There we were, a goal up in the game, and two goals ahead three quarters of the way through the tie, and Wembley was beckoning. The players trooped back to the dressing rooms at half time and the managers got to work. Grant faced an easy task. Away from home, a two goal advantage what did he have to say? Put yourself in his shoes?
"Okay, the game is ours, go out and wipe the floor with them"? Or, "Keep it tight for the first 15 minutes, then the game is ours"? Or, "Let's keep what we have!"? Any one of the three would have been valid.
McLeish? Well there was only one script, "You've played like a bunch of useless tossers and are going out of the Cup unless you get stuck in. Now get out there, get the ball forward as often as possible, win set pieces, attack every ball in the air and find me two goals!"
Clearly Grant was to blame. It's impossible to lose a two goal lead in 45 minutes. It's impossible to then concede a winner in extra time. Only the most incompetent manager in the world could do that. And the manager of the other side would have to be a motivational and tactical genius to pull that off.
2005. Champions League Final. Half Time. A C Milan 3 Liverpool 0. The managers? That useless tosser Carlo Ancelotti and that motivational and tactical genius Rafa Benitez.
But that's an unfair comparison - just look at the terrible players Ancelotti had at his disposal! Dida, Cafu, Stam, Nesta, Maldini, Pirlo, Gattuso, Seedorf, Kaka, Shevchenko and Crespo. And on the bench they only had players like Costacurta, Serghino, Klaldze and Rui Costa. Now, if Ancelloti had had the likes of Dyer and McCarthy to call off the bench, well I'm sure it would have been a completely different story!