Given their impressive performance last night, in the first half at least, I figured I’d comment on yet another bad decision from an official in charge of a football match involving the Irish.
No matter how hard they try, and how well they play against some of the best teams in the world, the Republic of Ireland football team always seem to be struck with bad luck. From the awful decision on Thierry Henry’s handball in the World Cup play off back in November, which I’ll mention again later, to the first Brazil goal last night, Blackburn mifielder Keith Andrews’ unfortunate own goal, allowed to stand despite Robinho, whose shot it was that Andrews deflected beyond the ever-impressive Shay Given, being a yard offside, it seems that no officiating body of football, whether that be UEFA, FIFA, or the referees themselves, are willing to take the Irish seriously.
The playoff in November is an incident that many Irish football fans, myself included, are still very bitter about, given not only the incident, but the ignominy that Sepp Blatter, FIFA president, and Michel Platini, UEFA president, showed when the FAI made their futile request to have the game replayed, or the result overturned.
As for Henry, his was a spectacular fall from grace, tarnishing his brilliant reputation with this fallacy, echoing the careers of Diego Maradona and Zinedine Zidane, to name but two. He seems to have recovered slightly now, but he will still always be associated with this misdemeanour rather than the years that he spent as arguably the best striker in the English Premier League.
The fact that Giovanni Trappatoni is still in charge of the Republic suprises me somewhat, as I thought that the playoff would be his last stand. That he remains in his post shows that he is willing to fight for this team, and get them to their first finals since the 2002 World Cup, and whilst last night’s result was only a friendly, they can take from it their first half performance, which was impressive, and the fact that they gave arguably the best team in the world a good run for their money. They just need to sort out their luck.
The Irish nation weeps a single tear.