firing blanks | 

Five things we learned from Ireland's latest flop against Ukraine

Ireland fired blanks again as Ukraine won 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium.

Nathan Collins of Republic of Ireland reacts during the UEFA Nations League League B Group 1 match between Republic of Ireland and Ukraine at Aviva Stadium. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

John Brennan

Ireland fired blanks again as Ukraine won 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium in a UEFA Nations League clash - here are five things we learned.

1 - We just got another lesson that Ireland cannot break down teams who sit back and see what we’ve got. Because the word is clearly out in international football that we haven’t got a lot. Yet again, we failed to win a competitive home game. This Nations League is against countries ranked around us. How are we going to qualify for Euro 2024 when there will be two countries ranked ahead of us in the group.

2 - Stephen Kenny just has to make changes, quite a few of them, for Scotland on Saturday. He cannot keep players away from the beaches in the Algarve or Greece and give them no start in what is a four-match mini-tournament. Mark Travers, Dara O’Shea, Alan Browne, Michael Obafemi and Will Keane will be wondering why they are not on holidays if they are not playing against the Jocks after back-to-back defeats.

3 - Stephen Kenny must explain to us why Robbie Keane is not in his back-room team. It is not right that Robbie, our greatest goalscorer is on the FAI payroll, but not used by the manager when we can’t score a goal. Surely Robbie could coach Callum Robinson in the matter of staying onside. Robinson wandered offside time and again against Ukraine.

4 - Nathan Collins has a big future with Ireland. He’s making a few rookie mistakes in these games, but they will soon cease and the Burnley man has all the makings of a top-notch international defender. He really needs a move back into the Premier League during the summer, however, playing at Championship level will not serve his career growth well.

5 - Jason Knight is another man who needs a summer move upwards in English football. He was one of Ireland’s best against Ukraine, showing an attacking quality that was not in evidence in Yerevan last Saturday. But playing in League One with Derby County is not where he needs to be next season. Jason is better than that.

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