Irish marketing and PR companies went into super overdrive last week as the run up to the European Championships reached it’s exciting and incredibly disappointing apex with the Croatian 3-1 trouncing of the ROI. Tiresome and/or vaguely familiar phrases such as “The Spirit of ’88“, “Trap’s Army” and even “Olé Olé” have been piled high in shop windows, off-licences and pubs country-wide in a cynical attempt to recapture the warm feeling from the glory days of Jack Charlton, John Aldridge’s moustache and the 1990 world cup with it’s face-painted feelgoodery. This is despite the fact that the Irish soccer team have been contemptibly & consistently poor for many years.
In an impressive exercise in denial and self-delusion, the whole country went soccer-mad with tri-colour bunting, days off work, constant discussion on radio and television and news reports on green-blooded fans sleeping in tents in Poland. As usual the actual soccer team – who are totally useless – were instantly and completely ripped to shreds by Croatia. There is some more time on the clock for Ireland but after two more inevitable failures the whole sorry mess is expected to blow over and the country will go back to talking about the ECB and Mick Wallace.
Speaking on the phone from his Poznan hotel room yesterday, Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni attempted to converse in English but ended up inadvertently ordering a large gross of croissants from room service and consequently stopped all interviews in tired exasperation at his own incomprehensible, stroke-victim garbling. The players were also unavailable for comment as they were all out clubbing in Poznan. Ireland’s next match against defending champions Spain is on Thursday 14th June at 20.45 Irish time – RTÉ will be showing John Candy‘s classic Jamaican Bobsleigh romp Cool Runnings directly afterwards just in case people are depressed at how badly the Irish lose.
RTÉ chief Tom Savage commented: “We want to do our bit to stop people rioting after another mind-melting slaughter at the hands of some superior masters of the game. After three board meetings with Fine Gael & Labour – and a conference call with the Garda Commisioner – we decided that showing Cool Runnings after the match would be an effective way of stemming the frustrated and vodka-fuelled carnage on the streets that will no doubt follow our inevitable brutal smashing on Thursday evening”
“They really are going to f**king mangle us” added Savage.