Friday, 11 November 2011

Go Giovanni Go. (In the supportive way of course)

If you want entertaining football and want success with your national team these days, then you’re going to have to hail from Spain, Germany or Uruguay I’m afraid.

Cause if you’re born in any of the other 205 nations, it’s a choice of wanting one or the other.

I for one, want success.

Success like the Holland side that won every qualifier for the World Cup in South Africa and every game all the way up to the final in 2010 - yet were absolutely slated in the press for their brand of football.

I want success over the entertainment that is the Armenian side who banged in a whopping 22 goals in Ireland’s group this campaign, making them the 5th highest scorers out of the 51 nations involved.

They won’t play a competitive game for almost a year.

I won’t lie - given a choice, I want to replicate Greece rather than go all Kevin Keegan on it and enjoy our summers off.

Kevin entertained the socks off my generation in the mid-nineties with his attack minded Newcastle side.

Countless 4-3 thrillers mixed with 3 goal comebacks almost every second week.

Entertaining - So entertaining.

But at the end of it all the only thing he won was the guarantee of being the extended highlights match every week on Match of the Day.

No Champions Leagues.

No league titles.

No FA cups.

Not even a mickey mouse cup.

Unlike Giovanni Trapattoni.

The third most successful manager in the history of the sport.

He is to winning what Kevin is to entertainment.

The perfect man to be in charge of the Irish national team right now.

In a period were we have no world class players for the first time in almost 50 years.

Giovanni has his team brilliantly organised, completely disciplined and making the absolute most of what they have at their disposal.

This team is full of passion, guts and a determination to punch above it’s weight.

There are more ways to play than the British style of frenetic pace and hard man defending.

There’s the successful way of playing too.

Like the Italian way which has yielded 4 World Cups for the national side.

That’s the Giovanni way.

Which has seen him manage some of the biggest teams in the world - AC Milan, Inter Milan twice, Juventus twice, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Fiorentina and Italy.

Having success at them all.

No manager in the history of Irish managers has ever won a major honour with the exception of the 1955 FA Cup.

Yet ‘fans’ are calling for his head?

Mick McCarthy got us to one major Championship in 3 attempts - He had Roy Keane in all of them.

Brian Kerr couldn’t even manage a play-off in 2 attempts - Even he had Roy Keane for a campaign.



Giovanni takes over - And from 3rd seed gets us to within extra time of a World Cup in his first attempt.

That group had Italy, Montenegro and Bulgaria in it.

And from 3rd seeds this time round, he has split Russia and World Cup last 16ists Slovakia.

Just 2 games away from only our second major tournament in 18 years.

Doing it the Italian way.

Yet an increasing amount of Irish fans are calling for his head.

I’m not sure exactly who they think will take over if Giovanni were to leave?

Martin O’Neill, Sven Goran Eriksson, Carlo Ancelotti - Good Luck.

Dave O’Leary, Paul Jewell, Chris Hughton - More likely.

In reality, if we lose Giovanni, we will get a manager who will be out of work, in the Championship or an ex-player who has never managed before.

And fans want this over the 3rd most successful manager of all time?

Cause they want to be entertained!

Do me a favour - get behind the greatest manager we have ever had and enjoy the success that will come with it.

I don’t want 7 goal thrillers like we had against Cyprus.

I want 4 draws to set-up a World Cup quarter final against Italy.

And no, we can’t have both.

We don’t have the players to give us both.

Not even England do.

Our players play for Stoke and Wigan.

Wolves and teams from the Championship.

And L.A. Galaxy!

But they are showing the sort of heart and character that should make every Irish supporter stand up brimming with pride.

These heros haven’t got all the ability in the world.

But they have got all the courage.

The sort of thing this country used to admire and respect.

We made heros of these players under Jack.

Now let’s do the same for Giovanni...

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