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19/09/2021

The dawn of a new era

Roy Keane and Martin O'Neill share a word at the Latvia game
Okay, it may have only been Latvia but either way, the first performance of an Martin O’Neill/Roy Keane-led Ireland side was as inspirational as it’s been for many a year.

Okay, it may have only been Latvia but either way, the first performance of an Martin O’Neill/Roy Keane-led Ireland side was as inspirational as it’s been for many a year.

From the first minute to the last, Ireland attacked the Latvians in swathes. Gone was the pragmatic, measured approach of Giovanni Trapattoni that frustrated so much of the Irish fan-base. The new style seemed to resemble that of a Premier League team; a high-tempo, in-your-face, approach that suits this set of players to their very core.

To see O’Neill - and in particular, Keane – encourage, cajole and celebrate on the touchline was a joy to behold and filled the hearts of many a supporter in green.

No doubt there’ll be tougher tests to come but as encouraging starts to go, that’s right up there with some of the best.

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