Alan Shearer praises Ireland’s passion ahead of Belgium clash
Robbie Purves | June 17, 2016
Coral football ambassador Alan Shearer is in the heart of Paris casting his expert eye over everything Euro 2016.
This time, it’s the Republic of Ireland v Belgium, a match Shearer sees as crucial in Martin O’Neill’s pursuit of progression to the elimination stage.
After “deservingly” taking the lead in their Group E curtain raiser against Sweden, Shearer bemoans the the late equaliser that broke Irish hearts after dominating the game.
However, despite the disappointment, the Premier League greatest goalscorer believes they can take “belief” into the “tough group” and highlights the importance of Ireland “not getting beat” in their opening game at a competition, especially when the Boys in Green reside in the so called group of death.
Many backed Belgium as their dark horses to win the Euros, but as Shearer says in their opener against Italy, Antonio Conte’s side were “totally dominated and were better in virtually every position”. Ireland will therefore take “hope” from the unimpressive display.
However, Shearer, top goalscorer at Euro ’96, warns that “when you put in a poor performance like Belgium did, you’re a wounded animal and you want to come out and give a good performance”.
The Red Devils have a glittered squad, but Shearer, the second highest scoring individual in European Championship history, highlights the need for team spirit.
“Great individuals don’t necessarily mean a great team” and if they had “a little bit of the Irish passion they might turn themselves into a decent team”.
You’ll find more Euro 2016 content on Coral’s dedicated section.