Ireland's UEFA Nations League campaign got off to the worst possible start this afternoon, falling to a very poor 1-0 defeat in Armenia.
It was a performance completely lacking any sort of rhythm from Stephen Kenny's side. They failed to put any sort of patterns of play together in attack, never creating any chances of real quality to put the home side under pressure. At the other end, they often failed to press the opposition, most notably for the only goal of the game.
Armenia take the lead thanks to a wonderful long-range effort from Eduard Spertsyan. Stephen Kenny’s side with it all to do in the final stages.
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Having built up some momentum over the last 12 months, the team are now under a bit of pressure heading into Wednesday's game against Ukraine.
They will certainly need to be far more cohesive up front if they are to get a result in that fixture.
Didi Hamann questions Ireland's attacking threat
Speaking on RTÉ after the game, Didi Hamann questioned Ireland's approach in attack, especially the way they failed to make any sort of impact from their set-pieces opportunities.
In the second half it was too casual. They let Armenia back into the game because they gave two or three easy balls away. All of a sudden they got the goal and started playing and looked like a good team, which they didn't before.
If you've got so much possession and play so much of the game in the other half. Apart from Ogbene, there was no threat whatsoever. No Parrott, no Robinson, Hendrick was poor today.
The subs who came on, Knight and Keane, they didn't do anything for the game. They didn't do anything positive, there was no goal threat. The only chances they had towards the end were from balls played in off the right by Ogbene. He played a couple of great balls in from the right on his left foot.
He has really been the shining light in the offence, apart from that there wasn't much. If you have four or five offensive players that are off colour it's very hard to score goals...
The thing I don't understand is that Ireland had about ten corners and five or six free-kicks crossed in from wide positions. They whipped the ball in and Cullen had a couple of good balls, but the majority weren't up to scratch.
Just hang a ball up and drive it in. We know how lethal is when he does. It's easier to anticipate where the ball is going to go if you just drive it in and let the defenders attack the ball.
If you can't score and do the same thing ten times, maybe do something else? These are little things, one set-piece can make all the difference. If you score the first goal you probably win the game or get a draw. That's what I didn't understand, that they didn't change their set-pieces.
Ireland certainly failed to capitalise on their advantage in this area, with Duffy, Egan, and Collins all major threats in the opposition penalty area. That will be a disappointment, but the way they failed to create any opportunities of note from open play will perhaps be an even bigger concern.
If they are to have any chance of topping this group, a win against Ukraine on Wednesday night is now a must. They will need a massively improved performance in order to come away with the three points.