But they are counting the cats! The Republic of Ireland players and manager Giovanni Trapatonni will obviously be delighted with their four nil away win against Estonia in Tallinn on Friday night last. But they are taking nothing for granted. In Tapatonni’s post-match press conference he stated that “the cat is in the sack, but the sack is not closed. The cat is in it, but it’s open – and it’s a wild cat.” The 72 year Italian also said that “at this moment, we are near qualifying at 4-0. But I repeat the same sentence: don’t jump the gun.”
With all this talk about cats and guns you might think Trap has lost the plot. But a cautious approach such as this will hopefully filter through to the players and help them produce the type of performance that will ensure qualification for the Euro 2012. Ireland have one foot on the plan to Poland and Ukraine, but need to respect their opponents to ensure the FAI coughs up for first class seats.
The current Euro 2012 betting odds for this game put Ireland as firm favourites at 4/11. After Friday night, you would expect Ireland to coast through. Howver the Estonians did threaten at times and could be worth a punt at 9/1 over the 90 minutes. Don’t be surprised though if Ireland does deliver with a home win. Captain Robbie Keane is showing no mercy and wants to go for the jugular. He wants to show no sympathy for Estonia and still feels the pain of Ireland not qualifying for the World Cup two years ago. Keane said “Why should I feel for Estonia?” and that “no one felt sorry for us in Paris two years ago. We were devastated in the dressing-room that night”.
Perhaps with Keane after bagging a brace in the first leg and wanting to seal the deal he may be a very good shout to bag another if you are into goal scorer betting. Keane is Ireland’s record scorer and will be looking to increase his tally. Hopefully Ireland can produce the goods and go some way to repairing the damage and heartache caused by Henry in Paris in 2010. Come on you boys in green!