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Ray Houghton
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Territorial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2020 at 10:04pm
Originally posted by tetsujin1979 tetsujin1979 wrote:

Michael O'Neill would have been sacked from any other international team before the 2016 qualifiers - the win in the first qualifier against Hungary was only his second in the nineteen games he'd been in charge for at that stage, a thirty three month run that included losses to Luxembourg and Azerbaijan. The only other win was an admittedly impressive 1-0 victory against Russia, more than a year previously. The team had only scored three goals in the 12 months leading up to the same game in Budapest, two of them in the loss to Luxembourg.

There were a number of reasons why he wasn't sacked, some "allowable", some not.

Re the latter, you have to remember that results, performances, player morale and crowds had been terrible before he took over, so expectations amongst the IFA were accordingly lowered. Plus the IFA didn't want the expense of sacking/replacing him.

Re the former, he still "had the dressing room" (i.e. players were heeding call-ups where previously they would pull out with 'Ryan-Giggs-Hamstring').

More importantly, while results were terrible, performances were undoubtedly much better - in several games, we came away wondering how the hell we'd only drawn, or got beaten.
For example, we went out to Portugal (Ronaldo and all) and were leading 1-0 from half an hour until Postiga got a scrappy, hardly-deserved equalizer ten minutes from time. Then in the home game, we fell behind early but turned it round to go 2-1 up, before Brunt AND Lafferty got sent off, meaning with 9 vs 10 (Portugal also had a red card), a half-fit Ronaldo now had space to score three goals in the last 20 minutes .
Home to Luxembourg, we took the lead early, battered them but couldn't score a second, then they got a breakaway equaliser with 4 minutes to go. And in the away game, we took the lead early, thought we had it won, then were suckered by two Luxy goals (fair play to them) before McAuley equalised with 10 minutes left. At this point we should have closed it down, but no, McAuley took a fit of the head staggers, went charging forward for the winner and they scored their third from a long ball through the middle of our defence in the dying minutes

In fact, conceding late was a blight on that campaign - as Michael pointed out afterwards, had games finished after 75 minutes, we'd have had seven(?) extra points and the group table would have looked far more respectable.

All that said, I have it on good authority that had we lost our final qualifier in Israel, Michael's position was under real threat, but we got a decent enough draw, he survived and the rest is history. Thumbs Up


Edited by Territorial - 19 Mar 2020 at 10:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Territorial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2020 at 10:09pm
Originally posted by Green Cockade Green Cockade wrote:

A lot of fans wanted Michael O'Neill sacked but he turned it round very impressively with a limited squad playing a certain way and giving their all. Managers are too often victims of short termism and even Alex Ferguson came perilously close to premature oblivion at Old Trafford.

Some did, no doubt, but fewer than you might expect considering the results.

Certainly, there was never the vitriol against him that his predecessor Worthington had suffered.

Agree about short-termism, though.

Originally posted by Green Cockade Green Cockade wrote:

I don't always agree with Mick McCarthy's team selections - for some unfathomable reason he never consults me before he picks his teams, or asks my advice on tactics - but I accept he knows a bit more about it than the average public house loudmouth.

Fair enough, but he's not being paid to know more about the game than the average public house loudmouth, he's being paid to know more than the manager in the opposition dugout, who in most cases is being paid a helluva lot less than Mick.




Edited by Territorial - 19 Mar 2020 at 10:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King_Kenny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 12:03am
Originally posted by Green Cockade Green Cockade wrote:

A lot of fans wanted Michael O'Neill sacked but he turned it round very impressively with a limited squad playing a certain way and giving their all. Managers are too often victims of short termism and even Alex Ferguson came perilously close to premature oblivion at Old Trafford. I don't always agree with Mick McCarthy's team selections - for some unfathomable reason he never consults me before he picks his teams, or asks my advice on tactics-but I accept he knows a bit more about it than the average public house loudmouth. The fate of Ipswich since he left should provide a salutary lesson.
Jesus wept! Give him another 10 years then. Pub loudmouths. Post up your ticket receipts !
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Mick is still manager in 2024 in my Football manager 2020 save game 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Brick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 2:24am
Originally posted by Left foot Left foot wrote:

Originally posted by Territorial Territorial wrote:

Originally posted by Mr Brick Mr Brick wrote:

"To also suggest that we are ranked 3rd and that it would only be a bonus if we did better is an astonishing ridiculous position."
Nothing astonishing or ridiculous. We were ranked third and we finished third.

For the 2016 Euro Qualifiers, NI were ranked 5th in our group.

We ended up finishing top, something which had never been done before by any team, with 6 wins, 3 draws and 1 defeat (away to Romania).

I mention this because in an interview the other day, Michael O'Neill admitted that on taking over the NI job:

"In my heart of hearts, I didn't believe Northern Ireland had a strong enough squad to qualify for a tournament. I didn't think we had enough players at a high enough level to qualify, but I did think we could be competitive."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51933114

Make of that what you will.


If we just applied Bricks logic, playing the games is something of a pointless exercise. 

How teams are ranked before a tournament is not used as a prediction as to where they will finish but rather a current standing to group teams based on a current snapshot.

Mr Brick, frequently wrong but never in doubt. 

Yes Lefty, it's a snapshot based on performances over a set period. It's also a valuable  neutral reflection of how others rate us - in this case EUFA (using FIFA rankings) being the ultimate adjudicator. They graded us third in our group. Naturally, every country wants to perform above its ranking. Otherwise, as you suggest, it's a worthless exercise. Frustration arises when supporter expectation overtakes optimism - and  pragmatism gets the boot. I don't think it was unreasonable to believe we could have automatically qualified - but it also was no surprise that we didn't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Brick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 2:28am
Originally posted by King_Kenny King_Kenny wrote:

Originally posted by Green Cockade Green Cockade wrote:

A lot of fans wanted Michael O'Neill sacked but he turned it round very impressively with a limited squad playing a certain way and giving their all. Managers are too often victims of short termism and even Alex Ferguson came perilously close to premature oblivion at Old Trafford. I don't always agree with Mick McCarthy's team selections - for some unfathomable reason he never consults me before he picks his teams, or asks my advice on tactics-but I accept he knows a bit more about it than the average public house loudmouth. The fate of Ipswich since he left should provide a salutary lesson.
Jesus wept! Give him another 10 years then. Pub loudmouths. Post up your ticket receipts !

Well said, Green Cockade. Excellent non-loudmouth contribution.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Brick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 2:59am
Originally posted by Territorial Territorial wrote:

Originally posted by tetsujin1979 tetsujin1979 wrote:

Michael O'Neill would have been sacked from any other international team before the 2016 qualifiers - the win in the first qualifier against Hungary was only his second in the nineteen games he'd been in charge for at that stage, a thirty three month run that included losses to Luxembourg and Azerbaijan. The only other win was an admittedly impressive 1-0 victory against Russia, more than a year previously. The team had only scored three goals in the 12 months leading up to the same game in Budapest, two of them in the loss to Luxembourg.

There were a number of reasons why he wasn't sacked, some "allowable", some not.

Re the latter, you have to remember that results, performances, player morale and crowds had been terrible before he took over, so expectations amongst the IFA were accordingly lowered. Plus the IFA didn't want the expense of sacking/replacing him.

Re the former, he still "had the dressing room" (i.e. players were heeding call-ups where previously they would pull out with 'Ryan-Giggs-Hamstring').

More importantly, while results were terrible, performances were undoubtedly much better - in several games, we came away wondering how the hell we'd only drawn, or got beaten.
For example, we went out to Portugal (Ronaldo and all) and were leading 1-0 from half an hour until Postiga got a scrappy, hardly-deserved equalizer ten minutes from time. Then in the home game, we fell behind early but turned it round to go 2-1 up, before Brunt AND Lafferty got sent off, meaning with 9 vs 10 (Portugal also had a red card), a half-fit Ronaldo now had space to score three goals in the last 20 minutes .
Home to Luxembourg, we took the lead early, battered them but couldn't score a second, then they got a breakaway equaliser with 4 minutes to go. And in the away game, we took the lead early, thought we had it won, then were suckered by two Luxy goals (fair play to them) before McAuley equalised with 10 minutes left. At this point we should have closed it down, but no, McAuley took a fit of the head staggers, went charging forward for the winner and they scored their third from a long ball through the middle of our defence in the dying minutes

In fact, conceding late was a blight on that campaign - as Michael pointed out afterwards, had games finished after 75 minutes, we'd have had seven(?) extra points and the group table would have looked far more respectable.

All that said, I have it on good authority that had we lost our final qualifier in Israel, Michael's position was under real threat, but we got a decent enough draw, he survived and the rest is history. Thumbs Up

Nice read, Territorial. Your comments on the Luxembourg letdowns are interesting. You could say Luxembourg were NI's Georgia. Some here suggest if our lot had played more attacking football when away to Georgia the draw would be sugar coated while losing to Switzerland and Denmark acceptable. We would have "had a go". McCarthy is now necklaced at the very mention of Georgia. 

On your other comment: He is paid to outsmart the other coach in the first instance. It's then up to the players at his disposal to finish the job. In too many games in recent times we couldn't score - not exclusively because of Mick's tactics (he's not blameless), but because we hadn't the skills on the pitch. 


Edited by Mr Brick - 20 Mar 2020 at 3:09am
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Mr Brick is correct. In fact, we have the weakest squad in 50 years. 

Even more reason as to why McCarthy wasn’t the right man. It was a short term fix to get us to these Championships before Delaney sailed into his UEFA gig and whatever will be will be.

Now is the time to build, not continue to prolong the inevitable. There are championships in 2022 and 2024 that we have some kind of hope of performing in. Euro 2021 will be a repeat of Euro 2012 if we do qualify
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Green Cockade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 9:03am
Scoring goals is always going to be a major problem with the current squad. Scott Hogan might yet come good if he can replicate what he has being doing for Birmingham, and Mick certainly rates him, but the team lacks creativity and does not have a natural goal scorer in the mould of Robbie Keane or Joe Lapira.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Artie Ziff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 10:24am
Originally posted by E2016 E2016 wrote:

Micks tenure has been a failure.  He accomplished nothing. We were essentially qualified for the playoff before he arrived so to call the playoff "his" is just wrong.

It's time to move on. There will most likely be both the Nations League and one or two WC qualifiers before the next euros. Mick should not be in charge for any of that.

if there was no Nations League, we would be in a play off like Euro 2016.
It would damage this forums' reputation
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Territorial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 1:16pm
Originally posted by Mr Brick Mr Brick wrote:

Nice read, Territorial. Your comments on the Luxembourg letdowns are interesting. You could say Luxembourg were NI's Georgia. Some here suggest if our lot had played more attacking football when away to Georgia the draw would be sugar coated while losing to Switzerland and Denmark acceptable. We would have "had a go". McCarthy is now necklaced at the very mention of Georgia.
Didn't see ROI vs Georgia, but my point about NI vs Luxy was that both results were in the "S hit Happens" category, and while disappointed and concerned, most NI fans who attended accepted them as such (McAuley's ill-discipline excepted).
Was it the same with Georgia, or was it that with Mick's selection and tactics, the s hit was always liable to follow?

Originally posted by Mr Brick Mr Brick wrote:

On your other comment: He is paid to outsmart the other coach in the first instance. It's then up to the players at his disposal to finish the job. In too many games in recent times we couldn't score - not exclusively because of Mick's tactics (he's not blameless), but because we hadn't the skills on the pitch. 
Obviously the players have a major responsibility to implement a manager's instructions. But in the end, it doesn't matter how much players like a manager personally, if they don't believe in him and his methods, they will invariably fail to perform to their maximum (see Stan Staunton for an extreme example).

With NI, I always contrast Sammy McIlroy and Michael O'Neill. It was obvious that the NI players liked Good Old Sammy, but that was never enough, the experienced players at least knew that he wasn't up to the task of international management, so that an already difficult job (small playing pool) became all-but-impossible under his management and leadership.

Whereas with Michael, the players always believed that if they followed his instructions, they would have a chance. And this conviction was maintained even during a difficult start, when the results simply would not come despite their best efforts.



Edited by Territorial - 20 Mar 2020 at 1:19pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Brick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 1:25pm
Originally posted by Territorial Territorial wrote:

Originally posted by Mr Brick Mr Brick wrote:

Nice read, Territorial. Your comments on the Luxembourg letdowns are interesting. You could say Luxembourg were NI's Georgia. Some here suggest if our lot had played more attacking football when away to Georgia the draw would be sugar coated while losing to Switzerland and Denmark acceptable. We would have "had a go". McCarthy is now necklaced at the very mention of Georgia.
Didn't see ROI vs Georgia, but my point about NI vs Luxy was that both results were in the "S hit Happens" category, and while disappointed and concerned, most NI fans who attended accepted them as such (McAuley's ill-discipline excepted).
Was it the same with Georgia, or was it that with Mick's selection and tactics, the s hit was always liable to follow?

Originally posted by Mr Brick Mr Brick wrote:

On your other comment: He is paid to outsmart the other coach in the first instance. It's then up to the players at his disposal to finish the job. In too many games in recent times we couldn't score - not exclusively because of Mick's tactics (he's not blameless), but because we hadn't the skills on the pitch. 
Obviously the players have a major responsibility to implement a manager's instructions. But in the end, it doesn't matter how much players like a manager personally, if they don't believe in him and his methods, they will invariably fail to perform to their maximum (see Stan Staunton for an extreme example).

With NI, I always contrast Sammy McIlroy and Michael O'Neill. It was obvious that the NI players liked Good Old Sammy, but that was never enough, the experienced players at least knew that he wasn't up to the task of international management, so that an already difficult job (small playing pool) became all-but-impossible under his management and leadership.

Whereas with Michael, the players always believed that if they followed his instructions, they would have a chance. And this conviction was maintained even during a difficult start, when the results simply would not come despite their best efforts.

Do you believe such a scenario is relevant to Mick McCarthy in this campaign - i.e. respect for him as a person and belief in his methods? If so, could you speculate as to which players would be involved. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Territorial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2020 at 2:49pm
Originally posted by Mr Brick Mr Brick wrote:

Do you believe such a scenario is relevant to Mick McCarthy in this campaign - i.e. respect for him as a person and belief in his methods? If so, could you speculate as to which players would be involved. 
No, I'm not qualified to comment and in positing the "loss of conviction" theory, I'm only speculating.

But sometimes people think that when a manager "loses the dressing room", it's because he's actively disliked by the players, yet that's not always true. Or he may be disliked by a few individuals, but not by the group as a whole.

It is even possible that a manager is disliked by many (all?) of his players, but still gets results, because the players accept that his methods are sound and will get results if followed. Two examples of this from Scotland were Jock Wallace and Jim McLean, both of whom could be right bastards, but still got results. (Michael O'Neill could tell you a few stories about McLean!).

Getting back to Mick Mc, could it be that the players generally like him and respect his past record as player and manager, but deep down, they believe that his time in management has come and gone?

I'm sure that that was the case with Martin O'Neill (after the initial shine wore off), and same at Forest after he went there as well.
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Originally posted by Artie Ziff Artie Ziff wrote:

Originally posted by E2016 E2016 wrote:

Micks tenure has been a failure.  He accomplished nothing. We were essentially qualified for the playoff before he arrived so to call the playoff "his" is just wrong.

It's time to move on. There will most likely be both the Nations League and one or two WC qualifiers before the next euros. Mick should not be in charge for any of that.

if there was no Nations League, we would be in a play off like Euro 2016.


If Staunton had the rules of Euro 2016 qualifiers he would have qualified us for a playoff. Your point is irrelevant. The manager manages the team in the current format of the competition, not the past format or the ideal format.

He failed. These playoffs are nothing to do with him. Given when they are projected to take place, he should be moved on now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Left foot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2020 at 4:24pm
Some interesting points E2016, I think Mick has been very much needed post Martin O'Neil's tenure. The squad Mick inherited was becoming a mess and he needed to stabilise the team. Which he did.

I was one that was really pleased with his appointment and although results have been ok, must admit am disappointed with performances and our approach to some of the games, Georgia as an example.

Irish fans always seem to be fearful of change, be it with players in the team or manager in the dugout. Of course we dont want to be a team that just acts as a conveyor belt for managers and I dont think we are, but we need to make progress.

I think this is a good opportunity to let Kenny take the team forward, McCarthy is not going to improve the team at this point.

Let's start from current crop of promising young players and give them senior team experience, yes, they may very well struggle to start but they will get better, and that's the key point, molumby, connolly, oshea, knight etc etc can get much better as players, the players nearing their mid 30s will only get worse.

We need to look at a strategy for the next 3 or 4 years, not just the right now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mr Brick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2020 at 4:07am
Originally posted by Left foot Left foot wrote:

Some interesting points E2016, I think Mick has been very much needed post Martin O'Neil's tenure. The squad Mick inherited was becoming a mess and he needed to stabilise the team. Which he did.

I was one that was really pleased with his appointment and although results have been ok, must admit am disappointed with performances and our approach to some of the games, Georgia as an example.

Irish fans always seem to be fearful of change, be it with players in the team or manager in the dugout. Of course we dont want to be a team that just acts as a conveyor belt for managers and I dont think we are, but we need to make progress.

I think this is a good opportunity to let Kenny take the team forward, McCarthy is not going to improve the team at this point.

Let's start from current crop of promising young players and give them senior team experience, yes, they may very well struggle to start but they will get better, and that's the key point, molumby, connolly, oshea, knight etc etc can get much better as players, the players nearing their mid 30s will only get worse.

We need to look at a strategy for the next 3 or 4 years, not just the right now.

 
You're right, it is an excellent opportunity for Stephen Kenny - some good youngsters coming through and he's well versed in their abilities and temperaments. Kenny will have use of them at a better stage of their development than had McCarthy who did him a favour by largely ignoring them. 

But we urgently need a goalscorer or progress will be difficult. Parrott will probably be on loan in the Championship if and when next season arrives - and there'll be pressure on him to score regularly and dispel rumours surrounding his social life. I'm not convinced about Connolly, despite his first-team run at Brighton. A bit like Seanie Maguire - good but not good enough. 

Our fans fearful of change? That's a big call, given the lynch mobs that hounded many of our managers in recent times - including the incumbent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Left foot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2020 at 4:24pm

Our fans fearful of change? That's a big call, given the lynch mobs that hounded many of our managers in recent times - including the incumbent.
[/QUOTE]

That's a fair point Brick, in fact when is a manager not hounded out of a team.

Maybe I should have phrased it that there are fans that will look at the right now and fans that focus on the near future.

Example being a player like Whelan, right now he is the best option we have in midfield, but in the next 6 months that is unlikely to be the case for two reasons, 

1. Whelan's body is no longer capable in keeping up with younger players. We've seen this against Switzerland when he couldn't keep up with a player on the ball running past him. Age will get the better of us all. Wayne Rooney also an example. 

2. Younger players are getting better and better every game. Players like Molumby, Knight and Cullen are untested but are exceeding expectations from the start of the season.

So taking Into account the position we are in now with playoffs, the virus, the season effectively on pause. Do we look now to the future and put Kenny in place and pick players like molumby or do we continue to focus on now with all the uncertainty?
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Kenny and Mick co managers til the end of the Euro 20/21 campaign with Kenny taking over the full gig after 
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