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John Giles believes that the Republic of Ireland's possession game is a positive sign of progress, but warned against possession for its own sake.

Giles joined us as the first period of Stephen Kenny's reign as Ireland manager has finished with no wins and just a single Shane Duffy goal.

John Giles on possession

"Possession is fine, the concept of it is very good. But there are two forms of keeping possession," said Giles.

"There are two forms of possession at the moment - and it is not just with Stephen [Kenny] and Ireland. Generally speaking, the full-back gets it, passes it to the centre-back; the centre-back passes it to the centre-back; the centre-back passes to left-back and it goes back across the pitch.

"But you are going nowhere. What happens with the good teams is that they can do that but they have the midfielders that are able to bring the forwards into the game. We don't have those midfield players.

"I don't want to be critical of Stephen, because Stephen believes that and it is early days for him, but that is the way I see it.

"The Wales match; they had a 6ft9in centre-forward. The centre-forwards used to be target man; in other words, if you got it deep, you could knock it up to them and they would knock it on to a partner. Or they could hold onto it and bring the midfielders in the game.

"They had [Kieffer Moore] and didn't do it once. We had Shane Long and didn't do it once. That has been the change in the game; it is not the centre-forward's fault.

"I think it has been overdone."

Effect

"What I have always looked for is effect. Is this effective? I think Stephen has a big problem in that we don't have a creative force in any of the midfielders that we have.

"When you take over a squad of players, you have preconceived ideas about what players can do what. You don't know who can do what until you get in there. These are only my preconceived ideas from what I have seen of the team so far."

Giles referred to the Nottingham Forest team under Brian Clough that John McGovern and Ian Bowyer in midfield, with Martin O'Neill and John Robertson on the wings.

The more functional McGovern and Bowyer got the ball out quickly to O'Neill and Robertson to make impact.

"What I would try in the Irish team is have two midfield players. We have Byrne, Hendrick, Arter, McCarthy, Brady, Browne and Hourihane.

"I would say probably Brady and Arter as those two. On the right I would have O'Dowda or Horgan, and James McClean on the left, and two lads up front in Connolly and Idah.

"Idah would knock it on for Connolly, while the midfield pushes up really quickly."

Different

But Giles believes this would look different to the teams of Mick McCarthy and Martin O'Neill.

"The midfield players would look for the ball, but they are looking for the ball at the moment and they can't get it and do anything with it.

"You are almost forced to knock it in. It would give Idah the best chance of holding it up."

Football on Off The Ball with Paddy Power – new normal? Same old football. Visit PaddyPower.com to get the latest on the Acca-Cracker Free Bet.

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Ireland John Giles Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny

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