Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer has branded Ireland’s style of football as “unpleasant” ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifier against the Boys in Green on Thursday evening.
Vladimir Petkovic’s side are the group’s top seed and currently sit just outside the top ten in the FIFA World Rankings but face the difficult task of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, with the home side unbeaten in their opening four games.
Over the years Ireland have developed a reputation of being hard to beat and pragmatic at times, under the likes of Giovanni Trapattoni and Martin O’Neill, but in Mick McCarthy’s second reign, the Boys in Green have been a little easier on the eye.
One man who apparently doesn’t feel the Irish style of play is very progressive is Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer who will almost certainly be between the sticks on Thursday night.
In quotes reported by The Irish Independent, Sommer outlined that he feels Ireland play a “very unpleasant” and “very hard” style of football and reminisced about his experience of playing the Boys in Green in a friendly three years ago.
“Our opponents play a very unpleasant style of football, very hard,” Sommer said.
“The Irish want to beat Switzerland. And of course, we do not want to lose.
“We lost in Ireland in a friendly three years ago, Ireland are strong from corners and their game is very physical. The Irish are a team with a lot of passion, and we have to fight that.”
Sommer’s quotes seem slightly harsh on Ireland but criticism of their style of play is something the players will be well used to, with Danish midfielder famously comparing trying to score against Ireland to “trying to open a can of beans with your bare hands,” after their World Cup play off draw.
Swiss journalist Robin Carrell, however, appeared on Off The Ball’s AM show this morning and outlined that he believed Sommer’s quotes had been wrongly translated but he did not provide any more clarity on the comments simply outlining that the goalkeeper is too nice to have said them.
Regardless of each side’s style of play, both will be gunning for victory at the Aviva on Thursday night. If Ireland can get the three points at home they will sit nine points clear of Switzerland and put themselves in with an excellent chance of qualification for Euro 2020.