Saturday, 23 June 2012

Ireland's Euro 2012 (In Pictures)

Well thank goodness that's over!
Ireland made a hasty exit from the Euro 2012 championships earlier this week after a straight run of losses against group opponents Croatia, Spain and Italy. Now, obviously I'm disappointed, I'd have loved to see Ireland perform better and get through to the knockout stages but I like to look on the bright side and our early exit has at least one major silver lining. I no longer need to pretend that I understand football.
The Euros and Ireland's chances of success has pretty much dominated every conversation that I've had in the last two months and it's not exactly a topic that I know much, or indeed anything, about.
Over the last few weeks most of my conversations with male friends has gone something like this:

Well-Meaning Friend: Did you see the news? Can you believe that Trap might be putting Paul McShane in the squad?
Me: Well.. no. That is hard to believe, I mean the guy must be pushing 70 at this stage. Is that's what he's been doing since the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie? Football?

There's a slight chance I could be thinking of the wrong McShane.

So clearly I'm no football expert. Still, out of interest I had a look at all of the pictures from Ireland's Euro 2012 journey in an attempt to find some evidence as to why we performed so badly.
 I think I might have a few theories.

1. The players thought the ball was some sort of wasp.
Now I know what you're thinking. 'The Irish players barely touched the ball. Also. You're insane!.'  but think about it for a second. If the Irish players didn't think that the ball was some new species of dangerous wasp or bee. How do you explain pictures like:

'Oh shit! Maybe if I shut my eyes it will go away. Fuck! Is it gone yet?'

'Arrghh! It's on my head! It's on my head! Get it off!'

'Dunne! Don't move! They're like T-Rexes. It can't see you if you stay still!'

'For fuck's sake man! Close your mouth or else it will fly in!'

2. Shay Given had some sort of nervous breakdown.
Shay Given had a tough job this year. The Irish defence during the competition could be generously described as 'not there' and I believe that all the stress took a toll on poor Given's sanity.
His pictures from the tournament are basically give a blow by blow account of his mental breakdown.
It actually looks like he's resorted to trying to use 'the force' in this one.

He seems to have caught the 'football/wasp' confusion from the other players here.

I'd make a joke about the look on his face here but he genuinely looks like he's about to cry.

'No...I'm ok...I just need to sit down and...just...just weep for a little while'

'Seriously. Fuck you guys.'

This wasn't a flare. Given eventually just exploded out of sheer embarrassment. [Citation needed]

3. Trapattoni consistently looks like someone's Grandad that has gotten lost.
Strong leadership is the key to any victory. Unfortunately for Ireland, Giovanni Trapattoni looks less like an international football manager and more like somebody's elderly uncle who's walked onto the pitch by mistake.
'Robbie, He's been like that for ten minutes now. I think he might be dead'

'Go on! Check his pulse.'
'Fuck off! You check it! I think he's shat himself'

'He knows that he's shouting in the wrong direction right?'

Richard Dunne gently leads Trapattoni off the pitch and back to his carers.

My investigations also turned up something glorious. Once in a lifetime a man will manage to express the sentiments of an entire country. Below, Ireland captain Robbie Keane conveys how everyone in Ireland felt about their performance in the Euros with one facial expression:

For more:

This entry was written entirely without the help of Adam Dunne.

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