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The Road to Seville; Celtic FC/ Freemantle Media DVD; 135 minutes plus 105 minutes bonus DVD; £19.99
Truth be told it would have been an achievement to have made a mess of this.
After years of pleading for some European success, even at the price of domestic trophies, we got what we'd been asking for. We're all familiar with the incredible run the team put together in the UEFA cup, and mercifully enough the makers of 'The Road to Seville' have been smart enough not to try and gild a lily.
For those of you familiar with the recent Celtic output put together by Cameron Williams I have this advice - relax. This release bares no similarity to the kind of nonsense that has been inflicted on us lately. Simplicity is everything here, even on the DVD, traditionally laden with hidden extras. All you have really is the football.
The games worth watching again are given decent highlights - about 8-10 minutes - while the others, such as Suduva, are quickly run through. The ethos in the editing room seems to have been 'If it's not worth watching repeatedly, remove it.'
The attitude comes over perfectly in the return game with Boavista. A lousy game - but a historic one - the highlights show the goal, the Boavista pressure at the end, and focus on the players celebrating with each other after the match. Perfect, because I would imagine that plenty of people hadn't really seen that at the time - they were otherwise occupied in their own celebrations. And of course after the game was the real highlight of that night.
The player interviews are a treat, notably lacking the standard footballers answers, but then again Sutton, Lennon and Thompson don't really play the media game. Other interviewees include John Robertson, Billy McNeill and Archie MacPherson(?).
Which brings us neatly to the commentary of the games. The thought of owning a product featuring Rob McLean and Sandy Clark appeals to no one, so it was a moment of joy when the Blackburn game started and John Motson spoke up. Wherever possible the 'national' BBC commentary has been used, so we get Motson for Blackburn, and Barry Davies for Liverpool, Boavista away and the final itself. I've always thought Davies had a soft spot for Celtic (he used to come up and do the commentary at parkhead European games for national BBC when English sides were banned), and this was confirmed when Thompson scored at Anfield. A louder 'YES!' you could not wish to hear.
The only bum thing about this is that we didn't bring back the trophy. But we found some respectability in Europe and if this product is anything to we seem to found in Freemantle media a company that can actually produce a decent video/dvd that is actually worth watching again and again. Indispensable.
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