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astana

Last Meeting: Cat’s Out of Kazakh

Ireland’s performance in Astana in the opening game on the road to Brazil set off alarm bells. A smash and grab raid at the death with a Robbie Keane penalty and a late show from substitute Kevin Doyle earned Giovanni Trapattoni a scarcely deserved victory. Ireland’s low morale and rudderless game-plan meant even the minnows knew how to trouble us. The cat was out of the bag. Continue reading →

Passage of Play: Lukas Podolski

“It is an uncomfortable contest. I think their fans are crazy but in a good way. I heard they have a new stadium, there will be 40,000 crazy fans of Ireland. It will be a difficult match, we need to prepare well.” “But of course we will travel there tomorrow and get the three points on Friday.” Continue reading →

Trap’s Crimes They Are a Changin’

We went to the pub early for the Euro 2012 game with Italy. It was empty. They’ll remain that way for our first World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan. Giovanni Trapattoni’s insistence on sticking with the same players and tactics means an Irish game has scarcely been met with such indifference. And yet, history suggests Trap’s team will change. Continue reading →

Claws Out: The Cat is in Kazakh

Kazakhstan is a long way to go for redemption. It’s about as far away from Poznan as you can get. Still licking the wounds from the summer, Trapattoni’s Ireland are cat-hunting again but, criticised for his unwillingness to change, if perfomances don’t improve, the claws will be out. Continue reading →

Where Have the Best Fans in The World Gone?

About three weeks ago Poland’s men’s volleyball team crashed out of the Olympic Games at the quarter-final stage. Odds on for the gold medal, their failure sparked a tidal wave of criticism at home. The debate soon turned to discussion of the Irish football fans as the Polish asked why they coudn’t follow the example set by the Green Army at Euro 2012. We wonder if they’d ask the same question this week. Continue reading →