Vera Pauw and Ireland’s trip to the 2023 World Cup shows that football can be entertaining but winning is more important
VERA PAUW responded to her Ireland critics this week and said she wishes her side could be more entertaining but winning is more important.
It’s always been that way, unconcerned by the majority of Girls in Green fans.
Pauw’s team has produced many terrible beauties on their way to a first-ever World Cup qualifier.
That was sealed in typically Scottish play-off fashion, a stylish goal from Amber Barrett that will look great in the years after Courtney Brosnan saved a penalty.
That kind of victory is more Irish than a shamrock on a coat of arms.
At Euro 2016, Robbie Brady struck after Italy hit the post and Shane Long’s miracle goal against Germany in an earlier qualifier came after a solid rearguard action.
And Ray Houghton has the heroics of Packie Bonner and Paul McGrath to thank for his memorable winning goals.
As Giovanni Trapattoni said: “If I want to see a performance, I go to La Scala. If I want results, I play football.”
The Italian gaffer was responsible for many ugly victories and made no apologies.
No Ireland manager either. After all, it was always her job to win games.
Success versus entertainment and development is a question with no right or wrong answer. You just need to look at Ireland’s minors as proof.
Great goals from our international teams – mainly the U15s and U16s – are regularly posted on the FAI Twitter, giving us enthusiasm for the future.
These one-touch passing moves are typically the hallmarks of emerging talent programs where kids regularly play together.
By the time they reached U19 level, many have moved abroad and learned different systems at different clubs in different divisions.
The Uefa U19 Championship is the most difficult tournament to qualify as only eight teams advance. The boys in green have only done that twice in the last 12 years.
Ireland have never qualified in the Under-21s and last year’s close penalty shoot-out was scored with great determination.
SWEDISH AND SOUR
Jim Crawford’s side’s signature away win this season was a counter-attacking special against Sweden.
Had they beaten Israel from the penalty spot to qualify for the finals, it would have been more heart and organization that would have sealed historic success than flair.
And would any fan care? The real conversations about the quality of the game mostly only happen when the results are bad.
At Italia 90, Eamon Dunphy threw his pen after a 0-0 draw with Egypt rather than an even worse 1-1 draw with England.
And it’s the same for Stephen Kenny and Pauw now. Men’s boss Kenny has pleased fans with the style of his performances, although great skill is required to succeed.
Women’s supremo Pauw has secured a first qualification which means her tenure will certainly be considered a success.
But the chatter about how to play gets louder when the results are bad. It’s always been like that.
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/10363630/vera-pauw-ireland-world-cup-winning-more-important/ Vera Pauw and Ireland’s trip to the 2023 World Cup shows that football can be entertaining but winning is more important