Former Republic of Ireland and Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has written off the hopes of Republic of Ireland qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The nation – under manager Giovanni Trapattoni – created history this summer after qualifying for the Euro 2012 after a gap of 10 years. Even though they failed to get past the group stages of the competition, there is real belief within the country that they will be able to once again qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson, who is currently working as a pundit for BBC, has written off the hopes of Republic of Ireland making it into this major tournament.
In order to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the Republic of Ireland should first negotiate teams like Germany and Sweden in the qualifying group. Mark Lawrenson reckons that it will be extremely difficult for Giovanni Trapattoni to once again repeat the magic due to the concerns about the age of the squad. A number of high profile players within the team are nearing the end of their high-profile careers. Lawrenson doubts whether they will be around to give their best in the next two seasons.
“It’s a very tough group. It’s going to be extremely difficult. I think Germany have looked the best team in Euro 2012, that’s including Spain. So it’s going to be very difficult for Ireland even to finish second, I don’t see them qualifying for 2014. I think it may be a while before they ever qualify for anything again. They haven’t got that many players to pick from, a lot of players are from the Championship, and they actually need a group of players who are all good Premier League players to come through together,” said Lawrenson.