Category Archives: Soccer

Euro 2008 – What a Bore

I’m sitting here watching the opening minutes of the Turkey and Czech Republic match in 2008. So far the highlight of the game so far has been a Turkish player changing his boots.

After less then ten minutes, I’m bored. Not just with this game, but with football in it’s entirety. I don’t have the interest to follow who’s playing for which team, or whether the last foul really deserved a yellow card or not.

My interest started to wane several years ago when players started to spend more time rolling around on the ground in faux agony than they did trying to score goals. That period also saw the huge increase in players wages. When players are regularly receiving in excess of STG£100,000 a week to kick a ball, you know there has to be something wrong with the world.

But what really bugs me are the rules of football. There’s no consistency. Not just within the game, but during a match. For example, two players jump for a high ball. In 90% of these cases the refferee will blow the whistle for some unnoticeable foul. If the free kick is near the box, then you’ll have at least 15 players in the box jostling for positions. They’ll push each other, tug at each others jerseys and generally do everything they can to break the oppositions concentration and movement. Where’s the whistle? Where are the yellow cards? Where is the ref? That bugs me. If you’re going to give a free because two lads had a minor collision in the air, then surely you should be giving frees, and yellow cards if required, for all the messing that goes on while waiting for a free kick to be taken?

Don’t get me start about defenders “shepherding” the ball over the line while physically holding the attacker back.

Just as well I follow rugby. At least in rugby, the physicality is part and parcel of the game. It’s true what they say:

“Rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen, while football is game for gentlemen played by hooligans.”

Some Other Match

With all the excitement of the Heineken Cup Final this weekend, I almost forgot about the the other match on this week.

Twenty-two over-paid, under-worked divas will be rolling around on the ground pretending to be injured in Moscow tonight.

Once all the play-acting is done, they might even try to score a goal or two. Maybe.

As a spectacle, I’m sure that it’s one not to be missed.

Irish Soccer Management – In a Class of Their Own

Apparently the latest opinion from the FAI is that we have a world class management team in Steve Staunton and Bobby Robson. In what sport? I’d say tiddlywinks, but that would be an insult to professional tiddlywinks players.

Here we have one man who most of the time can’t string two coherent words together, and then we have Bobby Robson. When was the last time you saw him at an Irish game? Where was for the post-match press conference? In fact where was he for the preparation of any of our qualifying games?

I know that he’s been quite seriously ill, but does that not suggest that he is not the right person for this position? I have a lot of respect for Bobby, what he has achieved in the game is second to none, but he should have realised that it was time to retire several years ago and stick to the TV punditry.

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San Marino vs Republic of Ireland

What a disaster. Ireland may have won 2-1, but in all fairness, it’s a Phyrric Victory. We been humiliated by a team ranked about 150 places below us in the world.

The Irish team must have thought that all they had to do was show up and the win would be theirs. Fair play to San Marino though for pushing so hard for the win, and if there was any justice, they would have gotten the draw. Given that the winner wasn’t scored until the 5th minute of injury, Ireland certainly didn’t deserve to win.

This game just raises more questions about the Irish soccer setup. Why was a manager with virtually no management experience appointed to be the manager of an international team? Where is the pride in representing your country? Where was the leadership, both on and off the field? When was the entire board of FAI struck with selective blindness? It was obviously a gradual event, as the first symptoms first appeared when they were searching for a manager, and since then it has worsened dramatically. And of course the most important question, when is Steve Staunton going to be shown the door?

If you have any answers to the above questions, please direct them to:
The Football Association of Ireland
80 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel: +353 1 7037 500
Fax: +353 1 662 4630
www.fai.ie