Oct, 2005: “Shambles. Anyone Can Thump Balls Up the Middle”

rte panel 2

Pic: Luky

The more things change, the more they stay the same. It was a must win game at home, with a World Cup play-off at stake. October 2005 and Ireland under Brian Kerr surrendered to Switzerland with a whimper. The RTE analysis is depressingly familiar.

A 0-0 draw at home resulted in Ireland missing out on a play-off spot for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and heralded the end of Kerr’s time in charge of Ireland. The manner of the performance echoed the recent fall-out to the Trapattoni era but the net result was the same. No Ireland at the World Cup and the search was on for a new manager.

Giles: “It was a shambles by the end, kicking long balls up the middle… Anyone can do that. We finished in fourth spot, and it’s probably about right in the overall standings.”

“The longer the game went on, we only had one thing in mind, hoof it up the middle.”

Dunphy: “There’s a young lad called Quinn (Alan Quinn) playing for Sheffield United. He’s not in the squad. He’s better than either of the two midfield players we had tonight. Lovely passer of the ball, gets on it, plays”

“I don’t think this guy has the plot anymore, to be honest… I know those players can deliver much better than that.”

Liam Brady’s contribution was telling: “Whatever happened to players trying to take a player on?…That direction comes from the manager. Go out and express yourself. Go out and have the courage to take players on.”

Bill: “There will be an enormous demand for change. And an enormous demand to say certain people shouldn’t play for Ireland again.”

We’ll leave the last word to Dunphy, as usual:

“The future for Irish international soccer looks very bleak indeed and whoever does take the job on has a hell of a job on their hands.”

(The Uri Geller remark refers to the story that Geller had vowed to fly a helicopter over Lansdowne Road just before kick-off to focus the energy of Irish fans. Stick to bending spoons mate).

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