Speaking on Monday afternoon, Martin O’Neill rubbished suggestions that several players played out of position throughout Saturday’s deadlock with Denmark. “The only player we had playing in a position where he doesn’t normally play is Cyrus Christie, and he was man of the match,” he said. Perspective, of course, is all relative; Christie, in the eyes of most, looked all at sea in an unfamiliar central midfield role.
Awarded man of the match for, presumably, exacting Ireland’s only shot on target, the Fulham full-back was one of four square pegs crammed into round holes against the Danes; Callum O’Dowda, Harry Arter and James McClean the others. Their number dwindled to three against Wales on Tuesday, but they still let their side down — thrown to the wolves by an incompetent manager long past his sell-by date. Continue reading →
Martin O’Neill loves to wallow in nostalgia, to recall the halcyon days when his performances were beyond reproach. Criticisms directed his way are tetchily deflected by references to a time when success came easy to the Kilrea native. That time is long gone now, however, and almost everyone except O’Neill knows it. Yet the FAI, in their infinite wisdom, have gifted him the luxury of two more lavishly paid years to figure it out. How kind of them. Continue reading →
Posted in Internationals, UEFA Nations League
- Tagged Aaron Ramsey, Ben Davies, Callum Robinson, Ciaran Clark, Connor Roberts, Darren Randolph, David Brooks, Ethan Ampadu, Gareth Bale, Joe Allen, Martin O'Neill, Republic of Ireland, Ryan Giggs, Seamus Coleman, Stephen Ward, Tom Lawrence, UEFA Nations League, Wales, Wales 4-1 Republic of Ireland
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.
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Portugal nullified Wales’ fearsome counter-attack in the first half, before scoring two early second half goals and dominating on the break. 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 →
Walker and Rose show France how it’s done
Like France’s Didier Deschamps, England manager Roy Hodgson selected a 4-1-4-1 system with inverted wingers for his side’s opening group game against Russia. But while the host nation’s narrowness played into Romanian hands, with ageing full backs Bacary Sagna and Patrice Evra unable to regularly provide the requisite width, their younger cross-channel equivalents looked far more dangerous. Continue reading →
Posted in Euro 2016, Internationals
- Tagged Albania, Danny Rose, England, Euro 2016, Gareth Bale, Kyle Walker, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Wales