Football

"It's Ingrained In Them"- Damien Duff's Extremely Irish View On Australia's Ambitious Play-Style

"It's Ingrained In Them"- Damien Duff's Extremely Irish View On Australia's Ambitious Play-Style

We've been enjoying Republic of Ireland legend Damien Duff's work on RTÉ's coverage of the Confederations Cup so far, as the former Chelsea man changed his tune on video assistant referees in the space of two hours during Sunday's game.

He was on duty again on Monday alongside Didi Hamann as Australia took on Germany in what proved to be a highly entertaining game, but with the Aussies trailing 2-1 at half-time, Duffer was unimpressed with their approach to the game.

Australia were trying to play out from the back, and were caught out on several occasions. This is something Duff noticed a lot of during his time in the A-League, and he gave what comes across as an incredibly Irish take on that idea as he expressed his desire to see them just boot the ball to safety every now and again.

I don't know whether you'd call it [a lack of] composure or just plain quality I don't know, they keep trying to play out from the back but Sainsbury, Wright, and Degenek, they don't have the quality to do it.

When you think of top centre-halves like Hummels, Boateng, Pique, these teams can play and do this, Australia can't and sometimes it should be, ya know, OK let's get up the pitch and gets seconds.

Over in Australia it's ingrained in them to play out this way, when I was there, I've seen centre-halves standing at corner flags, they're not great on the ball but they get it off the keeper standing at the corner flag and they try and play, very rarely get out, and then they give away a chance and concede a goal.

If I'm the goalkeeper and I'm pulling strings and I'm vocal, I'd just say 'Listen lads, let's get up the pitch'.

Less of that farting around at the back for Duffer!

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He's got a point, as the footage of Australia losing possession in their own third while Duff was talking backed up what he was saying, but they also managed to score two goals against a German side, which has not been done since the semi-final of Euro 2016. The final score was a respectable 3-2 loss.

In Ireland's most recent World Cup qualifier against Austria, David Alaba wasn't too impressed with our long-ball tactics, but any time Shane Duffy did try and play out from the back it seemed to cause panic and confusion. Had we stuck with that tactic we would never have gotten a result, but playing out from the back is certainly not 'Plan A' for Ireland, in fact it's closer to G or H.

But it is the go-to for the Aussies, and they don't look like changing anytime soon.

Mikey Traynor

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