June 2012 News Archive

No change strategy - strength or weakness?...18/06/2012
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has decreed that his decision to stick with his core starting eleven for the contest with Italy, rather than introduce some fresh blood, is founded on respect for the other countries, Croatia and Spain. Based upon the dismal contribution of several of those players, one wonders if the other two contestants might not have wished to have seen some change in the Irish eleven. The somewhat stunning and repeated observation by the manager, that his selected side started the two opening matches with fear and tension is worrying in the extreme. One would expect the manager to ensure, as far as possible, that that was not the case, particularly when there were no great expectations or real external pressures on the team. Are there really none within the remainder of the squad who have the balls to play without fear?

Ireland out of their depth and out of EURO 2012...14/06/2012
While not unanticipated, Ireland's comprehensive four nil defeat by Spain in Gdansk this evening was a sobering experience. There were few, if any, positives in a pedestrian Irish performance. Save for Damian Duff, the more experienced Ireland players looked totally jaded and the team as a whole were thoroughly outplayed. While Roy might not agree, the only redeeming feature of this wet and miserable evening was the magnificent performance of the Irish supporters, through to and after the bitter end.

Under 21 striker Rhys Murphy going Dutch...11/06/2012
Republic of Ireland Under 21 striker Rhys Murphy, released by Arsenal, is set to join Telstar in Holland. The Eerste Division (Second Division) Club is located in the industrial municipality of Velsen in Northern Holland, some fifty kilometers from Amsterdam and play their home matches in the TATA Steel Stadion.

Poor Ireland outclassed in Poznan this evening...10/06/2012
The Republic of Ireland were completely outclassed by a modest Croatia in their EURO 2012 opener in Poznan this evening. While Ireland appeared to briefly recover from conceding a poor goal after three minutes and equalised through Sean St Ledger on nineteen minutes, it was merely illusion. Another defensive howler two minutes before the half-time break allowed Croatia to retake the lead. Three minutes into the second half the game was effectively over as further defensive failings saw the concession of the third goal. The pre tournament injury doubts surrounding the senior quartet of Shay Given, Richard Dunne, John O'Shea and Robbie Keane were sadly illuminated with all of them well below par. Ireland were badly exposed on the left flank where Stephen Ward and Aiden McGeady were poor, while Glenn Whelan was innocuous in midfield. Save for the valiant efforts of Sean St Ledger, Keith Andrews, who was Ireland's most prominent attacker with five efforts on goal, Damian Duff and Kevin Doyle, who was surprisingly withdrawn early in the second half, the scoreline might have been much worse. The introduction of three forwards as the substitutes was strange and very misguided. Without the requisite quality in midfield the necessary service was never going to be delivered. The one all draw in the other Group contest between Italy and Spain means Ireland are still technically in contention, however it is well nigh impossible to see how they can secure even a point against world champions Spain in Gdansk this coming Thursday evening.

Ireland's U21 side ignite the Showgrounds...04/06/2012
Noel King's Ireland Under 21 side displayed dogged determination, when recovering from the shock of conceding an own goal after 2 minutes and then going 2 behind, ten minutes into the second half, to draw with UEFA Group Seven leaders Italy in a sun drenched Sligo Showgrounds this afternoon. A cooly converted penalty from Robbie Brady gave Ireland hope and did they reach out and grasp it! Minutes later, a free kick delivery from Brady was bundled to the net by captain Greg Cunningham to earn a deserved draw and maintain the ambition of qualifying for the Championship Finals.