#Euro2012: Republic’s luck runs out in their return to tournament football?

Old Trap’s Italian defensive approach to game ran out of luck last night… Not least because the one man you would expect to have kept it tight at the back was twice opened wide by fairly ordinary attacks.

Can’t help thinking that some of the down reaction is a general underestimation of the Croatian team (who are ranked 8th in the world). Losing the first game is not the end of the affair, but conceding three goals may be too great a weight bear for a team that’s programmed to play defence more than attack.

Spain, as we know, are not unbeatable by an Irish team but with the exception of Kilbane and Robbie Keane who were relative youngsters in Saipan this Irish team has had little or no experience in such big tournaments.

That said, few fans on their way out of Poland really expected to have to extend their leave and their visas to take in the Ukraine so there’s another two matches left to pull some dignity out of the fire.

Three goals conceded in 14 games, but it all came unstuck when that first ball went into the back of the net… Though the route one desperation at the end brought in some half decent chances…

They’ll have to take the next two, gulp, Spain (ranked first in the world) and Italy (ranked 12), and try to nail them one by one… That may need something closer to a miracle than just common or garden luck..

,

  • DT123

    Can we expect a blog today ,on the rioting ,arrests ,sectarian chanting and foul abuse of the England team any time today?

  • JR

    Unfortunately it wasn’t Ireland’s night. In the first half Ireland were a bit unlucky with the Goals they conceded and the timing of those goals. IN the second half while Ireland had a few refereeing decisions against them Croatia always looked more dangerous. Uphill struggle ahead.

  • salgado

    Ended pretty much as I expected. The Republic of Ireland are incredibly unlucky with their group. The team does lack a creative edge, but in Group A (or even D) they would have stood a pretty decent chance.

    In the other game in the group, I was really impressed by Italy. Despite their problems they seem to be very switched on. Spain were Spain – fantastic passing, very little result in terms of shots, always a bit more dull than you expect.

  • GoldenFleece
  • quality

    They weren’t unlucky. They were terrible, there’s a difference. Can anyone tell me what Glenn Whelan is for?

  • lover not a fighter

    Croatia were by far the better team.

    Ireland had practically zero creativity especially in midfield.

    Darron Gibson is the only midfielder that has a creative side to his game
    Gibson has to come in probably at the expense of McGeady.

  • Greenflag

    Ireland got off to an unlucky start but the equaliser gave hope of a more evenly fought game . Trap’s strategy ? of giving up the midfield late in the first half to reach ‘half time ‘ backfired with Croatia’s second goal . I think Given was unsighted with the number of Irish players crowding the penalty area trying to block Croatian shots etc.

    The second half needed a quick Irish equaliser -instead it was the Croatian strikers again .

    Croatia were overall the better team .Ireland had no midfield and thus the ball was given up to the Croatians to control possession and inevitably win.The final short flurry from Ireland came too little and too late .

    The run outs against Spain and Italy should be good preparation for the World Cup in two years time although based on this performance -qualification for Brazil looks like a stretch . Hopefully the team can rouse themselves to get a better result against the Spanish and Italians -For those with faith -prayers will be needed -for those without well it’s just a game anyway .Croatia can make it through this group at the expense of Ireland and either Italy or Spain .The Dutch having lost to Denmark have to beat the Deutsch /Germans or it’s back to tulip picking in Amsterdam . Should be an exciting game.

    And today it’s England v France . Vive L’anglais on this occassion .It’s been a long time since 1966 for the country which after all gave this game to the world 😉

    Come on Ingerland !

  • Salgado. I know this will sound like resorting to conspiracy theories, but the two host countries managed,[ in the draw before xmas], to avoid the five biggest hitters Germany, Portugal Spain, Italy and Holland, and one of each of the pair also avoided France and Russia respectively. The groups of death [B&C] were deliberately skewed that way for Poland and Ukraine. Trap is supposed to be ruthless but his loyalty to the old stagers plus weak links like Ward Whelan etc has caused a high price to be paid in quality. At least McCarthy and MacClean should be in for the WC qualifiers.

  • salgado

    There’s been accusations of conspiracies in favour of host before. In this case, with the host nations (especially two of them) in pot 1 of the draw things are set up to give them this advantage.

    With France and Portugal in the relatively weak pots 3 and 4, it also seems perfectly possible for the hosts to avoid them.

  • salgado

    Also, when the draw was made I would have put England and France at the same level as Italy and Portugal.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Kilbane?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    DT123

    ‘Can we expect a blog today ,on the Can we expect a blog today ,on the rioting ,arrests ,sectarian chanting and foul abuse of the England team any time today?

    The England team has been engaging in rioting, arrests,sectarian chanting and foul abuse?

    John Terry, up to his old tricks again…

  • lamhdearg2

    its a tough draw,three very good footballing sides you’s had not a hope. England to win tonight.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Trappatoni’s negativity and rigid tactics are awful. Even if he had a Zidane in centre midfield he would prefer two dogs of war. Passing the ball to each other is foreign to those players because they are never encourged to pass it under the Trap.

    I know the limitations pf Irish players. But we had better players on the bench or at home than Andrews and Whelan in centre midfield. Those two are league of Ireland standard and not much more than that. Ward is another one who is a very poor player we don’t need to play.

    I would love Martin O’Neill as Ireland manager to replace Trappatoni, who like Capello with England, will probaby preside over our worst tournament performances due to his outdated tactics.

  • Greenflag

    England haven’t won an opening game in the Nations or World Cup since 1966?

    Time to break the jinx maybe.
    France have 5 players who are in the English premier league so they’ll know who they’re up against
    England 2- France 1

  • Greenflag

    ‘France hold England in Euro opener’ says the BBC headline .

    I thought that on the run of play it was the other way around ? Is the BBC reporter just biased or blind as well ?
    Still a good result for the new manager and ‘hope ‘ remains . Now either Sweden or Ukraine can put the Entente Cordiae in a bind by winning this afternoon’s tie convincingly .

    Sweden should nose home but home support could be s match winner .

  • Hopping The Border

    Correct Jimmy, no idea how Kilbane made an appearance in this post seeing as he isn’t even in the squad!

    To set the record straight, Duff, Given and Keane all have tournament experience whilst Dunne was an unused sub in JSK 02.

  • galloglaigh

    Football Association of Ireland (Official) wrote:

    POSITIVITY UPDATE: Euro 2008 opening round – Italy lost 3-0 to Holland & reached the quarter-finals; Russia lost 4-1 to Spain & reached the semi-final; Turkey lost 2-0 to Germany & reached the semi-final! #BELIEVE #COYBIG

  • Greenflag

    George Best lives again although now somewhat darker hued and alas playing for England .Some of 18-year-old Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s speedy burst throughs leaving the French in his wake reminded me of George Best at his best .

    Ireland needs a player or two like that up front .

    Poland v Russia defies prediction but I suspect most Irish and British will be rooting for the Poles .We got a glimpse of Lewandowski against the Greeks .This Borussia Dortmund striker knocked in a hat trick against Bayern Munchen and he might although I can’t be certain be the only player ever to have achieved that remarkable feat.

    Russia win or lose or draw today will make it through to the next round. Who will join them will be seen more clearly after todays games .Can the Czechs rise again following their setback against Russia ? They have to win to stay in the tournament .

  • greenflag. If England don’t get past the quarter final[I’m expecting them to clear the weak group D], it’s going to be embarassing for them in the next euros celebrating, [or keeping quiet about] the 50th anniversary of their last tournament win. Awkward.

  • salgado

    daniel – why would it be embarrassing? Euro 1992 was a disaster, but there was no problem with nostalgia when it came to ’96.

    Many english fans are fairly pessimistic about their chances and would be content with a QF finish (I agree that they should be aiming to clear this group easily, but I seem to be in a minority).

  • Greenflag

    One Euros at a time .Lets hope they avoid embarrassment and qualify .After all Irish soccer players (North and South) are utterly dependent on honing their soccer skills in the English Premier league . The higher the English standard the better are ‘our teams ” North and South likely to be . The Irish League and the League of Ireland probably compare to the English second or third division .We forget that though soccer is popular it’s less so than GAA and in recent years less successful than rugby in internationals etc.

    That idea a few years back of having a Premier league team make it’s home in Dublin (perhaps another in Belfast ) would raise standards .Its a tough climb . Croatia and Denmark play soccer and don’t have any other ball sports of note to compete for players or fans .

    A one Ireland team might be a small improvement but the game needs more than that to upgrade the game here.

  • lamhdearg2

    #Euro2012: Republic’s luck runs out in their return to tournament football !.

  • GavBelfast

    I believe the word “makeweights” just above covers it.

    Given at least kept it to a mere hammering rather than a savage mauling.

  • Mick Fealty

    Hate to agree.. Keane, Roy was livid!

  • DC

    Murder on the gdansk floor.

  • galloglaigh

    http://www.EURO2012/Ireland_pure-pish

    Fair play to the fans, they were gracious at least!

  • DC

    Fair play to the fans, they were gracious at least!

    Claptrap.

  • galloglaigh

    DC

    Dry your eyes, they were gracious, and sang their hearts out. Why always the anti-Irish negativity and mopery?

  • BluesJazz

    It was really funny watching it in the pub. The RoI fans trying to pretend their team could actually play football. Well done Spain for taking it down a few gears to avoid humiliating the pathetic minnows.

    Now for the real football tomorrow, I think we’ll beat Sweden 2-1.

  • DC

    sang their hearts out – and clapped Trap.

    I’m only messing take it on the chin.

  • JR

    Better to have hoped and lost than never to have hoped at all! Was proud to see the tricolor at a major tournament, enjoined the buzz while it lasted. Bring on the World cup!!

  • Republic of Connaught

    Trappatoni presided over Ireland’s worst performances at a major tournament. Just like Capello with England, his rigid tactics were lamentable and he couldn’t improvise.

    I didn’t realise you were English, Bluejazz.

  • lamhdearg2

    Let all hope the other British team can restore some pride, com,on England!.

  • salgado

    JR – You’ve still got one game left – you’re allowed to enjoy that one too even if you’re on the way home regardless.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Lamhdearg,

    There’s an Irish and and English team at the tournament. You’ll see no Union Jacks with either.

    Sorry buddy, if you ain’t Irish or English then you’re an outsider supporting a team that isn’t your own.

  • lamhdearg2

    I also like Italy.
    “You’ll see no Union Jacks” would you be giving odds on that

  • Republic of Connaught

    I like Italy myself, Lamhdearg, especially Pirlo. The Spain Italy game was one of the highest quality games I have enjoyed in years. A pity footballers on our island or next door aren’t in the same class.

    As for Union Jacks; England is representing England, not the UK. If they win it’s for England, not for the UK. If you want a UK team then go ask the English, because all the players will be theirs anyway.

  • Mark

    The build up and excitement for the Irish fans to the Euros was great fun and brought back memories of previous qualifactions .

    To be considered in the top 16 teams in Europe is something to be proud of ….

    Young McClean looks one for the future ……

  • lamhdearg2

    Juve fan?.
    How about an british isles team, if all the 5 countries got together, they might win something, or at least do better, “not on your nelly” hurtfull even, then maybe folk that call for an all island(ireland) team, every time our wee country lose out, can/could consider how that call feels.

  • salgado

    Republic of Connaught – I’d wager Jonny Evans could make it into a UK/British Isles team in the future, but it’s not something I’d particularly want to see.

    It is possible to want a different team from your own to do well. I’d like any British or Irish team to do well, I’m not sure why you seem to think this is a bad thing to do.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Lamhdearg,

    Yeah, I liked Juve since the great Lippi teams with Zidane and Del Piero of the late 90s. I rate Pirlo as good as Xavi and Iniesta.

    Af for a united Ireland team, I don’t think it would perform much better on the field. Only Evans and Davis would make the current first 11. But at least, like the rugby, if there was an all Ireland team then everyone in Belfast etc.. could get behind it in a tournament like this and not have half the people in the north feeling alienated from the team because of flags and anthems. Which would have to change, without doubt.

    As for a British isles team, I think you’d find the very proud and independent English football fraternity would not want the Celtic hangers on in a football sense. They don’t need any of us and they’d be against it more than the Irish.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Salgado,

    I wish England well. Irish or Scottish fans who take delight in their demise baffle me. But Bluesjazz referred to the English team as “we” which if he’s from Northern Ireland is ridiculous. They are playing for England not the UK. They aren’t “we” unless you’re English.

  • galloglaigh

    No probs DC

    All over facebook tonight, comments about the greatest fans in Europe/World.

  • salgado

    I got what you meant about Bluesjazz – that’s a bit far. I was a bit more confused at your comments to lamhdearg2.

    I think you overestimated how against a British Isles team the English would be, there have been plenty of envious comments in the direction of Giggs and Bale over the last years and a small degree of fantasy football style speculation about the Olympic team.
    Having said that, no one from any country really wants it (least of all me).

    You’re comments about in the current setup half the people in the North feeling “alienated from the team because of flags and anthems” isn’t really my experience though. It’s not our team, so why should we be upset by the flag or anthem?
    If it was an all Ireland team with that flag and anthem it would be a different story.

  • Mick Fealty

    LD,

    England should, could do it on their own. But, like Spain until four years ago, it never gelled for them.

    I was in Dublin when Kerr got cashiered and it felt like a rash move in the wake of almost unreasonable disappointment. It also felt like it might be the beginning of a long time in the wilderness.

    Despite the achievement of getting there, it feels like it might only have served to burst the bubble. Money is good, and the experience for the young players, but it feels like a return to the bland 70s again.

    Jennings, Rice, Stapleton, McIlroy, Brady, Best, O’Leary, Whelan, Etc, etc…

  • Republic of Connaught

    Salgado,

    There’s three Ulster players in the Ireland squad and no Connaught players. So there’s three lads from your part of the country/island and none from mine. So if it was an all Ireland team you’d have more reason to cheer it on than me because Ulster lads are in the team, like the rugby. I know I’d be even prouder of the team if there was Connaught lads in it.

    An All Ireland team would allow everyone to feel part of it. Most of the players would be from Leinster and Ulster anyway. And I’m sure there’s lots of little kids in Ulster watching the Euros who would prefer if they were allowed to be happy and support the Irish team as ‘theirs’ in a big tournament like this just like the rugby world cup or cricket or whatever rather than not being allowed to because the FAI and IFA are more interested in keeping their pockets lined.

  • SK

    Not our finest moment on the pitch. But listening to the lads in the terraces singing their absolute hearts out to the bitter end made me proud of those men in green at least.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xrjfbx_the-fields-of-athenry_sport

    The best fans in the world are Irish fans.

  • GavBelfast

    “Self-praise is no praise”.

  • GavBelfast

    Cheer-up …. or laugh some more. Now these guys ARE on top of their game ….

    http://www.rte.ie/sport/player/734/325077/

  • Mick Fealty

    They were good. But what else can you do when faced with the gallows? Better than rioting!

    RTE had it perfect: The Spanish played football and the Irish sang!

  • lamhdearg2

    RoC, it was trap and tardellis juve that caught me, the platini one, hence my slight interrest in how the RoI did.
    “and not have half the people in the north feeling alienated from the team because of flags and anthems”
    we would still have half the people, it would just be the other half, as for an British isles team, well they can stick that too.

  • galloglaigh

    A British Isles team would be like Westminster: Controlled by England!

  • lamhdearg2

    Walk a mile in Traps shoes, the republic of Ireland are out**, Traps out*, come the finish, he will return to his homeland a hated man* should Italy close out due to his Republic of Ireland team, will he really want a win/draw for the republic?.

    ** Fact
    * both of these points, supposition, presumption, assumption, surmise; conjecture,
    .

  • Greenflag

    Once upon a time the Italians were the Gods of football when Spain were in the middle rank . I recall one Fr Dougal Maguire offering homage to some of Trappatoni’s predecessors .

    ‘Totus tuus minimus Costa ,Corta ,Baggio , Roberto’ etc

    at 1.10 into the clip for the last rites .

  • lamhdearg2

    ?, Trap to stay or go,and if go will it be, jump or be pushed.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    We wuz robbed…