Shamrock Rovers hit the jackpot and get through to the European group stages

Last night’s 2-1 away victory over Partizan Belgrade (3-2 on aggregate) means that Shamrock Rovers [their website is under strain this morning!] have made Irish football history to go through to the group stages of the Europa League. The Hoops will find out who else will be in their group when the draw is made in Monaco later today.

With a goal from Pat Sullivan and a 112th minute penalty from Stephen O’Donnell, manager Michael O’Neill had much to be proud about. The Independent.ie reports:

The Northern Irishman was overcome with pride.

“If I’m honest, I always felt it would be a step too far,” said O’Neill, when asked about crossing the hurdle into the group stages. “We’ve got this squad put together for €600,000. They probably had players out there who’ll earn that alone.

“I would doubt whether a club has been able to progress so far with that level of budget. But it’s not just about budget. We have to try and raise the levels. And the players raised it to unbelievable levels.

According to the radio news this morning, 43 fans had travelled across to the Belgrade stadium to watch their side.

Within the stadium, the 30-40 merry souls in green and white were cordoned off in a section near the VIP area after being escorted into the grounds with the team. They were strangers in a sea of black and white.

And despite supporters being tailed by local policeman through the city before the match, the Irish players were given a strong send off after their victory.

And, for those endeavours, they will be greeted as heroes. Just like they were applauded off the pitch last night by the fans of Partizan Belgrade, who rose to acclaim the Irish visitors after booing off their own staff with the exception of Medo, the midfielder, who was ordered off for a petulant punch at the death. Overall, though, the locals’ sporting treatment of the Dubliners was at odds with their pre-match reputation.

In a minimalist match report, BBC Sport speculate about the venue of future matches:

the 16-time Irish champions are aiming to stage their group games at Tallaght Stadium but, under existing Uefa regulations, the Hoops would have to move their games to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. The alternative would be to install seats at Tallaght.

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  • The scottish premier league is seriously embarassed by this feat, not being able to provide a single team for the main tournament. How sick as a parrot will they be at windsor avenue that a Northern Ireland-born manager has guided Shamrock Rovers to this historic achievement.vict

  • Mark

    I can remember when John Giles took over as Rovers boss ( with Dunphy as his sidekick ) during the late 70’s and immediately insisted Rovers could win the European Cup within five years .

    Last night was great and while I’m sure the fans would like to see their team play in Tallaght , the switch to the Aviva makes sense financially as there are some big European teams left in the competition which the ordinary punter would pay to see …..

    I know a few Rovers fans who are delighted that they’ll get a chance to go away on one of these infamous soccer trips …..they’re praying for a Dutch team

  • Rory Carr

    What with Scottish teams, Celtic, Rangers and Hearts all knocked out last night this is quite an achievement for Rovers. Should help to inject some much-needed funds into the club as well as raisng its profile and no doubt increasing its fan base by geometric ratios (at least until they are knocked out).

    Well done.

  • JR

    I don’t want to be a bandwaggoner, never having watched a league of Ireland Soccer game in my life. But it is great to see Irish sporting success. Whever it comes from.

  • Mark

    There’s plenty of room on the bandwagon JR ….

  • Old Mortality

    To qualify with an away victory over a club like Partizan is a truly exceptional achievement.
    All the more pleasing as John O’Neill seems such a likeable character.
    The fact that they have been playing competitivley throughout the summer does give them some advantage, however, and I think John O’Neill was probably getting a bit carried away in suggesting that Serbian players get paid as much as €600,000 a year.

  • iluvni

    Madraj55,

    Why would anyone be ‘sick as a parrot’ at Windsor Avenue?
    I’d imagine they, like every NI fan, is proud of what ONeill and Magilton have achieved.

  • Mark

    Rory ,

    When you consider both Celtic and Rangers have played in a major European final in the last few years , it’s amazing how quickley their demise has been . As Craig Burley saId on ESPN last night , there are no superstars left in the Scottish league . He talked about the Laudraps and Gazza in the 90’s ( he left out Larson ? ) .

    BTW Rory , big game at the weekend . They say you can’t win the title in Aug / Sept , but you can sure lose it . Arsenal did look sharp in Italy on wed night and need to take something from Old Trafford … I wouldn’t hold my breath though .

  • Greenflag

    Phillip Greene thou shouldst be living at this hour .

    Sadly Phillip Greene passed away three months back -he of the somewhat famous to Dubliners anyway radio match commentary ‘Good afternoon from Glenmalure Park where the weather is once again atrocious’

    Some links below including a famous international commentary from the past . Philip Green was a lifelong Rovers (Hoops) supporter although being from the Broadstone near Phibsboro the Gypsys (Bohemians ) should have been his ‘team ‘ Phillip was buried wearing his Shamrock Rovers tie along with his radio .

    http://www.rte.ie/laweb/ll/ll_t07f.html

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0518/breaking48.html

    Well done the Rovers and Michael O’Neill 🙂

  • ,..sick as a parrot will they be at windsor avenue that a Northern Ireland-born manager has guided Shamrock Rovers to this historic achievement.

    Bizarre comment. Care to explain madraj55 or is it just that you feel it is obligatory on any Slugger football thread to get at least one bigotted dig in on the IFA/GAWA/N.Ireland?

    Rovers’ achievement is all the more worthy when compared with the pathetic efforts of the Old Firm.

    It is as hard to imagine the Mould Firm in a CL Final now as it is to think of a club like Aberdeen, Dundee Utd, Hearts or Motherwell winning the SPL. Despite their continuing monopoly on resources the SPL doesn’t provide Rangers and Celtic with the genuine competitive “practise” needed to perform when they finally get to meet the big boys of Europe like er…Maribor and FC Sion. On the other hand, they would have a much reduced chance of even qualifying if they were ever to find themselves in the leagues south of the border.

  • Mark

    Nice touch Greenflag .

  • Dec

    ‘Despite their continuing monopoly on resources the SPL doesn’t provide Rangers and Celtic with the genuine competitive “practise” needed to perform when they finally get to meet the big boys of Europe like er…Maribor and FC Sion.’

    But that doesn’t explain how both clubs got to European cup finals in the past 8 or so years. Both Larsson and Laudrup would have walked into any team in Europe in their prime. The issue is almost totally financial with both Celtic and Rangers struggling to match wages paid by Championship sides ( and probably a few in league 1). The Old Firm’s only defence against this reality was a virtual guarantee of CL football, and that seems a pipe dream now.

  • Mike the First

    Well done to Shamrock Rovers – quite an achievement. Particularly pleased as a Glentoran fan for former player Michael O’Neill (Old Mortality – John O’Neill is a completely different ex Northern Ireland international!).

    Clubs in NI (and indeed others in ROI) should try to learn the lessons, good and bad, from this.

    PS – “made Irish football history to go through to the group stages of the Europa League” – this is only the third season of the Europa League! Though as the UEFA Cup the competition did have group stages from 2004/05.

  • DT123

    [i]”How sick as a parrot will they be at windsor avenue that a Northern Ireland-born manager has guided Shamrock Rovers to this historic achievement.vict”[/i]

    Why?

    Michael has represented his country 31 times and is usually to be found in the commentary box at Northern Ireland matches.I’m sure he will receive nothing but congratulations from both the IFA and the Northern Ireland supporters.

  • Mark

    Two exceptional managers is the reason why both Old Firm sides reached the UEFA Cup final . The two men there at the moment are very inexperienced and as long of one wins the domestic title ( which in turn means the other one doesn’t ) one set of fans and directors are happy ..

    However as Dec says , the money is in Europe and there are only so many replica shirts a club can sell . Just hearing now that Celtic may have a reprive as Cion seem to have played an uneligible player ( Radio Ulster 12.00 news ) .

  • Some would, I’ll concede but on past record a fair number of them will be less than estatic.

  • Greenflag

    @mark ,

    The first link includes Phil Greene on the Late Late Show with Gay Byrne and accused of ‘bias’ in favour of Rovers . Greene’s reply was memorable perhaps not as much as Bill Shankly’s ‘football is more important than life or death ‘ but memorable nonetheless.

    No doubt Celtic and Rangers will make their inevitable returns but for Rovers or for any FAI or IFA team this is a once in a generation achievement not surprisingly given that ‘finance ‘ rules the soccer world much more so than in earlier times.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Great achievement by Shamrock Rovers. Michael O’Neill has done wonders for the Tallaghtfornians.

    Isn’t it a pity the four biggest clubs in the four provinces – Shamrock Rovers, Cork city, Galway United and Linfield – can’t gain more local support and money and give football in Ireland a real boost. The stadiums alone are an embarrassment in this day and age. We could see an Irish team in the Champions League group stages if people spent their money on supporting local teams and gave the clubs a chance to grow.

    I can understand Irish people going over to Anfield or Old Trafford to see matches because of the quality of the Premier League, but paying so much to go to Parkhead and Ibrox to watch fvkn rubbish is madness.

  • Valenciano

    Scotland has really fallen down the rankings. Until this season they got an automatic place in the champs league, with the runners up (the other Old Firm team basically) having to beat two teams to get there. As of next season, the Scots champs will have to beat three teams to reach the champs league group stages with the runners up now in the Europa league, a very poor substitute.

    While Shamrock have done well, there are other teams in a worse financial situation that have got there, Ventspils in 2009-2010 being one example, but such teams will be whipping boys for Europe’s b-list sides and the financial rewards in the Europa league really aren’t that great. Long term, they have zero chance of making any impact in such competitions due to the money factor.

    Money is really ruining football, look at Spain’s La Liga. In 2006 it was one of the most competitive leagues in Europe with 5 teams having won it in the previous 10 seasons. Now it’s degenerated to a Scots Premier style farce, everyone knows Barca will win it, with only Real Madrid in touching distance and the rest a good 18-20 points behind scrapping for the champs league place. The English Premier the same. Much as I hate Man Utd, they’ve at least got where they are through developing and nurturing talent, a great manager, clever marketing and success on the pitch. The only teams that will challenge them are Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool and only because all those teams have rich foreign sugar daddies. Any team who gets close to challenging the upper echelon will have their top players snapped up (cf Valencia with Villa, Silva and Mata or Arsenal with Nasri and Fabrecas) losing competitiveness in the process.

    It’s sad and a bit boring that the only teams in with a chance of winning something are those with insane amounts of money to throw at anything that moves, and even when they make bad buys (Fernando Torres) they still have the cash to splash out.

  • keano10

    And hot off the press here is the draw –

    GROUP A – TOTTENHAM
    PAOK SALONIKA
    RUBIN KAZAN
    SHAMROCK ROVERS

    Absolute dream draw for Rovers. The Tottenham games will net them a fortune in TV revenue.

  • “The issue is almost totally financial with both Celtic and Rangers struggling to match wages paid by Championship sides ( and probably a few in league 1). ”

    Dec,

    Certainly true but that doesn’t explain how clubs with much smaller wage bills are inevitably represented in the CL group stages- I think a lot can be put down to the fact that their (eg the Austrian, Romanian, Russian) leagues are more competitive.

    Unless the team is a one-off (presently Barca/Real Madrid) then having to exert yourself week in week out has got to make a difference.

  • Mark

    Greenflag ,

    Unfortunately my computer is acting up and I cannot open the first link but I’ll trust your opinion and sense of humour .

    My favotite Shankley quote is ” there are two football teams in Liverpool , Liverpool and Liverpool reserves .

    As I’m sure you know , Samuel Eto’o now earns 380,000 bills a week playing in Russia ??

  • I dont know if they are sick as a parrot in Windsor Avenue but I hope that they are because it would add to my happiness considerably.
    As for Scottish football….it really has gone backwards. The players that Celtic and Rangers have are good enough to come first or second in the Scottish League…….and thats now the limit of their ambitions.

    There was a time when they could have had better players on higher wages and maybe got the bonus of a run in the Champions League.
    Or if that failed a longer run in the Europa League.
    Now even that has been closed off.

    And absolutely no point in paying (English) Premiership wages to Premiership players just to win the Scottish League.

    A decade ago Celtic and Rangers considered themselves as good as Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool………….five years ago they were a bit like Aston Villa, Fulham, Bolton, Blackburn.

    Now…there is a look of Leicester, Leeds, Ipswich and Nottingham Forest.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Cracking equaliser last night – check it out on youtube.
    Wonder has Alan Mannus any regrets – he went to St Johnstone (and took a wage drop) after playing in the games against Tallinn. Wasn’t he named in the NI squad as soon as he went to Scotland?

    ROC, I take it you haven’t been in Tallaght stadium, its a lovely ground only a few years old – 6000 all seater at the moment. I’d say they might put temporary seating at both ends and play the PAOK & Rubin games there. Spurs will be in the Aviva.

    Keano10 – Maybe you’ll come back to Tallaght during the MLS close season and have a crack at Spurs????

  • Mark

    Typo – favorite …..although there have been a few tits managing at Anfield in recent years.

  • gtm

    I’m fairly sure Forest or Leicester would fancy their chances with Celtic or Rangers at the moment. The SPL is a lot weaker than than the Championship.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Tochais Siorai,

    Yeah I know the Tallaght stadium well.

    And a 6,000 capacity for the biggest football club in a city with an urban spread of over 1 million – many of whom are avid football fans – is an embarrassment to football on this island.

  • O’Neill, I was talking in purely football terms, in that the SR manager didn’t get the NI job and they’re stuck with Worthy who a lot of the GAWA are less than impressed with on his team’s record this qualifying round for Euros. Scottish football has hit it’s lowest point since Ally McLeod took them to humiliation at the Argentina finals in 1978. I think we can safely dispense with the notion that Rangers and Celtic could copmpete in the premier English League. They look good compared to other Scottish clubs and that’s about it.

  • oracle

    Congrats Shamrock,

    I thought that Partizan would have tore them a new arsehole in Belgrade, I’m more than happy to be utterly wrong

  • Dec

    ‘Certainly true but that doesn’t explain how clubs with much smaller wage bills are inevitably represented in the CL group stages- ‘

    Oneill

    Tbh I know next to nothing about some of those clubs, though I’d be genuinely surprised if any Russian club had a smaller wage bill than Celtic or Rangers. However there’s always a couple of clubs in Europe at any one time who manage to hire a clever coach with an eye for a player and become perennial qualifiers e.g. Auxerre under Guy Roux or the Valeri Lobanovsky-era Dynamo Kiev. But to answer your point, the current standard of Scottish league football is abysmal. Celtic and Rangers aside, I’d put the overall standard as just above the Irish league but below the League of Ireland

  • J Kelly

    Brilliant for Irish soccer, just hope this gives derry city a bit of an edge in the run in for the title. Well done Rovers.

  • Mike the First

    TS

    Can a club switch a match like that? I thought each club had to register an approved home ground in order to get a UEFA licence.

    Hope they can, because as a Spurs fan*, I’d be up for going to the Dublin game.

    *Irish League fans being (as a Glens fanzine once memorably put it) “the sailors of world football” – wonder if LOI fans are the same. It was odd having two teams I supported in the same competition this season, but sadly I was safe in the knowledge that their paths were unlikely to cross…

  • Mike the First

    TS

    “Wasn’t he named in the NI squad as soon as he went to Scotland?”

    More to do with Blayney’s and Tuffey’s dire performances in the Carling Nations Cup, and the continued injury to Taylor. Though Mannus had been in Worthless’s black books a little for turning down a call-up to the US tour to concentrate on his Rovers career.

  • Valenciano

    “Can a club switch a match like that? I thought each club had to register an approved home ground in order to get a UEFA licence.”

    Quite easily, when Ventspils got through a couple of years ago their own ground only held 4,000 so matches got played in Riga instead (10,000 capacity.) BATE Borisov have pretty much the same situation.

  • PaulT

    horrid feeling Shamrock might have used up all their luck in getting into that group, best of luck to them, got to be an opportunity to get into the next round, seeing how a few good results has done wonders for Irish cricket I’m hopeful that SR can do the same for soccer.

    ah Dec, see, I knew you were a footie fan

  • Millbag

    Well done Shamrock Rovers.

    Aren’t they in fact the first Irish team to qualify for the group stages of any European competition?

    Whichever way you look at it, a phenomenal achievement.

    No Scottish representatives in Europe for the first time since 1956 – simply a blip or evidence of a slow decline? Perhaps this decline would explain the increasing tension at Old Firm games these days, both clubs stuck in a world of their own, while becoming more and more irrelevant on the European stage.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Pray tell,what is this ‘soccer’,of which you speak ?
    Is it anything akin to Football ?

    FIFA
    UEFA
    IFA
    FAI
    MUFC
    LFC…………….

    Sorry,but I don’t see ‘soccer’ mentioned in any of those titles. 😉

  • keano10

    Rovers officials are saying tonight that they believe they will have in excess of 40,000 fans at The Aviva for the visit of Tottenham. Stunning stuff. This will secure Rovers for decades to come.

  • PaulT

    Pray tell,what is this ‘soccer’,of which you speak ?
    Is it anything akin to Football ?

    No totally different from football, its played (strangely) with a totally round ball. Even worse you can’t pick it up and score a try

  • PaulT

    Heinz, I’ll also spare your blushes by publishing a list of Rugby Football associations as someone might point out to you that they predate the soccer organisations you listed by 20-30 years.

    Incidently have you noticed how similiar football is in America, Australia, Ireland and the UK (ok the Irish use a soccerlike ball)

  • lamhdearg

    well done, always remember its just 11 v 11.

  • huntsman

    It is time for an all island league. The fact that Shramrock Rovers is the first Irish team to qualify should show that there is something wrong with the present set up.

    Ireland has a bigger population than Scotland but because it is divided in soccer, sorry football, means that we end up with two weak entities. It would be much better if soccer, sorry football, followed all the other major sports and had a single league or even joined Scotland and Wales in a Celtic league. The present situation is a farce and domestic Irish football is an embarressment to the whole country. It is in sharp contrast with Rugby, GAA, Cricket, Golf etc.

    Fintan Drury tried to do something about it a few years ago and got most of the clubs, including Glentoran, on board but Linfield stayed out.

    The blazers in the IFA and FAI had too much to lose and stymied his efforts. We are now left with the present sorry state and unfortunately Shramrock Rover’s success is likely to be an isolated one.

  • lamhdearg

    “It would be much better if soccer, sorry football, followed all the other major sports and had a single league or even joined Scotland and Wales in a Celtic league”

    Why stop there, inclued England, in a league of the british isle’s, thats if winning is everything to you, i would be against, And somehow the England haters may scupper that idea, again well done the rovers. lets hope a irish league side can follow, Linfield? after all they reached the Q finals of the old european cup the year Celtic won it, 11 v 11, step up to the mark,

  • seal

    Writing from Scotland I can vouche that many here are relieved that Celtic and Rangers did not qualify thus sparing us from association with their bigotry.

  • huntsman

    I think England can manage on its own with over 50 million people. Soccer in Ireland, Scotland and Wales is in a mess. Their domestic leagues are dying while the Premier League is one of the best in the world. Why BBC and UTV give the NI league so much publicity is beyond me and could be a case for the Equality Commission.

    We have the example of rugby where the domestic league leagues in the Celtic countries simply could not live in the professional era.

    The contrast with soccer is striking. Three of the Irish Provinces have won the European Cup (including an Ulster team representing the 9 counties).

    Linfield have as much hope of progressing in European competition as they have of developing a fan base in Ardoyne

  • Greenflag

    ‘Ireland has a bigger population than Scotland but because it is divided in soccer, sorry football, means that we end up with two weak entities.’

    Scotland doesn’t have competition from Gaelic football and while they have ‘shinty’ it’s a game for a tiny minority unlike Irish hurling which can draw crowds of 80,000 plus to semi finals and finals of the championship.

    Smaller european countries like the Netherlands and the Czech Republic etc also have no ‘domestic ‘ competition for field sports and thus all of their energy and finance is spent on soccer. Where is the Dutch or Spanish or Portuguese rugby teams ?

    I can’t imagine an all Ireland soccer team doing much better than the current Republic’s team and while now and again the NI team may ‘upset’ the odds in an international tournament the truth is that both the FAI and IFA domestic leagues don’t have the numbers or the finances to compete realistically with the Spains , Germany’s etc of Euroepan and world football .

    That doesn’t mean the Republic has no chance of qualifying for the European nations or the World Cup . They have a good chance in the European Nations . I can’t see any of the current NI squad making any major difference to the Republic’s performance . We could of course have done better with say George Best but then so would England 😉

    Players with the qualities of a Best were always rare and probably even rarer now .Obesity and a sedentary life style and a soda drinking Mc Donald and Fried Mars bar calorific intake has taken it’s toll on the former ‘working class’ base that provided the human material for soccer in these islands;(

    Which is why an increasing numbers of lean and hungrier ‘foreigners’ from all over the world now take up a large percentage of team places in the English Premier League .

  • Alan N/Ards

    Well done Shamrock Rovers. As a NI supporter I have no problem whatsoever in congratulating them. Mind you they will have to play out of their skins to beat the mighty Spurs. Come on you Spurs!

    huntsman

    There are a lot of Linfield supporters about Ardoyne. They don’t need to develop a fan base there.

  • It is time for an all island league

    Irish rugby never had to contend with literally thousands of its potential supporters crossing over to England and Scotland to watch games there. Irish rugby players in the large majority of cases stayed put here rather than playing for the top English teams.

    The problems for domestic football in NI and ROI:

    1. Any youngster with even a modicum of talent is snapped up by the cross-channel clubs.
    2. Its potential fanbase are either at Ibrox/Parkhead/Old Trafford/Anfield or watching games live on the TV

    How would an all-Ireland league solve those two core problems?

  • lamhdearg

    it must be the G.A.R.C.. Ardoyne to which you refer huntsman, the real Ardoyne not excluding non irish nats, has many a Linfield supporter, i know i grew up there. i would rather retain our league and national team and only win now and then, than win more but have no pride in winning.

  • huntsman

    Ah the myth of Loyalist Ardoyne raises its head again.

    Some do not want a shared future, just a wee loyalist team for a wee loyalist people. It does not matter that half of Northern Ireland has not identification with it, it just important to show how diiferent thou art to their neighbours. What hope have we with attitudes like that

  • lamhdearg

    “Some do not want a shared future” going back to your comment at 4:59, i do not want to share with Eire Scotland and Wales, thats not the same as wanting “a wee loyalist team for a wee loyalist people.

  • Dec

    neill

    ‘The problems for domestic football in NI and ROI:

    1. Any youngster with even a modicum of talent is snapped up by the cross-channel clubs.
    2. Its potential fanbase are either at Ibrox/Parkhead/Old Trafford/Anfield or watching games live on the TV

    How would an all-Ireland league solve those two core problems?’

    Summer league?

  • Dec

    Well it would address problem no.2.

    Obviously Irish clubs, north and south, can’t compete with the lure of English football but it’s a realistic option to say in a couple of years for an all-Ireland league to overtake the Scottish leagues, Old Firm aside, as a more attractive career path.

  • lamhdearg

    Dec, do you believe that after a couple of years people here, would stop supporting their English and Scotish clubs?. I think most who follow irish league football teams to the setanta cup games will say, a trip to cork is a trip too far, dungannon is far enough. the irish league depends on the same folk turning up week in and out, the prem in England has a 50 million + tourist pool of fans and sky money, we should work on developing talent to sell on to England and scotland as a means of survival.

  • Dec,

    It might attract the kind of people who would travel over to England and Scotland if the standard was high enough but
    attendances at a summer league would probably suffer from competition from GAA matches and also from the fact that it is the time of year when most people take their main holidays.

    I think the key is getting those youngsters who would presently be playing in Scotland for teams other than the Old Firm and in the lower English leagues to stay and play for local teams here.

    If that could be achieved (bearing in mind it would take a great deal of both money and long term planning skills on the part of the football establishment neither of which are in apparent abundance at the moment ); if substantial sponsorship could be dug out from God knows where and if the general sporting public’s interest could be captured with strong enough interest from the media then I could see an “Ireland Premiership” of 10-12 clubs working.

  • lamhdearg

    no names no pack drill, would you follow your team to cork ect?, do you follow a team at all?.

  • lamhdeargh

    I’m probably the wrong man to ask as I do follow N.Ireland regularly in Europe and I spent too many years and too much money watching Man Utd home and away. So several hours on the road for the sake of 90 minutes (OK 120+ minutes if you include *refreshments*!) is not that much of a hardship for me

    Would I go to watch the Glens, Linfield or any other N.Irish team in Cork? Depends on the quality of the teams, how important the game, when it was (eg if it were a Saturday I’d take Ms oneill and make a weekend of it). At the minute, it wouldn’t be the travel time that would put me off.

  • Mark

    Rory ,

    Before you explain who Thomas Aquinas was , could you explain where the Arsenal football team was today at Old Trafford ?