Gary Breen joined OTB AM ahead of England-Ireland at Wembley this evening, and believes that the rivalry is not what it was.
With the possibility of former under-age Ireland stars Jack Grealish and Declan Rice line out for England, it is a far cry from when the two teams had a venomous regard for one another.
Seeing the bigger picture - stamping authority on the squad - not looking at it like a qualifier or game at the championships
"England are capable of [comfortably beating] some of the top teams in the world, if they click on the evening, so that is a concern.
"But those players shouldn't be thinking like that - I heard Seamus Coleman's bullish cry to not have an inferiority complex.
"The Wales and Bulgaria games are the ones of more importance, but when you are playing England it always grabs the attention. But this one hasn't, maybe it is the hastily-put together nature of the games or the fact that there are no fans there.
"But even listening to some of the younger lads, I noticed that they don't put a game against England on a pedestal the way that people of our generation do.
"I wonder if that is indicative of the younger generations of Ireland fans; that they don't really go on about like we did.
"The games when I was growing up in the late '80s and early '90s were iconic games, but I wonder if that was just a sign of the times as growing up in London as an Irish boy."
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Breen believes that Ireland were at least a match for England coming into their first taste of European and world competition in 1988 and 1990.
"Even in those games in '88 where even the media were so dismissive of Ireland, the reality of it was that we were so competitive. We had three Liverpool title-winners in that, compared to England's two.
"Then I would look at my position at centre-half where we had the likes of Mark Lawrenson, David O'Leary and Paul McGrath. They were at very worst the equal of Tony Adams, Des Walker and Mark Wright.
"Although people had us down as underdogs back then, we were such a good team."
The lack of a crowd tonight contrasts with one of Breen's favourite Ireland memories as a fan.
"I would love to keep that 35-year unbeaten run going, I really would - for bragging rights, if nothing else. It will be a difficult challenge.
"Those games at the end of '88 and in the '90s were great battles. I listened to the interview with Tony Cascarino - he spoke so openly at times that it was a brilliant listen.
"But I thought back to his equaliser against England - the header is briliant - but just watch the crowd's reaction. It was unbelievable.
"I hadn't seen that goal for ages, but I watched it back and though 'that was why I was so desperate to play for Ireland in front of the Irish fans, for that reaction.
"It was an unbelievable goal!!