Sunday 16 December 2018

'That was pure torture' - Keith Andrews rips into 'clueless' Irish performance

Sky sports football pundit Keith Andrews at the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Hull City at the Derby County's Pride Park stadium on September 08, 2017 in Derby, England. (Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Keith Andrews
Sky sports football pundit Keith Andrews at the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Hull City at the Derby County's Pride Park stadium on September 08, 2017 in Derby, England. (Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Keith Andrews"n"n
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Ireland international Keith Andrews has described the second-half of Ireland's 5-1 loss to Denmark on Tuesday as 'pure torture'.

Ireland conceded three goals in the second-half as the national team's World Cup hopes were dashed by a Danish side spearheaded by Tottenham Hotspurs midfielder Christian Eriksen.

The Spurs maestro gutted Ireland with a brilliantly taken hat-trick, however, Andrews said that Ireland's tactics were clueless in the second-half and that Ireland's setup allowed the Danish midfield to exploit the hosts.

"That was pure torture," said Andrews on Sky Sports post-match coverage.

"I cannot believe what I've witnessed tonight. I really can't. I spoke at the top of the show about getting the balance right of what we did on Saturday, defensively, to how we would forge our way into the game in an attacking sense with possession.

"I've just witnessed gung-ho football. I thought the first-half was silly in terms of how we set up. To witness what we witnessed here tonight... it beggars belief. Clueless. Absolutely clueless.

"To allow players like they have the space and the time, in the key areas of the pitch... even the substitutions, Ciaran Clark going off, Ward going centre-half... I really don't know what I've witnessed here. I really don't.

"[There was] no holding midfielder. A lack of cohesion, it was gung-ho football and there was only going to be one winner."

RTE pundit Eamon Dunphy said that Ireland were repeatedly punished for their errors and that that type of defeat has been looming for this Irish team for sometime.

"It was a humiliation," said Dunphy on RTE's post-match coverage.

"In James McClean's case, you have to ask where was he playing? James McClean is a left winger, he does all his damage out there. He didn't play there tonight. It's very sad to to see someone like James heartbroken.

"I don't think you could fault the players for effort but there was a lot wrong out there and it was punished. First of all, we should say that it was a fantastic performance by [Christian] Eriksen, celebrates everything that's good in the game and he showed it. We got punished for our errors but we made a lot of errors.

"The team was wrong, the substitutions were drastically wrong. Taking off two midfield players in [David] Meyler and [Harry] Arter and putting on Wesley [Hoolahan] and [Aiden] McGeady, there's no sense there, and you leave a big hole in front of the back four for him [Eriksen] and all the others to exploit.

"We've had a right hiding but it's been coming. We're not doing things right. That short corner - they say Martin O'Neill doesn't work on the training ground, nobody knows and comes in an hour before kick-off and all of that stuff - and that's somehow regarded as a virtue? It's not. It's 50 years ago. You work on the training ground and you work on things like that.

"All these things add up and then you play a good side and you get a hiding."

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