Wasted opportunity worse than the result as nothing learned from Norwegian encounter

As Ireland slumped to a limp and late defeat at the hands of a Norwegian second string, there was a glaring issue that was additional to the laboured performance.

Stephen Kenny’s side set up with what has become a predictable 5–3–2 formation and safe lineup. Ireland passed away and kept the game ticking over in a basic and controlled fashion. This perhaps contributed kindly to the 56% possession stat in favour of Kenny’s men and to their credit, 5 shots on target compared to Norways three, two of which they scored.

The Irish passing however, lacked any real purpose other than retaining possession in and around their own half. This was generally amongst the back three or the most simple and cautious 5 yard passes by the midfield three who showed absolutely no craft, penetration or progression in the play.

Irish players after conceding late (Image: Pundit Arena)

Ireland were undone by two defensive lapses and run ragged in midfield by a slick Norwegian side depleted by injury. Alan Browne’s screamer of a goal was really the only positive talking point of the night along with Evan Ferguson’s debut who has a huge future in the game.

The performance and result aside, the lack of willingness for Stephen Kenny to experiment was criminal. This was evidential as far back as last weeks squad announcement when form fringe players like Ryan Manning and Sammie Szmodics and youngsters such as Conor Coventry and Connor Ronan were missing from the list.

 

Evan Ferguson’s introduction was probably the only plus of the night (Image: The42)

Kenny cited the Norway game as perfect preparation for France. What he got was a weakened Norwegian side who diluted their own momentum during the game by making a plethora of substitutions. This will not be the case for the French game. Friendlies don’t come around that often anymore and it is paramount that they are used in the broadest way possible.

Norway boss Stale Solbakken did exactly what Kenny should have and tested his depth in a game that lacked any intensity. Given Norway’s superior quality of depth to Ireland, Solbakken fully utilised and experimented. This makes it is baffling that Kenny who has a much smaller and inferior pool opted for the tried, tested and not necessarily trust worthy.

This would have been the perfect opportunity to see if Will Smallbone can actually offer that bit of technical nuance that Ireland lack and give him that bit of senior experience that he has earned after a successful apprenticeship at under-21 level. Instead Jeff Hendrick was introduced to the audible sound of groans around Lansdowne Road.

 

Norway utilised their depth and still came away with victory (Image: RTE)

It was an ideal window to try out the in form Manning and Szmodics who offer much needed depth in their positions. Although Coventry and Ronan are lacking first team minutes, Kenny still afforded Evan Ferguson who has even less game time, his debut in a position where we Ireland are well stocked compared to midfield. The logic is hard to grasp.

Not many would have backed Ireland against Norway anyway nor would they have remembered the result for long. It would have served Kenny better to lose experimenting with some new players and assess his alternative options. Instead he learned absolutely nothing while overseeing a shocking performance and losing in the process. That in itself is poor management.

Kenny has the opportunity for experimentation against lowly Malta but could feel the pressure to end the international window on a high and go for another low risk approach. He has already sold himself short with the exclusion of certain players in the squad but could do himself absolutely no harm by giving the likes of Smallbone and Ferguson a start to analyse his alternatives for the upcoming qualifiers.

563

118 thoughts on “Wasted opportunity worse than the result as nothing learned from Norwegian encounter”

  1. Wow, incredible weblog layout! How long have you ever been running a blog for?
    you make blogging look easy. The total glance of your website is great, let alone the content material!
    You can see similar here ecommerce

  2. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords
    but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any
    please share. Thank you! You can read similar art here: Sklep

  3. Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine
    Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results.
    If you know of any please share. Thanks! You can read similar text here:
    Sklep internetowy

  4. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m
    not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share.
    Thanks! You can read similar blog here: Ecommerce

  5. Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but
    I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share.
    Thanks! I saw similar article here: Link Building

  6. Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization?
    I’m trying to get my website to rank for some targeted
    keywords but I’m not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share.
    Many thanks! I saw similar article here: Scrapebox AA List

  7. Wow, marvelous weblog layout! How lengthy have you been running a blog for?
    you make blogging glance easy. The total glance of your website is
    magnificent, let alone the content material! You can see similar here
    sklep online

  8. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to
    help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success.

    If you know of any please share. Thank you! You
    can read similar article here: Escape rooms list

  9. Hey there! I know this is kindfa offf topic however , I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
    My website goes over a lot of thhe same topics as yours and
    I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If
    you are interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Great blog by the way!

  10. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or
    2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    Also visit my webpage – helpful hints

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top