Football

Kevin Doyle Explains How Throw-In Issues Sum Up Ireland's Failings

Kevin Doyle Explains How Throw-In Issues Sum Up Ireland's Failings

While Ireland may only be one win away from the Euros, it has to be said that things don't look great at the minute. Our complete inability to keep the ball has become a real issue and it looks Ireland like don't have any real attacking game plan.

That is a big problem, especially for a team who have aspirations to qualify for major tournaments. If this issue is not resolved you would find it difficult to see how Mick McCarthy's side could beat Denmark next month.

Our defence is reasonably solid, but that seems to come at the expense of any attacking flair. It is something that has long plagued Ireland teams, but things don't really seem to be improving.

Speaking on The Buildup podcast this week, Kevin Doyle said that Ireland seem to completely disregard the attacking side of the game.

We concentrate so much on defending, being solid and being good at set-pieces, and maybe thinking that the rest of it will look after itself. It's not that hard to close down from the front, it just takes a bit of preparation.

We don't seem to concentrate on the other side of it. That's not just Mick McCarthy, that's all the Ireland managers. Maybe it's all they have time to do in a week, that we don't have enough time to both sides of it so let's just get solid.

I love the way Liverpool play, and we don't have the players that Liverpool have, but a lot of their work is purely hard work away from the ball right up the pitch. We do have players that would be able to do that .

That's always what I hate with Ireland. We would always go 1-0 or 2-0 down and come back, and everyone would say 'how come you played well when you went behind?' I think we should do that from the start.

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There are any number of examples where you can illustrate Ireland's lack of attacking prowess, but one way is via throw-ins.

For most teams, throw-ins are an almost guaranteed way to retain possession. It's as simple as playing a one-two and getting on with the attack. This is rarely the case for Ireland, who seem to lose possession in the vast majority of cases. It is small things like this which add up to the bigger picture.

Kevin Doyle thinks that this summarises Ireland's issues perfectly.

It's not rocket science. You don't have to work that hard to get a throw-in right, it's about the closest person running to the ball and taking it quickly before the other team is set up.

We're so regimented in that the fullbacks have to come up and take, and we have to be set up and organised in case we give the throw away and they break on us.

By us trying to be organised, it gives the other team a chance to get back into position and makes it more difficult for us to take the throw. That's instead of the ball going out of play, the closest person to it sprints to it, takes the throw-in and everyone moves on quickly.

We're the opposite with Ireland, and that's probably always been the case with Ireland, of no everyone get organised, let the fullbacks take it like there's some sort of rule that they have to take it.

Then nobody really wants it because you're marked, we're not playing well and lads are lacking confidence. They're not making great movements for it and we end up throwing it down the line and losing it.

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Gary Connaughton

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