Last night.

Bratislava, Slovakia.

The Republic of Ireland football team has missed out on a place in the European Championship finals….

Elimination was all the more agonising for Ireland because in the preceding 120 minutes they performed with a style that justified Kenny’s belief in their creative potential

Agony for Republic of Ireland as they lose penalty shootout in Slovakia (Guardian)


In fairness.

29 thoughts on “Cause For Optimism

  1. Bertie Theodore Alphege Blenkinsop

    Two poor teams.
    Pains me to say it but if you can’t beat Slovakia you don’t deserve to be there.
    Any of England’s 2nd string last night would walk into the Ireland team.

    1. Charger Salmons

      Any of England Women’s 2nd string would stroll into this Ireland team.
      It was harder not to qualify for this tournament than it actually was to get through.
      Even the GAA doesn’t give a team that many chances of getting in via the back door.
      Ireland need a goalscorer.
      Simple as.


    2. Brother Barnabas

      I was ‘encouraged’ by that performance

      yeah, on the whole, average players (both teams), but the football was way better than anything we’ve seen in years

      I had stopped watching Ireland matches, but lasted all of that

        1. broadbag

          + 1 some really clever and decent passages of intricate attacking play but also large swathes of absolute dross, unfortunately that’s a significant improvement.

        2. Brother Barnabas

          yeah but I’m also one of those whingers who doesnt view the charlton years with fondness – I’d take that last eoin hand team and its style of football over the charlton rubbish any day. qualification for tournaments shouldnt be prioritised over absolutely everything else. charlton’s crap put irish football back years. that’s why I’m enthused by kenny.

          1. Charger Salmons

            You’re not wrong.
            Route One has been a blight on the Irish game ever since Big Jack’s era.
            Even Giovanni ” just popping over for the day to pick up my cheque ” Trapattoni fell into the same trap, so to speak.
            But tippy-tappy ultimately needs someone to put the ball into the net and that’s Ireland’s current problem.

          2. Charlie

            I’d settle for a bit of Jacks success. Our problem is way beyond needing a good striker. We’ll need to dig up a couple of creative ball players to make any headway.

          3. Charger Salmons

            What, exactly, did Jack’s Ireland team win ?
            Unless you consider merely qualifying for a tournament winning.
            And why would I resent Jack Charlton ? His unsophisticated defending helped us win the World Cup.
            Now THAT’S winning something.

          4. Brother Barnabas

            what did Jack’s Ireland team win?


            but that’s still more than ron greenwood, terry venables, graham taylor, sven goran eriksson, fabio capello, peter taylor, glen hoddle, bobby robson, gareth southgate, kevin keegan, joe mercer, don revie, steve mcclaren, sam allardyce, roy hodgson, stuart pearce, howard wilkinson… won between them

            hehehe x 54 years and clinging to the memory

          5. Charger Salmons

            Every single one of them qualified for the tournament they were expected to play in though.
            There are thousands of young people in Ireland who were glints in their father’s eye the last time Ireland played in a world cup.
            You really don’t do bitter and angry very well but everyone loves a trier.

          6. Brother Barnabas

            “unless you consider merely qualifying for a tournament winning”

            seemingly you do!


          7. Brother Barnabas

            and while we’re at it:

            “every single one of them qualified for the tournament…”

            doh again

          8. Charger Salmons

            Mind you it’s one thing not qualifying and another getting through to record the joint worst performance ever by a team in the competition.
            Still, the ” best supporters in the world ” got to see three defeats and nine goals conceded.

            Heh x 2011

          9. Brother Barnabas

            all while the little englanders get to throw some cafe’s tables and chairs through the window, urinate on historic monuments and generally behave with the thuggish, loutish, drunken behaviour that sadly confirms the national stereotype

          10. Charger Salmons

            Buzzing for tomorrow’s Nations League clash of the titans between Ireland and Wales.
            Will it match today’s Andorra v Malta game for the true aficionados …

          11. Charger Salmons

            Actually I’m mouthing it while consuming a toasted bacon sandwich and freshly brewed coffee the delightful Lady Charger has just delivered to the boudoir.
            She knows I have a long weekend of sport and drinking ahead and always likes me to keep my pecker up, so to speak.
            What’s that you say ? HP Brown obviously.

    3. Rosette of Sirius

      They’re one place ahead of us in the FIFA rankings so the outcome is pretty much what I would have expected.

  2. Charger Salmons

    Fair dues to the Sky coverage.
    I switched over from Virgin because it was so quiet you could hear a linesman break wind but on Sky they had a crowd soundtrack which even had singing of The Field of Athenry.
    Now that is the attention to detail which makes Sky the best sports broadcaster by a mile.
    On the downside their match analyser was Mick McCarthy.
    A diagnosis of a malignant tumour would sound more enjoyable than the way he described the game.

      1. Charger Salmons

        Just a friendly and mostly second string players.
        Against Wales.
        I was delighted to see the much-underrated Kieran Trippier make captain.
        However I was genuinely interested to see how Ireland would perform under the new manager and there’s always a good atmosphere in Ireland when the team make it through to a tournament.
        Plus I needed to be up to speed for slagging the gardener…
        But in all seriousness it was a dreadful game.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Not surprised that an imaginary crowd in the background would be your cup of tetley Charger. Goes well with the Walter Mitty lifestyle you have.

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