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Ireland take on Finland this evening and the other nations lead clash, and I'm joined now on the line by soccer analyst Alan Cauli to talk all things Republic of Ireland football related. Alan, you're very welcome.
Good morning, Brendan. Thanks for having me, Alan. Can I start with a very rudimentary question? Remind us what the nation's league is and the nation's leaders matter like, sir, of explain to us the point of it.
It does matter. Brendan? Yeah, it was a tournament that was brought in a couple of years ago, basically to try and replace the friendlies and try and put more competitive matches in substitutive. Been in the friendlies, as I said. So they come up with this competition at the start, people were very skeptical about what it actually was a major success when they ran it off and defining it was just play it off Portugal, where the inaugural winners back in the summer day or so there did it again.
And it's four groups with teams of a similar ability, all kind of playing against each other in the groups. But it does matter towards our European qualification. And obviously next for the next couple of years, World Cup qualification to sort of findings do matter. It's only a new campaign, obviously. Stephen Kenny kicked off on Thursday night. So they're probably geared to this more in preparation for the big playoff game that we have against Slovakia next month. Well, in terms of the nation's league points, they do matter, OK.
What did you make of the match against perjury the other night? Is it too early or did we get a sense of the kind of football Stephen Kenny is going to play?
Yeah, there was a lot of Shahd, I suppose, in the build up to the game. A lot of hype, a lot of expectation around the fact that we are able to see a change in terms of how we approach the game and how we play. That's not going to happen overnight and that's going to take time, certain things into gear. And Dockley philosophy to see a bit of football that we're we're probably not used to seeing or need profitability.
And what we've lost over the last number of years would have been very negative side. Stephen wants to play a more expansive round of football the way I suppose. Well, it's played across the world now. It's evolving all the time and a over here that every team is trying to play it out. Know, so even the fact that the modern manager, as I said, it was only a game that wouldn't be making any knee jerk reactions or anything like that.
I think the general feeling after the most everybody in the general public was that you could see some signs. It was was a brilliant by any means, but by no means was a disaster eight or so. And there's lots to build on, life to work on. Well, you could certainly see signs of a change in approach. Absolutely.
Had those guys spent much time together. See, that's another thing you have to put into context, Brendan. I've heard players are out of the ball, but they're all in pre-season. So none of them are actually in topflight for the weekend. We know that there are clubs at the moment, so they're all kind of Batia for a season. And then what do you think would be the new manager? And obviously only the players last Sunday for the first time to a lot of them at conversations over, are also zoom in up to it.
That would have been the first time he actually would have met them. A lot of them, he would have gone to 20 other with certainly some of the more senior players. That would have been the first interaction he would have had with. The only hard, I think, footy training sessions, the preparation for the game as well. So he said this change is not going to happen overnight, would have listened. The interviews for the players, since they've been together for the group last week, can hear it from them that day.
And so, yeah, change is happening. Absolutely. It's happening. And they're all of of change as well as I think everybody should see. It's going to take time. We're not going to try to buy our music overnight, but I think it'll be a far more attractive style of football for people to watch. And at the end of the day, you need results as well. Brendan, it's all good. Played a nice round of applause.
When I get results, Stephen will obviously look to get results because that's the most important thing as well. But I think we're better prepared and playing this way and to get those results if we approach it the right way.
OK, so give us give us your call on the match tonight then against Finland. Yeah, it's again, it's a difficult match. Like people might think Finland might not be that much of a force to rank 58, the world where they've qualified for the overs where obviously we're we've a playoff game next month. And they came from a group with and Bosnia and Italy. So it was one hell of an achievement for them to control that group and qualify automatically.
They lost their first tonight against with the rest that a lot of our first team players. That is probably a good chance. A lot of those they're playing tonight. So it will be a difficult game. But I love to see they even get off to the side for first of all, Mark, I'm glad that we got to draw it, albeit late the other night, because I think it would have been a different spin on things had been asked to match what went into his first game at home at the Aviva.
And I used to get the way. That will be a difficulty. But I do find you have to get to work because I think you'll see a little bit more progression from what we've seen on Thursday.
And of course, it'll be an MTV. You played in an empty stadium before, haven't you? Yeah, that's it.
Like, yeah, that's not nice either. Brendan's gone is because, as I say, I've experienced a couple of times. But that's another thing you have to throw into the mix in terms of context on exactly where we are at the moment. I'm playing in front of an empty stadium and even Stephen said in the interview afterwards it was surreal for him and the players out by the whole crowd and the crowd generally. And at first I can have an impact.
Some things, but it's just where we find ourselves at the moment. We're for every day of every country is the same and we just have to adapt to it and get on with it. But it definitely has an impact on the game. OK, Alan Colley, thanks a million.
Let's take a break and listen back on the Archie radio player, Brendan O'Connor on Archie Radio One.