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. Veikkausliiga.com 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.