Ireland were expected to bring with them to this year’s Euros a dose of entertainment, a dose of fearlessness, and perhaps a shock result or two in a tricky group. Ultimately, though, all Ireland brought with them were a travelling pack of fans noisy and passionate enough to draw applause from the Spanish fans throughout the 90 minutes of their game against the world champions.

However, Roy Keane, as much as we may not like to admit, is right. His scathing remarks made on ITV after the game hit out at those who seem to believe that a lack of grit on the pitch is acceptable, if it’s set to the soundtrack of a jolly Irish song or two.

With Peter Drury, in particular, appearing to overlook the defensive lapses and utter lack of attacking spirt to instead praise the Irish fans, suggesting that, in a few years, when the Spanish team has faded, they will need to learn a lesson from the Irish: fan passion; the coverage of the Irish has been patronising, to say the least.

At least they gave us something to remember, in addition to that Bet365 Ray Winstone advert.

If the media continue to put forward the impression that the Irish’s perennial underachieving is acceptable because the fans are a laugh, then the changes Giovanni Trapattoni needs to make are at risk of being ignored.

Shay Given, John O’Shea, Robbie Keane, and Damien Duff are starting to look like fading stars, rather than the spine of the Irish team, while the likes of Simon Cox and Jon Walters just are not up to international standard. With Trapattoni refusing to play young James McClean until the dying moments of the Spain game, it would seem that the coach’s negative tactics were lying behind the fear in the Irish starting line-up’s eyes.

Ireland have players to draw on who are exciting, fresh, and youthful, and while they may well end up getting thrashed by the likes of Spain in major tournaments, at least they might do so after giving it a real go, rather than allowing fear to dominate where it really shouldn’t.

If you have yet to benefit from the knowledge of a disembodied head and his protégé, check out the Ray Winstone Bet365 video online, and take advantage of some of the most accurate betting tips around.