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Chick Young's view

By Chick Young
BBC Scotland football correspondent

It is more than a football match now. It's Clark Kent versus Lex Luther, Popeye against Bluto. It's good over evil.

Italy have scarred the face of the beautiful game.

They have polluted it with match-fixing and corruption, riddled it with the cancer of crowd violence and even, it would seem, used verbal abuse in the World Cup final to rid their opponents of their most dangerous player.

Scotland's task is straightforward; beat the world champions
Theirs is currently the dodgy neighbourhood of the sport.

Scotland will be the white knights in dark blue for the world at Hampden. The devilish Azzurri must be put to the sword.

Be still my thundering heart, it thumps in my breast like Roger Rabbit on the sight of Jessica's cavernous cleavage as I even think about what might unfold this fevered Saturday night.

A nation waits. It is ten long years since Scotland competed in a major finals and that is a disgrace.

Kids have completed their primary or secondary school educations without ever knowing what it is like to be part of such a joyous occasion.

Prime ministers have come and gone; wars have been won and lost. Hearts have even topped the SPL.

And now we stand on the threshold of it all once again - against all odds.

Let us establish something here. If our young guns collapse at the final hurdle, if the Italians accomplish their mission, if there are tears before bedtime then still this team that Walter Smith spawned and Alex McLeish brought up deserve a standing ovation.

They merit an honours degree in overachieving because they have skipped up mountains when we all thought they would disappear down the pothole of Group B of the European Championship qualifying stages.

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But when you are at reach out and touch distance of the Holy Grail you don't act in a reasoned manner.

You don't reflect "och well, we've done no' bad to get here" and retire for a nightcap.

Oh no. For one reason or another this nation will not sleep well on Saturday night.

This is the rebirth of the Hampden roar. They will hear the noise from Mount Florida at Mount Vesuvius on Saturday night.

The strains of Loch Lomond and 500 Miles and Flower of Scotland may even ripple the Sea of Tranquillity.

Whatever else, Italy will know they have faced a nation stirred.

In my cold moments of logic, when I sit and study the respective squads, when I am honest about those Italians and their blasted ability to do what they have to do and the seemingly forgotten fact that they are champions of the world, then I am realistic. Scotland won't win.

Scotland can count on a frenzied backing at Hampden

We have a chance, of course we have, but only if Alex McLeish can field his first choice XI which admittedly now seems likely.

The truth, as we found out in Georgia, is that we have an A team, but no B side.

There will be an ocean of passion and emotion cascading down from the stands and a Tartan Army trying to suck the ball in to the Italian net.

But, in my moments of calm, I fear it will not be enough.

I still believe I will have no reason to fulfil my pledge to cycle to Switzerland if they do make it.

But the composure won't last. At Hampden on Saturday I will be as insane as the next crazed lunatic, singing and screaming and swearing.

Which may be all right for the Tartan Army, but then they are not broadcasting to a nation starving for the right kind of news from the heart of Hampden.

I will lose all sense of reason. Wrap my logic in a See-You-Jimmy hat. And pray through gritted teeth.

It is time for Clark Kent to get into the phone box...

3,853 Posts
Theres no way Italy are winning this game, its either a draw or a Scotland win (most likely).

Scotland have won every game at Hampden so far, i dont see any reason why that wont continue on Saturday. Plus the 50000+ Scotland fans at the game will make one hell of an atomsphere! Our players will be more up for it, while Italy are underestimating us.

Smeghead Moderator
13,664 Posts
Keano4taoiseach said:
It's Clark Kent versus Lex Luther, Popeye against Bluto. It's good over evil.
That's right Scots - get on your nerd glasses and eat your spinach!!! :D

Good luck Scotland. I hope you do it.

If not, I hear that the Scottish FA is interested in playing a friendly against England next summer should we both not qualify so at least there will be some football to watch either way!

4,946 Posts
SolskjaertheLegend said:
i remember a post by someone in a foreign language on here, and you replied by saying by saying stuff like what is this, this doesnt make sense etc

Ahhhhh more selective memory.....

Did I say he couldn't do it ?

No ..... I didn't.........

He wrote in Russian and the grammer was bad - so I told him it didn't make sense.

People can use whatever language they choose to on here as far as I am concerned.

I stick to English 99.9% of the time because it's good manners to do so - as most of you use English - but you surely can allow us 'foreigners' a little 0.1% where we use our languages........

I've made 3 posts in total out of 3174 in Romanian - not excessiveis it ?
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