Unai Emery did not pick the side I would have chosen for the Europa League Final... but then again, when does Unai Emery ever pick the side we think he should, and yet here we are. As soon as the man was hired for Villarreal I think we all had in the back of our minds that making it to this match was a possibility, and yet it still seems surreal that we are here at the end of year one. Our opponents are richer, but we are wiser, and there is experience on the pitch and in the dugout in big matches for us. Most important of all, this game means much more to us than it does to them, and desire and passion are massive parts of football.
As a club and fanbase, we’ve lived our moment to the fullest ever since we finished off the tie with Arsenal, but now comes the match itself. It’s been a long season, groguets, and we’ve debated and argued and vented all season in these gamethreads, and here’s one more. Win or lose, it’s been a wonderful ride, and I appreciate y’all a lot. We’re rooting for a special club from a special place against the purest definition of commercialism in football. If we win today, it’ll mean a lot not just to our fans but to fans of small clubs all over Europe. Let’s hope we get it done.
I made a separate post about lineups, but we have such a tradition of you folks helping me out in the comments with the lineups that I wanted to do that one more time. Hit us in the comments with whatever you think about the match. Endavant!