Monday 26 August 2019

Analysis: Callum Robinson one of the few Irish positives on drab night at the Aviva Stadium

Callum Robinson of Republic of Ireland has a shot on goal, despite the attention of Joseph Chipolina of Gibraltar, during the UEFA EURO2020 Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar at Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Callum Robinson of Republic of Ireland has a shot on goal, despite the attention of Joseph Chipolina of Gibraltar, during the UEFA EURO2020 Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar at Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

John Brennan

Here are five things we learned from Ireland's drab 1-0 win over Gibraltar at the Aviva Stadium.

1- We didn't need this game to learn that Ireland struggle to break down teams at home, but here was another example of it against one of international football's real 'minnows'. Set the job of opening up Gibraltar's massed defence, Ireland's players laboured to create anything.

2- Callum Robinson might be a find. We'll have to wait for better opposition to truly judge him, but Robinson suggested at the Aviva Stadium that he offers something a little bit different. There's a willingness to go by his marker, for one thing.

3- Too many times in this one, the cross from wide positions was cleared by the first Gibraltar defender. It was poor play by the Irish team who ought to have worked a dodgy visiting goalkeeper a lot harder. But his defenders were able to do his work for him, get a head or a leg in the way.

4- Maybe all the carry-on out at the FAI is having an effect on the Irish team. Because it was disappointing to see so many empty seats at the Aviva. Yes, Gibraltar are not France or Germany in terms of attractions, but Ireland are top of their qualifying group and going well. You'd have thought more people would have been there. Perhaps the FAI has to win a few of the previously faithful back.

5- Yes, he was injured for long periods during Martin O'Neill's reign, but you wonder now if the Derryman regrets not picking David McGoldrick when he could have? McGoldrick has shown himself to be a fine player, as Mick McCarthy has given him his chance to lead the Irish line.

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