Football

Richard Dunne Baffled By Irish Players 'Afraid To Commit To A Challenge'

Richard Dunne Baffled By Irish Players 'Afraid To Commit To A Challenge'

On the seventh anniversary of Richard Dunne's heroics in Moscow, the Republic of Ireland slumped to a 4-1 defeat in Cardiff that will only serve to heighten the pressure on Martin O'Neill.

With two games against Denmark and the return leg against Wales yet to come in the UEFA Nations League, the former Manchester City man is unsure what Ireland fans can feasibly hope for in light of this latest performance.

Writing in the Irish Independent, Dunne believes yesterday's defeat signaled "as worrying a performance as I have seen from Ireland in a long time."

On what was Ryan Giggs' first competitive game in charge of his native country, Wales, despite the obvious advantage of having Gareth Bale, nevertheless looked considerably beyond Ireland's reach; a far cry from the two clashes between these sides as they attempted to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

For Dunne, the scoreline "was probably a touch flattering for Ireland," and looking forward, he doesn't seem too confident that Irish fans should expect a change of pace anytime soon.

"It’s becoming very evident that Ireland just do not have the players of the calibre that they used to have and while that sounds terribly depressing, there has to be a realism as to the situation that Ireland find themselves in."

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Additionally, Richard Dunne singled out the reluctance "to commit to a challenge" - a cardinal sin that "Ireland teams of the past would never have [considered]."

Looking ahead, Dunne doesn't suspect the altogether different challenge of Poland in an international friendly will offer any kind of respite for O'Neill's men.

The long winter of discontent may only be getting started.

See Also: Ireland And O'Neill Stuck In The Past And Shown Up By Giggs' Attacking Plan

Arthur James O'Dea

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