The sad demise, especially for my mate Jimmy, of Glasgow Rangers in the UEFA cup final of course ends any lingering hope that we might have had of the British winning a European trophy this season. And not forgetting the British teams absence from the Euro finals next month, this was the very last chance of European glory this year. They gave it a good shot and defended well and in the second half surprised even me with a bit of tasty passing skills - an art form completely missing from the Play-Offs games - but fell to two superbly worked goals.
The Russkies, from Gasprom, sorry St. Petersburg, were, however the better team by far proving that all that money we spend on our Gas bills is not entirely put to waste and it only falls for Romans' lot next week to make a Russian clean sweep of it. With home advantage over the americans from salford it's clearly a done deal.
Meanwhile, we have the Cup Final that nobody except Portsmouth and Cardiff fans care about. Well, we care. It's another chance of seeing the Herminator and fat boy Jimmy fight it out for honours. But it appears that most neutrals will be looking elsewhere and hoping to catch a glimpse of 17 year old superstar Aaron Ramsey boss it about in midfield. Five million is the asking price for this Welsh wizard, apparently, just called up for the Welsh squad. Thank goodness that West Brom did us a favour back in January or we'd be looking at a departing Shelyer. Better to keep quiet about him for as long as possible.
And the week after there's the added pleasure of seeing another one of last years rejects, little Brian Hughes, trotting out on the very same pitch in the Play-Off final for Hull City. He's already done it before, of course, winning the Play-Off final in 2002 with Birmingham so he'll know what to expect. And talking of knowing what to expect, its odds on that Pards didn't expect to see so many of his 'rejects' enjoying a new lease of life. And not to mention 17 goal Kevin.
But the Play-Off games don't bring much rejoicing, unless you're a Hull or Bristol fan, with Leeds still in there. Forgetting for a moment our current penchant for beating the top teams, which I suppose has some merit, I'd much rather we concentrated on finding a method of beating the crap in the Division. That, bless 'im, was always Curbs' philosphy. First and foremost win the games you should and then worry about the rest. Maybe that was a system for Premiership survival but it does me no good knowing we can beat promoted Stoke City and even do the double over Palarse while failing dismally against the likes of Colchester and QPR. Hughes' Hull won 14 games against bottom-half teams, twice as many as the Addicks did, and accumulated a total of 47 points against them. Charlton languish in 19th place in a table showing results against the worst with only 29 points won. That, Pards, is the reason we finished 11th.
Anyway, seems we'll need all our experience for beating the Big Teams next year what with Reading and Birmingham being joined in the fizzies next season by Forest and after last nights result, quite possibly by horrible Leeds.
And with Bougherra looking for an exit - please, Pards not Andy Todd - and Paul Connolly going to Derby, we are still waiting for the first of Pardew's new arrivals. We had to wait till May 21st last year to see his first deals of the summer with Iwelumo and Varney signing-on. We didn't know who the hell they were and its odds-on that we won't know our next signings either.
Yes, our days of signing the likes of Traore, Jeffers and Murphy are long gone....Perhaps we'll dream of them one day. But then again, perhaps not.