Two meaningless matches, but one of them wasn’t supposed to be.
The Nations Cup has rapidly become an embarrassment. a title stapled onto a friendly match that very few people are interested in, even the players. It should be noted that the furore surrounding some players who didn’t show up has drawn more attention then the match itself.
But why should they show up? Last nights match, a derby game really, was played in front of an Aviva crowd who filled only a third of the stadium, watching a team who consisted of new kids and the barely interested for the most part.
Northern Ireland didn’t care about this game at all, and the easiness of the play is not a boon to anyone. All of Ireland’s goals were down to defensive errors more the anything else, and the game was finsihed as a constest well before the North went a man down.
This tournament is looking farily farcical. The tickets are too expsensive (leading the FAI to pathtically extend a tickets remits to other games), the talent isn’t on display, and everyone is more concerned about the Euro Qualifiers next week. We might get a trophey out of this thing, but it will mean nothing.
Over on the other channel, Gar Neville got his send off at Old Trafford. Decent enough contest, free flowing, with little officiating to be done (as is custom in testimonials). Good to see Beckham, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt wearing red again. Beckham was the star of the contest, his missed free kick getting the most crowd attention all match.
Aside from the concern of seeing players like Giggs, Scholes, O’Shea and Rooney playing (for a while at least) it was a good enough spectacle. Neville can be proud of his playing career, and while a defeat at home to Juve might not be the ideal way to round it off, I can only hope that the result on Saturday night gives him something to smile about.