Writer: Mike Field
Date:Saturday August 1 2009
Martin O'Neill has said he was proud of every single one of our players in last night's match against Porto, especially as they know 'every trick in the book.'
Speaking on the official site, O'Neill had no qualms about criticising the diving and 'simulating' (which I think in non PC speak means cheating) we faced as we battled out to a memorable 2-1 victory to put us through to the final.
'I am delighted and very proud of my players. They have represented the club and done it brilliantly.
'It's been quite an experience - more than I thought it would be. The competition has been very condensed as well so in terms of fitness it's been very good.
'The effort we have put in has been fantastic. The young players have been magnificent.'
We all know about the past history between O'Neill and Porto, so this victory was no doubt extra special for the manager:
'Porto have been adversaries of mine in the past - in the 2003 UEFA Cup final particularly. Jose Mourinho was the manager back then. They are fine footballing team - all Porto sides of the past have been.
'But they are also able to stay down for about half an hour - sometimes even longer - and they know absolutely every single trick in the book. This particular team are adept at it.'
Stay down I assume is a reference to being shot and writhing in agony after an opponent farts in their vicinity.
Funnily enough I thought UEFA and FIFA were 'cracking down' on this type of behaviour - strange how it seems it's being encouraged in all leagues bar the Premiership mind.
The night wasn't overly perfect, Heskey's petulant red card, and all the yellow's the tool in charge handed out (maybe he didn't want anybody to feel left out?), however whilst he was obviously disappointed with that aspect of the match,I get the feeling Monny couldn't care less at the moment:
'I am pleased to have won the game but obviously disappointed to see Emile Heskey sent off.
'I have seen the up-close replay but not the incident that provoked it. At the end of the day, under provocation, anything can happen.
'And who am I to talk about anything having been sent to the stand in the previous game? It was unfortunate and a real shame because we could have done with him being around.'
Well we know Heskey will miss the final, all we have to work out now is who else will be missing as it appears nobody knows (or maybe just me) what the score is with yellow cards.
Date:Saturday August 1 2009
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|15. Aston Villa||34||9||8||17||-14||35|
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