Printer Friendly

Ace Andy playing smiles better; EURO 2008 Austria-Switzerland WALES v IRELAND REID'S GRIN & TONIC.

Byline: Garry DOYLE

ANDY Reid wants to play with the style and the smile of Ronaldinho - even if it is practically impossible for him to replicate his hero.

Impossible firstly because of the Brazilian's buck-teethed facial expression - and secondly because of his mesmerising brilliance.

Yet a man can try. And so far this season Reid has been trying hard to be as happy a person - and as good a player as he can.

Which is exactly why he has turned to Ronaldinho for inspiration - whose happy-go-lucky character and risktaking creativity is what Reid aspires to.

Reid said: "You have to remember that I had so long out last season and it was horrendous. I found it really difficult to deal with but I dealt with it because I had to - and I am stronger and fitter and enjoying my football probably more than I have for maybe three or four years and I think that is shown with my performances on the pitch and the fact that I play with a smile on my face.

"I don't take anything for granted because of the injuries that I had last season and it means a lot to me to be able to kick a ball again whether it is at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday or whether it is a kickabout with my brothers when I go home. It is just important that I am back playing football again and back enjoying it.

"For me to perform to the best of my ability, I need to be enjoying it again. I am at my best when I have a smile on my face and that is why I enjoy watching Ronaldinho, inset, so much because he plays with a smile on his face and that is what football is all about.

"I think people take football too seriously sometimes. It is a serious sport and it determines a lot of people's livelihoods and how they are going to pay their mortgage.

"But when you go out on a pitch, you should enjoy it."

So has Reid taken it too seriously?

"I have in a way," he says. "And I say that at the risk of sounding flippant because it is an important game and it means so much to us every time we put on a green shirt. It is massively important to the public and everyone.

"But at the same time, we do need to enjoy it more and it hasn't been enjoyable and there have been rifts between the players and the press and the managers and the FAI and everybody is giving stick in every direction - the players to you and you to us and that's disappointing that it has got to that stage and I would like it to end. I would like a clean slate."

And he - and this Ireland team - deserve it because irrespective of their shortcomings, their hunger and effort cannot be questioned. They have been guilty of underperforming but innocent on all charges when it comes to effort.

Reid said: "We are as disappointed as anyone that we are not going to the next championship. I am absolutely gutted. I have never played in a World Cup or a European Championship.

"And I would love to. That goes for everybody. Nobody wants to be told that they are not good enough to qualify and it is up to us to prove that we are good enough to qualify for the next championships and we need a win to get a decent seeding."

In the meantime, he wants to get back to the Premier League - having been handed a raw deal on his last visit there - suffering from Martin Jol's lack of faith and also the recurrence of various injuries.

So this season he has turned over a new leaf. He has decided that he has to assume more responsibility and become a leader. Captain of Charlton - he is happier with his lot now than he has ever been.

Reid said: "I always felt I had the qualities in me to become a captain and I just feel it needed to come out in me and I think now is the perfect time for me to step up to the plate and I think now that I can help younger players and the manager trusts me to be good around the lads and when we have a bad result not to be moping around.

"I am one of the people who has to lift the players and get them ready for the next game, especially in the Championship where games come thick and fast where you don't have time to mope around."

Moping around no longer happens in the Reid household. Those injuries have cleared up. Life couldn't be better.

He said: "I am only happy when I am playing. I don't know how people put up with me last year when I was injured because I am the most miserable person ever.

"I don't even think my mother wanted to speak to me and that's the way it should be because that's my life. I play football and I am not happy unless I am doing it."


WHO'S THE BOSS: Andy Reid is hoping the FAI bring in a high calibre new manager
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 16, 2007
Previous Article:OFFICIALS GOOD FOR SWEET FA; EURO 2008 Austria-Switzerland WALES v IRELAND.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters