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.

International Sporting bodies around the world are rightly stamping down on doping and drug use in sport. Following John Delaneys latest pronouncement, I think it’s time they extended random drug testing to the people running the sport. Because whatever he’s taking, it’s obviously good. There are guys here in Limerick that could make a fortune if they got their hands on this stuff.

John Delaney is completely divorced from the reality of the situation. The fact remains that we barely beat San Marino. A team of part-timers. It took a 95th minute, injury time goal for us to win.

We may be a small country, but we have a proud sporting history. Remember Ray Hougton’s famous goal against England in Stuttgart in 1988? Remember Packie Bonners save in the World Cup in 1990? Remember Ray Houghtons even better goal against Italy in the World Cup in 1994? As you think back, I’d bet that your chest is swelling with pride. Pride in the green shirt. Pride in being on the big stage and showing the rest of the world that we may be small, but we are a force to be reckoned with.

Where is the FAI’s pride? Where is their acknowledgment that they have a legacy to maintain. A past history to protect, and a future to grow and nurture. It’s obviously died.

Even with a team of Premiership stars, we can’t manage to convincingly beat a team that have only ever won a single international match. Against Liechtenstein. Their European record speaks for itself. Played 37. Won none. Lost 37. Scored 4 goals and conceded 168. Read that again. Scored 4 goals in 37 matches. And one of those was against us. In other words, last nights game accounts for 25% of their entire goal scoring record.

After such a disastrous result, the only response from the FAI and the Irish Management team is to put up a facade of meaningless drivel. The only response that they should have given was a contrite apology to the fans and the country.

And as we all know, words are best backed up with actions. In this case, the only acceptable action is the resignation of Steve Staunton and John Delaney. If I had my way, I’d also consider revoking their Irish citizenship. Considering what they have done for San Marino’s reputation, I’m sure they’d have no problems in getting a passport.