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Robbie Fowler: Spain win puts Irish game in context

by Sean Goff | July 2, 2012

Robbie Fowler column

After Ireland’s exit from Group C everyone had an opinion on how bad the results were. But Robbie Fowler argues that after Spain’s Euro 2012 triumph the results have to be seen in context .

Ireland should take some comfort from Spain’s 4-0 win over Italy in the Euro 2012 final last night.

I remember when a 10-man Australian side got battered 4-0 by Germany in their opening game of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the media went to town Down Under.

They bounced back from that and drew 1-1 with Ghana in the next game and beat Serbia 2-1 to restore some national pride. It worked out okay for the Aussies and they’ll regroup and focus on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

And I’m sure Ireland are probably in the same boat.

Everybody felt the results against Spain (lost 4-0) and Italy (lost 2-0) were terrible at the time but they both contested the final so those games have to be put in perspective.

Obviously, Ireland didn’t do themselves justice against these two top sides and they have every right to feel disappointed with their performances.

But Spain’s win over Italy in the Euro 2012 final showed what a difficult task they faced at the time.

England too need to look at themselves in a different light. Even though it ended in a draw and they lost on penalties they were outclassed against the Italians.

There were times when Italy dominated the game but just couldn’t score. Both Ireland and England can take a little bit of comfort – not that they will want to –that the results reflected where the sides were at that time in their development.

And it is now time to look forward to preparing for the World Cup qualifiers that start in September on the road to Brazil in 2014.

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