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This week marked a new era in Irish football as Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane faced there first challenge against Latvia at the Aviva Stadium. The team sheet backed  up O’Neil’s claims earlier this week that he would be taking the match seriously by playing a strong side against this relatively unknown Latvia team. Arguably the real test will come next week when Ireland visit Poland next week but fan will really see what this management duo is like tonight. A surprise for me in the team line-up is that …

 
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 …

One team came and one team left the Euro 2012 party in Gdansk yesterday. A thumping result for the Spanish which sees them go level on points with Croatia at the top of the group after their draw with Italy.
Del Bosque opted to use Torres as the only recognised striker against the Irish and the stage was set for him and boy did he deliver. It took him three minutes to break his Euro duct in this competition.  Richard Dunne blocked Silva’s initial effort and Torres nicked the ball of …

Just a few weeks ago, it seemed that that Ireland’s class of XI would need to emulate the Green legends before them, mostly those who played under the stewardship of Jack Charlton. Organised, resolute and difficult to beat, they were the epitome of the system and the results Italian Giovanni Trapattoni desired.
Now, though, Ireland need to look to new inspiration, after a disastrous defeat against Croatia all, rendered their chances of qualification even slimmer. Now the scale of the task ahead of them is even larger than the task facing Chelsea in …

 
So there we have it. Game one down and many Irish fans will feel very disappointed. But I don’t think this should be the case. Ireland were far from disgraced. Sure mistakes were made. Three to be precise and one from the referee of course. But should Ireland feel aggrieved really? Croatia’s midfield comprised of Luka Modric, the Spurs midfield maestro who is touted for a £32 million move to Manchester United this week and Ivan Rikitic, a young talented player who has been tipped by many to be one …

This week sees the kick-off of the eagerly anticipated Euro 2012 Championship in Poland and Ukraine. The excitement is palpable for what could be one of the most competitive International competitions in some time. And where else to look for such excitement than the western, evergreen tip of Europe. Of course I mean The Republic of Ireland. Who have managed to deservedly qualify for their first International tournament since World Cup 2002.
Now in Ireland much has been said of Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad and tactics. Some negative, some positive.
Tactically Ireland are …

It’s been a bumpy start to the European Championships. Spain and England are each suffering from injury crises, the Dutch and the German’s from the huge weight of expectation, and on top of all this the threat of racism hangs over the tournament; a dark specter to the hors d’oevre that was the first day.
Amidst all the drama, it’s easy to forget about our Irish neighbours. It’s almost as though they are playing in another competition, or in some sort of parallel universe. Whilst most of the other nations have been frantically preparing and ratifying their …

A wily old manager. A controversially defensive style of play. A questionable exclusion. And a group that seems almost impossible to escape from. Ireland and England have never had so much in common.
But there is one key difference. Whilst England are looking down, and substantially revising their expectations, Ireland are looking up with a wave of new found optimism sweeping through the Republic. Trapattoni has his men organised, fit, fresh and ready to go. The Italian’s decision to name his starting XI for all three group matches last week was an intriguing one. It is …

For England, the task this summer is to replicate the hero’s of ’66. For Spain the matadors of 2010 and 2008. For France, the champions of 1998 and 2000. Even the likes of Denmark and Greece have legends to take inspiration from. The task charged with the Republic of Ireland is to make history in front of our eyes. As a result of previous near misses and “if only” moments, the expectation levels placed on Ireland are significantly lower than the majority of the other European nations. However, to say that Ireland …

As a man, Giovanni Trapattoni is reflective entirely of his homelad. His long white hair, constant style and undistinguished passion for both the game of football and life itself are all Italian trademarks. It would seem also that Italian influence has had it’s effect on the tactics of the man, as was shown in particular during Ireland’s qualification campaign for this summer’s tournament. His predecessor, Steve Staunton, was removed from his post in October of 2007 for a combination of poor results, and a quality of football that resembled the images portrayed …