Wednesday 25 April 2018

Eamonn Sweeney - Denmark are no great shakes either

Hold The Back Page

‘Given how unlikely qualification seemed after the defeat by Serbia, I would have thought O’Neill’s critics might at least give him credit for masterminding the victory in Cardiff.’ Photo: Sportsfile
‘Given how unlikely qualification seemed after the defeat by Serbia, I would have thought O’Neill’s critics might at least give him credit for masterminding the victory in Cardiff.’ Photo: Sportsfile

Eamonn Sweeney

Ireland drawing Denmark in the World Cup play-offs has at least given us the chance to do some boasting. Now that we're bound for Copenhagen we can say it wouldn't have made any difference who we drew, that we wouldn't have feared anyone and that everyone would have been hoping not to draw Ireland.

But the truth is that when the choices were narrowed down to Italy and Denmark, we were mightily pleased to get the Scandinavians. In all honesty there's no denying they represent the very best option for us. They are a team on our own level, a team we have every chance of beating. We were damn lucky to get them.

Yet this stroke of fortune brings pressures of its own. Had we drawn Italy Ireland would have had nothing to lose. The argument would be that we were already in bonus territory and couldn't be expected to beat the Italians. A gallant defeat like the one we suffered against France in the European Championships would have sufficed to prevent any loss of caste.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice