Preview; Ireland Euro 2012

Ireland
Fifa Ranking
18
Manager
Giovanni Trapattoni – An Italian manager. Possibly the only man who could play Pele out of a game fairly in his time in the 50’ and 60’s. He’s the only manager to have won all UEFA Club competitions. Regarded the best ever manger to have graced Serie A. 
Captain
Robbie Keane – Star man by all standards for Ireland, has over 140 caps to his name and over 50 goals. Plays behind the striker but can also partner another striker in a 4-4-2 formation. Has an eye for goal and Ireland would be largely relying on him for inspiration and leadership.
Star Players
Robbie Keane, Shay Given
Fact
The last time this team featured at this competition was in 1988. 
Likely Formation;
Having managed some of the best sides in this world and having won so much they have had to offer, this coach for sure knows what it takes to be the best. His preferred formation is the 4-4-1-1 but could change to 4-4-2 with circumstances.
Shay Given should start in goal though once in a while in case of Injury then Sunderland’s Kieran Westwood would assist. Centre back position then should be taken by Richard Dunne and Leicester City’s Sean St-Ledger. Right back has Stephen Ward and Stephen Kelly fighting it over while the left back should not be a strange one, ex- Manchester United and now Sunderland’s O’shea.
At Central midfield should be Keith Andrews of WestBrom partnering Stokes Glen Whelan. The left wing should see the experienced Damien Duff and the right wing right now managed by Aiden Mc’Geady who’s already sending punches all over the place warning McLean he’s not giving up his place easily. Meanwhile Stephen Hunt of Wolves, Seamus Coleman and Wigan’s James Mc Carthy who could also push up for the spot. I feel foe Mc Geady this time round, even his famous turn might not save him here. 
The front should see the Captain Robbie Keane playing behind the striker who’s most likely Wolves Kevin Doyle. In a 4-4-2 formation though, they would both partner upfront for the attack. 
Thoughts
Don’t write off this team. They look to me like the tournament’s dark horses. Given, Dunn, Duff and Keane are probably playing their last tournament for the country and will want to prove a point. The coach is a hard worker, the style of play is one he is well conversant with and though he doesn’t have a squad with the best of talents as compared to the other teams in group C, the spirit in the team is amazing.
Away from the game, in the country’s crucial Euro 2012 play-off against Estonia, a ticketless fan found his way to the dugout and even sat beside the Estonia coach since he couldn’t pay the 600 euro’s they were charging for the match. He stayed till the match ended un-noticed and even was able to record the captain’s TV interview on his phone. I hope nothing like this happens at the Euro’s though; now that’s guts.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Ireland has never failed to reach the knockouts of every World Cup they have attended. (1990, 1994, 2002)
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