"I don't like the look of it" - Brian Kerr pinpoints the shortcomings in Ireland's attacking plan

Former Ireland manager discusses the fallout from the Austria match

BY Raf Diallo 19:50 Monday 12 June 2017, 19:50 12 Jun 2017

Ireland’s Jonathan Walters celebrates with Shane Duffy after scoring a goal ©INPHO/Tommy Grealy

Former Ireland manager Brian Kerr feels the 1-1 draw against Austria on Sunday highlighted a lack of attacking plan beyond getting the ball from back to front as quickly and directly as possible.

Kerr feels the Boys in Green deserved a draw but that it was a case of "battering Austria into submission in the second half" with a direct approach and that the tactic, in contrast to Austria's more constructive style of play, was to "boot it up to Walters and hope for the best".

The story of the campaign so far has been that Ireland have gone unbeaten, winning three and drawing three times but performances leave much to be desired.

Speaking to Off The Ball, Kerr isn't satisfied with the general approach, admitting that he "doesn't like it" and "doesn't like the look of it".

"We've three wins and three draws and we're in with a great chance of winning the group. And maybe that's what satisfies the public. It doesn't particularly satisfy me. I wouldn't be paying in to watch it now, I have to say," said Kerr, adding that "it's generally not very easy on the eye". 

He also feels that from an observer's view point, the attacking approach and plan "looks off the cuff".

"I wonder what the attitude is of the team and what the preparation is. Is there never any practice in the training towards a style of play? Well, then it's off the cuff stuff when you go out and play the match," he said.

"Our first plan seems to be let it be off the cuff but put the opposition under pressure somehow or other. There doesn't seem to be any intent on 'let's try and build a way up, nice and smart and fast through midfield to get it up to the front players'. It just seems to be, welly it up in the general direction of Walters or Long and we work from there and if any football breaks out, so be it."

And he added that the reason he would push for the inclusion of Wes Hoolahan, who came on as a sub, is that he can add that element of footballing thought into the midfield approach and can spark team-mates like Robbie Brady.

Kerr also picked out how uncertain Jeff Hendrick looked in his role in midfield, before the shape was tweaked and felt the referee made excellent decisions, including for the disallowed goal.

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