Axl Rose once sang “Where do we go now? Aye, aye, aye, aye, aye, aye, aye, aye, where do we go now, where do we go?”
Indeed! Well, as has already been confirmed, we firstly go cap in hand to Denis O’Brien to find out how much deep his pockets go in search of a successor to Giovanni Trapattoni as Republic of Ireland manager.
The usual names have been mentioned willy-nilly, with Martin O’Neill now being the strong favourite, but regardless of who we get in, are we not missing another major issue here? Why do we not look at the bigger picture?
Here we are moaning and groaning about yet another awful, clueless and rudderless display against a team who are no better than us. That is not to say that they are any worse than us either, but on the pitch they were certainly more assured, confident and comfortable in what they were doing. That inept effort is small-fry compared to the bigger fish that needs hooking.
A rather large problem still lies in front of our very noses. A problem who is a friend of the fans, a buddy of the people, a loser of shoes, a buyer of train tickets and beers for the boys.
But most importantly he is the head of our national football association. This is the man with the responsibility to make the hard decisions, to show some balls when things are not right, and correct those wrongs. This is John Delaney.
True, he pulled off a bit of a coup when he got Trapattoni in when we finally unleashed Steve Staunton back into general society. And we rejoiced. He had managed to bring Denis O’Brien in to payroll this stunning capture of a proven world-class manager with all the medals, accolades and trophies to demonstrate the fact.
Trapattoni was no flash-in-the-pan one-season-wonder. He was an iconic figure that had sat at the very head of the top table of football and even ordered the wine! Titles everywhere he had managed, with many different clubs in many different countries. A behemoth in football manager land. A legend.
But this was also the same John Delaney who had appointed Steve Staunton in surely the most predictably disastrous and shambolic managerial choice in the history of Irish football. A man with no managerial record at all! I can just imagine the conversation. ‘Ah yeah lads, sure let’s get Stan in.’
This was after Delaney had spiced all our palettes with the promise of a “world-class” management team. True, Bobby Robson was hugely respected by all, indeed, venerated by some. But the Walsall player/assistant manager? Ah come on, you’re having a laugh!!
Unfortunately, a laugh none of us did have, apart from at the expense of Stan, the self-proclaimed ‘Gaffer’.
Following a series of pathetic performances and results culminating in the notorious night in Nicosia when Cyprus shelled us 5-2, and an injury time victory in San Marino, a slight upturn in fortunes could not prevent Staunton and his team being booed off after his final match in charge. John Delaney was also a target of that derision.
The following few days of mayhem were largely due to Delaney, as he made an absolute PR pig’s ear of the whole affair, before Stan was eventually jettisoned.
Yet Delaney, the man who had overseen the entire shambles from birth to demise, remained at the helm.
And here we are again. And so is he.
Before the Rugby World Cup in 2007 Eddie O’Sullivan was handed a new contract by the IRFU. The World Cup was an unmitigated disaster and Ireland dribbled out at the group stage and hobbled home. But Eddie kept his job because of the foolishness of the IRFU in giving him a new contract BEFORE the tournament.
They did not learn from this monumental mistake and repeated their stupidity ahead of the 2011 World Cup – this time with Declan Kidney being the main benefactor. The ‘egg-chasers’ Union again being left with, erm, egg on their face.
John Delaney may not be a rugby fan but even he must have heard the outcry. However, not one to learn from the repeated mistakes of others, he gave Trap a new contract before the European Championships in 2012.
And we all know what happened there.
There was no shame in coming bottom of our group.
There was no shame in being beaten by three far superior teams, two of which progressed to the final, with obviously one winning the whole thing.
But the manner in which we rolled over and let our bellies be tickled was both pathetic and embarrassing. And the manager stood by and did nothing.
He was safe. Hadn’t he been given a new contract?
By John Delaney.
The one constant in the bad decisions made over the last number of years is still in charge as others fall around him.
Yesterday, Trapattoni was shown the door - surely JD’s tenure should have been swinging by a noose above a different trap-door?
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