not a member? click here to sign up

Stan can still deliver

We may have lost 1-0, but Ireland’s performance against Germany showed genuine promise.

Tony Cascarino, 07 Sep 2006



But there was a lot to be proud of in the performance. Everyone worked their socks off, and the commitment was exceptional. Don’t forget, Germany are the third-best team in the world. Taking that into account, we did OK and gave them a few things to think about. I can’t see us winning the group, but if we keep performing like that, we’ve every chance of getting the second place. The Czechs are getting old and may not be the force they’ve been in recent years: they had a disappointing World Cup. Jan Koller will obviously be a huge menace, but Richard Dunne should be up to the challenge.

Shay will have to continue pulling off world-class saves, of course. I thought Stan picked more or less the right team, though I’d have had Graham Kavanagh in central midfield. I don’t really think Kilbane or O’Shea are natural central midfielders. I can see why Stan played Steven Reid out right: that was a tactical decision to stop their full-backs getting forward the way they did in the World Cup. Reid is big, strong, powerful and can run, and it worked very well in the first half, cutting out the threat from Lahm who’s one of the world’s best full-backs. We started to get weary legs in the second half, and I thought we needed someone to steady the ship in the centre, which is where Kavanagh would have come in handy. John O’Shea found it very difficult to get into the game, and his passes started going astray in dangerous areas. He’s struggling fitness-wise from being on the bench so often at Old Trafford, and he needs either a move from Man United, or regular first-team football.

Picking out plus points, Andy O’Brien had one of his better games and Kevin Doyle showed signs that he can develop into a top quality international striker.

While he didn’t do much wrong tactically, there was a definite whiff of the Brian Kerrs about the way Stan let the media get to him last week. Nobody likes negative coverage, but in the run-up to a big game he should be focusing on his players, not journalists who are paid to generate sensational headlines. That’s where Bobby Robson, a man who’s been through the mill on numerous occasions, really could have had an influence. If the FAI are to stick with Steve, as they must do for at least the European qualifiers, they need either a fit Sir Bobby by his side or another advisor with proven international experience to take a bit of pressure off him. Otherwise, there could be more pitchside water bottles sent flying!

England and Scotland had ridiculously easy games, which makes you wonder why the likes of Andorra and the Faroe Islands are there at all. Every nation deserves a fair chance, but they should have a pre-qualification competition to root out the no-hopers and ease the fixture congestion, which Arsene Wenger is absolutely right to complain about. UEFA have done nothing to address the fact that there about 20 more countries in the qualifiers than there were prior to the break-up of the Soviet Bloc. Fair play to Lithuania, though, who got a draw in Italy against the world champions.

On the club front, I thought Roy Keane handled his first Sunderland press conferance brilliantly. Forget all this maniac nonsense – Roy’s a shrewd, knowledgeable man who always puts lots of thought into what he does. His tolerance level is very low with people who don’t give 100%, and that’s the way it should be. As long as players give their best for Roy, regardless of talent, they’ll be in his good books.


Page 1/2     <Previous 1 2 Next> 


Related Content

Latest Articles by Tony Cascarino

Why Fergie needs another Roy Keane

Man Utd’s weakness in midfield was ruthlessly exposed by Barcelona in the Champions League final.


09 Jun 2009

Smells like team spirit

As all the major competitions are drawing to a close – and bearing in mind the bewildering choice of Ryan Giggs as PFA Player of the Year – I thought now would be an opportune moment to select my team of the season. So, let’s take a look at the candidates for goalkeeper. When Shay Given has lined out for Man City he’s done very well, but he’s not played enough football overall – he had a few injuries early on in the season when he was still with Newcastle.


11 May 2009

Red reversal?

In light of some recent shock results, could Liverpool be set to overturn Manchester United’s title lead? It’s unlikely – but the way things have been going recently, nothing can be ruled out. Meanwhile, Ireland are improving steadily under Trap – and we’re well-positioned ahead of two crunch qualifiers


30 Mar 2009

In defence of Ashley Cole

Our columnist feels that the press furore over Ashley Cole’s recent arrest was much ado about nothing. Plus: an assessment of Brian Clough’s legacy ahead of the release of The Damned United.


24 Mar 2009

The case against Keano

While Roy Keane maintains his Stadium of Light exit was the fault of new Sunderland owner Ellis Short, a quick look at Roy’s track-record speaks for itself


05 Mar 2009

best of ireland

Contact Us

Hot Press,
13 Trinity Street,
Dublin 2.
Rep. Of Ireland
Tel: +353 (1) 241 1500

Email:info@hotpress.ie

Click here for more contact information.

Click here to find out more about Hot Press

Hot Press always welcomes feed back so if you've got something to tell us click here.

Advertise With Us

For more detail on how to advertise with Hot Press click here or call us on +353 (1) 241 1540