MIR WËLLE BLEIWE wat mir sinn, you’ll doubtlessly currently know, is the nationwide motto of Luxembourg, equating as “We want to remain what we are.”
It’s a statement of Luxembourg’s independence from its royal neighbours, while also usefully serving as a contrived segue into talking about Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland, who are still looking for a country’s conviction having decided they absolutely do not want to stay what they were.
So much of what has actually occurred under Kenny’s reign has thus far been translucented the prism of his strong early sobs of transformation, with response to every group selection, efficiency and result cast as a referendum on the supervisor.
There has actually clearly been some progress made thus far under Kenny– Ireland had great spells of ownership away to Slovakia and Serbia, somehow stopping working to score in Bratislava and scoring two times in midweek, all while the manager wrestled with a Job-like run of misery– but he remains winless after nine video games in the task.
There is a growing approval he needs to mint the progress with a victory versus Luxembourg tonight, and Ireland’s qualification hopes are definitely resting on a win, given the losing start and the intimidating double-header with Portugal on the horizon.
Amid this background, Kenny was notably loathe to be drawn into a number of pre-game questions asking him to label this a “must-win” game.
” It’s important that we win the video game. We want to win the video game.
That is the equivocation of a male who doesn’t want this outcome to end up being another instrument in a progressively trenchant argument as to whether he depends on the job.
It’s approaching the point this entire laden debate is becoming larger than Kenny himself, who is becoming an avatar without firm for one side of an existential Irish football argument in between those who reckon we need to be more than what we are and those who believe we never ever can be.
Checking out paper scepticism articulated with the phrase “Kenny’s philosophical hipsterism” this week, you understand the level to which the narrative has actually overtaken the truth.
It is barely hipsterism on Kenny’s to aspire to keep the ball and create more goalscoring possibilities: many football groups are doing that nowadays. And the perception that Kenny is some kind of dogmatic philosopher is at odds with the truth of his nine-game reign up until now, across which he has actually proven himself to be reasonably practical, tweaking systems and method whenever he has had the space to do it.
Ireland were sliced open in midfield in his opening video game away to Bulgaria, so a month later in Slovakia he altered his 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1. In Belgrade he altered to a back three for the first time, and as he described in his pre-game press conference, there’s no guarantee he is going to stick with it this evening.
” The way you achieve success is typically through continuity, it is a contradiction to say that however you need to adjust depending upon the players you have available and the opposition you deal with”, stated Kenny, discussing he plumped for that system as it matched up versus Serbia’s 3-4-3, allowed Seamus Coleman return to the group, had a left-footed centre-back in Ciaran Clark, sent out Enda Stevens and Matt Doherty back to their wing-back comforts and provided Aaron Connolly a collaborate front.
A number of those conditions are still in location bar Connolly’s lack– James Collins is the most likely replacement– and, obviously, the opponent’s system. Kenny anticipates Luxembourg to play a 4-3-3 so there may be arguments to change Ireland’s set-up again.
Might they surpass Ireland in midfield? And might their assaulters isolate Coleman and Clark on the edges of Ireland’s back 3? That said, Ireland probably showed enough pledge in Belgrade to guarantee it deserves sticking with.
Kenny also has a decision to make at goalkeeper.
Travers’ veered from hesitant to hopelessly lost when asked to come off his line in Belgrade, and his distribution was very poor. With this the type of video game in which Ireland will push higher and goal to move the ball much quicker, is Travers the best pick? Or will Gavin Bazunu– playing more regularly at club level, albeit in League One– make his senior launching?
The 4th seeds Ireland are most attuned to playing are, of course, our old friends Georgia, and Luxembourg are not a far cry from their obstacle in the sense they pass the ball much better and more conveniently than you may expect.
Luxembourg were the lowest-ranked of the 4th seeds in the draw, and have actually won all of five World Cup credentials video games in their history.
of the team
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Luxembourg Supervisor Luc Holtz.
Source: SIPA USA/PA Images
They are, however, enhancing: the 2017 0-0 draw versus France was hailed by manager Luc Holtz as a “day of glory for Luxembourg” however more considerable is their 2020 Nations League campaign, in which they beat Cyprus and Montenegro and lost out on promotion to League B– Ireland’s level– by 2 points.
In Gerson Rodrigues of Eager beaver Kiev Luxembourg will have the only player in either matchday squad to have actually played in the Champions League group stages this season, however much of the squad are spread throughout Europe, many in lower leagues.
Exceptions consist of captain Laurent Jans, who might be familiar to Josh Cullen as he plays at Standard Liege in the Belgian top flight, while Christopher Martins plays with Young Boys in Switzerland and Leandro Barreiro with Mainz in the Bundesliga.
Ireland have won all of their previous 5 meetings with Luxembourg– the most recent in receiving Euro ’88– though might have lost an off-field fight in 2015 when Ryan Johansson was discovered to be ineligible for Ireland and eventually threw his lot in with Sweden: it’s declared it was the Luxembourg FA who flagged his ineligibility for Ireland with Fifa. (You can understand why they may be sensitive to the loss of promising young players, having seen Miralem Pjanic come through the ranks and after that represent Bosnia.)
” They are not the Luxembourg of old”, said Kenny of his opponents the other day.
A very first win tonight will go some way to proving Ireland are proceeding, too.
Republic of Ireland (Possible XI): Gavin Bazunu; Seamus Coleman, Dara O’Shea, Ciaran Clark; Matt Doherty, Josh Cullen, Jayson Molumby, Alan Browne, Enda Stevens; James Collins, Callum Robinson
Luxembourg (Possible XI): Anthony Moris; Laurent Jans, Maxime Chanot, Lars Gerson, Marvin Martins; Christopher Martins, Vincent Thill, Leandro Barreiro; Gerson Rodrigues, Edvin Muratovic, Florian Bonhert
On TV: RTE 2, Sky Sports Centerpiece; KO 7.45 pm