He also named three players to be excited by.
Kevin Kilbane has pinpointed a problem he has with the current Ireland team, and the goals that we concede.
Ireland defeated Latvia 3-2 on Wednesday night, though they made hard work of it, throwing away a 2-0 lead to be drawing at half-time.
Both goals were fine strikes from outside the box, with many unsure as to whether or not Caoimhin Kelleher could have done more about either.
But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it was yet another long-range goal that Ireland conceded, and it’s proving to be a serious issue.
Kevin Kilbane on Ireland vs Latvia
Kilbane was responding to a tweet about Kelleher being out of practice due to his time spent on the bench at Liverpool, writing: “I was thinking the same thing earlier regarding long shots. Does anyone have these stats?”
This resulted in football writer Andrew Cunneen digging out the stats that show that Ireland are conceding too often from long distance.
He wrote: “Ireland have faced 85 shots from outside the box in that time, so conceding one in every ten which is mad. 39% is the highest rate of goals conceded from outside the box by any European nation since the start of 2021 – actually a third more than any other side.”
Ireland have faced 85 shots from outside the box in that time, so conceding one in every ten which is mad. 39% is the highest rate of goals conceded from outside the box by any European nation since the start of 2021 – actually a third more than any other side (Scotland at 26%).
— Andrew Cunneen (@Cunneen92) March 23, 2023
While it would be easy to put last night’s goals down to Kelleher being out of practice, Gavin Bazunu also conceded two long-range strikes against Armenia, and it’s something France will likely be aware of.
On a more positive note, Kilbane did outline three positives from Ireland’s win over Latvia, particularly three new players to the squad.
Kilbane named Evan Ferguson, Will Smallbone and Mikey Johnston as three reasons to be excited about the future.
A few things to be really positive about. Ferguson, Smallbone & Johnston. #COYBIG 🇮🇪
— Kevin Kilbane (@kdkilbane77) March 22, 2023
Check out our player ratings from the recent win here.