No Confidence & Shane Duffy As Main Goal Threat

Watching Republic of Ireland against Denmark last night was pretty much more of the same of what we’ve seen over the past year.

It’s been a fairly disappointing year overall watching the Irish side. I’ve not seen any real improvement over the last couple of years since Euro 2016. We left that tournament with plenty of optimism and were looking forward to the World Cup campaign, which didn’t go particularly well.

But 2018 has been as bad a year as you can remember. The performances haven’t mirrored the message coming out from the camp. We’ve looked for a positive message going into every single game, we’ve looked for more creativity – something that was said even going into the Denmark game. And we just didn’t see it.

We had no shots on target in Aarhus which, of course, is hugely disappointing given the fact that the hosts had a much changed side. I’ll stand by the point I made going into the play-offs last year – if you take Christian Eriksen out of the Danish side, they are simply not much better than us.

The lack of chances created has been the thing throughout this campaign. Even during the friendly with Northern Ireland, two of out best chances presented themselves to Shane Duffy.

Shane Duffy is our main goal threat.

We’re simply not presenting chances to our strikers and that’s been across the campaign and the entire year.

Take the USA game in the summer, which essentially was against the USA Under-23s side. Yes, it was great that we managed to get two goals and beat them but take that game out of it and there’s been very few chances created across the course of the year – certainly from open play.

I’ve heard it said that we’re at an all-time low. I don’t necessarily see it like that with regards to our personnel. Judging from last night’s game, we’ve got six Premier League players. The others who’ve been playing are with top Championship clubs, and some of them have also got Premier League experience.

I’m hearing from the management team that, ‘We simply don’t have the players, we have to play to a certain way.’ I feel as though we have players who are better than we’re actually showing right now.

And that is the disappointing thing overall.

We are just not playing to the level that we should be playing at and I would judge that on the game with Northern Ireland at the Aviva.

I think we’ve got a better side, man for man, than Northern Ireland yet we were outplayed, out-passed and Northern Ireland created better chances than us across the course of the 90 minutes.

At the moment, the side looks to be seriously lacking in confidence.