Thursday, 9 October 2008

Ireland not in friendly mood?

Sat outside enjoying a spot of lunch in Temple Bar this afternoon, I grabbed a copy of the Irish Herald to have a flick.

By the time I’d reached page five I was wondering if it was really worth having friends.

The front page was about a botched armed robbery last night in Dublin in which one of the culprits ended up dead – believed to have been stabbed by his fellow robber.

And then another Dublin man is in court, the case against alleging he beat his good friend to death in the house after he called his dad when drinking together. He is also alleged to have covered his body in newspaper and burned him to death afterwards.

Before I was treated to more tales of friendship “trouble”, I flicked to the back. And there it was, four pages of preview all linked around tonight’s Ireland “B” team friendly with Nottingham Forest at Dalymount Park.

One thing is for sure, with the tone of the Irish paper, it is not a game they are taking lightly. It is one in which those being given a chance are desperate to impress, the ones almost in the last chance saloon when it comes to making the Irish first team.

Personally, I found it a little worrying. After all, the Reds are on a run of six defeats in seven league matches.

They are rock bottom of the Championship, five points adrift of safety. But if anyone thought this was nothing more than a change in scenery for Forest, they are in for shock.

Unless the Reds are 100% committed, it is crystal clear Ireland could make a mockery of them.

This is no friendly in their eyes and the Reds must show the same attitude otherwise they could end home with confidence shattered.

But on the reverse side, a good performance and result against plenty of Premiership players could be the catalyst to a change in fortunes in the league. It could spur them on.

There is nothing happening in the centre of Dublin during the day to suggest there is match of any kind happening. No sea of green or red.. But the newspaper had made its importance known.

I am just keeping my fingers crossed the Reds approach it with in similar vein.

Otherwise this friendly could spectacularly backfire – and that is the last thing Forest need in the current climate.

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