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Soccer

"People are sick of watching them" | Ireland in urgent need of change

In the aftermath of a disappointing week for the Republic of Ireland, Damien Delaney is hopeful t...



Soccer

"People are sick of watching them" | Ireland in urgent need of change

In the aftermath of a disappointing week for the Republic of Ireland, Damien Delaney is hopeful that the performances against Georgia and Switzerland can spark a wake-up call for the country's footballing fortunes. 

As it stands, Mick McCarthy's Republic of Ireland remains one win away from securing their place at the 2020 European Championships.

Defeat Denmark in Dublin next month, and Damien Delaney believes McCarthy's remit will have been fulfilled: "He is exactly where he wanted to be now, has one big game left in Dublin and will be hoping for a special night."

Beyond that, however, the former Irish international shared his deeper concerns for the state of Irish football.

Regularly outplayed by opponents of a greater and lesser standard throughout this qualifying campaign, the 0-0 draw with Georgia and 2-0 defeat to Switzerland must now serve as a much-needed wake-up call.

"Nobody is complaining about where we are in this scenario that's been created," asserted Delaney of the opportunity Ireland still have to qualify, "I think what people are a little bit upset with is how we've got here.

"It's a good thing that the Irish public are finally waking up and thinking, 'Hang on, maybe we are a little bit better than what we're showing.'

"You're never going to get that with Mick McCarthy in charge because he has a certain way of playing the game and that's why he got hired by the FAI."

Brought in with the strict instruction to qualify Ireland for the European Championships, McCarthy has generally absolved himself of the responsibility to develop the country's talented youngsters.

Tracing the stylistic choices of successive Irish managers, Delaney highlighted why it is of essential importance that such a trend ends with McCarthy.

"At the minute, when players get on the ball, they just seem to hesitate because they're just not sure," he argued.

"It's been like this since [Giovanni] Trapattoni 10-years ago, and as I said earlier, it's a good thing that the Irish public is finally waking up and looking at this.

"I think people are sick of watching Ireland play football the way we play it. You see other countries with fewer resources, smaller populations and worse players, and they can do it.

"Why can't we do it?! It's going to take a manager who comes in with a brand new vision, and maybe it might take having one qualifying campaign when we're building something special, but you can't turn water into wine overnight.

"We can see what Stephen Kenny has done with the U21s already and they're playing a nice brand of football, and we're hoping he can do that with the senior squad."

Watch back the entirety of Damien Delaney's post-match recap here

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Damien Delaney Mick McCarthy Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny