The Infamous Banana
More racism. More banana’s. That’s what happened on Sunday afternoon after Brazilian wonder kid Neymar accused the Scottish spectators of racially abusing him when he was felled for the penalty leading up to Brazil’s second goal and after the match he said:
“I feel great and scored two but what happened with the banana is sad,” Neymar said. “I don’t want to make a big deal of it. I was running down the touch-line in the second half and saw it but I didn’t see where it came from.”
He also said that:
“They were jeering me a lot, even when I was about to kick the penalty.“The entire stadium was jeering. This atmosphere of racism is totally sad. We leave our country to play here and something like this happens. It’s sad. I’d rather not even talk about it, to keep the subject from escalating.”
Reformed Brazil star Lucas Leiva also targeted the matter in his post-match comments as he stated that:
“There is no more space for racism in the world.“They say it’s the first world here in Europe, but it’s where it happens the most. That has to change.
“Everybody is equal today. It’s a matter of respect.”
In my opinion, this has been going on far too long. Its ridiculous. Yet, I still don’t know why they choose to taunt the players with banana’s. Is there something I’ve missed there? Odd taunt, that.
Coleman and Clark made their Ireland debuts in the 3-0 win over Wales
Giovanni Trappatoni has a problem. No it’s not that Robbie Keane is out. Neither is it that Shay Given’s no first team place could cost him on a national scale. It’s the emergence of youthful Irish hopefuls Seamus Coleman and Ciaran Clark. This season in the Premier League the duo have reminded fans that Ireland still has the ability to produce players like these, even if it hasn’t happened for quite some time.
Its been a long year for the two. Everton saw potential in Coleman as a Sligo Rovers player and paid what are his wages now, €25,000, for the Irishman. Clark had, however, progressed steadily through the Aston Villa academy and captained the u-18′s on their way to claiming the Premier League in 2007/08. However, with the duo finally finding their feet in the Prem it could only be a matter of time until they are handed starts for Ireland’s qualifying campaign.
So Trap has a problem. Ireland’s current left-back (Kevin Kilbane) has found himself engrossed in a League 1 promotion battle and his position is up for sale at Ireland. Ciaran Clark fills the void nicely. Clark made his debut in Ireland’s inaugural Carling Nations match against Wales and he went about his business very easily, with no problems incurred. Clark had, funnily enough, been playing for England’s u16-20′s setup prior to his desire to swap nations due to the perseverance of Ireland centre-back Richard Dunne, whose contributions been phenomenal for his nation over the years. This season Clark has featured in a large chunk of Aston Villa’s campaign and has also chipped in with some vital goals for the Villains most notably his injury time equalizer against Chelsea and his unlikely brace in Villa’s 4-2 defeat at Arsenal.
Now, over to Seamus Coleman. What are we going to do with him? Right-back by trade but playing right-mid this year has led to a handfuls of praise showered upon him. When Coleman was bought in 2009, he was seen as nothing more than a ‘youth player’. How many times have we heard that phrase over the years? Coleman, as I’ve previously stated, started life as a right-back but Everton manager David Moyes thought Coleman would foot the bill nicely at right-mid. What a revelation. Since the switch which was almost identical to Gareth Bale’s situation, Coleman has come on leaps and bounds from the player that he was just over a year ago, struggling to make the first team squad eventually going out on loan to Blackpool in their quest for a coveted Premier League spot. His help with Blackpool in acquiring Premier League promotion obviously went down well at Goodison Park, where he was rewarded with a hefty contract and a nice bump in his wage packet. But it’s unclear where Coleman will play. Ireland currently have Aiden McGeady/Liam Lawrence out on the right with John O’ Shea the prefered option in the right-back slot. Although O’Shea is versatile he could make way for Coleman as his exceptional performances must be credited with a performance on the national stage, whether it be on a friendly or a competitive match.
March 26th is Ireland’s next European qualifier as they host a Macedonia side who lie a lowly 5th in the overall standings. Giovanni Trappatoni will, most definitely have a dilemma on his hands by then and with the untimely injury to Robbie Keane it leaves a gap open up front which will most likely be filled by the in-form Shane Long or Stoke’s Johnathan Walters. One things for sure though, if we are to give competitive debuts to both Clark and Coleman they must avoid disappointment or they will become accustomed to criticism.