With the European Championship in France approaching ever faster, Adam Murphy takes a look back at one of the best individual performances seen in a green shirt in recent times. It didn’t come in a major tournament, however, rather a cold September evening in Moscow in the Euro 2012 qualifiers.
It’s been a rough ride for the Green Army since the fall-out from Euro 2012 but with massive games against Sweden and Austria, it’s time for the best fans in the world to stand up for the Boys in Green and roar them on to World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
Statistics released this week show Ireland with the fourth highest representation of footballers in the Premier League and, with the new season just starting, international boss Giovanni Trapattoni was able to name ten top flight players in his team to face Wales. This time a year ago, however, his squad was reeling from a disastrous European Championship. The manager has stuck to his word and overhauled the playing staff but for the team that lined out against Italy last summer, much has changed in just 12 months.
It’s become an abiding memory of the tournament for onlookers around the world, not least in Germany. We look back at the moment when a German TV commentator stopped talking during the fans’ singing of the Fields of Athenry in Gdansk at Euro 2012.
Jeff Hendrick earns his first start for Ireland as Trapattoni names his side to take on Spain in New York. Seamus Coleman starts on the right wing while Sammon partners Keane in attack.
While Irish fans try to wipe the mauling by Spain from their memories, Tuesday’s opponents in New York still talk about the support of the Green Army in Gdansk. La Liga football writer and editor of Madrid Atléticos, Garreth Nunn gives us the view from the other side ahead of the Republic’s final match of the season against the world and European champions.
Broadcast a year ago today, this Sky Sports News report from Poznan is still one of the best. Irish fans on top form on our return to the European Championships. “The Irish are outnumbering the Croatians; they’re probably outnumbering the Poles and it’s their own country.”
Giovanni Trapattoni has sprung a surprise by including Derby’s Jeff Hendrick, Richard Keogh and Conor Sammon alongside the Norwich duo of Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington in the Irish squad to face Poland.
Does Ireland have the world’s coolest footballing-loving President?
“Something collective is happening and the people of the country will be behind them” – His words should be as true today as they were last summer.
“I was pissed off, 100pc. Angry, yes. Heartbroken, yes. But no, I never thought about not wanting to play…Trapattoni has his ways. He’s stubborn. But I do like him and I think he is the right man for the job and that’s coming from a person who didn’t play at the Euros”