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'Missing that bit of magic' | Vinny Perth on Ireland's need for a Bale or Zlatan

Vinny Perth says the Republic of Ireland need to stand firm with their tactical approach, but ack...



'Missing that bit of magic' |...
Soccer

'Missing that bit of magic' | Vinny Perth on Ireland's need for a Bale or Zlatan

Vinny Perth says the Republic of Ireland need to stand firm with their tactical approach, but acknowledged Stephen Kenny's side seem to be missing that "match-winner" that can light up a game.

The former Dundalk manager, who previously worked under Kenny when he was in charge at the County Louth club, said he was impressed by Ireland's overall display against Slovakia last night.

Missed penalties from Alan Browne and Matt Doherty in the shoot-out ultimately proved crucial, as Slovakia progressed to a EURO 2020 play-off final against Northern Ireland next month.

Perth, speaking on OTB AM this morning, said David McGoldrick was outstanding yesterday, but he may be better supported by a hard-running number 10 if we had the player to fit that bill.

"You need someone who has real running power to do that role. Like I said yesterday, it's not the old Teddy Sheringham role, and that's where people get confused with it. It's completely different in modern-day football.

"It's high-speed running that's needed in that area. You look at the very best team at the moment, it's Liverpool. The amount of running that Jordan Henderson does if he was to play in there, or Wijnaldum or Keita - there's a lot in that role.

"If you have loads of possession it can be tried, and it is a go-to in certain games when you're looking to score goals.

"We're caught in a dilemma because he [McGoldrick] was our best player on the pitch, but he wasn't really a goal threat, and that's the problem. [Aaron] Connolly was a big miss I felt last night, someone that is in real hot form in the Premier League and may give us an opportunity to score goals."

Perth continued the Liverpool example, citing the Premier League champions' ability to allow their main goalscoring threats to get on the end of chances created.

"I'm not trying to equate the Ireland performance to Liverpool, but very similar to what McGoldrick does coming off that position as a centre-forward [like] Firmino, and allowing the two other guys become centre-forwards at times like Mané and Salah.

"We had that opportunity to do that. It's a really interesting way of playing and it's exciting, but you need to have control in midfield, and that's where the two sixes really kicked in.

"You'd come off that pitch going 'Was James McCarthy's performance much much better than it was in the first games?' It wasn't overly in terms of, he's not a ball-playing [player], he's not going to dictate the pace of a game.

"But having someone alongside him meant he was really, really effective. I thought Conor Hourihane's performance was outstanding at times, his range of passing, his want to get on the ball.

"I said yesterday I think we're short of a number 10, it's really obvious that we are, but at the same time it doesn't mean now we just give up and we don't play that way."

Perth says Sheffield United striker McGoldrick may not be best suited to number 10, and bemoaned our lack of a world-class creative player that other countries possess.

8 October 2020; David McGoldrick of Republic of Ireland in action against Martin Valjent of Slovakia, right, during the UEFA EURO2020 Qualifying Play-Off Semi-Final match between Slovakia and Republic of Ireland at Tehelné pole in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo by Vid Ponikvar/Sportsfile

"He [McGoldrick] plays in a [forward] two in his club, the number 10 role now is just different. David McGoldrick is quite a fit lad, he's 32 which isn't that old anymore, he looks after himself.

"I think it's probably more designed in time to somebody along the lines of a [Troy] Parrott or somebody in that different style. He's someone who can do that role quite well.

"It's more of a midfield role the number 10 than a striker's role in the modern game, [but] we just don't have the 10.

"You look at Wales a number of years ago getting to semi-finals of the Euros, they built a great team, they had a lot of players on the fringes of the Premier League and Championship, but they ultimately had Gareth Bale - a match-winner, someone who could turn magic on.

"You look at Sweden, they've had [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, you look at international teams around Europe... Even look at Slovakia last night, they had that bit of quality in [Marek] Hamšík. We're probably missing that little bit of quality in that number 10 position.

"Someone that scores a free-kick, changes a game for you. We're probably missing that one little bit of magic that takes us to another level or makes us able to compete against a lot of the top teams."

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Coybig David McGoldrick Dundalk Euro 2020 Number 10 Republic Of Ireland Slovakia Stephen Kenny Vinny Perth

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