Thursday, March 22, 2007

STAN'S PLAN

In a shock move, Irish international gaffer Steve Staunton, has elbowed Bobby Robson to one side as he makes the most crucial team selection of his rocky managerial career. The novice boss has explained his actions, and his team selection in an exclusive interview with Irish football website walkthechalk.com

Stan is a man under extreme pressure as the wrath of a nation flexes it's anger in anticipation of another embarrasing performance. There is little appetite for the Louthman's pallid rhetoric; we want a win and a heartening performance from our overpaid fashionista footballers.

As our once lofty standing in the international game is reduced to leprechaun stature - our nearest neighbours Norniron have overtaken us - we run the risk of becoming the laughing stock of Irish sport once again. Should we be forced to witness another 90 minutes of amateur foreplay a la San Marino even our fiercest fans will be off to Elvery's for cricket whites.

I was told by a dog in the street that this game versus Wales will be the first ever soccer international to be held on the hallowed partturfpartplastic of Croke Park. Whilst on the surface it may seem like a fraternal deed on behalf of the GAHmen, they may in fact be about to reap a rich harvest from the realms of soccer fans and event junkies on our bloated isle.

All those fans who've never experienced the atmosphere of a packed house at Croker; should they become disenchanted after another lame performance, they may well become hooked on the venue and the experience. We could lose a lot of them.

Steve Staunton has been gifted an opportunity which he hasn't earned...the raw emotion of the recent rugby experiences at Jones' Road is proof of that. The crowd will be behind the side to a degree not experienced since the heady days of Italia '90; if that doesn't inspire these players.....sigh. The future of our international side rests on the shoulders of the following players.

Packie Bonner

Steve Finnan - Dave Barry - Diarmuid O'Sullivan

Stephen Ireland - Richard Dunne - Liam Miller

Kieran Donaghy - Roy Keane

DJ Carey - Ronan O'Gara - Brian O'Driscoll

Kevin Doyle - Niall Quinn - Declan Browne

Bonnar has been selected mainly for his punting and shot stopping ability. The defensive unit consists in the main of Corkmen; defensive, but eager to attack [oops]. The Honeymonster adds physical presence. In midfield we have two of that zones finest exponents. There's plenty of firepower in the half forward line; the legendary DJ alongside the metronomic deadball prowess of O'Gara; O'Driscoll's probing runs and gasifying pace will terrorise the Welsh back four. Kevin Doyle and Niall Quinn are assured performers at this level; Declan Browne's pointing ability cannot be ignored. The points are in the bag- unless Stan goes 4-4-2.

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