ANALYSIS: Deeper Sergej deployment spells disaster for Serbia

Alan O’Brien 

When Serbia deemed Slavoljub Muslin’s services surplus to requirements at the end of 2017, most of world football sat perplexed. Sacked, at least in part, for not using the likes of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in qualification, the Belgrade-born coach was refused the chance to see his work through in Russia.

Serbia, who topped their group, looked instead to former international Mladen Krstajic, a managerial tyro who happily welcomed Sergej back into the fold. And look at how that turned out. Continue reading

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DAY FOUR ANALYSIS: Neymar gets nobbled, El Tri transitions triumph and Serbs suppress El Ticos

Alan O’Brien 

Read on for bitesize analysis of Sunday’s three World Cup games: Continue reading

Analysis: No-nous O’Neill brutally exposed

Alan O’Brien 

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