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Thread: 2019 Toulon Tournament

  1. #141
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    2-0 FT. Score reflects the balance of play fairly well. We were never going to get much joy against a much older and more experienced Brazil team. That they could bring a Sporting Lisbon first team player on as a sub says it all.

    Hope Kenny sticks with or close to his best team for the last match, we are capable of giving Mexico a game again for third spot. Brazil will win the final easily.

    Overall a good tournament and a great experience for the players. Especially encouraging when you consider that the likes of Parrott, Obafemi, Collins, Travers and Connell all qualify for that age group but weren't in the squad for various reasons. I'd like to see us go back there for the next two years as our strong under 19 squad moves into the under 21 age group.
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  2. #142
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    Poor performance on the whole, gulf in class apparent perhaps exacerbated slightly by age difference. Dire lack of depth evident. Great tournament though and fantastic experience for our young players. From watching the entire 4 games thus far:

    I’m convinced Connolly, Molumby, and Ronan will “make” it next season. Longer term, Kelleher (some concerning lapses but would be harsh to judge given the effect of involvement in champs league final), O’Shea (I’m not convinced), Idah (v disappointing), O’Connor (impressive), Coventry (somewhat underwhelming but is only 19, you never know) are maybes.

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by Leahy today, he played well, deserves a chance abroad. Mastersons next club move crucial but I’m not optimistic on long term prospects (did well though throughout tournament, fingers crossed he will prove me wrong). Knight was disappointing from the bits he played, but he’s obviously rated at Derby so will await to see what happens next season. I don’t expect any of the others to be playing senior football with Ireland in the future.

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  4. #143
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    RE Today:

    Brazil were definitely the better side but we created enough chances all the same. It feels a shame that both Brazil's goals were so poor – if you were totally outclassed in them scoring you'd say fair enough but goals like that are a real killer. Considering the age difference, you'd always have backed brazil to be comfortable. Losing both Ferrugia and Elbouzedi was a real blow when coming up against such top opposition. I think they're a few notches above the likes of Power and Mallon and it was telling today - if you compare their contribution with Connolly's on the other wing. Connolly was superb today, stood out more to me than any Brazil player. Leahy hasn't been great all tournament but i thought he did very well today. Ronan had a good first half and Molumby and O'Connor were solid throughout.

  5. #144
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    Just watched it there. Shaky start but thought they grew into it and played some super football at times in the first half. Connolly, Ronan and Molumby in particular stood out and the two full backs, who I’d said were the weakest part of the team previously really improved. Idah showed more but his decision making was disappointing.

    Considering the age and experience difference it was a really creditable performance. With the early goal second half Brazil were able to really kill it as out lads ran out of energy. Unfortunately a couple of players really struggled, Mallon in particular just didn’t look up to it. Agree with others that Kelleher didn’t look great either.

    Hopefully a couple of them can make a big senior breakthrough next season, Molumby and Connolly definitely look close and their new manager May take a chance. Ronan might be well served by another loan move on the continent. Idah could do damage in League One or Two.

  6. #145
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    One thing that I think stood out in the 3 games is how willing the players are to take the ball under pressure and not resort to hoofing it. Promising for the future under Kenny. I think overall he is showing a big impact already

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  8. #146
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    Looking at the tournament as a whole, it’s been really positive. Kenny has brought a lot to the table for the 21s. The fact he’s convincing the FAI to spend the cash to get them playing in the tournament is a positive. The fact they played a friendly against the senior squad is a positive. The quality of football they’re playing is a positive. Results have been a positive. Overall, the squad selections have been a positive. Criminal that the likes of Byrne, Crowley, Talbot weren’t in the previous age group’s squad. I don’t buy that they’re ready for the senior squad now and they weren’t ready for the 21s a year ago. Or Daire O’Connor who was praised as being a standout player by McCarthy but never got a u21 cap. Jimmy Dunne was ignored until the very last squad when there were rumours that he would go north. With all due respect to Liam Bossin, Shaun Donnellan, Joe Quigley and Connor Dimaio - there were better guys who were being ignored. This time around, you feel there’s a really good mix of players playing in the lower leagues in England, lads playing for premier league academies, lads playing league of Ireland and a few lads spread across the world. Ryan Nolan is probably the only person who has yet to make a squad that you really would have thought was due a call-up.




    Kelleher - He's definitely not the finished article but keepers develop slower than outfielders and he only started playing in goal at 14, so he's maybe got more room for improvement than most. There were years where Randolph didn't look like he'd ever be good enough to play for the national team - and it took him till 28 to become first choice for Ireland. Travers looks better right now but I wouldn't write off either


    O'Connor - great for an u19. Long way to go but he's grown hugely since his first u21 performance. With Coleman, Doherty and Christie ahead of him, he has plenty of time to develop but would think he's more likely than not to be a key senior player in years to come.


    Masterson, O'Shea, Scales - All a few years off being ready. Masterson is a good footballer, comfortable on the ball if a little error prone. Not sure he'll have the pace required to be a top top level centre-half but he reads the game well and for Liverpool u23s he was consistently in the right place at the right time to get a last ditch block in. Saying that, a year of men's football could toughen him up and turn him into a quality quality player. O'Shea is a more aggressive, hardier individual. Scales came in and did well when required. Centre-halves, like keepers are probably the latest to develop and the players who struggle to get game time as young players more than anyone else. There's plenty of players just behind them at u21 as well: Ryan Nolan, Corrie Ndaba, Thomas O'Connor, Aaron O'Driscoll, Warren O'Hora. Hopefully there'll be a diamond amongst the bunch.


    Leahy - the first game I've seen him really look a prospect was today. What I've seen of Clarke and Wilson, I'd have more hope for them. Still feel he's probably the weakest of Kenny's first 11.


    Coventry - I think he's still adapting to the step up. Kenny has been aggressive with how he's promoted good young players up the ladder and some will need time to really adapt. The one game he didn't start, his absence was very noticeable. He's very highly regarded at West Ham and there's probably good reason for that. Would like to see him with the 19s again in July, where he could be a star.


    Molumby - really good and consistent performer. I think he's of sufficient quality now to play first team football at a very good level. Hopefully, he'll get that opportunity. Saying that, most Premier League sides blood about 1 player every 2 years from their academies. So, it’ll never be an easy task to make that breakthrough.

    Ronan - Same as Molumby, he looks like he could be ready but not sure whether he’ll get the opportunity. Getting into that Wolves side is a mission and a half. As long as he isn’t sitting around doing nothing with the reserves for season. He was probably man of the match in his first 4 games for Kenny (Luxembourg, China, Mexico, Bahrain).


    Knight, Lennon, Taylor - didn’t really play enough to judge but were being kept out by good players. Over the last 12 months I’ve seen Knight play for Derby u18s, 23s, ireland U17s and 19s and he has huge skill. Can occasionally let the game pass him by but more than enough talent to make it. I guess the two goals against the seniors is a good sign for Taylor but who knows. As for Lennon, I know they are different but Mandriou for me has much more ability. I’ve seen plenty of people praise Lennon, but having seen him play a few times for Pats, I’ve yet to see a performance which justifies the relative hype.

    Elbouzedi - hope the injury isn’t too serious. Was probably considered the best player from the age group at u16. He’s **** quick, confident enough and has good feet. Could certainly see him and/or Ferrugia make it. But plenty of wingers have promised a lot at youth level and failed to deliver (Carruthers, Shodipo etc etc)


    Power, Mallon, Barrett - all 3 struggled. I saw Barrett play youth football for Reading at 18s and 23s and he was great, so I’ve been a believer in him. But he was playing behind the striker then. Haven’t seen him play for Reading’s first team so not sure if they are playing him out wide. But I wouldn’t write him off, considering what I’ve seen at youth level and the fact he’s broken into Reading’s first team at a relatively young age.


    Connolly - stepped up with ease. Thought he might have been carrying weight seeing him in casual clothes but I was wrong. He’s electric. Behind Brighton’s established strikers, they have Gyökeres who is 21 and already scored a senior international goal for Sweden and Mlakar who’s 20 who was signed for big money in January after scoring a lot of goals for Maribor - so he certainly has his work cut out for him but fingers crossed for the lad. Very unlikely but could be Ireland’s no.9 by Euro 2020.


    Idah - had a poor tournament and seems to be lacking confidence but I wouldn’t write him off. He’s incredibly young. He uses his body incredibly well for someone so young. I know that your first touch is your first touch but he has plenty of time to develop. Deeney spoke very highly of him. He’s scored goals everywhere he’s played and I think I’d still rate him slightly above Afolabi right now.


    Drinnan - didn’t do anything wrong. I’d say he’s probably not gonna be more than a league or Ireland - league 1 player but hopefully he’ll score a tonne of goals for Waterford and Ipswich will give him a chance to break into the team. Dunno how Ronan Hale is doing for Crusaders but thought he was very bright for the 21s under King and would like to see him working with Kenny - see him as having more potential than Drinnan.

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  10. #147
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    Excellent post elatedscum thank you. Molumby for me has been the standout really composed on ball even today and covers the ground effortlessly despite been out for 18 months up to quite recently we really need that defensive
    mid breaking through for us at senior. To me Masterson just oozes class some of his passing even today was top drawer. He is miles behind in the physical development stakes compared to o shea but then Duffy wasn't the physical specimen he is today at age 20.

    Idah has taken alot of flak unfairly I think he certainly has all the attributes but hopefully Norwich look to loan him out this season to keep his progress going. Brighton have quite alot of wide front players like locadia, marsh and andone who Connolly must have a decent chance of challenging for game time.

    Ronan is a lovely footballer but I think it's going to be really difficult for him to play top flight un England hopefully wolves have a good loan lined up for him somewhere.

    Someone on ybig described kelleher as lazy which is the first time I've heard a keeper be described as that! I think liverpool may be slow to loan him out so he could find himself competing for the backup keeper position with whoever they bring in to replace mignolet who will likely leave

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  12. #148
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    Molumby is a remarkable story. Amazing to think he's much younger than a lot of the opposition has been at the tournament at just 19. Amazing to consider the dreadful injury he had. It's amazing to think how natural a footballer he is, given that he's from a hurling village in Waterford. Generally these lads tend to be a bit behind in the skills stakes for a while in their careers (Hourihane, Long, Doyle, Hunt)- not to mind when they have missed out on 18 months of the full-time coaching.

    Connolly is an odd one. Is he a wide forward or a 9? He's a deadly finisher. But he looks like he can also torment wide and isn't very tall if you do need a physical presence at 9 (which isn't always needed).

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  14. #149
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    Mightily impressed with the performance yesterday. Physically men against boys at times with their U22’s vs so many 18 & 19 years old. Fact they had so many first team players with experience at Lisbon, Betis, Girona etc. vs ours at DAC & Barnet makes any criticism very harsh, especially given the sucker punch of the 2nd goal. It’s a learning curve which they’ll massively benefit from.

    Agree that Connolly, who ran Barcelona’s Emerson ragged at times, looks ready, along with Molumby. Ronan’s vision was quality and has really benefited from his loan spell after looking class in his early few first team experiences before struggling with the physicality. Got a new contract, so obviously rated - a good pre-season learning under Moutinho before a loan spell could see him well.

    Fullbacks looked tidy and O’Shea and Masterson having strong complementary attributes. Can see the latter would definitely benefit from a spell in the lower divisions, as like Mick says “you don’t become a player until you’ve had 100 games”.

    Feel the criticism of Idah is harsh. Furrowed a lonely plough up there with little assistance at times, which looked to affect his confidence at times. Is obviously a brute of a lad and evidently needs to hone his skills, however big lads up front often come to terms without their own physicality later (Drogba, Crouch, Sheringham..). With him, Connolly, Parrott and Obafemi as future competition, we have some promising different options on the horizon.

    All in all, seriously enthused by Kenny and his style of football (who I didn’t know too much about being the wrong side of the water). Looks to have them playing great football and even better given the players that were excluded. In five years time, the current youth set-up, plus players with experience like Duffy, Doherty, O’Dowda & Robinson could be a very interesting prospect.

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    Completely changed side, the appeal to watch is gone for me. Wilson the only one of the incoming players I am interested in seeing. Will enjoy a sleep in instead

  16. #151
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    Fair enough to give the squad a run out in the 3rd/4th playoff I think. Still a few players of interest to me out there. Kelleher, Masterson and O'Connor starting again at the back. Interested to have another look at Scales as well and Tyreke Wilson is getting a run also. Jason Knight playing in midfield. Would have liked us to have gone with one of the more established forwards though, ideally Connolly. We look very limited up top on paper.
    Keane O'Shea Given Best Long Cox

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    Ended up watching it in any case. The excitement was too much. Bright opening and trying to play football as always. Connolly needs to come on for Mallon

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    good game so far, Mexico starting to come in to it more. We're definitely missing something in the final third
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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    Good half from Ireland. Jack Taylor flying it!

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    Missed the opening 20 but Taylor and Knight have been lively

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    Am I right in thinking that O'Connor is the only player to play 90 minutes in each game?
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

  22. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    Am I right in thinking that O'Connor is the only player to play 90 minutes in each game?
    From my memory, yes

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    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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    Good performance again with such a changed side. Faded in second half. Idah showed great hold up and link play in the bit he was on for. Masterson class again hopefully gets good move. Connolly had awful attitude when he came on nearly cost us game at the end and woeful peno. Thought Carroll done well in midfield for a lad who has been centre half alot for us

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  26. #160
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    Disappointing ending with the penalties, Leahy got psyched out a bit by the keeper winding him up unfortunately.

    In terms of the game itself, given that we had closer to a first choice defence and a reserve attack, it's probably not a massive shock that it finished 0-0.

    Kelleher was solid in goal without having an awful lot to do. O'Connor was very good again as he has been all tournament.

    Scales again looked very solid at centre back, has really impressed in both games he has played. Masterson was fine as well. Didn't feel Tyreke Wilson did a lot, it's unfortunate that he's a month overage for the under 19s.

    Jack Taylor had a good game but overall the midfield was a step down on our first choice. Knight maybe not quite ready for the under 21s since he has only just turned 18. Carroll was a physical presence but it didn't amount to a whole lot. I haven't seen anything in Mallon to suggest we will ever see him at senior level. Set pieces were poor. Lennon wasn't particularly impressive either and Drinan didn't get many opportunities up front.

    Definite improvement when Connolly and Idah came on, while Idah hasn't been brilliant in this tournament he is by far our best target man forward at this level even though he's only 18. I definitely want to see Connolly playing first team football this coming season, either at Brighton or on loan. Every team in the championship should be looking at him really.

    A decent effort overall in the tournament, the only negative other than the penalties was that after a bright start against China we only scored one more goal in the rest of the competition. In particular we probably should have done more against Bahrain.

    Having said that our team of mostly 19 and 20 year old went toe to toe with two of the best under 22 teams in the competition in Brazil and Mexico and they held their own. I wouldn't particularly want to sit through another 90 minutes of Ireland under 21 v Mexico under 22 any time soon though.
    Last edited by Eirambler; 15/06/2019 at 2:00 PM.
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