Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Republic Have Never Had a Plan B, Confirms Star Striker

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Republic Have Never Had a Plan B, Confirms Star Striker

Article excerpt

ROBBIE Keane has admitted the Republic of Ireland have had not had a Plan B throughout his entire international career. The 33-year-old striker is in line to win his 129th senior cap in Austria tonight with Ireland's hopes of World Cup qualification hanging by a thread after Friday's 2-1 home defeat by Sweden.

That night, Giovanni Trapattoni's men took an early lead after launching a blitz, but they were ultimately unable to sustain the pressure and eventually succumbed.

Trapattoni's tactics and in particular, his inability to change the game as it began to slip away from his team, proved to be the final straw for many of his critics, but Keane insisted Ireland have always played only one way during his 15 years or so in the team.

He said: "We talk about Plan A and Plan B, but Ireland has never had a Plan B before. We have always had Plan A, it's as simple as that.

"Since I have been in the squad, we have played the exact same way. We don't have the personnel to, like Spain, get the ball down and have 80 per cent possession against teams. We are just not that team.

"But we know strengths and we stick to them. Unless it changes, maybe from grass-roots - but it's not going to change for, certainly, a good few years. They keep talking in England about trying to change things and making the national team a lot better. In Ireland, we need to do that as well, but is it going to change straight away? Since I "It hasn't changed since I walked in that door the first day I got here, so I don't think it's going to change for a while."

have been in the." Change has been the theme of the current campaign withIreland squad, we have always Trapattoni having blooded the vanguard of what he hopes will be a new generation of players with Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy the main beneficiaries. played the same way Robbie Keane However, the defensive resilience which characterised his first four years at the helm - Ireland are yet to lose a qualifier away from home under the 74-year-old Italian - has deserted them alarmingly at times, and an inability to break teams down at the Aviva Stadium has proved even more costly. …

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