Pity the Ireland soccer fans are not so lively at the Aviva
Why is it Irish fans only seem to get so Irish when we are away and we know the footballing neighbours are watching? And there’s lashings of drink, of course, and we become the Carlsberg ad fans, all good cheer and beery bonhomie as we chant and dance beneath the Eiffel tower of song.
I know it’s fun watching amused gendarmes watching drunken green jerseys wrapped in closed-eye song exchanges with Viking-helmeted Swedes, but wouldn’t it be great if it was like that even some of the time at the Aviva?
I know I’ve sat through enough matches in that concrete bowl where if you hit the atmosphere with a mallet it would not even register on the whackometer, let alone set the decibel bells ringing. And the Mexican waves are only pathetic – even if they are only for fans who care less about the football than the spectacle.
I roared with the best of them when Wes’s goal went in yesterday and it was great for a few seconds, especially when Martin O’Neill did that careful pirouette leap into the air thing he does and pats the top of his head as if he has headed an invisible roof.
But then our lot lost it for a few minutes when the mediocre Swedes stepped it up, and I know Ciaran Clark is a great lad, but how did he head it into the net with such unwavering resolve? And my feelings now are not of celebration but of deflation.
Maybe not deflation, but disappointment that our conviction seemed to waver more in the jaws of victory than of possible defeat and we ended up with only a draw.
I just hope we give those flaky Belgiums none of the respect they deserve the next day and get those green fields of France swaying again. Now if Carlsberg did crowds …