Football

"They Are Not Doing Anything" - Richard Dunne Airs Concerns With Hendrick & Brady

"They Are Not Doing Anything" - Richard Dunne Airs Concerns With Hendrick & Brady

Former Republic of Ireland defender Richard Dunne has given his assessment of the disaster against Denmark on Tuesday night in his column for The Herald, and while most of the discussion in the aftermath of that damaging 1-5 defeat has been around the future of Martin O'Neill, Dunne believes that changing the manager is not the simple solution to our problems.

After giving the example of Aston Villa from his playing career, where he claims that the club fell apart after O'Neill's departure, Dunne expressed his desire for the manager to stay on, but to do so with a clear plan as to how we are going to set up tactically.

Even without looking at the calamitous second half against Denmark, this Irish side does not look like they spend a lot of time working on their shape or plan when in possession of the ball, and Dunne suggested that this is hindering the effectiveness of our better players like Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady.

Two of our finest performers at Euro 2016, we have not seen them at their best since then and Dunne believes finding a plan for them should be high on the list of priorities as they are currently not doing anything.

It might be a passing game, it might be the long ball, but once everyone knows what the plan is, that’s fine. The long ball worked for Jack Charlton, it doesn’t have to be pretty. Once the ball went into the opposition half, that’s when they started to pass it and that’s when they had success as you had bodies running up in support. But this Ireland team doesn’t do that.

You need to find a way to get the likes of Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick into games because they are not doing anything at the moment, and maybe that’s from their fear of playing for Ireland, or the tactics they are told to use.

They are two of our best players and we need to utilise them better than we are now.

Hendrick suffers in the Irish midfield as spends most of his time battling for headers or watching the ball fly high over his head, while Robbie Brady often looks like he is being asked to play three or four positions at once.

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Dunne also believes that Hendrick must share some of the responsibility for the first goal as he reacted late to the short corner.

For the first goal, the way that Jeff Hedrick was late running out to help defend the corner and the position he took going to the wrong opposing player, was a mistake and it’s up to the players and the manager to sort out where the fault was.

The way we played in the qualifying campaign wasn’t great but still no one expected a defensive performance as bad as the one we gave on Tuesday.

He's not wrong. Brady and Hendrick are two of the most talented players we have at our disposal, and yet have looked like some of our least effective players in recent times.

We wouldn't have made it to the playoff without Hendrick's work for the goal in Cardiff, but moments like that were few and far between over the campaign and if we are to have any success going forward we need to find a system that can make our talented players shine.

You can read Dunne's assesment of the Denmark game in full over on Independent.ie.

Mikey Traynor

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