Ireland v Czech/Slovakia

Possibly a bit early for this but fook it. 2 good results will leave us in quite a strong position. I’ve been an advocate of building for the future and ignoring the Euros but seeing as we’re close enough we may as well go for it.

Was delighted at the weekend that Stokes started for Sunderland but I see he was named in Givens’ U-21 squad last night. Suggests he’s out of the senior squad which is disappointing. He’s a great talent but I don’t believe Stan is the man to bring him through. Not sure if Roy Keane is either. Poor decision to join Sunderland when he did.

Also in that U-21 squad is Stephen O’Halloran, the left back from Villa. Thought he looked excellent in the US friendlies despite only seeing a small bit of him. Probably a bit premature to be expecting him to be in but left back is quite a problem position for us. He may get in at Villa this season seeing as they’re currently playing Bouma (shit) there, and he got in a strop about being subbed on Saturday. Meanwhile, Ian Harte has left Levante by mutual consent.

Postponing naming my team til I see what form players are in at the start of the season.

Stokes and O’Dea were previously named in Under 21 squads by Givens and then subsequently called up to the senior squad. Not sure what the logic behind that is - maybe Stan and Don don’t to eachother.

Anyway you’re right that the finals are reachable, despite our past ineptitude. There are some decent players coming through like McGeady, O’Dea, Ireland, McShane and then the likes of Colin Doyle, O’Halloran and the lads at Ipswich (Garvan and Clark?) and Wolves (Keogh and Potter and possibly Ward) and O’Halloran who are all ready to challenge for places in the squad. That’s the makings of a good team in a few years. Aston Villa only have 6 defenders at the moment in their first team squad I think so O’Halloran is likely to get some game time.

I really don’t think we have a hope of qualifying. People are starting to add potential points together and saying things like, ‘if we get 4 points from 6 in the double header in September and then…blah blah blah.’

The last time we beat a team of note away from home in a qualifier was Scotland in 1987. I know there was decent improvement in the Wales and Slovakia performances last March but remember the away games before that in San Marino and Cyprus.

I don’t think we have any idea whatsoever of how to set up away from home re tactics, formation, personnel that will allow us to defend in a disciplined manner as a team while also retaining an attacking threat on the break.

I expect no more than 1 point from the 2 games and I also anticipate lots of tackles, floated balls down the channels to nobody in particular and us turning over possession at will.

Post edited by: Bandage, at: 2007/08/14 19:43

totally agree, no chance of qualifying. I’m usually optimistic about Irelands chances of qualification for tournaments but not this time.

I think back to the Irish team celebrating a 1 all draw against the czechs and it makes me sick. Dont like bringing it up again but get Stan out as soon as possible

Agree re getting Stan out and all that but we’re definitely in with a decent shout at qualifying. We’re one point behind the Czechs who are nothing to send an email home about and Slovakia blow hot and cold and are four points behind. And Ireland are there having played ridiculously shi’it so far.

In case some of ye miss the article on the front page of the site: