The big green tent is being packed up and the Green Army is heading home. In fact, the only people to come out of the European Championship campaign with any real credit were the Irish fans.
by Tony O’Doherty
The fantastic Irish support had decided in advance they would enjoy themselves, regardless of results, and that they would pay no attention to the Irish sporting media who, in my opinion, completely lost the run of themselves in the lead-up to and during the ‘Euros.’
I couldn’t believe the amount of newsprint that some Irish tabloids managed to generate before and during the competition.
Okay, I know it sells newspapers but it also raised ridiculous expectations which, thankfully, most fans ignored.
Ireland don’t have world class players but the country does punch above its weight basing their plan on a solid defensive unit.
But that went out the window in this competition as Ireland conceded early goals and then proceeded to give away more poor goals as the games progressed.
The same media who had unrealistically built this team up, then screamed for a plan B involving players such as Wes Hoolahan, James McClean and Darron Gibson and calling for a game-plan built on ball retention and passing.
That’s fine in a newspaper, but Giovanni Trapattoni got Ireland to the ‘Euros’ by playing to the country’s traditional strengths and there is no proof that trying to take on teams such as Croatia and Spain at their own game would fashion anything other than a defeat.
Most of the Irish fans know this deep down and go to the big tournaments knowing that any kind of win is a bonus and never an expectation.
While I would like to see ‘Trap’ slightly change the way Ireland play our pool of available players will not allow is to change our style completely, no matter who the manager is.