After a fairly dire 2020, it's safe to say that many Ireland supporters are glad to see the back of international football for the rest of the year. A record of eight games, one goal, and zero wins is enough to turn off even the most fervent of fans.
The UEFA Nations League games against Wales and Bulgaria were disappointing, but the friendly loss to England was especially disappointing. Ireland lacked any sort of intensity in the game, looking like they all but folded after England scored the first goal.
In the end, it was a fixture that neither side got much from. It would make you wonder why it was played in the first place.
International friendlies seem like a needless addition to the calendar in the current climate, an opinion shared by Paul Merson.
Speaking on Sky Sports this afternoon, he said that he would remove international friendlies from the calendar. He also used to opportunity to ask why Ireland have regressed so much in recent years.
The problem with the idea of bringing five subs back is that the big teams aren’t even using the three they’ve been given right now.
It’s okay complaining about the workload on players. But why are we playing the Republic of Ireland in a pointless friendly then?
Let’s be honest. Our B team could have beaten Ireland. What’s the point? It’s a shame what’s happened to Irish football. I don’t know where the players have gone. It’s sad.
And then we play Iceland in a total dead rubber when we can’t qualify for the Nations League finals any more, so it’s a total waste of time.
We just shouldn’t be playing all these meaningless games. It’s not about five subs and helping the big teams out. It’s about not playing so many games.
Even just training with England takes it out of you. It’s not like training with your club. It’s intense.
Everyone is trying to impress and they don’t have long to make an impression. You come back mentally drained.