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Republic of Ireland Vís San Marino. Man of the Match? The Janitor!

category national | miscellaneous | feature author Friday February 09, 2007 00:14author by jim traversauthor email jimtravers at eircom dot net Report this post to the editors

another disaster predicted

Jim Travers claims that the match between the Republic of Ireland and San Marino has given us the space to reflect on our beliefs, that what we thought in the past has now come true. Ireland was terrible by any standards and deserved to walk away with nothing more than a loss.

Once again the San Marino janitor preformed absolutely amazingly in his attempts to maintain the toilets in pristine condition as Irish fans stormed into them throwing up everything they could muster as the match outside dragged on. Many Irish fans wondered if it would have been better to stay home and wait for a schoolboy league match on Sunday where some real exciting football could be see for nothing, well possibly the bus fare to the park. Ireland started off with vigour and enthusiasm but San Marino came back and that was that.

Brian Kerr in the commentary box for TV3 done his best to raise the tempo for the armchair supporters, but at half time the armchair supporters were left with a dilemma, do we turn over and watch the England versus Spain match or do we head to the comedy channel and watch Rab C Nesbitt. I for my part turned on the Comedy channel, flicking every now and again to see if Ireland had got over the butterfly syndrome and began to play real football; well I must be forgiven for living in hope.

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When Kilbane scored in the second half you could hear the roar of Irish supporters all around the country, not at the fact that Ireland was in the lead but Ireland had scored. The mutters that we were fielding a young experimental side is no excuse for the shoddy play we seen from high paid professional footballers who perform in the greatest football league in the world every week but displayed a collective demonstration of their true value within that league. The match was boring, lacked any drive or hope for the future, it was what everybody said way back when poor old Steve Staunton was appointed national team manager by an organisation that knows as much about the appointment of international football managers as Noddy knows about postman Pat, that appointment was ill thought out and executed.

One comes back to the sacking of Brian Kerr at a time when Ireland did not really need a change of manager but a change in approach by the FAI to the manager and his ideas for change in the future, thereby proving that the FAI as an organisation is more interested in short term success at the expense of building a team for the future. Roll on Croke Park and the Welsh match when Ireland supporters can drown their sorrows in the knowledge that another international soccer team was given the opportunity to play football on a pitch that was worthy of their presence in the country.

Irish soccer supporters are the greatest supporters in the world and the match against San Marino proved this, for in the long run why would anybody want to travel such distances to see a team performance as poor as Irelandís sad, sad display of soccer nonsense. When San Martino scored the equaliser one could not help question the whole set-up of Irish international soccer, that appears to be controlled and governed by men in pin striped suits who have a greater interest in the financial stability of the FAI and their own personal interests in the financial windfalls should Ireland scrape any sort of international result.

When the final whistle was blown the thoughts that must have gone through the Irish managerís mind must have been ďI think I just might secure my job for another bit of timeĒ. The alarm bells are now sounding in Merrion Square as the FAIís short term interests are once again put in chaos and somebody except themselves must pay for the disaster. Steve Staunton is just one match away from being sacked from his position, as the FAI secretly scramble to secure the services of anybody who will take a rag tag team to future glory and who will later give that recruit the Jack Charlton treatment for his failure to win, win, win and go on winning for the sake of the FAI. Ireland played with no conviction or passion for the game. They floundered and passed the ball around with no real sense of purpose and gave away balls that would have signalled instant disaster if they had played any other team other than San Marino. It was a pointless exercise waiting to hear the opinions from the Irish manager, for his opinions would have disguised his total disappointment with his teamís ability to control the match from the start. The San Marion team will go to their local watering hole with a greater disappointment of losing the game, as the Ireland team book a flight to Lourdes to give thanks to a greater power for helping them scrape out of the hole they dug themselves.

The panel on TV3 once again keep referring to the Jack Charlton era as if the slide to disaster began when Charlton was given the boot. Charlton did not allow the FAI dictate his style of management and on many occasions this was evidently clear when things went slightly wrong. Staunton is an FAI yes man as was his predecessors, with the exception of Kerr. When one reflects on the Irish performance one would say that there was nothing in this match that provided any glimmer of light for the future. Yes the young lads who came onto the pitch were novices to international football standards, but qualifier matches are not matches to experiment in hope a break would be made. Robbie Keane, unless the goal is empty is not a striker with international standards of quality. Duff once again showed his ability to play football, but his lack of match fitness proved his inability to make the final moves count. Ian Harte was drafted into the team as a clear sign that the Irish team is still not settled as a working united team.

With the final whistle blown, Ireland will do its best to forget about being thrown out an aircraft window at 30,000 feet with the expectation that it will land on its feet. When the Welsh match comes our way, Ireland will need to have progressed in standard by at least 100% or the best part of the Irish team will be wishing that they should have played Gaelic football instead of playing a game they really cannot get the hang of. There was no clear outright player that sparkled on the pitch. Kilbane won man of the match but that would have to be expected when there was no other real man of the match present to contest the place. Kilbaneís goal gave Ireland an opener that Ireland failed to exploit and was further eroded when San Marino scored the equalizer.

So where do we go from here? It is time the FAI handed the control for the appointment of international soccer managers over to either current or former professional football players who understand and know the qualities that make a real international soccer manager. It is time the FAI was relegated to the operations of schoolboy leagues for after all, after years of control in League of Ireland affairs the league of Ireland is but a league of no major significance compared to what the GAA have developed over many years. It is time to appoint a board of professional footballers who will control the interests of Irish international soccer into the future.

In the final analysis, it is good to know that a stadium as magnificent as Croke Park will be used for games that are truly worthy of playing on a pitch we can all be really proud of. If Shamrock Rovers ground in Tallaght is an example of the corporate interests that surrounded the sale of their site at Milltown then we must not hold our breath for anything better emerging from the site at Landsdowne Road in the foreseeable future. The FAI and its friends have a lot of questions to answer, and Irish soccer supporters deserve to be given those answer.

author by K Branno - Irish fans against Delaneypublication date Fri Feb 09, 2007 19:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ever since the 2002 World Cup Irish fans have been dreaming of a team of Gary Breenís. Last Wednesday in the Serravalle, in San Marino, their dreams finally came true. Every player from Wayne Henderson right up to the not so fantastic Captain Keane played exactly as you would envisage a team of Gary Breenís to perform.

A game that was supposed to be over by half time with Ireland comfortably ahead soon turned into the biggest humiliation for the Irish nation since B*Witched burst onto the pop scene in the mid nineties. At least B*Witched were a success though.

San Marino v Ireland will go down in the annuals of history as the moment Irish soccer finally hit rock bottom. And yes I do remember Cyprus and Macedonia.

Steve Stauntonís managerial record now includes defeats to Germany, Holland, Chile, Cyprus and an abject, heartless, spineless and rudderless performance against the lowly San Marino.

Exiting the Serravalle stadium last Wednesday night I couldnít help but compare the mood and atmosphere of the crowd with the atmosphere after Stanís managerial debut against Sweden. That damp March night in the Old Lansdowne Road contrasted hugely with the booing and hissing and chants of ďWe want Delaney OutĒ that were now ringing around my ears in a country I had only recently heard of.

Stauntonís post match analysis and the fact that the FAI offered up Bobby Robson as the sacrificial lamb to Live line have left a very sour taste in the mouth. Bobby Robson is a man who does not need to have his extraordinary reputation sullied by this Irish team. Yet he is a man of pride and dignity and refuses to give up.

Listening to a playback of Bobby on Live line, images of Ray Houghton tumbling across the Giants Stadium lawn after scoring against Italy in USA í94, Paul McGrath acting as a one man home guard in the same game, Jason McAteer smashing home against Edwin van der Sar effectively qualifying Ireland for the 2002 world Cup, all come rushing back. Ireland has fallen from grace with the footballing Gods, big time.

The night before the debacle in San Marino Irish League managers, greats from Irelandís past, Journalists and fans alike mixed in Pinti, a popular Rimini watering hole. At the far end of the bar surrounded by Packi Bonner and TV 3ís Trevor Welsh Irelands last manager Brian Kerr sat far from the maddening crowd that was the front bar and nursed a pint engaging in chat with his two new workmates. One can only wonder what thoughts must be going through Brianís mind when he looks out of his new home in the commentators box at his old one in the dugout and sees Steven Staunton and in the words of John Delaney ďhis world class backroom teamĒ.

When Kerr was unceremoniously ushered out the green door in Merion Square Irish fans were promised a World-class manager. Martin OíNeill was courted; as was Gus Hiddunk in the end we got Walsallís defensive coach.

When a fan invaded the pitch on Wednesday night to protest against the teamís performance a middle aged man to my left called the enraged young man a ďdisgrace to the nationĒ he was wrong the eleven Irish men already on the pitch were the disgrace.

author by republicanistpublication date Fri Feb 09, 2007 20:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

(It was founded in AD 301 by Marinus of Rab, a Christian stonemason fleeing the religious persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian.) They've survived the collapse of the Roman superstate, the arrival of Goths, Vandals, Punks, Tourists, Garibaldi, Mussolini - & now their football team is tops. We've lots to learn from them. They never went through a "free state" stage. They just got the "serene republic" status & now if you check they're so secure they've got "most serene republic" status.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Marino http://www.esteri.sm/

author by bohsfocus - bohsnewspublication date Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If the Irish are the best fans in the world, how come none of them, or almost none of them, support Irish football teams?

Related Link: http://bohsnews.wordpress.com/2007/02/09/462/
author by brenpublication date Sat Feb 10, 2007 21:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you look at the Irish squad how meny players are getting regular first team football with the "high profile" Teams in England .........NONE....... John O' Shea with Man Utd is only a fringe player all the othe squad players are with mid to bottom place teams ....

author by Justin Raymonipublication date Sun Feb 11, 2007 14:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great sports page! Will Indymedia be starting a "page 3" next? I was just reading how Iraqi Resistance has downed 6 US helicopters in the last three weeks and how this emeplifies the futility and despreration of US efforts to control Iraq. It is so refreshing to visit Indymedia and see how the real important issues of the day are being showcased. Thanks Indymedia!

author by Charles B.publication date Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some are interested in sport, others in geopolitics. But sport is a big part of peoples lives, and therefore people should be allowed, and are allowed, to express their views in relation to an issue such as this on good old indymedia.
And what about the power of football? There have been features on the gay & homeless football teams, so why not about the national team. Many people have issues as to how the FAI are handling the game in the country including the domestic and international aspects of it. There are many whose main leisure activity involves local junior soccer. And Bren, what about Steve Finnan, I know the 'Pool may not be in the top two, but surely the top four are the top teams, no?

author by Brenpublication date Tue Feb 13, 2007 07:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Charles do you think Steve Finnin has the quality to carry the Irish team to the next Euro Championship's....If it was Roy Keane I'd say yes but come on he's not world class now is he ???All Iam saying is Ireland dont have the quality in the squad that other countrys have and maybe the Irish nation are expecting a bit too much with the players we have .The San Marino result was a shambles 2-1 , How bright is the future looking ???? compare it the the Germany game ....... 13-0 v 2-1 bit of a difference there ..... The FAI's promise of a world class manager after Brian Kerr show's what their really about......Poor Stevie.......untested ,never managed before, it just show's what an amature outfit they are .Having to share a stadium in this day and age , their a joke !!!!! I was at the world cup in Japan and we met up with the FAI "outfit" showering everybody with drink like they just won the world cup made me sick !!!!!

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