We took a hammering
A 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 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.
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.
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.
@ 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
@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.
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
Chris Froome is in discussions over an extension to his Team Sky contract in a deal which could have implications for Sir Bradley Wiggins.
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