Albania 0-0 Ireland (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Jan 24, 2003
I don't know if there are any other Irish (or even Albanians) currently hanging around here, but here goes. I'll start with my player ratings.

Given 9.5

Carr 7.5
Cunningham 7.5
Breen 7
O'Shea 6.5

Carsley 7
Holland 6.5
Kinsella 8
Kilbane 8.5

Duff 7.5
Keane 7

How to put it? Given saved our collective ass yesterday. He kept a clean sheet, where most keepers would have not. There's little more to add about him, except that I'm really happy to have such a class player in our squad.

Carr worked his socks off, and it's a huge inditement of the team that he weas our best attacking player other than the front two. Not quite as solid as usuall, but he was really swamped.

Cunningham and Breen was good again. Yes, I know that I used was where another might use were, but Cunningham and Breen is in fact a single entity, the weaker, West Ham playing side of which made one big blooper, which Carr dealt with, but which otherwise was solid as a rock.

O'Shea wasn't bad defencively, though not great. Going forward though, he was poor. Dunphy called it - he had no options. There was one moment where he picked up the ball, and began to advance up the left wing. Looks up. No one to pass to. Runs a bit further. Looks up. No one to pass to. Runs a bit further. Looks up. Feck, being closed down. Attempts long ball to head of "target man Duff. Gets blocked down, and has to retreat.

Kinsella was very good, but Holland seemed to be going through the motions. Carsley would have scored an 8 had he been playing in central midfield. He offered absolutely nothing as a right-winger, and spent the whole time inside.

Kilbane was runner-up for man of the match. He was absolutely brilliant, legging it up and down the left flank, covering O'Shea one moment, making a run into the box the next. Why the hell doesn't he play like this more often?

Duffer was really really great. Both times he had the ball. On one occasion, he picks it up in his own half, dribbles past two (barely staying on his feet under a challenge, but keeping the ball nevertheless) passes to Roobbie (who had similar never got the ball problems), who looked to be about to release Carr, making a run up the right, but Robbie instead sold a dummy to the defender, cut inside, and released Duffer with a lovely pass. Duff caught it between his legs :frown:

Kerr made some bad decisions yesterday. I knew that he couldn't afford to play Duff and Keane up front, and expected an experienced manager like him to drop Carsley, and released Duffer down the flank, where he could do some damage. In hindsight, I was wrong. He should have dropped Holland, not Carsley.

So we struggled without any physicaly presense up front, our best chances comming from set pieces, or when Kilbane made box runs. There was no link between midfield and attack, and no way to get the ball to them. Long ball doesn't work without a target, and short ball requires more skill, like what the Duffman has :wallbang:

Then there was the substitution. Doherty on. Yes! What devious plan has Kerr? Is he going to sacrifice Holland, like I wanted, thus unleashing Duff on the unsuspecting full-backs, as against Spain in the World Cup? No, he took off Robbie Keane, and any spark our attack had died. :sob:

Do we have a media-friendly muppet for a manager, or did he just have a bad day, trying to find his feet in a new job? My suggestions might not have beated Albania - they played with a passion and determination to match Ireland at our best, but at least we might have tried.


Buy on


Superior Being
Jul 12, 2002
How can they have such high marks if they drew 0-0 with Albania and Given being man of the match?

I didn't really see the game but i think u rae being a tad generous with your grading


Senior Member
Jan 24, 2003
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter #3
    Probably working off a differant scale to you. I take a base 7. The Albanians would score higher again, if I knew enough of them to have followed their individual performances.

    (A lot of people take a base 6 because of CM)

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