Thursday, 18 October 2007

Oh woe is… everybody

JJ here,

Well… that was interesting. So, in the past 24 hours we had England’s capitulation, Scotland losing to some schoolkids in Eastern Europe and Ireland serving up their worst performance in… well about a year, or less than that actually. But it was bad, really, really bad. We even had Wales getting a ‘professional’ 2-1 away victory in San Marino and Northern Ireland continuing to pick up the slack with a great result in Sweden.

First the Scots though, and Gordon McQueen cut a sad figure on Sky Sports News as he relayed Scotland’s plight out in Georgia (though obviously not as sad a figure as someone like me who was actually watching Gordon McQueen look glumly at a TV screen). Shorn of several first team regulars they lost in a place where in any other qualification campaign since 1998, it might have just been seen as another embarrassing blip. This time though, it mattered.

Scotland however, still have everything in their own hands and should they have a full compliment against Italy next month they have a chance. One game, win and your through. Would they have taken that at the start of the campaign? Well actually no, that would be insane, they’d prefer to qualify much earlier but it’s the question posed at this time by most pundits so I thought I’d throw it in there.

England. Ah England. One offside goal for good old Blighty. One dodgy penalty for the nasty Russians. Then one legal goal for them too. So that’s eh… little to complain about. After the penalty they crawled into their shells with only one half-chance, whereas smarter passing from the Russians on the break could have seen them win by one or two more. The end for McClaren? Well Israel might do them a favour but most likely not. In other news, Jamie Redknapp showed up with the biggest black scarf in the world. Triffik fella Jamie. Triffik.
Ireland. Ah Ireland. Well there’s not much else to say is there Stan? When 16,000 people who have bought tickets choose to stay at home instead of visiting one of the finest stadiums in Europe it says a lot really. As does being booed off at half-time and full-time. As does being personally heckled when leaving the field while being ushered down the tunnel under the protective arm of the kitman. That’s what you’ve sunk to Stan, a nice oul fella like Mick Byrne pleading to leave your poor soul alone. Go. Go now. You have to know it makes sense. Unlike Joey O’Brien in midfield.


ronan said...

i've got to say it was a joy listening to Tim Lovejoy on 606 last night, He complained about the plastic pitch, the penalty that was outside the box but when a listener says Rooney's goal was offside he says something like "but those things happen in football its part of the game" are bad penalty descisions and plastic pitches Tim.

as for Ireland its been said before and will be said again, Stan has to go, i'll surprised if he does though.

Mark said...

just 2 words on teh debacle: stan out

Mr C said...

It’s a big ask for Israel to raise themselves for a meaningless game for a tournament they can’t qualify for. England will probably be at home for the summer which is a mixed blessing as it means I don't have to endure Ian Wright’s bland, tactless patriotism shining through at all times.
It was his mistakes in the past with daft formations and substitutions but the players were rubbish yesterday and didn't step up to the challenge of playing a half-decent team away from home but McClaren will fall on his sword and we'll do the obligatory soul searching about not having a decent English replacement and hopefully someone will do the right thing and pick up the phone and call Mr Scolari (unlikely due to his weariness of the English media) or Mr Mourinho (more likely as he adores the attention). I'd take eithier, just don't give it to Big Sam.

Incidentally, does Stan get to keep his job because he's covered by the 'building for the future' clause or are there any willing/capable replacements waiting in the wings?

JJ said...

He cannot go on Mr C, and he’s become such a pathetic figure that the overriding feeling of many is to feel pity for the fella. A mate said to me this morning “I feel sorry for Stan in the same way I feel sorry for a dog being shown a card trick” which I think sums things up neatly.

Willing and capable eh… well I’d be happy to see Paul Jewell or Steve Coppell in the job and both have apparently said they’d be interested. Otherwise, let’s face it, John Barnes, Sammy Lee or even Atilio Lombardo have more managerial experience under their belt than what Stan possessed when he was appointed.

As for England... I knew Lovejoy would be at that kinda crap with the pitch/penalty etc. Shandy-drinking, larger-top tithead that he is. When in doubt, a complete denial of the facts will see us through old boy!

Oisín/Wizlah said...

Holy Crap. Coppell said he'd be interested? GRAB HIM NOW.

Where did you hear that, JJ?

JJ said...

It was on the Premiership a couple of weeks back when he was interviewed after Reading beat Derby.

He said international management would suit him and the reporter asked about the Ireland job and he just said "why not".

Now, he could of just been taking the piss out of the Irish reporter but the fact that (a) he looks a little pissed off about talking about 'second season syndrome' each week and (b) he's suffered with stress before so he might get out of there sooner rather than later means that he might of been serious.

Worth testing the water with an offer for him i think. Even part time until next may then take the post full time. Better than Stan anyway.

Is this betting said...

As an Englishman I'm gutted but not surprised. The worst part is having to watch the tournament next year and have no real allegiance.

At least in 1994 I had the Irish (tenuous link to strange relation) and in 1974 and 1978 I had the Scottish (next door neighbours) to support.

Next summer, nothing and I'm pretty sad about it.

Oisín/Wizlah said...

JJ - cheers for the reference. I did not know that.

I agree that coppell would be a good fit. First off, he clearly has an eye for underrated talent, and he's been over looking at the irish leagues before. Consequently he would be able to keep the squad on its toes with some fresh faces. A larger squad means we're more capable of mixing and matching against different opposition.

He's a fine motivator, and he has got reading playing very free scoring footie.

I'm just a-quiver thinking about it. Never happen. shame.

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