SPORTS COLUMN

Harte of the Matter: Praying for a miracle after a disappointing week

Jimmy Harte isn't impressed with Martin O'Neill and the Republic of Ireland

Jimmy Harte

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Jimmy Harte

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sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Harte of the Matter: Praying for a miracle after a disappointing week

Jimmy Harte

It’s been a disappointing week for the Republic of Ireland side.

What a poor display in Georgia last Saturday.. Never in my time has a team been outmuscled, outclassed and outplayed by a team over 100 places below them in the rankings.

How could a team on the cusp of qualifying play so poorly against a poor opposition who were made look like Brazil.

We had beaten them in all our previous meetings and it looked good as we went into the lead after just 5 minutes. But that's as good as it got and for the next 85 minutes we looked like a poor team.  

Is the manager responsible for this? The touchy performance by Martin O’Neill on camera afterwards suggests a frustration with the team but really we should be taking them apart.

Martin O'Neill must take some responsibility for the result as it was his team that did not perform on the night. They let down many good fans who travel the world to support the boys in green. After the defeat by Serbia the other night, our task of qualifying is a lot more tricky.  I predict that Martin O'Neill will depart when the group is finished.

I thought we had a world class manager and a great assistant in Keane - both were top class performers in international football - but we were a poor team last Saturday evening, and even though we were much better against Serbia, the future doesn't look too good.

We must now win our last two games against Moldova and Wales and that still might be enough to qualify.   That in itself is a poor situation which makes following Ireland a chore. It doesn't seem to be making sense that a team full of well-paid professionals play second fiddle to players who are earning a pittance, compared to our so-called stars who are earning really big money.  

We are now entering the final lap and it will be a sorry sight if we  fail in to qualify and end up next summer watching Coronation St instead of the World Cup in Russia. We have to look at the attitude of the management team that seem to have thrown it away at a time when we should be at the top of our game. Instead we are scrapping with the likes of Moldova who can't even fill their stadium for a European match.  


O'Neill has the players and the support to get to Russia next year, we just don't know if he has the strategy.


Whatever happens will be revealed over the next couple of weeks. Let's pray and hope for the miracles to happen. We'll see.