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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Reason to be optimistic for Irish national team

Republic of Ireland dumped out of Euro 2012 without a single point, Ireland thrashed at home by Germans, Alaba scores last minute goal to deny Irish win, Ireland lose to Austria and Sweden to end World Cup 2014 ambitions. It’s been a tough year for the Irish fans and team, but with the departure of manager Giovanni Trapattoni there could be reason for optimism about the team once again.

There is no doubt Trapattoni did a great job in getting us to the European Championships and that he fulfilled his expectations in that sense. However, the quality of football he liked to play, unfortunately, was dire. The defensive approach to each match regardless of the quality of opposition, omitting quality players such as Wes Hoolahan and James McCarthy from the team for so long, the use of sub-standard players such as Conor Sammon and Paul Green and the poor showing in the World Cup group stages certainly justified his sacking.

The identity of the new boss is uncertain but one thing that is certain is that the man appointed will be the right one due to the rigorous search being done by Ray Houghton and Ruud Dokter to find a suitable candidate. Trapattoni in his time had many arguments with many players and a lot of these players never featured again under his reign. These exiled players include Stephen Ireland, Anthony Stokes and Andy Reid, the new man in charge may have the luxury of these players which will add more quality to the team.

Regardless whether players like Ireland decide to end their exile or not the manager will still have an array of options. Players such as Long, McCarthy, Coleman and Hoolahan are just some of the top players at the new mans disposal, with many of them yet to display their full potential in the green of Ireland. Others such as Keane and Dunne still have a lot to give if they continue their international careers.

The new structure of Euro 2016 is also a major encouragement for the national team, with the tournament being opened up to 24 teams instead of the old 16 it gives teams like Ireland that extra chance of getting there. There has been a lot of doom and gloom around soccer in Ireland recently but with a good manager the right mentality and a bit of luck there’s no reason why Ireland can’t turn the corner and prosper in the coming years.