Well that was appalling.
That was the shattering of a lot of illusions and the bursting of a lot of bubbles.
That was “end of fantasy and back to reality” stuff for a lot of players in that team and the final slap down of the arrogance to think we can simply coast past theoretically weaker opposition instead of having to knuckle down and fight.
This team has been coasting since the first half against Motherwell.
It’s as if they got that result and beat Sevco and thought “the season is all laid out in front of us.”
What a shock to the system that was. What an eye-opener. What a crash back to Earth.
Could we have won this tournament?
Yes, of course. At our best. At our very best. But not like that. Not without giving it all and leaving everything on the field, in every game.
All talk of a Quadruple was nonsense and more; it was dangerous nonsense. I always thought we would have to cut our cloth and prioritise. That decision has been taken out of our hands.
In a way it’s a blessed relief.
The longer we went in this tournament the more we’d have been expected to go all the way and the more energy we would have expended to do it. I wrote about how this was the haunted forest the other day … I was never convinced that we should have been trying to get through there in the first place.
We have other priorities.
But what last night has shown us is that we cannot take our eyes off the ball on any front.
That side, for all their talent is no better than a half decent team in the English Championship and we should be putting them away with regularity. I don’t care what this team did to Mourinho’s side; I am embarrassed for us.
But being pissed off with an abysmal performance and a diabolical result doesn’t change my long held belief that this is a tournament we shouldn’t be in, shouldn’t give a toss about and should not be giving more than token attention.
I am not happy about that defeat – the result is a disgrace and it is a shocking way to lose our unbeaten run – but I cannot honestly say I gave too much of a damn about being out of this tournament.
To my view it was nothing but a sideshow and an unwelcome one.
Europe’s third tier tournament?
I’ve scorned it from the first.
The prospect of having to fit ten extra games into this schedule didn’t fill me with anticipation but with a sick kind of dread.
A lot of players in this team have been breezing about the pitch the last couple of games. The wakeup call was coming and I’m only glad it didn’t come in a competition that in terms of our progress might have had real and actual costs.
Ange will not be in the least bit happy; indeed, watching it, it was impossible for any of us to give pass marks to that team or anyone in it. That display was not acceptable in any way, shape or form but if it is the result that slaps – not snaps but slaps – this team out of its occasional lethargy then I will not just accept it but embrace it as a necessary evil.
We are probably out of this tournament.
I say that, but knowing this team they will score twice early over there and make a match of it.
I don’t like seeing us go out of any tournament but I sincerely hope we don’t opt to die in the ditch for this.
In the great sweep of things not one of us would have taken a result last night over one at the weekend and I would prefer we put the domestic game first and treated the second leg like a write-off.
We honestly have bigger things in front of us and if I can take one comfort from that disgrace it is that this team simply must known now what it can and cannot allow the opposition to do.
We absolutely need to shape up.
I am just glad we learned that here rather than in the tournaments that honestly matter to us this season.