God bless David McGoldrick and all belonging to him, And as for those Georgians against the Danes! In truth, we probably do have to beat Georgia and avoid defeat by the big two to still be in the hunt.
Even still, what a thrill.
Now, there’s a small matter, and I do mean small matter, of this Bulgaria friendly to come first.
Unfortunately, we won’t see Troy Parrott get a run-out because he wasn’t in the senior squad due to U21 duty (he only went and bloody scored, mate), but we will get to see the depths of this Ireland squad.
Okay, I can’t try and flog this dead horse anymore – but I can try to make you rich(er)!
You genuinely don’t understand how big Dimitar Berbatov was until you retrospectively consider your previous evaluations of the Bulgarian national team. If you got them in your World Cup qualifying group, you’d probably be optimistically looking for a win at home and a loss in Sofia.
But as I went through their current squad, something struck me. There isn’t a single recognisable player in that entire set-up. You may have heard of Ivelin Popov because of those early 5.30pm Champions League kick-offs, but that’s about it.
Never again will I have a Popov Ireland’s squad depth.
It’s worth considering that perhaps the reason we’ve no clue about these Bulgarians is due to their youthful nature? Nope.
This Bulgarian side is old, and I mean old. Comparing to Ireland’s youthful depth behind the starters from Thursday night who absolutely won’t be anywhere near the setup, they’ll be run off their feet in the early stages. At the moment, Ireland are in transition and everyone wants to stake a claim for the upcoming Stephen Kenny regime.
This means players will try, and the energy they’ll bring should knock a Bulgarian camp who’ve just been tanked by England, off their feet.
I would not fancy, at 31/32 years of age to be facing up to an Ireland team who’re, rightly or wrongly, on a wave of momentum.
You know how this goes.
Winning at half-time, everyone applauds them off. Then a second goal comes from a corner in the early stages of the second half, where the 5,000-announced-as-25,000 in attendance politely clap for John Egan, before resuming their individual conversations.
Mick then decides to blood a whole host of players just because he can, then the game gets disjointed, and everyone leaves with 20 minutes to go. You’ll then have old fellas shouting about how flat the next crop are, and how lucky the world is to have someone like James McClean.
Yano, I’m an advocate for attending games in person – I really am. But perhaps, just this once, I can forgive you for sitting in and watching this one from the comfort of your couch. We all expect the same story from an Irish international friendly that isn’t against Oman – and most of them are against Oman, in truth.