Larnaca Away

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby seand » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:37 am

Just on the Ireland v Cyprus (and v Belarus, Azerbaijan etc) thing, the simple fact is that there are a few dozen teams like AEK, Appollon, Ludogorets, BATE and Qarabag that are theoretically no bigger than Dundalk, Cork and Rovers in terms of support, but are operating on 5 or 10 times the budget because they have dodgy money/wealthy benefactors behind them, which has then brought Euro prize money. The third best team in Cyprus are bringing in Spanish players with loads of La Liga experience. The newly minted Dundalk's biggest splash was on a player who made no impact in League One. Our playing budget is probably significantly higher than Cork and the rest of the league, and will help drive us to the title (hopefully), but to compete regularly with AEK and BATE you realistically need to treble it at least. Is that going to happen?



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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby White Horse » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:44 am

The loss night demonstrated a lack of leadership on the pitch. In 2016, Andy Boyle had the back four well organised, while Stephen O'Donnell dictated the shape of the midfield three.

We were rarely opened up in the Europa League campaign in 2016, and we played better sides than Larnaca. Many of the goals conceded in 2016 came from individual errors.

All Larnaca had to do last night was drag one of our players out of position (usually Cleary) and we were unable to readjust. They had the pace and the finishing ability to punish gaps in our SHAPE.

We looked decent going forward. McEleney, Duffy, Hoban all looked dangerous. However, our defensive game is nowhere near the level required.

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby thecaptain » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:46 am

Chat between a few of us on Twitter for the post mortem, my feelings pretty much been summed up by everyone as above in the thread but tactically in Europe in 2016 we played a 433 with 3 in the middle, 2 wide men and one up top. Since it's been a 4231 with a dedicated 10 in behind the front man and 2 in midfield then.

In 2016 Finn broke forward as the attacking centre mid to link the attacking play and there were 2 there to cover. This summer it's been Shieldsy and Benson in a midfield two and in every leg this summer when Benson's broke forward and we lost the ball Shieldsy's been left covering the space of 2 men. He's been fantastic no doubt but the gaps have been there every time in our midfield when we lose the ball up the pitch which is where we've been done every time pretty much. To be fair to Benson although he didn't play great over the two rounds anyone could be playing that role and the same would have happened.

For my tuppence worth 4231 will work domestically but in Europe the most important thing is ball retention & recycling posession when you have it and cover when you don't. If we play 4231 then the 2 in midfield need to be a dm like Shields and a deep playmaker like Skip who can keep the ball ticking over. If we go 433 a dm like Shields, a deep playmaker like Skip AND THEN you have the free man in cm breaking forward to support the attacks as an attacking mid without leaving our arses hanging out in the breeze.

Question is then how do you get Fats & McGrath into the same team in a 433? Think both have the potential play the 8/ Finn role well but then you're left playing the other as an inside left/ right. Fats pace, control and strength for me would be the better choice to start a bit deeper than in the 10 and McGrath on the right then?

Anyway sure look, disappointing and didn't do ourselves justice yesterday at all but that's the exception to the rule over the last few years, lads had a stinker, it happens, rarely but that's football for you. The inexperienced in Europe lads such as Cleary, Hoare and Jarvis will learn from that and hopefully continue to improve and won't find the step up next summer as harsh. Priority is the league this season and the long game is the Champions Route given the new format and our seedings from 2016 will help for a few years yet.
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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby dundalkfc1903 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:47 am

seand wrote:Just on the Ireland v Cyprus (and v Belarus, Azerbaijan etc) thing, the simple fact is that there are a few dozen teams like AEK, Appollon, Ludogorets, BATE and Qarabag that are theoretically no bigger than Dundalk, Cork and Rovers in terms of support, but are operating on 5 or 10 times the budget because they have dodgy money/wealthy benefactors behind them, which has then brought Euro prize money. The third best team in Cyprus are bringing in Spanish players with loads of La Liga experience. The newly minted Dundalk's biggest splash was on a player who made no impact in League One. Our playing budget is probably significantly higher than Cork and the rest of the league, and will help drive us to the title (hopefully), but to compete regularly with AEK and BATE you realistically need to treble it at least. Is that going to happen?



Shhhh. Don't tell the yanks.

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby McGregor » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:35 pm

Firstly Larnaca were the better team and fully deserved to progress, as their manager said they identified the weaknesses in our team and fully exploited them. Saying that you wouldn't need a Pro licence having watched our two European ties to see our problems. The shock last night was just how easy it was for them. We've played against far better teams in Europe and given them real problems.
Benson and McGrath although really good on the ball (although they don't always deliver) offer nothing out of possession, unfortunately you simply just can't compare them to what O'Donnell and Finn brought to the team. Shields is also limited but he gives us real steel in the middle. To play Chevdukas would be a gamble as he hasn't shown enough to warrant a place on the team. For the future Aaron McEneff is the standout option in the league now that Dylan Watts is tied to Rovers, but midfield is certainly the area of the team that needs most improving.
I just can't see what Dylan Connolly offers, his final ball undoes most of his attacking threat and he gives us nothing defensively, even when he does track back he never effects the ball.
Up front I think Hoban's style suited their backline on this occasion and a bit more pace and mobility might have helped but we don't have that option.
Gannon and Massey are our first choice fullbacks so injuries weakened us, its a pity McEleney isn't 100% yet as he has shown his quality every time he gets on the pitch.
And then there's the lack of rotation, at the end of the day the manager has proven himself so I won't argue but I can say that both Shields and Hoban put in huge shifts against Bohs, for such a big squad we seem to have no real depth in some areas.

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Sneachta » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:10 pm

dundalkfc1903 wrote:
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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Nationality means nothing in club football anymore.
Equating success to population is nonsensical then. If that's the case how come Kerry have kept tabs on the dubs for generations. Or even still, our women's hockey team in a world cup semi, ahead of Belgium, Germany, England and India with a population of 1.3 billion.

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Larnaca Away

Postby dundalkfc1903 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:39 pm

Sneachta wrote:
dundalkfc1903 wrote:
Sneachta wrote: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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Nationality means nothing in club football anymore.
Equating success to population is nonsensical then. If that's the case how come Kerry have kept tabs on the dubs for generations. Or even still, our women's hockey team in a world cup semi, ahead of Belgium, Germany, England and India with a population of 1.3 billion.

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Lets put it another way. How can a small country of 1.2m people, attract enough investment into their football clubs and football structures, to out compete larger nations (eg Ireland), and regularly have teams in the Europa and Champions league group stages. Presumably a lot of the investment comes from outside the country, as I can't imagine a small Cypriot economy (roughly 1/15th the size of Ireland) could provide for this.

Sorry I don't know much about Indian womens hockey. I'll leave that to someone else.

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby oldfogey » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:44 pm

The manner in which we played - or didn't - last was for more disappointing than the result.

I would ask people to take a step back and ponder on where we were twelve months ago. Lots of handwringing and gnashing of teeth as Cork disappeared over the horizon. You can't rebuild that quickly, at least not to the level people seem to expect.

Stephen Kenny took over at the beginning of 2013. it was 3 and a half years before we showed any kind of form in Europe.

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Larnaca Away

Postby seand » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:47 pm

dundalkfc1903 wrote:
Sneachta wrote:
dundalkfc1903 wrote:Nationality means nothing in club football anymore.
Equating success to population is nonsensical then. If that's the case how come Kerry have kept tabs on the dubs for generations. Or even still, our women's hockey team in a world cup semi, ahead of Belgium, Germany, England and India with a population of 1.3 billion.

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Lets put it another way. How can a small country of 1.2m people, attract enough investment into their football clubs and football structures, to out compete larger nations (eg Ireland), and regularly have teams in the Europa and Champions league group stages. Presumably a lot of the investment comes from outside the country, as I can't imagine a small Cypriot economy (roughly 1/15th the size of Ireland) could provide for this.

Sorry I don't know much about Indian womens hockey. I'll leave that to someone else.


Not sure about the financial specifics of each of the clubs, but a lot of dodgy Russian money flowed through the Cypriot banks over the past couple of decades, and they offered fast-track Cypriot (and EU) citizenship to any foreigners (many Russians) 'investing' in Cyprus. I get the impression their financial regulations might be even less rigorous than rest of the EU.

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Larnaca Away

Postby dundalkfc1903 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:52 pm

seand wrote:
dundalkfc1903 wrote:
Sneachta wrote:Equating success to population is nonsensical then. If that's the case how come Kerry have kept tabs on the dubs for generations. Or even still, our women's hockey team in a world cup semi, ahead of Belgium, Germany, England and India with a population of 1.3 billion.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6000 using Tapatalk


Lets put it another way. How can a small country of 1.2m people, attract enough investment into their football clubs and football structures, to out compete larger nations (eg Ireland), and regularly have teams in the Europa and Champions league group stages. Presumably a lot of the investment comes from outside the country, as I can't imagine a small Cypriot economy (roughly 1/15th the size of Ireland) could provide for this.

Sorry I don't know much about Indian womens hockey. I'll leave that to someone else.


Not sure about the financial specifics of each of the clubs, but a lot of dodgy Russian money flowed through the Cypriot banks over the past couple of decades, and they offered fast-track Cypriot (and EU) citizenship to any foreigners (many Russians) 'investing' in Cyprus. I get the impression their financial regulations might be even less rigorous than rest of the EU.


I cant imagine that the fast track citizenship you mention would require anything more than a seven figure investment in any industry in Cyprus. Surely nowhere near the money required to run a football club.

Whatever the reasons and wherever the money comes from, whether it be domestic or international, they are miles ahead of us and the rest of the LOI on and off the pitch and in every area needed to compete regularly in Europe.

If I were in the current Dundalk consortium, I would be thinking 'we picked the wrong island'

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby seand » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:14 pm

About half a million investment was all that was required I think, plenty of these investors had a lot more money to launder though.

Why would you think the Dundalk backers picked the wrong island? Cypriot clubs aren't making money because they're in Cyprus, they're making money by dominating what was an even weaker league than the LoI and getting on in Europe. Looks to me like that's the plan at Dundalk, and it's a lot more feasible in Ireland or Latvia than Cyprus or Azerbaijan.

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby DundalkChampions » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:02 pm

McGregor wrote:Firstly Larnaca were the better team and fully deserved to progress, as their manager said they identified the weaknesses in our team and fully exploited them. Saying that you wouldn't need a Pro licence having watched our two European ties to see our problems. The shock last night was just how easy it was for them. We've played against far better teams in Europe and given them real problems.
Benson and McGrath although really good on the ball (although they don't always deliver) offer nothing out of possession, unfortunately you simply just can't compare them to what O'Donnell and Finn brought to the team. Shields is also limited but he gives us real steel in the middle. To play Chevdukas would be a gamble as he hasn't shown enough to warrant a place on the team. For the future Aaron McEneff is the standout option in the league now that Dylan Watts is tied to Rovers, but midfield is certainly the area of the team that needs most improving.
I just can't see what Dylan Connolly offers, his final ball undoes most of his attacking threat and he gives us nothing defensively, even when he does track back he never effects the ball.
Up front I think Hoban's style suited their backline on this occasion and a bit more pace and mobility might have helped but we don't have that option.
Gannon and Massey are our first choice fullbacks so injuries weakened us, its a pity McEleney isn't 100% yet as he has shown his quality every time he gets on the pitch.
And then there's the lack of rotation, at the end of the day the manager has proven himself so I won't argue but I can say that both Shields and Hoban put in huge shifts against Bohs, for such a big squad we seem to have no real depth in some areas.


McEneff another attacking midfielder is the last thing we need.

As for the no real depth, thats nonsense

Rogers (Sava)
Gannon (Poynton)
Hoare (Cleary)
Gartland (Folan)
Massey (Jarvis)
McGrath (Connolly)
Shields (Chevdukas)
Benson (Mountany)
McEleney (ODonnell)
Duffy (Murray)
Hoban (Kelly)

Leaving out Sam Byrne, that team in brackets would finish mid table in our league easily

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby carlisletce » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:08 pm

A disappointing result yesterday. A lot of poor defending for the goals but I would have thought Kenny would have set up a little bit more defensive in his line up to start.
It was more important to be cautious up until half time, a set up of two banks of four narrowed in to defend against the home team may have frustrated AEK. Essentially the game was over after the second goal went in. European football can be cruel but League of Ireland sides must treat it as a bonus for now. A lot of money is needed to invest in players to be able to qualify for group stages. The club have benefitted from the €0.5m prize money, a sum a lot of other clubs would love to get.
The team are top of the league now with ten games to go. The league title is always your primary goal.
It is important to get behind the team and move on and support all the players who must be feeling awful at this time. Next up League Cup semifinal. Come on the lilywhites!

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Sneachta » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:51 pm

dundalkfc1903 wrote:
Sneachta wrote:
dundalkfc1903 wrote:Nationality means nothing in club football anymore.
Equating success to population is nonsensical then. If that's the case how come Kerry have kept tabs on the dubs for generations. Or even still, our women's hockey team in a world cup semi, ahead of Belgium, Germany, England and India with a population of 1.3 billion.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6000 using Tapatalk


Lets put it another way. How can a small country of 1.2m people, attract enough investment into their football clubs and football structures, to out compete larger nations (eg Ireland), and regularly have teams in the Europa and Champions league group stages. Presumably a lot of the investment comes from outside the country, as I can't imagine a small Cypriot economy (roughly 1/15th the size of Ireland) could provide for this.

Sorry I don't know much about Indian womens hockey. I'll leave that to someone else.
Money!

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Re: Larnaca Away

Postby Martin Lawlor80 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:03 pm

SK has repeatedly mentioned that winning the league is his primary goal this year and I think the side against bohs proves this. I would love a long run in Europe and one of my all time moments following DFC was Bensons goal against Bate, but I thought the writing was on the wall after the 0 0 in Oriel. For a side that is only in pre season, they were in cruise control through out that whole match. As someone already pointed out, Larnaca are able to recruit ex la liga players while any decent prospect we have gets picked off by a Uk club. Tbf SK has said on many occasions that we can’t progress unless we are in a position to hold on to those type of players.
The league is a long way from done and I just hope that we can regroup and finish strongly.
I also think it’s quite disingenuous to be saying that our new owners will be very worried about this result. They have said that they see this as a little long time venture. Mike Treacy’s many visits to OP and even fact that the head of Peak6 took his family to see a game points to a group who are here for the long haul. Remember lads and lassies that, last nights result aside, we are having one of the best seasons ever.


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