Tuesday, February 08, 2005

You'll Never Walk Alone

Ireland play Portugal tomorrow night in a friendly and I'm heading on the train up today. It'll be my first trip to see the boys in green since that great weekend in Paris back in October. Roy the boy is out, of course. Who ever accused him of feigning injury to miss friendlies?... Still we have to learn to live without him and accept his presence for the big games as the bonus it undoubtedly is. It would still be nice if his prospective team-mates were given the chance to play with him however.

Hopefully we'll get a good game, Portugal under Scolari play good football, even if their flair players are getting on a bit. Depending on who they select I wouldn't be surprised if we got beaten but if we give a strong performance and show that we can carve out chances and compete with any team then we might be set up nicely for the game in Israel at the end of March. I must remember, though, that Ireland haven't won a competitive match away from home against any half-decent side since Scotland in 1987. It would be nice to break that run.

The leader of the Green Party in Ireland, Enda Gormley, reminded me once again why I could never vote for such a party, despite my increasingly left-leaning tendencies, when he actually suggested that Ireland should refuse to play a World Cup qualifier in Israel because of the violence in Palestinian territories. Thankfully the Minister for Foreign Affairs (and my local TD from home), Dermot Ahern, knocked that suggestion right on the head. It didn't go un-noticed in Israel, however.
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