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Thread: Shane Duffy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Possibly because we weren't playing 10 men for 87 minutes?
    So if your young lads had drawn 1-1 against 10 of their young lads would it have been a good or bad result?

    I think EG answered my earlier question: of course our 1-1 was a good result but I find it amazing how some amongst us would think it wasn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttgart88 View Post
    So if your young lads had drawn 1-1 against 10 of their young lads would it have been a good or bad result?
    Bad, I think. 11 men should beat 10- even where an otherwise stronger side- over 90 or even 87 minutes. Not quite their "young lads", actually- Lippi treated it more like a 'B' game, Worthington as an U-21.

    I think EG answered my earlier question: of course our 1-1 was a good result but I find it amazing how some amongst us would think it wasn't
    It probably won't matter at the end of the group- unless you just miss out on second place or the last runner-up slot in the play-offs. In which case it will look an opportunity wasted?

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    [quote=Gather round;1174458]Bad, I think. 11 men should beat 10- even where an otherwise stronger side- over 90 or even 87 minutes. Not quite their "young lads", actually- Lippi treated it more like a 'B' game, Worthington as an U-21.

    [quote]


    I don't think Worthington treated it as an u21, rather call up any player that made themselves available, pretty much the same as Lippi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    It probably won't matter at the end of the group- unless you just miss out on second place or the last runner-up slot in the play-offs. In which case it will look an opportunity wasted?
    That point began to matter as soon as it was achieved.

    It mattered to us and to Bulgaria. It will matter to Italy when they play Bulgaria at home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stiffler View Post
    I don't think Worthington treated it as an u21, rather call up any player that made themselves available, pretty much the same as Lippi
    No, Ivan Sproule (experienced in the Scottish Prem and English D2, plenty of earlier caps) made his availability public, and was ignored. There are various other guys playing in English D3 and D4, or Scottish D2 who could have been called up, all of them playing at a higher level than the Irish League or Newcastle and Everton's youth/ academy teams. It was a deliberate choice, in my opinion unwise, but seems to have worked out reasonably well.

    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    That point began to matter as soon as it was achieved.

    It mattered to us and to Bulgaria. It will matter to Italy when they play Bulgaria at home
    Fair point. Clearly if you end up winning the group, it will matter enormously. Or if you finish second but with, say, only 15 points and just miss out on the play-offs, ditto.

    But if- as I think more likely- you see off both Bulgaria and the worst-placed runner up, then its significance will be less.
    Last edited by Gather round; 09/06/2009 at 11:26 AM.

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    Plenty of lads playing in the LOI that were ignored as well

    Regardless of what team NI put out against Italy's "B team", the result would have been the same. A very comfortable Italian victory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    Plenty of lads playing in the LOI that were ignored as well

    Regardless of what team NI put out against Italy's "B team", the result would have been the same. A very comfortable Italian victory
    Not necessarily. Remember we've beaten both Spain and England relatively recently, albeit at home. A battling 0-0 draw wouldn't have been entirely implausible with a decent-strength side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Not necessarily. Remember we've beaten both Spain and England relatively recently, albeit at home. A battling 0-0 draw wouldn't have been entirely implausible with a decent-strength side.
    It invariably ends in a defeat when NI play away. And your deluding yourself if you think NI can be competitive with Italy on their home patch.

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    In Euro 2008, we drew away with both Sweden (the top seed) and Denmark, and only lost 1-0 to Spain. While a defeat to Italy would always be likely, it's hardly 100% guaranteed. I have no delusions about our squad's strengths and weaknesses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Fair point. Clearly if you end up winning the group, it will matter enormously. Or if you finish second but with, say, only 15 points and just miss out on the play-offs, ditto.

    But if- as I think more likely- you see off both Bulgaria and the worst-placed runner up, then its significance will be less.
    I don't think you get it.
    Even if one point does not matter at the end, it does not negate its importance of the way games are played and the pressure in such games in the last phase of the group.
    Bulgaria are 2 points behind instead of 1, that reduces their chances by degrees, already they see 2 point gap as a lost cause, but reducing a one point gap was attainable.
    Also means Italy will not want to sit back against Bulgaria and hang on like they did against us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    I don't think you get it
    I think I get it. We're talking about different things- you the outcome of the group, me the countback for the play-offs as I think you will comfortably finish second.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stiffler View Post
    I don't think Worthington treated it as an u21, rather call up any player that made themselves available, pretty much the same as Lippi.
    Disagree on both counts.

    Re NI, as Gather Round points out, NW deliberately chose to overlook half a dozen senior players with a better CV than those youngsters whom he did pick, and who would likely have made us stronger.

    Re Italy, here is the list of players, with clubs and caps, who played NI:
    Gattuso - Milan (66)
    Grosso - Lyons (42)
    Palombo - Sampdoria (9)
    Dossena - Liverpool (8)
    Gamberini - Fiorentina (5)
    Montolivo - Fiorentina (5)
    Rossi - Villareal (4)
    Brighi - Roma (4)
    Pazzini - Sampdoria (3)
    Foggia - Lazio (3)

    That's two regulars and 8 fringe players, supplemented by the following 6 debutants:
    Marchetti - Cagliari
    Santon - Milan
    D'Agostino - Udinesi
    Mascara - Catania
    Pellissier - Chievo
    Galloppa - Siena


    So whilst clearly an experimental team, the players were hardly mugs.
    And aside from one 18 year-old and a 22 year-old, all the rest of the players were 24 or over.
    Moreover, Lippi's squad for NI was also his Preliminary Squad for the Confedrations Cup later in the month, so the Italian players will have had every incentive against us.
    Consequently, in their match report (which referred to the team as "Italy 2"), the Gazzetta Dello Sport noted:
    "An Italy full of new caps beat Northern Ireland 3-0 in a friendly thanks to a very good performance: the best kind of preparation for the Azzurri's adventure in South Africa, as they leave tomorrow evening to play in the Confederations Cup"
    and
    "Pellissier nearly made it 4-0, but that would even have been too much. Italy 2 won, and convincingly. As the first team hope to do in South Africa from 15 June"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    I think I get it. We're talking about different things- you the outcome of the group, me the countback for the play-offs as I think you will comfortably finish second.
    Then it would rather be, the vital importance of such a point will have run its course by the time the group ends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EalingGreen View Post
    Disagree on both counts.

    Ok- here you go.

    Starting line ups where as follows:


    Italy: Marchetti, Santon, Gamberini, Legrottaglie, Grosso, D'Agostino, Gattuso, Montolivo, Mascara, Pazzini, Rossi.

    Northern Ireland: Tuffey, Johnson, Casement, Coates, McGivern, Little, O'Connor, McCann, Evans, Carson, Healy.


    Italy's last competitive line up ( V Ireland) was as follows:



    Gianluigi BUFFON (GK)
    • Gianluca ZAMBROTTA
    • Fabio GROSSO
    • Giorgio CHIELLINI
    • Fabio CANNAVARO (C)
    • Daniele DE ROSSI
    • Simone PEPE
    • Matteo BRIGHI
    • Gianpaolo PAZZINI
    • Andrea PIRLO
    • Vincenzo IAQUINTA
    the North's last competitive line up ( V Slovenia) was as follows:


    Maik TAYLOR (GK)
    Gareth McAULEY
    George McCARTNEY
    Jonny EVANS
    Samuel CLINGAN
    Damien JOHNSON
    Grant McCANN
    David HEALY
    Warren FEENEY
    Steven DAVIS
    Aaron HUGHES


    This shows that Italy made more changes to their regular line up that the north. 3 nil was a fair reflection on the different in class between the two teams.

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    Stiffler- Northern Ireland played eight U-21 players (plus another on the bench and four other Irish League part-timers); Italy two. Quite clearly Worthington treated it as an U-21 game, Lippi didn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post
    Stiffler- Northern Ireland played eight U-21 players (plus another on the bench and four other Irish League part-timers); Italy two. Quite clearly Worthington treated it as an U-21 game, Lippi didn't.
    Quite correct (imo).

    Having been deprived of almost all of his "A" (first team) squad, NW might have looked towards selecting half a dozen what you might call "B" players, whom he normally overlooks for various reasons. These should (in theory) have made for a stronger team that that which eventually played.

    Instead, however, he bypassed them and promoted his U-21/youth players.

    By contrast, Lippi clearly chose to pick a "B" team, since he declined to pick several senior players who must otherwise have been available, since these latter have now flown out to S.A. for the Confed.Cup. However, it was by no means an U-21 team, either, as you point out.

    Basically, I would go by La Gazzetta della Sport, whose match report started:
    "PISA, 6 June 2009 - An Italy full of new caps beat Northern Ireland 3-0 in a friendly thanks to a very good performance: the best kind of preparation for the Azzurri's adventure in South Africa, as they leave tomorrow evening to play in the Confederations Cup"
    They also nicknamed the team "Italy 2"

    Therefore, for a very young NI U-21 team to avoid humilation against a senior Italy B team vindicated the selection policy of NI (imo).

    And if the Gazzetta is to be believed, Lippi's selection also served his (rather different) purpose, too.

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    On the topic of Shane Duffy - here's an article that was in the Donegal Democrat today:

    Letterkenny father hopes son Shane will continue to shine
    Last edited by Predator; 11/06/2009 at 7:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Predator View Post
    On the topic of Shane Duffy - here's an article that was in the Donegal Democrat today:

    Letterkenny father hopes son Shane will continue to shine
    A few of the quotes are interesting, while he is obviously very happy to be given the opportunity by NI, there is no ruling out a call up to the FAI or a full time commitment to NI. If the FAI got their act in gear here I reckon he would answer a call up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elroy View Post
    A few of the quotes are interesting, while he is obviously very happy to be given the opportunity by NI, there is no ruling out a call up to the FAI or a full time commitment to NI. If the FAI got their act in gear here I reckon he would answer a call up.
    The question is though, would he be willing to play at U-19 level for the Republic when he could be a squad player for the senior team with the North?

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishfan86 View Post
    The question is though, would he be willing to play at U-19 level for the Republic when he could be a squad player for the senior team with the North?
    Do not be deceived by Duffy's Italy call-up, which was entirely exceptional.

    As it happens, CB is our strongest position right now. In Hughes, Evans, Duff, McAuley, Craigan, Cathcart, Baird and McLean, we have 8 CB's who are all experienced at EPL/SPL/Championship level, plus a couple more in the English lower Leagues.

    Properly speaking, Duffy is an NI U-19, whose potential has caused NW to promote him to U-21 level on occasion, as part of an overall policy of fast-tracking his most promising youngsters. The fact that he has been called into the "B" Squad and Senior squad on one occasion each was an aberration.

    By contrast, there are arguably fewer decent quality CB's ahead of him in the Senior ROI squad (not that he's remotely close to playing at that level for either team).

    Anyhow, when it comes to "divided loyalties", I'm pleased that NW is treating him well, and that Duffy looks to be the sort to appreciate that and reciprocate. It may mean that he opts permanently for us.

    However, if he should eventually throw in his lot with his father's country, then I would wish him well.

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