Thursday, September 13, 2007

Onwards & Sideways........

Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better - Senator Bill Bradley.

Why do we inflict this very same pain upon ourselves time and time again - the headaches, pins and needles up the left arm, sweaty patches where sweaty patches shouldn't exist, tantrums, sickness.....all because of 11 sweaty men.

It may seem stupid for some (and probably is) that a nation of men are waking up this morning as if their life has fallen apart, their dreams shattered, hopes deflated all because Ireland lost a match last night. I'm all unsettled in work today, taking every opportunity to dissect every minute of last night's game with any male who comes within ear shot much to the annoyance of the females in the office. Ladies please excuse us for today and entertain our childish whimpering....perhaps rather than chastise us we could unite the people of Ireland through the medium of football.

To put our misery in context, we have a team with a sizable amount of quality footballers capable of mixing it with the best, the worst of whom earn more in a week that we commoners do in a year. Contrast that we 20 years ago when Jack Charlton had a team of donkeys that went to Euro88 and Italia 90 and did us proud while earning not a considerable amount more than the average wage. 4 years later Charlton led a hybrid of donkeys and up and coming youngsters to the World Cup in America. 8 years on those youngsters were the backbone of the squad that went to the World Cup in Japan and would have done well were it not for a ropey ref and our best player throwing the toys out of the pram. The point is that we should have continued that progression but for the fact that we now have a bunch of overpaid prima donnas for whom the pleasure of playing in the green jersey for a couple of hundred quid appearance money is not as much of a priority as it was for the McGraths, Whelans or Aldridges. Whereas the latter bunch would have burst themselves to get Ireland to a tournament the current bunch, bar one or two, don't seem to give a flying fuck for fear that they'd injure themselves and not be able to line out for Spurs or the like this weekend.

I feel sorry for Steve Staunton, he's destined to go from being our most decorated player, 102 caps, the only Irishman to play in three World Cups to being ridiculed by the press, slaughtered and hounded out of his job because he can't motivate a bunch of men who don't want to be motivated. To add to a pile of journos who never played football calling for his head you then have to deal with a journeyman footballer like Dunphy who never achieved anything and who has probably not experienced a football match in the flesh in God knows how long adding his two cents. There's no doubting that Staunton isn't the right man for the job, you can't go from coaching a youth team in Walsall to coaching an international team regardless of how much playing experience you have. Good players don't make good coaches but passionate men will take a job leading their country when they are told that their example is what's needed to regain the perceived lost motivation inside the dressing room.

We may be acting like babies. We may be moaning about losing a football match when we, for the most part, have never met the players, had any role in their success or contributed to Irish football in any way aside from screaming from the terraces and paying to send the blazers from the FAI around the world.

What hurts is that we want to do what they do, it's every young boys ambition and we'd run ourselves to death for success unlike the performance the blessed few put in last night. That's a pain that's hard to carry.

I just want to stick on a postscript having been given out to.....I don't wish to imply that all women are not into football. I was purely expressing my experience with the ladies who work in the area of my department in work.......

Yours in encouraging ladies to come to football in ladies' fit shirts



  1. my little guy had his heart broken twice this week by the Ireland team! It teaches him about winning....well losing anyway!

  2. That's alright TG - I'm so not into football.

    I'll conform to stereoptype and be more into the knitting-decorated cupcakes.

  3. TG, I watch every moment of the international tournaments every 2 years and little inbetween. I'll look forward to Euro 2008 regardless and hope that France and Switzerland get hammered. I gave up on the Ireland team a while back. I realised with our first game last year that I was a lot more familiar with the German team than ours. I know its crap that we won't make it and this being our 20th anniversary but what can you do. I just hope that the rugby lads get a better deal.

  4. Tib I'm with you on this. Well done on a great, honest post. I think, like Milan, I've had my heart broken so many times in the past that I can't feel defeat like this much anymore. I save that for my club side :)

    The FAI are the problem as they thought Staunton was the right man for the job in the first place. Seems like a nice guy but he was always in a no-win situation here.