December 7, 2015

Republic of Ireland national team – starting line-up (Best XI) from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 Euros in France. (Republic of Ireland starting squad from 16 November 2015, Ireland 2-0 Bosnia/3-1 aggregate to Ireland in 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers play-offs.) [11 starters + 8 other players/ 19 Ireland players profiled.]

Filed under: Ireland — admin @ 6:42 pm

By Bill Turianski on 7 December 2015;
-Squad chart.
-Article on Ireland clinching…Martin O’Neill praises his Republic of Ireland heroes and Roy Keane (by Daniel Taylor at the Aviva Stadium on 16 Nov. 2015 at
-Thread on the day Ireland clinched…Ireland are through to the European Championships! [thread with 1,024 comments] (
-Team (current squad)…Republic of Ireland national football team/current squad (
-Team, with schedule, etc…REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (
-Country…Republic of Ireland.
-Provinces of Ireland…Provinces of Ireland (

Demographics of the Republic of Ireland
Size of the Republic of Ireland…
70,273 km-squared (or 27,133 square miles). The Republic of Ireland is slightly smaller than the African nation of Sierra Leone and is slightly larger than the Eurasian nation of Georgia, and the Republic of Ireland is slightly larger than the state of West Virginia in the USA. The Republic of Ireland is the 118th-largest country by area.
{Sources: Republic of Ireland;
List of countries and dependencies by area;
List of U.S. states and territories by area.(}

Population of the Republic of Ireland…
The Republic of Ireland has a population of around 4.6 million {2014 estimate}. The Republic of Ireland is the 122nd-most-populous country, placing them between New Zealand and DR Congo in population size.
{Sources: Republic of Ireland;
List of countries and dependencies by population (}

Capital & largest city…
Dublin, city population: about 527,000. Greater Dublin metro-area population.: about 1.8 million {2014 estimates}.

Gross Domestic Product of the Republic of Ireland…
The Republic of Ireland’s economy might have hit a severe slump following the 2008 Global economic crisis, but the nation still has the the 12th-highest GDP in the world, at $51,284 (Int$) per capita. (Gross Domestic Product as measured by purchasing power parity [PPP] per capita, via IMF numbers.)
{Source: List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita (}

Coach of Ireland team:
Martin O’Neill….
Martin O’Neill [age 63] is Northern Ireland-born (in County Londonderry). He made his name as a MF for Nottingham Forest during that club’s legendary run under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor in the late-1970s/early-1980s time period. O’Neill played 10 seasons for Forest (1971-81), with 285 league appearances and 45 goals. He helped them win promotion to the First Division in 1977, then helped Forest become the last English team to win the 1st-divison-championship-after-being-promoted (1977-78 First Division title). Then O’Neill contributed to Nottingham Forest’s 2 straight European titles (in 1979 & 1980). Following stints at Norwich City, Manchester City, and Notts County, O’Neill retired as a player in 1985. O’Neill also amassed 64 caps and 8 goals for the Northern Ireland national team (1981-85).

O’Neill’s management career began in Non-League football, and in 1992 he got Wycombe Wanderers promoted into the Football League for the first time…
Martin O’Neill began his managerial career in Non-League football in 1987 with Northern League side Grantham Town. 3 years later, in February 1990, he got his shot with an up-and-coming Conference club – the Wycombe Wanderers of southern Buckinghamshire. Wycombe were then a somewhat-large-for-non-league club with potential, including a soon-to-be-opened new 10-K-capacity ground (Adams Park in High Wycombe), but Wycombe had never been able to gain election to the Football League before automatic promotion/relegation was instituted between the 4th and 5th levels in 1986-87. And in due time (3 years), O’Neill delivered on that and got Wycombe promoted to the Football League in May 1993 by winning the 1992-93 Conference National. Then one year later, O’Neill delivered again and got Wycombe a second-straight promotion as the Wanderers won the 1993-94 Fourth Division play-offs (4-2 over Preston in front of 40 K at the old Wembley). Martin O’Neill had moved a Non-League club up into the Third Division, in 2 years flat.

O’Neiil gets Leicester City into the Premier League (in 2000), then has a good spell as Celtic manager, before tribulations at both Aston Villa and Sunderland…
So of course O’Neill got the chance to manage bigger clubs, starting with a brief stop at Norwich City (1995). Then O’Neill moved a couple counties over, to Leicester, where he guided the Foxes to promotion to the Premier League in May 2000. Next stop for O’Neill was north to Glasgow Celtic, where, from 2000-to-’05 he managed the Scottish giants to 3 titles and a UEFA Cup final (losing in 2003 to Porto 3-2, in Seville). And speaking of the UEFA Cup, O’Neill’s next managerial stint – at Aston Villa (2006-10) – became unstuck soon after he fielded essentially reserve sides for Villa’s lame and morale-sapping foray in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup. In other words, O’Neill opted to field a sub-standard lineup and treat the competition with cynical disdain. To say that that decision backfired would be an understatement. In fact, it could be said that (the currently-basement-dwelling) Aston Villa still hasn’t recovered from the negativity of O’Neill’s nihilistic UEFA Cup game plan. O’Neill’s plan was this: let’s not even try to win this tinpot tournament, because we got bigger fish to fry. Then they folded over. Here is an excerpt from Martin O’Neill’s wikipedia page,…” After 25 games of the 2008–09 season the club were third in the table on 51 points, 2 points above Chelsea on level games and 7 points above Arsenal in 5th place and on course for a place in the Champions League for the first time since 1983. O’Neill then decided to prioritise Champions League qualification above all else, fielding a virtual reserve side for a UEFA Cup game against CSKA Moscow which was subsequently lost. Following this, Villa failed to win any of the next 10 league games and improving form for Arsenal & Chelsea meant that Villa failed to reach the top 4.”…{excerpt from Martin O’Neill (

Under O’Neill, Aston Villa had three straight 6th-place-finishes (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10). Villa were stuck in the pathological-Thursday-night UEFA-Cup/Europa-League-purgatory. That, coupled with seeing insufficient funds available to improve his squad, contributed to O’Neill’s decision to resign as Aston Villa manager in August 2010. Martin O’Neill’s next club was chronic-dysfunction-magnet Sunderland AFC, of whom O’Neill took the reins of in December 2011. (Sunderland and Celtic are the 2 clubs that O’Neill supported in his boyhood.) O’Neill could do little to change the culture of underachievement there on the Wear, and 27 months on, in March 2013, O’Neill was sacked by the Sunderland board, as the team lay mired in a relegation fight. Sunderland finished 3 points above the drop in 17th that season [2012-13], and have been teetering on the brink of relegation virtually ever since then. O’Neill would not coach or manage for one-and-a-half years after that sacking.

November 2013: Martin O’Neill is hired as the Republic of Ireland national team coach…
17 months later, in November 2013, Martin O’Neill was hired as the Republic of Ireland national team coach. O’Neill brought in Roy Keane as assistant coach, in a sort of Good-Cop (O’Neill)/Bad-Cop (Keane) dynamic. Well, it worked, and although it took a nail-biting play-offs victory over Bosnia to clinch it, in the end, no one can deny that Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane got the perennial-nearly-men the Ireland national football team into a major competition – this from probably the toughest group in the qualifiers (Group D: Germany, Poland, Ireland, Scotland, Georgia, Gibralter). In the qualifiers, Ireland took 4 of a possible 6 points off of Germany (aka the World Champions), despite having only 37% possession when drawing with Germany away, and then having only 33% possession in beating Germany at home in Dublin (see 3 photos below). But Poland held off Ireland to claim the second automatic qualifying spot in the group. So it was off to the dreaded play-offs for Ireland. (Article continues below the illustration.)

    Below, the 2016 Euros qualifying campaign of the Republic of Ireland

(Please note: you can click on the illustration below to place it on an easier-to-read page.)
Photo credits above – John O’Shea scoring on a header, late (94′) v Germany, photo by Keith McManus/BPI via Shane Long scoring winner v Germany, photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images via Shane long runs to fans to celebrate his winning goal v Germany, photo by Getty Images via Robbie Brady scoring in the fog in Bosnia, photo by Reuters via Edin Džeko after scoring for Bosnia to equaliize v Ireland, photo by Getty Images via Screenshots of interior-view of Aviva Stadium on 16 Nov.2015 from video at Schematic illustration of Ireland squad lineup, by Jonathan Walters scoring from the penalty spot (24′), photo by AFP/Getty Images via Jon Walters scoring second goal off free kick by Robbie Brady, screenshot of video at Jon Walters celebrating with fans alongside giant green-&-white-checkered flag, photo by Peter Morrison/Associated Press via Martin O’Neill & Roy Keane after win, photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile/Corbis via

So it was off to the dreaded play-offs for Ireland…
In the play-offs, Ireland drew Bosnia, and then eked out a 1-1 result in the first leg, in the dense fog in Zenica, Bosnia on 13 Nov. 2015, with DF Robbie Brady scoring late, followed a couple minutes later by an equalizer from Bosnia FW Edin Dzeko (see photos above). In the second leg, before a full-house/50-K-crowd in Dublin, Ireland clinched qualification with a 2-0 victory over Bosnia, thanks to a brace from RW/FW Jonathan Walters. Walters’ first goal was in the 24th minute from the penalty spot. His second goal was in the 70th minute off of a free kick by Robbie Brady – which Walters trapped, parried, and slotted in on the near post (see fuzzy screenshot above). The staunch Ireland defense held for the remaining 20-odd minutes, and Ireland had clinched. As noted in the following article by Daniel Taylor at Guardian/football, Martin O’Neill afterward praised assistant coach Roy Keane for his influence in the dressing-room. Said Martin O’Neill: “I’ve had to make many big decisions. The biggest was bringing in Roy Keane and he has been absolutely phenomenal. I couldn’t be more delighted with him. He’s an iconic figure. He sometimes polarises opinion but not in the dressing room.”…{quote from Martin O’Neill praises his Republic of Ireland heroes and Roy Keane (by Daniel Taylor on 16 Nov.2015 at

The Republic of Ireland will join 3 of the 4 British home countries in the 2016 UEFA Euros in France next summer…
Ireland now joins England, Northern Ireland, and Wales in qualifying for the 2016 Euros. Ireland have now qualified for 2 straight Euros tournaments (this is their 3rd Euros qualification overall). Northern Ireland have qualified for the Euros for the first-time-ever, and have made it to a major tournament for the first time in 30 years (previous, FIFA WC 1982 & 1986). Meaning, in France next summer, there will be full representation for ALL of Ireland – in a major tournament – for the first time ever. And how fitting that a man (O’Neill), born in the United Kingdom, got the Republic of Ireland into the Euros, just as his fellow countrymen from his birthplace up north, in Northern Ireland, had done the same.

(Please note: you can click on the illustration below to place it on an easier-to-read page.)

    Ireland national team – starting line-up from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 Euros in France.
    (Republic of Ireland starting squad from 16 November 2015, Ireland 2-0 Bosnia/3-1 aggregate to Ireland in 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers play-offs).

Photo and Image credits above – Ireland 2015 kits illustration from Republic of Ireland national football team Photo of Martin O’Neill jumping for joy as Ireland scores a late goal for a draw in Germany, photo unattributed at Map of Ireland within the EU, by NuclearVacuum at File:EU-Ireland.svg.
Blank map of administrative divisions in the Republic of Ireland, by lasunncty at File:Republic of Ireland counties and cities.svg ( Blank map of Ireland, by NordNordWest at File:Ireland location map.svg ( Circa 2014-15 Ireland jersey badge, photo uploaded by Otaku [unattributed] at [thread: appreciating-the-worlds-finest-in-football-kits]. 2015 Ireland jersey, photo from
Goalkeeper… Darren Randolph, GK (West Ham Utd), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via
Defenders…Séamus Coleman, RB/RMF (Everton), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via Richard Keogh, CB (Derby County), photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images at Ciaran Clark, CB/DMF (Aston Villa), photo by Craig Brough/Reuters via Robbie Brady, LB/LMF/CMF (Norwich City), photo by Christopher Lee via
Holding Midfielders…Glenn Whelan, CMF/DMF (Stoke City), photo by Paul Thomas at James McCarthy, CMF/DMF/AMF (Everton), photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images Europe via
Attacking Midfielders…Jonathan Walters, RW/CF (Stoke City), photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images via Wes Hoolahan, AMF/LW (Norwich City), photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images Europe via Jeff Hendrick, CMF/DMF/AMF (Derby County), photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images Europe via
Striker…Daryl Murphy, CF/W (Ipswich Town), photo by Stuart Watson at
Other player-options…Shane Long, CF/W (Southampton), photo by David Cannon/Getty Images Europe via John O’Shea, CB/WB (Sunderland), photo by Getty Images (mis-attributed) at Robbie Keane, CF/LW (LA Galaxy), photo unattributed at James McClean, LW/FW/RW (West Bromwich Albion), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images via Shay Given, GK (Stokr City), photo by Christof Koepsel at Aiden McGeady, RW/AMF/LW (Everton), photo by Gareth Jones via Marc Wilson, CB/LB/DMF (Stoke City), photo by Getty Images via Stephen Ward, MF (Burnley), photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via

Thanks to all at the following links -
-Republic of Ireland national team (
-Special thanks to the very excellent site called – for their unerring ability to describe most any footballers position(s).

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