Johnny Fallon: Standing by Trap's old reliables is all very well .. but look where blind loyalty got Fianna Fail
I WATCHED Ireland’s exit from the European Championships in subdued silence last night. Mrs Fallon and the kids had long since lost interest in this particular journey. It was a sad end. I had no doubt, however, that a brave face was going to be put on things. The reality was different. The Irish team were again second best, they were lucky this Italian team lacks flair but employed the old Italian strategy of defending a one goal lead.
When Italy did decide to push on a little towards the end as Ireland were reduced to 10 men and Balotelli came on, a second goal was inevitable. Nine goals conceded make Ireland one of the weakest teams to take part in such finals.
The fans would of course sing. The fans should be proud of that; they were a credit to their country. Sadly, I could not help but feel that there was still something wrong. Money flowed into the FAI from 1988 onwards, anyone born then should have had better opportunity than ever before in football and training. They should now be in their footballing prime, yet we seem content to put all recent results down to just having our weakest ever squad of players. The fact that in those 24 years we still haven’t managed a proper nationwide schools soccer competition at primary and secondary level in the manner the GAA does should be a critical concern,