Reality check all right but really Roy . . . shut up
VIEW FROM THE COUCH:‘You’ll never beat the Irish,’ the crowd roared, at which point Torres scored
JOHN GILES began the day by reminding us that stranger things have happened in football, like Colchester beating Leeds in the fifth round of the FA Cup in 1971. That prompted a surge of confidence among RTÉ’s viewers, 75 per cent of them voting “yes” in the latest poll: Ireland could get a positive result against Spain.
“And sometimes you just have to believe,” said Bill O’Herlihy, and he was right.
Despite Michael Robinson’s forecast, that the dwarf would sting like a butterfly before being pummelled by the bee, Colchester proved anything is possible.
“And Michael Robinson wasn’t exactly Pele,” said Eamon Dunphy.
“He thought he was,” said Liam Brady, who, like his colleagues appeared to be sporting hair as green as his tie, but that proved to be the reflection of the studio lighting. Disappointing, it would have been a nice touch.
Breaking news from Tony O’Donoghue: Simon Cox in, possibly even in midfield, Kevin Doyle out.
“I would be astonished,” said Eamon, while Liam was sceptical, highly sceptical, about the reliability of RTÉ’s footballing sources: “George Hamilton told us Di Matteo wouldn’t get the Chelsea job – and he got it the next day!”
Some time later: confirmed. Simon Cox in, possibly even in midfield, Kevin Doyle out.
“Is he losing the plot a small bit?” Bill asked Liam, a little tentatively, of Giovanni Trapattoni’s selection, but Liam, having just texted his apology to Tony, was having none of it. Yes, he was puzzled by the Cox business, but he remained defiant: “Bring it on!”
Then the panel had a metaphysical discussion about all sorts, including the respective merits of Italy and Croatia’s star middle men.
Bill: “Who else, apart from Modric and Pirlo, have that kind of vision?” John: “Xavi.” Liam: “Iniesta.” Eamon: “Fabregas.” Liam: “All playing for Spain!” At which point he inserted his head in his hands.
Time for a brief appearance by Jedward who wished OMG Ireland well. You know, some of us would pay anything to witness a meeting of Jedward and John Giles, but we fear it will never come to pass.
Italy v Croatia out of the way, time for the biggie.
“Okey doke, Simon Cox is in,” Bill confirmed. And the misfiring Fernando Torres was in for Spain too, so where there was no goalscoring life there was hope.