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Thread: 2023 UEFA Under-21 Championships

  1. #321
    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Starting XI announced, game is on RTE2, and the RTE player

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    Comfortable enough win without looking great. It took going 2-0 up before Luxembourg stopped defending with 11 men in their own half. No real standout performances but Coventry and Kilkenny were comfortable. Kerrigan didnít look out of place for his debut. Kayodeís touch still lets him down but Ferguson didnít do enough to really show heís the better option. Noss looked bright when he came on. Maher is a pretty good keeper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elatedscum View Post
    Comfortable enough win without looking great. It took going 2-0 up before Luxembourg stopped defending with 11 men in their own half. No real standout performances but Coventry and Kilkenny were comfortable. Kerrigan didnít look out of place for his debut. Kayodeís touch still lets him down but Ferguson didnít do enough to really show heís the better option. Noss looked bright when he came on. Maher is a pretty good keeper.
    I think thatís fair enough. I like the look of Bagan, he looks a good reader of the game, didnít do anything to spectacular but made some good choices with his passes and choosing when to take on his man. Good instincts. And the one big criticism Iíd have of Kayode is really poor instincts, quiet a few of his bad touches seemed to be down to him just not anticipating the ball coming into him. Noss definitely had a good impact and I think Wright is still a bit raw but has huge potential.

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    Despite his size, Kayode was pushed around a bit up front, and goal aside he didn't do much. Noss showed more in the 20 minutes than Kayode did for the 70 that he played. Noss really needs a goal though.
    Luxembourg barely left their half of the pitch in the second 45 minutes, although Maher did make a great save from a breakaway

    We need a win against Macedonia on Tuesday to put daylight between them and us, and to draw level with Sweden on ten points before we play them in November
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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    FAI saying we are taking a 29 man squad to Macedonia and changes in the UK red list allowed all but 5 players from the original squad to travel. As far as I can see, everyone in their list except Blair, McEntee, Watson and Wright are missing, which is just 4. Saying that, Blair and Watson didn't make the squad on Friday and Wright came off injured, so who knows...

    Wright is probably the only real loss. We don't have anyone with his skillset available to come in out wide, it'll probably be a centre midfielder playing there...

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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Coverage starting on RTE2 now
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    Coverage starting on RTE2 now
    Bad decision by Maher to come out. 1-0 to Montenegro

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    This start is a end result of not being organized and being frantic, playing straight into Montenegroís handsÖ

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    You'd have to question some of the selection: Gilbert, Ferry in particular. Noss on the left and Kerrigan on the right would have been my choice. Also, time will tell re Ferguson vs Whelan vs Kayode. So far, the front 3 don't look up to it. Ross Tierney contributing more than anyone going forward

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    Dreadful for half an hour. Looked like a switch to 4-4-1-1 then with Ferry switching to the right and Tierney getting closer to Ferguson. Progressively better from that point on and might have got one back. Seems to be a tricky wind and I think itíll be in our backs second half. Definitely not out of the game but need to build on the last 15 mins of the first half.

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    clear penalty on kayode not given. another peno given now

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    coventry misses it

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    jesus these 21s make it hard for themselves. that's probably 3 points dropped across 2 games with missed penalties

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  16. #335
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    I was just looking at the qualifying schedules for U17s & U19s on wikipedia and I noticed our European co-efficient rankings are 9th and 10th respectively yet we're only 23rd at U21 level. Why does the level of comparative achievement and performance markedly decline at U21 level? As a smaller nation with a shallow pool are we cannibalising the U21s sooner and to a greater extent than other nations that surpass us at U21s? Is coaching inferior? I know in years gone by we used to blame Don Givens, jobs for the boys etc but the difference in results is quite stark between those levels.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I think a part of it is the lack of a fully-pro environment at home for players to move into at that age. Half the current U21 squad are LoI-based - there's very limited options for full-time positions in the LoI, and the structure of LoI clubs by and large isn't going to be as professional as at other clubs. There's a similar disparity in the UEFA Youth League, where our clubs do ok at U19 level, but compare Molde and UCD as clubs and see where the respective players in our 2017 tie have done since. It's not just Haaland who's done well on that Molde team, whereas Farrugia is probably the highest-profile UCD player, and he's at Rovers.

    I'd say pro academies for 19s up would make a big difference, but the money isn't there.

    If that is the case, then Brexit will mean it'll become a big deal fairly soon. Which would be a positive as it would force us to address it - sink or swim, effectively.
    Last edited by pineapple stu; 13/10/2021 at 3:40 PM.

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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I think a part of it is the lack of a fully-pro environment at home for players to move into at that age. Half the current U21 squad are LoI-based - there's very limited options for full-time positions in the LoI, and the structure of LoI clubs by and large isn't going to be as professional as at other clubs. There's a similar disparity in the UEFA Youth League, where our clubs do ok at U19 level, but compare Molde and UCD as clubs and see where the respective players in our 2017 tie have done since. It's not just Haaland who's done well on that Molde team, whereas Farrugia is probably the highest-profile UCD player, and he's at Rovers.

    I'd say pro academies for 19s up would make a big difference, but the money isn't there.

    If that is the case, then Brexit will mean it'll become a big deal fairly soon. Which would be a positive as it would force us to address it - sink or swim, effectively.
    I don't disagree with that you are saying but see if from a different angle. While not necessarily currently or with the last batch of U21s, I've generally felt the U21 LOI players have been more effective than their (technically better) UK based counterparts simply because they are playing first-team football (would point to the UCD chap Kerrigan who played against Luxembourg - thought he made quite a strong impact (on his debut?)). The UK based players selected at U21 are not always first team footballers and if they are, they are on the radar of a senior call-up. If we are wondering why there is a drop in ranking from U17/U19 to U21 level, it is as much down to our technically better players not getting first team football in the UK, when our peers playing in other leagues are, as domestic structure failings.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Oh they can be technically quite efficient, for sure, but their development is still hindered by playing a key developmental phase in a largely part-time environment. This is looking at U19s up, starting with guys who maybe aren't necessarily getting regular first-team LoI football and certainly aren't fully pro. The comparison between a fairly modest club like Molde and any LoI side (even Rovers) is quite stark.

    I think your latter point is the same point I made though. Yes, other 21s players are often playing first-team football at home. We're an outlier in Europe in that we export players at 16 to a foreign academy. If they were able to stay at home and come through the ranks here - like in almost every other European country - then they'd be getting first-team LoI ball at 19-22 or so, and then moving to England for decent fees if good enough. I think our approach to those key developmental years is very lacking (and that's before you look at players going to England who come back three years later without having made it - which is the majority of them)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poor Student View Post
    I was just looking at the qualifying schedules for U17s & U19s on wikipedia and I noticed our European co-efficient rankings are 9th and 10th respectively yet we're only 23rd at U21 level. Why does the level of comparative achievement and performance markedly decline at U21 level? As a smaller nation with a shallow pool are we cannibalising the U21s sooner and to a greater extent than other nations that surpass us at U21s? Is coaching inferior? I know in years gone by we used to blame Don Givens, jobs for the boys etc but the difference in results is quite stark between those levels.
    Campaigns are longer, so results turn around slower. We've only had one campaign since Noel King left and it went a little pear shaped at the end. If you look at the current eligible squad, you could have a team of:

    Bazunu

    O'Connor
    Omobamidele
    Collins
    Bagan

    Coventry
    Kilkenny

    Knight
    Parrott
    Connolly

    Idah

    That's a team that would win the group.

    Compared to other teams in our u21 group, total eligible players in the senior squad in this window:

    Ireland 7
    Luxembourg 6
    Italy 2
    Bosnia 1
    Montenegro 0
    Sweden 0

    For a wider sample, let's also look at our Senior group:

    Ireland 7
    Luxembourg 6
    Azerbaijan 2
    Serbia 2
    Portugal 1

    I think the issue with Noel King was a lot to do with picking the wrong players, the football was also pretty agricultural. But the fact guys like Harry Charsley and Conor Dimiao were playing and Jack Byrne didn't make a single squad. You could really pick apart about 10 of the squad members at the time. Jamie McGrath was ignored till the last game or two after he won the young player of the year in LOI and then he got a token call-up. Talbot and Kelleher largely ignored for Bossin. Ogbene ignored. In form lads like Cleary, Daire O'Connor, Jimmy Dunne, Dan Crowley. Tonnes of lads who never had a hope of progressing to the senior side: Rory Hale, Joe Quigley, Shaun Donnelan etc etc. That's that last group. The ones before that were played in Waterford, so i didn't see them. There was a sense that he was involved in convincing players to come on board, so he felt a debt to them to keep them involved and he trusted 'his group', so when the guys from 1998 graduated u19s

    Declan Rice, Josh Cullen and Ryan Manning largely carried that side with the occasional cameo from Grego-Cox, Curtis, Shodipo and Ronan Hale. We ended up coming third.

    The Kenny campaign was looking great after 7 games, really good results, bar losing away to Iceland. Maybe the squad was a little gutted for the last 3 games but losing to Iceland at home and losing to an Italy team which was an u20 team because their u21s were in isolation was pretty bad. Came 3rd again.

    Looks like we're on pace for another 3rd place finish in this campaign. Shame because the 2000/2001 groups were fantastic.
    Last edited by elatedscum; 13/10/2021 at 5:03 PM.

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  22. #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poor Student View Post
    I was just looking at the qualifying schedules for U17s & U19s on wikipedia and I noticed our European co-efficient rankings are 9th and 10th respectively yet we're only 23rd at U21 level. Why does the level of comparative achievement and performance markedly decline at U21 level? As a smaller nation with a shallow pool are we cannibalising the U21s sooner and to a greater extent than other nations that surpass us at U21s? Is coaching inferior? I know in years gone by we used to blame Don Givens, jobs for the boys etc but the difference in results is quite stark between those levels.
    Because you had plonkers like Noel King incharge for so longÖ

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