View Full Version : Question regarding the big game tomorrow

Boston Celtic
14/11/2001, 3:23 PM
Any of you guys know if the Game is on like radio or something that i can pick up on the net..maybe rte radio one..or are they gona stick coverage on medium wave and leave me listening to Marion at 9am on the net

like aaam, thanks you guys and Go Ireland


14/11/2001, 4:19 PM
Think I saw some sorta banner ad on RTE site about live web broadcast. Maybe ya wanna check that site out?

Boston Celtic
14/11/2001, 4:21 PM
awesome pete will do that so

14/11/2001, 5:05 PM
excellant well written article from Tom Humphries in da times about the press conferances and what happened in Iran...

from earlier today

Locals on verge of taking the Mick
Tom Humphries in Tehran

14/11/01: Mick McCarthy knows his history. Four years ago, the Australians made the mistake of gravely insulting their Iranian opponents, making careless pronouncements that Tehran was a hellhole which they had no wish to visit and Terry Venables seldom discussing the game without a dollop of hubris treacling all over his thoughts.

Eventually, the Aussies camped out in Dubai until the day of the game and fled back to Australia within hours of the final whistle. Oh, they never made it to France.

So Mick McCarthy, a fundamentally decent man, whose qualities are seldom more in evidence than on trips like this, has coddled and flattered the local citizenry and media all week. He smiles on all who smile. Makes friends wherever he goes. And why not, Tehran is a friendly town to visit.

Still it's a World Cup play-off and when Mick awakes at night in a sweat, his wife Fiona has no need to ask him what's wrong. The recent play-off disasters in Brussels and Bursa would have unhinged a lesser man but Mick has soldiered on. Even so, the strain shows occasionally, even in public.

The Iranians know his reputation for straight talking. They know there is some pleasant fun to be had at the Irish manager's press conference and, well, Iranians enjoy a little humour. Mick McCarthy is good value. Just float the bait and let him rise.

They ask if he is worried about the Iranian team, will he be defending. Mick is no longer the silky diplomat. He's biting on the hook.

"Listen, we take care of the team on a collective basis, we're not man-marking anybody. Ali Karemi had a couple of chances on Saturday but we will make them defend by attacking them. No way are we sitting back and defending. Everywhere we've been, we've gone to score. We attempt to score in every game."

"But Mister McCarthy, without Roy Keane where is the heart of your team?" "The heart of my team is the whole of my team. Every single one of them." He says defiantly. "Roy Keane is not important today, he's thousands of miles away. What's important today is who is here. Mark Kinsella and Mattie Holland are two fantastic, driven players."

Harmless question, punchy answer but the Iranians are on a roll. The follow up is the sucker punch.

"But Mister McCarthy is it the Republic of Roy Keane or the Republic of Ireland?"

"It doesn't bother me whether we go to Japan with the Republic of Roy or the Republic of Ireland. People make comments. So what. Doesn't bother me."

Mick looks bothered though. He gets some moments of reprieve from a cluster of banal Irish questions. Then it's back to jousting.

"What will you do if Iran score in the first 10 minutes?"

"Well it's one-nil and if it stays like that we qualify. What do you want me to say 'Oh no' (puts head in hands in mock despair) if it happens. What will you think if we score. I would imagine half the ground will empty. You'll be gone. It's not a consideration for me." This is good. Mick has his game face on now. Bring it on, bring it on.

They do. An Iranian journalist reminds Mick McCarthy that tomorrow would be four years to the day since Brussels. Except he doesn't phrase it like that. He says.

"You sound like Terry Venables." This is translated as the bulk of the question unspools. "And do you know it is four years to the day on Thursday since you lost your play-off game to Belgium? Mick has a look of shock on his face. We draw our seats nearer to the ringside.

"So," replied Mick coming off the ropes gamely, "you know something, I have a birthday every February 7th as well." He pauses. The translator does his stuff. Laughter in two languages. Then.

"You can bring up history if you want. When was the last time we didn't score in a game, when was the last time we conceded three in a game, you go and look it up. Have a look. Find the stats, don't bring historical games to me because it's nonsense. Thursday is a different game."

Things moved on and then, as if it were part of an elaborately choreographed wind up, the same Iranian journalist raises his hand and says earnestly in Farsi "Sorry, the only reason I brought it all up is if you lose on Thursday you must be worried about your future."

You can tell that the translator would like to sugar coat these questions a little but he can't.

"Listen," says Mick. "I've been asked those questions by better than him and I haven't answered them yet." This is translated. Possibly with sugar coating. Much nodding.

Then, a beauty: "Excuse me. Why did you bring up the game in Brussels, Mister McCarthy. Why are you comparing Belgium with Iran. That was four years ago. That was another game another time." Mick McCarthy has a pantomime dame's look of outrage painted on his face now.

"I didn't! It was you people. You've compared not me. You! Not me!"

There's more to come.

Have you ever played in front of 120,000 people before? "What difference does it make?" "Well . . ." "No hold on, let me answer, I've got the microphone. If we play in the Amsterdam Arena in front of 50,000 people making noise what's the difference, it's a noise, it's adrenalin, excitement, it's wonderful, it's not intimidating. We're playing 11 footballers."

As an honest person, what's happened to Gary Kelly, the player? "He's up in his bed. He's just had his lunch . . . Nothing's happened I hope."

Mick finishes on a high. He is asked why a Barnsley man is bothered about Ireland. He replies with a question.

"Listen, you go and live in England, marry an English girl have a son and let him grow up with his idol as Ali Daei. What is he? Do you think he's English, your son? C'mon answer me! I've given honest answers to honest questions. You can't answer. I think that answers it for me!"

And he leaves the ring still undefeated.

"Thank you for all the interesting questions," he says, "I'm going to go and I'm going to have a rest."

Mick departs but the bill still has more to offer. Word goes out that Robbie Keane will attend the players' press conference only if a certain journalist is not in the room. Emissaries are dispatched to speak with the young man and finally, pre-conditions dropped, Keane and David Connolly enter the room, looking like a pair of kids in a dentist's waiting room. Rumour has it that they'll start up front tomorrow. For now though they are here to have their tails pulled.

Soon it starts.

"Mister McCarthy has sent two strikers to this press conference. Is it pre-attack?" Robbie looks panicked. Dave looks depressed. Dave always looks depressed.

"You answer that Dave," says Robbie.

Brendan Menton intervenes. Dave and Robbie weren't Mick McCarthy's choice. Don't read anything into it.

Drat. Still the press conference, like life itself, goes on. Robbie is just finished explaining that people expect a lot from him but he's only human like the rest, when an Iranian colleague begs to differ.

"Mr Keane you are famous among Iranian young people, you are a hero to Iranian youth. You are strong, of course, you are like Hercules..." We take a break for some mirth.

Robbie looks bewildered for a minute but enters the spirit of things: "Jaysus. I haven't his muscles. Am I a bit of a Mister Macho Man? I don't know. No seriously it's nice if that's the case. Hopefully after Thursday I won't be such a hero." Pause.

"Mr Keane, take it easy. It's just humour."

"Yeah. Cheers, yeah." Talk drifts to tactics, to aerial threats, the merits of playing a big man up front or two small men.

Dave Connolly finishes as soberly as he started. "I think Mick prefers a big man but I'm not a big man. So we'll see."

Time to go. Players have glazed looks. Media have enough.

Personally? Haven't had so much fun since Grandma wrassled them hogs.

14/11/2001, 5:33 PM
Nice one. Think Micko trying to outdo Blazevic now on his away visit ;)

Interesting story I read about el Tel 4 years ago......

With a 120k capacity crowd he took his players out onto the the pitch to walk around well in advance of the ko. Apparently they got used to it by ko & realised there wasn't any hate in the chants from the stands but the Iranians just cheering for their own team & that took a lot of the intimadatory sting out of the first leg.