Northern Ireland legend Gerry Armstrong was on Sky Sports punditry on Sunday night as Michael O’Neill’s side bowed out of the World Cup play-offs.
Armstrong was a member of the last Northern Irish squad to appear in a World Cup finals back in 1986 so his desire to see the national side seal a place in Russia next year was obivous.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Armstrong or Michael O’Neill’s side, as a 0-0 draw in Basel saw them knocked out by Switzerland after last week’s 1-0 first leg defeat at Windsor Park.
Of course, sometimes a massive yearning to see something happen right in front of you can lead to slight bias – a line that Armstrong didn’t so much as cross, but raced over it and then just kept running for several more miles.
He began to call the game as if he was a fan watching in the stands (which, for all intents and purposes, he was – albeit with a microphone in his hands and thousands of people listening to him).
His wholeheartedly biased co-commentary, as was the case in Belfast on Thursday night also, turned out to be as big a topic on social media as the match itself:
Gerry Armstrong is watching a whole different game to everyone else. Every Swiss challenge is reckless and Northern Ireland are Real Madrid.
— Trevor Oakley (@TrevorOakley1) November 12, 2017
90 minutes is not enough, I need more Gerry Armstrong in my life
— James Brophy (@JBrophy2705) November 12, 2017
That commentary from Gerry Armstrong was sensationally one sided to the point of almost North Korean levels of delusion. Made me laugh though
— Russell Dutton (@RussellDutton) November 12, 2017
Gerry Armstrong commentating on this game in the style of ‘yer da watching you play u11’s football.’
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) November 12, 2017
NI complete a 5 yard pass.
Gerry Armstrong: “ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE VISION. SCHOLES EAT YOUR HEART OUT” #SUINIR
— Tigerr (@AMalayanTiger) November 12, 2017
Gerry Armstrong calling Gareth McCauley “big G” pic.twitter.com/wJvBcrzDUH
— Tom Livingstone (@tommycerealboy) November 12, 2017
Gerry is about 17 seconds away from burning a Swiss flag here.
— Cian Carroll (@CianByNature) November 12, 2017
Gerry Armstrong is calling the Northern Ireland players by their first names and he doesn’t give a shit
— Sachin Nakrani (@SachinNakrani) November 12, 2017
There’s people who didn’t like Gerry Armstrong’s commentary tonight?! Best part of the game for me
— Brendan Hayter (@BrezzyHayter) November 12, 2017
That was some performance from Gerry Armstrong, never mind anyone else.
— ⚜️Iain Ogilvie ⚜️ (@maidasaint) November 12, 2017
Fans of Armstrong won’t have to wait too long to hear him again, as he will likely be on duty for Sky in his role as a La Liga co-commentator next weekend.
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we review last week’s FAI Cup final with former Cork City defender Derek Coughlan and look ahead to Ireland’s massive World Cup play-off against Denmark.