The Glorious Failure of the Irish Team #75

Hunt v PolakSo here we go again. Another morning after the night before and another brave defeat for the Irish team. So near, yet so far away. When Doyle hit the post before half time you kinda knew it was gonna be one of those nights that would end badly. And it got worse soon after the restart. Waffler admires Stephen Hunt, a man whose introduction resulted in the Czech home crowd becoming more animated than they had been up to that point in the match. What a way to quieten them down, though. Never have I heard the words ‘Hunt’, ‘cutting’ and ‘defence’ used so many times in a twenty minute period.

But then! That incident (pictured, right)! Such a bizarre three minutes of action – and not all on the pitch itself. If hitting the post wasn’t signal enough that the game was up for Stan’s men, the fact that the referee, who George Hamilton was keen to point out sent off Andy O’Brien in the last Irish match he officiated (which again was a harsh sending off), was the man in the middle didn’t offer solace. Instead ‘Hunt’, ‘oh’ and ‘no’ were in the same sentence and off he went. Hunt, understandably, was bewildered and enraged. No doubt he wasn’t comforted by the fact that Jan Polak, for all his screaming, was 100% fit again as Hunt left the field.

What was more bizarre was the goings-on in the respective technical areas. If Hunt was incensed, the FAI officials were even more so. Stan, remembering his ‘kicking the bottle’ incident in Stuttgart, decided not to get involved, but his accomplices decided to give those Czechs a piece of their mind. While one official berated what was probably the Czech water-boy, another FAI official went for a more anarchic mode…. and tipped over the fourth official’s table!! Yes, Hunt gets sent off, he’s escorted down the tunnel, Stan throws his arms in the air, and a grey table is tipped over by an irate FAI official… most likely the water-boy.

As soon as seeing that grey-painted wood land slowly on the grass, all that was in my head was the scene in Father Ted where Dougal and Cyril fight over the corner flag at the over-75s indoor football match. Well, it’s not the first time that the FAI and Father Ted have been somehow equated.

So it ends, no more dreaming about the foothills of the Alps in the summer chasing the boys in Green. If we qualify for Euro 2012 it’ll be 14 long agonising years since that summer in Germany. That’s too long. Way too long. Then again, a winter in South Africa might be better than a trip to the land of cuckoo clocks….? Roll on 2010.

Here’s that ending from Father Ted. Dougal = FAI official….


~ by waffler on September 13, 2007.

One Response to “The Glorious Failure of the Irish Team #75”

  1. […] could have been worse I suppose Further to our discussions regarding the Irish team’s glorious failure from Wednesday night, a trawl through the world wide web shows that things COULD have been a whole […]

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