By Ciaran O Raghalllaigh
ROBBIE Keane, Richard Dunne and Keith Andrews prepared for the might of Spain’s world champions today in Gdynia – by beating up a bunch of culchies.
‘Culchies’, for those of you not familiar with the way we’ve taken the Queen’s English and made it our own, is a semi-derogatory word for people who weren’t lucky enough to be born in Dublin.
It was John O’Shea (from Co Waterford) who revealed the training ground match up was Dubs (from Dublin) v culchies, so even the culchies are saying culchie these days.
O’Shea had also plenty to say on how the team will approach the Spain game.
Anyhow, the line-ups sparked mild debate in the stands as it appeared that Jon Walters (mother from Dublin, so he passes) was lining up alongside Keane in attack.
But, it transpires, Kevin Doyle was only dumped because he’s from Co Wexford.
Doyle might still get the chop if Trap who picks his team to play Spain tomorrow swings the hatchet.
Far from certain
Nothing is certain these days.
Marco Tardelli spoke briefly after training and, while we’re not sure if he was too familiar on the culchie phenomenon, he was clued in on how the players were approaching Thursday’s game.
“You saw in training, the players want a good match against Spain,” he said.
“We speak with the players and they are professional. We need to see the same performance again but not the defeat because we conceded three goals in a strange way.
“I think we are ready for the next match.”
Will there be changes? There simply HAS to be Marco…
“I don’t know. We have two or three days to decide. Maybe it’s possible but the players play for me, for Giovanni, they play well. They do all their best.”
Any different pressure going in against the best team in the world?
“No. There is good pressure. We are Cinderella. We are underdogs. The players want to do something very important for the country.
“They believe. We believe. We are on the pitch to win. In the football, there are three results and it is possible all things.”
Cinderella saw more of the ball, I’d imagine.
Skipper Keane is another who believes.
“In a few games already there’s been a few upsets, so there’s no reason why we can’t go into Thursday’s game believing we can get a result.
“There’s always pressure, it’s going to be no different than it has been before. I mean, before this game people hadn’t given us chance so what have we got to lose?”
What about their experimental 4-6-0 formation Robbie?
“I think everyone thought it was a bit strange that they started with six midfielders. I think that just goes to show the confidence they have in the team. I mean, it’s not a bad six is it? They’re probably the best six midfielders in the world.
“Listen no matter who they play we know it’s going to be a tough game.
“We going into every game hoping we can three points so that would be our main aim. It’s very difficult as a player to go into a game thinking that you just want to get a point. It’s very hard to do that as a player, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we did get a point.”
Well, Robbie, if you lose – at least you’ll still be Dub.