Thursday, 14 June 2012

Time to hold your breath

Last night's football between Germany and Holland was in the words of Harry Redknapp "A fantastic game, with fantastic players and fantastic goals.. Absolutely fantastic". Thanks for that level of insight there Harry. But he was right it was a fantastic game. At this stage the Germans are still my favourites for the whole thing. They look so solid all over and they haven't won a major tournament since 1996 which for them is like a lifetime. Not to mention their squad is bulging with talent almost as much as the eyes on their talisman Mesut Ozil.

But today is Ireland vs. Spain. The build up this time is a lot more muted. And in the interests of putting a positive spin on things that's probably a good thing. Because when you think of it some of our most memorable performances have come when our backs are against the wall and nobody gave us a prayer (examples being vs. England in Euro 88, vs. Italy in US 94, vs. France in the world cup play off ). It is the lack of hype and expectation which has brought out the best in us in the past and hopefully it will be the same tonight. The hype in the build up to Croatia was summed up with an RTE poll where 85% of people thought we'd win.

Here's a link to an article outlining how we might beat the best team in the world later this evening.

The three ways Ireland can do this include: getting McGeady out wide, set-pieces and big Jon Walters. Unfortunately by the sound of things these three points may be reduced to two as the latest rumours coming from the camp indicate that it will be Cox, not Walters who starts tonight.

Cox will give us more pace up front and Keane will probably drop back into midfield. But the lack of a target man to hold up the ball following long punts from O'Shea and the likes could mean the ball will just keep coming back to the weary defenders. This is a very risky strategy. Maybe we need a Plan C? Time to hold your breath....


  1. Defend from the front is the tactic. I think Cox is well able for the role. Hope Long gets a run for Keane at some stage. We need a huge performance and every shred of luck to get anything from this game.

    Some great fighting talk from Keane yesterday....hope they all deliver. Huge travelling support over there...they deserve it most.

  2. Spain have too many players who can cut open the defence. When we went behind against Croatia at the start of the game, the response was to push forward. We passed the ball well, put Croatia under pressure, and looked like we could get something from the game. We got the goal, and the whole thing changed. We sat back to the point midfield were nearly playing in the box. Just like Spain, Croatia have too much quality for this tactic to work, and we payed the price. The same will apply against Spain. We have got to try to play further up the field. We did this against France, we can do it again. The luck of the Irish was not with us against Croatia... we'll need it today if we're to get anything from the game. We can only live in hope!

  3. And so it ends. The hopes and dreams of the nation are suspended for another two years, when we may or may not qualify for the World Cup in Brazil. In fairness though the boys got well beaten by possibly THE GREATEST international side of all time. There's no shame in that at all.