Little bit of hyperbole over the weekend. Keith ‘Keke’ Armstrong aka the only man to speak Finnish in a Geordie accent was talking about TPS-HJK as a ‘true classico’ in the papers. Big match and everything, but I don’t think anyone benefits from this kind of thing-people that turn up expecting Barca-Real are unlikely to take football seriously. TPS haven’t won a title since 1975, after all.

Antti Niemi follows Veikkausliiga closely too, apparently, and is keenly awaiting the big match between the team he used to play for and the team has a tie with through an investment group (stop me if my Finnish is too shit to understand this story). Iltalehti breathlessly reports that he follows all three of his ‘own clubs’ (he comes from Oulu) on the internet. Can you guess where? No, it isn’t this site. It’s a certain newspaper I shamelessly link to for their highlight films. Who’d have thought?

Big spenders that they are, TPS have attracted some comments ahead of the game tonight. gave a rundown of the history, and there is quite a lot-the first game between the two clubs was on the 9th of August 1931, and TPS won 1-0. Roles were reversed tonight however, and HJK came away with a 1-0 win thanks to Savolainen’s goal.

I’m not saying there are no classicos in Finland, but it’s not particularly Finnish to shout so much about them, is it? There are big games, interesting games, games you’d like to see, but it’s not the kind of league where you can watch the two biggest sides and reliably say ‘this is going to be a stormer’. If indeed such a league exists.

Anyway, the highlights will be in the usual place soon enough.

EDIT: This is the right link, although it isn’t working just now.


5 Responses

  1. the atmosphere was great considering the finnish standards, even though i heard that the TV-feed had fucked up their mic’s etc. so you couldnt hear the atmosphere.

    But your right, it’s not really a “classic” even though Turku & Helsinki have traditionally a rivalry in all things here in Finland.

  2. HJK-TPS is not a real classic, only match in Finland that comes close to that status would be HJK and Haka.

  3. Yes, I suppose the hype helps a bit. From the perspective of a neutral with Tampere sympathies, a TPS victory would have been good for the league, but it’s looking like HJK and Tampere will set the pace.

    I didn’t manage to watch it, but rest assured I will be getting a digibox in the next couple of weeks. Regarding the crowd, I’m sure you’re right but the attendance was still lower than at both Tampere United-HJK games last year.

    And of course, in terms of big clubs with sustained rivalry and success, Haka and HJK are the only too that could produce something approaching a ‘classico’….

  4. on a tangent, is Finnish not notoriously difficult to learn? am impressed by people who manage to acquire any level of command over it, myself.

    Meanwhile, how often does a much-hyped match live up to the media expectations, in any league?

  5. Finnish is a really, really difficult to learn I’ve gained a little bit of proficiency in reading newspapers very slowly, and drunken babbling, but outside those sitiations even the most basic transaction can baffle me. It doesn’t help that I only use English at work.

    Teachers say that Finnish learning is an ‘upside down triangle’, in that you learn very little at first, but once you get the hang of it you begin to pick it up very fast. I hope they’re right.

    And you’re right, ‘big’ matches usually don’t live up to the hype. I would advise any Finnish journalists wanting to promote football and ensure people enjoy the match to simply tell them not to watch Viikingit.

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