All shuffle in your seats, it's only Germany next
TV VIEW:Bill O’Herlihy, lest we forget, was largely responsible for what proved to be an edgy enough opening 89 minutes
WELL, THAT was comfy.
And all those prophets of doom, their green, white and gold Brazil 2014 bananas despondently deflated, who fretted that it wouldn’t turn out well, when there was a whole minute plus added time to go with the score at a mere 0-1, need to hang their despairing, defeatist heads in shame.
Sure, we were laughing in the end. Comfy.
Bill O’Herlihy, lest we forget, was largely responsible for what proved to be an edgy enough opening 89 minutes when he declared pre-match that “it’s inconceivable that we’re not going to win”.
This was almost, you half feared, venturing in to Kevin Keegan-ish territory – too many to choose from, but, famously, eg: “Only one team can win this now – England” (seconds before Dan Petrescu won the 1998 World Cup game for Romania).
Our host, while his spirits were still not fully recovered after our summer misadventures, was convinced this campaign should, at least, start with a triumph, considering Kazakhstan are below Sao Tome and Principe, St Vincent and the Grenadines and even Northern Ireland in the world rankings.
“I mean, St Pat’s effectively beat that team,” he added in a ‘for heaven’s sake’ kind of way, referring to their Europa League success over Kazakh big guns Karagandy last year, ensuring himself a warm welcome in Richmond Park next time he drops in.
So, with our Euro 2012 bags hardly unpacked, here we were, off again on our travels. “The road to Brazil starts right here in Astana,” said Tony O’Donoghue standing plastic-pitchside in Kazakhstan, when it seemed a mere week since we picked up considerably more pints than points in Poland.
A shiny new era of swashbuckling football with, say, a devilishly quirky 3-1-2-1-2-1 formation?
“Yeah, right,” suggested John Giles, Liam Brady and Eamon Dunphy – the latter, you must say, having scrubbed up decidedly well during the summer. (Legal department: that was Richard Sadlier).
But this was a new day, and new days bring hope, optimism, positive thoughts and the like. Bill, then, was well-ish up for it, but Liam, the auld doomsayer, reminded him: “Things can go wrong in a football game.”
Liam: “It’s nightmare stuff.”
Bill” “It’s depressing, isn’t it?”
Liam: “No – it’s a nightmare.”
It was, a bit. Before kick-off, Bill had apologised because the game wouldn’t be available in high definition, while George Hamilton told us that it was entirely the Kazakh telly people’s fault that there were no replays, so we’d just have to “reminisce” about what we’d seen a few minutes before
That Kazakhstan goal? You could only be grateful there were no high definition replays, once was more than plenty, thanks very much.