The bad thing about this is that this late attempt at a come back is going to cover over some very inherent flaws in this team.
Where to start (that hasn’t been covered before)? Well, from back to front:
Given lacks match practice and should have done better with the first goal. Seemed at odds with his defence at times.
Our defence was all over the place, giving the Russians way to much room on the flank. Too much backing away from Russian attacks. Dunne, the supposed man of the match, should have given the award back.
And, in the midfield, Andrews and Whelan were as usual non-existent. No ball being played to them and unable to stop any of the sweeping Russian counter attacks. Neither McGeady or Lawrence were fast enough to lend effective support to this stupid route one strategy the Irish team employed.
And upfront, neither Keane or Doyle remain effective enough to deal with the sheer amount of high passes being played to them. Keane has a tendency, when he actually gets the ball, to immediately move out wide. Inevitably, he gets held up, the attack breaks down and he has to pass backwards. None of the subs, no not even the second goalscorer, impressed that much.
It really was just a matter of time before the weaknesses of the team and the kind of game they play were shown up and this is it. It was hapless, desperate, all over the damn place. It was a team of old-timers (Keane, Kilbane, Dunne) and youngsters (Doyle, Andrews, Whelan) getting taught a lesson.
I think Slovakia, despite the loss today to Armenia, will fancy their chances. They aren’t wrong.