Rep of Ireland v England In Paris, See You There!
What a night! The naysayers will say that it was an Italy B team, but winning against an Italy team that has two thirds of the famed Juve 3 central defenders is going to be a tall order.
Italy know how to defend, keep games tight and when Insigne hit the post before Ireland had the Hoolahan chance and Brady goal, I thought that it would be a classic Italy performance, but thankfully the Irish intent paid off and they got their just desserts.
I tweeted through the game that I thought that the tempo, urgency and sheer aggression Ireland played with should be the default setting for teams from these islands to play, only to receive a universal “it’s 0-0 Stan” response, which of course is spectacularly missing the point.
Play The Way You Know Best
Why is it important for players to play the way they do in the Premier League, Championship or League one? Well it’s simple isn’t it? That’s the way they are most familiar with; quick bursts, little time to think or breathe, your body and mind are tuned into a style of play which means you MUST react within a split second to everything around you, in the tackle, with a pass, a clearance or shot or you’ll get the ball nicked off you Leicester style and punished at the other end.
Instead, most of our teams play slow continental style which means too many touches, not enough understanding of a slower more cerebral chess like game, and that’s why we struggle in continental tournaments.
Ireland reminded us last night that starting a game as if it’s the last minute is the absolute minimum for players from Britain and Ireland, and when we do it well,
teams from the continent, as Italy showed last night, aren’t used to it. It unsettles them and the chances of beating them go up massively.
Put ‘Em Under Pressure
Ireland can go into the France game now under no pressure whatsoever, nobody expected them to go through this group of death, so the players will feel relaxed but excited at the challenge ahead.
Pogba, Griezmann and co won’t play too many games at club or international level where they are constantly bombarded with tempo, bodies flying around them and an incredible green army behind the opposition.
So, do exactly the same against the French that Ireland did against Italy and you never know, the pressure from the host nation for Les Bleus to go all the way may well just catch them out somewhere along the line, and you know what, it may as well be against the Irish!
If you do beat them, and we beat Iceland, see you in Paris, now that would be tasty!
To every English, Irish, Northern Irish and Welsh fan and player; PLAY OUR WAY, IT WORKS! Come on!!