Larnaca Away

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Weelilywhite » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:11 pm

Excellent post Ezekial. Difficult night for everyone but let's not forget all the pleasure SK and the team have given us over the past few years and hopefully we can learn from the experience.



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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby El Paso » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:00 am

There was a certain irony in the manager who refuses to rotate ending up with a back 4 of Gannon, Garts, Massey, Jarvis.

My take now a few hours later:
1. Don’t overreact to one shitshow half of football.
2. We have a squad for a reason - use it or lose it.
3, The problem in central midfield has never gone away.
4. We have an ideal couple of fixtures to get this out of our system.

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Ezeikial » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:03 am

James Rogers on Twitter:

Stephen Kenny: "Our defending for the goals was nowhere near good enough. They were all preventable. To concede three in the first half is hard to believe. When they scored two our heads dropped completely for a period."

"Sometimes you just need to hang in there when a team gets a run on you like that and just see the period out. We just had a really bad first half and got punished and it’s too late to rectify it then. We’ve not lost like that in the past. We’re better than we played tonight."


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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Ezeikial » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:13 am

El Paso wrote:There was a certain irony in the manager who refuses to rotate ending up with a back 4 of Gannon, Garts, Massey, Jarvis.

My take now a few hours later:
1. Don’t overreact to one shitshow half of football.
2. We have a squad for a reason - use it or lose it.
3, The problem in central midfield has never gone away.
4. We have an ideal couple of fixtures to get this out of our system.



All fair and reasonable points

While there is no doubt that SK is right when he says "We're better than we played tonight", I think it is also fair to say that we are not as good as we were in previous seasons and more importantly not as good as we need to be to make European progress

If all involved are serious about maximising our prospects in Europe for 2019 there are a number of key positions that need strengthening - central midfield is not the only problem area
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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Ezeikial » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:25 am

Daniel McDonnell reports Stephen Kenny calling it for exactly how he saw it

It's a fair and candid assessment by the manager who does not seek any excuses

Kenny fury as Dundalk horror show ends Euro ambitions
AEK Larnaca 4 Dundalk 0 (AEK win 4-0 on aggregate)

Daniel McDonnell in Larnaca

August 3 2018 2:30 AM


It was almost an hour after the full-time whistle when Stephen Kenny emerged from the visiting dressing room located in a tunnel below the AEK Arena.

Europe has been the stage for some of his greatest days as Dundalk manager but this evening had descended into one of the worst.

This was his heaviest defeat since taking charge, with a four-goal thrashing a complete break from character for a side that had won 16 out of their 17 games since their defeat to Waterford in May.

When Dundalk encountered superior forces during their magical 2016 European journey, they didn't lose any game by more than a goal.

In that context, this was a drubbing. AEK Larnaca were the better side but they didn't have to work exceptionally hard to score three before half-time and seize control.

The 32-degree heat which made water breaks mandatory was a factor - but it doesn't function as an acceptable excuse for the basic errors that gave the Cypriots the initiative.

And Kenny did not cite that as a factor as he pulled no punches in his assessment of a dire display.

The priority this year is regaining the league title - as evidenced by the absence of rotation in Sunday's win over Bohemians - and the champions route offers a kinder passage to European success. But Kenny takes pride in solid European displays and this had clearly dented it.

"This has to hurt," he stressed, "I won't tell the players to park this. It has to hurt.

"We're disappointed tonight and the players understand it's not acceptable. We're capable of a lot better than that."

A tie that was described as 'evenly poised' was done and dusted by half-time.

Larnaca coach Andoni Iraola had said on the eve of the match that he had spotted weaknesses in Dundalk during last week's scoreless draw and he introduced crafty Spanish winger Tete in order to exploit them.

The 33-year-old hugged the left touchline, leaving right-back Sean Hoare with a dilemma, and the genesis of AEK's success was how they found Dundalk out in that area of the pitch. Dylan Connolly's tracking back was also an issue.

Larnaca's ball retention was superior and they managed to lure Dundalk out of position before executing a killer pass that found space in behind.

There were warning signs in the early minutes, with Daniel Cleary booked as Dundalk were pulled out of shape. The disappointing aspect about the breakthrough goal was that it actually came after a promising Dundalk counter that was cleared.

Before they could regroup, Macedonian international Ivan Trickovski made a run that Hoare was slow to track and he was left playing catch-up as he angled a right footer beyond Rogers.

Larnaca added another before the first water break. This was even more straightforward, with a long pass from Joan Truyols finding Tete who caught Hoare out of position and found himself with just Rogers to beat. A cheeky chip did the rest.

"Sean just completely switched off," said Kenny, "He didn't even see the player. I can't explain it really.

"The defending for the goals was just nowhere near good enough. In that period where they've scored two, our heads dropped completely.

Dundalk did try and muster a fightback and had a strong appeal for a penalty rejected when Jamie McGrath was tripped into the box. That might have given them some momentum, but Larnaca escaped and found another ahead of the interval.

It was more of the same as the play shifted towards Tete with Hoare in the firing line and Connolly tardy when it came to getting back to offer protection. His cross found Trickovski who forced the ball past Gary Rogers after the keeper blocked his initial header.

Game over.

Kenny took action at the break, and unsurprisingly his changes centred on the right side. Hoare moved into centre half, replacing Cleary who was hooked along with Connolly. Sean Gannon came in at right-full and Patrick McEleney was brought into midfield with Jamie McGrath shifted right. From the outset, there was a better balance.

Dangerous

However, Larnaca didn't need to push for another goal, and maintained control of the situation even though Dundalk were more dangerous in general play. After a let-off when Trickovski struck the post, a period of Dundalk pressure followed.

"Sean and Patrick were very influential," said Kenny, who admitted that he was tempted to make changes during the first half and might regret not taking a risk on injury doubt Gannon who showed no ill effects.

An injury to Hoare wasted his third sub, with Dane Massey brought in. He did threaten with a header and there were half chances for Pat Hoban and Michael Duffy too, but Larnaca were unflustered and added a fourth before the end when sub Joan Tomas scored with his first touch.

The detail had become an irrelevance at that juncture.

"We can't blame the heat," said Kenny, "We committed basic errors and we got punished.

"They stopped us playing out too easily. We needed to be braver. We need to have better movement and our general passing wasn't at the level that it needs to be.

"Sometimes you just need to hang in there when a team gets the run on you like that and to see a period out. It's a different game in the second half and they didn't look as good as they did. It was too comfortable for them."

For his players, a quiet and uncomfortable journey home beckoned.

AEK Larnaca - Ramirez, Silva, Truyols, Gonzalez, T Ioannou; Larena (Nacho 70), Hevel; Acoran (Tomas 86), A Giannou, Tete (Konstantinou 80); Trickovski.

Dundalk - Rogers, Hoare (Massey 63), Gartland, Cleary (Gannon 45), Jarvis; Shields, Benson; Connolly (McEleney 45), McGrath, Duffy; Hoban.

Ref - F Jovic (Croatia)

Irish Independent


https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer ... 80262.html
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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Louth4sam » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:03 am

Couldn't face posting on this until this morning but relived to see most of the posts are pretty measured and not over the top.

It simply wasn't good enough last night and all four of the goals were from sloppy defending. I feel sorry for Hoare as he's been excellent all season but he's not a right back and his positioning was at fault for two of their goals. We'd actually lots of chances in the second half and didn't take them or pass when we had great opportunities to shoot.

Everything seemed to go against us in Europe this season, the worst non seeded teams we could have drawn, bad referee, heat, players out of form going in to the game but I think that we had our eyes opened a bit last night to the level we need to be at to compete and sadly we're a few players off it, or then again maybe they were sitting on the bench. If Gannon starts at right back, Kenny drops out of form players and we start the game with a midfield three of Shields, Chvedukas and McEleney with McGrath on the right i genuinely believe that the game would be a lot closer and we would have had a chance
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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby niall_hearty2000 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:10 am

We have to be realistic and accept we aren't nearly as good a team as the one that qualified for the group stages in 2016. We haven't replaced the players who left. Ok duffy scored a wonder goal v talinn but for europe he isn't as effective as Horgan. Mcmillan runs the line better than Hoban in Europe who looked lost in both legs v Larnaca. And more importantly we still haven't replaced Ronan Finn in midfield. We knew we needed to score tonight so why wasn't Kelly on the bench?. Massey and Gannon were both on the bench so if fit enough to be on the bench they should have started the match. Hoare is not a full back and was at fault for 2 of the goals tonight. Look the first one was a glorious strike but it could as easily have gone inches wide of the post. And it was a stonewall penalty for the foul on mcgrath. I felt we needed mountney on tonight as he tracks back and always gives 110% in every game. I have tried to be as supportive as I can towards connolly but sorry after tonights inept performance it is very hard to be as supportive. It has been clear to see all season that our midfield is not good enough. What does Benson have to do to get dropped. He has been poor all season. It's over now and we dust ourselves down and go for the quadruple... let's get put this game behind us and get supportive of stephen and the team from now until the end of the season. We are still fighting on 4 domestic fronts.
Last edited by niall_hearty2000 on Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Robbiedundalk2 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:13 am

El Paso wrote:There was a certain irony in the manager who refuses to rotate ending up with a back 4 of Gannon, Garts, Massey, Jarvis.

My take now a few hours later:
1. Don’t overreact to one shitshow half of football.
2. We have a squad for a reason - use it or lose it.
3, The problem in central midfield has never gone away.
4. We have an ideal couple of fixtures to get this out of our system.

Any idea when we play rearranged games v Sligo and Rovers? The two cup games come as a good breather but we also need to get back on the saddle soon enough?

Also thinking to the future, the team is better with McEleney in it. While Connolly has done well he is still a weak link. There is a lot of chat about central midfield, is that replacing Benson? What about Shields? Could McGrath take Bensons spot? Are there better players in the league that we must have for next season in midfield? Are we happy with Mountney on right side, is he the best we can get in the league? Where else should we look to strengthen? Left back, forward, keeper? Do we need to go outside the league for better players? We also need to tie down Duffy on a long contract

And looking back. Is Shields as good as young fit skip?
Is Benson as good as Finn?
Is Hoban as good as McMillan?

Saying all this we are still top of the league and on a record run. Shields has been immense, Duffy fantastic.
Pat banging them in, Cleary a real find, Mountney great until unjury, McGrath making massive strides and the team has lots of young players.

When we win the league it will be a successful season

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Sneachta » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:28 am

I think a lot of your questions have been summed up by previous posters Robbie.

I definitely think we need to be looking further afield. If it's true that I'm lead to believe that McEleney is on serious money a week, then to attract quality players from outside the league seems like it's what we need to do. Will the Americans do that. They tried with chevdukas, Adorjan and tagbujami. Only one out of those three really worked and he's gone.

Does Kenny and Perth have the knowledge to scope for players outside the league?

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby El Paso » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:38 am

When Kenny hears how Larnaca spotted how weak we were defensively on our right, a weakness exploited within minutes, I hope it gives him food for thought.

There’s nothing wrong with playing our system against most of the teams in our League, but he’s had plenty of evidence last year and this year that his post-Finn 4-2-3-1 struggles badly against good midfields and we end up under a lot of pressure defensively Cork, Waterford, the European sides.

Our system relies on us having a lot of ball, which we normally do. But look at all the posts recommending starting Connolly - they all assume we were going to be the team on the ball. But, as I’ve said in a lot of the Cork posts, when we don’t have the ball the likes of Duffy, Benson, Hoban, McGrath to a lesser extent, but especially Connolly are passengers. And you just can’t have passengers in the modern game against half decent sides.

The two games we’ve lost this year in the League, and the draws and scrapy victories, have all come from a lack of midfield control. It’s not just about having the right central midfielder, it’s about a system that disintegrates when the midfield two get pulled. You’ll hear it said that we have another gear in us. The reason we don’t see it?...

Just because we can overwhelm Pats with that side when we’re not at our best doesn’t mean that 11 is the best 11 for the job against a Larnaca. Now I’ll probably get a ‘the manager knows best’ in response to all this but save it. This time he didn’t. He had enough evidence from every game post the break that we weren’t quite right, and the only changes he made were forced on him. And then it was too late.
Last edited by El Paso on Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby colymull » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:43 am

Sneachta wrote:I think a lot of your questions have been summed up by previous posters Robbie.

I definitely think we need to be looking further afield. If it's true that I'm lead to believe that McEleney is on serious money a week, then to attract quality players from outside the league seems like it's what we need to do. Will the Americans do that. They tried with chevdukas, Adorjan and tagbujami. Only one out of those three really worked and he's gone.

Does Kenny and Perth have the knowledge to scope for players outside the league?

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Don’t our new owners have interest in Bournemouth and Swansea? Could we be looking at bringing in fringe players from these clubs at least on loan?
Bringing in players from outside the league is going to cost big money in both fees and wages. It’s definitely what’s needed if we are to progress further in Europe but if we go down that road, we can forget any improvements to OP in the near future.
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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Robbiedundalk2 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:07 am

Sneachta wrote:I think a lot of your questions have been summed up by previous posters Robbie.

I definitely think we need to be looking further afield. If it's true that I'm lead to believe that McEleney is on serious money a week, then to attract quality players from outside the league seems like it's what we need to do. Will the Americans do that. They tried with chevdukas, Adorjan and tagbujami. Only one out of those three really worked and he's gone.

Does Kenny and Perth have the knowledge to scope for players outside the league?

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Sorry for the repetition which I know I am guilty of, just needed the cathartic effect of sharing on social to get off my chest, you know how it is. I think the two big insights is that Benson is below par and Connolly is not up to par. We need better players in these positions. It maybe they are in the squad - Mountney and McGrath. We also need a McMillan style forward to challenge Hoban, maybe that could be Kelly. Will be interesting to see the first 11 for the next league game

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby dundalkfc1903 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:18 am

The most sobering thought for me is that domestic football in a country of 1.2m people is miles ahead of the league of Ireland. In every aspect.

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Re: RE: Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Sneachta » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:58 am

dundalkfc1903 wrote:The most sobering thought for me is that domestic football in a country of 1.2m people is miles ahead of the league of Ireland. In every aspect.
One Cypriot started against 11 Irish lads. That also says a lot. Their national team is muck, even compared to ours.

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Re: RE: Re: Larnaca Away

Postby dundalkfc1903 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:14 am

Sneachta wrote:
dundalkfc1903 wrote:The most sobering thought for me is that domestic football in a country of 1.2m people is miles ahead of the league of Ireland. In every aspect.
One Cypriot started against 11 Irish lads. That also says a lot. Their national team is muck, even compared to ours.

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