Football

Welsh And English Media Highlight "Keane Factor" In Reaction To Ireland/Wales

Welsh And English Media Highlight "Keane Factor" In Reaction To Ireland/Wales

Ireland ultimately battled their way to a point as valuable as it was costly: this will be the World Cup qualifier that will be forever blemished by Seamus Coleman's broken leg.

Such was the extent of the injury, the football shrunk in its shadow, meaning the practical benefits of a draw for Ireland have been largely relegated to an after-thought: although we've dropped to second in the group, we are level on points with Serbia, and four points clear of Wales and Austria. Three of Ireland's remaining five games are in Dublin, two of which are against Serbia and Austria. Wales, meanwhile, have won just once all campaign, and now face a trip to Serbia without Gareth Bale.

Here's how the Welsh and English media reacted to an ill-tempered night in Dublin 4.

Wales Online admit that the draw makes Wales' task in qualifying more difficult, but praised their side's spirit when reduced to ten men:

Wales lost their cool but did not lose the game. And it might just mean they have not yet lost their World Cup chance. But, make no mistake about this, it is not going to be easy for Chris Coleman's side if they are to make it to Russia next summer....

...But, after Neil Taylor's red card for an awful tackle – of sorts – on Seamus Coleman left Wales with ten men for the final 22 minutes at the Aviva, they were singing songs of defiance at not suffering a further blow. They didn't crumble, didn't concede, didn't lose.

 

The same website, in their 'Things We Learned' section, outline the "Keane factor" in contributing to a tempestuous clash:

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Roy Keane, the Irish assistant manager, said before the game he wanted to see the men in green get stuck into the tackle and the players certainly took him at his word in the first half....

....A couple of the challenges were bang out of order, mind. Shane Long charged into Ashley Williams way after he had cleared the ball and could easily have been yellow carded.

Glenn Whelan was lucky not to see red after a clear elbow on Joe Allen. The two men, Stoke team-mates, exchanged angry words. So much for club friendship!

Mind, Keane could quite rightly point to those horror challenges by Bale and Taylor in the second half.

Perhaps Wales felt they needed to stick up for themselves a bit more after being on the wrong end of robust challenges before the break.

Luke Edwards of the Telegraph also highlighted the Keane factor, with the assistant manager's pre-game words a constant thread throughout his a match report more flowing than its subject:

It was that sort of evening. Ireland designed a game plan to drag Chris Coleman’s side into this sort of fight. When assistant manager Roy Keane claimed the only way to stop Wales’ star man Gareth Bale is to hit him… fairly the visitors knew what was coming....

...Each time the challenge was fair, but it hurt. Ireland were following Keane’s instructions perfectly. Wales were poor, Bale was ruffled. The contest became bogged down in a midfield skirmish.

Elsewhere, Stuart James of the Guardian writes that Wales didn't do enough to earn victory:

Ultimately, though, Wales never did enough. They had plenty of possession, especially in a first half when Ireland sat deep, with everyone behind the ball at times apart from Shane Long, but Wales lacked that creative spark. The game passed Aaron Ramsey by, Hal Robson-Kanu was withdrawn at half-time and Bale was well short of his best.

See Also: Chris Coleman Fires Back At Ireland In "Tense" Press Conference

See Also: Didi Hamann's Message For Anyone Who Thinks Gareth Bale Didn't Deserve A Red

 

 

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

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