I think 4 points from these two matches is a great return, so long as we can draw against the Swedes away from home. A sneaky win is more than possible considering David Healy's continuing run as Europe's hottest striker. But I'd rather play it safe and get a point.
Annoyed about the Republic though. They are doing enough to prolong the agony but not badly enough for Staunton to be shipped out. Although Keane is right - nothing will get sorted at the FAI until there is proper reform.
There should def be confidence in the N.I. camp ahead of tonights game against the Swedish, however I still feel the Swedes will come out victorious. Well organised side, only conceded twice so far in the competition.
As for us, Staunton really doesnt have a clue, playing Finnan at left back and John O'Shea at right back when both have played opposite roles for their respective clubs. Quite alot of what the team did on Sat was reminiscent of the Jack Charlton era, long ball and the like. Couldnt understand why Doyle didnt start on Sat, 'match fitness' was the major reasoning, but how does one become match fit? By playing games Stan. Jeeeeez.
I'm for a move out of Winsdor, as it's not good for Irish league football. Linfield have a massive haed start over every other team in the league with the revenue they make from hosting NI matches.
The stadium at the Maze is badly plan, they have mentioned nothing about decent transport links to and from the place. There is also too much history around the place. There seems to be enough space down by the docks to redevelop.
But anyway, c'mon Norn iron against the moose fvckers.
"Belfast City Council have seen the economic benefits of Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and wants to build a smaller version in the heart of the city. Meanwhile, thousands of pounds have been spent on consultancy fees on the Maze project - enough to have paid for the improvements so desperately needed at Windsor Park to ensure international matches can still be played there with a maximum crowd."
The Maze is a politically correct white elephant supported largely by local vested interests who stand to make enormous gains and which will cost more than any of the other improvements or new builds combined.
Also, it's in Lisburn.
One of the DUP gains at St A's was that departments can no longer take decisions autonomously - as a consequence of Babs Brown (copyright IPJ) shutting down maternity at the City rather than the RVH and McGuinness abolising the 11 plus.
So they'll have to 'agree' on the 'way forward'. Ha.
I'm fvckin serious. If they want to keep the handful of us dirty fenians that do support NI instead of Big Stan's Mexican bandits, Poleglass would be lovely. save me a fortune, with just one black taxi up the West (tin hat optional).
Why oh why is Healy at the sinking ship that is Leeds United. People complain that he doesn't do anything at club level and that he's inconsistent but you really have to take into consideration he's playing for an awful team. I've always felt he has the ability to cut it in the Premiership. It will be intersting to see what happens to him this summer.
Go on Northern Ireland, I'd be happy with a sneaky wee draw and have a faint hope that Healy may be able to snatch a winner somewhere. That would be great.
well i have given up on apposing the whole maze thing, if they're gonna do it, then just get on with it. I mighten be able to walk to it, or walk to a pub and have a pint and shoot some pool after a game, but at the moment i can't do that anyway because of the ifa being adament that only 'block bookers' and sponsers and away fans should get tickets.
A bit disheartening for someone who has been to almost every competitive match and most friendlies since beating romania 2-0 on a chilly night in 1993 or 4 if i remember correctly, as a 8 year old kid. Then england came along and everyone wants a bite of the cherry and i cant get a ticket:( where were they when we lost 3-0 to germany in 1999, or when france came for a friendly and paraded the world cup in 1998, and windsor wasnt even packed... just build a new stadium! I wanna go se my we team play a game or 2.
PS. i did not intend my frustrations to slander anyone who has taken a more heightened interest in norn iron, my apologise, my real quarms (if thats a word) is with the lack of a sizable venue and lack of activity in macking one, theres plenty of sights, architects and construction firms, get a move on!! I am happy when, and like to see more and more of us 1.5million people put on the green jersey and get down to the match, or turn onto bbc (since skysports obviously dont recognize any financial value in us!). The fact is, the population of wales is 3 million, and they have a 75,000 packed out stadium. Therefore we should at least have a 32,500 stadium built, appropriate for the obvious rise in demand and welcome support for the lads in green!
[quote:e9bd3711dc="andysaidgun"]A bit disheartening for someone who has been to almost every competitive match and most friendlies since beating romania 2-0 on a chilly night in 1993 or 4 if i remember correctly, as a 8 year old kid. Then england came along and everyone wants a bite of the cherry and i cant get a ticket:( where were they when we lost 3-0 to germany in 1999, or when france came for a friendly and paraded the world cup in 1998, and windsor wasnt even packed... just build a new stadium! I wanna go se my we team play a game or 2.[/quote:e9bd3711dc]
I hear ya.
Still, looking forward to having an aul' Jackie guide me through the game on the telly tonight ;)
Vigorously opposed to the Maze but realistically it's all about having a stadium that will faciliate regular (and perhaps not-so-regular) Norn Iron fans who will be there for the ups (right about now, 1982, 1986, etc) and downs (Sammy Mac, no goals, qualifiers against Macedonia in freezing February when the chips are down).
Anything over 30,000 capacity will be a mistake in the long run, the odd glamour game won't mask the lack of interest in these 'minnow' games, when perhaps NI are in a bad run of form. The tickets sold for the Wales/San Marino kinda illustrate this.
Anyway, ''danger here'' is no ''would you believe it''.
[quote:593905502d="Danny McCormack"]Fair play to the boys for a great result! Do you think NI will qualify now?[/quote:593905502d]
Heart says yes, head says no. If Sweden and Spain win their games in hand they overtake us. But everyone still has to play each other, and you never know, who thought we'd be sitting top of the group at this stage?!
F*cking Christ. How many 'flukes' can this team pull off?!
David Healy, there is nothing left to say about this man! :smt035 :smt035 :smt035 :smt035 :smt035 :smt035 :smt038 :smt038 :smt038 :smt038 :smt040 :smt040 :smt040 :smt040 :smt040
4 more wins could do it. We could win both at home to L'stein and away to Lativa in June. We are now capable of taking Iceland at their place as well. That's one more left out of Sweden and Spain away and the Danes at home. Piece of piss :D
This camping trip to the alps next summer is looking good to be booked. Please God, don't let us balls it up.
Did anyone see Rigsy on TV last night in the crowd after the match, poor fella looked like he was overwhemled by it all.
and yes, 20p Swedish pear cider in Lavery's last night. It started off at £3.20 a bottle, but for every goal, up to the first 3 it went down a pound. Funny that it was all gone 5 minutes after Healy's second goal.
Upstairs in the Bot, madness. Fantastic though. Slightly hoarse and hard of hearing this fine morning.
If we can avoid more than one defeat against Spain, Sweden, and Iceland away, get a result against Denmark at Windsor and don't make a balls of Liechtenstein, dear me, who knows. The match in Riga is a potential slip up mind.
[quote:653fe6ff61="Crackity_jones"]I think I'm gay for him in fact.[/quote:653fe6ff61]
I know I am!
Yet another unbelievable night, so glad i suffered through going to all the crap matchs, losing to everyone and never scoring. We knew times would change! Atmosphere was great again, result perfect and even the halftime kids playing footy were hugely entertaining! Right up there with england and spain matches
There's some "oh so clever professor" on Talk Back saying that the atmosphere is better when watching a big game in a pub rather than the actual stadium. Yeah, dead on. Just another chapter in the modern pseudo-intellectualising book on football.
The kids at half-time seemed to be having a great time. The guy who scored, took his shirt off, ran to the sideline and got yellow-carded was amazing.
[quote:605174a942="gtm"]The kids at half-time seemed to be having a great time. The guy who scored, took his shirt off, ran to the sideline and got yellow-carded was amazing.[/quote:605174a942]
that kid was a legend haha. they couldnt get him to stop doin forward rolls after they had finished playin either! kept runnin about, havin a wee jump then rollin about in the ground haha.
did anyone see the guy in the borat mankini in the kop last night??? jesus, that man mustve been freezin!! he was just wearin that and a pair of flesh coloured pants haha.
yes, what a game it was. just hard to believe that it actually happened! was chattin to a mate before the game and said I was worried about Ibrahimovic....but as he said, the big guy is either amazing or absolutely shite, no middle ground with him. and luckily, he was crap!! but a lot of that had to do with our solid defending, didnt give him a sniff! healys second was agonising cos we were in the kop, just standin there as we saw the ball roll towards goal but we couldnt tell if it was goin in or wide!! what a night at windsor
Ah drunken post-match posts on FF. A wonderful thing.
Me and Smallsquare watched the match in the Harcourt Arms, a Swedish bar in north London. There were three Ulstermen including us in a pub of 200 Swedes. A great pub with an excellent atmosphere.
A far better performance than Saturday, even when we went a goal down I felt a draw was at least possible - probably what we deserved, in fairness.
Swedes were gracious in defeat though. Several of the lads there said that Lagerback has become a liability and is not picking the best side. I was surprised he left out Kim Kallstrom - that lad is quality. They are very keen to get Sven in as their national coach. They still have a lot of affection for him, despite his England debacle.
Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez has angrily denied suggestions that his team are, in fact, Brazil.
Following a string of victories over the world's footballing elite - England, Spain, and now Sweden - rumours are rife in the international footballing community that the men in green are Brazil.
In a hastily arranged press conference, a visibly shaken Sanchez could not contain his anger: "No way are my boys Brazilian. Chris Brunt doesn't even know where Brazil is. Check their passports if you must. I've said it before, and I'll say it again ... We're not Brazil ... we're Northern Ireland."
(Buckfast Telegraph, 29/03/07)
Was one hell of a night, and once again I've got the "Healy Hangover".....not helped by the 4 days just spent in Munich beerhalls whilst over for the Liechtenstein game. It's been a long, long time since it felt this good :-D
[quote:a13eb7d86c="kingmob"]They still have a lot of affection for him, despite his England debacle.[/quote:a13eb7d86c]
based on the quality of "ingerland" internationals i'd say sven did pretty well, taking a limited pool of talent and coming within a shootout of the world cup semis isn't too bad. england's eternal problem is that for some reason they think they have more than a handful of world class players. sven clearly knew better.
"Have NI won Euro 2008 or something? Was I knocked down and in a coma for 16 months?!
Last I checked it was halfway and the cream always rises to the top so lets continue this thread at the end of the year"
I think people can be forgiven for a little excitement watching their country's side go from a laughing stock unable to score no matter what the opposition, to a glorious run beating some of the best sides in the world. In some not inconsiderable style. From a population of 1.7 million, like.
[quote:458725a6ac="bernard"]limited pool of talent[/quote:458725a6ac]
Hardly, what with the Premiership being arguably the strongest league in the world (3 of the Champions League Quarter Finalists are from the EPL), I put it down to Sven and McClaren's inability to drop players when they haven't stepped up to the plate.
"Roughly 47% of which (minus Smitty obviously!) will have been supporting the other 26 counties"
I'm sorry, I wasn't aware the Republic were playing NI last night. I must have been on drugs.
If 'their' pleasure irritates you, just ignore it.
There are a lot of people in that "47%" who are big enough to support both countries. And some of whom just support the country they were born in. I know plenty of them.
this whole northern/republic thing does my head in!! im a huge NI fan, but I dont have any problem at all with the republic!! the only time they wouldnt have my backing is if they ever played NI....i have never had a problem saying the republic have played well in past games, sure the game against germany in 2002 world cup was amazin! keane with the last minute equaliser....went mental in the eg when that goal went in. yet ive yet to hear of the reverse happening....republic fans watching an NI match and cheering when we score (now that we finally can haha). there's mates of mine who just cant say "yeah, they played well last night, great result etc". all i get is we're boring, cant compare NI to the republic at the mo cos steve staunton is in charge and he shouldnt be there etc....i dont know where im going with this now!
all i know is when NI win like they did last night, i still have to defend them from hecklers who try to give me sh1t about them! cant we all just get along?? :D
[quote:5f704a8865="ShowYourBones"][quote:5f704a8865="bernard"]limited pool of talent[/quote:5f704a8865]
Hardly, what with the Premiership being arguably the strongest league in the world (3 of the Champions League Quarter Finalists are from the EPL), I put it down to Sven and McClaren's inability to drop players when they haven't stepped up to the plate.[/quote:5f704a8865]
The majority of the Premiership's best players now and over the years have been foreign.
England have one world-class player in Rooney, and he's not on form. They would have two if they played Gerrard in the middle.
Is there any others you think would get in a World XI? I can't see it.
[quote:9e06de0f3a="ShowYourBones"][quote:9e06de0f3a="bernard"]limited pool of talent[/quote:9e06de0f3a]
Hardly, what with the Premiership being arguably the strongest league in the world (3 of the Champions League Quarter Finalists are from the EPL), I put it down to Sven and McClaren's inability to drop players when they haven't stepped up to the plate.[/quote:9e06de0f3a]
And who would they be replaced with? aaron lennon? stewart downing? rubbish!
mark's spot on. give sven a pool of players who think and play tactically - hardly what the EPL is all about - such as the lazio team that won trophies including serie a for three consecutive seasons, and it turns out he actually knows what he's doing. the sven witch-hunt was xenophobic blame-shifting of the highest order.
i saw the highlights last night and as a liverpool supporter it was nice to see stevie g can take on a whole country by himself, even if it is andorra.
on the NI/republic issue... having a preference is probably unavoidable, but it's a bit weird begrudging the 'other' team a win. n.i. were amazing last night.
oh and stop watching sky sports with all that 'best league in the world' shite... the top four teams in EPL may be doing well in Europe but when is any other team in the EPL going to come close to winning it?
most teams from sixth place down are now scrapping it out to dwindling crowds for a chance to get a few quid from the big UEFA carve up each season.
in case you didn't notice what this thread is about, a team of championship players (plus two guys who struggle to make the bench at aston villa) have just beaten sweden, spain, and bloody england in less than two years.
[quote:1815b55d35="T Entertainment"]If 'their' pleasure irritates you, just ignore it. There are a lot of people in that "47%" who are big enough to support both countries. And some of whom just support the country they were born in. I know plenty of them.[/quote:1815b55d35]
I happily support both countries when they're playing, but actively support neither, purely because I don't really enjoy international football as much as club football. Northern Ireland have really been on form recently though, so fair play to them, I've watched their last few games and it's entertaining football to say the least!
The only time I think England have 'underachieved' was Euro 2000. You'd expect them to get out of the group. Apart from that, they've done pretty well for all the hyperbole filling every paper in the land - building them up, knocking them down.
'Turnip' Taylor got the critical brickbats for failing to qualify for USA '94, but although they should have qualified, by that stage almost a full generation of great players had either retired or were fading.
Their greatest recent success was of course the semi final in WC '90 - funnily enough, probably their greatest EVER team. To my mind they've met (my) expectations almost every time. DISGRACE.
[quote:6a55b780b4="siborg69"]yet ive yet to hear of the reverse happening....republic fans watching an NI match and cheering when we score (now that we finally can haha).[/quote:6a55b780b4]
Your humble administrator is a dirty mexican who was roaring along with the GAWA in Laverys the other night :)
I was brought up a catholic (although admittedly my mums family are presbyterian) and Ive been to all NI's home games since I moved up to Belfast in the last year.
Ive no problem with supporting NI - I was born in the country so why shouldnt I??
My catholic mates think Im mental going to Windsor but I dont feel Windsor a hostile place politically. If you took away 'God Save The Queen' you'd never know of any British/loyalist/unionist elements. There are very little Union Jacks - mostly Norn Iron flags - which I think is the way it should be personally. Ive seen a 'Derry City Supporters Club' flag and a 'Donegal' flag in the Kop. What's the problem?
I know its a cliché but why cant people from 'both sides of the community' respect each others' tradition/background and support the team.
Another of my mates asked me last night: How many catholic players does Norn Iron have. I told him: 'Who cares?'
I think a move to a new stadium would help get more people behind Norn Iron and it will happen.
I don't think England were a poor team last year. Obviously they played atrociously but they had an extremely solid defence, a potentially great midfield and one world class striker with several decent ones.
I think Sven's problem (extendable to McClaren) is this need to feed the egos of the team. Lampard is one of the most overrated players I have ever had the misfortune to set eyes. A fat, arrogant, lucky waste of space. This assumption he is a world class player unbalanced the team and robbed it of any dynamism. Stevie Me is a total ego - but he is a much better player than Lampard. Similarly Terry is nowhere near as good a defender as Carragher. You may be detecting some Scouse bias here but you know I'm right :D
Both Sven and McClaren's tactics seem to extend to 'lump it up to the forwards and bypass midfield'. There is no movement to their side at all, which is why they are creating so few chances. He may be a dirty Chelsea scumbag but Joe Cole has been consistently great for England and Lennon has a lot of potential. 2006 was hardly a year where there was one outstanding world side. England had a cracking chance to win the World Cup, I genuinely believe that. But tactically they bottled it completely.
Another of my mates asked me last night: How many catholic players does Norn Iron have. I told him: 'Who cares?'[/quote:c927ff36aa]
Well, Mal Donaghy, Martin O'Neill, Michael Hughes, Damien Johnson and PAT F*CKING JENNINGS to name a small yet significant few. In fact, has there ever been a Northern Catholic who has played for the Republic? Alan Kernaghan doesn't count because as far as I know he didn't grow up here, his mum was just from Belfast.
Half the 82 and 86 teams were 'catholic', for anyone tragic enough to give a f*ck.
And half the team fielded against Lichtenstein two weeks ago.
Anyone throwing that sort of sh*te around is basically never going to be happy while a Northern Ireland football team exists at all and it's better just to ignore them in the certain knowledge this amazing run must be unbearable. 8)
[quote:9a87d92244="T Entertainment"]Half the 82 and 86 teams were 'catholic', for anyone tragic enough to give a f*ck.[/quote:9a87d92244]
Well exactly. Yer man's mate is clearly an idiot. There will always be an element who refuse to support NI for political reasons or because ROI is 'their team' and always has been, and that is of course their prerogative, but we do seem to be making progress. Next stop: changing the anthem. I want Danny Boy or a specially commissioned song.
[quote:cb81117e78="Crackity_jones"][quote:cb81117e78="T Entertainment"]Half the 82 and 86 teams were 'catholic', for anyone tragic enough to give a f*ck.[/quote:cb81117e78]
Well exactly. Yer man's mate is clearly an idiot. There will always be an element who refuse to support NI for political reasons or because ROI is 'their team' and always has been, and that is of course their prerogative, but we do seem to be making progress. Next stop: changing the anthem. I want Danny Boy or a specially commissioned song.[/quote:cb81117e78]
Teenage Kicks works on so many levels though....[/quote:0726edf573]
Ha! Somebody start an online petition quick![/quote:0726edf573]