Thanks to @gergilroy I can put here the link for the brutally honest analysis by Kenny Cunningham and Kevin Kilbane about the desastrous Ireland World Cup 2014 qualifier versus Germany yesterday. You can also read a summary about their main points and some good commentaries here.
There were strong words used not only by these two after Ireland seemed to surrender from the first goal they conceded against a German team that hadn’t too much to do to get this result.
You could almost smell that these Irish players strongly believed that they are not good enough. Just like Trapattoni repeats himself in every press conference: I don’t have this player available. I don’t have that player available. Because of that we are useless. We don’t have players who can play the ball so we have to avoid the midfield, need to play the long ball and somehow we are lucky enough to score a goal and just concede one.
And just like Kenny says here this is the real reason why the Irish players can’t compete: because their manager says so. Players always believe what the manager says and if it’s that rubbish talk the team plays rubbish.
It’s not always that easy. Certainly you have to have the players that actually can play the ball, who are strong at certain positions. But Trapattoni always has one plan in mind, one very simple, old-fashioned plan that may have worked in 1985 but not any more in 2012. Sometimes I’m really surprised that he doesn’t come back with the sweeper.
Then he is very single-minded. He doesn’t talk to the players. At half-time he almost says nothing when the most important thing is to cheer the lads on, use some words of confidence, change tactics etc. And when some players are frustrated and make that public they most certainly aren’t in the squad next time. Youth hasn’t got a chance although everyone could see yesterday that everything changed when young Robbie Brady came on late.
Trapattoni said after the game that the critics after the Kazakhstan game were wrong, that it was a very hard game and now he said that there were simply too many injuries to make Ireland a better opponent to Germany. So, current world rankings say that Ireland is on position 28 while Kazakhstan is on 147. Yes, this obviously suggests to me that it is a pretty hard game and that Kazakhstan were hard to beat.
On the other side for the Kazakhstan game Trapattoni had Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle and Sean St Ledger available and two of them have made the two goals very late. For the Germany game these three were injured so Trapattoni opted for Seamus Coleman as right-back and Simon Cox as left winger again although everyone else knows that this isn’t his best position that he is best used as a striker. Alongside Shane Long in a 4-4-2 it would have been ideal with Robbie Brady on the right. Left winger is a bit difficult these days but I strongly think that Kevin Kilbane is still better on this position than Aiden McGeady who constantly runs towards the corner flag and doesn’t bring in decent crosses. And what Darren O’Dea is doing in that team is beyond my understanding. He was at fault for at least two goals and only plays perhaps because Ciaran Clark once said something critical. You’d imagine an experienced manager like Trapattoni would deal with characters but the older the more capricious he gets it seems to me.
So, it’s Trapattoni’s fault that he hasn’t got the players he can change in when some players from his prefered starting XI are injured. It’s the same now old players he played for four years in every game and he missed certain opportunities to bring in new, young players. Now with some of these old players retired it is obvious that Trapattoni isn’t the right man for this job. We need someone who respects the players we have, who knows what they are good at and who tells them so, someone who goes to the league matches to watch the Irish players, at least: someone who really cares and who brings back pride and confidence into this Irish team also and especially when we don’t have a chance.