Dreams of a new beginning or another nightmare
This was my chance to give it a go. Sadly, it failed miserably and had to be abandoned at half-time as Kevin Kilbane, Matt Holland and Stephen Reid were led on a merry dance by the brilliant Pirlo – yes, him again – De Rossi and Gattuso.
It was a Wednesday game and we only had one fully-attended session but I obviously failed to communicate my vision with the necessary clarity to my midfield trio. I didn’t deal with the Pirlo threat properly. I should have pushed a man up on him, like Xavi did in the Euro final.
Like most people, I find it hard to understand Trapattoni in interviews. Despite the hand signals and furious use of words I am often baffled by his actual meaning.
Of his training sessions, I only get glimpses of the coach running about on television clips, issuing dramatic instructions. I can’t help wondering if the players understand him or is he just doing it for show because the cameras are rolling.
If you can’t understand a fella indoors how will you have a clue what he is saying on the windy Malahide landscape? I hope the message gets across for Andrews, McCarthy and Fahey to gel. Same goes for Aiden McGeady, Simon Cox and Jonathan Walters.
Not that I agree with Walters starting as the lone striker. Even if Robbie Keane was fit, it should be Shane Long who leads the line.
His determination and mobility, as proven in the Premiership, upsets defenders.
At least we won’t be outnumbered. Our midfield trio are good on the ball if they are trusted with possession by the back four. Too often in Kazakhstan, McCarthy’s ability to control play was ignored as long balls were knocked up to Walters.
But my main concern isn’t midfield or attack. This is the first time in many a year that we go into a big game without Shay Given or our colossus Richard Dunne minding the fort.
Even the generally steady Sean St Ledger is absent. Darren O’Dea has struggled with the physicality of big centre forwards and will be under severe pressure to hold the wily old gunslinger Miroslav Klose.
My pals in the Faroes told me they got a few chances in their recent 3-0 defeat. So we will too.
A tough night lies ahead but we should have more possession than usual. The new formation won’t cure all our ills but at least our football diehards have been sated.
For everyone’s sake, I hope the instructions have been relayed with clarity this week.
No Keane, Dunne, Given, Duff or Kevin Doyle so others must stand up.
There is hope of a new beginning or maybe I’m just a dreamer.