It seems it has only been in the wake of Giovanni Trapatonni’s departure, that Irish football has begun some serious soul-searching. The Italian’s time in charge has polarised the debate on whether the manager was to blame for the senior team’s ills, or as many are grappling with; ‘We just don’t have the players’. And yet, is John Delaney, Irish soccer’s kingmaker, ignoring the opportunity to change the strategy?
Noel King has shaken up the Irish squad by recalling exiled Andy Reid, Kevin Doyle, Darron Gibson, and Celtic’s Anthony Stokes in his selection announcement for the final qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan.
As Ireland prepare to take on Austria in Vienna hoping for a miracle, Tuesday’s hosts are recovering from a 3-0 defeat in Munich. Germany inched closer to qualification with goals from Miroslav Klose, equalling the German record, Kroos, and Muller. Meanwhile Kazakhstan, who must defeat Sweden to give Ireland any hope, had to come from behind to beat the Faroe Islands.
The fall-out continues from Ireland’s draw with Austria and while the knives are once more out for Giovanni Trapattoni, the Green Army are still weighing up our chances of snatching the play-off spot. Amid all the recriminations and questions about Ireland’s retreat in the second half, we should take a minute to remember that David Alaba’s strike in the 93rd minute actually took a deflection off Sean St. Ledger. Meanwhile Germany took another massive step towards Brazil with a 4-1 win at home to Kazakhstan,.
Ireland’s other World Cup group rivals enjoyed big wins last night. Germany cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory away to Kazakhstan while Austria hit the Faroe Islands for six.
Want to know how Man City fan Noel Gallagher spent the final day of last season’s Premier League? Course you do. He was in a bar in Cuba.
There’s no jobs; all the Irish are in London, and Brady’s impressing on his debut. It’s 1974 all over again.
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.
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.
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.