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Question - When Is It Okay To Start Rooting For The Irish Football Team To Lose?

Question - When Is It Okay To Start Rooting For The Irish Football Team To Lose?
By Donny Mahoney Updated

Here's where things stand 55 or so hours ahead of the launch of Ireland's 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign: Simon Cox is heading back to the midfield. James McClean is on the bench. Darron Gibson is in Liverpool. My creeping sense of dread ahead of the Kazakhstan is balanced by a sense that's there probably just enough class in the squad to eek out a 1-0 win.

I have two conflicting sentiments about these World Cup qualifiers - the first is a desperate optimism that in spite of all the growing resentment towards Trap from members of the Ireland squad and Trap's cro-magnon tactics, that we can again ride a wave of sheer luck, draw Sweden and Austria away and get a few results at home that would at least see us into the playoffs (this is hope is borne mostly out of a desire to what happens when ten of thousands of Irish people land in Brazil for a month). The second optimism is an acceptance that the writing is on the wall for the Trap era, that drinking aside Euro 2012 was pretty humiliating (and even the drinking was a bit humiliating), that Trap really is setting Irish football back ten years, that this campaign will be nothing but protracted disappointment and mangled manager-to-player communication, that renewing Trap's contract before the Euros was a blunder that all involved will eventually regret.

So the (entirely unpatriotic) question for Ireland supporters is the following- do we secretly put our energy into hoping Ireland lose on Friday to the Kazakhs? It is is a sinful suggestion, I admit. But when coupled with the inevitable 2-0 loss to Germany in October, that squarely puts Trap in post-Saipan Mick McCarthy Euro2004 qualifier territory. Would Trap survive one more bad result? Sure that defeat would murder any hopes of drunken antics in Copacabana but it would at least bring forward a reality that we all know is upon us.

The problem is, there's no guarantees bad results would dislodge Trap. And as we saw during the lows of the Steve Staunton era, bad results do not necessarily force big changes. As far as I can see it though, Trap survives because of the support of the most senior players (whom he always plays) and the lukewarm support of the fans. Were he to lose either of those, especially the latter, his position might not be tenable. For those of us eagerly awaiting the post-Trap era, when Ireland players allowed to show their talent again, when the best players the country has are a given chance, a couple of bad results are sadly the only short term solution to the post-Poznan malaise.

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