Even a general as lucky as Martin O’Neill could not have anticipated the phoney war that the Welsh waged in Cardiff. Chris Coleman best-laid plans made life terribly easy for his opposite number, who still had to rely on Ashley Williams’ latest error to secure victory.
Martin O’Neill’s inaction in the face of Moldovan resurgence was, unfortunately, anything but telling. The Derryman’s tenure as the Republic of Ireland manager is fast approaching its fifth year. We know all there is to know about O’Neill; taking 33 minutes to enact a blindingly obvious adjustment is very much par-for-the-course.
With Wesley Hoolahan at its tip, the midfield diamond has been integral to most of the Republic of Ireland’s best football under Martin O’Neill. But a make-or-break qualifier, against a Serbian 3-4-2-1, was, unequivocally, not the time to revive it. Continue reading
Almost one year ago, in October of 2016, Martin O’Neill engaged in a head-scratcher of an interview with RTE‘s Tony O’Donoghue. Continue reading
Austria’s vulnerability to simple route-one football bailed out Martin O’Neill’s unnecessarily conservative approach to this crunch World Cup qualifier. Continue reading
Portugal survived a high-intensity first half French barrage, and the Kingsley Coman-led second wave, to eventually win a war of attrition against their physically spent hosts. Continue reading
France ruthlessly exploited the chinks in a superior German side’s tactical armour to progress to the final of Euro 2016. Continue reading
Portugal nullified Wales’ fearsome counter-attack in the first half, before scoring two early second half goals and dominating on the break. Continue reading
“It is extremely important that every single player follows our plan. The more organised the team is, the bigger the chances to win. That is why football is the only team sport where a third division team can beat a first division team.”
The words of Lars Lagerback, manager of the Icelandic national team, extolling the virtues of meticulous planning earlier this year. On June 27, in Nice on the south coast of France, the Swede’s hard work paid a rich dividend in the form of victory over an old mentor in Roy Hodgson and a place in the Euro 2016 quarter-finals. Continue reading
Roy Hodgson’s half-time switch to a midfield diamond quickly restored parity in his side’s Euro 2016 encounter with Wales. But the England manager was very fortunate not to forfeit a deserved victory by dumping it again just 25 minutes later. Continue reading