World Cup 2014 qualifiers | Ireland v Sweden, Aviva, Dublin (7.45pm)
Football reporter Ciaran O Raghallaigh might just have lost the plot as he begs the Ireland manager for a win…
A Letter to Gio…
I write this on behalf of the Irish people. Those wonderful people who you like, and those you say like you.
The Irish people that stop you in the street, ruffle your hair a little, pinch your cheeks and get you to sign ‘Trap’ on their babies in permanent marker.
The thousands who fly to Milan every week, and see you there seated in row one, your head nodding on to your shoulder as you try to stay awake watching the latest batch of Paul McShane DVDs.
We’re gagging for it, Trap
Well, they’re getting a bit tectchy, Gio, and I thought you should be told.
Before a piebald’s head appears under the pillow in your suite in Malahide.
Basically, they’re gagging for three points Gio, gagging. They’re a student nurse, Gio, and three points is Coppers.
They want it against Sweden on Friday night Gio. Friday night. Three points. Then we’ll see yis in Coppers. Or Diceys, or wherever lets them in…
So. I know it’s been a while. You’re only here five years so you won’t remember how things were when we won a big three points at home.
I mean a BIG three points. Not a three points from San Marino or Andorra.
12 years is a long time…
By big three points we mean a win over any of the countries that have been beaten in Belfast in the last ten years.
If the nordies can do it Gio, surely your bunch can.
It’s now 12 years since one of those truly huge wins.
Jason McAteer, a player who has done nearly as many TV adverts as you, scored a wonderful goal against Holland in 2001, and poof – we were in a World Cup again.
Not only where we in a World Cup, Bono laid on a helicopter and some free booze for McAteer out in Slane, where he was knacker drinking with some lads with guitars. And a drummer.
That’s what’s at stake Gio.
Tragic state of affairs
Those 12 years have passed slowly by, slower than Glenn Whelan doing the moonwalk.
In that time, Switzerland, Russia, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Russia again, and Germany, have all come here and gone home with points, and probably our women.
Beating 37th ranked Slovakia in 2007 is probably a high point – and that was not even played in Lansdowne Road. That was on the northside so it doesn’t really count.
Your best result came against Armenia. A country 98% of Trinity College students were unable to point out on a map in a recent study. (The 2% were Armenian exchange students.)
It’s a tragic state of affairs.
Some musical inspiration, perhaps
If you go back to 2001, we weren’t foreigners in the land of the scalp. In September 1999, Mark Kennedy’s eyebrow hit a screamer that saw us take all three points against Yugoslavia. 17th ranked Yugoslavia.
12 months earlier, we bate the Balkans out of fourth ranked Croatia, thanks to the lovely Denis Irwin and the dastardly Roy Keane.
So. Is there any trend to these wins? Well, the people of Ireland have googled it and there is.
Here’s how they say you can get three points.
Get Marco to log on to iTunes, give him John Delaney’s credit card details and download the following songs.
- ‘Bootie Call’ by All Saints.
- ‘Mambo No.5’ by Lou Bega.
- ‘Let’s Dance’ by Five.
Those songs were number one when those famous victories were achieved.
It’s time to ditch The Fields and On the One Road.
A little bit of Monica’s all you need. Gio. Go on, give it a lash.
A little bit of Col-e-man in my life
A little bit of Pilkington by my side
A little bit of Wilson is all I need
A little bit of Keano is what I see
A little bit of Walters in the sun
A little bit of Shane all night long
A little bit of McCarthy here I am
A little bit of you makes Trap your man