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Thread: Republic of Ireland V Serbia - Tuesday, 7th September 2021 - 2022 World Cup Qualifier

  1. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttgart88 View Post
    There was one moment where Molumby turned and pivoted with the ball stuck to his feet and suddenly the whole pitch opened up, perfectly illustrating how playing it short from the back can have real benefits. A few moments later he tried the same thing further up the pitch but his technique let him down really badly (itself very worrying) and the whole pitch opened up for Serbia!.
    George and Stephen got super excited over that and put it down to Andrew O. He could be heard shouting "turn into space, turn into space". If only it were that simple, or as simple as clear communication....
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  2. #282
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    Quote Originally Posted by boovidge View Post
    Yeah just to clarify I wasn't talking about LOI fans in general or saying people on here are "anti-English". There's just the occasional post saying something like "I hope x goes to the Eredivisie instead of the Premier League. They play real technical football over there".
    fair enough, the clarification makes sense - - when people use the word barstooler, it tends to be as a term thrown around negatively by LOI fans.

  3. #283
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    Serbia was the same; we were 'battered', as Kerr rightly described it, for the entire match - utterly outplayed - and were wholly dependent on a near wonder-display from our teenage goalkeeper and some extraordinarily profligate finishing from the Serbs for the score not to reflect this, as 18 shots rained down on our goal. If Serbia had been 4 or 5 goals to the good by the time we scored from a ludicrously fortuitous and quite undeserved own goal - again from a set-piece (not Irish at all!) We would have had absolutely no cause for complaint.

    I think there is a difference in fairness in that under Mick/MON, we were far too quick to give the ball away and launch an aimless hoof. We seem to be able to retain possession slightly better, and have more of an idea what to do when on the ball. We're not very good at actually making that idea happen, mind, and I agree Portugal/Serbia were fairly typical Irish moral victories.

    The challenge is that the players we have right now may not be good enough to play this system in its purest form. That may come with time as some of these players mature and grow but Kenny may not be around for that depending on how things go.

    So far though, off the top of my head, it cost us a penalty in Portugal and an early chance at home to Serbia, and we seem just as likely to end up being closed down and either hoofing it away or worse, losing possession in our own final third, as we are to execute it properly.
    These 4 paragraphs have summed up my thinking, in no particular order. Whilst we clearly are holding, looking to retain the ball better when we receive it or win it back we are still very much one dimensional in what we do with it. Kenny has clearly figured out that his original style and system wasn't working, we've adapted to a hybrid system that is suited much better to our players, or to the players currently available. I do believe 2 key players would make a massive difference to that system, retaining the hybrid system we have adapted to. A midfielder like the one Stutts describes would be great, and cullens decent, but against Serbia he was being bullied out of it and overrun. I think we are looking for a yaya toure type player who has the defensive side to his game but also the strength and athleticism to hold his own in more physical contests that teams like Serbia bring. It was mentioned previously but Andrew O possibly playing in that defensive midfield role I really think is worth a try, we have more than enough cover in the 2/3 at the back that it would be an exercise worth trying out against the likes of Azerbaijan away and Portugal at home given we have nothing to play for. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The other key player we need and McGrath showed bits of it, but moreso Robinson when he came on was a player who can lye deeper and take it off the wingers/wing backs in a more central position and instead of turning back or away from goal goes towards goal and brings in the same wingers on the overlap. If somehow those 2 players were unearthed, a bit like Andrew O was, the strides and playability of the system we've witnessed over this window would be immense. Of course all this is easier said than done. So whilst we don't have the players Kenny needs to find a more accommodating system to get the best out of what we have up top, and I really dont think Idah up there on his own is ever going to get us goals, so he needs to play 2 up front, we looked much better when robinson came on and it was telling, even Idah I felt looked more comfortable to go forward at that point.

    I'm also wondering as teams figure out the ball over the top will they adapt to that and therefore give our backline more space and begin to sit deep, especially the perceived weaker teams, azeris were happy to sit the last day so whilst it works against superior opposition who will press us high and commit players to put us under pressure, it doesnt and wont work against weaker opposition. And we've seen that we don't have any other style when that occurs. WHat would we have lost by including jack byrne in the squad?

    I've watched a couple of Armenia games of this qualifying group, and there were so many things resembling our own performances of late. Dominating possession and getting to the final third but just looking completely clueless with what to do with it, they did however have some good corners setup to try and create something, and a couple of intricate moves in the box involving Barseghyan and Mikhitaryan that effectively came to nothing, but it was mainly ball lobbed into the box with no real intention from the attacking player or the player who made the cross. That's where the similarities end however. Perhaps we have become that level now, but if you look at Armenia's attacking players they're playing in armenia and kazakhstan etc. However they are still 11 points and in second in their group.
    Last edited by paul_oshea; 09/09/2021 at 3:15 PM.
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  4. #284
    Seasoned Pro Kingdom's Avatar
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    I’ll call Crafty & Skstu as witnesses here. I have for some time now, looked at our positioning and movement in open play and dead ball situations. It is up there as our biggest weakness. Speed of thought and speed of movement is a part of it as well - whether it’s the main contributing factor or a by product I’m not sure. We make some baffling decisions when we have the ball - and have done for a long time. Some players will never be able to master this I think.

    A prime example (of speed of thought) was the last min in the Serbia game/ free kick won in the centre circle area. Everyone lumps forward, Serbs all go back. Bazunu came out to shape up for the kick , can’t recall the outfield player standing beside him. Nobody within 20 yds. All it needed was a small touch to send us on the way again and set up a better angle for a cross. We failed to do it, and I think we ended up passing the ball further back to Bazunu to kick longer, than where the kick was from.
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  6. #285
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trequartista20 View Post
    Oh, come off it; the moral victory (defeat) against Portugal, where we scored a goal from a set-piece, and set about desperately attempting to cling on for the remainder of a match where Portugal enjoyed no less than 73% of possession, was as typical an Irish performance as you can possibly get! If you lack the objectivity to be able to recognise this, well, then I don't know what to say.

    Serbia was the same; we were 'battered', as Kerr rightly described it, for the entire match - utterly outplayed - and were wholly dependent on a near wonder-display from our teenage goalkeeper and some extraordinarily profligate finishing from the Serbs for the score not to reflect this, as 18 shots rained down on our goal. If Serbia had been 4 or 5 goals to the good by the time we scored from a ludicrously fortuitous and quite undeserved own goal - again from a set-piece (not Irish at all!) We would have had absolutely no cause for complaint.

    There is no doubt whatever that these were prototypical Irish performances of the sort we've seen time and time again down the years under various Irish managers.

    And if we really are serious about instigating real and lasting change this involves us being fully honest about where we are - let's not try to kid outselves.
    I suppose we must be talking about two different things then.

    I have seen, over the course of his tenure, a marked change in approach that has seen us do a whole lot less of dumping the ball long into the box (aimless hoofing) or into the channels. I have seen a whole lot more of us working the ball out from the back with intent, switching play and ultimately working our way into better attacking opportunities. Agree with some of the subsequent comments that we have turned the ball over more as a result and sometimes in more dangerous situations than an aimless hoof might result in.

    If the remark was specific to the nature of the performance and outcome against Portugal and Serbia then, yes, we had very little possession, the goals were from set pieces and the outcomes were moral victories vs. actual victories. Not a lot of change there, I agree, against the "big boys". However, when we did have that limited amount of possession, there was far more of it that saw us use the ball positively to create the chances that we created and was based more on ball retention than aimless long balls from the back, though. Further, how much possession and playing through the lines against Portugal and Serbia is to be expected? Portugal are ranked 8th in the world. Serbia are, as i set out in an earlier post, an excellent team that have won more than one underage tournament in recent times.

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    I'm looking for progression with Kenny, not miracles, and it's unfair to compare us, in any way, directly, with Portugal who can boast of some extremely talented individuals, of the sort we simply cannot call upon. And this goes, to an extent, with Serbia. But I do think there are lessons to be learnt from the way Serbia went about things, and I've rarely been so impressed by an away side at Lansdowne.

    We were tactically outplayed by the Serbs as well as technically. And I hope Kenny learnt from this.

    Kenny has shown us, if nothing else, that we can, actually, mix it up and play a bit. But I'm yet to see us put in even a vaguely cohesive and truly impressive performance, as of yet, under his reign.

    But let's see where we are after this campaign and make a true assessment then.

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    I'll say as well that this is such an intelligent and considered forum, especially compared with so many others; the quality of contribution here really is impressive, and that shouldn't be taken for granted nor overlooked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingdom View Post
    I’ll call Crafty & Skstu as witnesses here. I have for some time now, looked at our positioning and movement in open play and dead ball situations. It is up there as our biggest weakness. Speed of thought and speed of movement is a part of it as well - whether it’s the main contributing factor or a by product I’m not sure. We make some baffling decisions when we have the ball - and have done for a long time. Some players will never be able to master this I think.

    A prime example (of speed of thought) was the last min in the Serbia game/ free kick won in the centre circle area. Everyone lumps forward, Serbs all go back. Bazunu came out to shape up for the kick , can’t recall the outfield player standing beside him. Nobody within 20 yds. All it needed was a small touch to send us on the way again and set up a better angle for a cross. We failed to do it, and I think we ended up passing the ball further back to Bazunu to kick longer, than where the kick was from.
    Speed of thought and movement are absolutely our biggest weaknesses. Just looked at a replay of Serbia game. They were very very quick and purposeful when in possession. We on the other hand, were unsure and ponderous with the ball by comparison. I recall an old Real Madrid tactic whereby the first team would play against the club's youth teams in pre season in order to achieve speed of thought/ movement. Maybe SK needs to do something similar

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  12. #289
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    I agree here Mark. There were quite a few times I counted in the last 3 games when a fairly low risk or easily executed lateral pass between opposition players/lines was on (from one of the defenders, wing backs or mids) that would have opened things up quite nicely for the recipient to carry forward but, instead, the ball was more often recycled back to the deeper defender or GK. For me it was about a combination of bravery and speed of thought. The bravery (trust yourselves, take a little more risk) can be coached but the latter might take a little more consistency in personnel than SK has had the luxury of to date. I think it will definitely come.

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    My sense is there are improvements in this respect. Hendrick had a good first half against Serbia because (a) the CBs were more willing to play the ball forward centrally (has been a tendency to go back and forth across the back line) and (b) he was showing for the ball and (c) players were showing for Hendrick when he got the ball. Also seeing more combinations coming out from the back. Would need to re-watch the game, but remember Hendrick and Cullen meeting wingbacks to play 1 2 combinations and advance from that. Bazunu by-passing the high press line with a sweep pass to the wing backs to nod down to an advancing player was something we did quite well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trequartista20 View Post
    I'll say as well that this is such an intelligent and considered forum, especially compared with so many others; the quality of contribution here really is impressive, and that shouldn't be taken for granted nor overlooked.
    Thanks man, appreciate the compliment, I know it was directed at me.
    Sentiment reciprocated.
    Here they come! It’s the charge of the “Thanks” Brigade!

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  17. #292
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    I think it's a two step process in a lot of ways. You can see the defensive unit starting to get more comfortable with what's expected and that's gradually translating into the middle. The next stage is to hopefully start linking the middle to the front in the same way, that means the quick passes to break the press are followed by quick and accurate passes to exploit the new found space. The question probably remains, do we have that attacking fulcrum who can take it from Cullen or the wide players and link to the forwards? Could it be McGrath or Byrne or is there someone else emerging? Can Hendrick find some form and become that player, or even Brady? Of course the whole thing comes undone if the forwards can't put the ball in the net anyway!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkStu View Post
    I suppose we must be talking about two different things then.

    I have seen, over the course of his tenure, a marked change in approach that has seen us do a whole lot less of dumping the ball long into the box (aimless hoofing) or into the channels. I have seen a whole lot more of us working the ball out from the back with intent, switching play and ultimately working our way into better attacking opportunities. Agree with some of the subsequent comments that we have turned the ball over more as a result and sometimes in more dangerous situations than an aimless hoof might result in.

    If the remark was specific to the nature of the performance and outcome against Portugal and Serbia then, yes, we had very little possession, the goals were from set pieces and the outcomes were moral victories vs. actual victories. Not a lot of change there, I agree, against the "big boys". However, when we did have that limited amount of possession, there was far more of it that saw us use the ball positively to create the chances that we created and was based more on ball retention than aimless long balls from the back, though. Further, how much possession and playing through the lines against Portugal and Serbia is to be expected? Portugal are ranked 8th in the world. Serbia are, as i set out in an earlier post, an excellent team that have won more than one underage tournament in recent times.
    People talk about “beating the press” these days. I had a pretty decent seat in Lansdowne for both games, more or less at the halfway line. Not sure how visible it was on tv, but against Serbia, when we were playing out from the back, by and large, we were able to hold the ball and keep possession, but we only progressed up the pitch once Serbia dropped into their shell, which they did eventually. It dramatically reduced the effectiveness of what we were trying to do, there was only a handful of occasions when someone like Matt Doherty was able to receive the ball make something happen beyond the simple. Now maybe that’s about time needed to work with players or maybe that’s about the quality of the midfielders we have. But we’re still a significant step off where Stephen would like us to be.

    Saying that, it’s much better than it was earlier in the reign, I remember a few nations league games where we’d play it short and have about 5-10 under pressure passes near our box before laying to the keeper who would pump it long. 8 or 9 of our players were in our third, so when it went long we were totally outnumbered and almost certainly lost the first or second ball (if it stayed in play). It was really counter productive and pointless. Like if you’re gonna pump it long, you might as well organise and get bodies up the pitch.

    Maybe it’s partly down to Bazunu and Kelleher having better feet. Maybe it’s because the wingbacks feel more comfortable pushing into positions where they can get over the first line of lads pressing than they do at fullback. Maybe it’s because the centre halves feel more confident being pressed with three rather than a two but the likes of Duffy in particular and Egan are much improved in this respect. You could argue that the things in the shape with 5 defenders that make it easier to play out, also make it harder to really do damage because generally, you’re sacrificing an attacking player for a defender. Maybe we are just adapting and getting used to it. The midfielders seem to be robbed in bad areas less frequently when playing out.

    FWIW, Matt Doherty was excellent against Serbia, his ability to control a really difficult ball from Bazunu and others and keep it in play and in possession was exceptional and he won balls in the air he had no right to win and found players with the headers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trequartista20 View Post
    I'm looking for progression with Kenny, not miracles, and it's unfair to compare us, in any way, directly, with Portugal who can boast of some extremely talented individuals, of the sort we simply cannot call upon. And this goes, to an extent, with Serbia. But I do think there are lessons to be learnt from the way Serbia went about things, and I've rarely been so impressed by an away side at Lansdowne.

    We were tactically outplayed by the Serbs as well as technically. And I hope Kenny learnt from this.

    Kenny has shown us, if nothing else, that we can, actually, mix it up and play a bit. But I'm yet to see us put in even a vaguely cohesive and truly impressive performance, as of yet, under his reign.

    But let's see where we are after this campaign and make a true assessment then.
    That Serbia side were really excellent. They were probably the best side I’ve seen in Lansdowne since Trap was beaten 6-1 by the Germans. Their decision making in the final third was excellent and far better than Portugal last week, who too often snatched at chances or shot from areas they couldn’t score. Serbia were patient and seemed to always play the right pass. McClean deserves credit for that lung busting run back in the 6/7v3, where he single handedly marked 3/4 players on their right, so the pass went down the other side instead. That and his recovery for Bazunu’s error. I thought we defended well and all of the back 5 and keeper deserved credit for their performances but we came up against a very good team.

    Saying that, once we scored, we looked the more likely to score a second...

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