Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dear oh dear

Dear, oh dear, that was humiliating.
That really wasn't very good, I fear.
Reus and Őzil bossed us,
made us feel we were imposters
and the mauling dished out cost us dear, oh dear.

Jesus Christ, now that was an embarrassment
as through our ranks they effortlessly sliced.
They were standing round and joking,
some were drinking schnapps and smoking
and we ended up invoking Jesus Christ.

A mauling was what the Germans gave us.
The gulf in class was utterly appalling.
We dithered convolutedly,
bewildered fans gazed mutedly
on what was undisputedly a mauling.

Consolation? Well, the teamwork of the Germans
was worthy of grudging-given ovation.
Little Big Horn? General Custer?
They exposed our brawn and bluster
and our final goal was just a consolation.

Ambition now is just to finish second
if we can bounce back from this attrition.
For it wasn't very nice now
and it’s hard to give advice now.
Paddy Power, son, what price now our ambition?

Ireland 1 Germany 6 (WC 2014 Qualifier)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Long balls Given away.
Keane but never in the Hunt.
Performances Duff.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Five seconds of fame

Five seconds of fame, you’re up on the big screen.

Yes, you, the one who can’t believe his eyes,

with silly hat and face all painted green.

The game itself is mundane and routine.

(The whistle blows more than you realise.)

Five seconds of fame, you’re up on the big screen.

It takes some time to lose your puzzled sheen

before you jump and holler with surprise,

with silly hat and face all painted green.

You shake the girlfriend till she bursts her spleen,

pointing wildly up into the skies.

Five seconds of fame! You’re up on the big screen!

But by the time she’s clued in to the scene,

the camera’s panned away to other guys

with silly hats and faces painted green.

You hope it’s taped, and no-one wipes it clean,

so you can reminisce when old and wise.
Five seconds of fame, we were up on the big screen.
with silly hats and faces painted green.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Italy 2 Ireland 0

It’s the end of the Euros as we know it.
When we needed it fast, we chose to slow it.
The gulf was too great for us to row it.
The grass was too long for us to mow it.
The rip was too large for us to sew it.
Our baggage was too big for us to stow it.
We had to play our best. We played below it.
It was hard for the fanciful poet.
We bought champagne but had to forego it.
We were downcast but chose not to show it.
The performance improved much, although it
sometimes seemed we were trying to throw it.
We’d a free kick but couldn’t Pirlo it.
We’d a dream but conspired to blow it.
Yes, it’s the end of the Euros as we know it
and I feel...

Oh Lord

Oh Lord, give us something to shout about,
to make us forget all our woes.
Something we’ll be able to spout about
wherever the sweet Guinness flows.
A deft Houghton header?
A great Whelan screamer?
Am I too demanding?
Am I just a dreamer?
Oh Lord, give us something to shout about,
to make us forget all our woes.

Oh Lord, give us something to scream about
amid all the trouble and strife.
Something that we all can dream about
when we’re making love to the wife.
A Sheedy grass-cutter?
A Niall Quinn tap-in?
An O’Leary peno?
Oh please make it happen.
Oh Lord, give us something to scream about
amid all the trouble and strife.

Oh Lord, give us something to talk about
and we promise we’ll stay clear of sin.
Oh, don’t let our defence go walkabout
and don’t let an early goal in.
A Ray Houghton volley?
A Robbie Keane rocket?
A Gary Breen flick on?
Oh don’t let them block it.
Oh Lord, give us something to talk about
and we promise we’ll stay clear of sin.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Fields in Gdansk

Outplayed, outclassed, outsmarted,
the Irish team kept fighting.
All hope had long departed,
the wall replete with writing.

Downcast, distraught, dejected,
we watched the savage mauling.
Our rear was not protected.
The Spanish wolves came crawling.

But then we were dumbfounded
as church bells started ringing.
A mighty roar resounded –
ten thousand voices singing.

Neck-hairs stood to attention.
No longer were we dismayed.
We signalled our intention,
although outclassed and outplayed.

Written in response to Kerry's challenge to write a Celtic quatrain at Toads

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bigmouth strikes yet again

I really don’t care what Roy Keane says.
I really don’t care very much.
He’ll rant and he’ll rave
till he goes to the grave.
Now he’s telling the Irish fans how to behave.
Oh, I really don’t care what Roy Keane says
because he is so out of touch.

I really don’t care what Roy Keane says
to get himself back in the news.
He’ll walk his damned pup
and he’ll never shut up
until by some miracle we win the World Cup.
Oh, I really don’t care what Roy Keane says
and I don’t give a damn for his views.

I really don’t care what Roy Keane says.
I don’t want to hear the man speak.
This is the man
wouldn’t play in Iran,
then threw a big hissy fit out in Saipan.
No, I really don’t care what Roy Keane says.
The man has a terrible cheek.

I really don’t care what Roy Keane says.
I really don’t care what he does.
His comments mean naught to me.
This poem seems short to me
(Where the traitor’s concerned, maybe that’s how it ought to be)
No, I really don’t care what Roy Keane says
for Roy doesn’t represent us.

Roy criticises Irish team and, bizarrely, Irish fans for their sing-song mentality. Both team and fans, he said, need to change their attitude. Maybe instead of singing in defeat, the fans should go on the rampage, or slink silently away?

Little consolation

It’s of little consolation
that they say that we were plucky;
that, alas, on this occasion,
we were just a tad unlucky.
At the moment we’re deflated
at our quick elimination
and the spirit demonstrated
is of little consolation.

It’s of little consolation
that the plaudits keep on flying
for our steeled determination
and the way we kept on trying.
For they took us to the cleaners
with a joyous affirmation
and the gulf in class between us
is of little consolation.

It’s of little consolation
that they say that Spain are giants.
They fulfilled their reputation
and brushed off our grim defiance.
They’ve been eulogised and feted
as the greatest football nation
but (it can’t be overstated)
that’s of little consolation.

It’s of little consolation
that the scoreline wasn’t greater;
that the goal-count calculation
didn’t need a calculator.
Though we narrowly averted
a complete humiliation,
their chances not converted
are of little consolation.

It’s of little consolation
that our fans could not stop singing
in the fierce precipitation
that left each supporter wringing.
Though downhearted and frustrated,
they maintained our reputation
but the humour generated
is of little consolation.

It’s of little consolation
that there’s hope on the horizon;
that the coming generation
means our stock should soon be risin’.
For we’re caught up in the story
of last night’s sad consternation
and the hope of future glory
is of little consolation.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Eye of toad and chin of elk;

leg of worm and jaw of whelk;
shamrock leaf and mildew’d fungus
(for the sugar-tongued among us);
ragglewort and liverfluke;
camel’s spit and baby’s puke;
deadly nightshade, picked and pressed;
milk from alligator’s breast;
blood of dodo, hair of Rooney,
ear of bat and smile of Clooney;
claw of bullfinch, herring’s nipple;
double vodka (or a triple);
and as you stir this strange creation,
chant the sacred incantation –

“Let Alonso’s big toe fester;
strain the groin of Iniesta;
tug the ligaments of Xavi;
let Busquets lose his football savvy;
spread butter on Casillas’ fingers;
make sure Arbeloa malingers;
let Jordi Alba’s muscles crumble;
let Ramos’s appendix rumble;
let Silva’s legs begin to stumble;
let Fabregas’s stock now tumble;
let violent sores o’errun Piqué;
but, most of all, let Torres play.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

The morning after

Sometimes we can’t do the unexpected;
sometimes we can’t upset the odds;
sometimes we just feel so dejected
and wonder why we’ve irked the football gods.

Sometimes Shay Given proves he’s mortal;
sometimes hard graft is not enough;
sometimes we look back through time’s portal
and hearken for a younger Keane and Duff.

Sometimes our errors will be pounced on;
sometimes our passes go astray;
our optimistic nature will be bounced on
and all our hopes and dreams will melt away.

Sometimes we’re punished for our messin’;
sometimes we’ll punch at our true weight;
sometimes we will be taught a lesson;
sometimes we’re frowned upon by fate.

Sometimes we get a sinking feeling;
sometimes we will not scale the heights;
sometimes reality comes stealing;
last night proved to be one of those nights.

Back with a whimper

Make a mistake in the qualifiers
and you may ride your luck.
Make mistakes in the finals
and you come unstuck.
So they put us under pressure
and we made mistakes.
We could have recovered
but they got the breaks.

At the highest level
we must retain the ball
if we’re going to have
any chance at all.
For they’re so damn ruthless
when they get a sniff,
that it takes but a second
to send our dreams skew-whiff.

The first was a header
from a long way out
there didn’t really seem to be
any danger about,
but it swung deceptively,
swooped in like a ghost,
crept in like a demon
just inside the post.

The second was a gift,
a stray pass from Ward,
when presents were the thing
we could least afford.
And although he was fouled
when he tried to clear,
the ref didn’t see it
and the price was dear.

The third was regrettable;
we stood off too long,
allowed time for the cross,
which was firm and strong.
The header flashed in,
hit the post, rebounded,
went in off Shay
as he stretched out grounded.

But we’d cause to cheer
with St. Ledger’s goal
to show the world we’d sugar
still in the bowl.
And all is not lost now,
although we feel the pain –
we’ll be right back on track, boys,
when we hammer Spain.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Jonnie Walters

Fist-pumping, awkward-jumping,
arms, elbows, knees bumping,
sharp-cunning, strong-running,
lack of grace, in your face,
always in the right place,
finger-licking, high-kicking,
watch the centre-backs bricking,
hard-shooting, executing,
pushing, fowling, disemboweling,
lurking, prowling, grunting, growling,
big, ugly, always scowling,
brave, fearless, mighty, peerless,
old-fashioned, highly-passioned,
barrel-chested, never bested,
every ball contested,
head-splitting, hard-hitting,
unthinkable, unsinkable,
sabre-rattling, always battling,
plundering and thundering,
shoving, pushing, grappling, rushing,
flying tackle, bone-crushing,
goal-getting, target-setting,
often ends up in the netting,
Edith Piaf, no regretting,
man-o’-war, dinosaur,
matador, conquistador,
axe-blow through the bathroom door,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Euro 2012 D Day Minus 2

I’ve been out searching frantically for bunting
but seemingly I’ve left it far too late.
In every store, I’ve been reduced to grunting
when shop assistants tell it to me straight.
All I wanted was to decorate
the little patch of land my house is fronting,
but sadly, I had too much on my plate
and now I’ve gone and missed the boat for bunting.

Did no-one think the country might need bunting
and ship it in from China by the crate?
Or is this poxy Euro crisis blunting
the business acumen within the state?
My fruitless search has now begun to grate
but I’ve no option but to go on hunting,
unless I want to be (in our estate)
the only sap without a bit of bunting.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Euro 2012 D Day Minus 3

And so,
days before a major Finals,
an Irish midfielder breaks ranks,
skips past the despairing lunge
of a thick-skulled manager,
and runs to the arms of the press,
complaining about training.

Quite unprecedented, of course.

Oh, Aiden,
ask poor Kevin Foley if he thought
training was too draining.
I’m sure the Black Sea in June
is very beautiful. Can you imagine yourself
stretched out, dozing on a sunbed
as we take the field in Poznan?