Wednesday 18 September 2019

Is Mick McCarthy a lucky general? Five things we've learned from Ireland's draw with Denmark

Ireland's Enda Stevens in action against Lasse Schöne of Denmark during the Euro 2020 Group D qualifier at Telia Parken in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Ireland's Enda Stevens in action against Lasse Schöne of Denmark during the Euro 2020 Group D qualifier at Telia Parken in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Ireland's Seamus Coleman in action against Jens Stryger Larsen of Denmark during the Euro 2020 Group D qualifier at Telia Parken in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

John Brennan

Here are five things we learned from Ireland's dramatic 1-1 draw with Denmark in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

1 Is Mick McCarthy a lucky general?

Maybe, just maybe, Mick McCarthy is a lucky general. The more he works at this international football lark, the luckier he gets. Ireland should have been beaten in this one, Denmark had more chances to score, and better ones than Ireland too,  but they squandered all but one of them and Shane Duffy's header cancelled that out.

2 Enda Stevens is here to stay

Enda Stevens is here to stay at left-back. Heading for the Premier League with Sheffield United next season, Stevens was excellent all though the match, and has settled into international football in the last year. He'll be right in Mick McCarthy's thoughts for the Autumn qualifiers.

3 At this level, our touch is poor

Ireland's players have certainly adapted to the change in attacking tactics that came with the change in manager. But at this level our touch is poor. Too often in Copenhagen hard-won possession was easily given back to the Danes because of poor control.  

4 Irish players will always put in a shift

Ireland's players, no matter for whom, will always put in a shift. In this game, they simply battled and tackled and fought and ran to get what they desired. At times the Irish pressure forced their hosts into basic errors, that just needed a touch more class and composure to be converted into a goal from open play. 

5 Glenn Whelan call was inspired

Mick McCarthy made a wise call about Glenn Whelan, getting him back into the squad. This game was just made for the Dubliner's ceaseless work ethic. He covered ground all night and covered runners too. Maybe Aston Villa didn't make a wise call, letting him go.

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