Republic still in the game?

Brian Kerr’s team need to win to keep the ball in play for next Wednesday. Half time they are up by one goal against Cyprus.

  • United Irelander

    Great to see both anthems respected. Take note NI supporters…

  • Keith M

    Godawful game (especially after the NI/Wales game), to think I’m missing “X Factor” for this.

  • maca

    Unfortunatly my only access to the game is via RTÉ online, it sounds like a totally shite game. Ireland (Rep of…) will be lucky to hold on.

  • Dick Doggins

    Thankfully I watched the X-Factor, this is really boring, paint drying comes to mind and to think the Republic was my treble bet banker today!!!!

    Are there any Cypriot fans at the match??

  • fran

    Poor game, but that happens sometimes, when you are there challenging to qualify for major tournaments it doesn’t always go your way.

    But its 3 points and a win against the Swiss should put us in the play-offs.

    Thats one of the problems about making it to three of the last four world cup finals, people expect.

    15000 irish fans in Cyprus for the game, the best supporters in the world.

    The n.i/wales game was exiting, but they had nothing to lose, 2 poor teams playing for the minor placings in a group in which they were never going to compete for 1st or 2nd.

  • cas

    Listen. it was not great, but it was three points, its about trying to qualify for the world cup finals.

    Its been a tight group, and still is.

    The French are one up against the Swiss and if it stays that way, an Irish win against Switzerland on Wednesday will guarantee a play off place.

    The road to the finals is never easy, but if you want to compete at the highest level, you gotta take whatever route is open to you.

  • victor1

    Dick Doggins
    Thankfully I watched the X-Factor, this is really boring
    If you watched the x-factor how would you know? Well done Ireland that result puts the qualification in our own hands, good luck on wed Germany here we come;-)

  • vinny

    Impressed by young Stephen Elliott this evening.

    A great prospect and at only 20 years old is a great sign for the future.

    And he plays in the premiership.

    Duffer is a major doubt for the swiss game but will be glad to see the return of Andy Reid.

    Stephen Reid should get the nod in front of Graham Kavanagh.

    Shay Given , what a keeper, the best in the premiership by a long way.

    Just ask Graeme Souness and the Toon army.

  • irishman

    Kerr is clearly failing to motivate these players. That was without doubt the worst organised Irish team for at least fifteen years- absolutely pathetic display.

    AND YET in some way it’s typical of how weplay when faced with mediocre opposition. In this respect, I’m optimistic that the players can collectively lift their game by a considerable measure, as will be necessary to defeat the Swiss. Roll on Wednesday!!!!!

  • SeamusG

    “…necessary to defeat the Swiss Roll on Wednesday….”
    hehe

  • irishman

    Brownie points to SeamusG for picking up on that one…..

  • Headmelter

    Difficult to watch but it’s the result that counts.

  • tra g

    irishman

    I agree that Brian kerr does not have the qualities neccessary to motivate and inspire the players.

    The team lacks passion, which has always been part of the irish strength.

    Kerr seems to be obsessed with tactics and rigid player formations.

    If we are to have any chance of making the play-offs he needs to lose the ‘collar & tie approach to the game’ and allow players to play to their strengths.

    We always play better against stronger opposition and hopefully we can change the formation to beat the Swiss on Wednesday.

    You never know, beat the Swiss and the French fail to beat Cyprus, we’ll qualify automatically.

    Here’s hoping.

  • slug

    Well done to your team and all the best for Wednesday.

  • SeamusG

    Just had a quick look at the qualifying tables; even if we get to the play offs there are a few sides everyone will want to avoid likely to be in there. The Czechs and the Spanish for starters….

  • maca

    I think Kerr has to go after this campaign is over, either after the Swiss game (or the playoff) if we don’t qualify or else after the world cup if we do qualify. We’ve had far too many shit performances under him.

  • harry flashman

    This’ll put the cat among the pigeons…Beckham sent off? Rubbish Ref, he didn’t do nuffink!

  • Cathal Breathnach

    Great to see Ireland still have a chance of qualifying, but it is all thanks to Shay Given, what a performance

  • Mick

    A bit of blame to the FAI for that Irishman. Tom Humphries before the game:

    It has happened to Brian Kerr. The manager didn’t help his situation, however, by directly answering a question on the business last week.

    His words, to the effect that he was trying to find out what was going on about his contract but nobody was telling him, were oddly chosen, but, one assumes, deliberately chosen. Yesterday, in Limassol, he defended his right to give an honest answer to the question, but as a manager he is sufficiently astute at deflecting questions to have known he could have batted this one off the agenda.

    In the power-play between himself and the FAI, Kerr will have realised that shedding a little light on his employers hard-ball tactics will have upped the ante a little. The FAI, however, have remained inscrutable and left the media vacuum to be filled willy nilly. The issue blew up in the media and did collateral damage to Kerr.

    The media response this week seems just a little pre-emptive and trigger-happy, but there has been a sense these last few days that the criticism has almost been licensed by the FAI’s indifference to media matters and their willingness to let the Irish manager squirm without issuing the sort of statement of strong support which previous managers drew comfort from.

  • Southern Republican

    Hurrendous game! Worst thing I find is the fans and teams spirit. Never beat the Irish no more?

  • Brian Boru

    Congrats to Wales!

  • darthrumsfeld

    what a nasty little bigot you are Brian- and yet you’ll be gurning if we Northern Ireland supporters dare to point out that you were clinging on against a pretty average Cypriot team , and that you’ve used up all your luck in advance of Wednesday

  • maca

    Holster that weapon darthrumsfeld.

  • smcgiff

    A miserable game, and it’s hard to see how the Republic could impact the World Cup if they (unlikely) got there.

    The Republic are now a mediocre team, and it’s killing me to admit it. And as much as I’d like to think it’s the manager’s fault, it isn’t. The team simply isn’t good enough. Contrast it to the teams that took us to the last three world cups – It’s not very flattering, is it! I know quite a few remain from the last world cup, but age has not helped them.

    We’ve no Roy Keane
    We’ve an aging team.
    We’ve no Roy Keane
    We’ve strikers and other players not getting starting positions in their league teams.
    We’ve no Roy Keane
    A defensive manager that doesn’t trust his team (can’t really blame him).
    We’ve no Roy Keane
    We’ve lost team spirit.
    And to top it all off, we’ve no Roy Keane!

    Worse, there’s not exactly a clambering youthful horde trying to break into the team (Elliot excepted), and the future doesn’t look fabulously rosy by a long shot.

    In contrast, NI seem to be on the up – coming back from 2 nil down would have been unthinkable not so long ago. Although their progress is from a very low base. At the moment it would be unclear who would win if NI played the ROI in a competitive match. Something that wouldn’t have been in much doubt over the last number of years till now.

    ‘15000 irish fans in Cyprus for the game, the best supporters in the world.’

    Can’t be disputed, but small consolation.

    Yes to everything you said in your 10:10 post, Vinny.

    I don’t think we’ll miss Duff as he doesn’t fit into the Irish Team (not his fault). He hasn’t impacted an Irish game for some time, imo.

  • Gerry O’Sullivan

    It’s a pretty poor state of affairs when your goalkeeper gets the Man of the Match award, especially against opposition like Cyprus.

  • slug

    smcgiff and gerry

    Don’t be so down. You WON against Cyprus-thats all that matters. We lost against Wales :(. You sound like you’re a bit hard to please.

    And your team will be DETERMINED to do better. And don’t fixate on Roy Keane – you beat Cyprus without him.

  • George

    Worst performance since drawing with Liechtenstein in 1995 (year ?).

    Made Cyprus look like world beaters.

    A thundering disgrace!

  • maca

    smcgiff
    Actually I don’t think this team is an awful lot worse than previous teams. We were always mediocre but always had fight and a bit of confidence. I don’t think Kerr has been able to build any confidence with this team. A better manager might be able to do more.

  • slug

    Following from smcgiffs point I know this is perhaps not the thread to do it, but has anyone ever thought of a regular All-Ireland ROI v NI championship. Say one game every two years between NI and ROI international sides alternating between stadia. I think it could appeal to people in a lot of different ways. If North-South makes sense how about doing it in a North v South way? Sort of an Irish Home Chamionship.

  • J Kelly

    slug why not just go for an all ireland team, the problem at the moment is that it would be hard to make a team out of the two, but the one team we just might have a chance of making an impact

  • smcgiff

    Slug,

    I’d actually like to see the old Home Championship set up. With an All Ireland team playing against England, Scotland & Wales, to be played every 4 years. It could take the place of friendlies. Starting in a year that the Worldcup/European cup isn’t played.

    Ireland could alternate their home games between (Croke Park?) Lansdowne Road and the new NI stadium.

    ‘You sound like you’re a bit hard to please.’

    Have you been talking to my wife? 😉

  • abucs

    Slug,

    If North-South makes sense how about doing it in a North v South way? Sort of an Irish Home Chamionship.

    Great idea. Should generate some interest as long as it doesn’t create problems in the north with divided loyalties. I know they are trying hard to get maximum support for the NI team at the moment. I wouldn’t want to see it become divisive. That aside, i think it could be a great money spinner for both federations and do a lot to promote the local game.

    As far as the Republic goes. Ah ! Everytime they look to have the potential for a really good team but either dissapoint or just scrape through.

    I’d really like to see them turn into a quality side and worry the established countries.

    Kerr seems to have done that at the underage level which is no mean feat. Perhaps he needs more time with the seniors in a camp like scenario like he had with the juniors. Hard with all the Premiership committments though.

  • slug

    J Kelly – aren’t you going to answer my question?

  • slug

    Smcgiff

    Thats different from the question I posed. What do you think of the question that I posed?

  • slug

    Abucs

    Thanks for answering my question. I agree with your points especially about the upside potential.

  • George

    slug,
    the worst game I have gone to in recent years was the NI v. ROI “peace international” at Lansdowne road.

    I was robbed of 18 euros to see this tripe. The pain was only slightly ameliorated by the fact the cash was going to charity.

    Also, Lansdowne wasn’t full even for this good cause and I can’t see your average southerner rushing to “share the experience” with fans from up North on a regular basis.

    Can’t see northerners shelling out wads to see Gary Doherty strut his stuff either.

    Bad blood, bad football, bad idea.

    Why don’t Northern Ireland and Scotland play out some kind of Ulster Scotland Cup competition and leave the Republic to sink into a mire of mediocrity on its own.

    After all, they are supposed to have more in common with each other.

  • slug

    George

    Thanks for replying – I appreciate it even if its not so enthusiastic!

    Usually these “derby” situations can generate a lot of interest – but your atual *experience* is worth a lot more more than my idea! Little NI perhaps are of little interest to the Republic these days – and understandibly so.

    Its perhaps a bit like Scotland v England. The mighty English would not be that keen the humble Scots would like it.

  • abucs

    I think with the right marketing and a bit of history behind it, it could be a successful concept.

    Perhaps after politics settles down in a few more years.

  • smcgiff

    Slug,

    A game between NI and the ROI would become fairly stale after awhile, imo. I’d prefer to see it broadened out into a Home Nations competition.

  • maca

    Slug
    “Little NI perhaps are of little interest to the Republic these days”

    Although in a few years the gap may not be so big between NI & ROI …

  • slug

    smcgiff

    Thank you.

  • J Kelly

    slug i don’t like to mix sport with politics but for you i will make exceptions. I don’t think that the North South makes sense campaign by the sdlp is a serious attempt to gain a united ireland. So in this context i am for reunifaction at all levels of irish life. An all ireland team would be a good start. On a sporting front it probably not be much better but it might be able at times to play above thier ability.

  • George

    Slug and smcgiff,
    it would have to be a kind of Six Nations jobby to have the slightest chance of working in my view and the England fans would have to be more like the rugby ones and not the thugs who turned up the last time the football team was in Dublin.

    Even if we forget the problem of England fans, I also can’t imagine 15,000 southerners with tricolours singing ole ole being welcome without trouble in Belfast city centre every second year.

    Don’t envisage major problems with Scotland or Wales although Ireland’s alcohol consumption would certainly go up if such a tournament existed.

    Even then, if the truth be told, southern soccer fans would still rather spend their money on a trip to Old Trafford or Anfield.

  • slug

    J Kelly:

    Thanks!

    I can well understand a traditional Irish republcian being against the idea of North v South – it recognises the division into two.

    On the other hand it does constitute a form of all-Ireland competition and might be a somewhat realistic way to get North and South to take more involvement in one another – as units.

    Remember that siblings want to compete. Although big brother (ROI) is ususlly less interested than little brother (NI)…

    I say this as one who would like to see more North South things but on a basis of accepting that it is a partnership and that healthy conpetition between the two is also possible. Noting that NI will usually lose such contests!

    George & Smcgiff:

    I think your ideas of staleness should be tested with another friendly. Soon.

  • DerryTerry

    Slug, do not like the notion of North South as a method of reinforcing the 2 state analysis. I do like the notion of an All Ireland team, but to be honest we would probably need 132 counties instead of 32 to get a decent team.

    However, in the absence of agreement on the above,how about as a first step the creation of an All Ireland domestic league involving the best teams from the FAI and IFA?

    Co-operation and interaction would improve, with hopefully from my perspective a move towards an All Ireland team and from other perspectives increased understanding and mutual understanding.

    No bad thing all round.

  • smcgiff

    ‘However, in the absence of agreement on the above,how about as a first step the creation of an All Ireland domestic league involving the best teams from the FAI and IFA?’

    DT,

    That makes even more sense than the All-Ireland team. The two leagues are pitifully small, and common sense would suggest they merge.

    It wont happen because both the IFA and FAI have their own fiefdoms and will not jeopardise that.

  • smcgiff

    Aw, sweet muffa of *BLEEEEEEEEEEP*

    http://www.rte.ie/sport/2005/1010/carrs.html

  • slug

    Well at least Stephen Carr is back.

  • smcgiff

    You’re a real glass is half full man, Slug. Are you sure you’re a Unionist? 😉

  • Valenciano

    There’s also quite an important side issue for R of Ireland hanging on Wednesday game. At the minute the seedings for the draw for Euro 2008 are based on average points gained in the qualifying for the 2004 and 2006 tournaments. ROI now lie 25th out of 52 putting them amongst the fourth seeds (there are seven seeding pots available.)

    However if they win on Wednesday then they might overtake Slovakia, Latvia (current 4th seeds) and Norway (current 3rd seeds.)

    For what it’s worth, England are 2nd to the Netherlands giving them a guaranteed top seeding.

    N.Ireland are 42nd but have at least climbed from the humiliation of 7th seeding to 6th after recent performances.

    Scotland are currently 30th putting them among the 5th seeds but they’ll climb to fourth if they get a better result than Hungary on Weds.

    Wales are also fifth seeds and their result tomorrow, like that of NI, will make no difference.

    Basically if Ireland fail to win then I think Kerr will be shown the door.

    As for the Home internationals, it’s about time they revived them albeit as a 5 nation tournament.

  • Ringo

    Last night I dreamed of Steve Staunton and wondered what he was at. If that doesn’t tell how little my subconcious thinks of this Irish side, nothing will.

    We’re complete and utter gack. We should be threatening to sack a legion of spineless players, not the manager.

    It is no consolation that I genuinely believe we will win on Wednesday, despite our undoubted awfulness, before getting a hiding in the qualifiers. The world cup is no place for a shower of wasters like this lot anyway.

  • smcgiff

    ‘As for the Home internationals, it’s about time they revived them albeit as a 5 nation tournament.’

    Nah, don’t think France would have much interest!
    😉

    ‘Last night I dreamed of Steve Staunton and wondered what he was at. If that doesn’t tell how little my subconcious thinks of this Irish side, nothing will.’

    I’d be tempted to offer a knee translplant to Paul McGrath (note the th is silent!).

  • Valenciano

    ” ‘As for the Home internationals, it’s about time they revived them albeit as a 5 nation tournament.’

    Nah, don’t think France would have much interest!
    😉 “

    I was thinking more of the mighty Isle of Man but okay if you really must have a European side in it… 🙂

  • smcgiff

    ‘if you really must have a European side in it… :)’

    As opposed to England, Scotland and Wales? :-O