Famous words from Roy Keane that have rang in the ears of every keen Irish supporter during this tournament. Let’s not just turn up for the sing song. As ever the controversial ex captain of the green nation has split opinions on whether he is right or out of line. In these situations it’s always important to look at both side of the angry opinionated coin!
From the supporter’s point of view, what they did on Thursday was truly a sight to behold. It did wonders for football fans reputations. They sang their hearts out constantly for 90 mins and probably hours more after the final whistle. There were reports of Irish fans singing with Polish and Spanish fans all night and that is exactly what these tournaments are about. This is a game after all. It’s important to remember that. It’s a form of entertainment. Sure there’s pride in your country, there’s favourable players, but it’s not a war. Nobody dies or loses their life due to the result of a football match (unless your Colombian of course).
From Keane’s point of view, you have to see the eternal competitor in him. This man was born to win and when he stepped on a football pitch, nothing less was expected. He seemed to have this struggle with the FAI all his career. He constantly moaned about their unprofessionalism and this even led to his infamous walk out in Saipan all those years ago. Keane’s point was correct I think. It’s not OK to work so hard to get to a tournament and then fluff your way through the opening two games. Maybe we would be saying something different if Ireland had been comprehensively beaten in both games. Don’t get me wrong, Ireland were clearly the under dogs in both games. They were played off the pitch, but did anyone else get the feeling that they could’ve been so much better? A team who goes unbeaten in 14 games to qualify should not be leaking goals after 3 mins in both games. That is not OK. The goals that were conceded were unbelievably sloppy. Even if it was Spain. I think Keane was right in what he said. The team Trapattoni picked, although on paper was probably our best 11, certainly did not perform like it. I agree with Keane, there should be wholesale changes for the Italy game this evening. Why not? What is there to lose? Give the players who have never played in a major tournament game the chance to prove themselves. Who knows maybe they’ll shine, maybe even one will shine. Wouldn’t that be something to take from this tournament? Maybe after 3 games Ireland will finish in a better position than the Dutch!!!! Though admittedly this seems highly unlikely.