Germany simply in a different league despite Ireland’s best efforts
Noel King’s line-up battled valliantly but gulf in class was always likely to tell
James McCarthy didn’t look out of place going up against the brilliant German midfielders. He worked like a man possessed. But McCarthy was the only player pressing them early on. They were under zero pressure when on the ball. We stood off them which is so very un-Irish.
Marc Wilson is a decent enough defender but he is too one-sided a player to make any impact as a midfielder. He is too predictable. I saw something similar watching him play for Stoke. He struggles to switch the play under pressure and that’s an essential trait for any midfielder.
Darron Gibson is a completely different player. Give him the ball and he’ll run you the game. But that was never going to happen last night. It needs to on Tuesday.
Gibson’s set piece move before half-time almost caught Manuel Neuer out. Not that I think it was a pre-planned free kick. He seemed to see the opportunity and hit it to the far post. It was a good ball and Ciaran Clark did well to get a header on it.
Anthony Stokes should’ve scored from the rebound but fluffed the attempted volley. You don’t get another goal chance like that against Germany. Well, actually, he did but Neuer brilliantly saved it.
Our set piece looks like a brand new weapon with Gibson picking out Clark, Kevin Doyle and Damien Delaney.
Germany have so many good players, so much power, and are so impressive.Schürrle was their best performer on the night. Close attention was given to Ozil and others but the Chelsea man was a nightmare to contain.
His second goal made for a very difficult last half hour.
But there was plenty of long term Irish prospects out there. Like Clark. I think he can become the bedrock of our defence for many, many years. He is still learning his trade as an international centre half. This was an important experience for him. Same goes for Coleman.
In the end it became a race between Ireland’s waning energy levels and the Germans desire to press for a third goal. We were just hanging in as they achieved qualification. They are good enough to win next summer’s tournament.
Now, back to us. Against Kazakhstan we must go out to play and create. Not contain. That means a place should be found for Andy Reid, McClean, McGeady or Wes Hoolahan. Maybe two of them. Robbie Keane might be back too. Then we can start planning for the future.