Ireland Team


O Shea



Have to say I’m disappointed that McGeady isn’t playing. Stan said some rubbish yesterday about the “man in possession” always getting the nod to justify dropping Kenny but he wasn’t arsed sticking to it. Interesting how we try and play O Shea all over the park to accommodate him but he can never hold down a place anywhere.

I think that it is proabably the best team available, with the obvious question mark over Reid’s inclusion ahead of McGeady. Threw it around the office there - someone mentioned playing Reid in the centre ahead of Kilbane with McGeady on the left/right. I definitely think its worth a try, particularly against San Marino. One thing is for sure - we will never get anywhere with a midfield of Carsley and Kilbane

Agree with that Farmer. When I was writing down that team I was initially unsure whether to put Kilbane in the centre or on the wing. For all his willingness and effort he simply cannot be allowed to play central midfield for us as part of a pairing because he is simply unable to pass the ball. Reid and Carsley would be better but again McGeady is a far better winger than Kilbane. I think we might be picking him because he competes for kick outs for us. Every kick out against Czech Republic was aimed for his head. A really pathetic Sunday League tactic that hints at our inability to pass the ball from back to front.

Good observation Rocko. Every kick out was aimed for his head and he didnt even make the majority of them. Says a lot about the manager really. I would dread to see an Irish training session. And to think this lad is earning more than our Taoiseach…

We have very few players with ability in our team but I do think that Andy Reid is one of them. I think it is now time to put faith in the likes of Reid (if he looks after himself), McGeady, obviously Duff and Keane. Attack the bloody opposition. The time for journeymen like Kilbane is gone. But I think that journeymen is all that this guy knows…

Agreed again - not disappointed with the selection of Reid per se because he has quality about him - it’s the fact that I don’t believe he will be played centrally. It’s almost guaranteed that they’ll have 2 midfielders far more comfortable on the ball than our Kevin and that’s a shocking state of affairs.

Thepiedpiper has been to watch a few Ireland training sessions over the last couple of months so maybe he can enlighten us once he gets his internet sorted again.

Apparently Andy Reid is going to play in the centre tonight with Kev on the left presumably for the kick-outs (why else?). Apparently Staunton said that he dropped Kenny because he has marital problems - imagine coming out and telling everyone that?

What is the best Irish team if all players are available? Mine would be soemthing like this:



Two from Andy Reid, Steven Reid and Carsley



Alternative: Drop Harte, put Finnan to left back and bring in Carr

I don’t have much time for Carr but I’d go for your alternative selection - only marginally though. Other than that I can’t see much wrong with your selection really. I genuinely think Stokes should be on the bench soon - far better than Elliot from what I’ve seen of them.

We really are let down by our central midfield. I think Carsley has to play because of his experience and his tackling. Kavanagh didn’t make the bench in Germany so I presume he’s not in Stan’s plans but I think he’s still better than some of the alternatives - not alongside Carsley though.

Of course O’Shea has to be accommodated somewhere in any team for some reason.

Staunton is a pure prick and his treatment of Kenny underlines that. I’ve never seen such blatant favourtism and disregard for ability in team selection.

is paul mcgrath not playing tonight?

Need to win by at least 4 goals tonight or it will be a failure. We’ll see how our so called best players (Duff and Keane) perform tonight. I reckon keane will score 2 goals tonight out of the 20 or so chances he usually needs in a match to score. Over-rated and does not deserve to wear the captain’s armband.

Can’t agree that he’s over-rated. Everyone hates him for fuck’s sake.

Anyway I’m heading home soon so no time to debate this in full but Keane is very harshly treated by media as I’ve said before. He’s done more than Duff in his career but gets none of the plaudits and all of the criticism.

Christ that was boring. There are some bad teams around like the Faroes and stuff but none of them hold a candle to San Marino. They were truly awful. Shocking.

Anyway I suppose we did what we had to do. Good to see Robbie scoring a hat trick - no doubt his critics will be complaining he scored against the minnows again, as if that was a bad thing. He’s our most potent threat in front of goals for the last 6 years and proved it again tonight.

Thought Reid showed in the second half what a good player he could be if he put the effort in to get in shape. His condition is appalling. Strolling around the park in the first half like he’s fucking Riquelme. He’s a decent player as he proved later on when a bunch of amateurs tired but he’s only going to be effective if he gets fit. Frustrating as fuck to see a guy with that talent not caring enough to put the work in properly.

Most of the team did well but we need to have better quality from full backs (especially O’Shea) if we’re to threaten better teams. They need to be able to hit the byline and get quality crosses in - something that was lacking tonight.

San Marino far and away the worst team I’ve seen in Dublin. As always we did just enough, we were never gonna win big, think that’s our first 5-0 win since we beat the Turks and provided them with jersies in the early 90s.

What I want to know is - when the f**k is John O’Shea going to be dropped? He was absolutely sh!t tonight, the man can’t pass a simple ball 5 yards, pathetic. Kilbane was horrific also, some of his touches in the second half were appalling.

Apart from that you can’t read anything into a game against such poor opposition. But John O’Shea is really shit.

The Cyprus-Germany draw throws a bit of a spanner in the works for us. Like most people I assumed the Germans were going to run away with the group, the Czechs more or less claiming second easily but the draw makes it a bit more interesting. As far as I’m aware, the Germans play the Czechs on the same day we play Wales (could be wrong - can’t be arsed checking). Had the Germans beaten Cyprus they might have been happy with a draw from the Czech game, but the points dropped against Cyprus make it a must win game, hopefully the Czechs will drop points to the German anyway. We claim six more points against San Marino and Wales and we’re getting closer. And who knows who else the Cypriots will claim points off.

Straws. Clutching. At.

The Cyprus result was decent for us but it really highlights to me the inadequacy of the draw at home against the Czech Republic. I know confidence was low after the Cyprus game but they were there for the taking that night. It was galling to hear everyone bleating on about what a fantastic result that was when it actually was two points dropped at home - thanks again Mr O’Shea. We could still qualify if the only unexpected points we dropped are the Cypriot ones but we can’t afford any more home draws now really.

A very uninspiring performance by us last night, however we did get 5goals and the 3 points. We all know that Ireland are not the type of team to hammer others so I was happy as long as we got past 3. However as mentioned above Kilbane and O’Shea were rubbish and need to go if we are going to make an impact on this group. Even if we are not going to qualify, the seeding for the next qualifier is important and we should try to get back up into 3rd seed (Am I right in saying we were 4th seed last time?). Robbie took his third goal very well.

Should we have a 2 tier qualifying campaign in Europe? I think it would be beneficial for the poorer countries and also will not waste our time in having to play such meaningless games. Could Andorra, San Marino, Faroes etc not have their own qualification and allow them one spot in the Championship? The matches between these teams will be tighter and also generate more interest for the people of these countries as they would now have a realistic chance of qualifying or even winning a few matches.

But then you’re ruining the finals tournament by having a whipping boy in one of the groups. If you were to go down the route of excluding them from normal qualifying campaigns it would be better to go down the GAA route and have a separate tournament for the smaller nations and let them have their final as a curtain-raiser to the main event in my opinion. That said I’d be happy to just leave it as is. What’s the harm to Ireland in getting a game against weak opposition so we can find out how guys are doing? I’d say you’d get far more people at a San Marino v Ireland game than a San Marino v Andorra game so I don’t know if separate competitions would benefit anyone.

Pretty boring fare alright but you cant really criticise too much as the others didnt try to play at all, merely sitting on the edge of their box for 90 minutes.

Agreed on OShea I couldnt believe Stan praised him. Reid does have ability but hes got the same physique as me and that is not one of an international footballer. Also, I dont think we could necessarily get away with playing him in the middle in a 4-4-2 against a better side, even with Carsley protecting.

Was impressed with Keane, and Duff did some good things too. Kilbane set up 2 goals in the second half and then was appalling in the second half. Nice cameo from McGeady and he should start on Tuesday with Maloney probably out.

Id struggle to pick our best XI but Id go for something like:


McShane (not sure about this guy)
Harte (where is he? Injured or has Stan not bothered to check on him like with Stokes?)

A Reid / S Reid
A Reid / Kilbane


Agree agree agree

Reid hasnt got the physique and we would be seriously caught out with him in the centre
Thought McShane was poor enough last night - not sure about him at all now

Thought Doyle was excellent last night until he was taken off for McGeady for some godforesaken reason…

Just thought I’d add to the consensus here by agreeing with all that except for Bandage’s team where McGeady surely deserves a look in (even as a third option) on the right wing.

McShane looked a bit unsure last night alright. Wouldn’t judge him on that performance alone but likewise I’m making no judgement based on the Czech performance either where he was decent but massively overhyped. Really hope he comes good but it’s hard to say. Interesting that McCarthy seems to have been the best player for Ireland B the other night.