Ultimately, the Republic of Ireland's campaign at Euro 2012 ended in the same way it began, in defeat and by conceding poor goals from set plays.
I actually thought the Irish team could take a few positives from their
performance against Italy in Poznan,
but the fact is they have lost all three of their games in Group C and, for the first time, failed to win a game at the finals of a major tournament.
With things having gone so badly for us in Poland, there is always going to be a lot of speculation about
the future of Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni
and some of our older players.
I have been asked a lot about potential retirements but I
said last week
that I hope the likes of Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Robbie Keane and Damien Duff stay on, and the same goes for Trapattoni.
I hope there are no dramatic changes for the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, because you have to remember what a brilliant achievement it was for us to get here in the first place.
The only doubts I have about Trapattoni have come after reading a couple of articles by former Republic boss Mick McCarthy, who I played under at the 2002 World Cup finals, while I have been over here in Poland.
McCarthy said he feels he should have walked away after that World Cup because he had probably done all he could, and public opinion was turning against him after what happened in Japan and South Korea with Roy Keane walking out of the squad.
He carried on into the next round of qualifiers, for Euro 2004, but the team lost their first two games badly to Russia and Switzerland and the supporters turned on him completely.
My fear is the same could happen with Trapattoni.
His team has not had the best of tournaments, and if we do not start out well on the road to the next World Cup in Brazil then I fear that people might turn on him.
Republic's opponents in World Cup qualifying Group C
Germany, Sweden, Austria, Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan
I look at the other teams in the Republic's group and Germany are obviously going to be very strong, while Sweden have some wonderful players.
It will be tough to progress but I would like to think the players will still be confident they can make it.
Whether they are or not depends on how quickly they can shake off the negative feelings they will have after taking part in a tournament like this and losing all three games.
It is a shame the results have been so disappointing because it has been brilliant to be over here, being part of the BBC Radio 5 live team and mixing with the fans before and after games, and seeing some fantastic players in action.
It was a joy to watch Spain at first hand, even though they were tearing the Irish team apart. Seeing Andres Iniesta live in action for the first time was wonderful.
"After European Championships and World Cups there is always a big fall-out of managers but I hope Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni doesn't go because six to eight weeks ago he got them here playing the way they played.
"I hope Gio has the desire to build another team because he has done well to get the team here. But if you are talking about Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Shay Given and Richard Dunne, I think they may [leave international football] and try to prolong their league careers."
And I can now fully appreciate the lengths that Irish supporters go to, not only to get to a major tournament like this but what they do when they get here.
I will have some great memories to look back on when I get home but one that stands out is when I got to the train station at 8am on the morning after the Croatia defeat and found fans scattered everywhere, because they had used it as a hotel.
I have come across so many fans who did not have tickets for games but just travelled here to be part of the buzz and part of the whole experience of being out here.
They have had some criticism for their attitude but I find that ridiculous - they actually deserve credit.
So many other fans appreciate them and the Italy players applauded them when they were doing a lap of honour after Tuesday's game.
Everyone appreciates what they have brought to Poland and they have definitely added something to the tournament. I just hope it is not another 10 years before they get the chance to do the same again.