Friday 15 November 2019

'That's just not the way it is in the modern game' - Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady on one big problem they have with Ireland

16 October 2018; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during the UEFA Nations League B group four match between Republic of Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
16 October 2018; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during the UEFA Nations League B group four match between Republic of Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Liam Brady and Eamon Dunphy have questioned Martin O'Neill's approach as Ireland manager, saying that some of his methods aren't in tune with the modern game.

O'Neill's side are in a bad run of form, with further pressure coming on the manager after two poor displays at home in the UEFA Nations League, following a 0-0 draw with Denmark and a 1-0 loss to an under-strength Wales.

O'Neill has been questioned for changing his formation to a 3-5-2, and for deploying Cyrus Christie in midfield, a position that he said he hadn't played since he was 14.

The veteran manager's practice of waiting until an hour before kick-off to name his side has also been scrutinised and speaking on Eamon Dunphy's podcast, The Stand, the outspoken pundit said it was a 'mad' way of running the team.

"Can you walk into a dressing room and deliver the team one hour before the game?," he asked.

"All of a sudden you are playing three at the back, in this case Shane Duffy, Keogh and Kevin Long, with wing-backs and you haven't worked on it before during the week. That is simply mad, isn't it?"

Liam Brady concurred with Dunphy, and said that O'Neill should inform his players earlier in the week of potential changes to the formation so that they can plrepare accordingly.

"That's just not the way it is in the modern game," Brady said.

"When I made my first appearance for the Republic and John [Giles] was the manager. John told me where I was supposed to be in certain positions as regards to the midfield to where he would be, to balance it up. That's what a player needs before he plays a game, he needs to know what the manager is looking for.

"The way that Martin is doing it, and it is coming out more and more now, we are getting leaks from the players that there is hardly any preparation. There's not a lot of time spent on set-pieces and I think that is shown, we haven't had enough goals from set-pieces. A set-piece isn't just good delivery. They have to be a bit of invention, a bit of movement that the opposition are not expecting.

"I don't see any examples of that. I don't even see us trying anything that could work. Obviously, that is a big problem with the way O'Neill manages."

Ireland are now likely to be relegated to tier three of the Nations League, which would also see the team drop into the pot of third seeds for the Euro 2020 draw, which takes place in Dublin in December.

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