Thursday, August 05, 2010

SPL in Europe: Mirabor's Magical Mystery Tour

That time of year when the Fringe dominates Edinburgh. So Hibs v Mirabor is unlikely to be the biggest show in town tonight.

I'm actually going to see Kevin Bridges. Sorry Yogi, but one comedian is enough on a Thursday evening.

Mirabor have added a bit of spice with complaints about Scottish hospitality:

"The driver took one hour and 15 minutes to get to the stadium."

[Media Officer, Zelijko] Latin was also aggrieved that a fire alarm had gone off at the team hotel while the visiting players were catching up on sleep.

There were traffic diversions in the west of Edinburgh due to a gas explosion and a resulting criminal investigation, with congestion on the A71 Gorgie Road.

However, Maribor, who lead 3-0 from the first leg, were critical of the driver entrusted to get them from their West Lothian hotel to Hibernian's home on the east side of the city.

"He (the driver) circled the ground for more than 30 minutes," added Latin. "He told us he does not know where to go. It's weird the driver cannot find his way. We also had a fire alarm at the hotel as the players were resting this afternoon.

"After all we have done for our football friends from Hibernian we expect more respect. Such things are a big surprise to us. This will make us more motivated for the game."

I think they probably fell foul of the tragic events in Slateford and the crazy levels of traffic that seem to have been thronging round the Easter Road area over the past week.

Certainly I'd be surprised if there are many people at Hibs who would consider such underhand tactics. And those that would consider it probably lack the nous to pull it off.

So a storm in teacup. And it will probably take more than a spat like that to ignite a game that I fear will be damp squib.

Celtic won the battle but lost the war last night. I suspect Hibs will fail to get even the bonus of a home win tonight.

* The Motherwell game looks far more intriguing. A fine result in Norway was so close to being a great result but for Aalesunds' last gasp penalty.

So far, so good for Craig Brown in Europe. I hope that continues tonight and I've got a feeling that it will.

Good news too that the game is live on BBC TV and radio after all of last week's games were ignored by broadcasters.

* I've been drafting and re-drafting a post about Celtic's defeat last night. I've given up. It's too early to judge either Neil Lennon or yet another new look Celtic team. Financial ramifications aside, Celtic's Champion's League exit tells us very little about their domestic prospects.

And, of course, they remain in Europe with the chance to qualify for the Europa League group stages.

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