Wasn’t it so much easier when we had George’s premature fowl audits to blame for last minute catastrophes? Not this time:

“This is a night when it was felt they could get the three points and they’ve played well enough to earn the three points, but they haven’t got them yet. …….. and they won’t.”

Perhaps besotted George was too distracted by his ardour for Shay Given to concentrate properly on jinxing matters. The lovelorn metaphor king concocted innumerable “wonderful saves” and “magnificent reactions” as brave Shay perfected his Packie Bonner parrying routine in the face of Slovak efforts of the distinctly bread-and-butter-straight-down-the-keeper’s-throat variety.

In the end, it was credit to Stan – we dare say no stranger to unrequited love – for remaining calm amid the mayhem, preferring to concentrate fully on the task ahead on Wednesday.

“A win is a win if you win it.” says he. Who needs Uncle Bob anyway?

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