John Drennan: Build a defensive wall against the begrudgers
Ireland is on the cusp of footie 'glory', so from the dugout, John Drennan reveals his plan for tackling resentful fans
That wretched creature, the great Irish begrudger, has had a rough time of it recently. The reason for this is simple: the begrudger only thrives in conditions where we are experiencing prosperity or great national outpourings of joy.
As the Euro 2012 tournament prepares to provide us with as much of a great national outpouring of joy as three nil-all draws (and then back with dignity and honour on the open-top bus parade) can, the begrudger is poised to make a swift return.
In case your enjoyment of the event is in any way compromised by the poison that our begrudger will be spreading, we have put together a number of distinctive opinions our begrudger will use.
The despair will start very early when, presuming you are in the pub, the begrudger will sidle over, look at Giles, Brady and Dunphy on the box, and say: "Jaysus, look at those three oul' fellas, you'd think RTE would get someone new for the tournament."
The presence in your company of the begrudger is likely to be further confirmed when the obligatory shot of celebrating Irish fans (known in civilian life as drunkards) is shown on screen.
Our begrudger will at this point say: "All those fellows are on the dole and funded by the taxpayer, it's a disgrace, some-one should call Joe Duffy", or alternatively sigh: "Not much sign of the recession there with those fellows enjoying themselves on borrowed money".
If at this point you are uncertain about the nature of your unwanted companion watch out for a number of other critical phrases.
The begrudger may say before the match even starts (and in this regards he will sound remarkably like Dunphy that "it wouldn't be so bad if they at least kept the ball/allowed players such as Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) and Keith Andrews (West Bromwich Albion) to express their creative talents".
Our begrudger will also sigh for the era of creative football played by Giles, Brady, Whelan et al when Ireland were so creative we never qualified for anything.
And if that doesn't plunge you into stygian gloom he will then add "this won't do any good for the GAA". At this point, and only then, if you want to get rid of the begrudger before he starts going on about how "it's all a racket for the pubs/sure the teams we're playing are not up to much", one weapon of choice will suffice.
It's called the vuvuzela. One toot on it should be enough to send our begrudger scuttling away for the rest of the match. It certainly has that effect on me.