Team Analysis: Ireland16th Jun 2016 |
|Best results in international competitions:||Quarter finals in 1990 world cup. Group stage in Euros 1988 and 2012|
|Fierce rivals:||England, Scotland, Northern Ireland|
|Odds to win the Euros:|
Ireland has always been in the shadow of their English neighbours when it comes to football. The fact that Irish club football is only semi-professional at best gives them a harder time finding local players. This means that a lot of their players are born and raised in England or Scotland.
The team and their chances
But this is not a bad thing, for they have some rather good players from the English Premier League. In fact, everyone except veteran Robbie Keane plays in England. We’re talking about lower half clubs, except for Seamus Coleman (Everton). Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Brady (both Norwich), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) and James McClean (West Brom) were all playing in Premier League this year, but Villa and Norwich will not be there next year. Ireland’s greatest strength is not on the pitch, though, but on the bench. Martin O’Neill is in many ways a football genius. He proved this in the best way possible during his time at Celtic. I would have given Ireland a fair chance at reaching the round of 16 before the championship, but after a draw against Sweden I’m afraid that their fate is sealed.