Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Breen recalled?!

Am I really in the side? Like many Irish football fans I was a little sceptical about Steve Staunton taking over as Irish manager, but the team's terrific 3-0 win over World Cup qualifiers Sweden convinced me to give the man a chance. Even so, I'm absolutely baffled that Staunton has now chosen to recall a player who is clearly well past his best for the friendly game against Chile today - Gary Breen.

Now I respect what Gary Breen has done for Ireland and I remember him fondly for his goal against Saudi Arabia in the 2002 World Cup, but this guy shouldn't be playing international football any more.

He hasn't played for Ireland since November 2004 and his Sunderland team have just been relegated from the top flight after a miserable season. So why the recall?

Ireland's first Euro 2008 qualifier is against Germany in Stuttgart in September. Is Gary Breen going to be involved? Dear oh dear!

I fear this may come back to haunt Staunton...and the rest of us. Still, I fancy Ireland to beat Chile on Wednesday. We're good at Lansdowne. I'll go for a 2-0 win.

On another note, I wish Bobby Robson a speedy recovery after his recent operation to have a suspected cancerous tumour on his lung removed. Robson heeded Staunton's advice not to travel to Portugal for a four-day training camp in the Algarve, but he will be in the Lansdowne Road stands watching Wednesday's friendly against Chile.

His dedication is admirable and if the players show half as much determination I'm sure we'll do just fine.


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