Some things I've learned....

(1) An Engineer can do with 10 cent what a fool can do with a Euro.

(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time

(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!

(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....

(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!

Saturday 29 September 2007

Grinds My Gears!! - Issue 11

Well after the harsh - yet necessary - tone of my last Grinds My Gears, I felt it was necessary now to lighten up things slightly, and bash the hell out of something that is on the mind of Irish fans all across the country......

Namely are underperforming, pansey-faced, wasters of national teams. Most importantly the national Soccer and Rugby Teams. We have many people who do our nation justice in the world, like Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Paul Mc Ginley....wait...they're all golf players. Does that mean the only sports personalities we can be proud of are golf players?!?!?!!?! It would seem so....


Anyway, to the issue at hand....


Some facts for you first regarding our national teams:


Soccer


Currently ranked 32nd in the World FIFA rankings, we have finally overtaken Northern Ireland who are now in 36th. Our best position was 14th from the 2002 World Cup. Interestingly enough, we haven't qualified for a single European Championship since Euro '88 and failed to qualify for last years World Cup in Germany.


Rugby


Currently ranked 6th in the World, one ahead of England and one behind France. Our best position was 3rd which we held this time last year after impressive wins over Austrailia and South Africa. Our best position in the World Cups has been the quarter finals. This squad of players is heralded as the most talented side we've ever had.


Now the reality.....


Our soccer team is so bad, and underperforming so much that words cannot describe both my frustration and disappointment from the previous two games. Given my recent experience at the paintball range, getting hit square in the love spuds by a paintball, I'd rather do that again than face the horrifying display we put out in international games. When one looks at our squad we see most players play for Premiership clubs, and a handful of Championship clubs. By right we should have a very high standard game, but sadly, we don't. The press builds the team up to the point where they believe (and hence convince the public) that we (Ireland) are one of the best in the world (like fuck me are!). There is some kindof illusion that Ireland is capable of beating teams like Germany and Czech Republic. No. We can't, they are better, always have been, always will be. The longer we keep on this path, the closer we become more like the British Media (yes, that will be a later GMG). The fact that we are ranked 32nd is no reflection on this teams standard. The actual group table does us more justice than it really should. We are crap, that's the bottom line. I don't aim all the blame solely on Steve Staunton's shoulders, though he does deserve some of it. When push comes to shove it's the players on the pitch that are at fault. Yes players like Kevin Doyle and Robbie Keane are great when the play in the Premiership, but that's because they are playing for high quality teams. The Irish International team doesn't come close.

Is there a solution? Unfortunately at the moment I can only answer "No". The problem is on the pitch, and only the players can redeem themselves. Let's face it, qualification for the Euro's is nigh impossible at this stage. All we needed from the Czech and Slovakia games was 4 points to give us a decent chance, and instead we return home with only 1. Steve Staunton isn't responsible for exactly how the players perform on the pitch, but he is responsible for choosing positions, and quite frankly playing Kelly as a left back when he's a right back and not playing Stephen Hunt instead of Kilbane is just asking for it.

The reality of the Rugby is almost as bad. At one stage, the Rugby squad was the pride of the country. 3rd in the world, Triple Crown titles back to back and for the first time ever ranked as favourites to win the Six Nations. Yes, we did quite well in the Six Nations, and lost out by the skin of our teeth to France at the end of the hunt, but nothing...and I mean NOTHING, could prepare us for the disaster that was the World Cup which followed.

The media had christened our group as "The Group of Death" and justifiably so, given that ourselves, France and Argentina would be battling it out for the top two spots, each country ranked 4th, 3rd and 6th in the World respectively at the time. Expectation was naturally high given our performance in the Six Nations...but oh my how wrong we were. Namibia...utter disaster. Yes we won the game, but far from convincingly. We were assured by the squad that there'd be no repeat come Georgia. Once again, disaster, so much so that we almost lost the game save for a last minute failed try by Namibia. The problem was grave from the beginning when Argentina beat France, meaning we then had to beat both of them to top the group.

Following the superb performances by France and Argentina against the Georgians and Namibians, the harsh reality of Ireland's lacklustre performance was clear. We should have just failed to turn up for the French game. We were so bad that night, that the only thing I can remember was going "*sigh*" every five minutes. So many mistakes, so much bad everything!

Now I realise that tomorrow is the Argentina game but we genuinely have no hope. Not only do we have to beat them, but we have to beat them by seven points AND score at least four tries!!! EVEN THEN we'll only finish second in the group meaning we'll have to face New Zealand in the quarters, and by God we should just pack our bags then. With the way they've fallen from grace it's too hard to even watch them anymore....

Why can we never win??

~The Damo

1 comment:

Kevski said...

Believe it or not, the highest the soccer team has been ranked is 3rd! Just before the '94 World Cup.