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
“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
The Republic of Ireland’s 2-2 draw with Slovakia on Tuesday evening highlighted both the benefits and drawbacks of Martin O’Neill’s preferred 4-3-1-2 formation. Continue reading
Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland turned in a passable impression of Premier League table-toppers Leicester City to triumph over Switzerland on Saturday evening. Continue reading
Typing the words “a lesson in football” into your search engine of choice yields a YouTube video as the top result. “Manchester United 0-4 Nottingham Forest: A Lesson In Football” features just over two minutes of highlights from the December 1977 game that turned the many doubters of Brian Clough’s newly-promoted side’s title credentials into true believers. With a devastating display of rapier-quick counter-attacking, Forest ripped apart their more monied opponents with consummate ease. Despite barely scraping promotion from the old Second Division the previous season, Forest went on to wrap up the league in April. United finished tenth. Continue reading
Posted in England, Premier League
- Tagged Brian Clough, Claudio Ranieri, English Premier League, Jamie Vardy, Leicester City, Manchester City, Manchester United, Manuel Pellegrini, Martin O'Neill, N'Golo Kanté, Nottingham Forest, Robert Huth
One year and two days ago, the Republic of Ireland lost away to Scotland by a single goal. The nation’s chances of even securing a playoff looked remote at best. Tonight, it won that playoff, comfortably besting a much-fancied Bosnia-Herzigovina side to qualify for Euro 2016. Continue reading
Mehmed Bazdarevic, manager of Bosnia-Herzegovina, had clearly done his homework. Recordings of Ireland’s recent visit to Warsaw would have revealed a fragile Irish left-flank, that crumbled in the face of Polish probing to deny Ireland automatic passage to next summer’s European Championship finals in France.
Posted in Internationals, Ireland
- Tagged 4-1-4-1, 4-3-1-2, 4-4-1-1, 4-4-2, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Edin Dzeko, Ireland, Martin O'Neill, Mehmed Bazdarevic, Miralem Pjanic, Richard Keogh, Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan