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Saturday 1 October 2016

Street football gene emerged in Paris

Richard Dunne is hugged by Thierry Henry in 2009. Pic: Sportsfile
Richard Dunne is hugged by Thierry Henry in 2009. Pic: Sportsfile

Richard Dunne reckons Ireland's performance in Paris on that infamous night in 2009 was all about the street football gene and how it kicked in and kicked out Trapattoni's standard gameplan.

"We played with a little bit of freedom, like we didn't have a care in the world because it was all or nothing that night," he said.

"I don't know, the old street kids came out in all of us. like we were free and we could enjoy it." added Dunne.

Like the rest of us, his perspective as a fan is now one of frustration that the team can't do that more often.

"I was watching it the other night and it drives you mad. You are thinking 'Jesus, just do something different. Just pass it there.'

"It is so easy to watch it and criticise and look at it from different angles but when you are on the pitch it is like that tunnel vision. All you can see when you look is Serbian jerseys everywhere.

"It's frustrating for a fan, must be frustrating for the players who are running left and right and then left and right and not getting a touch of the ball."

Dunne's view of Serbia reflects the general consensus.

"I thought Serbia looked very erratic at times, their defending was terrible and their keep was hopeless.

"Ireland scored and then didn't play for 65 minutes and could have been three or 4-1 down and then went 2-1 down and played great again.

"The freedom again," he said wistfully. "We could have won in the end.

"It was the same when they played Sweden in the summer when they played great then they scored and sat back. I don't know what it is.

"I was chatting with a friend about it and he said 'why do teams play great,then score and then instead of continuing to play great, sit back and wait?'.

"It's always been the same, hasn't it? Always. If we win a match against a good team it's like a heroic performance with defenders and goalkeepers, everyone throwing their bodies on the line.

"It's never been a composed, control demolition of a Holland or a Germany.

"It's the mindset.

"Kids growing up watching these matches see players throwing themselves in front of the ball and the tackles and when their turn comes they think they can only beat these teams by being scrappers and throwing themselves around."

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