The last above was just off a town square. On the opposite side of the square was a stadium, the Estadio Municipal Román Suárez Puerta, home of Real Avilés C F, now in the fourth tier of Spanish football but which has cahieved the dizzy heights of Tier 2 for a total of 13 seasons, but not since 1992, which was also the season they progressed their furthest ever in the Copa del Rey, Round 5:-
A sign on the stand’s gable end says El Quirinal which I thought at the time was the stadium’s name but is in fact the street’s:-
One of the Scottish footballing giants of my youth, Tommy Gemmell, has died.
Famous for that goal for Celtic in the 1967 European Cup Final which immortalised not only Jock Stein (as Bill Shankly said about the team’s manager) but the entire 11 as Lisbon Lions. It’s impossible to imagine a team composed of 11 players all born within thirty miles of their home stadium achieving anything similar these days. As it was nothing any of them did after that could ever surpass it.
Celtic did reach the European Cup Final again in 1970 and again Gemmell scored but Celtic lost that one in extra time.
Here’s some colour footage of the 1967 game along with interviews with the players from many years later:-
Thomas “Tommy” Gemmell: 16/10/1943 – 2/3/2017. So it goes.
Lorient Town Square, Theatre and Stadium. The stadium (rear of photo) is home to Lorient FC (see photos of the stadium here.) Lorient Theatre is to the right. If you squint you can just about see the fountain in my previous post by the right middle here.
Lorient FC is at present in France’s top division Ligue 1. But they’re not doing very well. They’re bottom as of 27/1/2017:-
We travelled up through Nottingham intending to stop at The Crown for dinner to see if it was as Deco inside as out. Unfortunately when we got out of the car in the car park the noise from inside was blaring and was therefore even worse when we opened the pub door. It also looked a bit rough. We decided to move on.
It wasn’t long til we came upon the Beechdale – another Art Deco pub, this time brick-built.
This is from the car park:-
We went into this one only to discover it was festooned with Saint George’s Cross flags. (It was in the run-up to the European Championships.) It didn’t look like Scottish sounding people would be very welcome. We opted for discretion and moved to the city centre where every single eating place had a bouncer on the door. That spooked us a bit. Yes, it was a Friday night but is Nottingham really such a dangerous place to dine out?
There was this delightful little Art Deco pub there that I spotted only after we’d already eaten. It didn’t look open anyway:-
Great detailing, with fox statue. The numbers are stylish too:-
Carlos Alberto, former captain of Brazil and scorer of that goal in the 1970 World Cup final, sadly has died.
The goal, which summed up that team – and perhaps Brazilian football as a whole – came after a brilliant sequence of dribbling and passing which culminated in Pele’s pass, apparently rolled to no-one, but perfectly timed for Carlos Alberto to gallop into the frame and thump the ball past Enrico Albertosi. Sublime.
The only drawback of the clip below is that it isn’t accompanied by Kenneth Wolstenholme‘s BBC TV commentary, where about halfway through it he said, “This is sheer delightful football!” more iconic to me than his other well remembered phrase “They think it’s all over.”
A reminder of a simpler, freer, less monetarily compromised time:-
Carlos Alberto “Capita” Torres: 17/7/1944 – 25/10/2016. So it goes.
In my present reading, Walter Scott’s The Heart of Mid-Lothian (which itself by way of a dance hall provided the name for another football team,) there is much talk of religion and quotation from the Bible. An explanatory note had this reference from Proverbs 17.3 which casts doubt on the declaration in the first paragraph of this post:-
“The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold; but the Lord trieth the hearts.”
Granted the relevant noun would need to be capitalised to make the abbreviation truly apposite but then so does the QoS one. At any rate I’m sure many Jambos (see nicknames in the link’s sidebar) would concur with the sentiment.
Way back in the dim mists of time the world was a simpler place and football did not dominate the calendar. World Cup finals were 16 teams large and the European Championship only had four qualifiers until it expanded to eight teams in 1980.
In Scotland the football season started on the second Saturday in August and finished on the last Saturday in April.
I thought it was pushing it when the season began edging into July to accommodate the Challenge Cup and altered League Cup format.
Today though is the 16th of July. The schools have barely broken up for the summer. Yet the Sons have a first game of the official season at Station Park, Forfar, in yet another alteration to the League Cup. It barely seemed the old season had ended when pre-season games began.
The squad manager Stevie Aitken has collected seems a little thin. The League Cup looks on paper to be not too daunting but I have no idea how we will fare against the three lower division sides in our group. (I expect to be beaten by Dundee.)
The league is a different matter. Already it looks tough. We’ll be relying on another full-time side to be rubbish (as Livingston were last season) to avoid the relegation play-offs and even then we’d have to finish above Ayr United, by no means a given.
How long we can continue to defy gravity I don’t know. This may be the season we don’t.
Like a lot of the knockout matches this was a spectacularly dull game but it suggested one thing to me. Portugal are a better team without Cristiano Ronaldo in it than with him. I felt much the same about Liverpool in the latter stages of Steven Gerrard’s time with them. It seemed to me the rest of the Liverpool players were looking too much to Gerrard, giving way to him or allowing him to have the ball when they were in better positions to do something with it. So too with Ronaldo and Portugal. Throughout the tournament (though perhaps not the 3-3 draw with Hungary which I missed as I was watching the Iceland-Austria game) there was something about the way they played with him on the pitch that rendered them less effective as an attacking force. His hogging of all the free kicks with no fruitful result whatsoever was almost laughable. Okay, he did score that header against Wales and scuffed the assist for Nani’s toe-poke in that game but otherwise there was little end product and he seemed to get in the way at times. With him not available others stepped up to the plate – particularly Eder who I doubt would have made it onto the pitch if Ronaldo hadn’t been injured.