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"It's been a circus" - Keith Andrews bemoans "disastrous" 12 months for Ireland


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"I don't see it getting better anytime soon."

Keith Andrews joined us on Off The Ball to discuss his thoughts on the Ireland loss to Wales at the Aviva Stadium in the UEFA Nations League.

Initially, he felt the early parts of the performance on Tuesday night was encouraging as a step up from the draw against Denmark and previous heavy defeats in recent competitive games. But then Wales "got a grip of the game". 

"And you can tell what Wales are trying to do, whereas you come back to us on the flipside of that and I don't know what we're trying to do," said Keith of Martin O'Neill's team. 

"For us, we've got a back-three now finding their feet. Richard Keogh steps out. It's a bit like, 'Am I going long? am I trying to find Harry Arter into a deeper midfield role? Or is Matt Doherty, is he going high, is he going wide? What's the movement from the front players?' And again, it just doesn't seem to be in sync."

In regards to Cyrus Christie's showing in midfield, Keith feels no blame can be applied to him given the fact that it's not the full-backs natural or habitual position. 

Republic of Ireland's Harry Arter with David Brooks of Wales ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

But the overall picture for Ireland is one that worries Keith over the last year.

"It's a build up. I said last night, it's been a disastrous 12 months and it has been," he said. 

"Results, the manner of them and the performances; not knowing what we're getting from game to game and obviously the off-field problems that we've had with Roy Keane and the Walters and Harry Arter not turning up; Declan Rice and how much we can control that situation, I'm not entirely sure. But it has been a circus and obviously the results haven't been good enough."

He also feels that the players are also uncertain about what to expect game to game. Which puts the management team's future in the spotlight.

"I don't see it changing but I don't see the performances changing on the flipside of that either," he said, citing the finances involved.


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