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Irish International Soccer in Decline

category national | miscellaneous | feature author Sunday October 08, 2006 22:06author by jim travers Report this post to the editors

The FAI are about as capable of directing the interests of Irish international football as Eamonn Dunphy is of keeping quiet.

featured image
After the Cyprus mauling the fans called for the sacking of Steve Staunton. The FAI got rid of Brian Kerr while Mick McCarty ran under the pressure of his failings. So is it time we forgot about blaming those the FAI appointed as international soccer managers and look towards the FAI as the continuing reasons for the decline in our interantion football team and the long departed good old days of glory?

The appointment by the FAI of Steve Staunton as manager of the Republic of Ireland international football team has once again demonstrated the capability of those who walk the corridors of Merrion Square to professionally handle the responsibilities necessary for an international football team to progress on the international or world stage.

Let us be openly straight and honest about this current situation, the FAI are about as capable of directing the interests of Irish international football as Eamonn Dunphy is of keeping quiet and that is by no means of any disrespect to Eamonn Dunphy. Time and time again the FAI have made one debacle after another, as one crisis runs immediately into another and Irish soccer, be it at a national or international level, is once again placed under the microscope and seen for what it really is.

Other links: A Clear Case of Off-Side | Red card to racism shown at Tolka Park | Roy Keane was right to speak out | Sam Maguire - Irelands most famous Protestant | Ireland v Israel | Israel v Zimbabwe | Opening up Croke Park | Will Handball Ever "Take" in Cooley? | Who Stole the Soul of Manchester United?


Donít blame Steve Staunton for the catastrophe that came out of the Cyprus mauling, he was a player who done his country proud, gave it his all, but has shown that he is not qualified enough at this moment in time to manage an international football team at this level and the FAI and only the FAI are to be blamed for what has resulted out of this appointment. In all of the FAIís history the only sound appointment ever made by the association was the appointment of Jack Charlton and that appointment came with the conditions laid down by Charlton prior to his appointment. The sacking of Brian Kerr was another example of the FAIís hunger for massive financial gain instantly at the expense of building up a sound squad of players who would over time resurrect the glory days of times gone When you look at the GAA, no matter how much you complain about their refusal to allow soccer into their stadium, (on a permanent basis) you must agree with one thing, the FAI has nothing to offer sport other than the financial gains for those who occupy the corridors of Merrion Square. Irish soccer is a business first and everything that comes after that is for the people.

The Charlton days gave us a belief that soccer was of the people and out of that belief the FAI sang all the way to the bank. What we now find is that the FAI have consistently time after time made controversial appointments and decisions without any professional standard of reasoning attached to its decisions. It is time the whole business of international football was taken out of the hands of the FAI in order to allow them to concentrate on the progression of junior and intermediate soccer in Ireland. When the association can prove to itself, the professional football players who wear their countries colours and the supporters who spend vast sums of money following their team, that they are ready to act as the representative body of Irish soccer, then and only then should the FAI be considered in having any association with international football.

The merging of the FAI and IFA would possibly lay to rest the public perception that the FAI is an association of people with personal vested interests over the interests of soccer at all levels throughout the country. The merging would allow a greater pool of players to be made available for selection and would give the international team a better chance of competing in major soccer tournaments. Most importantly it would help break down the barriers that have caused so much division in Northern Ireland for far too long. It would possibly find no support within Merrion Square as the power of the merry men is diluted by those coming onto the board from a foreign state.

Look at it as simply as this, if a plumber went into an operating theatre and tried to tell the surgeon how to conduct an operation what do you think the surgeon would say or think about the situation? Once again just like the surgeon in the operating theatre the FAI try to secure the services of top class professional players to play under their commercial banner that is packaged as soccer, but support those services with a yellow pack money scrimping attitude. Why should players who play every week in the English premiership or First Division play on a team that has been provided with a yellow pack backup and support service by an association whose coffers will swell should that team show any progress. Roy Keane exposed the sham that is the FAI and it is the FAI and only the FAI who could appoint an individual, who despite all his enthusiasm in working for success of Irish soccer, is in reality currently not at an international football managerial stage to take on the task required of him.

I feel sorry for Steve Staunton for he is a nice guy with the interest of Irish soccer and its fans at heart, and itís the shame of the FAI to have even considered appointing Steve at this stage in his football career. If their thoughts were for the building of a new squad for the future then the most logical decision would have been to either appoint an experienced manager or retain Brian Kerr as the Irish person capable of doing such a task. Letís us not forget that Brian Kerrís record as an international manager at this level is indeed very impressive. Luck did not go his way, but there again luck does not go the right way for some of the most successful teams in world soccer. Kerr was not given enough time to build a team for the future, just as Steve Staunton will be shown the same door when the big heads in FAI headquarters see the bank account remain the same and they come out with another Irish style lame duck excuse and apology for the decision they had to take ď in the interest of Irish soccerĒ.

Steve says he is not walking away from the job but the lads in the FAI at their next round the table meeting will be conjuring up methods in which to move poor old Stevie on, should he fail to deliver the financial goods for them. Steve says he is in for ďthe long haulĒ , donít count your chickens Steve, for should we fail to qualify for Euro 2008 (and that lookís certain now) then Iím afraid, just like humpty dumpty you wont fall of your own choosing, you will be pushed.

I hate having to come back to Roy Keane, but as far back as 1990 and even earlier Keane exposed what many others were either afraid to say what they really thought or were just too caught up in the glitter of the FAIís travelling band of merry men.
Keane made it plain and clear that the debacle in Saipan was just a single episode in the failure of the FAI to professionally manage the interests of professional football players on an international or world stage As was exposed by many a newspaper, some of the FAIís friends, wives and husbands enjoyed better accommodation facilities than the players who played for both their country and the financial gains of the FAI. When you think about the delays and debates that surrounded the rebuilding of Lansdowne Road for both soccer and rugby and then consider the future expansion of the stadium should it be needed, the only conclusion one could come too is that Lansdowne Road as a suitable venue to host major sporting events is totally unsuitable due to the location of the stadium within surrounds residential areas. It has huge implication for the commercial activities of the entire city as roads are sealed off by the Gardai in order to allow the free movement of fans on the immediate roads surrounding the stadium. People with absolutely no interest in soccer are having their commuting disrupted as buses are delayed or re-routed in order to cater for the massive amount of people descending upon a local area. Motorists are exposed to drunken fans outside licensed premises, drinking and standing on sidewalks and roads throughout the city. We are going to build an Eircom stadium outside the boundaries of the city say the FAI, oh now were not, oh yes we are, itís a great plan, oh no it is not we will redevelop Lansdowne Road. Backwards and forwards the FAI made a simple decision become a major decision that added to the eventual cost of their final decision.

The final decision will, in the long run prove to be the most costliest decision they have ever taken and will result in the association in the future (if they are still around) deciding to build a new stadium beyond the boundaries of the city where they can expand and grow their facilities in response to an ever growing population combined with their ever demanding need to provide all the services in one location, necessary to cater for such huge numbers of people converging into one area. Look at the mayhem and inconvenience that surrounds Croke Park every time a major event takes place. Look at how one section of the city has to come to a halt and how that halts ripple to every other part of the city. Our road infrastructure is not capable of handling or supporting either the vast numbers of vehicles converging on the city or the numbers of people congregating into one area. It is not fair on the people who reside in the immediate areas and it is definitely not fair on those who just need to commute or walk either for business or pleasure within our city. The new Lansdowne Road stadium will only add to the inconvenience to everybody, including the commuting fans as they clammer for available parking spaces or public transport facilities surrounding the stadium.

It is time for the FAI to hand over responsibility of international soccer to an independent boards of professional football players who have the practical and experienced football knowledge in order to be able to appoint a manager capable of leading an international team into the future. It is up to professional football players to say enough is enough, we are not prepared to give our skills in order to promote Irish soccer, our country and our people to the rest of the world if you as an association act in a manner unprofessional to our skills. We are not prepared to be controlled by those who have no practical professional football experience and we most certainly will not play under a banner that has as much interest in the development of our international team as Noddy has in leaving toy town. Keane and Dunphy gave us their opinion of Irish soccer and for that the majority of Irish people and loyal soccer supporters turned on them as being unpatriotic and not speaking in the interests of Irish soccer. The sacking of Brian Kerr and the appointment of both Mick McCarty and Steve Staunton has proved that the FAI are incapable of making sound and logical decisions that work at least one in ten cases. The appointing of Bobby Robson as technical adviser to Steve Staunton should have at least told the FAI that at this stage in his career, Steve was not ready to take on the responsibility of managing an international football team.

Ireland will not qualify for Euro 2008, should they qualify with the help of all the saints in heaven then it will be at the expense of a team that in reality should have been there by virtue of its ability to perform as required. Ireland has shown that it has not really come out of the rag tag days of just about making it, if only. The appointing of managers in the past like Johnny Giles and we wont talk about Owen Hand, have shown that there is something fundamentally wrong within the powers of the FAI. Why so many managers have failed or have not been given the time in order to develop the international team is a trait that seems to follow the FAI around no-matter where it goes. If they can allow the international soccer team crumble to the stage it is at this moment, what does it say for our junior football or the Eircom league. We ask questions about the progress of Irish soccer and the problems associated with people attending League of Ireland soccer matches, it appears all the roads lead to Merrion Square and Merrion Square appears to be blaming everything and everybody else except themselves.

Like Peteís peanuts, Staunton must be preparing his team for a roasting next week, which will just about put the second last nail in his coffin. For the sake of Irish soccer the FAI should internally examine itself and diagnose itself sick with a terminal disease that should warrant another shuffle, a change or at best handover to people who really know and understand soccer and who are not accountants or friends of friends who make up a board as effective as a sheet of tissue paper holding back a deluge of water.

Irish soccer is in decline, we have the players, we have the passion and commitment but we do not have an orginisation that is capable of developing a real positive direction for Irish soccer into the 21st Century. The FAI is a 20th Century association with 20th Century values and ideals. It is incapable of leading Irish soccer to stage where its position within world soccer is complimented by the very size of the country and the population of the people in Ireland. The players have shown in the past that they can stand and perform on the world stage. Past managers like Charlton and Kerr have shown they can bring the best out of players, so what else is needed and what else is wrong? I look forward to next weeks match, if only to see another crisis emerge from Merrion Square as they squirm and shuffle to hang someone out to dry, as they dive for cover until the next show fails to sells seats. The sale of corporate boxes to yuppies and the difficulties experienced by long time soccer fans in securing tickets for an international matches because of the FAIís greed in selling tickets to the highest corporate bidders, will at last be resolved as the corporate sector find no advantage in supporting failures and the ordinary fans once again make up the tide of supporters filling one stand in Lansdowne Road.

We all wish Steve well and we all wish he could find success in his efforts to qualify for 2008, there again we all wish we won the lotto and look how hard that is to achieve. When this Euro 2008 group has finally been settled, we must look to the future by changing things that have bedevilled Irish soccer for far too long and in doing so, lay the foundations for the development of a successful team and the future of Irish soccer as a whole.

author by proletarianpublication date Thu Oct 12, 2006 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Prole

Vanguard Leninist League (Workers Power)
Irish Section
Provisional International Secretariat of the Fourth International
(International Centre for Reconstruction/Majority Cadre)

Workers and peasants!

Be warned! The liquidationist wreckers are at work! This MI5/CIA front must be destroyed. Remember Kronstat!

VLLWP
Morozov Branch,
Dublin 4

author by Brian Reynoldspublication date Thu Oct 12, 2006 15:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wa s delighted with the performance of the team last night, Wednesday at Lansdown road. The media were ready and posied for the Sack Stuanton mantra, and I would suspect there were many hacks dissappointed with the 1-1 draw against the Checzks.
With time and patience he will build a new team capable of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. So what if we don't qualify for Euro 2008, altough it may still happen.
Last nights game shows that there is new talent emerging and that when the chips are down they can rise to the occosion.
You'd think that from reading the papers after Cypress that it wa s the end of the world because we lost by such a margin.
Actually that defeat could prove to be a blessing in disguise. From what we witnessed on Wednesday it seems that now is the case.

author by Pushkin - Vanguard Leninist League PISFI (ICR)publication date Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The General Strike planned for Monday 16 October will proceed. What is required is a new manager under Workers Control. S/he should be paid the average industrial wage and should be subject to immediate recall.

Build for the General Strike!
Be the first to form a Council of Action in your area!

Pushkin
Secretary for Inter-Species Solidarity
Vanguard Leninist League
Irish Section
Provisional International Secretariat of the Fourth International (International Centre for Reconstruction)

author by the saintpublication date Wed Oct 11, 2006 21:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Paisley is one of the best centre halfs I have seen this season in the Eircom League. Im also yet to see a better keeper than Barry even though he does have a few black marks against his name ;)

I knew Murphy and Murray were English but I presumed that someone with a name like Danny Murphy had to have an Irish background but no doubt it will never be checked out!

Bohs do have some cracking young players and the reason I didnt mention Ward is because I was looking at positions where I feel Staunton chose players who can be compared to Eircom players.

Anyway may the best team win on Friday (as long as they play in navy)

author by krossie - wsm personal capacitypublication date Wed Oct 11, 2006 18:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm after putting on money for an Irish win but only got 13:5 - crap or what!

author by gamblerpublication date Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Less talk, more betting. You can still get evens on the Czechs online. Bet of the year.

author by Red and Blackpublication date Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While Roy O'Donovan, Joe Gamble, Killian Brennan, Owen Heary, Darren Kelly all might be in with a shout, I'm not sure Paisley's euro experience is much to go on about. Being beaten 5-1 by Carmarthen is up there with Cyprus. As a gypsy I won't say too much about 'white lines' Barry Ryan. And I think you might find it hard to get the Cork's Cockney Danny Murphy in unless of course he applies under the parenting rule.
What no Stephen Ward?

author by the saintpublication date Tue Oct 10, 2006 23:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its always good to see an article criticizing the FAI but as an Irish football fan I know exactly what these imposters get up to. I have been following the Eircom league for years now and we put up with this mob on a weekly basis. I dont really know where to start but I could be here all day telling tales of the FAIs amateurism but unless the people of Ireland demand change nothing will be done

On the pitch we need to start looking closer to home for talent. I have nothing against the likes of Sean Saint Ledger, Andy O'Brien, Nick Colgan, Paul McShane and Alan O'Brien but from what I have seen of them (or havent in Alan O'Briens case) there are players every bit as good playing in Ireland and most of them have European experience. Darren Quigley,Barry Ryan, Darren Kelly, Stephen Paisley, Danny Murphy, Owen Heary, Killian Brennan,Joe Gamble and Roy O'Donovan are just some names that spring to mind. We cannot continue to rely on British clubs to develop players for the national team, we are probably the only country in Europe that do this. Government investment is badly needed and it would also help if the bar stool FA Premier League brigade realised that they can contribute to Irish football by taking in their local clubs games on a regular basis.

As regards merging the FAI & IFA ,why would they agree to this?? They have a young and improving team and I dont recall us looking to merge during our better days.

author by remrgrt - nonepublication date Tue Oct 10, 2006 17:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In response to the comment about Ireland not having enough dirversity religiously,socially or otherwise, I would just like to make a few points. There is nothing wrong with national pride and it goes without saying that any Irish soccer fan wants to see their team win. Why bother having international soccer tournaments if no one cares which country wins? It makes perfect sense that the Irish team represents the Irish people and nation, the team is'nt there to include everybody and make Ireland a shining example of liberal diversity, it's there to win competitions and do us proud. The team not that is put out should be the best one not the most dirverse, or most politically corect. Why does there need to be a certain number of atheists or homosexuals on the team? Their religion and orientation is irrevelevant. Filling the team out with such people for the sake of promoting equality is ridiculous. If a player who is gay, atheist , black or muslim is good enough to play, he should make the team, otherwise he shouldn't be considered. It's as simple as that. The reason the majority of the team is white, straight etc. is because those are the profiles the majority of the country fall into and it's common sense therefore that the team will in some way represent this. Why is it necessilary important that atheists, or gay people etc. HAVE to be on the team? Including the entire spectrum of society in the national team is not what it's about. It's about getting the best possible team together that is most likely to win when they play. As for lesbians, it would be somewhat difficult on the male national team.

author by Hairy Jayzhuspublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 16:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The workers won't down their tools in Erris, aer lingus and the underfunded hospitals
but fuck it, if Ireland loses a game then there should be a general strike.

Bertie would love it, given his support for manchester.
his connections to manchester.
his love of the game.

author by krossie - wsm personal capacitypublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 16:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The moggy has a point though not sure about Keano's manners!!

I doubt he'd be foolish enough to go for the MANAGER job yet - doing too well were he is

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_200...87212

kp

author by Pushkin - VLL PISFI (ICR)publication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah he has to go. But this a chance for the proletariat to flex their muscles. I call for an all out indefinite General Strike to commence on Monday 16 October unless hes gone by then. The proud proletariat will keep their tools downed until Roy Keane is appointed as manager.

Pushkin
Secretary for Inter-Species Solidarity
Vanguard Leninist League
Irish Section
Provisional International Secretariat of the Fourth International (International Centre for Reconstruction)

author by krossie - wsm personal capacitypublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 16:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fecking SAVAGE article by Tom Humphries in the Irish Times today - I know we're not supposed to "reproduce" the "work" of tHE media but i think a few quotes are appropriate as HE'S SPOT ON!

"Steve Staunton works in a pitiless, well lit world. He chose it for himself. He went from being an assistant manager at Walsall to managing an international soccer team. We don't know how far beyond the business of picking up and laying out training cones his work at Walsall went, but we know this morning that we are watching a man who has tragically overreached himself........

Delaney has linked his administrative career to Staunton's ability to deliver. The national team has become an instrument of political expediency. This grand tradition we all feel intimately acquainted with and passionate about is a plaything.

Steve Staunton shouldn't be left out there dangling. We are watching a snuff movie and it's horribly uncomfortable. The Irish international soccer team is not a learning tool, not a typewriter with the letters on the keys blacked out, not a flight simulator in which you can make 1,000 bumpy landings......."

krossie

author by d'otherpublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 14:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry folks but It just really makes me mad these days when I see it. We don't need this football soma crap cluttering up indymedia as well.

This sort of view you have of the sheepish 'masses' really is patronising in the highest order. As if the only sector of society to have a critical faculty towards the institutions and cultural products of capitalism are people like yourself. Brave Indymedia readers should know better than allowing forms of 'soma crap' like football to clutter the site. Its amazing how hamstung left wing critiques becomes because of such attitudes.

Funny isn't it how one of the most dynamic, successful and long lasting campaigns against corporate media lies has been carried out by communities in Liverpool in the wake of the Sun's scurrilous allegations placing the responsiblity for Hillsborough on the back of tealeafing and drunk scouse stereotypes.

http://www.anfieldroad.com/news/comments_and_quotes/200....html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_disaster#The_...paper
http://slash.autonomedia.org/analysis/02/07/14/2328225....shtml
http://libcom.org/history/1883-today-the-radical-histor...tball

author by The Whalepublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 14:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"....is it not simply lowering the standard we expect of high quality sporting fixtures at Croke Park by permitting them the use of one of Europe's premier stadiums?"

Could be worse, they could be opening it up for something like the car boot sale recently held in Casement Park. All the things your party couldn't sell on Ebay. Although Staunton might need a blanket to hide under on Wednesday.

author by Jonahpublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 14:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is it time for a rethink about letting soccer into Croke Park? In light of the frankly embarassing and inept performance by a number of professional sportsmen who were representing Ireland in Cyprus last week, a number of whom actually live in the country, is it not simply lowering the standard we expect of high quality sporting fixtures at Croke Park by permitting them the use of one of Europe's premier stadiums?

As someone delighted to see Ireland fail to qualify for the European Championships, loathing the FAI as much as the FAI loathes the GAA, perhaps it will assist those of us trying to encourage young people into playing sports not based on the key soccer principles of diving, hypocrisy, betrayl, greed and posing. Irish soccer is indeed in decline, long mayv it continue, and rapidly may it accelerate.

The author of the initial feature complains about the GAA not allowing soccer into Croke Park on a permanent basis, seemingly posessed of some curious notion of divine right to play in a stadium built by the most successful national amateur sporting organisation in the world, while the FAI Cup Final would draws a smaller crowd than the Ladies Football GAA final.

Meanwhile, COME ON YOU CZECHS.

author by frankdanpublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 13:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The team needs a radical overhaul! Staunton needs to get some good League of Ireland players and get them training with the Premiership players. When they are as fit as they can be, he should tell Duff and Keane and the other overpaid players they are on the bench for the match.
The problem is there is no commitment from these players. Hopefully a LoI player would appreciate the chance of playing at the top level and give their all.
It might also show Duff, Keana et al. where they are going wrong. If they go out on the pitch believing they only have to go through the motions, the team is going nowhere. That is what happened on Saturday and will happen again on Wednesday.
Bring on a bit of commitment!

author by Markpublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But the football coverage in the corporate media is just that - Corporate. Whats wrong with having an independant view of the game?

author by Roadkillpublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hedgehog. The clue was in the title of the thread. If you didn't want to read about football, you shouldn't have opened the thread. I for one applaud the fact that you get ordinary people talking about such diverse issues here. I'm not sure how in tune with the masses you are but who do you think was making up the majority of viewers on Saturday night?

author by hedgehogpublication date Mon Oct 09, 2006 07:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

if you want to read about football, read the corporate media or watch tv. There's usually about 30-40% of most tabloids dedicated to such safe inanities to fill the pages and distract the masses from real world events (which there is surprisingly little coverage of)

There is a similarly disproportionate amount taken up in each news broadcast on RTE by football related shite when they should be using the time to cover more important topics or for more in depth coverage.

Sorry folks but It just really makes me mad these days when I see it.
We don't need this football soma crap cluttering up indymedia as well.

author by radical jonnypublication date Sun Oct 08, 2006 23:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the great article.

I'm an anarchist living in the North, and am a passionate football supporter. I support Northern Ireland, and give a lot of credit to the IFA for their anti-racist and anti-sectarian initiatives. And the fact that NI is actually playing well makes life as a fan a whole lot easier.

I also support Republic of Ireland, and truly hope they can reclaim some lost dignity, turn things around, and get some victories.

As to a merger of the IFA and FAI, who knows? Some teams could thrive in an expanded pool, others would suffer. The fittest would survive (Go Cliftonville!). But on an international level, it works for rugby to field one team, so if it could be pitched to the fans in the right way, maybe. I'd hope for anything that draws people together rather than divides them, regardless of politics.

author by iosafpublication date Sun Oct 08, 2006 22:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Catalonia & Euskadi (Basque country) have just played their first international game of soccer at Barcelona's camp nou stadium which ended in a draw with 4 goals scored two of which went to each side. A crowd of 56,354 football fans left the stadium (& home to Barca football club) just short of 50% capacity but the messages were clear :-
* Basques & Katalanders like footie & deserve national teams coz they're nations.
* Katalanders play shite football without the Brazilian professional footballers. Until a future generation of Katalans is born to migrants & foreigners who are currently like this comment author excluded from playing footie or hurling indeed for Katalalaland - their games will only be worth going to for the flag waving nationalism..... Not that that isn't a fun thing.

I hope Ireland has got past the nationalism and sees soccer footie as a game to bring people together of all creeds, races, sexual orientation & worshipping prejudices. It is thus time we had more black lesbian atheist out & proud Irish players and I'm sure ye'll all agree.

Related Link: http://www.esait.org/default.cfm?hizkuntza=0&atala=albistea_ikusi&id=99
author by -publication date Sun Oct 08, 2006 19:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I find it very difficult to blame Steve Staunton for last nights debacle.

Paddy Kenny has close to two months e3xperience in the Premiership
Steve Finnan has played in one of the most high octain Chamipons League Finals Ever
John O Shea has been playing Champions League for Years and Fergie continues to have faith in him
Richard Dunne was last years Player of the year at Man City
Andy O Brien should not be in the Iirsh team as he is not in Portsmouths first team
Aiden MCGeady is on top of his game at Celtic
Damien Duff has accrued total transfer fees of 23 Million over 2 moves
Kevin Kilbane has 10 yearsa experiences under his belt
Stephan Ireland New
Clinton Morrison has scored enough goals for Ireland to grab one last night
Robbie Keane Record Irish Goalscorer

With the exception of O Brien and Ireland, there is no excuse. The team last night disgraced Ireland and virtually spit on the tricolour. In the past 5 years we have taken on Cyprus on five occasions. In 2001 we beat them 4-0 on both occasions. Two years ago we dominated them at Lansdowne Road, and they were lucky to leave with only a 3-0 deficit. Last year we were as inept as we were last night, however Kerr had instilled some kind of defensive quality within the sde. However in one fell swoop we have let in 5 goal against what would be considered as an inferior side. Frankly it could have been so much worse. Konstantinou could have had five on a better day. Now that has noithing to do with the manager, and all to do with the team

author by peripheraldisorderpublication date Sun Oct 08, 2006 19:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a passionate and humiliated soccer fan i take great pleasure in opening up indymedia and reading a well argued and long overdue critique of the FAI. Like all soccer fans i cringed, cried and almost fell over with rage as i watched a footballing catastrophe yesterday evening.

Irish football is in a mess, as a teenager i watched and waited with anticipation the building of what was supposed to be Shamrock Rovers new stadium around the corner from my house in Tallaght. 8 years on, amongst a litany of corruption accusations, and blame games, it stands idle and derelict representing not only a community isolated and pissed upon by the irish state but the current state of irish soccer.

However, while we need a new and better organised instituiton of some sort to deal with the state of irish soccer, some blame has to rest with Staunton and the players. He should never have been appointed by those muppets in Merrion Square, lets take that for granted. But listening to his interviews and claims about building for the future many of us anticiapted the humilation that occured yesterday. It was quite obvious that he does not have belief in the irish players to perform. From the interviews i heard with Steve it sounded as if he knew we were going to lose, he spoke about not expecting too much, building for the future, how much of a great team Cyprus are ( ranked 103 in world rankings and included in a list of teams such as San Marino that ought in the future go through a preliminary tournament in order to get to the qualifiers).

Now any of us who played soccer at under 8;s , 10's , 15's etc know that if your manager does not believe in you then the team will not have any belief. However, and credit to Stan, and it may reflect what Kerr found as our manager, the refusal of the players themselves to take the international stage seriously is also a growing problem. Some commentators have argued that international football is dead, corporate clubs spoil their players, they live lavish lifestyles, earn grotesque amounts of money .. breeding footballers, like our youth into greedy, spoilt irresponsible brats with no alliegence to anyone except their bank managers.

Now, of course, i would not include the likes of Richard Dunne, Robbie Keane and duffers in that mix but it may be a factor.

Anyway, the core problem undoubtedly lies with the FAI , and i wait in vain and hope for the appointment of Roy Keane to the international stage, not only would he build, organise and get the best out of players he would take no shit from the gobshites currently in charge of Irish soccer.

If i cant play ball, its not my revolution!

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