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RTÉ analyst John Giles critical of 'shambolic' tactics as Republic of Ireland are beaten by Sweden

Updated: Friday, 06 Sep 2013 22:49 | Comments

Ireland's World Cup hopes are in tatters after defeat to Sweden
Ireland's World Cup hopes are in tatters after defeat to Sweden

John Giles criticised a shambolic performance by the Republic of Ireland as they were beaten 2-1 by Sweden tonight in World Cup qualifying.

Ireland got an ideal start when Robbie Keane blasted them ahead with 22 minutes gone, the 60th goal of his senior international career.

But Johan Elmander levelled after 33 minutes and Anders Svensson’s second half goal arguably ended hopes of making it to Brazil next summer.

Giles said: “There was nothing to it. I said before the game I was optimistic we would win and that was totally misplaced. I felt that with players like Coleman coming in that they would change the way we play. But the players can't change it.

“The manager sets a philosophy in which the game can be played and the players do their stuff. But the philosophy tonight has been as it has been before. Pass it back to the goalkeeper and knock it up the middle.

“There was great spirit and enthusiasm from the players I must say, they get demoralised as the game goes on because it is not the way to play football. By the end it was shambles. I was a bit depressed. I didn't really care at the end because I didn't think we deserved anything from the game.

“The way we played in the competition, I don't think we deserved to get to Rio. I didn't enjoy the game at all.”

Fellow analyst Eamon Dunphy also slammed the ideology of the Ireland manager and believes it is a result to seal his fate with the nation with qualification hopes in tatters.

Dunphy stated: “Every Irish soccer fan and all the people that love the game will feel despair. It was evident at the end the crowd expressed some dissent.

“I think this coach has come to the end of the line. It was a terrible performance. We got a start, but I don't think you can set your team up like that and expect to get a dividend at this level.

“We have never done well in this stadium against sides that are better than us or equals. I feel sorry for the players. We have players of real potential but I don't think they can manage what Trapattoni calls his system. It is crude and in some stages with the substitutions, it was stupid.

“There is a stubbornness with a refusal to bring on Wes Hoolahan when you're bringing on Simon Cox. It is a stubbornness that is almost offensive. It is a sad night for Irish soccer and a sad night for the players. They looked a mess in the end. They looked demoralised. I don't blame them.”

Liam Brady said that Trapattoni will be all too aware of the consequences of the defeat.

He said that the Swedish side outsmarted the Irish game plan and allowed the visitors to coast home in the final stages.

The former Arsenal great felt the predictability played into Sweden’s hands.

Brady concluded: “I was frightened at half-time that the Swedes had shown enough character to win the game.

“Our tactics were predicable; the Swedes were too experienced and physically strong so they could deal with it.

“It was straight forward long ball stuff in the hope they would make mistakes and they were too experienced and too physically strong to make those mistakes.

“We knew what we were going to get (tactically tonight) and it hasn't worked so the manager will have to pay the price.

“He knows that. He believed that (playing that way) was his best possible chance to get to play-offs and it hasn't come to pass.”

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