Monday 25 September 2017

Off the Ball: Players are products of a failed ideology

Robbie Brady gives some reason to be hopeful about Ireland's future
Robbie Brady gives some reason to be hopeful about Ireland's future

The Trapattoni era has been divisive. The pragmatists have been at war with the romantics for five years. We don't have the players. We do have the players. He brought us to a major tournament. We were embarrassed at a major tournament. We expect too much. We expect too little.

The truth, as it generally tends to in these instances, lies somewhere in the middle. And yet this past week on the show, there has been universal agreement from listeners on one issue.

Robbie Keane spelled it out rather succinctly on Monday. "We don't have the personnel to get the ball down and have 80pc of the possession. We're just not that team. Unless it changes from grassroots, it's not going to change for a good few years."

And he's right. Our players are the products of a failed footballing ideology. The next manager will face the same issue. But it is changing. At underage level currently there is a premium on touch and movement and possession.

Robbie Brady is hopefully the first of many. We live in hope.

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