Friday, 4 September 2009

Ireland to get over that Cyprus hill (sorry)



Afternoon folks,
About 30 seconds after Ireland conceded their fifth goal on their last trip to Cyprus I finally shook myself out of my silence, looked across the room at my housemate and asked a simple question:

“How can we be beaten five-two by a bunch of peasants?”

Now, while there’s a hint of casual racism there (it was in jest for feck sake… plus very few of them probably have a decent MP3 player, and the lack of one of them marks anybody out as a peasant in my book) I genuinely couldn’t believe that as a footballing nation we had sunk so low.

Even after being beaten by Macedonia 3-2 in the mid-nineties you felt the team could recover, but that night there was just a sense of hopelessness. There were plenty of games left in Stan Staunton’s ill-fated attempt to get us to Euro 2008 but we knew the jig was up that night.

Fast forward to today, on the eve of a game that could hugely strengthen Ireland’s position in Group 8 – with Italy having a bugger of a double header involving a game away in Georgia and then back home to face Bulgaria on Wednesday not to mention a visit to Croke Park to contend with next month – and any current woes seem very, very mild indeed.

Okay, so Liam Miller is in the squad and Andy Reid isn’t. Okay , there’s still no Stephen Ireland. Alright, the defence has looked shaky in the last two games, or to put that correctly, Kevin Kilbane has looked positively dumb as a doornail in his last few outings at left back. But even so, this team should beat Cyprus.

Most likely it’ll be in the same tight manner that we inched past them at Croke Park last year, when one Damien Duff shuffle and neat cross for Robbie Keane early on was the difference between the two sides. The only thing that may hamper any type of result is the concession of an early goal, but even so there’s no chance of the type capitulation Staunton oversaw simply because of the level of organisation built into Trapattoni’s style of play. It’s rigid, but it’s also seen us go undefeated thus far in the group.

Cyprus have five points from six games with only one win under their belt, drawing at home to Montenegro last time out having been two up. They also ran Italy close at home but lost out to a late goal. In short, keep it tight and they’ll blink first.

Prediction: 1-3

8 comments:

Buckley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Buckley said...

Be very lucky to come away with a draw in Cyprus. And i'm not even arsed about it. The football Trap plays just doesn't inspire anything in me at all, that coupled with the fucking bizarre squad selections.

We'll go there, won't be able to keep hold of the ball for more than five minutes. We can only hope Cyrpus are awful and we somehow nick a scrappy goal or two. *sigh*

Mark said...

yes, JJ, if Kilbane can stop being the Irish Titus Bramble we should be ok. Will be tough to win though

Anonymous said...

I could'nt give a fuck about Ireland (the football team, not the nation! or Mr.Stephen..) anymore!! I'm totally bored shitless with this Manager,his tactics, the complete lack of ambition regardless of the opposition and his selection policy.....Liam Miller does'nt even have a club for god sake!!! They'll probably take the lead tomorrow, try and see out a one-nil win, lose at least one late goal and try and pass it off as a good result!
Prediction: Boring and tedious like every other game under this "legendary" Manager.....1-1!
LUHG.

Buckley said...

Half-time now and you couldn't have scripted this any better so far.

Just inviting Cyprus on from the second we went ahead. CB's camped in our own penalty area.

JJ said...

Great win, a month of drinking awaits next summer and RTE even have the savvy to show Italy v Bulgaria on wednesday. Everything's comin up milhouse.

Buckley said...

A win is a win is a win i guess.

Are we in any danger now of being the worst placed second team?

Anonymous said...

Jaysis lads are ye glued to the new season of strictly come dancing or just on strike for better/any wages?