It is a received wisdom, of the kind your mother shared at least, that one door does not close without another opening. That truism rings loudly for Irish soccer, or at least Republic of Ireland soccer, this morning.
The game has endured something like ongoing ignominy over recent months, culminating with the resignation of manager, Martin O’Neill, and his capo, Roy Keane — a change that cost the FAI millions.
O’Neill’s successor, former captain and manager, Mick McCarthy, got a generous rub of the green at the first time of asking yesterday, when we, on a technicality, avoided the Group of Death in the Euro 2020 qualifying draw. First drawn in Group C, with the Netherlands and Germany, Mick McCarthy’s side escaped to Group D, as no more than two host nations can play in the same group.
Now, we will meet Switzerland, Denmark, Georgia, and
Gibraltar and though we may not make the final at Wembley, this seems as good a chance at redemption as Irish soccer could hope for.