Who can Ireland legitimately expect to consistently beat?

Discussion in 'Ireland' started by Samarkand, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. Samarkand

    Samarkand Member+

    May 28, 2001
    I'm no longer a fan of Brian Kerr and I believe that his conservative style of football and management just is not good enough for what is a pretty talented bunch of players. In qualifying for the last WC, Ireland nearly beat Holland twice and had they won in Amsterdam, would have been good value for two victories. Under Kerr, I don't believe they would have even come close. Equally, even though it ended a draw, Germany were there for the taking, as was Spain.

    Ireland are most definitely not at that level any more. The only reason Ireland are still in the hunt for qualification this time around is that France still have the Do Not Disturb sign up, and Israel and Switzerland are no great shakes. Israel work hard to be ordinary and Switzerland are an uninspired side.

    So, to the question of the thread - who can Ireland legitimately expect to consistently beat?

    Gone are the days of beating Holland, Germany, Italy, England or one of the big boys. As are the days of beating a second tier team like Belgium or Romania. So too seem to be any thoughts of picking up 6 points from the likes of Israel. In my book the only teams that Ireland can expect to beat are the minnows - the Cypruses, Maltas and Andorras. I don't have confidence that they can consistently achieve against any better level of opponent.

  2. Rui Costa

    Rui Costa New Member

    Nov 9, 2004
    I think you're seriously underestimating your national team.
  3. Father Ted

    Father Ted BigSoccer Supporter

    Manchester United, Galway United, New York Red Bulls
    Nov 2, 2001
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    I dunno but I'm with Samarkand on this one. Who have we beaten in serious competition since the last World Cup? Maybe Cyprus or Albania are our best sclaps. We have failed to beat Russia, Switzerland, France and Israel. I think at this stage we are quite lucky still to be in a positive position. I would love to see myself eat my words if we manage to beat France or Switzerland to end up on the top of the group and qualifying for the World Cup next year.

    However even if we do qualify for the World Cup we are in pretty poor shape and I doubt we would even make it out of the group stages. A number of our important players are the wrong side of 30 (e.g. Roy, Cunningham) and the World Cup is a young mans game. Also, we have too many 'hard worker' type players such as Morrison, O'Shea, Holland, Kavanagh and not enough talented players. Of all our players, only Duff, Given and perhaps Dunne are in that under 30 and talented group.

    But time will tell.
  4. hoop

    hoop New Member

    Dec 14, 2004
    i Agree that Kerrs style of football is incredibly dull and boring. But, we are better now than we have been for years. Certainly no McArthy team played this well don't forget we haven't lost a match in over a year and a half now.
    We would beat england any day! we may be boring and defensive but we are now untouchable. Brazil couldn't beat us :confused:
  5. Samarkand

    Samarkand Member+

    May 28, 2001
    Would that be the McCarthy team that beat Holland at home and drew away (should have won) drew with Portugual home and away, or the McCarthy team that drew with Germany and Spain but had a decent shout of beating both?

    Or would that be the Kerr team that drew with Switzerland (game there for the taking) and France (game there for the taking) and Israel away (game there for the taking) and Israel home (game there for the taking)?

    Just wondering like.........
  6. Borruma

    Borruma Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    I've been saying this for a while.. but I'll be stunned if we made the world cup, delighted but stunned. I still think at one point France will finally awake from her slumber (even the France that showed up at Euro 2004 would clobber us at the moment) and we'll finish second... awaiting yet another playoff dissapointed.

    Who would choose the current team over the WC2002 team?? :confused:
  7. pmannion

    pmannion Member
    Staff Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    I agree to a point. But with the exception of that wonderful 2002 campaign, when have we ever consistently beaten decent sides? Under McCarthy, we suffered losses to Croatia, Yugoslavia, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Belgium, Macedonia, etc... as well as some awful draws (Macedonia). No consistency there (I do concede that many of those results were got with a player pool vastly inferior to the one we have now).

    Still, there's no doubt that Kerr's tactics have cost us in this campaign, and it is a pity because this is one of our most talented group of footballers ever. But to what extent must he take the blame? We got a valuable point in Paris after a good performance. If only John O'Shea had put away his chance, it could very well have been three. I would never complain about a point in Switzerland, under Kerr or McCarthy or anyone else. This is the kind of team that we have never been able to "consistently" beat away from home. The only real failure this time around is dropping four points to Israel, who are a poor side that we would have expected to beat under McCarthy. But we were robbed of the points home and away. Kerr must take some of the blame, I agree (bringing on Kav was a mistake), but so too must the players and bad luck must also be taken into consideration. I mean come on… any other day we would have put 4-5 past Israel and won easily. I’ve heard many people say they’ve never seen a game like it at Lansdowne Road. So performances like that will almost certainly be the exception not the norm. Remember that every country in the world has their share of disappointments against vastly inferior teams. Liechtenstein recently came back to draw 2-2 with Portugal in Vaduz. So would you conclude that Portugal cannot even beat the minnows consistently? These things happen in football, and we just have to accept it and concentrate on the next match.

    I have always been a big fan of Kerr. Even before Saipan, the question was asked who should succeed McCarthy, and I supported Kerr even then. He has made his mistakes, but so did McCarthy. I live in hope that he will learn, and we can recover to qualify for the World Cup. Even I wouldn’t bet on it at this point, but time will tell. I shall reserve final judgment on Kerr until after the end of the campaign.
  8. GoodDead

    GoodDead Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 8, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Sporting Braga
    Nat'l Team:
    I don't know about consistantly but I know on any given day you got a good chance against Portugal and pretty much any team. You guys got a lot of quality players, maybe you just need a little faith.

    My bet is that sure things are no more in football (maybe Brazil but that's it)
  9. vilafria

    vilafria Member+

    Jun 2, 2005
    :) Not even them. Remember Mexico Conf. Cup!
  10. Rui Costa

    Rui Costa New Member

    Nov 9, 2004

    Whats so great about the big boys nowadays?

    Italy have struggled againest the likes of Belarus, Korea, Mexico, Croatia, Denmark and Sweden in the last three years.

    Portugal drew with Liectenstein 2-2 recently and likewise England with Austria.

    Germany deserved to lose to Latvia at the last Euro and lost to Romania 5-0 about a year ago.

    The only teams I wouldn't give Ireland a chance againest on a neutral ground are Brazil and Argentina.Theres always a slight glimmer of hope.All international teams have poor results and encounter problems.I think you're being pessimistic, especially when you say..
    :confused: Belgium? Romania?

    Belgium haven't been good since 94 and the Romanians aren't faring much better.I wouldn't even class these teams as second tier anymore.

    Come on man, cheer up! :D
  11. vilafria

    vilafria Member+

    Jun 2, 2005
    They're the yard stick . The teams everyone else wants to beat. Without them everyone is average. How boring is that ?
  12. ToonUSA

    ToonUSA New Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    I think we are going through a bit of bad luck. Sure, Kerr should shoulder some of the blame, but luck is when preparation meets oppurtunity. Can you tell me that statement does not suit Israel perfectly? They got lucky to get those points off of us simple as that. Ireland haven't been that terrible didn't we beat the Czechs a little while back? Did we not draw Brazil? Did we not out play Portugal? Drawing on the road to Switzerland is nothing to look down on. Same with a draw in Paris. I think we just need to settle down and remember that we are still just beginning to peak. The glass is half-full.
  13. vilafria

    vilafria Member+

    Jun 2, 2005
    I watched that game , a not-so-friendly. The wanting to win was there definitely, but in a competition for real the team is lacking more than just luck.
    Cann't put my finger in it, but sounds something like coevsiveness.
  14. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 15, 2004

    No seriously, I doubt we're that bad anymore. Cheer up though, when Aiden reaches his prime you'll probably win a World Cup. On last nights performance, you can keep him. *s*************
  15. vilafria

    vilafria Member+

    Jun 2, 2005
    Sorry couldn't resist ,all in good fun.
  16. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Celtic FC, Ireland.

    We don't want them, they don't want us, Irish in all but location.

    p.s. What, in my previous post, made you think I didn't dislike Celtic?
  17. vilafria

    vilafria Member+

    Jun 2, 2005
    Complete oversight on my part. I'll stand corrected. :)
  18. malby

    malby Member+

    Liverpool FC
    Republic of Ireland
    May 11, 2004
    Rep of Ireland
    Drogheda United
    Nat'l Team:
    Ireland Republic
    Mc Geady was the only one who played half decent last night from the reports I read.
  19. Slash/ED

    Slash/ED New Member

    Apr 19, 2002
    We don't want them either :)

    USvsIRELAND Member+

    Jul 19, 2004
    This thread is so depressing.
  21. Samarkand

    Samarkand Member+

    May 28, 2001
    Yeah, perhaps the thread may be depressing but the fact remains that Ireland's stock has fallen much in the past three years. Ireland now will be a fourth seed for the upcoming UEFA qualifiers and this reflects, accurately, I believe, an inability to measure up to the big boys consistently. I really don't want to hear about the 'any given day' scenario, because that is not what this thread is about. It is about beating a team consistently, 7/8/9 times out of 10.

    Perhaps the argument can be made that there are no sure things in international football anymore (Latvia qualifying over Turkey for Euro '04?), but there are certain things on which you can rely. And as much as Italy, Germany, England etc. will struggle from time to time with a minnow here or there, they will usually end up qualifying. Obviously anything can happen when the finals start, so my argument is not so much about why these teams don't win the Euros or WC, but more why Ireland struggles mightily against teams that before they were usually capable of handling. Israel is perhaps the most egregous example recently, but Switzerland should not have caused (and be causing) Ireland so much trouble.

    Any decent team looking at Ireland will no longer be hugely troubled, not like they would have been up to WC '02. I stand by my point that Belgium and Romania would probably be a bridge too far for the team at the moment, as it has lost its invincibility, or at the very least, the aura of said invincibility. When McCarthy had a vastly inferior pool in the late 90s, there was always the belief that Ireland might lose, but it would be a hell of a game and the idea of losing by more than 2 goals was an anathema. Same mantra for Charlton. Sure, there were games when the team played badly, but they were more unusual than normal. This again is the any given day scenario. On any given day, those Irish teams should have won some of those that they lost, but more often than not they did win. And nearly always, Dunphy notwithstanding, they gave a good account of themselves.

    Today's teams, especially under Kerr, though I'll concede the rot may have set under during the latter part of McCarthy's reign, rarely give a good account of themselves. Kerr's teams are only too happy to play not to lose, with chickenshit-scared tactics and, as a result, Ireland never goes for the jugular and every opponent in usually in the game right up until the end. Well organized teams like the Belgiums, Romanias and Israels will always have a chance to beat Ireland and the thought of consistently having the number of a team like say, Portugal or Russia is to be living with Alice.

    Ireland have become a boring, scared team, too happy not to lose, playing with just as much passion as allows a coma patient to keep the beep going. With a team and squad so full of passion and, more to the point, talent, this is ridiculous.

    So roll on The Faeroes and the like, keep an eye on the Cypruses and worry mightily about the Israels.

    It really is at this speed now.
  22. ToonUSA

    ToonUSA New Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Let's be fair here, the Irish have always been an "any given day" team. We have never been able to consistently beat the giants or even the middle weights. I think you're basing this all on our recent spell of bad luck, and poor play. That should not be the bench mark for our recent team. Sure, a disappointing draw away,and draw at home can be tough to swallow but nothing to get too upset over. Being seeded 4th will most likely play against us, but we have been in that situation before.

    I agree, but I think Israel is a one time deal IMHO. Switzerland seems to be more of a mental block for us rather than them being a class above us.

    I don't think Belgium and Romania are the teams you mean specifically, but I understand what you mean about teams like that. I also follow Romania and they are in shambles. Ireland would probably win 3-1 or 2-0 over them. Belgium also are down, and nothing to write home about as well.

    The second part of your paragraph is what I am talking about. The Irish have never been able to knock down the champ consistently, and to be honest there is no problem with it. For christ sakes we had never scored more than 1 goal in a WC game until 2002's win over Saudi Arabia. Sure, it would be nice to mentioned with the big boys but we must be humble and take the team for what they are. We do have a much better pool of players to choose from, and that should tip the scales more in out favor. I believe our true tests will be the Swiss and French. After those games than we can really start to talk about the cans and can'ts of the team.

    I agree, but I will stick to my statement that a recent rut of bad luck should not close the coffin on this particular team.


    Come on now let's not fly off the handle.
  23. vilafria

    vilafria Member+

    Jun 2, 2005
    I'll be the devil's advocate, you make your luck most of the time.( That's what he told me, really) :)
  24. ToonUSA

    ToonUSA New Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Yes, Yes, luck is when preparation meets opportunity... for those of us who have no faith or believing in anything. However, I believe that luck just happens, and the Irish have been blessed with plenty of luck.
  25. ilv2

    ilv2 New Member

    May 30, 2004
    L'abbaye de Leffe
    well Ireland isn't that bad anymore, so they should expect to beat Scotland everytime right?

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