Aussies Abroad: Jackson Irvine provides midfield spark despite 9 man St. Pauli falling to Schalke 04

Jackson Irvine playing for St. Pauli. Credit: St. Pauli Twitter

Socceroo midfielder Jackson Irvine showed the offensive side of his game on the weekend, providing two assists as his St. Pauli side fell 3-2 to Schalke 04

Let’s look back at the weekend and dissect some of the Aussies that played well across the footballing world.

Jackson Irvine 

Despite Jackson Irvine being solid as always for his German club side St. Pauli, his two assists could save them from falling to a 3-2 defeat against Schalke, effectively ruling them out of any chance of promotion. 

After a disappointing last month of results, St. Pauli has all but squandered any chance they had at getting promotion into the Bundesliga. With one game left, they need results elsewhere to go their way, whilst needing a to make up 28 goal difference. 

Irvine has been a pillar for St. Pauli this season. Predominantly playing as an outside central midfielder in a 4 man diamond midfield. His football IQ and incredible work ethic contributed to his deployment as a slightly defensive-minded midfielder. Playing as a ‘Carrilero’, this role perfectly suits his attributes both physically and mentally. 

However, in their most recent outing, Irvine was able to express the more attacking side of his game. Whilst still playing as an outside central midfielder, his role was more accustomed to a more traditional ‘box-to-box midfielder. This was able to get his more flair and his offensive side of the game to be expressed. 

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This led to two assists and created three key passes for the game. His first assist came from a very late run into the box, before getting on the end of a cutback and flicking it with a backheel into the path of the goal scorer. His second assist came from a really high and intelligent press that saw him intercept a pass from the goalkeeper, before calmly passing to Igor Matanovic who slotted home his second of the game. 

Irvine’s hard work and football IQ are shown off in every game, however, it was shown off in a different way over the weekend. Normally, he is this defensive beast that works hard all day. While he still has that, he was able to show that aforementioned characteristic in an attacking sense, something that allows him to get the credit that he has lacked and so desperately deserves. 

If Irvine is able to show this attacking and creative prowess whilst playing for the Socceroos, this would have to make him an absolute lock for the starting line-up. He is so versatile and able to play so many different roles in a variety of different formations. He is the dynamic point of difference that could be the catalyst for Australia qualifying for the World Cup. 

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