Matt Holland (PA)

We took a hammering

By SportUK 14/06/2012 22:51

Aiden McGeady, Republic of Ireland - PAA really disappointing result against Spain sees us with two defeats out of two and with only pride to play for against Italy in our final game.

 

I can’t question the players’ heart, desire and commitment, but we were just left short in terms of quality.

 

We conceded a sloppy goal early against Croatia and we did exactly the same again against Spain. It’s hard enough to play against the best in the world starting off on level terms, but to give them a head start is suicide.

 

We didn’t play to our strengths; Robbie Keane is a great player, but he’s not going to win headers from long balls against the like of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique. If we were going to play long balls then we should have started with either Jonathan Walters or Kevin Doyle, who I thought was harshly dropped after his performance in the first match.

 

Sadly for Shay Given it was another difficult night. I don’t think he’s fully fit and it has showed with his performances so far.  

 

However, it wasn’t just the fact that we under-performed, Spain showed exactly why they are the very best. They were sublime. Vicente Del Bosque’s team completed 859 passes in the match which is a European Championship record. David Silva’s goal illustrated why they are so difficult to play against as they press so high up the pitch and force mistakes. The fullbacks - Alvaro Arbeloa and Jordi Alba - basically play as wingers.

 

Fernando Torres, Spain - PAFernando Torres justified his selection and looked like the £50 million player Chelsea thought they bought!

 

At half-time myself and Andy Gray, who I’m working with out here, spoke to my old Ireland manager Mick McCarthy who simply said “How do you stop it”. I had no answer.

 

But, there’s still one game to go, which will be tough as Italy need to win to have a chance of qualifying, but we need to give something back to the fans. We may not have the best team in the tournament but we certainly have the best supporters. Losing 4-0 with just minutes left all you could hear was our singing fans. Hairs on the back of the neck stuff. Amazing.

 

I would change things up for the final match and look to the future. James McClean came on late, but he should start on the left instead of Aiden McGeady. Also Darron Gibson should be given a chance in the middle of the park as Glenn Whelan has looked tired. However, one of the senior players I would like to see stay in the starting line-up, despite him being not on the best form, is Damien Duff as it will be his 100th cap and he deserves to get it at a major tournament.

19Comments
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no shame in losing to the best team in the world and can i just congratulate the irish fans, still cheering their team on at 4 nil down, a credit to their country.

 

England fan

15/06/2012 04:57
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It would be just great if ALL football fans could BEHAVE LIKE THE IRISH who do not cause trouble and enjoy interaction with all nationalities,. It is called RESPECT just exactly what FIFA  are promoting during this competition.

 

A small nation with only 5 million people who made it to the world stage - Well Done the Irish.

 

RESPECT - RESPECT - RESPECT all who play the beautiful game in sporting fashion.

 

VIVA SPAIN

15/06/2012 08:26
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Roy Keane said it all in the studio - Too many Irish players think they are better than they are/play.
14/06/2012 23:41
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Well played Ireland! A sporting effort in the best traditions of the game we all love.  Have a pint tonight, share a laugh, and look forward to the game against Italy.
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@ steve burt - You are a ****.

I'm Irish and would like to see England go forward and do well. Comments like yours would almost change my mind - fortunately most comments from the English disagree with you.

Again - hard luck Ireland. We are proud of you.

And  to Steve the **** burt - I wish england good luck tonight

15/06/2012 11:14
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"we took an hammering" thanks for stating the obvious, you moron
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Ireland have given 100% and the score line against Croatia was rather flattering to say the least, but C'mon Spain!! Germany would be second best if they met to. The Irish gave all they had, but can you imagine playing Barca, real Madrid and Chelsea all at once? No thank you very much. I dont think there is any team in this competition  who could have stood up to that kind of onslaught. The players sitting on the bench are enough to scare the living daylights out of you. Then when you think you have had a right good hiding already Fabregas comes on to kick you while your still realling from the last bloke who knocked you side ways. Well done Ireland and the Fans were brilliant the team gave everything but the Fans saw what they were up against and cheered their commitment and effort you cant ask for anything more.
15/06/2012 10:40
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We are out now so players that have let their country down like Shay Given should be dropped and let the younger guys come in for the final game. Gutted.
15/06/2012 16:40
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We This, We That, Is that the royal we?
14/06/2012 23:47
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Whos  WE  Matt  its not England , WE dont care ,    sorry but you have plenty to say about english clubs .
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@DMC-27 aka Richard Cranium

Ireland got stuffed last night because they were playing the current World and European champions who are a fantastic football team.

So you are a torres fan? You probably think he is now in great form however you say that that Ireland are "C.R.A.P." so it doesn't really say much for him, does it?

YOU MY FRIEND ARE A MAJOR -----P.R.I.C.K.

15/06/2012 12:09
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Why is Roy Keane having a go at the Irish lads? At best they're out of the wrong end of the Prem, most are championship or worse, they've surpassed themselves getting there and no disrespect but very few Irish players would get in any of the other squads there. Yeah they conceded a few bad goals but they were outclassed by Croatia and Spain , please they could put three sides out that would beat Ireland, just the reality of being out of their depth. 
19/06/2012 10:53
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all the irish players play in england so there you go , they would not get a game anywhere else in europe ,includin g scotland the english game lacks skill we all know that you only have to look at rooney
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The Irish fans. What a credit to our country - SO PROUD TO BE IRISH. Was watching match in the pub last night and like the fans at the match, we were singing and cheering with them at 4 - 0. We were so noisy that people had actually come in to the pub and thought we had won.

There is something we will NEVER EVER DO and that is Boo our team off the pitch.

 

Well done lads - for such a small country, we had the most difficult group. Bring on the Germans now for the World Cup qualification

15/06/2012 09:11
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shame they were beaten ! But what team could have beaten Spin last night not many if any ?  The British isles don't have deep resources to call upon and i know what i am about to say may not soothe the ears of us u,k residents but we should combine forces  from the best from the Irish, Welsh, Scots,Eng just for the major championship as i cannot see us winning and i mean any of us unless we improve upon our pool of players to pick from it may even help us as a nation come together more than just when there is a war on ..i wish the Irish well and hope that England whatever happen have the same spirit but hopefully a different result  
14/06/2012 23:25
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They talk about the luck of the Irish,if it wasn't for bad luck they would have no luck at all.Irish defenders don't appear to have even the basic idea of defending,Given has been having a nightmare he will want to forget.Ireland should pack up football and concentrate on Hurling and Rugby
15/06/2012 09:12
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They woke up to the reality of big football. No tears for the Irish from me. I doubt they would shed any if England were knocked out.
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  • Matt HollandMatt Holland

    Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Matt Holland talks all things football from the Premier League to the grass roots.

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