Ken Early: New era begins with oldest of old-school equalisers

Shane Duffy left it late to make up for his role in Bulgaria’s goal in Sofia

Ireland captain Shane Duffy tackles Bulgaria’s Galin Ivanov during the  Uefa Nations League match in Sofia. Photograph: Vassil Donev/EPA

Ireland captain Shane Duffy tackles Bulgaria’s Galin Ivanov during the Uefa Nations League match in Sofia. Photograph: Vassil Donev/EPA

The politics of succession are delicate: how many veterans can you cull in one go? An experienced player who loses his place to a younger rival is unlikely to forget or forgive; 15 years later he’ll probably still be doing bitter interviews about how your training sessions were basic and the step-up to international level was too much for a manager of your pedigree.

You certainly don’t want to have to go crawling back to that experienced player after your much-hyped youngsters have lost their first couple of games. Better to give the experienced ones a chance to show they can stay relevant to the team.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.