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Thread: Republic of Ireland V Gibraltar - Monday, 19th June 2023 - Euro 2024 Qualifier

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Republic of Ireland V Gibraltar - Monday, 19th June 2023 - Euro 2024 Qualifier

    Some random stats on the Gibraltar squad to put tomorrow's game in context -

    They have two players in their 40s
    They have one player whose club is "Retired" (as of last month, so presumably tomorrow is to be his last senior game)
    They have one player at Dundalk. The question was asked in the LoI forums here as to whether a current LoI player has ever played against Ireland?
    They have one player at a college team - Loughborough University. They play in the English ninth tier.
    They have six players at a literal pub team, Bruno's Magpies, founded in a local pub (Bruno's) ten years ago. (In fairness to them, they've got some money behind them and are in Europe for the second time in a row this year - they lost 3-4 to Crusaders last year)

    They've also never not lost a qualifying game, including four against us - 7-0, 4-0, 2-0, 1-0, which is a worrying trend!

    Eloratings.net has them 200 points lower than Malta (who we really struggled against last year) and nearly 400 points lower than Luxembourg (who we all know about).

    There's just no excuses for either (a) not winning or (b) putting in the sort of ponderous performances we've seen against lower-ranked teams before. But I'm just not confident of the latter...

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    So your saying 1-0!!

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be surprised!

    I'll go with 3-0 I think - Ferguson can score and Johnston can run and people which I think Gibraltar will hate.

    But that'd match their results against Greece, Holland and France, so I guess they're getting tighter at the back. We do find that harder to break down than we should. It could be an uncomfortable evening, and the earlier we score, the better

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    First Team Jd2793's Avatar
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    what starting 11 are people going with? ideally ogbene would have been fit, would have went with him at rwb for this one, no need for doherty in this game as hes crap with the ball. cullen smallbone knight midfield three for me. cullen lone 6, the other 2 as 8s. obafemi and ferguson up top, idah shouldnt get time off the bench he was appalling friday

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jd2793 View Post
    what starting 11 are people going with? ideally ogbene would have been fit, would have went with him at rwb for this one, no need for doherty in this game as hes crap with the ball. cullen smallbone knight midfield three for me. cullen lone 6, the other 2 as 8s. obafemi and ferguson up top, idah shouldnt get time off the bench he was appalling friday
    ...................Bazunu

    Sykes - Collins - Egan - McClean

    Hendrick - Cullen - Smallbone

    Obafemi - Ferguson - Johnston

    Might as well switch to a back four for this game. Should be no point not starting this game without three forwards and do think Hendrick should start. Whatever people think about him he's the still mostly likeliest of our midfielders to make a line breaking pass. Smallbone edges it for him only because McClean would likely end up taking set pieces otherwise.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Agree with that in the main. 4-3-3 seems logical; we shouldn't need a third centre-back here. Full-back is tricky with Doherty out and O'Dowda isn't really a full-back to begin with (whatever about wingback). But McClean to captain on his 100th cap is fair - and no better fella, you'd hope, for injecting the urgency we'll need. Idah has no business starting a game where we need goals, but Obafemi and Johnston should bring some pace and threat up front.

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    Spun off the Gibraltar discussion into its own thread
    France beat Gibraltar 3-0 on Friday, with a penalty and a late own goal. I'm not saying we won't win, and if we don't then Kenny won't leave the stadium as manager, but equally it's not going to be easy
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on mastodon, BlueSky and facebook

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    The home win would seem on paper more likely.

    Starting McLean could either work in our favour in terms of a fast start or limit our flair against a deep playing opposition. I lean towards the latter but the former has merit and frankly should be feasible against weaker opposition.

    Egan and Collins should be fine. My concern is playing hendricks.. we should be doubling down on Cullen and smallbone and possibly Knight.

    Front 3 of obafemi, Evan and Johnston..

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR89 View Post
    ...................Bazunu

    Sykes - Collins - Egan - McClean

    Hendrick - Cullen - Smallbone

    Obafemi - Ferguson - Johnston

    Might as well switch to a back four for this game. Should be no point not starting this game without three forwards and do think Hendrick should start. Whatever people think about him he's the still mostly likeliest of our midfielders to make a line breaking pass. Smallbone edges it for him only because McClean would likely end up taking set pieces otherwise.
    I think 433 too, and the same front 3. Only quibble is with Hendrick but it’s much of a muchness for the third midfielder. I’d prefer Knight or Molumby, or even Sykes with Browne playing right back.

    I think that front 3 could thrive against Gibraltar if midfield functions well.

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    I would like Collins to partner Cullen
    We have loads to good defenders and not so many good midfielders. We simply have to have better players in our midfield to able to beat decent teams.

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    I'd definitely start Johnston and Obafemi if he is fit enough. Hopefully Browne can play? Can Sykes play right back?

    ------------Bazunu

    Browne- Collins -Egan- McClean

    Sykes-Cullen-Hendrick-Johnston

    ------Ferguson-Obafemi

    Let McClean join the midfield and Johnston move central and forward when we have the ball.

    Not many deserve to play after Friday and I'm not a huge Hendrick fan but.....here we are.
    21 leagues and 25 cups.

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    I don't see the need to change formation? - we are capable of scoring goals with the 3-5-2 against "weaker" opposition.

    Keep changes to the minimum for the sake of continuity but O'Shea instead of Lenihan, O'Shea moves the ball better, Sykes for Doherty, and Parrott for Idah. The Idah - Ferguson partnership didn't work, not sure Obafemi - Ferguson works either, so try Parrott?

    Smallbone was particularly poor imo against Greece but the performance against Latvia gives him the nod ahead of Knight. Would keep O'Dowda in the team as he (and Sykes) should effectively be a winger for this game. And would keep Collins at CB. Collins loses the ball more often than not when he tries to dribble, rather his sole focus is on mastering the CB position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR89 View Post
    I was in the west stand for his debut. I can't recall a bigger cheer for a debutant sub coming on in the last 30 years.

    I recall duff getting huge cheers when he came on as he was starting to assert himself but not for his debut.

    Fair play McLean. I'm not a total devotee but I respect his particular application and what he brings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamo kerry View Post
    I was in the west stand for his debut. I can't recall a bigger cheer for a debutant sub coming on in the last 30 years.

    I recall duff getting huge cheers when he came on as he was starting to assert himself but not for his debut.

    Fair play McLean. I'm not a total devotee but I respect his particular application and what he brings.
    McClean reaching 100 is a joke and an insult to the many better players who didn’t reach that milestone…. Not his fault as I’ve no doubt he’s committed and takes a great pride that he’s been able to play for us; it’s just that he’s been useless/a liability in most of his games ; but the blame lies with managers who picked him .

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    This sort of mentality is a bit much in fairness and there's been a lot of it on here the last couple days. He is not a world beater by any means and I have lost count of the amount of times I have cursed his name during Irish games but, at the same time, this is a guy who has 160 premier league appearances (11 goals) and over 220 appearances (25 goals) in the Championship and was player of the season in league 1 a season ago. It makes sense that he would have been picked for the squad and team by a succession of managers. Kenny has used him less than others have but he is there as a squad leader, he brings both experience in a young squad as well as "something different" off the bench. He always shows up, as you point out, and always gives 1000%. I'm not going to begrudge him his century. Fair play to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamo kerry View Post
    I was in the west stand for his debut. I can't recall a bigger cheer for a debutant sub coming on in the last 30 years.

    I recall duff getting huge cheers when he came on as he was starting to assert himself but not for his debut.

    Fair play McLean. I'm not a total devotee but I respect his particular application and what he brings.
    Was there for Duff’s debut. Think James McCarthy was the loudest I remember from anyone. No idea why but Sean Maguire was also ridiculously loud…

    In fairness to McClean, he’s probably got those 100 caps in about 110 games. There hasn’t been a more dedicated player in my lifetime - he’s worked tirelessly again and again to make himself available

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    The fact that a player with McClean's limitations has racked up 100 caps and is still worth a place in a squad says a lot about our overall player development problems, but that's not a reflection on him - you cannot ask any more of him that what he gives.

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    mcclean would go out and play on one leg for ireland. hes nearly always been available for selection thats a testament to how good a condition he keeps himself in. a limited but great servant who has never given less than 100% which i think is all you can ask for from a limited player. delighted hes reached the milestone

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    Quote Originally Posted by elatedscum View Post
    Was there for Duff’s debut. Think James McCarthy was the loudest I remember from anyone. No idea why but Sean Maguire was also ridiculously loud…

    In fairness to McClean, he’s probably got those 100 caps in about 110 games. There hasn’t been a more dedicated player in my lifetime - he’s worked tirelessly again and again to make himself available
    He's reached the caps landmark about eight months faster than it took Kilbane to reach the ton
    Last edited by tetsujin1979; 31/08/2023 at 11:32 PM.

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