The three most enduring stalwarts of oirland: Robbie Keane, Shay Given and the Honey Monster
He's amazing, as I said, ilhsm. So loyal to City for eight years, even before all da money when they were languishing at 13-17th week in week out, and when the majority of City's other players wanted out and went to ~greener pastures (Shaun Wright Philips, Joey Barton etc), and he even turned down an offer to play for £70,000 a week at Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth, he was prone to the odd gaffe/last minute conceded penalty/loltastic own goal here and there, but what he lacked in precise skill, he more than made up for in effort. Then Garry Cook was all "oh Richard Dunne doesn't roll off the tongue in Shanghai" and he was unceremoniously kicked out of the door, wherein he had a great season with Villa, then a less good one last season, but seems to be back to his old good-most-of-the-time form under Alex McLeish. His performance against Russia was just... incredible. They had like 3947389479347 shots on goal but time after time, Richard Dunne put his body on the line to preserve a much-needed cleansheet. At one point he outran Andrei Arshavin, ffs. I love him and his dedication to his national team, and for Richard Dunne, more than anyone, deserves to be at the Euros next Summer.
Stoke's Jonathan Walters (most improved player this season??? Boy's come a long way) also got a goal, lad!
So that's that really, a four nil drubbing of Estonia, a few obligatory weird metaphors post-match from Trappatoni, but, barring a collosal eff-up, Ireland have their figurative foot in the Euro doors! It will be a terrific swansong for the likes of Dunne and Given and Duff (possibly Keane too), and their success in qualifying for the Euros should go some way at least to banish the nightmares of Paris.
So that's that bb, how did your NT do last night, and what are your hopes/suggestions for improvements for the second leg??
Leaving with this pic of *another* awesome big-hearted footballer who played last night against all odds, Petr Cech. #flawless: