Monday 19 February 2018

Five things Ireland can learn from the World Cup

Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will hope to take learnings from the World Cup
Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will hope to take learnings from the World Cup
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will begin their European Championship qualifying campaign in September. World Cup champions Germany will again be in our group, but there are plenty of reasons for positivity.

Here are five we chose.

1: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

You can always rely on the Germans and they duly delivered in Brazil.

With Roy Keane back in the Ireland set-up, surely there will not be a repeat of a certain training camp fiasco of 12 years ago.

There was certainly never any hope of German captain Philipp Lahm taking his ball and going home when Joachim Loew's side landed at their pre-tournament training camp in Brazil.

The World Cup winners only went and built their own camp, a state-of-the-art facility located in the village of Sandro Andre.

Even Roy would have been impressed.

2: Let them have their nookie

The stats don't lie - countries that imposed sex bans caught an early plane home from Brazil.

Again, the German model is the one to follow with sex banned only on the night before a game. The French gave the all-clear but banned "all night action" while former Brazil boss Luis Felipe Scolari gave the all clear to his flops but banned any "acrobatic" sex. Russia, Bosnia, Mexico and Chile all cancelled training in the bedroom and flopped on the pitch also.

3: Play three centre halves against Germany

A flat back four and, quite simply, we could be ripped apart again.

Three centre backs - Richard Dunne, John O'Shea and AN/other - will give the team a solid foundation with Seamus Coleman and Marc Wilson given a licence to attack when we have the ball.

We don't need to look back at the World Cup to know what the Germans are capable of. Gelsenkirchen on October 14 will be the most daunting of tasks for Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane's men. A well-organised, solid defence is our best chance of nabbing a point off the world's best.

4: Let our attacking players express themselves

It was refreshing to see the so-called lesser countries playing with no fear in Brazil.

Ireland's finest performance in recent times came in 2009 when the players agreed to throw off the shackles and take the game to the French in Paris.

Costa Rica and the USA showed us just what is possible when a team is well-organised and plays on the front foot.

5: Careful on the Tweet machine

The FAI were forced to take down a tweet this week which was a bit too respectful to the Germans.

The tweet read: @Congrats to "DFB_Team_EN 2014 "FIFAWorldCup champions, and our opponents for Euro2016 qualifiers in October ***Gulp***.

Fair enough, it was light hearted enough but still  drew plenty of attention from irate Ireland fans.

Online Editors

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