Last Wednesday’s opening soccer match at the new Aviva Stadium has set the League of Ireland back 20 years according to Pat Dolan, who’s still banging the drum about the lack of professional purpose in this country.
The argument is that a 7-1 hiding from Man U won’t encourage the public to go and watch domestic football. You’d swear sometimes that the senior league was the be all and end all. Thousands of people, young and old, get their local football fix at schoolboy or junior level and augment that enjoyment with what they can watch from cross-channel.
Damien Richardson talked his team up beforehand. Way too much. But then ‘Rico’, who went on and on and on when ‘summarising’ for RTÉ during the World Cup (I’d rather listen to vuvuzelas all day) could yap for Ireland. Never a man to say in 10 words what he can stretch to 200, the ex-Gillingham maestro loves the sound of his own voice, and fancies himself as a writer too.
In a post last April on his missable MNS blog, he espoused at length about the ‘great’ entertainment versus success debate supposedly exercising minds the world over.
“For too many people,” he proffered, “professional football is merely about success. In the cloudy minds of the many, success absolves one from culpability and accountability; it prohibits criticism and dilutes responsibility because few can confront a winning manager with words of complaint when the trophy is held aloft and the fans are celebrating raucously. However to my mind, success in pro sport when it is not based on players extending their talents to their highest echelon is akin to the music that soothes the savage beast. The music masks the fear that resides within the monster. Once the music stops, the beast starts roaring again, only with more ferocity. Success purely for the sake of success is the easy option. It is a type of cowardice where a manager and his players are very willing to operate from within a confined mentality that prefers caution to be the laboured vehicle to success rather than encouraging the genuine potential of each performer to blossom and surge majestically over the line. It is a trade-off where weakness is disguised as strength; mutton dressed up as lamb and members of the media cover their backsides with perfunctory plaudits that only indemnify the charade. It was Rene Descartes, that world-class French midfield mastermind of the 17th century, who played one of the greatest ever passes into the penalty area of world philosophy with his suggestion: ‘cogito, ergo sum’ – I think, therefore I am. This statement supported his theory that the mind and the brain are two independent entities and further separate from the body. Such intrinsic independence is an integral aspect of who we are as individuals as well as a species and is a principle that I personally adhere to with serious conviction.”
Ya wha’? And there’s a lot more where that came from. That dressingroom must have been a blast.