Brian Kerr optimistic for Ireland despite ominous French win
The former Ireland manager offered Irish fans hope ahead of the France clash.
France warmed up for their trip to the Aviva Stadium on Monday night with a resounding 4-0 win at home to the Netherlands in the opening fixture of their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.
With a brace from newly-appointed captain Kylian Mbappé following early goals from Antoine Griezmann and Dayot Upamecano, Les Bleus made light work of Ronald Koeman's Dutch side at the Stade de France.
Many Irish fans would have been hoping to see a malaise of sorts following France's World Cup Final heartbreak last December at the hands of Lionel Messi's Argentina.
However, any hopes of a hangover from Qatar were firmly quashed after just 115 seconds, when Atlético Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann slotted expertly past Jasper Cillessen.
From that point onwards, the game proceeded at a procession-like pace as Didier Deschamps' side dominated their opponents, and in the process sent an emphatic message to the rest of group B that they are most certainly its' dominant force.
Despite this ominous looking display from the back-to-back World Cup finalists, former Ireland manager Brian Kerr provided Irish fans a glimmer hope when speaking on Virgin Media in the aftermath of the game.
Offering his insight, Kerr stated that Stephen Kenny's side must learn from the mistakes of the Dutch if they are to be successful in halting a rampaging French attack spearheaded by the likes of Kylian Mbappé and Kingsley Coman.
"If we play around the back and make the mistakes that the Dutch made early on, we'll have big trouble. But if we play it sensibly and if we mix our game up, and don't play short balls into midfield that are going to get intercepted, then we can be ok", Kerr said.
A lot of nervous Ireland fans tonight after that French performance.
Brian Kerr offers a little bit of optimism! 🇮🇪
🗣 "Even the best players can get upset by aggression and performance and action and passion! And that's the way we've got to play!"#FRANED #EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/Gq5eTY5SXK
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 24, 2023
The former St. Patrick's Athletic manager went on to discuss the importance that the Aviva Stadium crowd could play on Monday night, with Irish fan's ability to create a raucous atmosphere an advantage for the Boys in Green.
"The crowd and that atmosphere can force opposition mistakes. Even some of the best and highest value players in the world can get upset by aggression, and performance, and action and passion", remarked Kerr.
When asked if this youthful Ireland side were capable of producing a shock result on Monday, Kerr said "It'll be difficult based on what we saw tonight with the performance of the French team, but it's possible!"
- Shay Given names his starting Ireland goalkeeper for France match
- The Ireland team that should start our crucial Euro 2024 tie with France
- Expectation soars as Evan Ferguson captures Irish footballing imagination
- Three players who shone for Ireland in another unconvincing performance