play an away leg in this competition.
I hope not, obviously. I'm just saying, this could be the last time, maybe the last time, I don't know. Oh no.