Monday, 3 October 2011

Only intelligent football supporters will have seen how good Rovers were against Tottenham.

‘If Harry hates the Europa League he’s really going to hate playing against these plodders’.

‘C’mon you Spurs. Beat this pub team from Ireland today’.

‘Shambolic Rovers’.

Just some of the comments I saw on Twitter last Thursday.

Pretty much summed up how Tottenham fans were feeling.

And who could blame them.

It took Real Madrid to knock them out of Europe last season.

They are used to judging their team against the best in the world.

But now they were only facing the best in Ireland.

Not in the same league at all.

Except the Europa League of course.

Because that’s where Shamrock Rovers find themselves these days.

A place were most Irish ‘fans’ felt they would be disgraced on Thursday.

But it was far from it.

Tottenham Hotspur got to the last 8 of the Champions League last season.

They topped a group including Internazionale and knocked out AC Milan.

Only two weeks ago, they smashed four past Liverpool.

Yet after 59 minutes at White Hart Lane - Shamrock were winning.

Sorry, Shamrock ‘Rovers’ were winning.

The pub team from Ireland were beating one of the best teams in the world.

Sure they were lucky at times.

Sure Tottenham were a bit wasteful.

But it was no different to Ireland vs. Russia last month.

Or any team against Barcelona really.

Rovers defended heroically.

Got bodies back.

Gave everything they had.

Exactly what you need to do when playing against a superior team.

We see it every week in the Premier League when the big four play at home.

Yet leading after an hour wasn’t enough for most to see how far the standard in the League of Ireland has come in the last 10 years.

They just see Tottenham’s ‘reserves’ going on to score 3 goals to secure victory.

But take the reserves of any of the teams from this seasons Champions League Quarter Finals and you’ll see quality everywhere.

They had Defoe and Pavlyuchenko up front.

Their 2 fullbacks represented England in the European U21 championship this summer.

Aaron Lennon and Giovani Dos Santos have played in World Cups.

Yet some Irish people will remember it as the night Tottenham’s reserves beat Rovers 3-1.

They’ll judge the League of Ireland against the Premier League as always.

Instead of comparing it to the Swedish, Norwegian or Scottish leagues.

We should be measuring Shamrock Rovers not on how far they have to go.

But rather on how far they’ve come.

A long way during this generation.

But a distance only intelligent football supporters will have seen this week...


  1. I think ders a massive differance between rovers now and 10 years ago. they would have lost by much more years ago. hearts lost by a lot more in the last round. a bit like how rovers would lose 10 years ago

  2. Id have to agree. Rovers most high profile player played for Spurs 6
    or so years ago and made no more than 30 appearances. Spurs had a mix
    of proven internationals (Defoe, Lennon, Corluka) and up and coming
    internationals -Walker (called up into England squad this week).
    To hold them in their own backyard for 60mins (ish) is remarkable.
    Lets hope they can chalk up some points on the board against the