Football

Keith Andrews Spares No Bullets With Criticism Of Martin O'Neill

Keith Andrews Spares No Bullets With Criticism Of Martin O'Neill

Keith Andrews has suggested that Ireland should move on from Martin O'Neill. Though, he does not think the FAI are in a position to do so.

"Where it is right now is he signed a contract in January and I would be amazed if the hierarchy are happy with that because if they were to change now, it would be too much of an outlay," Andrews said on Sky Sports following Ireland's defeat to Wales on Tuesday night.

"It's same old, same old. I can't see it changing, but do I think it should? Probably.

"It has been one of the worst years in living memory, in the last 10 to 15 years in Irish football, it really has, it's has been that bad.

"A lot of it is down to Martin, of course it is. There has been an old guard shift in the last few years, certain players retiring, top quality individual players that have made a difference in key areas at key times in games.

"You have to play the hand you are dealt. There is no transfer window, you can't go and buy players. I do agree certain players are missing but they should still be doing better over the last year."

Andrews thought the performance against Wales was an improvement on that against Denmark but overall he feels O'Neill is not getting enough from this group.

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He (O'Neill) mentioned about technical ability and we do lack in certain areas, there's no doubt about that, but they don't have a clue what they're doing.

Matt Doherty, when he is in a Wolves shirt, he drives down the right-hand side and knows Helder Costa or Jota are rolling inside. He knows the centre-forward is staying high and he has two or three options.

Here he is trying to conjure up something. The players that have shone in an Ireland jersey in the last five to ten years are the ones with that technical ability who can drop shoulders, let the picture open up a little bit.

Players like Hendrick, Arter, Cyrus Christie playing midfield - let's put that to one side for the minute because I don't agree with it - they need options, everything is off the cuff.

The goals again, he keeps going on about Robbie Keane, Robbie Keane - leave it. Before Robbie Keane came along, our top goalscorers got 20 goals in their international career. That's where we are, that's normal for our country. Robbie Keane was a one-0ff.

What you have to do is stop moaning about what you have and try to create a team spirit because the more they hear that, what's it going to do for their confidence?

You've seen the reaction from them at the end. The morale is rock bottom at the moment.

Andrews continued:

"In the second half, we stuck three players on and I used to hate that a club level. Stick an extra striker on having never worked on it in training. Shane Long was playing as a right winger by the end, but it just looks like it's all off the cuff. Have they worked on playing a narrow 4-3-3 in training? Absolutely not.

"These Plan A, B, C and D's need to be worked on and evidently they are not. It's a massive, massive struggle in every game. These players just need to be fine-tuned a little, but at the moment, it's not good."

See Also: Here's What Last Night's Disaster Means For Euro 2020 Qualifying

PJ Browne
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