Stephen Hunt feels Ireland v France will be one of those special Aviva nights
Stephen Hunt is a big fan of Stephen Kenny’s managerial style and believes he should stick to his principles and take the game to World Cup finalists France Stephen Hunt is a big fan of Stephen Kenny's managerial style and believes that a series of minor adjustments can lead to a massive result in Ireland v France tonight. Hunt also extols the virtues of Trapattoni's philosophy, having won the majority of his 39 Ireland caps under the Italian’s guidance. He believes that if Ireland are successful in their next game, they will have a chance to take the game to the World Cup finals. Hunt believes that the team must bring intensity to every situation in these games and that the hope is that Ireland's star star, Michael Lallan, will shine up the Aviva.
Publicado : Hace 2 meses por Garry Doyle en Sports
Giovanni Trapattoni famously preached about the ‘little details’ - now one of his disciples is praying Ireland’s current flock listens to his Gospel.
Stephen Hunt is a big fan of Stephen Kenny’s managerial style and believes he should stick to his principles and take the game to World Cup finalists France tonight.
But Hunt also extols the virtues of Trapattoni’s philosophy having won the majority of his 39 Ireland caps under the Italian’s guidance.
And he is convinced that a series of minor adjustments can lead to one massive result in Dublin tonight.
Hunt said: “Games like these are when you become heroes.
“Most of these boys have never experienced one of those spectacular nights that the Aviva brings.
“You just know the atmosphere is going to be electric, that when the National Anthem is sung the tone will be set for the entire evening.
“I am bringing my eight-year-old daughter across (from England) for the game because this could be one of those nights you remember forever.
“Can we get off to a flyer? I believe so because there are moments which these boys will go through that will take their game to another level.”
Under Trap, Hunt recalls upsetting the odds against the then World Cup winners, Italy, in Dublin and Bari - securing draws each time.
He was also a part of the famous Hand of Frog night when Thierry Henry’s handball denied Ireland a penalty shoot out to make it to the 2010 World Cup finals.
So he’s in a good position to judge whether this crop of Irish players can rise to the occasion against Kylian Mbappe and co.
The former Reading and Wolves winger said: “We played with a different philosophy and structure under Giovanni.
“That allowed us to be confident in our ability that we had enough for any team.
“So, once you have your system, and once you believe in it, then it is essentially up to the individual to grab the moment.
“When we defend against France we have to eliminate the small errors. Like, take Wednesday night’s game against Latvia as an example.
“We are 2-1 up. It is approaching half-time. They have an attempt on goal from the edge of our penalty area.
“The entire team is two yards too deep when the Latvian player (Artur Zjuzins) lines up to shoot - and it goes in after deflecting off Nathan Collins.
“If we can work to get two yards further up the pitch for a shot like that, if we can get those little things better, then we have a chance against France.
“There have been too many soft goals conceded like that one we coughed up against Latvia. The management will be well aware of that and it is up to the players to adjust.
“I rate Nathan really highly but when he looks back on that goal, he will know he should have been further up the field.”
Yet Hunt also feels Kenny should not radically adjust his strategy.
“Stephen’s philosophy has given the team freedom,” says Hunt.
“His side is more creative than our one.
“And do you know what? I actually got a load of confidence from Ireland’s performance on Wednesday.
“So you don’t want to take away that confidence the team has on the ball.
“You don’t want to adjust your philosophy. But you do want the team to bring intensity to every situation in these games.
“We didn’t on Wednesday. And we paid the price.”
They could play a heftier price tonight given the quality of the opposition.
For starters, there is Kylian Mbappe, the world’s best player.
But Hunt warned: “Just because Mbappe is playing on the left, it doesn’t allow you to be complacent whenever the ball is on the opposite flank.
“This is France, not some mediocre team. They have quality everywhere. You can’t lose sight of the fact there is danger on their right and down the middle, too.”
The hope is Ireland’s shining star will brighten up the Aviva, too.
Yes, there is a marked difference between Mbappe and Evan Ferguson - one player having established himself as a World Cup winner - the other a teenager still making his way in the game.
But Hunt has been impressed by the rookie having first seen him play as a 15-year-old.
He said: “His attitude is brilliant. The fact his dad played the game at professional level is standing to him. He has that lovely mix of calmness and focus about him.
“I saw an interview Robbie Keane gave at Cheltenham last week, where he said, ‘just let him play football’. And he is 100 per cent right. Let Evan enjoy it. The biggest clubs in Europe are probably looking at this lad and probably have been doing so for the last couple of years, even before he kicked a ball for Brighton’s first team.
“But the mistake we can’t afford to make is to just talk about Evan.
“Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly, Troy Parrott and Michael Obafemi are going to be as important in our pathway as Evan Ferguson.”
Short term is all about France.
“The formation is going to be key,” says Hunt. “Might we go with a box midfield of Jason Knight, Will Smallbone, Jayson Molumby and Josh Cullen? Or will we stick to a 3-4-3?
“I can’t see France producing the same intensity tonight that they did on Friday against the Dutch.
“The eyes of the world were on them, then. It’s hard to reproduce that level of intensity twice in four days.
“I have no doubt we will score. We are looking dangerous from set-pieces. Can we keep them out? That is the big question for me. If we can, it could be one of those special nights.”
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Temas: Soccer, France