Ireland will be an attacking threat at Euro 2012, insists Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane says Republic of Ireland have better attacking options for Euro 2012 than they had for the World Cup in 2002
Robbie Keane believes Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has better attacking options at his disposal for Euro 2012 than Mick McCarthy had at the World Cup in 2002.
The 31-year-old will be play in his second international tournament after appearing in each of Ireland’s games in South Korea and Japan almost ten years ago.
The Ireland captain scored three goals in four appearances en route to a last-16 defeat by Spain, while McCarthy also brought David Connolly, Damien Duff, Clinton Morrison and Niall Quinn to Asia.
But Keane, who is the country’s record goal scorer with 53 strikes, believes Ireland boss Trapattoni has a plethora of attacking talent to choose from for the European championship in June.
“It’s a lot stronger than we had, probably, back then, and that’s no disrespect to the lads back then.
“Quinny was kind of at the end and he knew he was going to be a bit-part player, but all these strikers now want to play in every game, so certainly, I think the standard is a lot better.
“Everybody, not just the strikers, is desperate to play in that first game, so the intensity and the level of performance is naturally going to go up because every player wants to be picked by the manager.
“Certainly as strikers, the lads at club level have been doing very, very well, so whoever the manager picks out of the five of us, we just have to make the most of it and make sure that we stake our claim and stay in the team.”
Keane will lead Ireland out against Bosnia-Herzegovina for their friendly on Saturday, and he is relishing the pressure of captaining Trapattoni’s side at their first international tournament in a decade.
“My job is to do that. As captain, you can’t carry the whole team, so first and foremost, you have to make sure that as a player, you are doing the best you can to help the team, so I will be certainly doing that,” he added.