Football friendly round up

Northern Ireland beat Finland 2-1. England beat Greece 4-0. The Republic of Ireland lost 4-0 to Holland. Wales drew 0-0 yesterday.Is it just me or is Jackie Fullerton’s football commentary sponsored by Clinton Cards? We seemed to get told the age and birthday of every player on the pitch. The victory in Finland means I’m on the Stella so all together now Away in a Manger, No crib for a bed….

  • slug

    The little lord jesus lay down his sweet head
    the stars in the bright sky look down where

    healy
    healy.

    Yes, a great performance by the boys in green, and especially Sir David on his 50th Cap.

  • neill armstrong

    Good game if we can do this against Iceland and Spain that would put us into a good position.

  • Keith M

    The recent improvement in Northern Ireland’s results continue while the Republic keep the downward trajectory.

    Two years ago the Republic were rated #16 in the World with N.I. rated at #112 almost 100 places lower. Now the Republic are #38 and N.I. are #72, just over 30 places of a difference. The gap is likely to close even further after tonight’s result.

  • slug

    Keith,

    To be fair to the Republic of Ireland, Holland is a top-10 ranking side.

  • Keith M

    slug, agreed, but we were at home and lost 0-4!!!

  • Londonderry_loyal

    an excellent result for Northern Ireland. And an excellent start to Steve McClaren’s England managerial career

  • ulickmagee

    mr reindeer, santa claus, finlanda vodka your boys took a hell of a beating

    thats hell not hell hole like steven nolan

  • barry

    As a Republic fan, I say well done to Northern Ireland who are certainly heading in the right direction under Sanchez. The Republic were missing their top 4 players but even so this was an ominous result ahead of playing the Germans. The bright note for both teams is that if either can sneak second place in their groups, then they will automatically qualify as there are no play-offs in this tournament.
    Best of luck to both teams when the real business starts in 3 weeks….

  • IJP

    Friendlies are friendlies so I wouldn’t get too worked up about any of the results.

    However, this is, I believe, the first time this century Northern Ireland has beaten a country bigger than it away from home…

  • IRISHinNORWAY

    Bloody Hell…might have to sneak to the next N.Iron match to get a bit of something, that was a disaster made worse that I was in an Irish pub full of Dutch! Let’s hope it’s just a “tactic” to give “Zee Germans” false security, as they did againt the Hungarians in the “miracle of Bern”.

  • dan

    I have never really seen the point in friendly games, meaningless games with no relevance to real competition.

    Totally pointless & irrelevant.

    Do people really pay attention to the fifa rankings ??

    Are Cameroon the 11th best team in the world ??

  • munsterman

    “..I have never really seen the point in friendly games, meaningless games with no relevance to real competition…”

    Got a point there Dan. Always good for a few pints if a decent result and can be a confidence-builder but….

    We beat Finland 0-3 in Helsinki 4 years ago in a friendly just after WC 2002 – and then got milled in Euro2004 qualifiers by Russia and Switzerland 2 weeks later….

    Fair dues to the North – a good result.

  • Aidan

    I’m more worried by the fact that the Rep didn’t score at all than them letting in 4 against one of the world’s best right now. Great win for NI, they seem to have a good vibe in the squad now, and I’m sure Sanchez has a lot to do with that.

    And for rankings, the ELO rankings are much more accurate than the FIFA rankings:

    http://www.eloratings.net/

  • IRISHinNORWAY

    It’s an abjet disaster for the Republic, seriously, this is unfortunatly asa Howard Corsell called the “Jockocracy”, shown to great effect by ex-player managers in Germany, who in the right hands could have went further, sure there have been some notables, Beckenbaur obviously, but these are the phenom, not the norm. FAI is unfortunatly the head of a local football league, the national team has a premiereship players, and needs a premiereship manager-nuff said.

  • Ziznivy

    An encouraging result coming 2 1/2 weeks before competitive games. Hopefully the confidence will be high going into a must-win game against Iceland. Clingan and McCann have provided good job applications in the absence of Johnson due to suspension. The defence were generally excellent despite Capaldi’s lapses.

    Oh and please Lawrie, start with Warren Feeney, he hold the ball up as well as Quinn without the disciplinary disasters!

  • darth rumsfeld

    another glorious victory for the orange cause in Ireland

    oranje boven!

  • Peter

    Good result for the North last night. How long though before Sanchez is lured away by an English team? He’s putting together a pretty impressive CV.

  • Rory

    Northern Ireland beat Finland 2-1.

    I wonder how that result augurs for the “Finland Solution” to Northern Ireland proposed on a different thread. Not very well I suppose.

  • Blackadder

    Good result for Northern Ireland, a disastrous one for the Republic.

    However, all could change when the qualifiers start. I think NI would be happy at getting one win from their 2 opening home fixtures against Iceland and Spain. Iceland will be no pushovers either.

    The ROI need a confidence boost at the moment, it’s been a bad start for Staunton but he has to be given time to get it right.

  • andrew

    Decent win for northern ireland last night, but should be kept in perspective, friendlies are exactly that.

    They might win a couple of games during the euro qualifiers, but with so few premiership standard players, they are going to struggle big time against decent opposition.They would probably be happy to finish 4th in their qualifying group, which would be progress.

    Hard to know how the republic will do during the euro’s. Its difficult to make a real judgement on last nights game will Keane, Duff, Given & Dunne all injured. The German game will be a better indicator of the way things are going.

  • munsterman

    Rory :

    “..I wonder how that result augurs for the “Finland Solution” to Northern Ireland proposed on a different thread. Not very well I suppose….”

    On the contrary, one Ireland team is the way to go.
    Works in rugby and several other sports.

    ( Doesn’t seem to be working for the Finns at the moment though…:-). The Finns are bullin’ after last night’s result (and the Alanders might think of having their own team after that !…. ).

  • dantheman

    munsterman,

    The Norn Iron fans were singins “there’s only one team in ireland”, so it looks like the green and white army are on side on this one.

  • Ziznivy

    Northern Ireland’s matches before Christmas are home games against Iceland, Spain and Latvia and the exodus to Denmark. Realistically Lawrie has to be targeting 6 points as a minimum from these games. I think that we will achieve that figure and possibly nick a draw from one of the other two games. We need that start to compete for the top four positions we need to be amongst come the end of the group.

    Iceland will be a difficult game, particularly as it will be a tie the home fans are expecting to win. I think one of the most positive aspects of Sanchez’s management though, is that we are beginning to trip up in these type of games much less. That’s why I believe we will win that match and beat Latvia as well.

    Come on OWC!

    It appeared to me that the Republic got off lightly at 4-0. I only saw the 2nd half but wave after wave of orange shirts were advancing on the Breakaway’s goal and there was some profligacy in the penalty area.

  • munsterman

    dantheman :

    One thing I would say with some degee of certainty is that Healy and Lafferty were certainly not the only ones from the North to score in Helsinki last night…….could be wrong of course, but if so, then those fans should hang up their spurs for good….-:).

    If a remember correctly ” Realist” went over for that game, so he can fill us in….

  • GrassyNoel

    What an appalling mess. If some fella was pulling a replica shotgun on Stan the other night, he’d better start sorting this out pretty sharpish or it won’t be long before he’ll be looking down the barrel of the real thing, probably poking out through the front door of the FAI’s headquarters.

  • Ziznivy

    “dantheman :

    One thing I would say with some degee of certainty is that Healy and Lafferty were certainly not the only ones from the North to score in Helsinki last night…….could be wrong of course, but if so, then those fans should hang up their spurs for good….-:).

    If a remember correctly “ Realist” went over for that game, so he can fill us in…. ”

    I’ve been in receipt of texts that would suggest you’re correct. In fact I’m told the most goal shy individuals were hitting the back of the net last night.

  • Realist

    “If a remember correctly “ Realist” went over for that game, so he can fill us in….”

    munsterman,

    I know nothing 🙂

  • Munsterman

    Realist :

    Hmmm….I suspect you packed in, so to speak, a fair amount of “cultural exchanges” though…:-).

  • Realist

    “Hmmm….I suspect you packed in, so to speak, a fair amount of “cultural exchanges” though”

    munsterman,

    Definately not.

    The price of “culture” in Finland is somewhat expensive…allegedly.

    Did have a very interesting conversation with a gentleman from the Republic Of Ireland in an Irish Bar tho. Our mutual love of Guinness seemed to transcend our fundamental differences of opinion on the politics of Northern Ireland. 🙂

  • Munsterman

    Realist :

    I think you may have mis-understood me.
    One of the beauties of Finland is the easy going social environment and “boy-meets-girl” scenarios in pubs. etc,…like Molly Malones’=of Kaarle XII….and Finnish girls are pretty and easy-going.

    I would never be interested in – or encourage – any situation where one human being exploits another. Fortunately, there is no “Red-light” district in Helsinki so this type of expolitation is minimised.

    Incidentally, Finland and Ireland have a lot in common in terms of history….and the Swedish-speaking population of Finland has striking similarities to the Protestant/Unionist population in Ireland.

    Anyway, good result for NI – I’m sure the Guinness went down especially well after that….:-)

  • Realist

    munsterman,

    Molly Malones was very good – Guinness was excellent, but somewhat expensive.

    Nice country, nice people.

  • Munsterman

    Realist :

    “Nice country, nice people.”
    Agreed.

    Enjoy the week-end.

  • Realist

    You too munsterman.

    I think mine is likely to be a very sober affair.

  • Realist

    munsterman,

    “Hmmm….I suspect you packed in, so to speak, a fair amount of “cultural exchanges” though…:-).”

    Is this the sort of “cultural exchanges” you mean? 🙂

    http://media.putfile.com/Harry-Harry-Give-Us-A-Song

    Check out the Northern Ireland fan nearly getting killed by the bus (now, now, don’t even think it!) at the end of the video – he forgot those Finns drive on the wrong side of the road.

  • Munsterman

    Realist :

    Great clip – everyone in great spirits evidently.
    Looked like that was well BEFORE the game – can just imagine “cultural exchanges” later on….:-).

    Incidentally, you were quite right about yer man not taking into account the fact that Finns drive on the other side of the road – he looked to his RIGHT (only) – and then walked….close-ish.