Welcome to Whiteside Can’t Jump, a blog dedicated to the Northern Ireland national football team as it rides through the roller-coaster of international football.
I’m a sucker for international football. Forgetting the excessive amounts of money in club football and the almost weekly occasions of titanic clashes between footballing superpowers; international football remains the pinnacle of the game in my mind.
Take Wednesday 7th of September 2005 for example. England, still deciding if Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard could play together in midfield and with David Beckham anchored in the “quarterback” position, arrived to Windsor Park and were promptly sent packing thanks to a glorious strike by David Healy. It united a single nation in glorious celebration and it will be just as fondly remembered as “España ’82″ and that victory over the hosts.
In a single 90 minutes, Northern Ireland somehow made everything else I’d endured as a fan worth it. The run of over 13 games without scoring a single goal. Defeats to the likes of Armenia, Canada and Iceland and draws with St Kitts & Nevis and Thailand were forgotten in a moment. The Green and White Army did something really quite special in beating England, and went one better just under a year later with a 3-2 win over Spain.
Ideally, WCJ exists so that I can chart similar event if and when they happen in the near future. Whiteside Can’t Jump will cover the senior Northern Ireland team as well as the under-21s through qualification tournaments, friendlies, summer tours and, fingers crossed, a trip to either the World Cup or European Championships.
I’m making a conscious decision, at least for now, not to cover women’s football. In truth, I think it should be treated as a separate entity from the men’s game but that’s a story for another day. For the time being, I’ll leave it to someone else.
As for me? You might be familiar with my work elsewhere. I’m the founder and editor of The Football Project. I didn’t necessarily say that was a good or a bad thing but fingers crossed, you’ll enjoy what I’ve got to say about Norn Iron as well go along.
Whiteside Can’t Jump is part of TFT Media, not that you need to care about that right now.