A terrible start and a rip-roaring finish, Ireland’s clash with Austria ended with substance thanks to Jon Walters’ equaliser but was worryingly devoid of style. We are still in a brilliant position to qualify for next summer’s World Cup, so why does it feel so precarious? Here are ten talking points after a huge week for Ireland’s qualification hopes.
Shane Long’s sensational winner to down the world champions Germany secured his place in Irish sporting history forever but it is Jon Walters’ battling style which has become the symbol of the team.
He’ll be a hero forever afer his two goals against Bosnia sent Ireland through to Euro 2016 and Jonathan Walters’ emotional post-match interview in front of an ecstatic Aviva Stadium crowd only further endears him to Irish fans.
“Out of the fog has come clarity. Ireland are on the way to France.” You won’t tire of watching these. Highlights of Ireland’s second leg victory over Bosnia including the reaction of the RTE panel.
They’re the men who will fly the flag for Ireland at Euro 2012, our first major finals for ten years. Póg Mo Goal takes a look at the Boys in Green. Here’s the strike-force who could make it a tournament to remember.
Well, no one was expecting that. All the pre-match thought predicted a cagey Irish performance, a low-scoring game, and deemed an away goal a bonus. We can book the flights to Poland and Ukraine. A 4-0 win reflected a dominant Irish performance, particularly in the second half and the nation is waking up today with massive smile on its face. Dublin on Tuesday is going to be a hell of a party.
Spud Watch returns after spending the last two months in a Maharishi retreat to combat the night horrors afflicted by the thoughts of Glenn Whelan getting an FA Cup medal. Life really isn’t fair is it?
SPUD Watch becomes a normal job again as I actually have players to report on. I felt like Lieutenant Huxley in Demolition Man there for a while, wandering around yearning for things to happen – usually in the Npower Championship but in the end I’d end up on Chat Roulette crying at a group of black people wearing Yankee jerseys in America laughing at my naked body.
HOW about this for a starting eleven?
Gomes; Johnson, Squillaci, Stearman, Ilunga; Ireland, Cattermole, J Cole; Balotelli, Torres, Saha.
Stephen Ireland takes his place amongst a line-up of Premier League stars….except they’ve been voted the worst players in the division so far.
JOE Hart wasn’t injured after all and Shay Given returned to the bad place he’s been in now for months, despite Wednesday’s brief international respite; like a prisoner being let out for Christmas dinner. Damien Duff is, in my opinion, also about to enter a bad place. He looked out of sorts again against City – getting subbed for Gera and may now be in danger of losing his place for their next outing. What are we without a Duff firing on all cylinders? It’s like The Beatles without John and Paul, Ant and Dec without Dec, porn without the cum-shot, Play The Game without Derek Davis – It doesn’t bare thinking about.