We don't have the players or the right tactics
SOCCER ANALYST:Ireland have had this coming and this was even worse than the nightmares in Poland and Astana
IN FOOTBALL you get what you deserve but it needs to be established right away that this was a Championship team up against an elite Champions League side. We sat back and invited the Germans on and, boy, did they accept the offer.
They devoured us but what choice did we have? To go at them all guns blazing – as we tried to do very briefly only saw us exposed by their pace.
All Nicola Rizzoli, the Italian referee, managed to do last night was enrage Marco Reus, a mildly surprising starter ahead of Lukas Podolski. The Borussia Dortmund winger shredded our hopes in eight miserable minutes before the interval and a really tough night followed.
I hoped that the Germans would play more casually for the second half but they are too ruthless a football nation to allow that to happen. They gave a severely damaged Republic of Ireland squad – by retirement and injury – a beating we won’t forget for many a year. A 6-1 defeat will stay with us although many will quickly bury it and not return.
I looked around at half-time and saw the empty premium section as those who have expense tickets went indoors for some warmth. We can expect the seats high above them to be increasingly empty as this campaign goes on.
But we simply do not have the players to trouble Germany.
It very quickly became a man-to-man job last night, with my focus trained on Keith Fahey as the former St Patrick’s Athletic man went straight to Mesut Ozil of Real Madrid.
It confirmed my worry that Trapattoni doesn’t know his own players as well as he should. I’ve seen Fahey impress in plenty of roles over the years but never have I seen him tasked with minding the opposition’s most creative player. Keith was playing far too deep for his natural creativity to influence proceedings.
Not that his partners in the midfield trio – Keith Andrews and James McCarthy – were able to control the tempo either. That was another pre-match hope.
It never even came close to happening because they were overrun by superior opponents. We must accept that.
We must also accept McCarthy and Fahey are severely lacking the experience required to hold their own against world-class midfielders. Roy Keane at his best might, with John Giles and Liam Brady, have made a difference.
What became evident after a while was that Ozil was not going to allow Fahey follow him everywhere. His movement was outstanding, as was every German player. The tempo increased as the Germans found their rhythm after 15 minutes and the threat of goals hung in the air. And they duly came.