We may not have the players but do Iceland? I have seen the likes of Iceland, Moldova, Slovenia, Lithunania in recent times. They can all pass the ball. The minnows or lesser lights from Scandinavia, the Balkans and the new Easter Europeans can all play football. They can string passes together and keep the ball. Basic stuff. They all have good technique and are comfortable with the ball at their feet. More basic stuff.
I played a lot of soccer myself. I was decent enough and never bad enough to play for Ireland. I was in St. Annes on Sunday morning for the first time in years having lined out there at 11o’clock on many a Sunday morning in bygone years. Lots of lads no longer in the first flush of youth but still dreaming of making it. Still scoring goals which turn into screamers by the time the third pint is being downed afterwards. But all trying to pass and play football. Look at what comes out of Cherry Orchard, Belvedere, Home Farm etc - quality young lads with bundles of skill.
So why can’t we at least pass the ball around at international level - where possession is the absolute king. And where you usually get more time on the ball - unlike the mostly frenetic EPL.
This is where Dunphy is a hyprocrite. If he loves the ‘beautiful game’ he cannot love anything about this Ireland team. We are horrendous exponents of football. It seems we cannot do the most basic things. I cannot believe that we at least can’t match the minnows named above in terms of being able to string a few passes together. Or that we can’t clear a ball to a team mate. Tasks that seemed beyond us yet again for most of Monday night. Jesus these lads are on thousands every week!
I don’t necessarily think the Dubs are spoiling us though there is a factor there - but I just can’t get excited about this team or the style (and I use that word very loosely) that they play. If it was any other team I would hate what they do in excitement or entertainment terms. The heart, passion and commitment is great … but I genuinely have no desire to see this kind of play next Summer in Russia.