Sunday 23 April 2017

Off the Ball: Ireland need 2020 vision to restore qualifying hope

Next European campaign must be top priority as next World Cup in Russia looks out of reach

James McCarthy takes the fight to Scotland last weekend. McCarthy is by far the classiest footballer we have and should be made captain after this campaign DAVID MAHER / SPORTSFILE
James McCarthy takes the fight to Scotland last weekend. McCarthy is by far the classiest footballer we have and should be made captain after this campaign DAVID MAHER / SPORTSFILE

Donny Mahoney

Back when I was a teenager in America in the late 1990s, I remember US Soccer launching a project called 'Towards 2018', or something like that. It was one of those nakedly, and dare I say it, foolishly ambitious schemes Americans are prone to: a 20-year plan to win the 2018 World Cup.

We've had nearly 72 hours of post-mortems following Ireland's highly-frustrating draw to Scotland. The wolves are at the door. The bleak future of Irish football has become the bleak present.

It's time for a plan. Let's call it 'Towards 2020'.

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