6 Reasons For Irish Football Fans To Be Cheerful

6 Reasons For Irish Football Fans To Be Cheerful
By Gavin Cooney

Right, enough with the mourning. We have immersed ourselves in gloom and misery for almost 24 hours now, so it is time to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, and seek the positives. Here are a few.

Russia wasn't going to be that great anyway...was it? 

A certain faction of the Russian support were promising repeats of the violence that marred Euro 2016, so it's not a bad idea to swerve some of that. Also, a World Cup in an authoritarian, homophobic, and racist society? We'll skip this time and go in 2022 to - oh, Qatar. How about 2026 then? The United States!? Oh.

We can genuinely enjoy the football at the World Cup

Without Ireland there, we can stop worrying about the permutations of clashes that could affect us, and we will be able to watch the top sides without silently hoping for their best players to twang their hamstrings in the event of a possibly incipient clash with Ireland. so sit back and relax, and take in the football. Without having to fret about our chances, we can sit back and aim for that greatest of achievement; that higher plane of existence: to watch every single game.

Our schedule is clear to recreate the US Cup 

Any tournament featuring Italy, Chile, Holland, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Wales, and the United States is worth winning, so we reckon we should elbow in on the US Federation's plans to invite the big-hitters to the States for a series of friendlies next year and try to recreate the tournament in which we had a decent record in back in the '90s. More details on that here.

We usually bounce back from these humiliations

Cast your mind back to the optimism on Tuesday afternoon, to remind yourself that these better days did exist once upon a time. And it existed after quite a few humiliations. The vast torment of E**o 2**2 was chased away by the edifying performances and results of Euro 2016, and this came after the miserable 6-1 scutching doled out by Germany in Dublin. Heck, we beat the Germans when they next rocked up to Dublin.

And to those of you could see no glimmer of light at the end of the 5-2 in Cyprus, well....it only took us almost six years to turn up at a major tournament again.

There is some young talent coming through 

Martin O'Neill has not blooded too many youngsters in his tenure for Ireland, but there is talent emerging through the ranks. Callum O'Dowda is the prime example, and although slightly older, Sean Maguire is an exciting option up front. Beyond that, Ireland's under-21s are rich with exciting talent: Declan Rice is the standout prospect (he trained with the senior squad in Fota earlier this year) along with Man United goalkeeper Kieron O'Hara, QPR forward Ryan Manning, Brighton's Jayson Molumby and Leeds defender Conor Shaughnessy.

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We'll still probably qualify for Euro 2020

Granted, our World Ranking will plummet between now and the draw for the Euro 2020 qualifiers as we toil in friendlies as those around us earn points playing competitively, but given that the Euros will be a 24-team competition, with some games in Dublin, we still have a very good chance of making it to a tournament which will be partly played on home soil.

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