Well the qualifying for the World Cup 2014 is over now, and huge questions have to be answered by the two Irish teams both North and South.Let the inquest begin.
In the Republics case the poor qualification campaign cost Giovanni Trapattoni his job.In a group that included Germany,Sweden,Austria,Kazakhstan and the Faroe Islands things were always going to be tough to get the second spot.Only a fool would have thought that Germany would have not won that group.The Republic could have only chased second spot and hoped for a play off place.But even that in fact was a dream to far.The big games in the group for the boys in green were the home and away ties against Sweden and Austria.These game in essence would shape Ireland,s fate.Out of the two games against Sweden the Irish only managed a point and the same was to follow with the two games against Austria.So all in all it was a poor poor qualification campaign.
The big question is where does this team go from here and who will take them into the qualification campaign for the Euros 2016.I personally would love to see the FAI go out and bring Mick McCarthy back to the helm.Mick is a very popular figure with the Irish fans and only lost his job the last time over the Roy Keane Saipan affair.Mick never recovered after the Keane affair and left not long after the 2002 World Cup.The real worry I would have is that the pool of players the next manager has to pick from are simply not good enough and certainly not playing for the top clubs in the top leagues.So a lot will depend on who the Republic draw in there group for the qualification rounds to see if they can progress.I for one will be hoping.
If the Republic,s campaign was disappointing the North,s was a total disaster.Now it might be harsh to say this but Michael O,Neill,s team were extremely poor.I never thought they had much of a chance of qualifying but you cannot draw at home with Azerbaijan and then lose away to the same nation and hope to qualify for finals.I actually think the North are in a far worse position than the Republic as they simply have not got quality at all to call on.
It will be a long road for both teams in qualifying for the 2016 and without a doubt they both will put us through the emotions,but I for one will be praying that at end of qualifying “Irish Eyes Will Be Smiling”