Saturday, 7 July 2012

Don't look back in anger

So now its all over there is no escaping the brutal facts. Ireland's record at Euro 2012 does not read very well. We played three and lost three, with a goal difference of minus eight. All in all, a bit of a let-down, even though two of the teams we lost to ultimately got to the final and all three of them were ranked in the world's top 10. In fairness though given the scant resources at our disposal, should we really be surprised?
There can be no doubt that our players have performed better in the past and Euro 2012 won't feature in a slide show of their career highlights (although Keith Andrews may be an exception). But at the outset the bookies had us at 80/1 to win it, and in the end they were proved right.

Since we were knocked out Trapattoni has been slammed in most quarters for his predictable team selections, his unpredictable substitutions and the tactical rigidity that he continues to persist with. But even with a different system, and more skillful players such as Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy involved, would it really have made much of a difference? And if he does shake things up for the World Cup Qualifiers, starting away to Kazakhstan in September, will it make us a better side?

My opinion is that, yes it could make a difference, but because of Trap's reluctance to experiment up to this point, we may not reap the benefits until after the upcoming campaign. It takes time to bed new players in. And Trap rather than look to the future for the greater good of Irish international football may instead look to the end of his current contract, which runs out in two years time after the World Cup. As such there may be no dramatic changes on the horizon.

So rather than looking back in anger at the Euros we should be looking to the future. I would love to hear people's opinions on what our starting X1 should be for the upcoming campaign? Assuming that the likes of Shay Given, Robbie Keane and Damien Duff retire in the coming weeks, my own side would be as follows:

1. Keiron Westwood
2. Seamus Coleman
3. John O'Shea
4. Ciaran Clark
5. Richard Dunne
6. Keith Andrews
7. James McCarthy
8. James McClean
9. Aiden McGeady
10. Shane Long
11. Jonathan Walters

This will be my last posting and I would like to thank you for taking the time to read and contribute to my blog over the last few weeks. As a postscript however please see 50 of the most iconic images captured at the Euros.
So to wrap up, in the words of Vera Lynn: "we'll meet again, don't know where,don't know when. But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day." Hopefully in Brazil 2012 - roll on the world cup! 


  1. Let see who will win this arena. I am only waiting for it to come.

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