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Thread: Euro 2012 Qualifying Group B - General Discussion

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    Foot.ie! Euro 2012 Qualifying Group B - General Discussion

    Here we go again. A thread for general discussion on the group ahead. Just threw in our fixtures for starters.

    UEFA EURO 2012 Championship - Group B Fixtures - Ireland

    Armenia (A) Friday, 3 September, 2010

    Andorra (H) Tuesday, 7 September, 2010

    Russia (H) Friday, 8 October, 2010

    Slovakia (A) Tuesday, 12 October, 2010

    Macedonia (H) Saturday, 26 March, 2011

    Macedonia (A) Saturday, 4 June, 2011

    Slovakia (H) Friday, 2 September, 2011

    Russia (A), Tuesday, 6 September, 2011

    Andorra (A) Friday, 7 October, 2011

    Armenia (H) Tuesday, 11 October, 2011
    Quoting years at random since 1975

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    Seasoned Pro shakermaker1982's Avatar
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    26 points would win you the group.....I think we'll get 21.

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    Seasoned Pro Kingdom's Avatar
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    A new campaign, a new stadium, a new sponsor, a new beginning???? That's what I'm hoping for anyway.

    Without getting carried away, it's definitely a winnable group, we definite can get into a top two position. The fixtures are kind for us in the games we play, but they're also kind for us in the rest of the group games too.

    While not trying to disregard some of the negative aspects of the new campaign, it shouldn't be forgotten that we went to Eastern Europe and got the result that was acceptable (V Bulgaria) something we've struggled with previously, and we remained undefeated and played very well against one of the games powerhouses.
    We also won a match away from home against a top tier country. We went to a place that has become extremely tough and got the full points playing poorly (Cyprus).
    The team should be relatively settled in this campaign, and while a few younger faces will make things interesting, everyone should know their role and what is expected of them.
    I don't think there's any point trying to predict what will happen in 2011, but by the time Russia come to Lansdowne in Oct either they or Slovakia will have dropped points (they meet in the 2nd round of games) while Slovakia may have slipped up against Macedonia in the first set of games. Either way the group can take a big movement early on, and hopefully it can be a movement in our direction.

    I'm fairly positive that the guys will use the experiences of the autumn to kick on and be determined not to miss out again on another tournaement given that in 2012a lot of these fellas could be nearing the end of their international careers.
    Shay, Dunney, Killer, Robbie, Duffer all probably will not start the 2014 campaign. That's a fair chunk of our first team. So in that respect it definitely is last chance saloon.
    In respect of the opposition we face, despite Slovakia's showing at the world cup, Russia are the main team in the group. They have the ability on their day to tear us (and anyone) a new one. However when not on their day, they are very beatable. Technically they will be superior to us. The timing of our matches with them is good and I think we are capable of gaining an advantage over them.
    Slovakia, despite all the success of the world cup, are a team I believe we can beat home and away. They have matured and developed since we last played them, but karhan and vittek aside I think we are the better team. Bratislava should hold no fear. We are relatively fortunate with the lower ranked teams we drew. No nasty bottom seeded teams this time, and Andorra should be disposed of with minimal fuss. Armenia will be sticky. On another thread I posted the results they've had the last few years in Yerevan and while they've been nothing exceptional, every once in a while they pull off a decent result, and one group in particular (2008?) they won one and drew three against the higher ranked teams. The season before (2006) their draw against one of the seeds was ultimately what knocked that team out of second place, so they do have previous.
    Macedonia in June has been predicted as being a potential banana skin. I thought we coped extremely well in Bulgaria in similar conditions last year and its a trip where 3 points should be the order of the day (circumstances excepted).
    Just to note as well, Armenia, Macedonia and Andorra all were drawn in the same group two campaigns ago, not that it should have much impact on things.

    I'm really hopeful, I'm optimistic that the team and management will identify this as a group we can win, and will set out accordingly. One thing I do know is that there is massive interest surrounding the singing section and hopefully we can do our bit, the team do their's and we christen the maiden campaign in lansdowne accordingly.
    That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age

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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Wasn't really sure where to post this article about the use of two holding midfielders in a team, dubbed the "double pivot" - http://arsenalcolumn.wordpress.com/2...e-modern-game/
    This thread seems as good a place as any.

    What I found interesting was the short paragraph about the England - Germany game in the World Cup
    England’s central midfielders in the system are both required to attack and defend (as classical box-to-box midfielders) and as a result Germany, in their 4-1 win, were able to profit in the large gaps afforded to them. “We knew that Gerrard and Lampard always support the forwards and that the midfield would be open, there would be spaces,” explained Joachim Lw after the nation’s ruthless victory.
    Having seen the way that Trapattoni sets up the team, with two midfielders sitting deep more or less at all times, Germany wouldn't have had the same space to exploit, were they playing us. What might have been?

    Excellent article BTW, well worth taking the time to read.
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    Don't get me going on effing "holding midfielders". Aaargh. Pirlo a holding midfielder? Schweinsteiger?

    Like eskimos and their 40 different words for snow, because they recognise 40 different types, English football only seems to recognise 2 types of midfielder - holding midfielders or, eh, midfielders. This just illustrates the lack of understanding of the nuances of playing in midfield in my opinion. It's been said before here that the Italians have lots of words for midfielders, each recognising subtle differences in style & responsibility.

    I like terms like defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder, ball winner, ball user, ball carrier, attacking playmaker, deep lying playmaker and so on. Far more descriptive and meaningful.

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    I think Slovakia are as likely to take 4 or 6 points from us as we are from them. I'm torn: I think we can go great guns in this group or make a total hash of it! Taking chances and cutting out sloppy errors from the likes of Kilbane & McShane (help!) will be critical. 15-20% improvement on last campain essential, but we can do that. It'll help if Russia drop silly points like Italy didn't really do, but very nearly did, last time.

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    It will be interesting to see how this goes. I still think anything less than 6 with the first two games will bite us in the ass down the road but i can definitely see something stupid happening in Armenia and a draw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttgart88 View Post
    I think Slovakia are as likely to take 4 or 6 points from us as we are from them. I'm torn: I think we can go great guns in this group or make a total hash of it! Taking chances and cutting out sloppy errors from the likes of Kilbane & McShane (help!) will be critical. 15-20% improvement on last campain essential, but we can do that. It'll help if Russia drop silly points like Italy didn't really do, but very nearly did, last time.
    I'm sad to say it but I think we need to cut out Kilbane and McShane all together - I certainly would not have either in the starting 11.

    I'd start with a back 4 of Kelly / Dunne / St Ledger / O'Shea

    I'm not a big fan of Kelly either but he's the only fully "blooded" option right now.

    The World Cup has given us the "heads up" on Slovakia. Forearmed is forewarned etc etc - provided we don't go overboard in the respect we show them.
    Quoting years at random since 1975

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    Seasoned Pro shakermaker1982's Avatar
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    McShane and Kilbane are accidents waiting to happen and both should be given the boot. It's time for Coleman and Cunningham to step up and cement places in the side.

    We need at least 7 points on the board before we go to Slovakia. If we get a draw over there then we're on our way. Macedonia away is the one I fear most. It's a game we need to take 3 points from if we're serious about winning the group.

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    Right now I'd go for Wolfie's back 4. I don't think anyone can seriously say he'd drop KK because he's error prone and replace him with a kids who has only played a handful of senior games.

    Given Trap's preference to try players in a friendly before starting them in a competitive game, when - if at all - will Ward have his next chance? I reckon Coleman has a chance of a start in the spring games if he impresses at club level.

    I'm hoping Wilson gets a chance to impress Trap next week. I think he may well be a key player given that he can provide back up at RB, CB and CM. I understand he captained Pompey in a pre-season game. Pompey may be wound up soon though!

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    macedonia might come back to haunt us again i feel.............

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    I think the lads absolutely have to go for first place. It was obvious in the WC campaign that Trap was aiming for second place. Ireland has too many horror stories from play-offs. On paper we should be able to comfortably beat all the teams but Russia.

    It's the same old problem though. We've always had strong defences traditionally, and in fairness under trap we defend well. But we need to be scoring more. I think i'll lose my mind if every match we're up by 1 goal and play last ditch defending. Almost cost me the health of my heart in the last campaign!!

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    We should comfortably be able to beat Slovakia, who knocked Italy out of the World Cup, who in turn knocked us out of the World Cup?

    Strange logic.

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    Seasoned Pro shakermaker1982's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttgart88 View Post
    Right now I'd go for Wolfie's back 4. I don't think anyone can seriously say he'd drop KK because he's error prone and replace him with a kids who has only played a handful of senior games.

    Given Trap's preference to try players in a friendly before starting them in a competitive game, when - if at all - will Ward have his next chance? I reckon Coleman has a chance of a start in the spring games if he impresses at club level.

    I'm hoping Wilson gets a chance to impress Trap next week. I think he may well be a key player given that he can provide back up at RB, CB and CM. I understand he captained Pompey in a pre-season game. Pompey may be wound up soon though!
    I'm just hoping Cunningham/Ward and Coleman muscle their way in by the end of this season. If Coleman gets off to a good start then he cannot be ignored. I'm not expecting them to start against Andorra but I'd hope to see Coleman starting against Slovakia (September 2011). He does look the business.

    Wilson should get a run out next week. I'm not sure what's his best position though because Pompey play him everywhere!

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    First Team Predator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakermaker1982 View Post
    I'm just hoping Cunningham/Ward and Coleman muscle their way in by the end of this season. If Coleman gets off to a good start then he cannot be ignored.
    I think that, despite Cunningham's inclusion in the senior squad, Coleman is a player who is more likely to play senior football for his club this year. From the reports of Everton's pre-season, Moyes has favoured Coleman in the right back position and he has flourished. If only he was equally adept at left-back. Cunningham is certainly a prospect, but it will probably be difficult to cement a place in that City squad


    Wilson should get a run out next week. I'm not sure what's his best position though because Pompey play him everywhere!
    Wilson's preferred position is defensive midfield. He doesn't look as assured at centre half.

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    i think slovakia will be pretty much the same as when we played them few years ago except they have a good striker in Vittek. wont be much between us, id settle for the 1-0 and 2-2 away draw in the last campaign.

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    It's interesting that our two last games are against teams that we should beat. So after the third last game we will be 90% sure of our points total. I don't know the rest of the fixtures but if Russia and Slovakia don't play eachother in the last two rounds this group could be virtually decided on the day we play Russia.

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    Results of friendlies featuring the other teams in our group this evening:

    Russia 1-0 Bulgaria
    Slovakia 1-1 Croatia
    Malta 1-1 Rep. of Macedonia
    Armenia 1-3 Iran
    Cyprus 1-0 Andorra

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    Not a bad result for Andorra after going a goal behind early on. Hard to read too much into these results. Its down to the real business on Friday 3rd.

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    Cyprus...oh lord where is the pepto bismol.

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