Thursday 7 June 2012

Come on IRELAND!

The only way I was ever going to ‘support’ England at the EURO 2012 soccer tournament starting this Friday in Poland-Ukraine was if I somehow 'picked' up England in the office pool. Well, I did just that and as such Roy Hodgson’s men get my grudging support. If only to finally win something for the first time.

To be honest, I'm not really counting on finally getting my hands on those doubloons come July 1, judging by England's woeful tournament underachievement since 1966.
Also, it doesnt help that I picked what is considered the auld enemy in these parts.

Actually come to think of it, the widespread antipathy - in fact you could even call it animosity – towards English national teams in these parts is bizarre to say the least, especially when you spot the countless number of Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal replica jerseys on the streets on of Dublin. You would think they are handed out for free at pub entrances instead of going for around €50 a pop in the high street sports outlets.

Anyway, club football allegiance makes this ‘support’ somewhat palatable mainly because this English side is surprisingly and inexplicably packed with Liverpool players and captained by no less than Stevie G. Having had yet another largely disappointing season, Liverpool has somehow ended up with a quarter of the English squad.

Of course, Ireland having qualified for its first major finals since 2002 means I can once again support my adopted homeland at a major finals and I hope the boys do well despite being in the same group as current world and defending European champions Spain and former world champs Italy.

However, stranger things have happened on the soccer pitch and Ireland’s chances cannot be discounted on the basis that they face two of the world’s best sides. If anything Ireland under the pragmatic and obstinate stewardship of the old schemer il Trap have proven extremely hard to beat. So hope springs eternal!

Come on you boys in Green!

Come on you boys in Green!

Come on you boys in Green!

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