England Gets a Look at Itself, and Isn’t Sure It Likes What It Sees
The past few months have seen some interesting developments in Ireland, as the country has started to play what looks to be a somewhat different footballing identity to the one we’ve had for the last 10 years. A team that at times seems to be at odds with itself, often competing with itself to see which one will be the biggest fish in the water.
We’re certainly not at the end of the process yet, however. There are still three games left of the current set of domestic and Champions League fixtures, and a lot can still turn up on the football pitch before we reach June 17th (or March 5th, depending on your calendar). I’ll be keeping an eye out for a few more developments over the coming weeks, and will report on them here on TGIF.
In the meantime, here’s a quick round-up of the more significant issues I’ve noticed thus far. These aren’t predictions on how/where this team is going to go from here, but things that are causing me to take note in my own way.
A ‘Pistol’ is a ‘Gun’; and the Irish team has started to make a few more moves
Perhaps the most significant change has been in our midfield. We’ve seen the arrival of two players on loan from Premier League clubs this summer, as well as the re-signing of a player from Serie A. The former is the signing of Leandro Bacuna – an Italian international who was a key component in the Azzurri’s first ever Serie A top-four finish with a 5-1 extra-time win over a tough Napoli side in the final.
Not yet known for his shooting range, Bacuna was a constant source of creativity for his side through the second half of last weekend’s 1-0 Champions League win in Turkey, and he did so again in last Sunday’s 1-