RTÉ soccer analyst Eamon Dunphy has warned against thinking that the Republic of Ireland will automically lose to Euro 2016 Group D competitors Germany.
“I don’t think Roy Keane and Martin O’Neill will think like that and I’m very glad they won’t,” Dunphy said.
“I don’t think [Germany] will automatically win the group, and I don’t think they will automatically beat us twice.
“If you look at the World Cup qualifiers that we’ve just finished, Sweden, who are a pretty poor team, scored seven goals against Germany in the two matches.”
"There’ll be an attitude, there’ll be an edge, there’ll be organisation; it’ll be done meticulously" - Eamon Dunphy
Reminded of the last two encounters between Ireland and Germany, when Germany trounced Ireland 3-0 in Cologne and 6-1 in Dublin said that those games had been under a different Ireland manager in Giovanni Trappatoni, and that O’Neill- Keane management team would bring “an edge” to Ireland.
“What you have here is Martin O’Neill [as] manager [and] Roy O’Neill,” he said. “There’ll be an attitude, there’ll be an edge, there’ll be organisation; it’ll be done meticulously. I don’t think you can assume that Germany will beat us either here or in Germany.”
Dunphy said that Group D would be very competitive, and highlighted the improvement of Scotland under Gordon Strachan.
“It’s very competitive,” Dunphy said. “Gordon Strachan has taken over as Scotland manager and improved their results dramatically in the last few months.
“Poland will have [Robert] Lewandowski and [Jakub] Blaszczykowski – they have a new coach. We drew with them [...] I think not so long ago. But they have a history and a tradition and some very useful players, so that’s tough.
“Germany, we know, will be tough.
“That’s a seriously competitive group.”
However, Dunphy said that Ireland could benefit from teams taking points off each other, saying, “There are countries who can beat each other, and that’s sometimes better. There’s not a lot of dead wood in there, apart from Gibraltar.
“Martin will have to get his team playing, pick the right players, and be on song to get out that group automatically.”