International Action Returns

International football returns tonight, with both Ireland teams in action. Already Wales have been spanked 5-1 at home to Slovakia, Rep. Ireland are currently 2-2 with Cyprus and N. Ireland await their kick-off with Denmark later in the evening.

All comments are welcome at Slugger’s own version of 5 Live’s 606!

In the most humiliating defeat in recent memory, Rep. Ireland lost 5-2 to Cyprus. Is this the end of the Staunton era?

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    Republic are shite!!

  • circles

    FFS – 5-2 to cyprus like!!!!

  • Is this the end of the Staunton era?

    Please God!

    Is anyone taking bets on the next manager yet?

  • weebil

    Stan! Stan! U da man!


  • jerryp

    Does anyone know Brian Kerr’s phone no. ?

  • parcifal

    until the NI and Rep teams play as one, forget Irish soccer and watch rugby.
    George Best’s last wish was to see the union of the two teams.

  • fair_deal

    For the information of the less myopic, Scotland pulled off a shock victory over France 1-0 and a poor England were held to a goaless draw by Macedonia.

  • Greenflag

    I don’t want to talk about it:(

    Come on Northern Ireland 🙂

    (choking on words )

  • slug

    Great day for Scotland.

    Strangs that Chris D does not see fit to mention that?

  • arthur morgan

    Usual old case of only sing when you are winning. The Rep team are v poor at the moment, v bad pool of players. In my opinion no manager would make a difference. That said I dont think Staunton has what it takes to be a successful manager, he wasnt even a great player.

  • Is this the end of the Staunton era?

    A fair enough question after that game, but when was the last time the Republic replaced one manager with a better one? I fear the Irish media may have caught the English disease.

    For the information of the less myopic, Scotland pulled off a shock victory over France 1-0

    Well there’s more than one kind of myopia perhaps, but Scotland do look to be a team on the up. A great result for Walter Smith and the boys.

  • Greenflag

    Ireland humiliated
    England embarassed
    Wales slaughtered
    Scotland top of their group
    Northern Ireland in with a chance ?

    The soccer wurrrld is in a state of chassis 🙁

  • slug

    Well done NI, this is a great great result to get a point against Denmark!

  • Keith M

    Is anyone surprised? We have a bunch of second rate players and our better players are off form or injured.

    I was abused on this blog when I predicted that we’d finished 5th in this group, but I stand by my prediction.

    Well done to Scotland and Northern Ireland. We have a President going spare if you want some extra support at Windsor Park.

  • Greenflag

    Well done NI indeed 🙂

  • Chris Donnelly

    Great day for Scotland.

    Strangs (sic) that Chris D does not see fit to mention that?

    Very simple reason: wasn’t aware of the result when I posted.

    Certainly a fantastic result for Scotland, who are on a bit of a roll at the moment.

    A very good result for N Ireland as well; not so for England. The tabloids will be getting their first digs in at McClaren in the morning.

    On the Staunton issue, it’s left the FAI in a real dilemma. They, after all, were responsible for appointing Stan as the manager, in full knowledge of the fact that he’d no managerial experience to speak of.

    The performances under him to date reveal that the players clearly lack respect for him as a manager. Their collective shambolic performances contrast sharply with those of Lawrie Sanchez’s men, who on paper wouldn’t fill more than 2 or 3 positions on an all-Ireland team.

    For the information of the less myopic….

    You are joking??? I refer you to your numerous posts in the aftermath of the Spanish match last month for a more glaring example of myopia in action…

  • English

    Who’s laughing now?

  • IJP

    They obviously can’t cope. Time for an all-Ireland team. Although would any of the current Republic lineup make it into the NI side…? :))

    Seriously, Lawrie showed his value yet again tonight, it’s against the “weaker” teams that we have the problem.

    Speaking of weaker teams, I’m always one for giving managers a chance, but what was the Stan appointment all about really?

    Never mind Brian Kerr’s number, what about Mick McCarthy’s?!

  • William Joyce

    The Cyprus result was a good one, no a great one. Besides kicking these West Brits, it is also a good result for Cyprus. Let’s be fair to all the little Greek Cypriot kids. They finally have something to celebrate. But if all Cyprus can do is besat the free Staters.
    Good result regarding England, Wales and it is good to see Scotland get some sun. Pity about NI though. Still, if it gets the GAA correspondent, fair Deal, to comment, even negatively, about soccer instead of GAA…

  • Gaffer

    Immm the gaffer,, yeah the gaffer.. but I’m not the manager .. no chance.. sure I’ve never manager even to get a point across.

    Shame, when will the celtic tiger mentality ever extend to the national (republic anayway) team and seek to secure the best manager for the role.

  • kensei

    “Usual old case of only sing when you are winning. The Rep team are v poor at the moment, v bad pool of players. In my opinion no manager would make a difference. That said I dont think Staunton has what it takes to be a successful manager, he wasnt even a great player.”

    Balls. Look at how O’Neill has turned Villa around with largely the same group of players. NI have on paper a much weaker squad and look about 300 times the team at the moment.

    The mother fucking FAI did what it always did and took the cheapest option possible. Which is now backfiring spectacularly. Stan has zip mangerial experience and no Robson to help him at the moment, and fuck does it show.

    Shipping 5 goals to motherfucking Cyprus. This is a bad night even for a Leeds fan 🙁

  • IJP
    “Never mind Brian Kerr’s number, what about Mick McCarthy’s?! ”

    Christ no! As bas as Stan is at least he isn’t a wänker like that other fella.

  • William Joyce

    Robson was a cute Brit, taking a sickie. Who wouldn’t? And let’s hear it for Cyprus. And Macedonia and Slovakia. But the f-g Danes. Not only did they kill Brian Boru but htey turn round and do this to us!!
    Staunton says in RTE he won’t walk away. That’s it. True Irish grit. Four defeats but who is counting? He will tough it out!

  • Udpint

    I’m Danish and I’ve just come back from the Danmark – N.I. game. The football was crap, but the away fans were probably the best I’ve ever seen. Both before, during and after the game. They were handing out beer to random passing danes before the match (thank you) and there were Danish flags in the away section. I’ve never seen anything like ít.

  • November Rain

    Staunton should resign immediately. If only for his own sake. He doesn’t really deserve the abuse he’s getting. Its not his fault he was appointed. God knows if the FAI asked me if I wanted a go I’d say yes. And I’d be almost as qualified as he was. The buck stops with John Delaney and the FAI who appointed the cheap option because he was less likely to stand up to them than a man of stature like Terry Venables.

    Say what you want about Kerr (and I said plenty) but he would never have sent out a team to play in that way. There’s no sense in blaming it all on the players. Scotland don’t have as good a set of players as Ireland yet they beat France today. Any standard of players can be organised intoa unit that is, at the very least, difficult to break down. That Staunton is incapable of this shows how out of his depth the fella is.

    Although, of course, the last time ireland really gave a performance to be proud of was under McCarthy. Yet he was hounded out of the job.

  • Ayerightmate

    I’m Danish and I’ve just come back from the Danmark – N.I. game. The football was crap, and the away fans were probably the biggest bunch of drunken louts I’ve ever seen.

  • William Joyce

    For people who follow the game of sagart: the pundits were saying beforehand. From the Indo
    While Staunton can only worry about his own troops, the fact is that we’re playing a Cypriot team low on confidence with a manager facing the sack unless they produce a decent performance after the humiliation of last month’s 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Slovakia.

    and from Vincnet Hogan’s article Thread a path through the names of the past few decades and what strikes most forcibly is that today’s Irish squad doesn’t match up with any persuasion against its predecessors.

    John Giles has few happy memories of playing international football in the 1960s, yet the administrative chaos of the time is what colours his memory most. You list the marquee names that he played alongside in, say, 1966 – Pat Dunne, Shay Brennan, Tony Dunne, Noel Cantwell, Charlie Hurley, Frank O’Neill, Andy McEvoy – and Giles is, momentarily, startled.
    The ’60s is a decade routinely lampooned in Irish soccer, not for the quality of player, but for the poverty of organisation.

    Famously, the FAI agreed to go to Paris for a 1965 World Cup play-off against Spain on the basis that they got the gate receipts. And so they did. But Spain won the game, played in front of 40,000 of their own people, the city’s Spanish community swelled by Franco dissidents.

    Manchester United full-back, Tony Dunne, described it as “the biggest disappointment” of his career. The World Cup finals, after all, were to be played in England.

    By the ’70s, much of that fecklessness had been rinsed from the complexion of Irish football. Under Giles as player-manager, Ireland began to earn respect with team-sheets peopled by men with surnames like O’Leary, Brady, Daly, Stapleton and Heighway.

    The ’80s brought Charlton and a time of plenty stretching to the mid-1990s and – even in its slipstream – Mick McCarthy still had a sufficiently formidable hand to play from, reaching the 2002 World Cup finals.

    Staunton’s hand? Ask yourself in honesty how many of the players available to Ireland today would have been stalwarts of the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s or ’90s? Given? Indisputably. Dunne, Duff and Keane? Debatable. After that? Zilch.

    Part of the problem is the climate of recruitment. English football dressing-rooms today boast an ethnic diversity that, inevitably, impacts on what was once an almost guaranteed green community.

    As Eoin Hand puts it: “The global recruitment in England is certainly having an effect. I mean you look at the likes of, say, Graham Barrett or Barry Quinn. Maybe even Liam Miller would be in the same category now. Fellas who went to big clubs and were supposed to be the coming stars, but it never really happened.

    “Traditionally, we’ve been boxing above our weight at international level. But you can’t make an omelette without eggs. If you had the best manager in the world, it still wouldn’t matter when he hasn’t got the players. A lot of the expectation these days is simply not realistic.”
    Giles expresses doubts.

    “I think, generally, there’s a lack of talent coming into the game,” he says. “All the best players I’ve ever known came from working-class backgrounds, growing up on streets where, from morning to night, they were out kicking a football.

    “Nowadays, kids have so many distractions. They can’t be bothered with a ball. They’ve the option of higher education as they grow older. There are fewer and fewer working-class areas around.

    “Outside of the African countries and, say, Brazil, the old rules no longer apply. England will always produce a few players simply because of their numbers. But look at Wales and Scotland. Wales used to have some great players and I remember a time when you could almost pick three Scottish teams.

    “Today Scotland hardly has a player. Yet, in 1967, Celtic won everything, including the European Cup, with a team made up of players who were all born within 20 miles of Parkhead! Look at the Scots now. I don’t understand why people imagine we should be any different.”

    Tonight in Nicosia, 18 players will tog out for Ireland. Maybe five of them could be considered big players for their respective clubs. Eight, though, aren’t even guaranteed starting places where they earn their money. That’s a threadbare hand, no matter the manager in possession.

  • kensei

    I’m sorry, I don’t buy that. It is easy to forget that Ireland always lacked a truly top class striker, and indeed a lot of attacking talent in general. Both Keane and Duff would walk into Ireland teams of the 80’s and 90’s though admittedly complemented by players of a different style.

    We also have some half decent players in the likes of Finnan, Carr and O’Shea and some upcoming talent like Aidean McGeady coming through. On paper, we are certainly better off than Northern Ireland and Wales, and probably close to Scotland at the moment.

    But we have no self belief. We have no organisation. We have no spirit. While other teams are punching well above their weight, we’re below. I never thought I’d ever say that of the Republic. The defneding in the Cyprus game was the worst I’ve ever seen, and Cyprus should have had 8, nevermind 5.

    Apalling, awful stuff. Nevermind Stan out, sack the entire FAI.

  • iluvni

    Excellent performance by Northern Ireland tonight.

    Wonder if the minnows like the Republic of Ireland should go into some sort of pre-qualifying tournament, instead of clogging up the fixture list for us proper teams.


  • Kenny

    Let’s face facts – the RoI were lucky to lose 5-2. If we’d been playing a decent team, it would have been double figures.

    While the RoI had a few injuries, the defending was out of the Churches league and a loss like that to a team like Cyprus is a total humiliation.

    We are not going to qualify for Euro 2008, Staunton has shown that he is not up to the job and Robson isn’t going to play any further part due to his age and health.

    This situation will not be rectified overnight.

    The FAI should be looking at using the remainder of these qualifiers to give the fringe and particularly the younger players a chance. The real goal should be to be prepared for the world cup 2010 qualifiers.

    Personally, I think that Staunton should really stand down now. If he does, the FAI should let Don Givens “steady the ship” for 12 months while they line up a good manager to take up the reins for the world cup matches.

    At the very least, if Staunton doesn’t step down yet, the FAI should replace Bobby Robson with another experienced figure for the rest of this campaign. This would at least prevent the RoI team from further humiliation.

  • William Joyce

    Brian Kerr was there as a pundit. Anyone got his comments?

  • I also totally disagree William [@ 11:47pm].
    Apart from 3-4 lads we don’t have any decent players, we all know that. But the point is what we do have are playing well below par both individually and as a team. If our lads played as well as they are able to tonight AND played as a team we would have beaten Cyprus easily. But the team performance was awful and individually only a couple of lads played half decent football, the rest were never in it. There was no communication, no real team work, no spirit, no fight and no leadership. We should be doing better, no excuses.

    “Wonder if the minnows like the Republic of Ireland should go into some sort of pre-qualifying tournament”

    Remind me, what team is ranked lower than Uzbekistan? :-p

  • Ulster36th1916


  • The World’s Gone Mad

    ‘Remind me, what team is ranked lower than Uzbekistan?’

    No shame in being ranked behind a country with a population of 26 million who by the way have more points in their (Asian) qualifying group than ROI and NI combined.

    As for the FIFA World Rankings, this trustworthy barometer of footballing excellence currently has England at number 4, above the world champions; Uruguay, a team that didn’t qualify for the World Cup are at 15, while Australia, the team that qualified at their expense and reached the last 16 are only at number 38; and ROI are above 7 teams that qualified for the World Cup (including one team, South Korea, that got much further than the ROI in the last World Cup). Still, NI can take comfort from the fact that they are 20 places above the team that beat them 3-0 at home.

    Saying that, the gap between ROI and NI in the FIFA rankings is only 15 places (and narrowing) while the ELO rankings have a gap of 45 places (36 to 81). Incidentally, ELO has NI below those footballing giants Panama and 11 places below Uzbekistan.

    Let’s face it, the rankings are a crock of shite – regardless of how they do, Brasil are always number 1. We don’t need the rankings to tell us that both NI and ROI are pretty bad, but NI are improving while the ROI are regressing, and the Uzbeks would probably give both of them a decent game.

  • William Joyce

    From the Sindo: Shame on everyone involved with one of the worst nights in the history of Irish sport.
    Actually let’s not mince words here. This was the most disastrous performance in the history of Irish football.
    It may, in fact, be the worst display by any Irish team in any sport.
    Just last year Brian Kerr was pilloried when his Ireland team could only earn a 1-0 victory against these Mediterranean minnows. Yet Ireland made them look like Brazil.
    We now find ourselves in the wonderful position of having to duke it out for last place with San Marino.

    On a more positive and important note: Mick O’Dwyer takes over as manager of Wicklow tomorrow. Now there is a manager. They should build a statue of the man. Let’s hope it is 1803 all over again there and that htye get a run next summer.

  • William Joyce

    Some more Sindo stuff:
    A few miles to our North, Lawrie Sanchez has put together a team which has beaten England and Spain and drawn with Portugal and, last night, Denmark.

    Sanchez has a motley collection of lower division players to pick from yet there is a sense that when the North are in Windsor Park they will give it a lash.

    That used to be the very least we did down here. But no more. Indolence rules the day. The heart has gone out of Irish soccer.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    ‘This was the most disastrous performance in the history of Irish football’

    So its ‘football’ now? What happened to the grave insult of calling soccer ‘football’?

  • Mustapha Mond

    “Let’s face it, the rankings are a crock of shite – regardless of how they do, Brasil are always number 1.”

    Agree with the first point, but i think the Argies had a better team than Brazil.

  • William Joyce

    Take football/soccer up with the Sindo, who I was quoting without comment. But my second direct quote does finish with the word soccer. Maybe htere is hope for the Sindo. Which is more than can be said for Stan the man.
    The Sindo also reported they were thinking of getting Kenny Daglish on board. I was wondering in what position. Seems as a replacement for Robson, not one of their first team.
    I am quite happy with the result. It is a good day for Cyprus. Please don’t put a cloud over it.

  • William Joyce

    Today’s Observer has some comments on England, Wales and the 26 co soccer team as follows:

    This was Wales’s heaviest home defeat since 1908, when Cardiff was the busiest port in the world. If the chorus of boos after the final whistle is anything to go by, several of their players were probably wishing for a slow boat to take them as far away from the principality as possible.

    Cypriots had boycotted the game in the GSP Stadium in protest at their national team’s poor form, which culminated in a 6-1 defeat by Slovakia, yesterday’s tormentors of Wales.

    ‘This Croatian team can beat anybody,’ says Blazevic. ‘Actually I am more worried about Andorra than England.’

  • William Joyce

    Say what you liek about Slab MUrphy but there is a lot more enjoyment watching Juniour Co Louth Championship games (GAA) than Stan de Man.

  • Henry94

    I hope Steve Stanton goes before he becomes hated. As November Rain points out it was the FAI who took the gamble of appointing someone who had nver been a football manager at any level.

    If Stan goes now he will be remembered for his contribution as a player and not for making Cyprus look like Arsenal.

  • Rory

    Oh dear. Looks like the RoI team done got themselves kee-babbed.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Full marks to Chris for one of the most premature posts in recent history on slugger.

    Wait till the final whistle 😉 or even more preferably, wait till the one team in Ireland have finished playing before posting.

    Humiliating for the Republic, but Northern Ireland have come away with a good result. Not too many chances created and some last gasp defending necessary, but with 4 points from 3 games and third in the group we dont have too much to complain about. – Also Maik Taylor should be knighted for that performance in goal!

    Lot of people taking Latvia for granted on Wed night – definately a big mistke. They are a good side and while I do think we can get a win on Wed I really dont think we should be too complacent.

  • kloot

    The problem is the FAI though. If the only action to come out of this is that one poor manager gets replaced by anothe poor manager, then nothing will change.

    Its time the people who currently run the FAI fall on their swords. The FAI needs a shake up to turn it into a professional organisation.

    The best thing that could have happened to Irish soccer last night would have been for another 2 – 3 goals to have gone in against us as it would have brought an earlier resolution to the crisis in Irish soccer

  • Doctor Who

    Greetings from Copenhagan, great result, great city and the best supporters in Europe behaved impecably.

    We shouldn’t get to carried away though and realistically our target is finishing fourth in a very tough group.
    Wednesday’s match against Latvia is a tough one, don’t forget Latvia where at the last Euro finals and showed last night with the thrashing of Iceland that they are worth their salt.

    There’s only one team in Ireland at the minute.

    See you in Liechtenstein

  • smcgiff

    ‘I was abused on this blog when I predicted that we’d finished 5th in this group, but I stand by my prediction.’

    Abused – Really? Tell Fr. smcgiff all about it, and don’t let it fester.

    I do remember, however, setting you a challenge after which you promptly disappeared. Has your conviction been reinforced enough by recent results to take it up?

  • smcgiff

    Staunton may have been at some fault. But those players that took the field in the Republic shirt should be ashamed. If they don’t have a passion for the game then they shouldn’t be picked. Derry city/Cork city would have put up a far better game to the mighty Cyprus.

    It’s hard to pick out an individual player for criticism, considering they were all so bad, but I would pick half a dozen LOI players that should get their game ahead of Clinton Morrison – The lad wasn’t in the game at all

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Hello smcgiff – what was the challenge?

  • smcgiff


    Something along the lines of a bet whereby the loser would contribute the bet to Slugger.

    Can’t remember the specifics, but if someone can find them I’d still stand behind it – it was on another soccer thread.

  • Colin
  • Chris Donnelly

    Carson’s Cat

    Care to elaborate on your bizarre reference to premature posts? Did I not clearly state the score of the Ireland match when I posted?

    I fear if this was the real 606, Alan Green would have cut you off by now….

    NOW There’s a thought…

  • William Joyce

    Not to worry lads. The gallant RoI are above Wales (until the Czechs put them through the wringer on Wednesday). And, as San Marino have left in 20 so far, “we” should end up above them. So be of good cheer.

    Carson’s cat: Watch out for Wicklow next year.

  • William Joyce

    To be fair to Stan the Man, he is one of the richest men in English soccer as, like Robbie Fowler, he invested well. Still, the Irish managerial job is not worth the $$ he was paid.

    Has anybosy read/seen Kerr’s punditry? I bet Kerr had a wry smile.

    P{undits like J Giles are overpaid, though Houghton is not bad. When is the last time Giles said anything new? Giles only got the job by default. Is the the most boring pundit of them all?

  • jerryp

    W.J., have you ever actually listened to Giles ? I put him in a class above everybody else.Refuses to engage in clichés or false camaraderie.His bluntness led to him being dropped by ITV years ago, reputedly because of a complaint made by the PFA. He described Gazza as a wally at the same time as English pundits were comparing him to Pelé

  • austin

    Agree with you on Giles, Jerryp. Unlike the Sky sychophants ,he’s not afraid to say what he thinks. Lucky for Stan, that the game was on TV3 last night as I shudder to think what Dunphy and Giles would have said, had the game been on Network 2.

    Thought Jackie Fullerton was excellent as usual but Alan McDonald came across as a scary dude on MOTD.

    Well done to NI. The Latvia game should be prety exciting.

    As for Staunton, he’ll walk if we get beat on Wednesday and maybe be replaced by Dalglish or O’Leary

  • Eamon

    O’Shea – how does he get on the Man U team – Ferguson has lost the plot.

    Duff – no ambition or confidence. Hadn’t the guts to fight for his place at Chelsea so took the easy option and went to a backwater club.

    Keane – always overrated, just puts the head down and doesn’t know what’s going on around him

    O’Brien what the fuck is he doing on the team

    Kevin Kilbane – double fuck.

    As for Staunton I knew from his first game against Sweden when we won 3-0 that he hadn’t a clue. I mean here he was jumping for joy and punching the air at every goal that went in as if it was the world cup final. Someone should have told him it was a friendly against a country that had already qualified for the World Cup and none of their players were going to put themselves about in case they picked up an injury.

    Where is that man with the Uzi when you need him.

    These players have disgraced the Irish jersy

    God help the viewing public for the first match at Croker. We’ll have the incompetent against the useless

    Where is Keano (the real one not the pretend one that was on the pitch last night) when you need him, He was right about the shambles that is the FAI.
    Delaney another incompetent that picked a manager that never managed and an advisor who had known health problems.

    Well done Northern Ireland and Scotland – at least we might have someone to cheer for at the next Euros.

  • fair_deal


    “You are joking???”

    Nope. I refer you to threads on past footballing days. Broad coverage is hardly difficult to achieve.

    Inclusive coverage

    Past coverage 2

  • William Joyce

    Psddy Power has an interesting poll on Stan the Man’s hcances of hanging around, as well as giving long odds on an Irish win next Wednesday. Seems like it’s bye bye Stan.
    The GAA bets have more upside, I think.

  • William Joyce;jsessionid=DEKQUXB0UPWFRQFIQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/sport/2006/10/09/sfncyp09.xml

    The Telegraph has some interesting numerical comparisons between Stan the Man and Brian Kerr. Stan has already lost more matches than Kerr did.

    Prayer is the only hope now and I would urge all of you, Catholic, Protestant and Muslim, to ask the good fathers of the Mournes, as well as St Jude to help these hapless sons of Erin. And, if failing that (for the ways of the Lord are indeed strange) to afflict all the Irish with blindness next Wednesday to save their eyes from another dose

    The man from the Daily Mail tells us that Stan has confidence in himself, so maybe , Stan’s state of mind excepted, all is not lost.

  • Anna Dale

    Just back from an excellent weekend and even better result!
    I don’t think I’ve ever been to a game with a more friendly pre and post match atmosphere, I even reluctantly accepted a couple of free drinks from Danish admirers -at 4 quid a beer it would have been rude not not to!!.

    Defensively it was the best NI performance I’ve seen for years, also early days, but Jonny Evans and Steve Davis have the makings of very accomplished players; if only we could just find someone to complement Sir David up front…he looks so lonely sometimes!!

  • Carson’s Cat

    Alan Green waits till the match has finished before he starts 606 – lesson there of course.

    If you dont know the final scores – dont post until you do.

    As for Mr Green, well we all know that he does support the “one team in Ireland”. Shame he’s a blueman too though.

  • Yokel

    If anyone cares to check out the posts at the pain that ROI fans are going through is immense at the moment.

    Having seen the game Cyprus looked vey ropey indeed ad I thought ROI would come on in the second half with a rocket up their rear and win, but jesus it was calamity after calamity.

    Northern Ireland, dare I say it for fear of raising the glory days, Binghamesque performance, heels dug in and just getting in front of everything. If they keep that up Wednesday Lativa won’t score and teh GAWA have goals in them these days.

  • Patrique

    All together now let’s sing “There’s only one team in Ireland”.

  • #

    All together now let’s sing “There’s only one team in Ireland”.
    Posted by Patrique on Oct 09, 2006 @ 05:21 PM

    I’m from Cork and I can’t disagree with that, well done to the North good result.

    Republic of Ireland football is at its lowest I’d say since before the Eoin Hand days.

    Can we jump on the bandwagon and start supporting all of you Northerners instead 😉

  • austin

    When you pass us in the rankings, Mate………….

  • Patrique

    Rankings? England are number 2, Italy about 18, that’s rankings for you.

    After the last series of matches I said then that Mick Mccarthy was a good manager, but had to go because Roy played for Man Utd, an Irish fixation. At the end of the day, premiership footballers, well Irish and British ones, do not seem to be nearly as good as they think they are. Even San Marino have more skill.

  • austin

    We’re looking forward to the San Marino game next month-it’s a real 6 pointer to see who finishes bottom of the group!

  • Chris Donnelly

    Poor example of broad coverage- one liners except for your coverage of the north. (Note the absence of whingers at the time: a lesson for you in there.)

    FD/ Carson’s Cat
    You two are taking MOPEry to a new level. Whingeing is a less than endearing trait.

    You should be enjoying this halcyon period for your team while it lasts…

  • William Joyce

    Austin: Don’t write off San Marino, who once scored a goal against England. I feel Stan could get a result against them, a moral victory at the very least.
    Please also no more mentions of Cyprus. It was the blackest day in Irish history since the slaying of Brian Boru. The least Bertie could have done is give us 3 days of national mourning. He should get his priorities right.
    The Indo reports today that President Mary McAleese attended the game. She should have gone to Copenhagen and had a few Elepehant beers with friends of her husband.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    It’s good to see Norn Iron have overtaken the Republic as the superior national football team on the island. As we improve with every game our Southern “friends” seem to be doing the opposite, sliding deeper and deeper into football’s wilderness…I am enjoying the current turmoil in the “Oirish” game, as the South shed no tears over our footballing nightmares at the so-called “sectarian” Windsor Park, but if the FAI are watching here is a piece of impartial advice from a “Northern Prod”. Give Staunton and Robson their P-45’s for their incompetency and unreliabilty due to ill health, respectively, and offer a big name like Alan Curbishley the job. He said he won’t manage a club lower than the Premiership, but with a nation full of Premiership players, the ROI would have to be an attractive offer. You have to spend money to make money by bringing success to your country’s football team…

  • austin

    ‘It’s good to see Norn Iron have overtaken the Republic as the superior national football team on the island.’

    What is your basis for this and why does the NI-Republic of Ireland comparison mean so much to you?

    20 years in the footballing shadows of the Republic Team must really be hurting you, my friend.

    I firstly refer you to the rankings.

    NI have had good one-off results against bigger teams which have been undermined by poor performances against minnows.(I know, Cyprus!)
    NI haven’t came within a country mile of qualifying for a tournament in the last 20 years whereas the Republic would have secured a play-off berth for the last World Cup Finals had they scored a single goal in their final qualifying game.

    Granted the Republic have made a bad start this time but this campaign would perhaps be their only poor campaign in the last 20+ years.Other non-qualifications in this time have been as a result of play-off defeats against Turkey, Holland and Belgium.We have been to 3 world cups and a European Championship during this time.

    NI has not beaten the Republic since 1978 and have been on the wrong end of some fierce hammerings from the boys in green over the years.
    I’ll be travelling from Belfast to Dublin tomorrow night (supporting in the bad times and the good) but I really hope NI win as I do not see any point in the futile rivalry you are so keen on.
    The one area where NI are presently superior is the team management where Sanchez has proven himself to be a great motivator and astute tactician.
    I genuinely wish NI good luck tomorrow night.

  • Mustapha Mond

    “NI has not beaten the Republic since 1978…”

    RoI 0 NI 1

    Been a football fan long?

    ps I think CL is just trying to wind you up.

  • Ssssshhhhhh that game didn’t matter, sure Mick only put half a team out, grass was too long etc etc etc.

    Been a NI fan too long to gloat over the mis fortune of ‘our southern friends’. If, and a very big IF, we beat Latvia and the Czechs win then perhaps I’ll allow myself a ‘One Team In Ireland’ chant 😉

  • Mustapha Mond

    Yeah I know.
    No need to gloat over anyones misfortunes, pride before a fall, keep your eye on the ball etc etc.

    Latvia are good. but who knows.

  • austin

    Mustapha, The May 1999 Friendly at Lansdowne consisted of both countries second-string players but fair enough I should have said competitive games so hands-up.
    Also before other pedants arrive on the scene,1979 was the last competitive fixture with an NI victory.

    In answer to your question, I have been a football fan for a long time-first game was a Home International in the eqrly 70’s at Windsor (v Wales I think) when I was about 8 .And your good self?

  • Mustapha Mond

    coulda shoulda woulda.. but you did’nt.

  • austin

    ‘coulda shoulda woulda.. but you did’nt’

    bit along the lines of ‘na,na,na,na,na’ but as long as you’re happy…

    best wishes tomorrow night but keep an eye on Verpakovski as he’s half-decent.

    Any chance of lending us Roy Carroll if you’re not using him?

  • Mustapha Mond

    “bit along the lines of ‘na,na,na,na,na’ but as long as you’re happy… ”

    oh come off it, you backtracked, did a quick search on tinternet to verify, and rather than admitting your oversight you waffled it off as in “yeah it was a deliberate mistake to catch ye out”
    anyway it was more of a Nelson Munsen (whatever) from the Simpsons going “Har har”.

    FIFA doesnt allow for a player to register for 2 countries (AFAIK), so a disguise would be in order as well as some fake passports ask catriona.. oh dont even go there.
    Sincerely good luck to yourselves also, the Czechs are strong, always have been, if its in Dub you might be in with a chance, i’ve given up trying to predict the outcome of games, always backfires, and I’m far from being a football expert like so many try and pass themselves off as, boring gits.

  • austin

    ‘as well as some fake passports ask catriona..’

    It’s telling that you couldn’t avoid bringing your political prejudices into a discussion on sport, Mustapha.

    If your attitude is indicative of your team’s fans, obviously there’s a bit of a way to go yet before all of the NI fans can let go of their sectarian baggage.

    On that note………………

  • Mustapha Mond

    good one mate, near had me there.

  • smcgiff

    What with the upcoming games against the Czechs (sweet suffering …) and the resurgent Latvians, I think we’ll all be lucky to able to shout there’s at least one team in Ireland come Wed. evening!

  • Mustapha Mond

    You got that right smcgiff.

  • Kenny

    The RoI are in a real mess. In all fairness, Stauton has had no luck with injuries but the only good performance of his “reign” was effectively with Bobby Robson as manager.

    Unfortunately, it’s clear that Bobby’s health should now limit his involvement in football to studio punditry. I understand that the FAI will amicably release him from his contract next week – and good luck to him.

    If the RoI lose on Wednesday, I honestly think Staunton should stand down. He is already very wealthy and doesn’t need the money. He clearly just hasn’t got what it takes – the tactical errors before and during the Cyprus match were unbelievable. The FAI won’t sack him because that would be an admission that they got it wrong. It doesn’t matter if they replace Robson with Dalglish – at some point Staunton would have to go it alone and he can’t.

    I think that the FAI should bring in someone on an initial 18 month deal to see through this current round of qualifiers (Alan Curbishly?) – as we wont’t qualify for Euro 2008, why not give the fringe and young players a chance.

    If it goes well, extend the contract for the World Cup 2010 qualifiers. If not, the FAI should have been monitoring available managers and be in a position to appoint someone for the World Cup 2010 qualifiers.

    Fair play to NI – they have done much better than anyone thought. However, I think people are getting carried away. They will probably not qualify for Euro 2008 and, once this campaign is over, Sanchez will leave to take a job with a good Championship team or a minor Premiership team.

  • William Joyce

    Girls: There is indeed only one team in Ireland: Kerry. In rugby, there is Leinster and Munster. In soccer…….
    The friendly slagging here between Stan’s no hopers and the cudda beens north of the border is akin to any regional rivalry in English soccer (P’mouth v the Saints, or N’castle v S’land, for example). Neither of the two “Ireland” teams have done particularly well, ever. Recall Jack Charlton’s amazement at the reception they got on returning to Dublin. Charlton, remember, won the World Cup with mother England in 1966.
    Come on the Czechs!

  • Anna Dale

    “Fair play to NI – they have done much better than anyone thought. However, I think people are getting carried away. They will probably not qualify for Euro 2008 and, once this campaign is over, Sanchez will leave to take a job with a good Championship team or a minor Premiership team. ”


    I don’t think there is too much danger of getting carried away when results like Iceland remain in too recent memory. The team is pushing itself to the very limits of ability and there is a fighting spirit there which makes it much easier to accept the result, win, lose or draw. There’s no “probably” about it, they won’t qualify for Euro 2008, but a fourth and maybe even third place is definitely possible and most of us would have been more than happy to accept that at the beginning of the tournament.

    Prediction for tonight is a low scoring draw for us, and a 1-0 or worse defeat for the ROI. Staunton falls on his sword to be replaced by Big Sam Allardyce…

  • Kenny

    Anna Dale

    I certainly think you’re right about Staunton – I think (and hope) that he’ll have the decency to fall on his sword before the FAI get round to taking action. The longer it goes on, it’ll just get worse for everyone – himself, the team and the FAI.

    At the moment, the RoI sitaution is similar to NI. One or two decent players but mostly journeymen. Unlike NI, we don’t have a manger who can inspire the team to play to the very limit of their ability.

    I think Allardyce would be a good choice but I’m not sure that he’d take the job plus he’s got his hands full with all this “bung” inquiry stuff.

    That is the sort of manager that’s required though – someone who will inspire the team to get stuck in.

  • George

    the way things are, the only chant you can give is that “there is no team in Ireland”.

    Until there are serious challenges for qualification to major tournaments, both sides can only be described as crap.

    After all, Northern Ireland did qualify in 1982 and 1986, which isn’t that long ago, so it should still be a realistic aim. Look at Slovenia, their population is only slightly larger and they don’t have the British diaspora to call upon.

    Now the odd victory seems adequate.

    Personally, I blame playstation and the rise of the GAA for taking more and more talented youngsters out of the footballing bosom.

    That and the fact that these Premiership players are earning so much they don’t give a toss either way.

    Things have got so bad I’m considering…. Not yet.

    P.S. Stan and Delaney must go. Glenmalure Park should have been a world heritage site.

  • Anna Dale

    Sam Allardyce was a bit of a tongue in cheek suggestion, but he has the kind of motivation skills that are needed.

    “Personally, I blame playstation and the rise of the GAA for taking more and more talented youngsters out of the footballing bosom.”

    Also clubs are recruiting youngsters and older players from a much wider area than even 15 years ago.
    Consequently it’s much more difficult for British or Irish players to break into even the reserve teams of the top level clubs. The very good players are still making it, but those competent players, who are needed to form the backbone of any successful team, are no longer there. The standard of football in the Premiership has improved at the same time as that of the international teams has gone down the pan.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    ps I think CL is just trying to wind you up.

    Posted by Mustapha Mond on Oct 10, 2006 @ 07:30 PM

    Not my intention but it worked nevertheless! 🙂

  • Concerned Loyalist

    We have been to 3 world cups and a European Championship during this time.
    Posted by austin on Oct 10, 2006 @ 06:07 PM

    For a nation with a population of 1 and a half million as it was then, Norn Iron climbed to the giddy heights of 33 in the World Rankings in May 1994, which is well within our reach at our present position of 58, and that was before our gallant draw in Copenhagen against Denmark and the comfortable victory over Latvia at Fortress Windsor on Wednesday night.
    We have also been to 3 World Cups (1958, famously in 1982 and 1986) but we have never been to the Euros, which I grudgingly admit the Banana Republic have, so your country’s national team have qualified for 1 more tournament than the Green And White Army. If we continue our outstanding current form however, we could be level on international prestige with our Southern neighbours by qualifying for Euro 2008! Would you bet against it? We not only have King David (Healy) but also two Goliaths (Kyle Lafferty and Jimmy Quinn) after all..