Ireland v Germany: We can’t afford to just focus on Özil, warns O’Shea
Ireland v Germany: John O'Shea warns Giovanni Trapattoni's side that Mesut Özil will not be the visitors' only threat on Friday night
John O’Shea believes the Republic of Ireland cannot afford to focus all their energy on marking Germany’s Mesut Özil in their 2014 World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland are looking to follow-up a 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan in their opening Group C fixture, while Germany can extend their 100 per cent record with a win in Dublin.
O’Shea will be tasked with marshalling Ireland’s rearguard in the absence of Richard Dunne, and the Sunderland defender knows Germany have an extensive selection of offensive players who can cause the home side problems on Friday night.
“He is a fantastic player, but if we focus our attention too much on one of Germany’s players, they have plenty of others with the quality to punish you,” O’Shea said.
“I played against [Lukas] Podolski in the first game of the [Premier League] season, so I am well aware of his qualities.
“But if I was to go through the whole team, I would be here for quite a while talking about their quality and ability. We have to be on guard for all the German players.”
Ireland failed to win a single game in a disappointing Euro 2012 campaign but O’Shea insisted Giovanni Trapattoni’s men will be looking to beat Germany.
“If we are going into a home game against anybody, we are confident we can win,” he added.
“But they are the second-ranked team in the world and we will see how the game goes.
“Sometimes when you get a draw, you are delighted, like when you score the equaliser in the last minute. On the other hand, if you score the first goal and concede in the last minute, then you are not very happy.
“We will wait and see, but obviously we want to win and we know how tough that will be.”