Monday, 5 September 2011

It’s embarrassing being an Ireland supporter sometimes.

Ireland nil.

Slovakia nil.

Full time whistle sounds.

Followed by boos.

A loud chorus of boos.

I stood in the Aviva stadium applauding the Irish team off the pitch.

But as I looked around, I saw thousands of Irish ‘supporters’ boo the same players.

If this was a 5-0 hammering, I could understand a few angry faces.

But this was a draw against a team better than us.

In a game were they played better than us.

And the game itself was an excellent encounter.

It didn’t have bags of goals, sending offs or peno shouts.

Not like a top premier league game.

But it did have two teams really have a go at each other.

With an almost unbearable tension throughout knowing how high the stakes were.

Yet booing was the order of the day.

At an Irish team that is punching above it’s weight right now.

Irish supporters need to put our level in perspective.

We have 5 Wolves players in the squad.

Our star players play for Aston Villa, Fulham and L.A. Galaxy.

And Darron Gibson is the only Irish player playing for any of the top 6 teams in the premier league.

Yet our ‘supporters’ decide to boo them off for only drawing with Slovakia.

A team that qualified for the last world cup.

Knocking out world champions Italy to qualify for the last 16.

They have players at Napoli, Manchester City and Liverpool.

And they really turned up on Friday night.

I applauded the Wolves players for keeping up with them.

And coming oh so close to beating them.

But Irish supporters have it good when it comes to their teams.

They are spoilt by supporting the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal or Celtic.

They expect to win.

And win with style.

But the international game is much different to the premier league.

This Irish side isn’t made up of quality players like Rooney, Suarez or Fabregas.

But hard grafters who are brimming with guts and determination.

Exactly the type of players that should be loved for giving their all to get to where they are.

Applauded for their efforts against superior opposition.

They play their hearts out and get rewarded with boos.

It’s not the result that was embarrassing.

Nor the performance.

It’s was the ‘supporters’.

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