This was a year where there were very few places to look for comfort for the Irish football fan. The victories over Oman and the Faroes didn't quite scratch the itch which had been left by Euro 2012.
This wasn't so much of an itch really as a massive, massive hangover being played out to the incessant tune of The Fields of Athenry running round and round the heads of those thousands who made their way to Poland, like one of those dripping taps that eventually send people nuts.
But all is not lost for the Ireland fan. If such a fan was to look towards the superlative rock documentary Anvil some wise and appropriate words could be found coming from Steve 'Lips' Kudlow who, after the culmination of yet another tour with the hapless band where everything went horribly wrong remarks: "Well, at least there was a tour for everything to go horribly wrong on."
Giovanni Trapattoni and his employers appear to have watched Anvil with a close eye (a closer eye than they have watched many Ireland players, you might say) because following humiliation on the big stage last summer, we were all encouraged to console ourselves with the fact that at least there was a big stage to be humiliated on.
And with Trap firmly in situ and qualification for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 unravelling quickly, we should probably be grateful for what we've got. We're unlikely to see a big stage again anytime soon. Just like Anvil in fact.
Sunday Indo Living