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Nadir or Underachieving

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Cabra Hoop View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 9:27am
Looking at other groups and seeing countries who we would have looked down on in the past doing far better than us such Albania, Moldova, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan begs the question have we reached our football nadir or are we underachieving ? Looking at our squad and by my reckoning our best 11 would have 7 EPL players the rest would be mid to top EFL championship players, I think we are significantly underachieving.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baldrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 9:45am
On the other side there is Sweden who have better players than us in some instances and they are losing 3-0 to Azerbaijan.  

Norway have two world class players and other solid players and doing nothing at the moment.  

Bulgaria are a shambles. 

Bosnia are not doing well either 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Greener92 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 9:50am
Originally posted by Cabra Hoop Cabra Hoop wrote:

Looking at other groups and seeing countries who we would have looked down on in the past doing far better than us such Albania, Moldova, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan begs the question have we reached our football nadir or are we underachieving ? Looking at our squad and by my reckoning our best 11 would have 7 EPL players the rest would be mid to top EFL championship players, I think we are significantly underachieving.
Our pool of players is plenty good to be outperforming the nations you’ve pointed out. We are underachieving regardless of the nonsense spouted on here by Kenny fanboys saying we don’t have the players 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 9fingers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 10:03am
We’re obviously underperforming and coupled with a lot of 5th seeds (where traditionally we’d be guaranteed points) improving it’s exacerbated the issue. 

We’ll fall further behind without investment as well. All the improving nations have a common theme, investment. sh*t doesn’t happen by accident. 

Hopefully with a new manager and if finance can be secured we’ll see improvement in all age brackets 


Edited by 9fingers - 18 Nov 2023 at 10:05am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote You Tell Me Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 10:34am
Is there significant investment taking place in Albanian and Moldovan football? Genuine question by the way, I don't know if there is or not.

A few things have combined here I think.

Firstly this qualification cycle has had among the most lopsided groups there has been since the Euro 2012 finals and we (as usual) fell on the wrong side of that.

Secondly we all know we've been going through a period where we've had our weakest squad for some time, especially that period where we were regularly picking half a dozen League 1 players in every squad. We produced hardly any international standard players born between 1993 and 1998 and this is now compounded by the slightly better players that we produced in the 1988 to 1992 group now being in clear decline.

Even allowing for all that though we've still underachieved on the pitch. We've become too easy to play against and lost our ability to be tight at the back. The reasons for that are well known at this stage. For all it's a weak squad we should have at least have been able to make ourselves harder to beat and picked up a few more decent results in the last few years. Particularly in the Nations League group which was favourable and was a huge missed opportunity to at least secure a playoff place, and possibly a better seeding for the main qualification groups.

So that's why we are where we are I would say.

The good news is that from the players born 1999 onwards, up to and including 2007 at least, we seem to be producing on average three or so international quality players each year. That's a group that's aged 16 to 24 at the moment, but by the time the Euro 2028 campaign starts they'll be aged 19 to 27 and will make up almost all of our senior squad. Add in whoever the next manager is being likely to be a significant upgrade in that department and there's a lot to be hopeful about.

So I think we may still have one more difficult qualification campaign ahead of us and I don't see us having any realistic chance of making the 2026 world cup, but after that I genuinely think things will get a lot better and will do so for a sustained period. It does feel like 2023 is the absolute low point for the senior team and things should start to improve from here, albeit it won't happen overnight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote t_rAndy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 10:46am
We are a good bit down now. I’d say even other countries are looking at us in 5th and and saying “jaysus they have really fallen”.
Though at the same time you look at France, Netherlands and Greece in the group and it’s not so hard to understand it can happen. 
The big thing about it for us though was we know we were so far off after building for so long, we expect to do better.

Maybe we are this bad and it will not get any better in the immediate short term even with a new manager, though I am hopeful that our underage are competing at a decent level around the top 2 pots through the age groups so hopefully we can get back there. But we all know the players we are producing are generally in spite of the investment they have going into them versus what other elite players get I from a young age in many other counties, which is annoying.

Have more hope for the women’s game though as at least they are getting a bit of that club support now around the country that wasn’t there before. 


Edited by t_rAndy - 18 Nov 2023 at 10:50am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Nice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 12:25pm
Originally posted by You Tell Me You Tell Me wrote:

Is there significant investment taking place in Albanian and Moldovan football? Genuine question by the way, I don't know if there is or not.

A few things have combined here I think.

Firstly this qualification cycle has had among the most lopsided groups there has been since the Euro 2012 finals and we (as usual) fell on the wrong side of that.

Secondly we all know we've been going through a period where we've had our weakest squad for some time, especially that period where we were regularly picking half a dozen League 1 players in every squad. We produced hardly any international standard players born between 1993 and 1998 and this is now compounded by the slightly better players that we produced in the 1988 to 1992 group now being in clear decline.

Even allowing for all that though we've still underachieved on the pitch. We've become too easy to play against and lost our ability to be tight at the back. The reasons for that are well known at this stage. For all it's a weak squad we should have at least have been able to make ourselves harder to beat and picked up a few more decent results in the last few years. Particularly in the Nations League group which was favourable and was a huge missed opportunity to at least secure a playoff place, and possibly a better seeding for the main qualification groups.

So that's why we are where we are I would say.

The good news is that from the players born 1999 onwards, up to and including 2007 at least, we seem to be producing on average three or so international quality players each year. That's a group that's aged 16 to 24 at the moment, but by the time the Euro 2028 campaign starts they'll be aged 19 to 27 and will make up almost all of our senior squad. Add in whoever the next manager is being likely to be a significant upgrade in that department and there's a lot to be hopeful about.

So I think we may still have one more difficult qualification campaign ahead of us and I don't see us having any realistic chance of making the 2026 world cup, but after that I genuinely think things will get a lot better and will do so for a sustained period. It does feel like 2023 is the absolute low point for the senior team and things should start to improve from here, albeit it won't happen overnight.

I agree entirely with you here ATM, people have no patience - they wonder why 18-24yos cant just go out and perform and transform our fortunes. The reality is that teams generally improve with experience and working together. Our experienced players lack quality, we dont have a settled team, every new U21 who emerges is lauded like the Messiah and their introduction to the starting XI is demanded until they invariably prove that patience is necessary with young teams/players. Rinse and repeat!

We had the chance to qualify 2 successive batches of U21 players for major finals, we chose to not maximise that opportunity in favour of throwing young lads into the senior team, it didnt work. We have had a reasonable pipeline of talent coming through from about 1999 on as you rightly point out. That should begin to bear fruit as a relatively settled group emerges over the next 2 years. Thats really the job of the next manager - to establish a core group and top organise around them. The WCQ will likely come too soon, but I agree that we could and should have at worst a Top 16 team in Europe by 2028.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The O'Shea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 12:43pm
Our nadir was at the end of the the Trap or O'Neill regimes - we were getting spanked in a lot of games and there were absolutely no redeeming features in the performances. More than that, we had ageing sides with very little talent coming through behind them save for a few good Premier League standard players in the 1992 age group.

We have the spine of a good side at the moment, and probably the best young attacking talents we've ever had coming through in the 2000-2007 age groups. I'd be cautiously optimistic about the next few years.


Edited by The O'Shea - 18 Nov 2023 at 12:44pm
We're decent enough..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baldrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 1:34pm
Should we give ex arsenal defender sylvinhio the Ireland job.  Some job with Albania. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote J89 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 1:40pm
Originally posted by Baldrick Baldrick wrote:

Should we give ex arsenal defender sylvinhio the Ireland job.  Some job with Albania. 


Why would he walk away from a team who'll be playing in the Euros this summer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baldrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 1:54pm
Originally posted by J89 J89 wrote:

Originally posted by Baldrick Baldrick wrote:

Should we give ex arsenal defender sylvinhio the Ireland job.  Some job with Albania. 


Why would he walk away from a team who'll be playing in the Euros this summer.

I suspect he is not getting big money and after the euros where does he go from there.  That’s the high point.  He would easily do the euros and then go to Ireland.  We don’t have a game until September. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 9fingers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 1:58pm
Originally posted by You Tell Me You Tell Me wrote:

Is there significant investment taking place in Albanian and Moldovan football? Genuine question by the way, I don't know if there is or not.


Couldn’t tell you either, I was more referencing Iceland, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Luxembourg etc who’ve funded their underage adequately and will/are reaping rewards. 
Even the likes of Macedonia for example have improved their youth structures and are picking up results without having to rely on a Pandev type
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote horsebox Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 2:04pm
We are under achieving big time. 

We've got a decent squad capable of qualifying for a major tournament. 

We are too easy to beat, we concede some really cheap goals and Kenny has never dealt with the issues of conceding long range goals. He also confirmed in a presser that he was not going to deal with it.

Get the defence in order to stop conceding easily, and turn the defeats into draws. Kenny trying to replicate City or Real Madrid was never going to happen and ultimately made us weaker but easier on the eye to watch.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimmy Raggatip Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 2:57pm
Originally posted by 9fingers 9fingers wrote:

Originally posted by You Tell Me You Tell Me wrote:

Is there significant investment taking place in Albanian and Moldovan football? Genuine question by the way, I don't know if there is or not.


Couldn’t tell you either, I was more referencing Iceland, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Luxembourg etc who’ve funded their underage adequately and will/are reaping rewards. 
Even the likes of Macedonia for example have improved their youth structures and are picking up results without having to rely on a Pandev type

I mention it in every one of these threads that comes up, these nations that were far below us in the past are now reaping the beneficiaries of having 1 or 2 of their top clubs playing in the Europa/Conference League every season, more exposure to 'top level' or at least competitive European football, gives the national side a bigger core to work around, and the standard is improving. 

The nations that have remained sh*t notably are the ones still failing to get a team regularly qualifying for these club tournaments. See: Baltic states, most of the proper minnows, us and Nordies regressing (not the main factor but it doesn't help)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote You Tell Me Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 3:13pm
Originally posted by The O'Shea The O'Shea wrote:

Our nadir was at the end of the the Trap or O'Neill regimes - we were getting spanked in a lot of games and there were absolutely no redeeming features in the performances. More than that, we had ageing sides with very little talent coming through behind them save for a few good Premier League standard players in the 1992 age group.

We have the spine of a good side at the moment, and probably the best young attacking talents we've ever had coming through in the 2000-2007 age groups. I'd be cautiously optimistic about the next few years.

I'd say in terms of the quality of the squad the nadir was from the end of the O'Neill era up to the first year of the Kenny era. Mick getting us within a goal of automatic qualification for the Euros during that period looks like an incredible achievement in hindsight. But in terms of results in competitive games 2023 must be the ultimate low point. Lose tonight and the only competitive games we'll have avoided defeat in this year will have been the two against Gibraltar. That's just appalling, especially given that the squad now is actually quite a bit better than it has been for the previous five years. Surely things have never been this bad and will never be this bad again..?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote J89 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 4:06pm
Originally posted by Baldrick Baldrick wrote:

Originally posted by J89 J89 wrote:

Originally posted by Baldrick Baldrick wrote:

Should we give ex arsenal defender sylvinhio the Ireland job.  Some job with Albania. 


Why would he walk away from a team who'll be playing in the Euros this summer.


I suspect he is not getting big money and after the euros where does he go from there.  That’s the high point.  He would easily do the euros and then go to Ireland.  We don’t have a game until September. 


Albania probably have a better chance of making the WC than us. They will top their UEFA group with two teams that were playing in League A for the last NL. Unless they get screwed with a group of death draw they'd fancy their chances of a top two finish for the next qualifiers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baldrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 5:08pm
Originally posted by J89 J89 wrote:

Originally posted by Baldrick Baldrick wrote:

Originally posted by J89 J89 wrote:

Originally posted by Baldrick Baldrick wrote:

Should we give ex arsenal defender sylvinhio the Ireland job.  Some job with Albania. 


Why would he walk away from a team who'll be playing in the Euros this summer.


I suspect he is not getting big money and after the euros where does he go from there.  That’s the high point.  He would easily do the euros and then go to Ireland.  We don’t have a game until September. 


Albania probably have a better chance of making the WC than us. They will top their UEFA group with two teams that were playing in League A for the last NL. Unless they get screwed with a group of death draw they'd fancy their chances of a top two finish for the next qualifiers.

That doesn’t mean that the FAI shouldn’t approach someone if they think they can approve them the team.  You have to be ambitious.  

You sound like a lad who wouldn’t ask a girl out as she is too good looking.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nvidic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2023 at 6:19pm
Originally posted by Baldrick Baldrick wrote:

Originally posted by J89 J89 wrote:

Originally posted by Baldrick Baldrick wrote:

Should we give ex arsenal defender sylvinhio the Ireland job.  Some job with Albania. 


Why would he walk away from a team who'll be playing in the Euros this summer.

I suspect he is not getting big money and after the euros where does he go from there.  That’s the high point.  He would easily do the euros and then go to Ireland.  We don’t have a game until September. 

Went to a game in Tirana earlier in the year, Albania Moldova. The place is swimming with money! Beautiful stadium, luxury cars everywhere, took us by surprise. We counted cars driving last a pub we were in, more than half were Mercedes, I'd say he's well looked after.

They also play lovely football and have a decent team, I'd say they fancy qualifying for the World Cup. 
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