Football

Richard Dunne: 'Everyone Looks At The Euros And Thinks It Was Brilliant, But It Wasn't That Good'

Richard Dunne: 'Everyone Looks At The Euros And Thinks It Was Brilliant, But It Wasn't That Good'

From the heights of Euro 2016, the 2-2 draw in Serbia led to our spirits being dampened to a level similar to that of the pitch. As the rain sheeted down in Belgrade, the stats emerged afterwards: Ireland completed just 94 passes in over 94 minutes of football, as our failure to retain both the football and our composure led to the squandering of an early lead.

There were some similarities between Monday night and the Euros: we took an early lead and sat back on it, ultimately conceding, and showed our spirit for late goals with that late Murphy equaliser.

Yet the contrast in emotion was stark: and many of us came away questioning whether it was one point gained or two points dropped.

Balls.ie spoke to Richard Dunne today, at the launch of the #PowerOfGreen campaign, who believes that it was a good result for Ireland, comparing it favourably to the performances at the Euros:

I think everyone looks at the Euros with rose tinted glasses and thinks it was brilliant, and it is wonderful, but it wasn't that good. We did well: we got a good result against a second Italian team, really, and we were hammered by Belgium. We played really well against Sweden for a while, then we scored and sat back. In the France game, we scored and people got tired, but we lost our shape and got run a bit ragged. There were periods in all games where we passed the ball nicely, and periods where we hit the ball long.

But because it was so positive and we got caught up in the whole thing, it was a really good tournament, and it was a successful tournament. But if you were to analyse the games individually, and then look at the Serbia game, and if you add the atmosphere and the situation to the Serbia game, you'd say well look, we got a draw against Serbia in a European tournament and we fought back, it's great.

It was the energy we showed in France, rather than the performance, with young players breaking through and making a name for themselves, it's that what we need to, sort of, cling on to.

Hopefully, the Serbia game will prove to be another of those determined Irish draws away from home which we come to treasure as being crucial come the end of the campaign.

Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of another of these: Ireland's 0-0 draw in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Moscow, and we asked Dunne for his recollection of his famous performance, and all that went with it:

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It was a bit... weird. Coming off, then smacking your head, going back on, then being sent back off to have someone draw a number on your back, you're thinking, 'is this even necessary'. But it was a really good draw for us. The week before we had played Slovakia, I think, on the Friday beforehand in Dublin, and I missed a sitter in the last minute.

A cross came in and I missed it, so you're thinking 'Shit'. Then your head's down for the whole weekend, and you're trying to hide in the hotel so nobody will see you. Then three days later it all changes: you feel really good about yourself, the result was positive and the performance was really good, and you feel happy.

Now, there are so many memories that people bring up, and say 'oh, you had loads of red cards and scored loads of own goals' so it's nice to have this one thing once a year. It's something to be proud of.

Richard Dunne was speaking at the launch of SSE Airtricity's #PowerOfGreen campaign. To celebrate the #PowerOfGreen, all customers who switch to SSE Airtricity will receive €120 credit, as well as 10% off their home energy. 

See Also: "You'd Notice Him If He Wasn't There" - Explaining Why Managers Love Glenn Whelan

 

 

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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