Following a less than stellar beginning to the European Championship 2012 qualifiers Ger McCarthy thinks it is time the Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni increased his Italian influence.
Let’s be honest, an average Irish team have, at best, failed to set the world alight with some indifferent performances in the Euro 2012 qualifiers this year. The manner in which the Russians brushed aside our challenge in the Aviva Stadium only served to further underline our current slide down the World football ladder.
So what can be done?
The following are some possible examples of what Irish football could do to increase its Italian influence in an attempt to revitalise a flagging campaign. Even an ordinary Italian national side looks a better bet to make it to Poland /Ukraine next summer so the FAI needs to adopt a different approach in 2011 and here are some radical ideas to put the fear of God into our opponents:
* Change the home kit to a light blue coloured jersey with plain white socks and shorts.
* Ask the entire Irish squad to consider changing their names to more Italian sounding titles. For example: Paolo McShanetti, Shay Givenissi, Damiento Duffito, Roberto Keana, Ricardo Dunnerelli, , Giuseppe O’Shea, Leanardo Lawrentino, Adriano McGeadietto and Zinidane Kilbanito.
* Bring back Tony Cascarino, if only to keep the women old enough to remember the Italian Stallion from the halcyon days of Italia 90 happy. His broken English would also remind us what a crap pundit he is.
* Change the name of the Aviva Stadium to Stadio Arrivederci Roma
* Change the catering in the Stadio Arrivederci Roma from the regular burger and chips to a more pasta based menu. Replace the Guinness taps with bottles of Italian wine. This will result in less smelly farts in the jacks and improve the general health of supporters.
* Provide the home support with video clips of how to gesticulate and display outrage in an Italian manner rather than the usual shaking of fists and ‘ah go way McShane ya useless spanner. Even me ma could have cleared that ya gobshite’.
* Play sad Italian operatic music after the concession of every goal in the Stadio Arrivederci Roma. This will cause the entire crowd, home players and subs bench to stand and stare at the large screens with tears in their eyes – a la the Shawshank Redemption – while our opponents gain possession and increase their lead.
* Revamp the RTE Studio coverage. Place a sultry Italian TV presenter with a low cut top next to Bill’O to co-host the show. Imagine the opening lines: “Okey-Doke, well I have to say that you look fantastic luv. Ha? Whaddya think of her John? Isn’t she lovely ha? Live”.
* In Eamon Dunphys stead install a broom with a piece of paper sellotaped to the handle with the following inscription “Gone to Copper Face Jacks baby, but I’ll be back baby”.
* Replace Liam Brady with a picture of Liam Brady when he last smiled back in 1978. Have a tape-recorder placed next to the photo playing constant loops of his whining on about his days playing in Italy.
* Extradite John Delaney and Brian Cowen and bring in Silvio Berlusconi and watch the coffers of the FAI swell within hours of the genial politician’s appointment. Observe as the DART and Buses around the capital all run on time, the number of sultry women in the Dail rise by 500% and sales of anti-grey-plus-oily-black-hair-gel rocket in Boots.
* Change the blazers worn by FAI dinosaurs to three-piece Italian designer suits complete with complimentary leather jackets. Insist on each FAI dinosaur having to wear designer shades complete with fake ear-pieces. Increase the security around the FAI dinosaurs and have them usher the board members into stretch limos whenever possible. Inform the security details that they are only allowed utter the words “You saw nuthin” whenever a reporter comes within 20 yards of an FAI dinosaur.
* Get Prime Time, the Special Branch and even the GARDAI to complete a full investigation into the goings-on behind the scenes in the FAI resulting in the prosecution of every FAI dinosaur whilst simultaneously bringing down Berlusconi’s government.
Ger McCarthy is author of the book entitled ‘Off Centre Circle’ about a lifetime spent playing amateur football in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.