Nobody wants to see Alan Browne being abused and goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly has had enough.
After the playoff defeat in Slovakia, Ireland faces into the bleak prospect of next summer without Euro 2020 football. The inquest has already begun and while there are certain things for Stephen Kenny to improve on, there are signs of progress too.
In terms of Ireland’s qualification record in the group, Mick McCarthy’s second term at the helm was extremely patchy as the boys in green finished third behind Switzerland and Belgium.
While the standard of football wasn’t great, the goalscoring record was even worse – Ireland only scored seven times in qualification, with their only wins coming against Georgia and Gibraltar.
Mistakes were made on the road to Euro 2020 and while defeat in Bratislava signalled the end of this particular journey, it’s completely unfair to place the blame on one person.
However, Alan Browne has been signalled out by some people online as the main culprit in Ireland’s defeat.
After being introduced as a second-half substitute for James McCarthy, the Preston midfielder played well as he injected some tempo, urgency, and creativity into Ireland’s attack.
However, the Cork native would also miss a golden opportunity to score the game’s opening goal, only to see his effort rebounded off the post.
Unfortunately for Browne, his night would only get worse after his penalty was saved in the shootout. Matt Doherty would also miss from the spot for Ireland.
In the aftermath of the game, former Republic of Ireland international Alan Kelly took to Twitter to defend Browne from any online criticism.
The former Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers ‘keeper is now Ireland’s goalkeeping coach and he said: “The abuse directed at Alan Browne after Ireland lost on penalties last night is shocking and disgusting. He is a proud Irishman, who accepted the responsibility of taking a penalty under the most intense pressure, that takes guts, that shows character.”
Here’s hoping that Browne and Ireland can shake off the defeat in Bratislava when they take on Wales and Finland in the Nations League next.
The abuse directed at @Alan__Browne after @FAIreland lost on penalties last night is shocking & disgusting. He is a proud Irishman, who accepted the responsibility of taking a penalty under the most intense pressure, that takes guts, that shows character.
— Goalkeeping Skills (@Keepingskills) October 9, 2020