World Cup qualification begun on Friday for Ireland.
A boost was needed to erase the memories of the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
A resounding victory over the lowly ranked Kazakhstan and we could all start to move on from those 3 heavy defeats from the summer.
A resounding victory and we may all start to believe again.
Not only believe in Brazil.
But believe in Giovanni once more.
Cut to the 89th minute in Astana on Friday night and calls for Giovanni’s head could be heard all the way back to Ireland.
What transpired over the next 2 minutes had a big effect on our qualification hopes.
But no doubt, it also had major consequences on the next 2 years of Irish football.
Lost, and we may already have had to give up the chase for qualification.
Worse still - lost, and we may have had to find a new manager.
The pressure Giovanni would have brought upon himself following a 1-0 defeat to Kazakhstan, coupled with the memory of the summer, may have proved too much even for the greatest of Italian managers to survive.
So although appreciative Robbie and Kevin’s double got us 3 points, it’s the ramifications they’ve had on Giovanni that we should be most thankful for.
You see, memory in football these days is shorter than it’s ever been.
Calls for Giovanni’s head, despite 3 points in Astana, is no greater proof of this.
Irish supporters seem to forget, that although the performance in both the Euros and on the astro pitch on Friday night were poor - they were a far cry from where we were before Giovanni’s appointment.
Being placed in a tough group containing the 2 finalists in Euro 2012 has been discussed before.
With our squad of players it was very difficult to see us with Giovanni, or any other manager for that matter, getting out of the group.
As for Kazakhstan, the supporters need to realise this was something of a new beginning.
Missing through retirement or suspension was Shay Given, Damien Duff and Richard Dunne.
That’s 201 caps that would usually have been there.
That’s a lot of memories for the Irish supporters.
Keith Andrews was also suspended meaning James McCarthy was starting his first competitive game.
Our defense had 2 players from the Championship, 1 from the MLS and a reserve goalkeeper.
Add to this an astro pitch, a 6,000 km journey and the fact it was the start of the season, meant a 2-1 victory, no matter how we got it, was actually a terrific result.
A bad performance alright.
But a much better result.
A much better result than the 5-2 drubbing received at the hands of Cyprus.
A result which should live long in the memory.
A result which occurred under the reign of the last manager before Giovanni.
The sort of manager we could expect to attract had the FAI decided to rid our nation of this trophy laden Italian.
It’s one thing ridding us of Giovanni after a few bad results.
It’s another finding a manager to replace him.
With us being in somewhat of a decline, it will be tough to attract a manager as successful as Giovanni again.
Losing players such as Damien and Shay coupled with father time catching up on John, Robbie and Richard means this position is hardly the most attractive of propositions.
Not for a manager as successful as Giovanni anyway.
More like a Brian Kerr, Steve Staunton or caretaker Don Givens.
All of who failed to even make a play-off.
In 6 long years.
Giovanni of course got us to within extra time of the World Cup in 2010.
Giovanni of course got us to the European Championships in 2012.
The man that could have been out of a job had Robbie and Kevin not intervened late on in a disappointing performance.
Not a memorable performance.
But a memorable result.
As memory in football is very short alright.
Just short of being a disaster this time...