This ignores the long standing, indeed obligatory, Lansdowne Rd tradition that at that particular time Irish fans are either:
a) Finishing off their pint in Scruffys.
b) Finishing off a prawn sandwich in the Aviva reserved area or
c) In the loo recycling the contents of the session in Scruffys.
Last night was particularly confusing eg is Meyler really playing at right back? The number of beards and/or shaven heads in the squad didn’t help.
Why can’t the FAI put the team on the big screen when it is not showing action from the game as seems to be the norm at most UK stadiums?
As for the game itself, it was great to see Ireland pass the ball. I don’t remember any long ball, compared to the bad old Trapattoni days when, even at home against teams like Armenia, we hoofed the ball long and high and often, like demented Riverdancers.
Trapattoni probably had better players than O’Neill eg Duff; Richard Dunne who got him out of jail in Moscow and a younger Keane. But it is great to see O’Neill making use of a proper footballer like Hoolahan and when fit, Andy Reid. Selection of players like that shows that O’Neill is looking to play grown up football, not the boot and gallop of the Italian period.
The big question is will he have faith in Hoolahan away from home in Tbilisi? I do hope so. It is arguably even more important to have a player who can help the team hold on to the ball away from home.