Happy Scribe
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Responsibly here. Done that. I would do it again. Do it. What about your start to the game. I was watching it on the stands would be a mistake. How can a modern day manager not have a mobile phone? Why should he? Well, suddenly Slovakia against the Republic of Ireland is upon us. There is much to discuss. We'll bring you some more Colin Robinson was saying and majority as well. We have done mcdonnel of the Irish Independent with us.

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Done. I will start by sending a note of optimism, if I may. Your colleague Adam Fitzmaurice was talking to Newble Muravchik about Slovakia, and we're always so focused on ourselves. So here's what Lubow thinks. Most of the Irish players play at a high level. They're either in the Premier League or they've played a lot there. So Ireland are the favourites. Slovakia have a problem in the squad. We've good players, but they don't play for their clubs.

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And he mentioned the likes of Hanslick is here. But we don't even know how his form is. With too many players who are out of competition, out of form, we don't have players to replace them. It's a big problem for us. We have a small squad, some good quality. But when our best players are missing or not much, we are weaker. You can go from the bench at your club and do a big payoff for the Euros.

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I see the Premier League. I know your players. They play a lot for the clubs and it's an advantage for you. There we are. That's a note for optimism. Well, you know, I always think with these big international games, we do have a tendency to, you know, in Ireland to just obsess about the Irish team and sort of always assume that the opposition are sort of grand, you know, that that everything they should be, as you were, you know, like as you would expect them to be.

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And I mean, that's maybe a defense mechanism in some way. You you sort of think that everything is bound to be rosy in that regard. And to some degree, maybe that's just maybe that's just an impression I have that's not accurate. But there is no doubt that on form and even just in terms of prep, as much as I did have lost Seamus Coleman, which is definitely a blow. I mean, it's well documented as a replacement there.

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And that's been the biggest unrest. OK, Harry Archer has been lost. What do you have started? It was probably borderline, whereas what Slovakia have gone through, it's certainly a much more interrupted prep between losing Dubravka, as you mentioned there, with an eight foot masterpiece, with a graphic form, issues around a number of players who haven't played and they've had this issue. We're trying to get the labotte in from from quarantine in in Italy. And, you know, Hamza, who is undoubtedly their star man.

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Yeah, he is coming from China. You got to play last month because of traveled. You traveled early to get there. But as I've said, is form is something of a question mark. So, yeah, not everything is great at the Slovakian end of things, whereas and I think sometimes as well, we will look at their players and where they are playing and speak about where they've got five serious players. But I think now there is a situation where some teams, you know, the the equivalent sort of media forces will look at harder and then go.

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They've got I mean, they could go to cuddliest scored in the Premier League. Goldrick scored last began Robinson scoring in the Premier League. And you could definitely build out a dope if you really wanted to. There's there's evidence dare to do that if you really wanted to do so. As much as that is relevant to the game or not, you could certainly talk yourself into thinking that they're going to be a very strong opponent.

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This is the eve of a huge match. Instead of being around Bratislava and talking to locals and having a drink and being a bit more in tune with the squad, you're in your living room. Done. So there you are. It is quite a strange experience, I would think, for all concerned, those who usually go to the matches, be it fans, players, families, media as well. And I suspect you feel that bit more out of tune with things.

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Quite often the Zoome press comes as you get your quotes, but it's the observations you can make off camera which tell you as much, if not more, sometimes big time. Yeah.

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And I mean, like, you know, maybe this is just a media thing to talk about and you can debate the relevance of it. And it's it's people don't care about that sort of stuff. But but generally when you're over there and in and around the game, you get a chance to locals. You know, maybe you pick up a bit more on the ground about the Slovakian team or just a. A sense of a mood of the manager and the day before a big game, get always these Notwist O'Neill, for example, this week say we would have spoken to Stephen Kenny on Sunday and say the first day of the week and always the manager, the first day of the week are pretty relaxed and open, but then the day before the game, and it'll be very intense and different managers that have different attributes.

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And we're not really seeing that. I mean, I in last month's game and Sophia was the first starting game I had been at in 14 years, home away, friendly, competitive, whatever. So it is a bit disconcerting to not be there. And now it's almost become an abnormal, which is which is bad. You know, you have to give it a bit more detached. You know, that you're your sort of and I appreciate this is how a lot of people engage with games normally.

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So you like you just have to get on with it. But it is a different experience in terms of even just the build up that there is a real sense of detachment. But I think even get over to, you know, move away from that media stuff. Even the players themselves, the routine, they would normally have an international week, as far as we understand it, like they are very much in a bubble. Normally, if you're an Irish player coming home, you might have an afternoon off where if you say an Irish sort of base or you grew up in Ireland, the families might be able to come up to the hotel in the afternoon.

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You might see sort of parents or nephews or siblings or whoever it might be. You'd have issues around tickets and probably even at away games. You know, you'd see players on the day of the game, maybe on our staff going for a while, going for a coffee, just being around the town, getting a flavor of the atmosphere and all of that. They can't leave our hotel and I can't do any of that. And so it's it's it's it's a different big game volley.

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But I mean, closed doors is obviously just one aspect of the stadium. I guess the players are all used to it. But sometimes, like these big international games, they do have their personality around that are very much part of the experience of building it up, whereas now it is all very internalised. But this is a massive game. And I mean, it's pretty much obvious what the stakes of the game are because there is a winner or loser tomorrow night.

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But I like that motivation has to come from within the group and an awareness and anyone who got a buzz off, you know, getting the bus to the stadium and going through the crowds and seeing their family or whatever it is that it might be, and it's going to be very different. But it's a strange one. And I think it's a strange way of receiving candy, because he probably had himself geared up for a certain scrutiny and spotlight, which, of course, is still there.

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But he still hasn't had that moment of walking in front of the crowd in Dublin. He hasn't had that moment of seeing the famous Irish away sport support out of ground and that gold will and that I mean, it's been obviously expressed. And but the games themselves are just it's a half life really at the moment. And I mean, the feedback to whatever happens tomorrow won't be any less, more or less ferocious or friendly depending on how things go.

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But I imagine it's a bit of an odd build up compared to how they would have envisaged it being for sure. It's been very quiet and in different circumstances it would have been totally different. I don't just mean with crowds involved and media travelling, but even Stephen Kenny, you mentioned there did a press conference via Xoom on the Sunday and he did it in the flesh on Sunday and Sunday. And then Old Trafford and Aston Villa kicked off and they dominated the news cycle.

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And then it was fun and games, obviously, between effort and the government. And really, it's kind of only in the last twenty four hours we're going to digest that, getting through all that and really focusing on this game. So if had, for instance, been relatively quiet in the front and relatively quiet at Old Trafford in Villa Park, we would have been straight in on Monday into Ireland, build up Ireland. But it hasn't been that kind of vibe.

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No one has. It's definitely not. And and, yeah, I think there's something that I think, you know, if it was a normal week, you probably have something going on every day and you'd have people's dispatches from Bratislava or wherever it was, and maybe that would have added more to it. It's been very Urijah has been quiet. And listen, I mean, but there's other stuff going on in people's lives as long as you say, which is just affecting us and everything that we do.

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And so it's only perfectly natural that that would be the case and have also made the point as well that, I mean, we are all sort of operating day to day at the moment, week to week, really. And all of a sudden like this, there's discussion about, well, I don't have to qualify for this tournament. We want to host a major tournament on our own soil next summer. And all of this I mean, even Dast, even that line of thinking, it's like, well, what really is the prize here?

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Do we even know what that is? And I don't know is that sort of playing into people's minds. But generally, like we have this excitement about what a major tournament brings, we don't know what a major tournament is going to be. Next year, no, we don't know what's going to come here, what will come here, and maybe that's a very deflating people to want on a sports show, but I guess it's just it's a bit they're like it's hanging over there, you see now and in some respects, like the backyard and is one of the lucky games because there has been covid cases in both camps and terms of staff.

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And I think Slovakia look again and staff have had issues. But you see what's going on in Scotland today where they're after losing three first choice players for the playoff that they have with Stuart Armstrong and then to close contacts like three big players, Kieran Tierney and Ron Christie, gone for this game, you know, and so so how can you think that the result of the game and all of that as the be all and end all, where does all these other factors of play which are adding these crazy variables to us?

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And I think but I think that will go once we get to seven forty five tomorrow. And I think that more than any other game the Stephen Kenny's has ever been involved in, in his life, I mean, the eyes of the nation will be on it. It's it's it's on our TV. The games last month, where were Sky matches and nations leagues are still trying to remind people how important it is. I think people's minds were elsewhere.

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I think maybe as well around that time. And I dunno. Look, there was obviously discussion, big discussion around the ball. I think this is obviously another level and everything you say is correct, but I still think it's a tomorrow. And I think it's almost as this great distraction that everyone is going to be tuned into. Absolutely. And more importantly, there's live commentary on Off the ball, Don. Let's not forget that it isn't going to get in your way, but the signs are that people are going to be in their cars at checkpoints anyway, sort of in traffic.

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So you'd actually you'd have a lot of people actually, that's where that's where they're going to be. If you're in your checkpoint tomorrow, taking the game off the ball for sure. Let's then in the context of more important things going on, trying to bring people inside the camp this week as much as we can. There's been the Finland and Bulgaria game since then. Nathan was part of the Callum Robinson press conference. I'm not sure if this was or in person, but he was asking Robinson how Stephen Kenny has communicated with the players since.

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To what extent has he all the players we've spoken to over the last one to talk about the amount of information that kept going over the last few weeks of the manager. I've been in touch when you've been back with your clubs.

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Yeah, obviously trying to get in touch base. It's tough for him because we're with our clubs and we're doing what we do week in, week out. So it's more when we get here where you can obviously get more information across as a collective instead of individuals, because it would be tough to to bring in every player every week, every week. We obviously get information. So it's obviously easier when you've got the group lads in front of you to help us.

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It's easier to get information across.

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I'm sure it's a play anywhere, but if it is the four, three, three formation again across that from three, what do you think is your your best position? What's your preferred spot?

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And obviously I've played in every every one of them positions in my career so far. So obviously a personal friend, I played a lot on the left and then find enough later on the right. And then obviously this season West from last season, I was on the left and on right and then this season of being blamed for the middle for the first four games of the season. So that's the only good thing about myself. I enjoy playing in any of the positions and I enjoy just being in the final four and trying to be different from from any right, left to work friend.

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So it's it's been obviously is good for me because it helps me getting into the squads. And hopefully I can, as I say, push for that side stance.

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Well, he's probably vying with my dad, who, by the way, done did say have the information. The attention to detail is something I've really known as probably the best that I've worked under so far in terms of that aspect. I haven't actually been in a setup like this. It's everything, whether it be analysis, meetings to physical work, gym loading, meetings, etc. It's all there. So that's obviously a seal of approval from my data.

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I'll get your thoughts on Robinson. No doubt that's probably one of the trickier decisions for Stephen Kenny to have to myself. So here's Stephanie Roach. She was talking to end yesterday on the show and he was asking her about how she sees the front three Ireland.

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I think you've got to look at the former player. I think obviously the didn't start to influence and yet Automator, who came in and started to crumble. I think McGoldrick obviously got clarity. Er, last year he was probably one of our best players and I was very good at the competitive games. Well, again, it was just kind of get in those few games under his belt erm within half an hour and on the outside erm I think at times in the go to place to kind of go a long road to get the ball.

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But I think he's at his best when he's in the box. We have players like Aaron Conley and maybe Colin without as well starting. Right. You can see him and there's just a lot of choice out there to play well and my preference would probably. And the cold front, I think he just kind of proved himself in the last few games before all the clinical that I think he's he just seems to have a quality and as you mentioned, he scored goals as well.

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Our economy is what I think needs to start. I think he's he started in it. Right. And team who are playing football at the minute as well.

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So I think he's a player who would like to see play to have been played up front yourself and sort of as a as a forward player. Aaron Conley, he plays centrally for Brighton during the year most of the time, or at least he definitely was in there quite a lot. He's been starting under Stephen. Kenny is sort of the left winger or the left wing forward. Can you explain to us what the difference is there in that position and how difficult it is for a forward to actually cut in and say it and get inside his mind, get into the box like John Connolly wants to do?

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I think for our economy, he's quite dynamic. I think he's pacy. He's quick. And if you look at the players that have been playing out there, that's going to be Atropos. They need to have. I think he probably prefers to play to a decent fantasy, maybe getting in on goal rather than running down the line for four glass across the board or maybe caught in the shoot. But I think when you look at the players that are playing there, I think the Goldrick is probably the one who I would play to send there as I wouldn't clinical him wide.

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And I think what Kenny is trying to do is he's one of his best players on the pitch. And I think our Connolly is one of the best forward players. So we has to play out left. I'm sure he'll be happy just to be playing in the game. But I do think that as a standard forward and your use of playing the center for a position, you just have to adjust your game a little bit. I think the way our economy plays you wants to get the ball down.

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He wants to roll with it and he wants to get out players. And I think he can do that as well from from wide as he as he will and stand there as well. So I don't think it will be an issue for him. Playing out after ten and eleven is a chance to get on the ball and to get out players. And and as you say, you can go inside and get shots off. He can he has the ability to play, try to pass through the ball straight to the likes of McGoldrick.

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And I know I would like to play on the right hand side or midfield, follow up the play. So I think playing out left won't be a problem to you. I'm watching because I said Kenny will just be trying to fit his best players into into the system that he wants to play.

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Stephanie Roach, they're talking to end of yesterday, Doug McGoldrick. Doug McDonnell is absolutely one of those players Kenny was talking about in the last couple of days. And he was making the point that he's thirty three or nearly thirty three now, has a decent sized family, said Kenny. You did wonder whether a player would say, I've got to focus on my career. We've been very dependent on him in the last campaign when he was missing. We last talked about how adaptable he is.

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I can think of the play knitted together, can play with his back to go. He is a focal point on the Robinson Odera situation. You suspect we'll see the other off the bench, whichever choice he makes. So it doesn't feel like kind of Coleman versus Doretti type scenario here. No, he can make five subs in this game as well, which is worth pointing out it only three last month. But you're right, I've changed since then.

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So you have the opportunity. So I think, as you say, some of those attacking decisions, it's not that it simplifies it, but it sort of gives you the opportunity probably to think about sort of a 90 minute strategy. I mean, given the Irish propensity for four draws, you know, one hundred and twenty minutes scenario isn't really out of the equation. So there is there is the option there. Yeah. But all these equations that you have that have a good chance that are going to be involved anyway, be a, you know, Robbie Brady or in a midfield or you know, Robinson Ogiwara.

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I think Jamie McClain surprised that he wasn't on the pitch at some stage, albeit you'd think Conley might be ahead of them. Iida If he doesn't start, I don't think he will go. Well, there's every chance that the he is there if you're in border, although Shane Long comes into it, Jack Brown even as a as a five SOB's situation maybe comes into it, whereas I don't think you would with three. So these are these are the options that you have there.

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I mean, I think did McGoldrick what is so significant for the size of the team? But I don't I don't think that that role for our economy on the left is where he's going to end up. I think Stephen Kenny thinks he's going to end up there. It's more needs more. And it's you can talk about what our own country offers and afford sense of the word and attacking sense of the word. It's very positive move. But I do feel like in a way that defensively on that side is a slight concern.

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But that's that's a very positive move to go with Conley. That's the whole point of trying to take the initiative and take the game to the opposition, that you don't start making decisions on the basis of what happens if that doesn't happen. You know, and but there's a balancing act. And if you if you do go with, say, Connolly, McGoldrick and Robinson, you've gone with three strikers, three strikers who are all playing essentially for their clubs this year.

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And that obviously puts a real onus on on what's behind you there to give it a platform for that on three. And also to those players, McGoldrick does. There is a seven year old at the point, and I think in a way, you could see the attraction of McGoldrick as sort of being a No.9 who actually comes back to help out and maybe create opportunities that I didn't have last month. Bulgaria defended so deep that I think if you have Paice on the wings, which is what Kenny wants, you sort of need you need to fall back on the opposite side to actually leave space and behind that you can exploit.

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And he has spoken about how the Slovakian fullbacks are quite attacking. So maybe it's that David McGoldrick coming back is actually part of getting involved in the play and releasing Connely and maybe O'Dowd or Robinson. And that's where I actually have some jolly because in Bulgaria at times it was just very slow. But that because the game was all ahead of them, because Bulgaria was so happy to to set in, whereas kind of the way he's talking and of course, there could always be a tactical, you know, sort of sort of pull out from someone here.

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Can he seem to think that Slovakia are going to try and dominate the game, too? And that could make it more open than you might think as a consequence, because both teams will have an intent to attack their full box. But that obviously means if you can transition, as they say very quickly, you've got a chance. You were writing about James McCarthy in the Irish Independent today and much tomorrow will hinge on how well he plays. And you were harking back to a teenager, Hamilton.

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He's had a long career, James McCarthy, and he's thirty next month. It's an interesting milestone to assess where he is. Two hundred and sixty Premier League games, which puts him 20th on the all time list of top flight appearances. So we're not just talking Premier League era. Only Kullman and Long of the current team are ahead of it. So on paper, it's been an amazingly successful career. And yet, as you point out and many remain unconvinced.

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And has there been a standout McCarthy performance in an Irish jersey or certainly a succession of them? Probably not really. There is a now or never element. Tim McCarthy in an Irish green jersey at 30. That is the Premier League. But he is going to happen appearance because most of the ones within the 100 ahead of them are retired like he's probably even going to overtake, I think is going to overtake Obama if he plays a couple more seasons.

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And we know what a great sort of longevity of his career, which just shows you how long McCarthy has been playing and how many times he's been picked, a Premier League level. But we haven't necessarily always seen that one. Ireland, although, again, I think what most managers, but he's always been a first choice for them when he's been here. It's just a case that he hasn't always been here. And he's basically lost three years out of his career and still has a really impressive record appearance wise.

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But shows like The Way He's regarded, but there isn't an of now or never. I also think as well I've started to make the point in the piece that he has. I think he's a danger of becoming a bit of a bit of a whipping boy figure as well, too. I think it's easier for him to be that way in my mind anyway, because people don't know very much about him. He's not he's not someone who's out there doing press.

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And it's like, oh, you look at them, there is a little bit sort of, you know, locally produced player that we see and Canada all the time. I think sometimes because he keeps himself to himself to some degree, it's like. Yeah, like he's he's over there. He hasn't played that much as he invested in this one. Actually, the track record of his career, the amount of times I've spoken to people, he comes over when he's been injured, even when he was injured, he always, you know, a couple times come over when he was never going to be fit to play.

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And he did declare for Ireland when others have walked away and he stuck with it and walked away. Name names.

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But like, you know, the point is that he he I think he does a tone of criticism sometimes, which I think is a bit like it could be better. But at the same time, like you said, he hasn't had that run of, as you said, that run of look real commanding. Remember that game where he was brilliant in that game? Now, I also think that part of his style is such I'm not sure he's ever going to be to the forefront of like a winning performance in, like some landmark sort of tackle our dominant moment.

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It's more about like work the teammates appreciate. I'm talking to people that play, but it's groundcover is going to break up the play. He'll be efficient. Now, Kenny has always spoken about it would be more probably in terms of his passing and and his role on the side is interested. If Kenny plays the same system that he did in Sophea, which is possible, you would think like he's a big link between that defence and the midfield. He is like a lot hinges on his ability not just to cover ground and and do the defensive work against what would be a strong Slovakian midfield three after full strength.

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But it's also about the tempo and the passing and getting the sort of getting the play moving from deep, almost being that sort of quarterback or sort of the doctor type of player who's really controlling things from that area and. Accountability for. That's the key point and maybe unfortunately for him and we've all had spells, I suspect, in a game where we just decide to watch McCarthy closely for a few minutes and see what he's doing. And there are times where he doesn't look to be demanding the ball enough or really saying, I'm going to dictate things or take it off the back for go from there.

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And so we are now under absolutely no illusions that that is what his manager wants him to do. So if he doesn't start doing it pretty soon, then you've got to think, is it in him? Like, I think John John's definitely expressed reservations over that aspect. Is he really looking for the ball? The way he needs to be demanding it is the word as opposed to being, you know, not philosophically opposed to receiving it? Yeah, I think the question mark is if that role really, really suits his style, does that is that really what's best for him?

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But he's probably still the best defensive midfielder, you know, of the options that are that are there. But the argument is, does he need someone in next to him? And that it's more of like a four, two, three, one, you know, that there's actually two and there and that McCarthy keeps doing what he does, which is sort of unsettling opponents. It's not just recently in games where he's being gored, but he hasn't.

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And it was it was a James McIntyre that was in that game. And the argument is, do you do you need someone in with him in that area? And then you have a more creative player and you use the phrase and this is a very nuanced piece of McCarthy, by the way. I would say it's very fair to him and also realistic. But you use the phrase at one stage, unrealistic expectations when it comes to him at times.

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And we do pitch him as the metronomic passing midfielder who can make Ireland tick. And maybe we don't actually see him do that enough to justify those expectations. Yeah, I think that's part of it now. But then again, you like you speak to people who play, but they would say, look, he's got on the ball, he can do it, but maybe just not not in the sense that he completely dominates the game and that area again.

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And we know that that the intent is there to play and try and control the game. But we know that there's going to be spells in this game where Ireland are sort of over, not overrun. But that's the fact you will have spells, you would assume, because they've they've got midfield players and even against Wales last year when they were at full strength. And we know the whales are a decent possession. So it looks like you dominate a possession against Wales.

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So, I mean, they generally are got to keep it hold of it when they're there, when they're in play. And this is where some of the countries are. Attributes are going to be important, like if I want a majority and Enda Stevens to get forward and get across the halfway line and really impose, there is an element of like that. That defensive midfield player needs to be covered in space and behind them. Like I mean, we saw that even with the Bulgaria goal last month, that he was just, you know, there was that space clean and Dolfi.

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But McIntee was maybe just a bit slow getting back and as well. So that's it's a big responsibility. It's a big responsibility for him. And that's why just the shape of the midfield is interesting what it does, because you have Hendrickx and you have Kinahan, and I think there are probably the two to play Whitham AvalonBay. I think it's probably too soon. I think the other one that's a contender definitely is Brady. And. But then is Brady someone that you actually you mix it up a small bit and Brady is more of a number, ten ish.

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He's ahead of McCarthy and someone McCarthy and Hendrick say, look, that's that's that's the that's the thing that we can talk about, like how Irish players have done for their clubs this season. And it's great. Look, it's really positive how they've done, but they all probably have that type of midfield controlling player at their clubs that are they may not necessarily have. So it's not as easy for them to showcase those attributes that they've shown because they're part of a different system at their club.

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And it is just the one area of the pitch where you're hoping that someone can really step step on. And it's a collective effort. I mean, it is a collective effort. And I think the ideal the ideal scenario is that McCarthy is doing all that work and covering ground. But then you have a situation where like, say, Hyorin or or Hendrickx kind of there are also cabbing involved and setting the wheels in motion for sort of good positive attack and play as well.

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But there's no doubt McIntee is very, very important to how things are going to work and stay with as few bits to get to my target.

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He's been talking today about a few different things in football off the ball with Paddy Power fuelling the mischief in the beautiful game responsibly CWG dunnart. Like, we are building up myself and mcdonnel to the Republic of Ireland to get to Slovakia tomorrow, live commentary here on Off the Ball. My party's been speaking to the press this afternoon. A few different things. First of all, if you can ask my party about Seamus Coleman, what can you ask him about?

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When I played his fleece for when he's when he plays on a police war, we understand the situation. And there's two of us. And I happened to be playing lots of time, big clubs and playing well. So there's no, like, animosity between us all good friends, although he didn't answer my call last night. So I don't know what I was. And I'm not we're pretty close and like he'll be texting me later on saying the best for us and the relationship is very healthy.

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Well, that's rubbish.

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Where's the beef? We need the beef here. You had Scoop's on this show before about their friendship and cards, taken phone calls together and stuff like that. And Steven Holmes was not. So they are they there? There is no it doesn't appear to be that simmering rivalry there. You know, it's good maturer good. And there are two very solid fellows here. Here's more importantly. So this is just one. Kevin, Kabam was making this point last night and maybe we underestimated just how nervy this is going to be for the players.

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The stakes are incredibly high. It's defining for lots of them to be massively important for Stephen Kenny's tenure if he can get through here. So just the nerves of this occasion. And Matadi was asked about dealing with all the worst case scenario.

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Well, then it's not the end of the world, 90 minute game, which is a long time. So I think there's enough of this in the squad and of players will have enough experience. But it's not it's not kind of I mean, none of us would panic at global level. Next, we will know that all of us will be saying to each other, let's stay in the game. Let's keep let's stay in the game and see what happens, though.

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And I don't think anybody would be panicking if that is the case. It's not clear if that something like that will happen. I don't think that will be unimportant and pushed and pushed around anyway. So we know that we have the quality and ability when everybody is confident to create and score goals.

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So that might come across very well in the last couple of weeks and on different bits and bobs for Spurs. He was also asked about this equal pay story, which has arisen again. And The Times of Ireland reported this morning that the government now is set to meet with the FBI to request that the Irish senior women's team are paid the same as Stephen Kenny side. So it's understood the Irish men's team receive two and a half thousand euro as a basic appearance fee before any extra, such as when bonus come in.

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Whereas the women's team are on five hundred euro, just 20 percent of what the men are getting. So Jack Chambers, the junior sports minister, inequality has come out and said that the minister and I will be engaging with the FBI and the 20 by 20 campaign to ensure this is addressed. And so you suspect it will be addressed very quickly, Brazil and made this change in August? The English F.A.A. have done likewise. Norway have done it in New Zealand have done it.

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And this is coming. And I fully suspect this will get done quite quickly. Now I want to talk.

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So, yeah, it's something that you actually believe that the FBI would have spoken about last November, US report at the time, and that there is something they were looking at. My understanding at that time was that I was sort of tied in with as sponsors. We're looking at a title. Sponsors were looking at it, of course, three now are leaving. And I need to find a new sponsor and after I have their own financial issues, et cetera.

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But I don't think there's any reason why it shouldn't happen. You know, it's I mean, we've come from a strange place where, you know, players, women's players were changing tracksuits in the airport a couple of years ago. And because things were not bad and there was unhappiness even that the fact that they were representing them and I must be stressed as well, that there was like people involved in women's football in the FBI who didn't even defend them at that stage.

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And so it was a strange all time, but I think now there's no reason why it shouldn't happen. I think the money that's paid to the men's team and pretty much wouldn't be meaning a huge amount to them and their lives, where the reality is that you have members of the women's team still allowed and are now gone professional and have gone to England. But I mean, what would have been times and still will be players who were sort of taking time off work and getting their per diem to reflect and reflect that.

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So and it may well be that the men's fees have to come down to, you know, financially to find the sort of the parity or the halfway house or whatever it might be. But I don't think anyone is really going to have any objection to us. I want to all I'm not sure he was banking on the question, but my authority was asked about it as well this afternoon. Have a listen.

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Yeah, to be honest, I don't really read any of that stuff. Can't really give you a proper answer on that. I would like to be a bit more educated on it and look into it more and give you a more in-depth answer. But I guess I don't I don't I don't see I don't see why not. It's like you're paying for a country, I guess like we're not we're not breaking the bank fees and stuff like that. So I guess I guess I guess one more.

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I think even his instinctive top of the head response is pretty much right as well. It's almost that simple a scenario. So that was obvious from there. So I'm sure it's difficult. It's like he's a pretty honest guy, but it's a day before. Day before you are trying to 20 playoff games, so, you know, I doubt you expected that, as I say. So now we've got the three minutes on the clock here. So final thoughts tomorrow, then.

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The importance of this doesn't need stage. And again, for Stephen Kenny, I mean, if it was to go badly awry, then it really casts mood over the whole thing. And you've got other games to come. But you're looking at that summer. Next year is a great missed opportunity. And and then the questions will start quite quickly. That's the nature of the business. So they'll have a go. I mean, again, Slovakia at a very similar pitch to Ireland.

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We haven't talked too much about them, but you've watched them a little bit. They can keep possession for sure. But even we heard our friend Lieberman off track earlier. It's not like they're looking at this game thinking they're massive favorites either.

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No, I watched a bit of last month, but it was almost irrelevant because they were missing so many players, so more so going. That was that was the problem with it, really. So more so going off sort of historical reports of their games. And they finished third in their group, just like Ireland did last year. I think the goal difference was identical and they were in a group of Wales like they could have swung a couple of direction, certainly key games.

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So like everyone like the whole concept of this is that you're in a playoff arising from your nation's league ranking. So by rights teams should all be of a similar level to each other. So in a 90 minute game with home advantage taken out of the equation in the sense not taking that equation, but certainly dented by the fact no fans will be there, you've every reason to believe this world should be like this should be really telling you this one could very easily go all the way.

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And you are right, like there is a win or lose outcome to this. I mean, last month, know, I talked to a some sort of hysterical reaction to these first couple of games, but that's probably build out of the expectation that's been built up around that, probably by people in the media speaking about it, maybe even some of his words himself. Now, I think most most people rationally know that this is going to take a bit of time.

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And so when you slap in a game so early into it with very, you know, the very sort of unforgiving outcome, and you have to expect that their leader be like positive hysteria or like just an over-the-top reaction depending on what happens. And so I don't know whether to dread that a bit or just sort of, you know, relish the fact that the discourse around the international team was as strong as it ever as it ever is, and I suspect would be a strong reaction right away.

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And but it does seem like they're not going to just let go back to basics for the game or, you know, I didn't quite care. And why are you saying that this has to be part of a evolution process? I don't think they're going to go backwards and go, well, OK. Those games were nice last month in terms of trying to do something. But now let's get bodies behind the ball and get off the set pieces. I don't think it's going to be like that.

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They're going to try and win it his way. And let's see if that way is enough.

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We sure will. Loads at stake, dammit. Irish Independent. Thanks so much, Don. Cheers. Thanks, Joe.

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Of glass. I'll give you a move for that pass. Gambacorta outerspace. Don't give him a nice.